Another Crabitat - The Planted Tank Forum
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Old 10-16-2019, 01:07 AM Thread Starter
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Another Crabitat

I am rebooting my 7yr old son's 20 gallon aquarium as a crab apartment per his pleading. I have start of structure for egg crate and foam land area. Should have about 8-10 gallons of water in set up

I could use some help checking salinity parameters on the critters.:
EXISTING
*Red Wag Platy, qty 2
68-72F, pH 6.8-8, SG 1.003 okay per some sources
* Ghost Shrimp (unknown species), qty 1
72-82F, pH 7.0-8, salinity <30 ppt LD95

DESIRED
*Red Claw Crabs, 2 females, 1 male
75-80F, pH 7.5-8.5, SG 1.005 - 1.015
*Molly, school
72-78F, pH 6.7-8.5, brackish yet but SG not stated
*Cherry Shrimp, school
70-80F, pH 6.6 - 8.4, SG 1 - 1.004

So... will any of the above work with the Red Claw Crabs? If not do you have any suggestions? My SIL has a tank with platys so I can give them to her.
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Old 10-17-2019, 10:59 AM
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I don't think the cherry shrimp will work - even per the readings you've posted, their suggested max is less than the minimum for the crabs!
As far as I know ghost shrimp would be fine, I know people keep them in everything from fresh to full marine but there seems to be a lot of confusion when it comes to their lifespan in each, and if all species labelled ghost shrimp are just as happy in each setup.

Mollies should be fine again, I know some folks keep those in fully marine setups. May be better to pass on the platys, but perhaps someone else can chime in.
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Old 10-18-2019, 03:23 AM Thread Starter
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Some progress on the hard scape. Egg crate down with riser to adjust in take filter outlet to height I want. Egg crate has fiberglass screen attached to it. The area under filter and behind the screen will have lava rock to bulk out the display and provide filtration area. The rocks are oklahoma flagstone from a local landscaper. It is sedimentary rock and negative on vinegar test.

As you can see from the front viewing angle, Sam the Sea Monster has pride of place. *eye roll* However, if you sit in Mama's chair adjacent to tank looking down long axis he will be hidden. There will be a piece of drift wood and plants obscuring him from view. Compromises.
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Old 10-19-2019, 03:36 AM Thread Starter
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I finished the hardscape and I don't like it. That is about 40lbs of rock and I ran out. The water level is 6.5 gallons. The good thing is my little in-tank canister filter can put up plenty flow. I do need to silicon an spout extender to the case so the water goes over the rocks. The lip is maybe a 1/4" if that.

I think I need to redo it with rock layers changed from === to \\\. It would make better use of the rock I think doing it that way. I can also end up with more planting area maybe.
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Old 10-20-2019, 07:53 PM Thread Starter
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Question I think I'm ready for substrate!

So revision 3?, let's say 3 of the hardscape is done and I like it a lot better. I have one dry rooted planting area on far left and a marginal planting area along the back. There will also be a small planter box on top of the filter. The driftwood branches make a huge difference to the tank.

So questions:
-Do I have enough dry land for red claw crabs?
-What substrate should I use for the dry area that won't ruin things if tank gets overfilled?
-What substrate for the marginal and submerged planting areas?
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Old 10-28-2019, 10:17 AM Thread Starter
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1wk with fish. I ended up using CaribeanSea Supernaturals white sand for my substrate. It's maybe an 1/2" to 2" deep. I let water settle for a day then filtered with backup cartridge for a day to clean up water. Then swapped in the cycled cartridge and livestock from the 5gallon bucket.

Water condition good so far. I have 2 red wag platy and a single ghost shrimp in about 6.5gallons of water. Plants are Marino algae ball from old tank and a new Anubis Nana petite on the drift wood.
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Old 10-30-2019, 12:52 AM Thread Starter
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Got some crested Java fern m. Pteropus and Java miss vesicularia dubyana for my tank. I separated the Java fern into smaller bunches and wedged between rock flakes. Hopefully that works, the rhisome isn't in the sand. I'm not sure how well the Java moss will do it's pretty brown.
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Old 10-30-2019, 01:03 AM
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What are you keeping the salinity at? I dont think the moss will do well once you start adding salt. Depending on how saline you get, you might be able to have some cool macroalgae like chaeto or dragons breath. The java ferns might do better above water in that level of salinity.

It's a cool setup though, will be following this because I think crabs are awesome and want to see them in here.
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Old 10-30-2019, 10:12 AM Thread Starter
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First off, thanks for the compliment! &#x1f642; I've done aquariums and aquaponics before but this is my first planted tank. And first brackish but the kids fell in love with the crabs...

Right now the tank is freshwater. The final goal is ~1/4 seawater, 1.005 - 1.008 sg. That should work for the planned fishes, crabs, and my ghost shrimp.

I've seen many sources (videos and articles) that say Java fern and Java miss are very good for low end brackish. Plan is to go to 1/8 salt water ~1.003 and keep tank there for awhile to grow plants before adding crabs. Since the petstores normally stash them in freshwater, I thought that would be safer. Once I have the crabs I will slowly transition them up to end salinity.
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Old 10-30-2019, 12:05 PM
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Just saw this thread for the first time. Super fun build! I am jealous of your crab tank. I have wanted to get crabs for a while but I sadly have very limited tank space. So crabs will have to wait for quite some time. I will enjoy watching your build though!
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Old 10-30-2019, 05:57 PM Thread Starter
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STOCKING LEVELS
I'm seeing a lot of 3 crabs per gallon recommendations. I don't have a clue how to count shrimp.

My 20gal tank has ~7" deep water which has about 5 gal accessible to fish. The land surface area is 1/3 of tank surface area. I am adding more live plants as I go.

Do you think 1 trio each of crabs, guppies, and ghost shrimp is too many stock?
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Old 10-30-2019, 08:07 PM
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Ghost shrimp have a very small bioload. You could accommodate more then a 100 in your tank as it is. Guppies are fine to start off with 3 but if this is a breeding trio then you are going to end up with a lot of babies. Maybe your crabs eat them all, and maybe not. You will need to be careful you don't get your system out of balance with babies.

I have no idea about the crabs.
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Old 11-03-2019, 12:42 PM Thread Starter
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Did about 30% water change. I pulled out a completely brown and slimmy chunk of java moss. It's been 4 days and don't see any change to rest. Not sure how long to give the rest of the moss.

The only light is a 3W string of led in the original hood. They look bright white but I have no info. I think a light might be next purchase.
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Old 11-03-2019, 03:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Margali View Post
Did about 30% water change. I pulled out a completely brown and slimmy chunk of java moss. It's been 4 days and don't see any change to rest. Not sure how long to give the rest of the moss.

The only light is a 3W string of led in the original hood. They look bright white but I have no info. I think a light might be next purchase.
Moss needs a LOT longer than 3 days to show growth. Like weeks to months. It will grow under low light just fine, but slowly. I've had moss that was "dead" and totally dried out for years come back. Moss isnt like vascular plants.
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Old 11-09-2019, 10:31 AM Thread Starter
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My anubias Anna petite is putting out new leaves! The Java moss is marginally greener while some of the Java fern is getting brown spots.

Still haven't decided on planting media for my bog and dry planting areas. Suggestions?
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