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klosxe 01-16-2009 08:02 AM

Help with crab on Live Rock
I added my live rock to my 24 gallon "nano" reef system about 2 weeks ago. I noticed about 4 days ago, a crab that was gray in color, with white spots. He is not a hermit crab, and before I add any corals, or anthing of substantial value, I would really like to figure out if he is reef safe or not. I have not been able to get a good picture yet. Like I said, he is gray in color with white spots, and the top of his shell is about 1 1/2 inchs long. I will post a picture as soon as I can get a good one. Any help in determining if he is reef safe, or if I should remove him would be great!

onefish2fish 01-16-2009 08:07 AM

removing him if possible to a seperate container for pictures/inspecting purposes is always good.

generally speaking, sharp pincher like claws are used for tearing meat and spoon like claws are for algae grazing. regardless a crab is a crab and will scavenge whatever it can get ahold of.

what kind of claw structure is it and what color are the claws?

Kellsindell 01-16-2009 09:18 AM

It sounds like a porcelan crab, but i'd need visual confirmation. If it is, then you're fine.

Cody 01-16-2009 04:18 PM

If it's hairy, it's scary. And if it has sharp claws as well.

klosxe 01-17-2009 07:35 PM

well i managed to catch the little fella, and he was indeed hairy (i couldnt get any good pictures), and had a sharp claw structure, so I removed him from the tank. I would discribe his color as gray, with white spots on his entire shell and claws. I just purchased a bees nest coral today, and after adding it into the tank, i noticed another, identical crab! The 1st one that i removed was about 1 1/4 in long from his "face" to the back of his shell. This guy is substancually smaller, and rather skittich, so for now I am planning on leaving him if i cant catch him, otherwise I'll just leave him alone. (unless anyone can identify him and tell me that is is imparitive that he is removed.) Sorry for the lack of any pictures, but I just couldnt tank any pictures of him for anything!

onefish2fish 01-17-2009 08:49 PM

put the one you removed in a shallow tupperware with alittle tank water and take a aerial photo.

from the description im going to say that was def a bad crab, if you dont have any hermits or snails in your sump i would throw him down there.

jasonm 01-20-2009 01:13 PM

I have had the hairy type crabs in my systems without any problems. How I keep them at bay I was sure to target feed them a piece of krill once a week. Usually they will hide in the rocks and take small rocks or shells to cover the entrance holes. I found them a neat addition as long as I made sure they were not starving I never had a problem....

klosxe 01-20-2009 04:30 PM

well i had thrown out the crab before I read this post :oops: o well tho i suspose

for now i think im just gonna let the other crab be, he is not even an inch from his "face" to the back of his shell, and very skitterish, but if he gets to be a nusience, ill be sure to remove him also. I think that he is also a "bad" crab species, but i cant really get any good pics or even a look at him; he just zips into his hole as soon as the light is shone in his general direction. I can tell that he has a sharp, red claw on his left "hand". But, I have noticed that like the freshwater "bamboo shrimp", he puts out fans and seems to be sifting the water for nutrients, so I am unsure if this logic is real or all just made up in my head ;-)

jasonm 01-20-2009 06:02 PM

Sounds like a porcelain crab to me, if so he isn't bad and quite cool to look at...

Pasfur 01-20-2009 07:03 PM


Originally Posted by Cody (Post 164179)
If it's hairy, it's scary. And if it has sharp claws as well.

Generally accurate. I would consider its removal a priority.

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