how many hermits crabs in a 40 gallon tank? - The Reef Tank

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Old 10-06-2010, 07:39 PM   #1
Little Fishy
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how many hermits crabs in a 40 gallon tank?

hom many hermit crabs would you put in a 40 gallon clean up crew there maybe like 1-2 inches big or i wanna to get one at my lfs thats like as big as my head but thats big for my tank.... and are they reef safe?
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Old 10-06-2010, 11:56 PM   #2
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A lot of debate on hermit crabs. The larger ones are NOT safe for tanks as they are predatory. I have seen one literally jump off a rock to attack a yellow watchman goby. It caught it and proceeded to tear it apart and eat it. Smaller hermit crabs are great for FOWLR tanks and debatable in reef tanks. I personally am not a fan for reefs for two reasons. 1. They walk all over soft corals, which can damage them and steal food from them. 2. They attack, kill, and eat snails, which are beneficial to tanks as they eat diatoms and other algaes, depending on the snail mix. If you read the "pocket expert, Marine Invertebrates" it says smaller hermit crabs aren't really safe for a reef, but some will consider them safe in concentrations of less than 1 per 10 gallons.
You'll likely get a lot of different answers on here as I have seen some say not safe at all, others say safe in moderation, and others completely over load their tanks with them. Therefore, I'd encourage you to do a lot of reading on it before making any commitments, and not just in blogs. Read in books written by professionals. then make an educated informed decision knowing the benefits and the risks.
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Old 10-07-2010, 05:14 AM   #3
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My largest hermit is less than an inch.....well the shell is a post-turbo snail top...I missed the eviction notice and removal. :^) I've seen these crabs on corals or walk over them, but never really bother them otherwise. If I saw such, I'd put them in the sump. I agree they can be quite aggressive....I let them go @ long as the CUC population doesn't suffer too much. I enjoy the activety in the tanks.

I'd not put one near 2" in my tanks....yeah, that's predator written all over it. And when they're that big, I suspect they'd be able to move rock and dislodge corals.

I'd stay away from them.
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Old 10-07-2010, 02:19 PM   #4
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ok. so what about shrimp will they mess with corals and are they hardy at all?
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Old 10-12-2010, 11:16 PM   #5
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shrimp will steal food from corals, but overall do much the same work as hermit crabs without the destruction. They tend to cost more are less fun to watch as many are nocturnal, with the major exception being the cleaner shrimp, but that is a more expensive one. Be careful with the coral banded shrimp as they will be destructive. I'd stick to cleaners, peppermint, and fireshrimp. Challenge with shrimp, is they limit the fish you can put in as many gobies, jawfish, blennies, and hawkfish will eat them.
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Old 10-13-2010, 12:56 PM   #6
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+1 peppermint shrimp or skunk cleaners. I disagree that all peppermints are nocturnal. Mine comes out every time i feed.
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Old 10-13-2010, 10:17 PM   #7
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If you want to put shrimp in your tank I would recomend a pistol shrimp they will pare up with some gobies and work together the shrimp will keep the gobies den clean and the gobie will protect the shrimp. Fun to watch only recomend one though.
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Old 10-14-2010, 02:23 AM   #8
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I agree with staying away from the hermits. Although they are great for cleanup they are also great for cleaning out my snails shells. I use a few emerald crabs as long as you can get small ones and snails as my cuc
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Old 10-20-2010, 08:00 AM   #9
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I recently removed the 3 blue leg hermits in my 28. They were too hard on my snails (Cerith's and Nirites.) killing them just for sport. Now that I added 2-Sand Sifting Conchs (strombus luhanus) I was concerned that their shells would also be targets of the hermits. If you add them be sure to keep an eye on them.

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Old 11-28-2010, 11:39 AM   #10
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ive had some luck with five or six hermits in my 55 reef, though i do tend not to put small snails in there as the hermits evict em for fun and food. my hermits are like under an inch and my current snails are one to two inches so far so good
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