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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Before anyone says it I'm not talking about a crab panzer division. :rolleyes:

I want to keep common shore crabs (not peelers) by themselves in a large tank i have (4ft x 1 1/2ft x 1 1/2ft).

I have an under gravel filter system set up but was wondering if two small plug in air pumps at either end would be strong enough to filter the tank?

And what could i feed them?

Cheers in advance! :)
 

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I've been thinking about this one.
The pumps you have should be fine. I was wondering taht because crabs go into dormancy when the weather cools, if you collected some in mid winter and put them in the warm indoors they should peel. (i hope)
You can feed them on old bait scraps, bacon pretty much anything. Crabs are the basic scavengers of the sea and will eat anything.
Chris
 

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You need 2 tanks, tilt one and put rocks in it, you have to create different depths of water and teritories, put them in a empty tank and you will end up with 1 dominant crab and a lot of bits of shell. The second tank is to contain coarse beach sand to act as a filter. Pump the water from the crab tank and spray it on top of the sand to oxygenate it. The outlet of the filter should come from the bottom of the tank via a network of cheap 20mm overflow pipe, jointed and drilled with 2mm holes. Use beach sand in the filter as it contains the bugs to eat the crab waste. Don't overcrowd and it is a self cleaning system.

Check everyday for fatalities and remove them. Also check them for poppers, the water will be warmer than the sea due to the reduced volume and they will come on quickly in some cases.

Feed on sandeel but not too much. Chop it with scissors and spread around the tank. Too much and it will block the filter and you can get the water turning.

When the weather is warm it is a good idea to include an air stne in the deepest water to supplement the O2 content as it reduces with temperature. Keep a couple of 5 litre milk bottles in the freezer full of ice to throw in on particularly hot days to suplement the cooling.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thats what i was thinking mate. I'm sure i read somewhere that someone who kept a pet crab had had it peel several times in one year.
Thought i might do an experiment...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks Chris P. :)
Do the tanks have to be equal sizes?
 

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Don't get all technical on me, Ph and NaCl balance. Next you will be suggesting a daily titration of the tank to determine the optimum molar salt content.

Not a clue what you are on about. :confused:

I do know that crabs live in almost fresh water in estuaries so if you get a level in the tank when you start it up with fresh sea water and you loose a bit to evapouration top it up with fresh water. Works for me. Ph will remain fairly constant if you get the ballance of water to filter medium right and you use beach sand, the bacteria and organisms it contains will create their own eco system. I havn't touched my tanks for 3 years but my filter is 2 tonnes of sand and the tanks hold 2000 gals.

I have a few crab in there at the moment, 200-300 sand eel and Launce, 2 bass, 1 squid and a black bream. The sand eel seem to dissapear though, they must be jumping out :D
 

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ok chris you smart bugger i only asked no really i just wondered ive got fresh water aquariums but never had any salty ones :D
 

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I was taking the uric acid a bit. Sorry, my sense of fun, sad I know.

They will tollerate a wide range of Ph and salt content in their environment, as long as you mark the level when you start out any water loss can safely replaced with tap water. You can save yourself some grief when lugging the sea water by adding 20 percent tap water from the beginning. Crabs and eels will both survive in brackish water ;)
 

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You want to try a salt water aquarium if you are close to the sea. Put a 10p sized turbot in there and in 6 moths it will be half a pound and feeding from your hand.

Go out to catch the mini fish you need with a drop net or push net or just have a root about under rocks at low water springs. You don't want bigger fish as they are used to swimming with no restrictions and will continuously bang into the glass and you will have a high mortality rate. Amazing the rate they grow at when you give them ample food and take away predation, competition and excersise.

Try to only have one conger but a shoal species like bass or pollack are better in multiples. Amazing what you can learn by watching them, really get inside their heads and I think it helps when you go out with a hook to catch their bigger brothers and sisters.
 

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thanks chris ive got a spare tank just might try that lots of minnie smoothies here at the moment i only live 5 minuetes from the beach:)
 

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If you are keeping smoothies put some crab in there with them and try to get an octopus as well, they go together brilliantly and any crab that finds a hidy hole the octopus will hoover up for you. You will find them on the biggest low water springs at the extreme low water mark under rocks. Or lower a few jam jars on a string off some rocks into deep water and leave it for a week. Pull it up quickly when you collect it. :D
 

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Sounds brilliant.
I don't know if i have room, but I get my own house for the first time next september (rented) with no restrictions (i.e parents) so i want to see if I can get my own supply of peelers going.
I know cod can put on 3lb aq year and that a 3lb fish is jsut 2years old.
It does make me wonder last december i was catching 2oz codling. This April they averaged 12oz, could these be the same fish just bigger?
 

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They would be last years hatch. In the artificial environment of a tank they will double their weight gain. That is why fish farming is so profitable but also so environmentally damaging. Those farmed bass in the supermarket are only 12 months old if that.
 

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Best to use separate filters. I have a couple of powerheds in my tanks but have removed the filter material. They are usd to create a current in the tank, the fish will orientate to swim against it for better water flow over the gills. More natural for them 2.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks Chris. That sounds like some setup you've got there :)
I live near the beach so getting fresh sea water wouldn't be a problem, i could change the filter often as well.
How often would i need to change the filter material (sand)?
 

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Hi guys

Dont want to be the one to put a downer on all your excitement about keeping fish and crabs as pets in tanks at home, i have no objections to keeping fish, but are wea talking of taking them from the natural environment namely the open sea?

I know it sounds petty and there is probably millions of fry in the sea, but if everyone took a small amount............. As for taking bass fry, most people would go mental if you saw someone kill and undersized fish, so what is the difference in taking fry, surely these are undersize.

Everyone has there own opinion and this is mine, no offence to anyone is intended, I just dont think we should take fish from the sea as pets.

:)
 
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