Sand Fleas?

Discussion in 'Invertebrates' started by SaltwaterNoob17, Jul 15, 2010.

  1. SaltwaterNoob17

    SaltwaterNoob17

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    I went down to the beach today and collected a bunch of "sand fleas" and put them in my 10 gallon QT (no-longer QT) tank. I thought I could breed them and feed them to my fish. Is that safe? They are just pods right?
     
    SaltwaterNoob17, Jul 15, 2010
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  2. SaltwaterNoob17

    yote Ceritfied Mantis Hunter Moderator

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    Good question Samantha. But I'd think that sand fleas would drown in our tanks. :dunno:
     
    yote, Jul 15, 2010
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  3. SaltwaterNoob17

    SaltwaterNoob17

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    Well, they haven't drowned yet ;)
    I searched "sand fleas" online, and there are articles saying that they are parasitic and that they eat the flesh off of fish. I thought they were harmless pods...:question:
     
    SaltwaterNoob17, Jul 15, 2010
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  4. SaltwaterNoob17

    SaltwaterNoob17

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    They look like this:
    [​IMG]
     
    SaltwaterNoob17, Jul 15, 2010
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  5. SaltwaterNoob17

    SaltwaterNoob17

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    Now I'm finding articles calling them "mole crabs" and saying that they aren't a type of pod, but a type of crab...

    I'm so confused...
     
    SaltwaterNoob17, Jul 15, 2010
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  6. SaltwaterNoob17

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    I would just pass on them, in that case. Unless you have no doubt that they are safe, they probably shouldn't go in your tank.
     
    Bifferwine, Jul 15, 2010
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  7. SaltwaterNoob17

    fastrd400 It wasn't me! Moderator

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    Here in Cali we call them sand crabs. They typically live in the sand but come out as a wave rolls up the beach, scattering and then digging back into the sand. Not sure how they would be in a reef tank though.
     
    fastrd400, Jul 15, 2010
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  8. SaltwaterNoob17

    Chris_150G

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    If they are tiny flea sized then they are no good. If they are bigger like the size of a dime then maybe they could survive. Youd have to research them though.

    I looked them up a bit. We have sand crabs at the beach called the Pacific Sand Crab or Mole Crab
    (Emerita analoga).

    I usually can easily catch one at the water line and hold it in my hand. They are big, about the size of a dime.
    [​IMG]

    Then there are sand fleas which are bad news. I think I have seen them swarming on kelp on the beach and mistook them for nats. They are tiny little devils from what I read. Parasitic amphipods.They bite anything within 10" of the ground (ankles). Their larvae feed on fish. I had trouble finding a consistent pic.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2010
    Chris_150G, Jul 15, 2010
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  9. SaltwaterNoob17

    SaltwaterNoob17

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    Hmmm. I'm pretty sure they're harmless, but it's not worth the risk. I think for right now I'll just keep researching them, and watch them swim/dig around in the 10 gallon. They're surprisingly fun to watch. :sfish:
     
    SaltwaterNoob17, Jul 15, 2010
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  10. SaltwaterNoob17

    Chris_150G

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    How big are they?
     
    Chris_150G, Jul 15, 2010
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  11. SaltwaterNoob17

    SaltwaterNoob17

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    They range in size from the size of a pinhead to the size of a nickel.
     
    SaltwaterNoob17, Jul 15, 2010
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  12. SaltwaterNoob17

    Chris_150G

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    Probably just the sand crab then. Keep us informed on what happens.
     
    Chris_150G, Jul 16, 2010
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  13. SaltwaterNoob17

    Rockyreiter

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    i would like to know if these guys are harmless as well. my little brother found one at galveston and brought it home and put it in his fish tank. its moving around and burying in the sand.
    should i get him to remove it?
     
    Rockyreiter, Jul 16, 2010
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  14. SaltwaterNoob17

    Sharkie The Damsel Defender

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    What you have there is a sand crab and they WILL eat the flesh off of your fish. We feed them dead fish at the AQ and thats exactly what they do. Plus they don't breed like copes do so you wouldn't be able to get them breeding anyways... I'd say just take them back to the beach and let them go... They will try to dig until they are completely buired... if there isn't enough sand for em they'll stress out and die :C

    The pictures attached is a sand flea... they basically bite the crap outta you and eat fish flesh too LOL. I avoid them at all costs... i just happen to find that guy crawling around in my towel after surfin in carmel and had to ask what it was... turned out it was a sand flea :p
     

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    Sharkie, Jul 16, 2010
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  15. SaltwaterNoob17

    reeftanker84

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    they are sand sifting crabs,i had some in my tank,you can but them online,they are safe for your tank,i never had any problems with mine,they prefer fine sand though
     
    reeftanker84, Jul 17, 2010
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  16. SaltwaterNoob17

    mcmusashi5 Octopus Wizard

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    I have had the one you showed in the first picture saltwater. And ive kept them with the only problem being you need moderately cold water
     
    mcmusashi5, Jul 26, 2010
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  17. SaltwaterNoob17

    sen5241b

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    I've seen a gazillion that look exactly like those on the east coast too.

    Anytime you take something directly from the ocean and put it in your tank you are taking a huge risk that you will introduce parasites or something harmful.

    You also get into the "invasive species" issue. What lives in limited numbers on the temperate coast of the USA may go berserk and start killing in your tank that simulates an Indonesian or Caribbean reef.
     
    sen5241b, Jul 26, 2010
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  18. SaltwaterNoob17

    mcmusashi5 Octopus Wizard

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    i agree i put mine in a seperate tank from my reef
     
    mcmusashi5, Jul 26, 2010
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  19. SaltwaterNoob17

    laura-jean friend to the fish

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    We have those here in Southern California! They're fun little guys to try to catch at the beach. They scurry through the sand in your hands and tickle your palms. Lots of memories seeing how many we could "catch" when I was little. But we always set them free at the end of the afternoon. :)
     
    laura-jean, Jul 26, 2010
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