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Old 03-21-2013, 05:39 PM   #1
Knotyoureality
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Red Claw Crab


Recently had one of these guys land in my lap as a rescue--literally, as he worked the tupperware lid loose and crawled into my lap on the drive home--thanks to a stupid person's impulse purchase at PetSmart.

Poppped him into a spare planted vase (black sand substrate, lava rock, various plants-had recently evicted a bunch of car. propinqua) for safe keeping and started reading up on these guys--but there's really not all that much out there.

For the first week I tried him on half a dozen different foods--flake, algae wafers, shrimp pellets, blanched veggies, smashed snails, etc--but while he spent plenty of time picking thru the substrate (and shredding the rock mounted java ferns!), the only thing I've added that he's taken to is a bit of shredded marimino ball.

Just moved him into a larger vase with more lava rock to give additional nooks and crannies to hide in and ensure he's always able to get up out of the water (without getting out of the tank), but would appreciate any advice folks could offer on caring for this guy.
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Old 03-21-2013, 06:29 PM   #2
Ulupica
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These guys are brackish water crabs and will SHRED any plants you try to keep in with them.

Mine were happy eating shrimp pellets and algae wafers, along with the occasional bits of raw fish and shrimp.

I kept mine in a tank with deep sand at one end and open water at the other, with a wooden stump for them to burrow under. They spent lots of time buried in the wet sand, especially at molting time.
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Old 03-21-2013, 08:22 PM   #3
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Not too worried about the plants; the entire set up he started in was an experimental tank and I know I'll lose most, if not all, the plants as I move the water towards brackish. Got a hydrometer on order and I'm using some marine salt I was gifted with a bunch of misc saltwater equipment years ago. Knew going in he'd more than likely pick them down to nothing.

Stepping the salinity up slowly to let him adjust (he's been in freshwater for at least the past three weeks) and to satisfy my curiosity in seeing how the plants react.


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Old 03-23-2013, 03:37 PM   #4
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I have been reading a lot about these crabs lately and I have four in one of my tanks now. I'll share a few of my thoughts and discoveries here.

According to hobbyists in germany, red claw crabs don't require brackish water to live, only to breed. My experience is the same.
I have a straight freshwater tank and have seen successful molting and mating behaviours (the crab larvae all died but the adults seemed to enjoy trying).

Oddly, I have only seen one molted shell in my tank. I kept that one and dried it for future size comparisons and all the crabs are monsters compared to the size of the original shell. This size change proves that there has been molting going on in the last half year but I haven't seen the shells. Each crab has several burrows so I am not surprised that I haven't seen more shells.

It is a very rare occurence that I see all four crabs at the same time. Very rare. I had to take pictures and catalog their differences just to determine if I still actually had four crabs.

I don't see any evidence of them shredding my plants but I have seen them picking hornwort and eating it like it was a bunch of grapes. They spend a lot of time climbing around inside thick clusters of plants so they may be eating them, I just don't see it.

Aside from hornwort, I feed them fish flakes, algae wafers, zuchini, frozen bloodworms, betta pellets and I believe I also feed them Zebra Danios, Neon tetras and otocinclus catfish. I have no evidence of this, but I am missing fish. Truthfully, I don't feed them anything. They just get leftovers and aquarium table scraps.

They MUST have access to dry land. All of my crabs spend some of their day out of the water.

Here is a link to my attempt at cataloging my crabs:
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=262322
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Old 04-13-2013, 08:16 PM   #5
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Monsieur crab got an upgrade in digs today. Sand bottom with stacked sandstone creating a raised sand bed, malaysian driftwood and a few manzanita twigs and a sprinkling of gravel for textural interest in a standard 5g.

Plants include java fern, threadleaf java fern, cardamine lyrata, frogbit, duckweed, baby tears, pennywort, xmas moss, a couple semi-aquatics and shredded marimo moss ball bits. Given these crabs propensity for shredding plants, they're all the dribs and drabs left over or culled from other tanks.

Along the same lines, I've added a little more interest and movement to the tank by moving over the cherry shrimp culls that were in his original planted vase, 4 endler fry and a variety of snails--pond, rams horn and MTS.

While I'm deciding whether to paint/cover the back, he's dragging manzanita twigs around, re-arranging the gravel and dancing on the sand flat. Not, of course, that I can get a picture of any of that. Soon as I get near the tank, he's whoooshed off under a rock underhang til I give up and go away.


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Old 04-13-2013, 09:34 PM   #6
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Tank looks great. I love how it looks.
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Old 04-14-2013, 12:42 AM   #7
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mangrove crab chillin.

while eatting a cloud minnow he caught to close to the surface..
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Old 04-14-2013, 12:50 AM   #8
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chou That is one awesome crab, I have read they will eat their molted shell, and I haven't kept them before but I love how he can be on top like that to be seen.
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Old 04-14-2013, 01:00 AM   #9
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i haven't seen any molting yet. but damn they are freakin' awesome i tell ya haha
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Old 04-14-2013, 02:42 AM   #10
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They're pretty cool critters. Usually I'll re-home rescues but (obviously) this guy managed to wheedle his way into my permanent collection.

I'll miss seeing him climb up all the way up and down the lava rocks in the deeper planted vase, but it's well worth the change to give him a larger and more varied environment. The new tank, just like his previous planted vase, sits right next to my reading/tv chair so I just have to turn my head to see him.

And as it happens, the timing on this is perfect; I've got another rescue red claw, possibly two, being dropped off tomorrow.
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Old 04-14-2013, 06:09 AM   #11
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Males will come close to killing each other if not given the space ime. Just a fair warning. I've kept these guys for about a year.
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Old 04-14-2013, 07:45 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 10gallonplanted View Post
Males will come close to killing each other if not given the space ime. Just a fair warning. I've kept these guys for about a year.
I've the means to segregate them if there's too much aggression. In setting up the tank, I knew there was a good chance I'd end up hosting more rescues (or give in to temptation and buy a second one) so I tried to make sure there were a variety of good hiding spaces and that none were so enclosed or steep walled as to make it likely one crab could corner another.
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Old 04-14-2013, 12:48 PM   #13
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Sounds good, the main thing is to have more than one land territory. I would make one on each side of I were you.
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Old 04-14-2013, 08:13 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 10gallonplanted View Post
Sounds good, the main thing is to have more than one land territory. I would make one on each side of I were you.
If I were working with a bigger tank, I would, but it just doesn't fit right in the 5g. If push comes to shove (so to speak), I've got materials on hand to try out a number of options. Worse case scenario--I'll pop 'em each in their own individual habitats. So far things are pretty calm.
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Old 04-17-2013, 01:57 AM   #15
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4/16: Original crab went thru a successful molt, smallest crab has excavated a burrow under a slab of sandstone, the other two continue to bicker over their favorite spots. Introduced additional plants material both submersed and emmersed.

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