Fiddler crabs have been one of the neatest crabs I have owned. If you ever have the chance to own one or a few please feel free to look at some of the information below
If anyone has any extra questions please feel free to as in this thread. Also, if you feel free to add advice, please do the same and post below
Fresh water or SW?
Well a lil bit of both Most pet stores will house their fiddlers in freshwater only. They will be okay for a while but in a few weeks the crabs seem to slow down and just drop off.
fiddler crabs are found on ocean beaches or at brackish water mouths.. (where fresh water meets ocean water via streams from the inland)
Some can be found in brackish water swamps.
How to make Brackish water?
Here is a snippet from About.com. I really suck at explaining it.. lol
"Providing Brackish Water"
Because most of these crabs are naturally from brackish waters, most experts recommend putting salt in the water. The ideal amount of salt to add is controversial, but it is probably best to get a hydrometer and add enough salt to the water to attain a specific gravity of around 1.005 - 1.010. Hydrometers are not all that expensive and can be found at pet stores and also home brewing shops. Alternatively, your package of aquarium salt may have instructions for producing brackish water conditions. It is okay to vary the salt concentration/specific gravity slightly as these crabs would naturally experience some variations in salinity."
Do not use regular aquarium salt, please put in the extra money for a marine Mix.
I would personally recommend min 5 gallon tank.(bigger is better) With at least 2 gallons per crab. I would also suggest 1 male to a few females just so quailing stays at a min. The fiddlers shouldn't breed for you until about a year old.
Your tank should have a tight fitting lid with no openings, fiddlers are not wonderful climbers but if determined can climb up and out of your tank via decor or hardware.
Male fiddlers will have a large and small claw and females have two small sized claws. Males will wave their claw often at other crab-mates.
Don't fall short in this area or you might find your crabs dying off. Inverts in my opinion are sensitive to fouled water. My favorite filter was an internal unit that I could lay on its side.
Hagen makes this type
Also, if your filter doesn't have a venturi or create some air bubbles in the water its a great idea to add a bubbler stone. Stagnant (low O2 water) smells.
I love UV lighting and would recommend it if you choose live plants. Incandescent provides a bit of a hot spot. I used these and it worked out well. You can also get screw in Power compacts as well.
These guys need a place to come out of the water. So it is important to landscape your tank with a "shoreline" Sand or small gravel works nicely. You'll only want to fill up your tank about 50% so you can leave some shore space.
You can use fake or real plants. Some aquatic plants are brackish tolerant. I never got around to using real plants.
Large stones also help create the shoreline you want to have, just make sure that all stone work is snug and will not topple over by curious crabbies.
All sand substrate is ideal as it will hopefully promote burrowing. Its hard sometimes however because the burrows are so deep and most of us run out of tank space.
Rocks with holes and caves will become a favorite spot for the crabs.
If you cant get the temps you need, you might wish to install a heating pad under the tank. (shore side) It is very important to pick up a dimmer switch or a rheostat. Most heating pads don't have a temperature control so you'll end up cooking your crabs.
Fiddlers are scavengers so you will see them picking most of the time at the ground. What they are eating is microscopic organic matter. When you feed them you really don't need to feed very much at all. If you do that could foul the tank in no time.
They will take sinking crab pellets, (which have good stuff in it to aid molting such as calcium, iodine etc etc) Bottom feeder pellets and frozen daphnia or zoo plankton work well.
Molting comes along with growing crabbies. you'll see an exactly copy of your crab in the tank from time to time. Just leave it in there so they can nibble on it. Its a great source of calcium.
Not an easy task at all. You'll need to set up a separate full marine tank and raise the larval crabs, they molt many times until they eventually look like mini crabs. Its is extremely challenging and can be costly. Oohhh and if you do raise all the crabblets... do you have homes for them all?
....but.. if anyone wishes to try it. Let me know.. LOL
Some quick Tips:
- Always dechlorinate your water
- Never mix your crab species and most fish do not work well in crab tanks
- Have a secure lid
- Fiddlers are a watch and no touch pet
- Try to not over feed, keep tank clean and aerated
I do hope this sheet helps you, please remember I am always learning myself so if you see something missing let me know. Any questions please feel free to ask