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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A customer brought in a fiddler crab to my LFS because they bought it from Petco and didn't realize what it was and what its needs were. So I picked it up for 3 bucks.

I did some research about them and found there to be very little information or photos of fiddler crabitats. I had a spare 10g tank sitting around so me and the woman threw together something we thought would work (its gonna be her pet ;) ).


Started out with a glass divider in the 10g to make a wet and dry side.


This is where I stopped taking pictures lol. We got too engrossed in setting it up that I forgot to take pictures of the progress. We siliconed lava rock to the wet side of the divider in a slope so the crab would have a way to get up to the dry side. I've heard they don't like to climb. In the dry side I also put a little glass 'planter' that I had made a while ago for a wabi-kusa setup but never went through with it. I want to add some terrestrial plants in that section, just gotta find something suitable. I also added a driftwood log in the wet section to give him another alternative to the wet/dry transition.

Excuse the plastic plant. Its just a temporary place holder ;)










Filtration will be via a tetra 2-10 in tank filter. I located the filter so it creates a little bit of a water fall.

Salinity is set to about 1.008

Any input would be appreciated. This is my first dive into a brackish setup. I'm looking for plant ideas that would go well in here.
 

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Nice little set up there. My experience from catching fiddlers for bait is they live in the tidal zone. Sandy wet mud usually in and around transitional grasses. Some mondo grass might make him feel more at home. Cool little critters to watch, get him a mate.
 

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If fiddler crabs act anything like red clawed crabs, your plants won't stand a chance. My red clawed would shred plants in no time flat!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
That looks amazing nice work and good on you providing a home for the fiddler crab.
Thanks!

You could try clay/sand mix for a tidal mud
That's a good idea. I'm tossing around some ideas on what to do. There is very little out there on ideas for fiddler crab habitats. Version 2.0 will be much better and the 20 long will give me a much better area to set up and play with.
 

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I used to have a few. I used a lot of sand so that he had around 4" of water in the deep part, then a sand slope, then an area that was wet sand. There was no divider or anything similar, and the crab would make finger-width burrows in the wet sand. No rocks, just a few random seashells. I'd suggest making the dry side nice and wet so that the crabs can make burrows.
Oh, just to warn you; I ended up with mosquito larvae in there. Scooped them out and made them fish food. Keep an eye out for skeeter larvae, and if you see them, just swish a net through there and dump the buggers into a tank with a fish. You've got a week or two before they turn into adults, so they're great fish food.
 

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I bought "star moss" once and of course it didn't work under water and I soon found threads that said most have
trouble growing it underwater. But then I started noticing it on top of the ground around the streams that I collect from.
So try it on the "dry" side. But it grows in damp soil.
 

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ive hers java moss can work in brackish
also some micro algaes will work in brackish
look at special kitty natural clay litter for "mud"
 

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Not suggesting you buy from them/your choice, but it's just a list of plants that work in brackish water.
Just starting in plants so I can't verify which would grow above water.
http://www.aquariumplants.com/Brackish_Water_Plants_s/22.htm
Put your pointer on "Aquarium Plants" for pop out list to be sure of brackish type.
 

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This is probably the best and most natural setup I've seen for fiddler crabs. I once kept a few in a half filled 10 gallon tank with brackish water, and they did very well for a long time. I only provided rocks and floating cork bark for land, but I think they definitely would have preferred burrowing space. The only reason they died was because I got tired of making brackish water...they really don't last long in freshwater.
I would recommend putting a layer of lava rocks under your sand to help keep the substrate aerated and from becoming anaerobic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks JoshBA. I have learned a few things on this original setup that I won't be doing on the 2nd. First, the wall is WAY too tall. It doesn't need that much water and because of it, the crab is almost never in the sandy side. There needs to be more of a slope so he feels more comfortable climbing in and out of the water. I usually see him perched up on the rocks, but hardly ever in the sand. I've seem some setups where sections of PVC are buried in the sand to create tunnels which I think will work well. The dimensions of the 20 long I'll be using will be better for this too.

I think I will also put a good layer of the lava rock under the sand on the dry side so it can drain.

I've been dropping various clippings of plants in the tank from time to time, and no surprise, hygro sunset seems to be doing just fine in there. Duckweed also seems to have no issue staying green in the brackish water also. Weeds will be weeds I guess.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Switched out to a 20 long. I went ahead and sealed up the 'dry' side. I couldn't figure out how to drain without the sand moving over to the wet side. I'm keeping the wet side sand free because my little tetra sand kept getting stopped up with sand in the impeller no matter how I try to pre-filter it.



Also got my little guy a girlfriend. They've been flirting all evening tonight. He's waving, she's creeping back and forth. Pretty funny to watch.


Finally added some live plants to the dry side. Some 'lewisia' (forground) and some christmas fern (background).
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I grabbed a couple pictures last night. The female has dug a tunnel in the dry area. I'm wondering if she is going to have babies??




When he's not diving into his burrow, he's out waving to the house. The female has been in hiding for several days now. By my research she could be preparing to have babies.



 
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