If you’re looking for cleanup crew in your reef tank then adding crabs is one good move you can make. Hermit crab can be added to reef tank and they’ll keep your tank clean. There are different types of crabs available but there very few which are suitable for saltwater aquarium. Blue-leg and red-leg species of hermit crab are quite popular in aquarium trade. Hermit crab will clean your tank from algae and detritus.
Hermit Crab Profile
Image Credit : sargbay.ca
Scientific Name : Clibanarius spp
Size : 3 cm
pH : 8.1 – 8.4
Temperature : 22°C – 27°C
Tank Size : 15 gallon or more
Life Span: 4 years or more
Region: Mexico, the Caribbean
Hermit crab is also known with names like Dwarf Red Tip Hermit Crab, dwarf crab etc. Avoid ph shock to hermit crab else it’ll not able to survive in the tank. If you’re adding crab to your tank then make sure you take some time before acclimating them to your tank. Like ghost shrimp and other shrimp this invertebrate is also susceptible to the chemicals in the tank so while adding fish medicine put these invertebrates into quarantine tank.
Breeding: There are not much of reports available about breeding them in captivity. It is said that there are some issues breeding them in captivity. There is also no known way to differentiate between male and female.
Food: Hermit crab prefers algae and detritus and if found in you tank then they’ll clean your tank. You can feed them dried seaweed, flake food or live food. You’ll find them near live rock and coral eating cyanobacteria (red slime algae) most of the time. Red leg hermit crab will eat red slime algae.
Behavior : They’re peaceful and don’t pose any threat to other invertebrates or clams, coral etc. Make sure you don’t place them with aggressive fishes in your tank. Thought they’ve protective shell but still you need to keep them away from aggressive fishes and invertebrates. They’re bottom dwellers and will found near live rock and other hiding places like stones, marbles and plants.
If you want to add peaceful crab to your saltwater tank then you should try adding hermit crab. They don’t require much care and will live on their own perfectly. Just make sure you let them acclimate slowly before you keep them inside your tank for longer time.