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View Full Version : Is it me or the crabs?



Maggot
10-21-2009, 05:22 PM
I decided to get some fiddler crabs. I bought a male and female at petsmart, and they were put in brackish water (with land, too). They have a heater so their tank ranges from 72-80 degrees F. If it goes over 85 I unplug it.

The female only had three legs (my guess because they were in FW), but I know they get them back when they molt, so I thought she would be fine as long as I watch her carefully. Well, within a day of putting her in the tank she died. It seemed like she was having issues walked up a small "hill" of sand, but apparently she was just dying. :\

So, seeing the male fiddler hover over her dead body then not leave the spot she died in for days, I got another fiddler (also from Petsmart), only it was a male. I got him two weeks ago, and he was doing great. He molted (though not all at once, which I am not sure why), and he was out and about. Then when I went to clean their cage and realized the big claw on the smallest male had fallen off. His leg was still there, so I guess he molted it off? That worried me. Then I found him dead yesterday. The big male fiddler crab is almost twice the small one's size (compare a penny to a nickel, that big of a size difference), so I'm wondering if the bigger one killed him.

The big one is doing just fine (I found him on TOP of his tank today!), but it's when I put smaller ones in that they die. I am not sure if I am doing something wrong or if I just have issues because they're being left in FW, or if mr. big-fiddler is killing them off, or if I've just been buying them and they've been sick. I am not buying anymore until I figure it out.

Maggot
10-21-2009, 05:44 PM
I'm sorry, a penny to a quarter for size comparison. Not a nickel. D:

VoidParadigm
10-21-2009, 07:06 PM
Perhaps those small ones you bought came from a weak line of crabs? You could look for a closer sized crab as a friend for the current one, but if the one in there is all fine and dandy by himself I would just let him have the run of the tank.

Maggot
10-21-2009, 07:45 PM
It's possible, but they came from two different Petsmart stores. I know the female wasn't doing well when I bought her, but the smaller male seemed alright. It's just I'm having trouble finding more in depth info on these guys, and the people at the petstore said they should never be kept in brackish water. :\ So they aren't that reliable.

VoidParadigm
10-21-2009, 07:59 PM
Hm. Well, it is possible that the two stores order from the same place. However as long as that big male that's left is healthy, eating, and active I still say just let him have the tank to himself, or at least until a new shipment of crabs comes in and you can find a healthy, larger looking friend.

Maggot
10-21-2009, 10:55 PM
I'll just let him be by himself and keep a lookout for larger crabs, then. Thanks for the help!

aquatic lover
10-22-2009, 04:51 AM
Fiddlers that are in fw, should not probaly be bought. They develope weakness and dieseses in fw or sw because they thrive in bw. Or it could have been a weak fiddler. It would be better to get a same size female for him, because males that are mature really try to pull off legs and claws from their rival male. And that may result in death. And if it's too small of a female the male could hunt it. Thats what happned with my male fiddler and my baby female fiddler. And if you just throw them in their in bw right after they have been in fw that may have shocked them. It's kind of hard at first to care for these crabs but after awhile it's pretty easy. Your set up is great, it was the condition they were in before you bought them.

Maggot
10-22-2009, 11:25 PM
I'm going to try to find another store that sells them that actually keep them in proper conditions instead of your run-of-the-mill ones . I am not sure if I've ever seen a female that's as large or near the size of this guy, so hopefully she's out there somewhere! I feel awful when I see the big guy on his rock trying to find females.

Is there any way to transfer the new crab from a FW tank to a BW tank with minimal stress?

Crispy
10-22-2009, 11:34 PM
sounds like weak stock. keep looking around.

Maggot
10-24-2009, 05:41 PM
Just an Update:

My crab escaped yesterday! This time he somehow got to the living room. I am so happy my roommate and I found him (and he was alive!). He lost a leg during his adventures unfortunately, but he is eating and taking it easy in his tank. Is there anything else I should do? I feel like he should have anti-human germ medicine or something. I am going to get out my old tank (5g hexagon I believe) and transfer him to that, as it has a better cover with a very small opening he cannot get out of.

VoidParadigm
10-24-2009, 05:48 PM
lol. Quite an adventure he had.

A'sides good clean water there's nothing else for you to do as long as he's eating and doesn't look stressed out. =]

Maggot
10-24-2009, 06:19 PM
Alright! I am going to clean his water today, then.

Thanks!

lobsternoob
10-25-2009, 02:12 AM
Is there any way to transfer the new crab from a FW tank to a BW tank with minimal stress?

I would think a real slow drip acclimation, or maybe even a QT tank slowly increasing the salt level would help. Honestly though, you are much better off if you can find a LFS that keeps their crabs in brackish water already. The crab will be healthier from the beginning and won't need the long acclimation. Also, males in a tank without separate territory can get aggressive and try and rip limbs off, but most crabs don't have a problem losing a limb or two if they are healthy. Fiddlers really aren't that hard to keep, so I'm thinking a lot or all of your problems can be attributed to weak stock like a few others have mentioned. I know the fiddlers I see at my local petsmart never look very healthy(more accurately on the verge of death). But a LFS that uses a different distributor always has active healthy looking fiddlers.

Wiggs
10-25-2009, 02:41 AM
Not going to lie, when I first saw the thread title, I thought we were going to have to give relationship advice.



:help:

aquatic lover
10-25-2009, 04:19 AM
Just an Update:

My crab escaped yesterday! This time he somehow got to the living room. I am so happy my roommate and I found him (and he was alive!). He lost a leg during his adventures unfortunately, but he is eating and taking it easy in his tank. Is there anything else I should do? I feel like he should have anti-human germ medicine or something. I am going to get out my old tank (5g hexagon I believe) and transfer him to that, as it has a better cover with a very small opening he cannot get out of.Yes, my fiddlers would escape all the time, I patched up the tank openings and now they don't escape. Make sure you patch up those openings, or you may find a dead crab on the floor.:sconfused:

Maggot
10-26-2009, 12:35 AM
I would think a real slow drip acclimation, or maybe even a QT tank slowly increasing the salt level would help. Honestly though, you are much better off if you can find a LFS that keeps their crabs in brackish water already. The crab will be healthier from the beginning and won't need the long acclimation. Also, males in a tank without separate territory can get aggressive and try and rip limbs off, but most crabs don't have a problem losing a limb or two if they are healthy. Fiddlers really aren't that hard to keep, so I'm thinking a lot or all of your problems can be attributed to weak stock like a few others have mentioned. I know the fiddlers I see at my local petsmart never look very healthy(more accurately on the verge of death). But a LFS that uses a different distributor always has active healthy looking fiddlers.

Yea, I don't want to set foot in that petsmart anymore. I feel horrible when I see the crabs! I did find a LFS that sells crabs, though of a different breed and for 9 bucks. That I have to look into some more since I am not sure how well the breeds will mix and such. I will continue my search, though!

And thank you all for the help. I closed all gaps until he gets a new setup, so no more getting out for him.

lobsternoob
10-26-2009, 02:03 AM
Hmm, at 9$ a crab, that doesn't sound like fiddlers or red claws, IME. Be sure they aren't full saltwater crabs, but your doing more research, so that can never hurt! If you know the type of crab they are itwould be a good idea to post it, you'll probably find someone here on the AC that can give advice for just about any critter you can find in your LFS.

Ah, emerald crabs are what I was thinking about, I've had someone try to sell me one as brackish and FW safe. Fully SW crab I believe.

VoidParadigm
10-26-2009, 02:06 AM
I personally don't mix inverts - any kind, even ones people claim are compatible. But that's just personal preference and enhanced paranoia. :lol:

Make sure to really do your research well if you try to go down that path! =]

aquatic lover
10-26-2009, 06:31 AM
Yea, I don't want to set foot in that petsmart anymore. I feel horrible when I see the crabs! I did find a LFS that sells crabs, though of a different breed and for 9 bucks. That I have to look into some more since I am not sure how well the breeds will mix and such. I will continue my search, though!

And thank you all for the help. I closed all gaps until he gets a new setup, so no more getting out for him.It depends on what kind of crab you are getting, red claw crabs usualy get along with fiddlers, but other breeds that are mixed up will probaly kill each other. So make sure you know what breed your buying. But inverts don't do well if their a mixed up with other breeds. So make sure you research a lot.

Maggot
10-27-2009, 04:49 PM
It depends on what kind of crab you are getting, red claw crabs usualy get along with fiddlers, but other breeds that are mixed up will probaly kill each other. So make sure you know what breed your buying. But inverts don't do well if their a mixed up with other breeds. So make sure you research a lot.

http://www.choiceaquariums.com/products/fiddler_crab

That is the fiddler crab they have, and I am not sure what breed that is. It looked like there was the scientific name for it, but when I searched it I kept getting ghost crab and they were...ghostly. Not red. D: I haven't had time to give it a good hardcore look yet.

herc
11-15-2009, 08:12 PM
crabs are the masters of escaping,keeping a cover on the tank helps alot.

aquatic lover
11-15-2009, 09:51 PM
Those are saltwater fiddlers, they are red burrowing fiddlers. Make sure you put them in saltwater.