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Emerald Crab Featured

 
Emerald Crabs are excellent algae eaters, and are especially useful in combating bubble algae. They have a lumpy, green carapace, furry legs, and claws flattened at the tips to harvest food. Most commonly they are found in...


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Perfect at eliminating Valonia (bubble algae). featured

Comments This is my 3rd Emerald crab. The previous two I had in my previous tanks. I have a 47G SPS reef tank with 25+ SPS corals, as well as LPS and even one small colony of Zooanthids. I bought the crab to eliminate the bubble algae in my tank. This crab has successfully managed to clean the rocks of all bubble algae and in the very least I cannot see any bubble algae.

There is no need to feed the crab unless all its food source runs out. It is at this point I have found emerald crabs to start eating your corals. So you can see that I knowingly bought the crab. WHat happened in my last tank was that once I had reached a very low nutrient level the and algae stopped growing, the emerald crab had no choice but to look to eating other things in the tank.

At this point I had to target feed the crab every few days with tiny bits of shrimp pieces. As long as there remains algae for the crab to eat, it wont go after your corals.

I have 6 green chromis, 2 perc clowns, a firefish and even a tiny goby. Oh and I have pom pom crab as well. The emerald crab does not bother its co-inhabitants and gets along fine.


Liked about it Eliminated bubble algae. Dont need to care for it or do anything. As long as there is food for it in the tank, it will take care of itself.


Didn't like Only when they get very large or when food runs out will they start munching on your corals - but can you blame it for that. It is only carrying out it natural instinct.


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

By Sahin
Apr 25, 2011
 
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Reef-safe? It's a crab! But this one comes close featured

Comments A good maxim in reef keeping is that "no crab is reef-safe", but the Mithrax group of crabs, of which the emerald crab is a member, comes as close as you will get with a non-commensal crab. As a general rule with crabs, the larger one gets, the less reef-safe it will become. I have a black Mithrax in my reef tank, he's been comfortable in the same area of the tank for about five years now. At night I might catch a glimpse of the entire crab, but during the day a claw is all I see. However, that claw provides and important clue as to the crab's behavior; it simply picks algae off the nearby rock.

Emerald crabs are often introduced into tanks to help take care of bubble algae problems, and they are one of the few creatures that eat that algae. For the smaller specimens, algae makes up the largest part of their diet. However, it seems with the larger, older crabs, they start to pick up a taste for meaty foods. In a well fed tank, they will probably leave your corals and other tank inhabitants alone.

This is a very easy crab to keep, and it seems even marginal algal growth is sufficient to sustain one emerald crab. While Mithrax crabs often enter tanks as hitchhikers and survive with no acclimation whatsoever, if you've paid the $6 - $8 these crabs usually cost you'll want to use a drip acclimation of a moderate period of time.

This is not a particularly large crab, getting about two inches across (from leg tip to leg tip) when full grown but taking some time to get there. After 5 years my crab is only about 1.5 inches across.

I've been a huge fan of crabs since I was a boy and that fascination has continued. If you're like me, you will find the emerald crab an attractive and interesting addition to your tank. I cannot say they are 100% reef safe, but feel comfortable taking that chance myself.


Liked about it 1. Affordable
2. Easy to care for, good for a beginner
3. Can be kept in a nice species tank if you like
4. Hardy
5. Reef-safe (for a crab)
6. Will eat bubble algae and rid your tank of it


Didn't like 1. Larger specimens have been reported to nip corals


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

By tcamos
Jun 09, 2010
 
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Emerald Crab

Comments This crab is very cool, at least in my opinion, since it is my first crab. I like his little habits of picking at the rock and investigating anything. I have some micro brittle stars in there with him and he hasn't eaten them, so that's a plus. I feed him about ten pellets a day, he is a pig and loves them. He tends to hide, but if you sit there for a few minutes, he will come out and investigate. Over all, very good.


Liked about it 1. He is very fun to watch(when out)
2. Interesting behavior
3. Perfect for small tanks


Didn't like 1. Hides a lot, very skittish
2. May disrupt corals. He hasn't eaten any, just moved them a little bit. Nothing a little glue can't fix.
3. Not the cheapest crab


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

By Mr. Fishy Man
May 04, 2013
 
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Deffinently WORTH the money!

Comments This is a relativly easy to care for crab, they are great at cleaning up the tank. If you have a problem with hair algae it is all the more reason to get one. They will activly eat and destroy hair algae. This is a docile crab for the most part, minding its own busness, crawling through the live rock in search of food. As for activity they are a little boreing, hiding most of the time in nooks and crannys in the rock. They are scavengers and well eat most any fish food, as well as organics they come accross. they are relitivly peacefull, ocasionaly squabeling with one another, but peacfull most of the time. If given addequete diet will grow quite fast. As they are a smaller crab they can be housed in almost any size aquarium.


Liked about it 1: Acctivly Eats Hair Algae.
2:inexpencive and easy to keep.
3:peacefull for the most part
4:Is quite fastinating to watch wene vissable.


Didn't like 1: Somewhat Recluesive
2: They will let go of any algae they dont want to eat, and them its floating around the tank
3: overall verry pleased with this little crab!


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

By MarineDorito
Apr 04, 2011
 
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Best Crabs out there!

Comments I bought a small emerald crab about 5 months ago because I was starting to have issues with green bubble algae and I had heard that these guys could do the trick. For under $10 I figured why not give it a try! Besides these guys are supposed to be the most reef safe crabs there are. A couple months later and there is hardly any trace of green bubble algae. This small crab has done an excellent job on the algae, has had no problems with anything else in the tank, and most of all is really fun to watch as it claws at the algae on the rocks. Mine has found itself a nice home inside a particular rock in which it stays most of the time. However if I look there and its nowhere to be found, then I will usually catch him looking for algae somewhere else in the tank and that entertaining to watch.


Liked about it -Very inexpensive
-Controls green bubble algae fairly well
-no problems with corals or any other tankmates
-Fun to watch


Didn't like -Can't really complain at all
-Hides a lot but fun to watch when its not


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

By Jayman3777
Feb 01, 2011
 
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As close to reef safe as a crab comes

Comments These are great crabs to keep in your reef tank to help control the algae. For one they don't kill your snails for the shells and they are one of the few animals that eat bubble algae which is why I got them the first time. They are pretty strong though and will knock things over. Most of the time you don't see the whole crab youll see just a claw scraping at your rock for every bit of algae. I prefer to keep smaller ones because I have noticed that bigger ones can get aggressive. Luckily my lfs will trade my bigger ones for smaller ones.


Liked about it they are great at keeping your rocks algae free.
*Pretty neat to watch them graze as they are always grazing.
*Easy to acclimate and care for


Didn't like The only 2 things I don't like are that they can topple things over and that older bigger ones do sometimes get a lil aggressive


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

By Dnazta
Nov 22, 2010
 
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Very Good Pick

Comments These are often sold as part of a cleanup crew package and for good reason. As long as my Emerald Crab was in my display tank, he was always seen doing his job of picking and munching on algae. Appropriately named Ralph Waldo Emerson, actually catching a glimpse of him was similar to a game of "Where's Waldo!" as these creatures are generally nocturnal. Great personality for a tank mate and well received in most environments. As they do get older, they may start picking off coral heads or polyps. My crab has since been exiled to the sump/fuge for taking a chunk out of a zoa colony.


Liked about it Great personality
Great cleanup crew addition
Very easy to care for and maintain


Didn't like Hard to find in the tank
-May- nip corals.


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

By Kristopher
Nov 09, 2010
 
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The friendliest Crab You'll ever meet...

Comments I have had an Emerald Crab since it hitch-hiked on my live rock.
These crabs are great helpers in controlling pesky algae, especially of the bubble-type. As young crabs, Emerald's primarily feed upon algae, but like all crab species, the older/bigger they get, the more they become accustom to 'meaty' foods. These crabs can be reef-safe with supervision and precaution; however they can harm small or ill fish if they become large enough.


Liked about it Maintains an area of live rock by keeping it clear of algae.
Can provide beneficial services by removing detritus from small cracks and holes in live rock.
Can come in many colors from a Blueish 'emerald' color to orange, tan, etc....


Didn't like Can become a connoisseur of meaty items in the tank, including corals...
Larger specimens can sometimes bother small/ ill fish...


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

By JeeperReefer
Sep 24, 2010
 
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Worth every penny!

Comments I have two emerald crabs in my tank right now and they get along very ell maybe a little to well. They have mated once that i have seen and i am waiting to see if the female crab begins to carry her eggs here soon. The crab is super easy to take care of they eat all the algae growing and if any pellets fall and the fish or shrimp don't get it they seems to eat it. They are not really aggressive. If one of the shrimp hit it in the eye with there whiskers they will chase after it. I have had the female crab for about a month and 2 weeks now and it seems to have not really grown and the male is a larger one i bought 2 weeks ago from a LFS.


Liked about it Good price and do their job really well.


Didn't like Nothing really


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

By Miyo
Aug 25, 2010
 
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Watch the growth

Comments I have two an no know that I have one male and one female. My female is pregnant. I have had them for a little over a month and they cause little problems. The male has grown over 1 inch in 1 month which is a little scary. And one night one of them ate some of my red mushroom corals which in turn sent out stinger tentacles and killed my flower pot frag. That sucked but I think I could have kept it from happening if I fed better. The momma is now completely nocturnal as she is carrying eggs and the father is almost too huge!


Liked about it great algae eater.
fun to watch.
get to see pregnant momma.


Didn't like needs a lot of food to keep from eating coals.
rapid growth


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

By Gobi wan Canobi
Aug 03, 2010
 
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NOT reef safe

Comments we were told that this would be a good addition to our cleaning crew and that we wouldn't have a problem with it in our reef tank. we enjoyed having it for a while and even had a female carrying eggs which was fun to watch. then we started having problem with coral getting injured and had to take a closer look at the tank at night. in addition to have a gorilla crab, our emerald crab was caught munching on our stylophora. needless to say she was removed immediately from our tank and since we did not have a FOWLR tank we did not keep her. I have not had good experiences with any crabs in a reef tank and do not recommend adding one to your tank.


Liked about it liked the color
got to see one carrying eggs
saw often in the evenings


Didn't like like to snack on our stylophora
would not recommend for a reef tank


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

By andbob25
Apr 17, 2010
 
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The Emerald Mithrax Crab

Comments Excellent choice for eliminating bubble algae in newly started tanks. Also will eat meaty foods. Great scavenger. At first they seem to be nocturnal. Once they are established they will venture out searching for food during the day. Make sure they are well fed once the bubble algae is gone. They are opportunistic feeders and may turn to a variety of corals for food. Other than that they seem peaceful with all inhabitants.


Liked about it How they went after bubble algae right away. Peaceful and relatively harmless.


Didn't like Nipped at several corals and polyps. No real damage though.MmBl Steals food when I would target feed.


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

By rugman7
Mar 13, 2010
 
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Attractive green crab - avoid if novice aquarist

Comments The emerald crab cleans well but it is likely to injury any ill fish and possibly cause its death. Not recommended for a novice.


Liked about it An interesting looking green crab who cleans actively. You find it often lurking inconspicuously among the rocks. I don't have bubble algae but understand that the emerald crab does eat it. I prefer it in a reef tank with larger more aggressive fish.


Didn't like An emerald crab will pick at an ill fish, giving it more injury and less time to recover. It is best placed in a tank without small fish. I've also seen it delicately picking at my dragon's eye zoa. Personally I prefer the blue-legged hermit crab who cleans well, changes shells with growth, and never nips at the other tank inhabitants.


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

By Fielding12
Feb 20, 2010
 
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A++ would buy again

Comments the crab is easy to care for and will eat most recidue that the fish might not get, although crabs are know to be opportunitic and dangerous, emerald crabs can be a useful tools in the battle against nuisance algae such as "bubble algae". i found this crab extremely useful since it literaly eradicated bubble algae on its own. he grew quite a lot in small amount of time, which has to be watched carefully


Liked about it easy to care
eats anything
good algae watcher


Didn't like crab growth has to watched
needs space
needs live rock


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

By gabranth17
Feb 17, 2010
 
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good value

Comments This crab is fairly easy to care for. Mine will eat anything from flake food to unwanted algae. They are also known sometimes to eat bubble algae. Their maximum size is 2 inches across the leg span. They mostly feed on herbivorous algae. They are readily available in most areas in red or green.


Liked about it I like the fact they are known to feed on bubble algae.
For the most part, they are reef safe, but there has been occasional reports of it attacking sessile animals. These guys are sometimes finding there self hitchhiking into your tank from bringing in new live rock into your aquarium.
They are fun to watch eat.


Didn't like They are mostly nocturnal.
There has been reports of these guys pestering different polyps and other corals.


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

By 9erNation
Feb 09, 2010
 
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Interesting to watch, may help with bubble algae

Comments Emerald crabs are often sold as solutions to bubble algae, but it's not always a bulletproof solution. They are fun to watch, and not terribly likely to create problems with other tank inhabitants, but they may not do everything you'd expect. For the price, they're a nice addition for a little activity in the tank, but maybe not much else.


Liked about it Interesting to watch, relatively inexpensive.


Didn't like Not always ferocious algae eaters, and of late I've read a few reports of them pestering other things around the tank. This is more often the exception than the rule, but it's something to watch out for if you decide to add a few to your tank.


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

By crvz
Jan 06, 2010
 
Last updated: May 17, 2010
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A bit expensive and don't last long

Comments I've had probably a dozen Emerald Crabs over the years. They're a nice color and do a good job with Bubble Algae. Without them, the Bubble Algae would probably take over my tank. They are relatively inactive and only come out at night. During the day, you might seem them hiding under a rock or in a crevice. I'm not aware of them injuring or damaging any of the other tank mates.


Liked about it Helped to keep the Bubble Algae in my tank under control. I've never found anything else that works as good. They also have a nice neon green color to their shells.


Didn't like They are pricy, about $8 for a little crab. In my 29g aquarium I need at least 2 to be effective. They don't last long. The longest I've had one survive is about a year.


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

By Diving The World
Oct 09, 2009
 
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Terrorized my SPS.

Comments This creature was extremely easy to take care of, and was very shy. It isn't very active, it liked to hide and or sit in a single spot for a long period of time. I will never keep emerald crabs and corals together ever again.


Liked about it The crab was a cool shade of green and had hairy legs. xD
The theory that they may eat bubble algae, hit or miss.
Small in size.


Didn't like Terrorized my Frogspawn until it died...
Would grab any source of food, pull it to hte back of the tank under the rock structure, eat as much as it wanted, and just leave it there out of reach to rot in my tank. >:(


Overall rating:
 
2.0
Overall satisfaction:
 
3.0
Would consider buying it again:
 
1.0

By Kakalakasha
Sep 16, 2009
 
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Can be a good reef addition with caution

Comments The emerald mithrax crab (Mithrax sculptus) is a popular addition to reef aquariums for their scavenging traits as well as their history of helping to control bubble algae (Valonia sp.). These crabs have great personality when viewed, however tend to be nocturnal and thus hide during the day. Care must be taken when considering addition of these creatures in a reef aquarium as they are omnivores and are, therefore, opportunistic feeders that may turn to corals, other invertebrates, or small fish for a food source. However, when well fed, most Emerald Mithrax Crabs are very tolerant of their tankmates and highly compatible in reef environments.


Liked about it Good for bubble algae control
Good scavengers
Tend to not bother other tank mates and corals


Didn't like They are a crab and thus cannot be fully trusted to be completely "reef safe".


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

By drdude05
Jul 24, 2009
 
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Great for bubble algea!

Comments I always keep 2-3 of these is my 125. I have never seen them harming anything but algae. They do a great job keeping the bubble algae at bay.
Some say they are not reef safe but I would strongly disagree!
I have always kept Emerald vrabs in all of my tanks and have never had a single problem with them.

I do not see them much they mostly come out at night but I do see them from time to time and I also see bubble algae pop up then its gone in a few days


Liked about it Cheap
Effective on bubble algae
Fun to watch


Didn't like Nothing!


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

By ckusnierek
Jul 14, 2009
 
Last updated: May 28, 2010
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Simply Amazing

Comments These little guys are terrific. They will munch down even the longest algae strands and are very cool to watch too.


Liked about it Inexpensive. Fun to watch. Efficient algae control machine.


Didn't like Not too pretty of a crab but great at what he does.


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

By ibanez2k
Oct 15, 2009
 
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Emerald Crab

Comments The Emerald Crab is a great addition to ones aquarium as they are primarily algae eater and do a great job controlling hair algae. They are however optimistic omnivore and in my opinion they may posse a threat to any small fish if underfeed.


Liked about it Great addition to anyone’s clean up crew and are low maintenance


Didn't like Emerald Crabs tend to be nocturnal


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

By scubasteve3610
Oct 07, 2009
 
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Really good crab

Comments These crabs are great for reef tanks IMO. They pick at all kinds of algae and they do it a lot. They even eat Brown Wafer Algae which is rare, because only a few creatures will actually eat that stuff. They do a great job at algae control and they get all the extra food the fish miss.


Liked about it I like the color and the way they look. They are not very expensive. And they are the perfect size for reef tanks.


Didn't like They tend to come out mostly at night, but they do come out during the day sometimes.


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

By luther1200
Sep 01, 2009
 
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Thoughts on Emerald Crabs.

Comments These are very easy to take care of. The green color and structure of its body is awesome.


Liked about it Great addition to any marine tank. The reason stating that is due the scavenging they do is awesome. They will shift the top level of the sand. Eat left overs from meaty items, and pellets. Mine even eats hair algae from time to time.


Didn't like Emeralds Can be shy some times. But overall no complaints


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

By Dragonist
Aug 14, 2009
 
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Crabs

Comments It is an easy crab to keep and he also helps to keep the reef clean


Liked about it 1.cleans my reef
2.small
3.easy to keep


Didn't like 1.some times he picks at corals
2.hides all day


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

By collin
Jul 28, 2009
 
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Work Horse

Comments I like keeping two in my tank when I can. They have never shown aggression and they are easy to care for. They always seem to be looking for something to eat. The smaller crabs I believe are better.


Liked about it Always picking at the rocks cleaning them of algae. Small and non threatening. Love trying to find them in the tank.


Didn't like Nothing.


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

By TheReefer12
Jul 21, 2009
 
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Good cleaners...

General Emerald crabs are a great addition to a clean up crew.


Liked about it Good cleaners, eat bubble algae, low maintenance.


Didn't like Can get large and knock over rock work/corals.


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

By Big D
Jul 16, 2009
 
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Safer but still suspect in my tank

General Probably safer than most other true crabs but I have grown to distrust all crabs.


Liked about it It did eat bubble algae and likely other algae.


Didn't like The two I have had both picked at zoanthids. Maybe there was a bit of algae on them I could not see but I gave them away.


Overall rating:
 
2.5
Overall satisfaction:
 
3.0
Would consider buying it again:
 
2.0

By jenglish
Jul 14, 2009
 
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Crab

General My crab loved algae and like me was a very peaceful veggie. They are great and my kdis seemed to really like him. He died of unknown causes and I will be getting another very soon.


Liked about it Diet.
Appearance.


Didn't like He died.


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

By bulletmagnet1337
Jul 05, 2009
 
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Love this crab!

General I have never had one eat or pick on anything in any of my tanks. but have heard other people say they do,


Liked about it I like the fact that they eat unwanted algae.


Didn't like The larger ones can knock things over


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

By VWD
Jun 22, 2009
 
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Good non-hermit crab

General This crab is great for controlling algae. if has done a good job on getting to the spots my snails and fish don't reach. since it stays relatively small and is primarily herbivorous it isn't a threat to its tank mates. only thing is, i don't see mine very often.


Liked about it small size


Didn't like rarely seen


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

By Salty O'Shen
Jun 19, 2009
 
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at 9 stores

awsome critter

General I have seen these guys get good size and it makes them all the more interesting. They will however eat anything they can get in their claws. Be careful with small fish.


Liked about it I love how they look


Didn't like They will eat whatever they can get in their claws


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

By winnker
Jun 11, 2009
 
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