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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi, everyone! I purchased 6 vampire crabs from a local pet shop, and they seemed to be doing just fine for about a week. However, they started dying all of a sudden. Within two days, they had all died. We did a lot of research and had a nice tank setup for them before we bought them, and honestly thought we had done everything right. The water we used was from an established tank, so it wasn't new tank syndrome. The tank itself is 10 gallons, and the pet store employee told us 6 would be a good number for the tank we have. We showed him pictures of it to make sure.

The tank has a filter meant for up to 10 gallons. We probably have a little over one gallon in the tank.
There is a heater in the water that heats to 78 degrees Fahrenheit.
We have an aqueon fluorescent light full hood on the tank, and there is a floramax 17watt bulb in it since we have live plants.
They were fed algae pellets, fish flakes, and blood worms. We did research on what to feed them beforehand as well.

We are stumped and I feel absolutely awful. I was really excited to have them, and I'm so sad that this happened.

Some thoughts we had as to what it could have been, but ultimately have no idea:
-The light was too strong
-The humidity wasn't high enough
-The water we used from our established aquarium wasn't a good idea, and was bad for the crabs

Any advice/ideas/suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
There are pictures posted of the tank. We took the driftwood out to soak some more, so the third picture is after the driftwood was removed.

Edit: we kept the light off after the first one died, just in case the light was the problem.
 

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It might not be a bad idea to remove the heater....

Has the tank ever been treated for copper?

Do you know the parameters of the water? Including ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, GH and KH?



I have no clue how to care for them, but having more information may help those that do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The tank has not been treated for copper, and honestly, I had no idea that was a thing. I will definitely look into this if I ever try again. The tank water I used from my bigger aquarium has an 8 ph and the ammonia levels are in the "safe" range. Less than .5. I have test strips that I could use to provide the other details, if it would be helpful.
 

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The tank has not been treated for copper, and honestly, I had no idea that was a thing. I will definitely look into this if I ever try again. The tank water I used from my bigger aquarium has an 8 ph and the ammonia levels are in the "safe" range. Less than .5. I have test strips that I could use to provide the other details, if it would be helpful.
There's no "safe range" for ammonia. You want it at 0 or extremely close to it. There are better test kits out there. Test strips are not the best. Anyway, read up and read up some more if you'd like to try at it again. Part of the fun is in the research!

And sorry to hear about your crabs btw.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
There's no "safe range" for ammonia. You want it at 0 or extremely close to it. There are better test kits out there. Test strips are not the best. Anyway, read up and read up some more if you'd like to try at it again. Part of the fun is in the research!

And sorry to hear about your crabs btw.
The ammonia levels are very close to zero, but not quite there. I will get better tests. I have a good ph tester, but the rest of the tests I have are strips.

I appreciate your help. I would really like to have a few vampire crabs, but I feel so bad about what happened that I don't know if I want to try again. I don't want to risk hurting them. :(

Hopefully the pet store I bought them from can help. I'll stop by and ask them a few questions.

Thank you for your help!
 

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Do you know the sex of the crabs? Male geosesarma are territorial and I would not recommend more than two males in a ten gallon and that is if you have a lot of hiding place. Also make sure they are all the same species they will fight if they are not the same species.

They also need more land than water. Here's a big paludarium I had set up for my group to give you an idea:


Last note geosesarma from pet stores are 99% wild caught, and the trip from the exporter to pet store usually takes a big toll on them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Do you know the sex of the crabs? Male geosesarma are territorial and I would not recommend more than two males in a ten gallon and that is if you have a lot of hiding place. Also make sure they are all the same species they will fight if they are not the same species.

They also need more land than water. Here's a big paludarium I had set up for my group to give you an idea:


Last note geosesarma from pet stores are 99% wild caught, and the trip from the exporter to pet store usually takes a big toll on them.
I believe there were three males and three females. As far as I know, they were the same species. They were just labeled as vampire crabs at the store, so there were no more details than that. If I do decide to try again (still undecided - I don't want to risk hurting more) I will get a bigger tank and provide more land and hiding places.

So it's possible that they died from the stress of travel and re-adjusting?
 

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They are actually really easy to sex if you flip them over. The male abdomen flap is really narrow and pointy compare to the females. I think most pet stores will usually carry geosesarma hagen or geosesarma dennerle but I also seen multiple species mixed in one single tank before.

Yes stress is always a big possibility, imports might have gotten better over the year but I remember when they were first on the market the survival rate was incredibly low. Also their lifespan is about 2-4 years and since they are wild caught there's no way to know how old they are.
I do hope you try again when you are ready, they are honestly really fun to keep, one of the few crabs that give birth to fully develop baby crabs that do not require a saltwater stage. They are also really cool hunters that will pounce on fruit flies or baby crickets given the chance.

Feel free to PM me, there's a few groups that are dedicated to keeping these gems that can probably provide more information if you decide to keep them again.

I believe there were three males and three females. As far as I know, they were the same species. They were just labeled as vampire crabs at the store, so there were no more details than that. If I do decide to try again (still undecided - I don't want to risk hurting more) I will get a bigger tank and provide more land and hiding places.

So it's possible that they died from the stress of travel and re-adjusting?
 

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The water we used was from an established tank, so it wasn't new tank syndrome.

Just taking water from an established tank is not the same thing as cycling a tank. There is typically only a small quantity of the bacteria you need that is free-floating in the water column. It's all the surface areas that hold the bacteria. Moving filter media and/or objects can help much more than just the water, but even doing that is still not sufficient for a full cycle.
 
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