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caitie

Emerald Crabs

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I keep cleaner shrimps, turbo snails and all kinds of hermit crabs but I can't seem to keep emerald crabs alive? I just lost the third ond today. I bought him yesterday and he seemed in great shape. I set up a drip for him and left him in the bucket with the drip for two or three hours. Then I put him to the tank and he immediately started picking stuff off the rocks. I saw him still at it in the early hours and then by mid morning I found him dead on his back. It wasn't a molt he was dead.:( The first one I got lived 4 months and he just died with no warning. About 6 months later I got another one and he died within a week and now this one didn't even live 24 hours.

Does anybody have an idea why this is happening, all my other inverts seem fine and I keep them a long time. I would really love to keep an emerald I think they are so cute.:heart

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Wow I had never heard of these before, so I had to google it! They are neat little creatures, I hope someone can lend some helpful advice so you can keep one! I gotta say though, crabs in general really creep me out, I think they're too spider-like or something! :peeka

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Here's a pic of my first one. His name was Kermit and he had the funniest personality, he adopted a toadstool where he would go sleep in every night. Everytime I would put my hand in the tank he would start waving his little claws like he was saying "Here I am". I would feed him little pieces of shrimp and he would come get them right from my hand. :heart

29gallons4013.jpg

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Awwww that is sweet! :)

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When you find them dead is there body parts missing?

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Dude you should get some red film hun put that in front of a flash light. Then at night when you turn the lights off shine the flash light with the red film on it. This way the creatures cant see you and wont be scared. Then watch make sure you dont have some nasties in the tank that might be killing the crab.

I had a Gorilla crab in mine once that was killing my other crabs...... :yikes

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Thanks Koko. I have a red film on the flashlight and I've never seen any crabs or mantis shrimp. I thought I might have a mantis in the tank two years ago because you could hears some funny cracking noises after the light were out, and once in a while I would see a funny trail in the sand but I've never seen it. And the emralds all die in perfect shape not a mark on them to suggest something is attacking them. The only other thing that is weird in that tank is that every once in a while I'll find all my shrimp will go post herself on some equipment which is almost at the top of the tank. And the 5 hermits, turbo snails and even all 5 of my nassarius snails are climbing up quite high the walls of the tank during the night and they stay there until I turn on the lights. :blink: That never happens in my nano. I guess it could be a predator but I haven't seen it yet.

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how are your parameters, seems odd that everything else fine, are you getting them from same supplier ?

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Thats a good point. Maybe the supplier has unhealthy crabs. When I acclimated my emerald, I put a half cup a water in the tub for about 30 minutues every 5 minutes. So they don't need drip. This very interesting...maybe it's just coincidence? Maybe they are old crabs?

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Yeah I was just looking through all my old tank journals and I noticed the crabs all come from the same store except the first one, Kermit who lived 4 months. My other inverts come from another place but he rarely has crabs of any sort. Maybe I'll try again but I'll pick it up from another source.

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Sounds worth a try! I hope your next one works out, they sound cute.

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Well here is my plan I'll spend some time in front of the tank with a red light at night (good thing that I have insomnia :rolleyes: ) just to make sure I don't have an intruder in there. Then if all is well I'll try to find a new emerald crab from another source. The thing is not only are they cute but I have a major outbreak of bubble algae and he would take care of that.

Edited by caitie

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Wow I had to google bubble algae too- it looks kinda cool!

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Looks cool in the beginning almost like jewels. But when you pop one it multiples like crazy because of the spores in each bubble. And for some odd reason, recently I've noticed my blue hermits picking at the bubbles until they pop. :wall It's driving me nuts because even when I try to remove them manually I end up popping a couple. Oh well hopefully the next crab will live long enough to get rid of some bubble algae.:unsure:

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Wow, what a bizarre form of algae! It does sound like a pain. I've been wondering... how would you get some kind of predator in your tank if you didn't put it in there? I know next to nothing about salt water tanks, so this is all very interesting and new to me. :)

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They come in when you put in some live rock. The most interesting pieces of rock of course are full of little holes and cracks so you sometimes end up with uninvited critters. Sometimes they are fun and really neat looking but other times you get a mantis or a pistol shrimp (not fun) or some aggressive crabs like the one Koko mentioned. When I first set up my marine tanks ( I have 2) I did it to please my brother because he couldn't have one at his place but they really intrigued him. So we set it up together but I was terrified of putting my hands anywhere near the water. :rolleyes: Now of course I have my hands in there regularly and the worst thing that ever happened to me was my cleaner shrimp ripped off a tiny piece of skin around my nail. I guess it was letting me know it was time for a manicure. :D

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I would watch the tank some more hun... I think you got a nasty in there hun....

Also do you have any "aiptasia"

Aiptasia_sp2.jpg

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No aiptasia. :D But I will watch the tank, I examined the crabs body and the only thing I found was a small hole in his belly area, don't know anything that would do that except maybe a starfish????:(

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Ooo, this is getting creepy! :unsure: Keep us updated Edith. :)

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Well I've been watching for two nights and nothing has happened. No unexplained death either. Tomorrow I plan on sticking a piece of raw shrimp on a bamboo skewer and just waving it around the rocks. Maybe if there is something hiding it will be hungry.:rolleyes: We'll see.

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This is turning into a murder mystery...except noone's quite sure if there's a murderer or not! Do you wear gloves when putting your hands in the tank Edith? I'd hate for you to get stung by something...

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Oh yeah good idea hun. I would do is place the food in there, then turn off the lights and then use your Red film and see what happens :)

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This is turning into a murder mystery...except noone's quite sure if there's a murderer or not! Do you wear gloves when putting your hands in the tank Edith? I'd hate for you to get stung by something...

I bought a long pair of gloves called Aqua gloves when I first started with saltwater. They are horrible. They are so thick you really can't work in the tank with them. So now I go bare handed but I'm careful where I put my hands, I did get lightly stung by some stinging hydroids once but apart from some redness it wasn't too bad. And as for my would be murderer I think I'm safe, unless I stick my hand in the tank once the lights are out. :yikes

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Oh yeah good idea hun. I would do is place the food in there, then turn off the lights and then use your Red film and see what happens :)

Will try that out tonight although my cleaner shrimp will want that food and I'm sort of afraid something might happen to her if I do draw out the intruder. I'll have to find a plan to keep her out of harms way. :)

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Be very careful putting your hands in there hun. I did the mistake once and found out I had bristle worms in my tank, and OH BOY did that hurt, Its like having glass splinters in your skin :yikes

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