Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Kookie Snatcha 05-17-2012 07:11 PM

Help With Fiddler Crab
I was wondering if it was at all possible to make fiddler crabs live in freshwater. I was thinking that if I did something like add more than the recommended level of aquarium salt, and feed the crab food that has been enhanced with calcium and other nutrients for crabs that he would be fine. Just so we all know, I am indeed talking about the salt for freshwater fish.

Tazman 05-17-2012 09:41 PM

Yes it is possible to keep them in freshwater and actually many available in the hobby via retail stores are kept in freshwater.

Any wild caught ones though are likely to be brackish water and will potentially die if kept in freshwater. Check local regulations if you plan on getting them from the wild as many countries have specific laws on harvesting of any marine animals locally.

They are best kept in a species only tank and MUST be provided with a sand bed sloped to allow access to air. Aquarium salt does not actually create "true" brackish conditions as it is depleted of many important trace elements found in true brackish water. If you want to do them in a brackish environment, look at getting some marine reef salt as this contains all the trace elements with the exception of calcium which you need to add separately.

In freshwater, they can be fed almost anything and WILL eat almost anything including the odd stray fly which happens to get into the tank and is captured. They can be supplemented with a piece or two or lettuce or carrots.

Olympia 05-17-2012 09:50 PM

As far as I know- fiddlers aren't bred in captivity, pet stores lie about saying they're freshwater, I've even seen pet shops sell them as aquatic, not needing land acess. They will live a few months at most in fresh water/aquarium salt. Then they will just seem really weak one day and slowly fade away.

Crabs are extremely difficult and not worth breeding due to the fact that the babies need full salt water and feed on microscopic organisms for quite sometime before moulting into full crabs. Taz if you've heard of captive bred fiddlers I'd love for you to point out where, as it's news to me.

I believe there is maybe one common species that lives in freshwater- but this is not the fiddler crab in stores and last I checked only people that can go out and hand catch them keep them.

Crustaceans are a real commitment, more than most realize since the actual animal seems so simple. People don't realize, but they have long life spans- though these are almost never reached in captivity due to improper care.
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Tazman 05-17-2012 10:07 PM

I lived in Australia many years ago and there was a person who bred them, he used a large trench shaped pond with incredible circulation from an undergravel jet system to simulate the tidal flow of the open ocean, allowing the females to drop the eggs at the land end of trench and let them float off as in the wild. This was done in a full marine saltwater, once matured, they were transferred to live a life in freshwater and that is what they were sold as.
I actually have pictures of the facility he used for breeding not only these but other marine fish, only problem is though is they are somewhere in one of the folders of 70,000 photos I have backed up on a drive and I have no idea which one!

They are quite hard to take care of but no more really than some more delicate fish species.

Olympia 05-17-2012 10:09 PM

That makes sense. Assuming the OP is in the USA, catching them wild is much cheaper.
Unless you're buying from a breeder you really can't know.
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