Red Leg Mexican Hermit crab....good or bad??

Discussion in 'Invertebrates' started by Jschamber89, Jul 8, 2009.

  1. Jschamber89

    Jschamber89

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    a little over a month ago for my clean up crew I purchased some margarita snails, cerith snails, mexican red leg hermit crabs ect.....

    so today when i was cleaning my tank i noticed atleast half of my snails were dead...so i asked my LFS what they though and they told me that hermit crabs kill snails for their shells....so I Need snails to eat my algae so should i get rid of the hermit crabs?? are they good for anything or do they just kill snails??


    and another question since i'm so full of questions today, how many snails is a good amount for my tank?? I have a 29 gallon with 30 pounds of live rock. a guy told me 1 snail per pound. is that about right??
     
    Jschamber89, Jul 8, 2009
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  2. Jschamber89

    KidJ57 Struggling Reef Addict

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    Hermit crabs are there to keep your sand clean; they will attack snails from time to time when they get hungry or have an urge to change their shell...or because they're bored...or because they're just big bullies; ok, ok, hermits can be mean in general, but they can be a lot of fun too. The trick is to find something that they don't attack. I for instance have a large fuzzy hermit that was expected to attack everything in my tank, but he has been relatively peaceful. What he has attacked, though, MARGARITA SNAILS...because who doesn't like a margarita every once in a while? Anyway, from what I have heard, margarita snails don't really have a great life expectancy any in warmer tanks. My suggestion, at least, what has worked for me is turbo snails; for some reason, my crab does not attack them except for one time where I thought he had killed the snail so I grabbed it to through it away and the sucker moved. So, as far as what I can tell, turbo snails are pretty resiliant, plus they do a great job of cleaning rock. You probably would only need like 4 for the amount of rock you have. My problem is trying to figure out what to get for my glass; so far I know that I can't use margaritas or Astrea Coneheads. The Astreas were just dumb; they would fall off the glass without impact, or slime their way straight toward my hermit even after getting attacked, but beyond that, my hermit almost went straight for them day 1, while the Turbos have been left relatively peaceful. If I do find something for my glass that my hermit doesn't attack, I'll let you know. I've been thinking about some sort of sea star, but I heard they have problems of their own (i.e. dying, burying themselves in the sand, and spiking your Amonia)
     
    KidJ57, Jul 8, 2009
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  3. Jschamber89

    KidJ57 Struggling Reef Addict

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    No more quick replies for Jason...there's all kind of mispellings, grammatical uses, and wrong word choices...Where in the hell did I get the idea that throw and through were the same word? Lesson to remember kids?...don't drink your water testing chemicals, or you'll end up typing like me.
     
    KidJ57, Jul 8, 2009
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  4. Jschamber89

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    Hermit crabs are excellent cleaners. The trade off is that they also kill snails. Even if you provide them with empty shells to move into, they will still kill snails. So it's up to you whether you want to keep them or not. If you don't mind buying new snails every 6 months or so, then by all means keep the crabs. If you don't want to do that, then either catch as many as you can and bring them back to the LFS or just wait for them all to die on their own (which will take years. That has been my strategy, and it hasn't been very successful as they never die).
     
    Bifferwine, Jul 8, 2009
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  5. Jschamber89

    dcantucson

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    Also purchase very small blue legged hermits. I think the Mexican Red you have is much larger and more aggressive.
     
    dcantucson, Jul 8, 2009
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  6. Jschamber89

    project5k

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    odd, i see more empty crab shells than i do dead snail shells,

    i also have seen several dead crab bodies floating around, i've never seen a dead snail yet...
     
    project5k, Jul 8, 2009
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  7. Jschamber89

    daugherty part time reefer

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    maybe the snails are killing the crabs. its the snail mafia
     
    daugherty, Jul 8, 2009
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  8. Jschamber89

    ndepratt Equipment Junkie

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    the mexican red legged hermit crab (scralett hermit crab) if IMO the best of the hermits. I hear they eat cyano, that's the word on the block around here :p
     
    ndepratt, Jul 8, 2009
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  9. Jschamber89

    dcantucson

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    Nathan don't they get pretty big and aggressive though?
     
    dcantucson, Jul 8, 2009
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  10. Jschamber89

    ndepratt Equipment Junkie

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    max size of about an inch and a half.... so that's decently big. There are a lot of different crabs that get huge and knock stuff over and kill things... You might be thinking of zebra striped hermit crabs?
     
    ndepratt, Jul 8, 2009
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  11. Jschamber89

    dcantucson

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    Well I hate to say this, but I think any hermit over 1/2 inch is too big for the reef. The bigger they get the more aggressive they seem to get!
     
    dcantucson, Jul 8, 2009
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  12. Jschamber89

    project5k

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    i allways thought that the snails were just dieing off, and the crabs were eating them, then the crabs were dieing off, but no one had eatn them...

    what is the life expectancy of nasarrius and turbo snails, and red legged and blue legged crabs?

    please factor in that the tank is effectivly only like 3 months old or so(thats when i moved it from my buddies to my house)
     
    project5k, Jul 8, 2009
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  13. Jschamber89

    KidJ57 Struggling Reef Addict

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    The guy at my LFS gave me a good line for the life expectancy of inverts..."When you're species has evolved to live off the :pooh: of other creatures, you tend to tend to be able to live a decent amount of time." I have definitely witnessed the longevity of hermits as a little while ago I accidentally set my auto-feeder to release too much food, and by the time I got back home, my Amonia had spiked so high, the only things that did not die or at the very least get deathly ill were my damsel, hermit, and sea hare where as my purple anthias (not surprised after reading about them) and yellow tang died, and my blue headed wrasse got really, really sick.
     
    KidJ57, Jul 8, 2009
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  14. Jschamber89

    project5k

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    thats a good line.. i'll have to share that one with my LFS guys, i bet they get a good laugh outta it.
     
    project5k, Jul 9, 2009
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