Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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FishFan 08-27-2007 09:37 PM

Nitrate Spike and Crustaceans...
Hey gang,

I noticed today that my rather large red hermit crab (about 2.5-3" long) has molted and shed his skin sometime either yesterday or today. I noticed it in pieces laying in a very bad location underneath some rock in a cave. Looks like the guy has actually tried to bury some of it under the live sand too. I also checked my perimeters today and was a little high on the Nitrate side of the house. Perimeters are as follows:

55 Gallon FOWLR
78 degrees
Salinity 1.021
Ammonia 0
Nitrite 0
Nitrate near 25 PPm
PH 8.2

So, my Nitrate level is a little elevated (and this after about a 15 gallon water change only a week ago). Could it be the shell pieces left over in the water from the molting causing this slight jump? Should I move my rocks and remove all the pieces, or leave them buried by the big crab? Just wondering, I'm new to the game but trying hard! Mind you now, I did top off my water with about 2 gallons BEFORE I found the molted carcass, thus stirring up the water slightly. This also before I checked my perimeters.


tangy 09-01-2007 03:57 PM

these guys do eat their shed leftovers sometimes but if he left them and is not eating them then remove them at once before they cause your levels to explode.
and try to make your water changes effective cause your nitrate levels can stress or even do away with your lovely crab.:D

FishFan 09-01-2007 10:04 PM

Thanks Tangyman, I appreciate the response. I'll remove the little pieces ASAP.

I've also come up short a peppermint shrimp within the last 24 hrs. I'm wondering if my rather large hermit crab might have gotten hungry, and when the shrimp may have been in a weak moment (perhaps after a recent moulting)...he nabbed and ate him.

I really like the "big guy" but if he's that aggressive, perhaps I need to trade him off and pick up some smaller guys (hate that though, he's doing a great job of sifting through the sand). Perhaps a few Halloween hermits and some green mithrax crabs would be better than 1 big one.


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