View Full Version : I have crabs!!

03-04-2009, 05:42 PM
Mind my bad play on words pls LOL.

We bought two crabs at LFS under the name vampire crabs. They have purple on their back shell and red claws which leads me to believe they are red clawed crabs. I have a tank with baby SA chiclids which will end up eating him one day but we decided to pick em up as my GF thought they were awesome. We figured they would be a nice addition to the tank and then one day a nice snack for the cichlids. Incidently the LFS lady assured me they were fully aquatic which I have since discovered is inaccurate. We had a blast watching their antics last night but were disappointed to find one belly up and missing a leg this morning. The tank is finishing cycling so the ammo is zero and nitrites are 1 PPM which I am using amquel plus to lock up so that shouldn't have done it??? He didn't appear too chewed up other than the leg which I think prolly happened after his fate was sealed.

Any ideas what happened?? Are they hard to keep water wise?? Think 1-3" cichlids got em?? IS there such a thing as a vampire crab for aquarium or is this a red claw?? Gotta search for the other one when I get home from work today as I am sure a body will kill my water in a hurry.

03-12-2009, 01:48 AM
i have 5 red claws and they don't have bright significant purple on their backs. they range from light red to almost black. nothing i would really call purple though.

when i first got them, their water was too cold and they all went into a hybernation like state. take the "dead" one out, and put it in some warmer water to see if he comes back to life. try not to shock him too much though. when it happened to me, i thought they were all dead. as soon as i took mine out i could see them bubbling at the mouth and attempting to breathe. crabs like to be at almost 80 degrees. it could have been a fight with another crab that killed him, but i'd check into it, incase.

if all else fails, google it!

03-12-2009, 04:52 AM
Most crabs, unless they are deepwater crabs like to come out of the water once in a while. Most of the crabs you will keep in an aquarium, red claws, fiddlers, whatever, like to have a little bit of land to crawl on, and they are crazy escape artists. Check into what Ramden said in too cold of water. Even a quick few degrees change to the colder side, and crabs will start to go to sleep or begin their hibernation kinda thing. Losing a leg or two or a claw shouldn't kill any crab. If it was belly up on the bottom it may be alive, just went to sleep and could have gotten flipped over. If it was belly up on the surface, it's a goner.

Crabs are pretty tolerant of about any water conditions from my experience. Temperature is however a big thing for them, wont usually kill them, but can cause some real odd behavior. I do have to say it seems with smaller aquarium crabs they can die randomly at times.

Does the crab still seem to have eyes? If the eyes (prolly cichlids would do the eyes) have been taken out, or the mouth appendages are missing it's a good chance it fought another crab or fish and died.

When I used to work for a small crab fishing company (in NJ) our holding tanks would be much cooler than the water they came from to stop them damaging each other. It's somewhat opposite out here on the west coast (CA) though with the deepwater dungeness crabs that get fished up. You can't get them cold enough to calm them down unless you freeze em.

03-12-2009, 05:10 PM
I googled vampire crabs and only came up with big wild ones...which lead me to believe they were maybe RCC. Their backs are a washed out black that my GF said was purple.... but what do I know as a guy talking to a girl about colors lol.

They are both returned for refund at LFS, I thought they both died but they may have been sleeping based on what you said. I did pull them both out of the water for a time to see if they would snap back but they didn't :(. The one was moving ever so slightly when touched but half an hour later he was limp as could be. My Aquarium is on the hot side 78-80 degrees so I don't think that was the problem. Their eyes were all intact. I assumed they couldn't get out of the water and died because of that.

Too bad we really liked them in the tank but unless I figure it out I don't want to go through anymore :(