If you want to get yourself exotic pets that do not require much space, are relatively unpretentious to care for, and incredibly interesting to observe, then aquarium crabs are your choice. Most crabs in nature live in the salty waters of the seas and oceans, and only a few can exist in fresh or slightly salted water. A key feature of keeping decorative crabs is a properly organized aqua terrarium because most of them definitely need an island of land. The second point is maintaining a comfortable temperature and high humidity. Finally, crabs need to be provided with a quality and varied diet.
Dwarf spider crab (Limnopilos naiyanetri)
The dwarf spider crab is the smallest aquarium crab native to Thailand. The body length of these babies, excluding limbs, is only 1-1.5 cm. The color depends on the conditions of detention and can vary from light gray to gray-green. All limbs of the crab are covered with small hairs, which makes it look like a spider.
For maintenance, you need an aquarium with a volume of 10 liters or more. In larger containers, miniature crabs will simply get lost, and it will be very difficult to see them. It is possible to keep spider crabs together with small ornamental fish, snails, and shrimps.
This is a completely aquatic crab; there is no need to equip an island of land for it. And these crustaceans rarely escape. It is desirable that the aquarium contains live plants (especially the cladophora), and a variety of shelters. Dwarf spider crabs do not tolerate high levels of nitrogenous compounds and heavy metals, so a 20% water change is required every week. It is recommended to prepare freshwater for changes with Tetra Crusta AquaSafe.
With a pair of individuals, you can get the offspring of dwarf spider crabs. The difficulty lies only in feeding the smallest larvae of these crustaceans.
Life expectancy is about 2 years.
Good quality dry crustacean foods such as Tetra Crusta are excellent for feeding adult crabs.
Vampire crab (Geosesarma dennerle)
The vampire crab is a miniature crustacean native to the island of Java. The length of the carapace of an adult does not exceed 3 cm. The species received its name for its bright yellow eyes, which contrast with the richly purple body. There is a spot on the carapace, which to some resembles the silhouette of a bat.
To keep a vampire crab, you will need an aqua terrarium of 20 liters or more (with a group keeping – from 50 liters) with a large bottom area. An island of sushi is required. It is important to maintain high humidity and temperature.
Vampire crabs are distinguished by their peaceful nature, they can be kept together with relatives and even small fish, shrimps, and snails.
The diet should consist of products of animal and plant origin.
Easy to breed at home, as there is no free-swimming larva stage.
Red Devil Crab (Geosesarma hagen)
Such a frightening name has a very small crab native to Indonesia. The typical size of these crustaceans is 2 cm. The main color of the body and walking legs is from dark purple to almost black. Carapace and claws are colored bright red or orange. The eyes are yellowish.
It is best to keep a group of animals in aqua terrariums with a volume of 50 liters or more. An island of sushi is required. Crabs love heat and humidity.
Red devils are omnivores, they eat well high-quality dry food, as well as pieces of vegetables, fruits, herbs, and dried leaves. In suitable conditions, they easily bear offspring.
Red mangrove crab (Pseudosesarma moeschii)
As the name implies, this crab lives in mangrove forests, that is, in an area that is flooded with seawater at high tide. Representatives of the species can often be found on the beaches, where they act as “orderlies”.
The red mangrove crab reaches a size of 3-5 cm. The body color is quite variable, but most often individuals with a dark purple back, red-purple walking legs, and bright red claws are found.
It is necessary to keep the crustacean in aqua terrariums with a large bottom area, numerous shelters, and an obligatory land island. It is distinguished by its pronounced aggressiveness towards relatives, therefore, it is categorically not recommended to settle two males together: constant clashes are inevitable. With sufficient housing, a male and a pair of females can be kept.
Food is mainly vegetables. At home, it does not breed, since saltwater is required for the development of larvae.
Leopard Crab (Parathelphusa pantherine)
The leopard crab is one of the most beautiful aquarium crustaceans. It originates from the lakes of Indonesia. This is a completely freshwater crab, for the maintenance of which it is not necessary to arrange an aqua terrarium because it can calmly live its whole life underwater.
The main pride of the crab is its color. The general background of the body is beige, dark brown spots are randomly scattered over it, which really resemble the color of the skin of a leopard. The size of the crab does not exceed 5 cm, which is another plus in its content.
The leopard crab has a pronounced territorial behavior and fiercely guards its area of the aquarium. Therefore, it is better to keep him alone. Otherwise, a large volume container with numerous shelters is required. The optimum temperature for keeping is 25-28 ° C, the water should be neutral and have medium hardness. Unfortunately, it is impossible to get offspring from this handsome man.
Alluring crab (Africa (Uca) tangerine)
This type of crabs is distributed along the Atlantic coast from Portugal to Angola. The body length of adults does not exceed 5 cm. In males, one of the claws is significantly different in size from the other. The small one serves to capture food, and the large one – to protect and attract females. The last crabs make characteristic up and down movements when they attract females or try to scare an opponent. From a distance, it seems that the crab is calling the observer to him, hence its name. To some, this resembles the movement of the hand when playing the violin, therefore this species is often also called the violin crab.
The shell of the alluring crab has painted purple-lilac with small white specks.
To keep this species at home, you will need an aqua terrarium of 50 liters or more with a maximum bottom area. It must have a piece of land for which you can use stones, driftwood, halves of coconuts, various grottoes. Water is poured in a small layer of 2-4 cm. It should be salted with sea salt (purchased in pet stores) in the amount of 1 tablespoon per 10 liters of water.
Breeding in home aquariums is not possible.
Freshwater crab (Potamon potamios)
The natural range of the freshwater crab includes the coastal zones of the mountain rivers of the Caucasus, Crimea, and the Balkan Peninsula.
The size of adults reaches about 10 cm. The species cannot boast of bright color, but it still looks attractive: the back is painted blue, shimmers under the sun’s rays. The color of the paws can vary from reddish to brown.
Life expectancy in captivity is about 4 years.
Freshwater crab is classified as a land animal because it spends most of its time on land. But it cannot be complete without water, therefore, in the terrarium where the crab will live, a small reservoir with a water level of 12-15 cm is also needed. Freshwater crab is territorial, therefore it is better to keep one male or a family of a male and a pair of females. Although even in this case, skirmishes cannot be avoided. Therefore, it is important to provide the maximum number of shelters in the aqua terrarium.
It is necessary to feed the crab on land. Good quality dry food for crustaceans, as well as pieces of vegetables and fruits, are suitable for food. At home, freshwater crabs do not breed.
Rainbow crab (Cardisoma armatum)
This species got its name for the incredible color of the shell. Its color can range from bright blue to purple. The walking legs are orange or red. A fairly large crustacean that can grow up to 16 cm in length. In nature, the rainbow crab lives on the Atlantic coast of Africa – from Senegal to Angola. The crab is strongly attached to its home: no matter how far it goes in search of food, it always returns to its hole, for which it was nicknamed the “patriotic crab”.
It is best to keep the rainbow crab alone in the 40×40 cm aqua terrarium. It is necessary to organize both the water and the land part. It is very important to keep the temperature and humidity in the rainbow crab home. The crustacean can live in both salted and freshwater, but with medium to high hardness. Life expectancy is 8-10 years.
Reproduction at home is impossible.