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CARE SHEET :: Red Clawed Crab


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#1 sammyblot

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Posted 14 April 2007 - 03:24 PM

Common Name : Red Clawed Crab, Mangrove Crab
Scientific Name : sesarma bidens
Temperate Range : 70 – 85 F
Lifespan : up to 4 years
Size : up to 2.5”



Hi .. My name is PennyWise the Crab, would you like to know about me!?

Where Shall I Live and what shall I Eat ?
I .. the Red Clawed Crab like to live in water .. with somewhere I can get out of the water (as I do NEED air!!).. but if there is a hole in the top of the tank I might climb out and disappear!! … If this were to happen you might like to put a dish of water on the floor near my tank, maybe under a nearby sofa or table, I may go looking for water and you may find me in the dish!! But I don’t want the water to be so high that I’ll be really close to the light .. its might be too hot for me!!
I like water temps between 70 and 85 but I do prefer warmer water rather than colder!! ..

I may be able to live with other fish in my aquarium but I may well catch and eat smaller fish … which is fun!! ..
I will eat pretty much anything I get my little claws on .. which includes flakes, pellets, wafers, peas (I get them once a week along with the other fishies!!) dried worms, frozen worms. Live and frozen daphnia, .. plus HBH makes special food for crabs which is important for my growing shell and provides me with the right nutrients!. I may eat some of your live plants too!!


Me searching for food.



I love to climb around on things so please give me some rocks and plants, I can usually get out of any hole I climb into but please make sure nothing can fall on me!! . .. and sometimes I do like to spend time sitting out of the water so please give me something to sit on!! .. And yes I can climb airline!! .. I can also swim upwards a little so never think that gap at the front is ok .. I wont get out of there.. coz I just might!! I really do need a tight fitting lid with any holes blocked with some sponge or something!! Please check daily to make sure I cant get out..

I like my water to be a little salty .. between 5 – 15 ppt salinity!! .. (that’s 1/6 – 12 the salinity of seawater). The best type of salt to use would be salt water aquarium salt, although you could use aquarium salt too.
We’re actually quite mucky little things .. so filtration is a good idea .. and a turkey baster for sucking out the lumpy bits in-between cleanings is a good idea!!

My home!! .. (mamma is going to add some little fish too .. if I can catch them I can eat them!! . yum)



How are you going to catch me ??
Well .. what happens when you need to remove me from my tank for complete cleaning… you have to catch me!!. If you use a net I might run straight out of there and fall off the net!! ..
So you can use a cup to scoop me out and put a lid on it before removing it from the tank.. If I stay in the cup for a while please just make sure there is just enough water to cover me or there is a stone so I can get out if I need too!! …
Or you can catch me with your hand and put me in the cup whilst the cup is still over the tank!! .. even if I seem to be sitting quite happily on your hand for a while I might suddenly freak out and run. Then I might fall off your hand or you might close your hand too quickly and squeeze me!!


Did you know I molt??
Yeah, I don’t live in the same skin for ever!! .. Which is why I need good food!. Molting is a scary time as I have to take off my old shell … So one day when you look in the tank there are 2 crabs.. Except one looks like there’s nothing in it!!. That’s my old shell .. I am a little vulnerable at this time too!! .. After the molt I may look either darker in color or lighter. Sometimes crabs die during molting as its very stressful, so sometimes it’s a good idea to give us iodine in our water, try a reef aquarium iodine supplement to help with the whole molting process. I can be difficult to know when we are about to molt though as it could be anywhere from 2 – 6 months.. Babies will molt more often so they can grow!!
Some aquatic plant fertilizer’s have iron .. but also copper which we don’t like.. so care has to be taken when adding this to our tanks!!

Sometimes if we loose a leg or something – when we molt we get a new one!! .. How cool is that!!


How many friends do I need??
Well probably none!! … Although in the wild we live in large colonies in damp holes, and in the pet shops you see loads of us in those tanks this is not how we are happiest!
Silly boys are territorial and we will fight - often til the death!! .. So were better off being kept alone or maybe just 2 in a large tank!! .
Now whilst I don’t mind watching bigger fish swim around if smaller ones get to close I might grab them.. Then if I do get them I might well eat them .. and you’ll just know there is a fish missing but its doubtful you will ever see any part of it again!! .. I waste nothing!!
And of course you shouldn’t keep me with big aggressive fish, they might hurt me!! (apparently puffer fish like us too much!!)
I might get along ok with blue lobsters.. But I’ll probably eat little frogs, shrimps and snails!! .. yum.. Nice treats!!
Ya’know – sometimes we can be quite nice and peaceful but like all the creatures in the world sometimes were full time grumpies!! … in which case we might have to be housed alone!!


So am I a boy or a girl??
Well apparently males have larger claws than females. Also the shape of the under shell is different. Males have a long pointy element, the girls bits are more rounded and wider.
Has anyone got a mirror so I can see if im pointed or roundy ?? But is suppose we need to 2 to compare right??


Breeding??
Well apparently it IS possible .. But its extremely tricky. First you need a boy and a girl … erm .. yeah!! ..


Medication?
Apparently we can tolerate malachite based medications.. But id your treating the fish in my tank it would probably be best if I was removed first!! ..

Ma says theres not much info around about medications and diseases, so she gotta keep looking!!


added 14 april :: Pennywise has just molted .. i will add pics later!!

#2 RandomWiktor

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Posted 14 April 2007 - 04:02 PM

Awesome once more ^^ Just out of curiosity though, are these guys considered freshwater, or does the salinity you mentioned classify them as brackish? I'm so bad at telling the difference between slightly salty freshwater and brackish. Just want to make sure it is where it belongs before I pin it!

#3 sammyblot

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Posted 14 April 2007 - 04:36 PM

well from most of the research i did it seems they are brakish ... but there is quite a lot of debate about that too!! ... now i dont know how much salt in the water is brakish or how much is just a bit salty though!!

but most places seem to say definately better in salt than without it!! ...

i just read up quickly about brakish tanks and id say these are not true brakish tanks... not how i keep my fella anyway!!!

#4 RandomWiktor

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  • Statement:We weep for a bird's cry but not for a fish's blood; blessed are those with a voice.

Posted 14 April 2007 - 04:52 PM

I'll pin it here since it is an invertebrate and it doesn't quite classify as brackish then ^^
edit: Oops, it's allready pinned. Silly Ren!

#5 sammyblot

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Posted 14 April 2007 - 04:58 PM

thank you silly ren!!! .. so when are you dashing out to buy crabs then?? .. ha

#6 sammyblot

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Posted 29 April 2007 - 04:13 PM

i will be updating the pics and adding 'molting' pics ... hes so cute really!! .. i have got some FANTASTIC pics of him .. i've been feeding him via a pipette adn he holds the pipette in his claw and drags the food out .. SOOO cute smile1.gif

#7 sammyblot

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Posted 30 April 2007 - 07:32 PM

ok .. im adding all the new pics here for now!! ... will get some into the main sheet later ....

these are the after molt pics of his 'shedded' skin ... i guess he must have squeezed out of that gap underneath ..
it did have all the lags attached but i managed to break them off when moving it!!





and this is how cute he is right now .. hes eating from the mammas hands .. well .. the pipette!! ... but i did feed him pea last night from my fingers and he grabbed it!! .. so cute!!!









For some reason since his molting he spends nearly all day every day on top of the filter!! .. whic is why i can feed him like this i suppose ... and this last pic is from right after his molting .. he looks kinda bloated!!!


Edited by sammyblot, 30 April 2007 - 07:34 PM.


#8 Kitsune Betta Luver

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Posted 04 December 2007 - 05:57 PM

drooling.gif hyper.gif oh my gosh they are soo cute!! I think for sure I am going try one of these guys out you said you can keep em in a 2.5 tank correct? cuz pretty much a good portion of my tanks are that specific size. lol I kind of need a brief break on Bettas, the last three I have had didn't do to very well.
My home!! .. (mamma is going to add some little fish too .. if I can catch them I can eat them!! . yum)

I was just wondering what kind of tank is this I really like the shape of it and the size of it (mostly how it looks more long then tall) lol hope you don't mind if I add you to my friends list. I think I might need some help with setting up tank after I get little one. Hopefully I can track down a place in town that sells or can find these little guys.




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