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Saltwater Aquarium Cleaner Crabs

Saltwater Crabs are a must have cleaner for any reef aquarium. But it's important to know what saltwater aquarium crabs are fine for reef tanks and which ones would be reef destroyers. Happily for reef aquarist's there are a number of saltwater crabs that are the perfect reef tank janitors to keep problems like hair algae, bubble algae, cyano bacteria, and excess food (detritus) all under control.

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Arrow Crab
Stenorhynchus seticornis
Picture of Arrow Crab


Description: The Arrow Crab with its long body and arrow like head is also known as the Spider Crab. An extremely hardy species that will be a long time inhabitant, different species are found throughout the world but the species we offer is a well known caribbean invertebrate that is one of the BEST reef scavengers ot there. They will consume all decaying or left over foods, as well as prey on bristle and flat worms which makes them highly sought after for nuisance control in any reef aquarium. As the Arrow Crab grows it will shed an outer layer of its skin called the exoskeleton. Arrow crabs can and will easily loose a leg. But no worry, they grow them back easily and every time the exoskeleton is reskinned the reformed leg will get longer and longer. In a 50 gallon or less tank only one should be kept, but beyond that a good rule of thumb would be one per 50 gallons although multiple arrow crabs can be kept in larger tanks with lots of rock work.

Diet and Feeding: If the tank is extremely clean where insufficient food may be a problem, place a sheet of green algae in the reef tank with a rubber band around a piece of rock.

Reef Compatability: Excellent will not harm inverts or corals

Level of Care: Easy

Approximate Purchase Size: 1-1/2" to 3"






Price Each $12.99





Spotted Porcelain Crabs
Petrolisthes galathinus
Picture of Spotted Porcelain Crabs


Description: The Spotted Porcelain Crab is an exquisite reef safe crab. They are reef safe, peaceful, and will not harm other invertebrates or corals. Very interesting invertebrates for the marine aquarium. Common throughout the tropical oceans of the world, they have a flat, round body with two large claws and a pair of maxillipeds which are used to catch plankton in the water column. They are also algae eaters and enjoy lots of live rock to graze and hide, and do well in groups. They are light blue in color and covered in small red spots, with orange tipped legs; a very unique addition to the reef aquarium. Safely concealed by rocks or coral, the Porcelain Crab constantly filters the water for planktonic food, but will also scavenge for larger meaty portions.

Diet and Feeding: Offer the crab small bits of fish, shrimp or meaty food, as well as foods designed for filter feeders.

Reef Compatability: Excellent will not harm inverts or corals

Level of Care: Easy

Approximate Purchase Size: 1"







Price Each $17.99






Electric Blue Hermit Crab
Calcinus elegans
Picture of Electric Blue Hermit Crab


Description: The Electric Blue Hermit Crab (Calcinus elegans), originates exclusively from the Marshall Islands. Found on sandy floor areas surrounding coral reefs rather than moving about in them. This crab has electrifying blue legs and its antennae stand out with its bright orange color.These active creatures spend their time scavenging for algae including green hair algae and cyanobacteria. In addition, it provides valuable aeration by sifting through the sand.

Diet and Feeding: Will eat filamentous algae and cyanobacteria. Feed meaty bits such as raw table shrimp, frozen mysis shrimp, silver sides, scallop, clam and mussel. They will appreciate offerings of Nori or other vegetation as well.

Reef Compatability: Excellent will not harm inverts or corals

Level of Care: Easy

Approximate Purchase Size: 3/4" to 1-1/2"







Price Each $9.99






Hawaiian Zebra Hermit Crab
Stenorhynchus seticornis
Picture of  Hawaiian Zebra Hermit Crab


Description: The Hawiian Zebra Hermit Crab gets its name from its distinct colouration. It has black and white pincers and the white bands that dress its otherwise dark legs. Like other members of the genus Calcinus, the Hawiian Zebra Hermit Crab is small but boasts an enlarged left claw.The Zebra is found in the inter-tidal areas across the Indo-Pacific from Africa to Australia to Hawaii. Since they scavenge for detritus and consume nuisance algae, including red slime algae (cyanobacteria), the Hawiian Dwarf Zebra Hermit Crab is a highly desired addition to the home reef aquarium.

Diet and Feeding: Feed meaty bits such as raw table shrimp, frozen mysis shrimp, silver sides, scallop, clam and mussel. If the tank is extremely clean where insufficient food may be a problem, place a sheet of green algae in the reef tank with a rubber band around a piece of rock. Like other invertebrates, care needs to be taken with the use of medications containing copper.

Reef Compatability: Excellent will not harm inverts or corals

Level of Care: Easy

Approximate Purchase Size: 1/4" to 3/4"






Price Each $3.99
Pack of 6 $21.00 (3.50 ea.)
Pack of 12 $38.28 (3.19 ea.)
Pack of 25 $74.75 (2.99 ea.)






Anemone Carrying Hermit Crab
Dardanus sp.
Picture of Anemone Carrying Hermit Crab


Description: Anemone Carrying Hermit Crabs have formed a symbiotic relationship with the anemone Calliactis polypus with which it shares a home. The anemone attached to the shell provides camouflage, protection, and the two invertebrates share food. In the wild, when the crab moves the anemone about the reef, it helps the anemones disperse. When the crab outgrows its shell, it will leave it behind and find a new, larger shell and transfer the anemone on to it or select a larger anemone. This Hermit Crab prefers an aquarium with large amounts of rock work and dim light. The Hermit Crab is fairly aggressive and makes a poor candidate for a reef or peaceful fish aquarium. It will eat fish, snails, and worms, but also will eat detritus and some algae.

Diet and Feeding: Feed meaty bits such as raw table shrimp, frozen mysis shrimp, silver sides, scallop, clam and mussel. If the tank is extremely clean where insufficient food may be a problem, place a sheet of green algae in the reef tank with a rubber band around a piece of rock. Like other invertebrates, care needs to be taken with the use of medications containing copper.

Reef Compatability: Excellent will not harm inverts or corals

Level of Care: Easy

Approximate Purchase Size: 2" to 3"




Price Each $19.99





Decorator Spider Crabs
Camposcia retusa
Picture of Decorator Spider Crabs


Description: A good disguise can help you survive in the sea. Therefore carrying sponge and other items on their backs make spider crabs look somewhat comical, but is an effective form of protection. They cover themselves with items like ocean sponge, little pieces of rock and shell, pieces of marine plant, and other items it can use as camouflage to keep itself in stealth mode. With the same intentions, in the reef aquarium the spider crab will gather whatever it finds and likes. It will find pieces of plant or algae, pieces of coral such as living polyps and other soft corals it finds, to cover itself. While Spider Crabs typically have sponge on their backs, they will sometimes harvest tunicates or even coral polyps and other soft coral for camouflage. By doing this they may cause harm to some soft or polyp corals, but often actually promote the propogation of the carried corals throughout the reef aquarium. Best suited for a reef aquarium with plenty of live rock for hiding and food. This species as with all crustacean species should not be kept with species that will eat crustaceans, such as triggerfish and puffers.

Diet and Feeding: As with most all crabs, the Spider Crab is a scavenger that will eat most any meaty food. The diet of the Spider Crab should include meaty foods such as frozen brine or mysis shrimp, mussels or pieces of fish. This species will also eat any foods that get by the fish in the aquarium, making them good for keeping the aquarium free of excess and decaying food stuffs.

Reef Compatability: Yes with caution, will not bother reef invertebrates.

Level of Care: Easy

Approximate Purchase Size: 1-1/2" to 2-1/2"


Price Each $9.99



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