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Blue Leg Hermit Crab

 
Blue Leg Hermit Crabs are prized in reef aquariums for their scavenging and algae-eating abilities. Their size allows them to devour algae from the smallest nooks. If algae becomes short in supply, these crabs are quick...


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The Smurf Crab featured

Comments These crabs are wonderful little helpers in the the reef tank. They can get into some of the tiniest crevices and clear them of all the detritus that accumulates. They don't usually bother anything except a snail or two and work hard at eating algae and anything else they can find.
I have several of these in my 55gal tank and am looking at getting more. I've found they usually 'work their job' a lot harder and longer than other hermits, like the red-legged. A lot of the time, hermits will get used to waiting for feeding time for the fish and stop eating the algae and other detritus in the tank. However, the blue leg hermits keep on cleaning the rocks.
These crabs stay smaller than most other hermits so just keeping old shells (from snails that have died) in the tank is usually all you need to do to provide them extra housing. Their blue legs are usually all that is visible once the coralline algae has taken over their shells.


Liked about it 1. Stay Small
2. Hard Working
3. Doesn't bother corals
4. Hardy
5. Adds nice colors to a tank (if you look close enough)


Didn't like 1. May kill a snail for its shell
2. Sometimes don't last very long
3. Often the ones sold in stores are TINY (smaller than a pea!)
4. May bother corals as they walk over them


Overall rating:
 
5.0
Overall satisfaction:
 
5.0
Would consider buying it again:
 
5.0

By JeeperReefer
Oct 05, 2010
 
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Among the less aggressive hermits I've owned featured

Comments There are those who will flat out refuse to put any crabs of any kind in their tanks. I, on the other hand, love crabs and refuse to have a tank without them. The reasons given are that they are predatory in nature and can harm other tank inhabitants. That's true of most crabs and there are certain hermit crabs I would never put in my tank.

The dwarf blue-legged hermit crab is the one I have the most of. They won't get larger than 1 inch (not to be confused with the Electric Blue Hermit Crabs - Calcinus elegans, which grow a little larger).

They fend for themselves in your tank eating detritus, algae and dead animals. They may, on occasion, attack a snail for its shell but I have never had one attack a healthy snail as long as I have extra shells in the tank. Some aquarists complain of them eating corals and clams, but I have found that this is often (though not always) caused by overstocking of the hermit crabs. This is probably due to erroneous information or misreading of stocking advice on web sites that sells them. General rules like "1 crab per gallon" are used but are not accurate. For example, I have a 50 gallon tank and a 29 gallon, there is no way I would put 50 or 29 crabs in either tank. It should be based on square inches and amount of rock work rather than gallons.

While these crabs have been shown on video to spawn in captivity the larvae have not been shown to survive.

A small 2.5 or 5.5 gallon tank could be used to house 1 or two of these in a species only tank which makes a great and easy to care for pet for kids.


Liked about it 1. As reef-safe as a crab gets
2. Nice coloration
3. Tolerant of other hermit crab species
4. Affordable (I usually pay $.99 or less for them)
5. Hardy
6. Small size
7. Easy to care for as they take care of themselves


Didn't like 1. May occasionally kill snails
2. May occasionally damage clams if they crawl over them
3. Will knock over any loose coral you have


Overall rating:
 
5.0
Overall satisfaction:
 
5.0
Would consider buying it again:
 
5.0

By tcamos
Jun 24, 2010
 
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Clean Up Crew Member featured

Comments I have many blue leg hermits in my FOWLR and Reef tanks.
Easy to care for since they are detritus eaters.
Can be aggressive with clams ans scallops, in my brief experience with them.
They can grow from 0.25 inches to 2 inches in about a year to 18 months if there are no predators for them in your tank. My Dwarf Wrasses and Engineer Goby are the predators in my tanks.
They are more active at night. As far as tank size they can be used in almost any size tank. I currently have about 5-7 in my 90 Gallon mixed reef tank and about 12-15 in my FOWLR.


Liked about it Inexpensive to purchase I get 6-10 for 12.00 at my local fish store(LFS) and I have seen them sold in web stores for 200 for 25.00 dollars.
No special feeding or water requirements.
Will reproduce on their own.


Didn't like Will eat clams and scallops.
Occasinally will eat corals.
Will also eat snails.


Overall rating:
 
4.5
Overall satisfaction:
 
4.0
Would consider buying it again:
 
5.0

By depitch
Jan 06, 2010
 
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Fun Little Addition

Comments I bought one of these, along with a bunch of black and orange reef hermits. He is pretty peaceful and hasn't attacked any corals. He will sometimes fight the other hermits for a piece of food, but that is only aggression I see out of him. He seems to do a good job of cleaning up the tank, as I always see him picking at thing (although I obviously can't really tell, since he is only one crab! :) ).


Liked about it 1. Cheap
2. Peaceful
3. Reef safe so far/Cleans up any extra food or dead snails.


Didn't like 1. That I only got 1! :)
2. Since he is a hermit, he will need a bigger shell as he grows.
3. Will kill snails for their shells.


Overall rating:
 
4.5
Overall satisfaction:
 
4.0
Would consider buying it again:
 
5.0

By Mr. Fishy Man
Aug 28, 2013
 
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great little cleaner

Comments These guys are great little additions to any cleanup crew! I have 15 in my. 75 mixed reef and they are just model citizens, in fact they're the only crabs I allow in my reef tank. They are able to coincide with my stomellas, turbos, astreas, and narrisus snails without an issue, and don't even bother with my corals, shrimp, urchins or starfish. They eat a lot of left overs and etc and are usually very cheap. They are really cool to watch as they scurry all along the tank. They can be added to any tank in my opinion that doesn't have predators that would eat it


Liked about it 1) color
2) performance as a member of my clean up crew
3) how funny they are to watch
4) hardy
5) leaves corals alone


Didn't like 1) kills snails very rarely, but only if shells are not available
nothing else


Overall rating:
 
4.8
Overall satisfaction:
 
4.5
Would consider buying it again:
 
5.0

By Superelephant36
Apr 27, 2013
 
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Great Reef Scavenger! Cute Too!

Comments The Blue Legged Hermit is a "must" part of your clean up crew. They just go about their business with workmanlike effort. They are great for any tank size and do not have problems with other hermits in the tank. They are great to watch as they work on cleaning your live rock and even the sand surface. They tend to be aggressive toward snails when they need a new shell, so you should have extra shells in the tank.


Liked about it I like that they are great scavengers. They do not harm any corals or other invertebrates. The blue legs add color to your tank.


Didn't like They can take out your snails just for their shells. They can knock over small frags and rocks as they get bigger.


Overall rating:
 
5.0
Overall satisfaction:
 
5.0
Would consider buying it again:
 
5.0

By refhater
Apr 29, 2011
 
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Good Supplement to clean up crew.

Comments I have a few of these guys in my 55G reef. They are diligent little cleaners that like to eat most types of algae. Some people don't keep them because they walk all over your corals. I've had hermits for a while now and I haven't seen any damage. One thing with hermits is that they will outgrow their shell eventually and they will kill snails for new ones. A quick fix to this is to have spare shells laying around the tank. A few of my hermits found new homes within a few hours of adding the shells.


Liked about it I like to try and find the hermits around my tank when I'm sitting and watching.
Good algae and detritus eaters
Grow slowly


Didn't like They can cause my zoanthids to close up.


Overall rating:
 
4.8
Overall satisfaction:
 
4.5
Would consider buying it again:
 
5.0

By Rustl3r
Mar 23, 2011
 
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Very nice algae eaters

Comments These crabs are very good at eating all of the nuisance algae that I have in my aquarium. They eat it so fast that I don't need to worry about new algae growing because the hermits always eat the algae before I can even see it. In addition to my turbo snails. These crabs can be a wonderful addition to anyone's clean up crew.


Liked about it 1. I liked how it ate algae so well
2. Very fast at eating algae that I don't have to worry about it.
3. very hard working and will eat day and night.


Didn't like 1. It sometimes walks over my corals
other than that I have no complaints.


Overall rating:
 
4.8
Overall satisfaction:
 
4.5
Would consider buying it again:
 
5.0

By Silentdea
Mar 12, 2011
 
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Took them out of my system

Comments I kept blue leg crabs in my reeftank for about 2 years. They do a great job taking care of any uneaten food and even taking care of small fish that may have died and were hidden in your rock work. I do understand that they have a place in a tank but I prefer to not have my snails killed for their shells. That is why I have removed all my blue leg crabs. I replaced them with a couple of emerald crabs and they seem to get the job done without stealing my snail shells. I also don't like that they will walk all over your corals alot of times causing them to close up


Liked about it will eat all uneaten fish food
*will eat a dead fish quickly so it doesnt foul your water


Didn't like Kills my snails for shells
*walks all over my corals causing them to close up


Overall rating:
 
1.8
Overall satisfaction:
 
2.5
Would consider buying it again:
 
1.0

By Dnazta
Nov 22, 2010
 
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Great addition to a clean up crew.

Comments there a must have for a clean up crew. they always active and eat algae's and skum at the bottom of the tank. very peaceful if there's alot of empty shells for them to move into. There's not much care for them and don't need to feed them if algae and debrit is present.


Liked about it very colorful and the least agressive out of hermints. fun to watch them clean around the tank. they don't get very big and have a great life spand for such a small creature. cheap and woth the money. not much care for them and are very hardie.


Didn't like they fight over shell which could cause death. have to have plently of shells to reduce agression.


Overall rating:
 
5.0
Overall satisfaction:
 
5.0
Would consider buying it again:
 
5.0

By aquatic-marine
Aug 22, 2010
 
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Hardy and cool looking

Comments I purchased 12 of these hermit crabs along with 12 additional shells of varying sizes. I lost 4 of them within a week, but the rest have been healthy, productive members of my tank. They have grown pretty fast, and do a great job of cleaning up detritus. They aren't very active, but occasionally I see them working on algae or old food.

I have seen them bothering my polyp colony, but all of the polyps are still alive and healthy. I doubt they were eating the actual polyps, but it worries me. They leave all of my other corals alone.


Liked about it 1. Cheap
2. Hardy
3. Productive member of the clean up crew


Didn't like 1. Not very active
2. I have seen them bothering my polyp colony


Overall rating:
 
3.5
Overall satisfaction:
 
3.5
Would consider buying it again:
 
3.5

By MikeR
Aug 19, 2010
 
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Tank maids...

Comments I have several blue leg hermit crabs. I have not had any issues with them bothering corals or anything for that matter. They seem to always be busy "cleaning" up after everthing else. I never see them all the time but occasionaly will see them on the rock picking at something. Really no special care required as they are scavengers. Water quality needs to be in check as with all crabs.


Liked about it A cheap clean up crew. As far as hermits go, they are probably my favorite. Seem to do a good job at consuming things that have settled but it takes several to make a difference.


Didn't like Not always out front and visible. Not really an issue though.


Overall rating:
 
4.0
Overall satisfaction:
 
4.0
Would consider buying it again:
 
4.0

By deanp88
Jun 15, 2010
 
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great cleaners

Comments the blue leg hermit crabs are a must for your cleaning crew. we have some in all of our tanks and they were one of the first things we added. they help clean the sand and rocks and get all the small spots. if you enjoy sitting an watching your tank you will like seeing these guys wonder around. their shells will get covered in coraline and start to blend in after a while and their little blue legs add a little more color as they get bigger. only aggression we have seen is that they have eaten a few of our snails, but they scavengers, so that is to be expected. need to have some empty shells for them to grow into, but other than that easy to keep alive.


Liked about it VERY inexpensive!
great cleaners
help get rid of brown algae after initial cycle
add another dimension of life to the tank
fun to watch in tank


Didn't like have killed a few snails, but that wasn't much of a shocker


Overall rating:
 
5.0
Overall satisfaction:
 
5.0
Would consider buying it again:
 
5.0

By andbob25
Apr 17, 2010
 
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great clean up crew helpers

Comments this creature is a really easy thing to have because you don't have to feed them. they just crawl around the tank eating leftovers . you never see all of them at once. they are great to sit down and watch. i watch mine crawl around for hours. some fish will kill them when they change shell and they can be quite agressive to snails of the same size . another good thing about them is tank size,they can be kept in any size tank for quite a low price . they sometimes eat or pick at corals which is something you should watch.


Liked about it 1. they are really cheap
2. fun to watch
3. they have no special requirements(feeding,water,size of tank)


Didn't like there is two things i did not like about them
1. they can nip at corals
2. can eat snails if they want a new shell


Overall rating:
 
5.0
Overall satisfaction:
 
5.0
Would consider buying it again:
 
5.0

By Clownfish can't
Apr 14, 2010
 
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Clean up crews with personality

Comments The blue leg hermit crab is small and crawls around cleaning the tank. In the process it is cute to watch especially when it grows and changes shells. Important: provide a wide variety of shells to accommodate its growth. I've seen a hermit crab try on a shell for a short time and then the next day be living in a different shell for a longer time. Its legs are colorful and it makes them interesting to watch clean the tank. The blue leg hermit crab is an inexpensive and effective part of the cleaning crew.


Liked about it Reef-safe cleaner who fits in between small rocks. The same snail changes appearance as he grows and changes shells. Unlike an emerald crab, the blue leg hermit crab isn't aggressive and it is more visible cleaning around the tank. I've never seen it pick at coral or nip at fish.


Didn't like If you haven't provided a selection of shells, then the blue leg hermit crab will get its own right off the back of previously living snails. (Provide a variety of shells!)
They don't keep lower levels of sand clean. They do breed in tanks, but I wish they would increase in number faster; I want more in my tank.


Overall rating:
 
5.0
Overall satisfaction:
 
5.0
Would consider buying it again:
 
5.0

By Fielding12
Mar 04, 2010
 
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Great addition to clean up crew

Comments Cool blue color to these guys. The don't get to big like there cousin the red leg about 2" max. provide many various size shells as they grow. They tend to shell-jack snails for a larger home. Especially Margaretta's and extra small turbos. Can be a bit agressive towards one another as well. They do control out breaks rather well, but don't get to many as you may starve them out.


Liked about it Size,they are just small enough to get around corals and frags without knocking them around like the bigger turbos can do. They do a good job on the rocks


Didn't like shell-jacking is the big downfall. Most snails don't survive this


Overall rating:
 
5.0
Overall satisfaction:
 
5.0
Would consider buying it again:
 
5.0

By rugman7
Feb 03, 2010
 
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Somewhat decent detritus cleaners

Comments While sometimes fun to watch, these little hermits can be a bit aggressive and don't do all that much in terms of cleaning up. Like all hermits, I categorize them as opportunistic, and if there's something they want they'll usually go for it (such as a shell, even if there's a snail or other hermit still in it). Not my favorite detrivore.


Liked about it Cheap, small, fun to watch.


Didn't like Somewhat aggressive, may pick on other members of the clean up crew.


Overall rating:
 
1.5
Overall satisfaction:
 
2.0
Would consider buying it again:
 
1.0

By crvz
Jan 06, 2010
 
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Fun hardy little creatures..

Comments These are extremely hardy little crabs that are very fun to watch, much more active and attractive than snails, and do the same job as them. They never die and don't grow too big, make sure you add extra shells for them to grow into, they may attact your snails. Naked snails aren't pretty, they die witout cloths anyway:) These have pretty blues leggs that eat anything in the tank, including there own poop! You can't go wrond with these crabs. They generally aren't aggresive.


Liked about it Colorful crab(kinda cool shell), cleans everything it comes into contact with, and are very hardy!


Didn't like Blue legged hermits may attack snails once they outgrow their shell.


Overall rating:
 
5.0
Overall satisfaction:
 
5.0
Would consider buying it again:
 
5.0

By berger9953
Jan 01, 2010
 
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Great clean up crew member

Comments In my opinion, hermits are better for a clean up crew because they move much faster and mine have always done a much better job of cleaning up than any snails if ever seen. These also are much more interesting to watch then a snail.


Liked about it They stay nice and small so they don't knock anything over, great fun to watch them run around and they eat most nuisance algaes at a pretty fast rate, which in turn prevents your headaches.


Didn't like Because it is a hermit, it will eat your snails and other slow moving things in your tank for their shell and/or food. This can be reduced by putting in extra shells for your hermit crabs.


Overall rating:
 
5.0
Overall satisfaction:
 
5.0
Would consider buying it again:
 
5.0

By Reeftanker3295
Dec 20, 2009
 
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Great for a clean-up crew, but can be destructive

Comments Blue Leg hermits are great for consuming detritus and picking at the aquascaping and keeping it clean in a reef tank. However, they do tend to outgrow shells quickly and go on the hunt for new shells. As a result, they will often attack and kill snails or other hermits to get a new shell. Be sure to give them plenty of empty shells to help reduce this behavior. Also, they can and will crawl all over corals; mine love to climb up on sps and bother them.


Liked about it Easy to care for.
Good for helping keep a tank clean and tidy.


Didn't like Will kill anything with a suitable shell as they grow and move to new shells--be prepared with lots of empty shells of various sizes.
Climb on everything, not just the rock. May bother corals, especially if you keep lots of them. (I only keep roughly ten of them in my 75gal)


Overall rating:
 
3.5
Overall satisfaction:
 
3.0
Would consider buying it again:
 
4.0

By schneijt
Jul 28, 2009
 
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Blue Leg Hermit Crab

Comments I found the blue legged hermit a definite must. He roams and cleans and cleans. He is mostly active at night and loves to change his shells.


Liked about it Easy to take care of. More active at night, always moving. He stays small.


Didn't like There is nothing I didn't like about him.


Overall rating:
 
4.0
Overall satisfaction:
 
4.0
Would consider buying it again:
 
4.0

By mls3372002
Jan 23, 2011
 
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Good little algae eater

Comments These are pretty easy to handle. They are very small so don't pose a threat to fish or other animals nearly as much. Probably couldn't even kill a snail if they wanted to. I don't know.


Liked about it Small enough to get into cleaning places other critters can't. Nice blue striped leggs. very inexpensive.


Didn't like Nothing much. They are a bit reclusive and hide alot during the day so you don't see them much it seems.


Overall rating:
 
4.5
Overall satisfaction:
 
4.0
Would consider buying it again:
 
5.0

By ibanez2k
Oct 15, 2009
 
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Blue leg's

Comments Don't let the small size of the Blue leg hermit crab fool you, they are voracious eaters of nuisance algae. The are extreamly active and can be agressive towards one and another as they are alway looking for a larger shell to call home.


Liked about it Cost, Activeness


Didn't like Aggressiveness


Overall rating:
 
4.5
Overall satisfaction:
 
4.0
Would consider buying it again:
 
5.0

By scubasteve3610
Oct 09, 2009
 
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Small but efficient.

Comments The blue legged hermit is pretty much just a cute little decoration, it feeds itself. It's extremely aggressive towards snails with shells their sizes. And they outgrew their shells very fast which caused them to terrorize more snails... Although you never see them all at once, you can always find a few just scootin' around. I would not recommend mixing snails and hermit crabs.


Liked about it Small.
Colorful.
Handy.


Didn't like Killed snails.
Grew too fast.


Overall rating:
 
3.0
Overall satisfaction:
 
4.0
Would consider buying it again:
 
2.0

By Kakalakasha
Sep 16, 2009
 
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Cute little things

Comments Easy to care for and have not been aggressive for me. Grow pretty slow and pretty active. They just eat what is left over from the fish and on the live rock


Liked about it Very small so can get into small nooks and crannies and are colorful.


Didn't like nothing


Overall rating:
 
5.0
Overall satisfaction:
 
5.0
Would consider buying it again:
 
5.0

By cutietwo
Jul 27, 2009
 
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Thoughts on Blue Leg Hermits

Comments Great little scavenger, they stay in packs in my reef.


Liked about it They are cheap, and non agressive hermits. The will scavenger around reef but never short of engery.


Didn't like No complaints.


Overall rating:
 
5.0
Overall satisfaction:
 
5.0
Would consider buying it again:
 
5.0

By Dragonist
Jul 27, 2009
 
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Great cleaners...

General Great cleaners, but they are aggressive towards other hermits.


Liked about it Good cleaners, fun to watch, low maintenance.


Didn't like Aggressive towards other hermits.


Overall rating:
 
3.5
Overall satisfaction:
 
4.0
Would consider buying it again:
 
3.0

By Big D
Jul 16, 2009
 
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A great Ditruvour

General I have a few hundred of these little guys in my 125. They do an excellent job keeping everything clean.


Liked about it Cheap.
Great cleaners
Fun to watch


Didn't like They will our grow their shell and will hijack other crabs and snails for their shell.


Overall rating:
 
5.0
Overall satisfaction:
 
5.0
Would consider buying it again:
 
5.0

By ckusnierek
Jul 14, 2009
 
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Active and Useful

General They are Cheap and Great at cleaning up


Liked about it They will eat almost anything and are very active


Didn't like Can mess with my smaller coral frags and push them around. Unlike snails you have to provide new homes every now and then


Overall rating:
 
4.5
Overall satisfaction:
 
5.0
Would consider buying it again:
 
4.0

By zero186
Jul 05, 2009
 
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Clean up crew member

General A good clean up crew member. will finish off meaty foods that the fish miss. i've even seen them clean up dead crabs, and snails. since they'r so cheap it's easy to get them as a starter memebr of your clean up crew


Liked about it small size, active day or night, inexpensive


Overall rating:
 
5.0
Overall satisfaction:
 
5.0
Would consider buying it again:
 
5.0

By Salty O'Shen
Jun 19, 2009
 
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A must have!

General I lvoe these little guys I sit and watch them sometimes for hours. they are for sure a must have. They also keep your tank nice and clean. I can never have enough of them.


Liked about it How clean they keep things


Didn't like they walk all over my corals


Overall rating:
 
5.0
Overall satisfaction:
 
5.0
Would consider buying it again:
 
5.0

By winnker
Jun 11, 2009
 
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hermit crab

General A most have in the saltwater tanks. They catch anything thats not being eatin plus more


Liked about it Great cleaners give the tanks some background life.


Didn't like Will grow until need new shell or will take a shell from snail


Overall rating:
 
5.0
Overall satisfaction:
 
5.0
Would consider buying it again:
 
5.0

By clowninaround
Jun 10, 2009
 
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a quiet member of the CUC

General I like to keep a well stocked clean up crew in my reef tank. These hermits are a big player. I have not had any problems Blue Leg hermits. I cant say that for all of my hermits, like Mexican Red Legs, but these guys seem OK.


Liked about it good cleaners
always working
add movement to the tank floor


Overall rating:
 
5.0
Overall satisfaction:
 
5.0
Would consider buying it again:
 
5.0

By Mr.Peanut
May 20, 2009
 
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good little cleaners

General i think there a must for a clean up crew.


Liked about it there very cool looking and do a good job of cleaning up the place


Didn't like nothing


Overall rating:
 
5.0
Overall satisfaction:
 
5.0
Would consider buying it again:
 
5.0

By Gabriel
Apr 27, 2009
 
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always a gamble

General interesting but capable of killing snails. Its not will a crab eat something its can it.


Liked about it hermit crabs are an interesting inhabitant and will quickly devour any excess food or critters that pass on.


Didn't like They will also eat weakened or sick critters. They will kill and eat snails from time to time. If they have shells to choose from and are well fed it lessens the chances but never eliminates the chance of snailicide.


Overall rating:
 
3.5
Overall satisfaction:
 
3.0
Would consider buying it again:
 
4.0

By jenglish
Apr 16, 2009
 
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