So...They ate everything. - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 3 Old 02-03-2012, 10:55 PM Thread Starter
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So...They ate everything.

Well I posted a while back for ideas about a brackish crab tank. I really appreciate the advice (It was thread: )

That turns out my crabs are savage beasts when it comes to plants.

I put in the java fern & anubias as planned. The java fern went first, but for a while it seemed like it was only one of the crabs who was eating it, and he seemed to be sticking to only one of the plants. This was not to last. After most of the java fern started to get eaten, I pulled the remaining live ones out and stuck them in my 29gal community. That left the anubias, which had been untouched. But as soon as the java fern was gone, the anubias was attacked. Overnight, I found bite marks in two of the leaves, and the roots were partially pulled out. After a full day, both of the leaves with bite marks were almost completely gone and the roots were completely pulled out of the sand. I cut the bit leaves off and moved them to my 29 gal. So right now the crab tank has no plants (crabs have plenty of other shelter).

I swear I feed these crabs enough. They eat more than most of my other fish combined! A mix of algae, blanched vegetables, frozen food, & sinking wafers. I honestly don't think I could feed them more if I tried. I think they just have a vendetta against roots. are my ideas.

Would it be better to:

#1 no plants in the crab tank. Silk/plastic plants only.

#2 'Filler' plants in the crab tank that are meant to be appetizing (like anacharis) & plants like anubias that won't be touched as long as I keep the 'filler' plants well stocked.

#3 Other plants that you know of that the crabs probably won't eat.

The only reason that I'm worried about the filler plants (#2) is that they tend to snip the leaves off and eat the roots, so I'm worried the leaves will decompose quicker and cause ammonia/nitrite spikes unless I constantly change the water. I don't mind water changes, but I'd like to keep them at a max of 2 a week (for a fully cycled tank, more is okay while cycling). It's a 15 gal tank with 2 red claw crabs -- it was a 10 in the last thread, but I upgraded them during the last Petco sale because I couldn't resist.

I'm open to trying new things. I don't mind ordering plants online and I can always rehome them in one of my other tanks if the crab tank doesn't work, so I welcome any ideas. I really want what is best for the crabs.
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post #2 of 3 Old 02-04-2012, 03:19 AM
Crabs are rather destructive. I wouldn't put any plants, live or fake in with them. Just hard decorations for shelter.
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post #3 of 3 Old 02-05-2012, 11:31 PM Thread Starter
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I guess I have to agree...I really do enjoy watching them interact with the live plants; I just wish they didn't totally destroy them. I think I will stick with no permanent plants, but possibly 'giving' them live plants as the occasional treat.
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