There is a strong stigma towards hermit crabs in reef aquariums here in the States, but this is not seen everywhere in the world. This is a large reason why we never see some of these beautiful species that can add color and vibrance to any aquarium. Yes some of them are carnivors, but with [...]
There is a strong stigma towards hermit crabs in reef aquariums here in the States, but this is not seen everywhere in the world. This is a large reason why we never see some of these beautiful species that can add color and vibrance to any aquarium. Yes some of them are carnivors, but with precaution they can be a successful addition to the reef.
Hermits often get a bad reputation amongst reef aquarists. They eat coralline algae, filamentous algae, and stir detritus. (All pluses in my book.) They may dine on the occasional snail, but if there is enough food the hermit will almost always take the easy way out and skip the snail meal. Take a look at some of these beautiful specimens, it may make you re-think your position on them.
Besides a few species, not much is known about these crabs in captive aquaria beyond the experiences a few gutsy aquarists. Given some do have large claws, we would not recommend adding them to tanks with smaller fish such as gobies and blennies. We plan on adding a few crab oddities to the glassbox in the near future, if you beat us to the punch let us know your experiences.
One of the more commonly available and beautiful hermits is Ciliopagurus strigatus the Halloween Hermit. These small guys can be less menacing than others and do a great job of taking care of uneaten food, algae and even cyano. Check out LiveAquaria’s Collector’s Corner, they commonly have them in.
Pylopaguropsis keijii or the Broadhand Coral Hermit is quite pretty.
Okay, I must admit the claw on Pylopaguropsis fimbriata is a bit intimidating.
Not so much when removed from the shell
Pylopaguropsis speciosa is another beautiful large clawed crab
Pylopaguropsis bellula has similar markings, but appears to be a safer bet.
Not much is known about Psuedopaguristyes sidari, but there is room in our aquarium for one.
As we said before, add these guys with caution. They are animals with claws and given the opportunity there is no telling of how they will behave. If you’re like us and feel their beauty out weighs the risks, then we wish you luck on your crab collecting. If hermit crabs are not for you, we suggest looking at some beautiful ornamental shrimp.