new to breeding, want to try

new to breeding, want to try

Postby mimoo » Sun Jul 24, 2011 4:10 am

Hello everyone,

First I want to apologise for my English, it's not my native language. I'm from the Netherlands and read here almost every day. Im so interested in breeding marine life, so I want to give it a try. I'd like to start with hermit crabs, because they are one of my favourite animals to watch in our aquarium. They are so strong, but also a little bit stupid at times. So I have two spare aquariums, one 10 liter and one 40 liter. I have a couple of questions:

- which tank should i use?
- just live rock, and some easy corals is enough?
- when i buy the hermit crabs, wat to look for? Same size? Same colour? how many? It's it possible to id the sex?
- how long will it take them to "fall in love"?
- what do i need in advance for the spawn?

So many questions, but thanks for this very interesting site and your help!
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Re: new to breeding, want to try

Postby Suzy » Sun Jul 24, 2011 4:01 pm

Welcome! I love hermit crabs too. Their life spans are amazing, watching them move from tiny shell to huge. I think it may take a while to get them to spawn as the adults I have seen are very large, and it seems to take a while to get them that size.

which tank should i use?

I think smaller tanks are harder to maintain because of evaporation and pollution issues. But I think you can raise hermit crabs to adult size in either.

- just live rock, and some easy corals is enough?

I think this would be good, but I might add a sand bed. You get more surface area for beneficial bacteria. Some easy corals will filter the water.

- when i buy the hermit crabs, wat to look for? Same size? Same colour? how many? It's it possible to id the sex?

Same color, for sure. There are different species. I think you can have a few together, as long as they are fed well, they will get along. Be sure to have some extra shells in with them, as they do like to move into new homes. I do not know how to tell gender.

how long will it take them to "fall in love"? what do i need in advance for the spawn?

This is what I hope you will tell us!

I wish you the best of luck with this amazing feat! And, your English is wonderful!
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Re: new to breeding, want to try

Postby Amie » Sun Jul 24, 2011 8:21 pm

Welcome to the site, glad that you are posting to ask questions. If you are uncomfortable with English, you can type your posts in your native language and then request a translation from the translation committee. If there is a post in English that you do not understand, you can also ask for help from them to receive help understanding the post in your own language. Do you speak Dutch as a native language?

As far as hermit crabs go, they are quite easy to get to spawn, not as easy to raise. The biggest issue that people have is that when they settle, they need a shell to settle into. You need to have extremely small shells available for them. If you don't have them, there is no reason to even try. If you do have them, then you just need to buy about 10 crabs of the same species that you like. Set a trap in your tank every night and eventually you will have larvae.

Whenever I have a trap set in my tank for anything, fish or shrimp larvae, I always get crab larvae mixed in with them. They are spawning all the time.

I have raised them to the final larval stage, but didn't have the shells that they needed. They weren't too hard to raise. Just follow typical instructions for raising shrimp larvae, ie. phyto, rotifers, nhbs, and good water quality.

If you can not find the information that you need, you might want to check out the reefstewardshipfoundation.org, to see if you can find any information there about raising them.
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Re: new to breeding, want to try

Postby Suzy » Sun Jul 24, 2011 8:38 pm

Amie, would they have to be marine crab shells? Would fresh water ones from our ponds work?
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Re: new to breeding, want to try

Postby Amie » Sun Jul 24, 2011 9:35 pm

Suzy wrote:Amie, would they have to be marine crab shells? Would fresh water ones from our ponds work?


Good question, that I really can't answer. Are freshwater shells soft? Or are they as hard as salt water?
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Re: new to breeding, want to try

Postby Suzy » Sun Jul 24, 2011 9:48 pm

I don't think they are as strong but we could get them pretty small.
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Re: new to breeding, want to try

Postby Amie » Sun Jul 24, 2011 9:53 pm

Another way to get lots of shells is to load your tank with snails. I have tons of baby snail shells all over my sandbed.
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Re: new to breeding, want to try

Postby mimoo » Mon Jul 25, 2011 5:04 am

Hi,

Thank you for your help! Today en tomorrow we're moving our main tank (we're getting a bigger tank) and we're going to add some extra sand/crushed coral. Before i'm going to add it in the tank i want to search for tiny shells, maybe i can find some in it. And we have many sand snails in our main tank, so i'm going to watch them too. (but i'm a softie, so i'm only getting empty shells, not with snails in them)

I decided to use the 10 liter tank for know, and maybe the 40 liter tank for breeding shrimps. In a couple of days i'm going to set up the 10 liter tank for my hermits. I will post a picture of it then.

Amie, my native language is Dutch indeed, but I understand English pretty good, only writing is sometimes difficult to translate some words. But I'll give it a try. In your post you've mentioned a trap. Did you buy it, or make it yourself? And how :wink: .

Thank you for your time!
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Re: new to breeding, want to try

Postby mimoo » Mon Jul 25, 2011 5:31 am

I found these online, they are sould in the US for $3,00 for a teaspoon. a teaspoon contains about 400 shells, and the size is from less than 1/8" to 1/4". Would something like this (but undyed) be good? So I can look for them in Europe, because most shops don't ship to the Netherlands.
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Re: new to breeding, want to try

Postby jeff@zina.com » Mon Jul 25, 2011 8:05 am

A great source of shells is your local craft store. Usually a couple bucks for a bag of shells, most of which are suitable. Living in Florida, I can just go to the beach for hermit shells. Usually with the hermits in them. :)

Reefcleaners.org is a good supplier for both the crabs and the shells.

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Re: new to breeding, want to try

Postby Suzy » Tue Jul 26, 2011 9:13 am

Sounds like a great start already!

Are there any freshwater ponds near you? You may want to look for some of those types of snails. They spawn prolifically, and you would have a strong source of tiny shells. If you think about how tiny a larvae of a hermit crab would be, those shells, even though only an 1/8 inch, would be huge.
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