Zebra Hermit Crab (Calcinus sp.)
- Care Level: Easy
- Temperament: Peaceful
- Diet: Omnivore
- Reef Safe: Yes
- Minimum Tank Size: 10 gallons
- Max Size: Up to 1 inch
- Water Parameters: Salinity: 1.023-1.025, Temperature: 72-78°F, pH: 8.1-8.4, Ammonia: 0 ppm, Nitrite: 0 ppm, Nitrate: <20 ppm
Zebra Hermit Crab (Calcinus sp.) – Comprehensive Guide:
The Zebra Hermit Crab is commonly found in the Indo-Pacific region, particularly in the waters around Indonesia, the Philippines, and Australia. They inhabit shallow reef areas with sandy or rocky substrates.
Yes, the Zebra Hermit Crab is considered reef safe. It is not known to harm corals, invertebrates, or other tank inhabitants.
The Zebra Hermit Crab is considered a reef cleaner as it helps to control algae growth in the aquarium. It actively grazes on various types of algae, including hair algae and film algae, which can be beneficial for maintaining a clean and healthy reef environment.
The Zebra Hermit Crab typically grows up to 1 inch in size, making it a relatively small species suitable for smaller saltwater aquariums.
There is no apparent sexual dimorphism in the Zebra Hermit Crab, as males and females look very similar in appearance.
The average lifespan of the Zebra Hermit Crab is around 2-3 years, although with proper care and a suitable environment, they can live longer.
Diet in Aquariums:
The Zebra Hermit Crab is an omnivore and has a varied diet. In the aquarium, it will feed on algae, detritus, uneaten food, and even small meaty foods such as frozen or live brine shrimp. Providing a balanced diet is essential for their overall health and well-being.
The Zebra Hermit Crab is currently aquacultured and readily available to hobbyists. This means that specimens are bred and raised in captivity, reducing the impact on wild populations and ensuring a sustainable source for the aquarium trade.
Compatibility and Tankmates:
The Zebra Hermit Crab is generally peaceful and can be kept with a variety of fish, invertebrates, and corals. However, caution should be exercised when selecting tankmates to ensure they are not overly aggressive or capable of preying on the hermit crab. Some suitable tankmates for the Zebra Hermit Crab include:
- Clownfish: Clownfish are colorful and peaceful tankmates that can coexist with the Zebra Hermit Crab without any issues.
- Snails: Snails like Turbo Snails or Astrea Snails can help with algae control and are compatible with the Zebra Hermit Crab.
- Soft Corals: Many soft corals, such as Zoanthids or Mushroom Corals, can be safely housed alongside the Zebra Hermit Crab.
- Fire Shrimp: Fire Shrimp are known for their vibrant colors and peaceful nature, making them suitable tankmates for the Zebra Hermit Crab.
- Gobies: Certain species of gobies, such as the Watchman Goby or the Clown Goby, can coexist peacefully with the Zebra Hermit Crab.
The Zebra Hermit Crab is generally peaceful and non-aggressive towards other tank inhabitants. They are known for their scavenging behavior and can sometimes be seen carrying empty shells on their backs.
Other Common Names:
The Zebra Hermit Crab is also commonly known as the Dwarf Zebra Hermit Crab or the Zebra-legged Hermit Crab.
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Popular Questions and Answers:
Q: What is the ideal water temperature range for the Zebra Hermit Crab?
A: The Zebra Hermit Crab thrives in water temperatures between 72-78°F.
Q: Can the Zebra Hermit Crab be kept in a nano reef tank?
A: Yes, the Zebra Hermit Crab is suitable for nano reef tanks as it only requires a minimum tank size of 10 gallons.
Q: Does the Zebra Hermit Crab require supplemental feeding?
A: While the Zebra Hermit Crab will graze on algae and detritus, it is beneficial to provide supplemental feeding with small meaty foods like frozen or live brine shrimp.
Q: Can the Zebra Hermit Crab be kept with aggressive fish species?
A: It is generally not recommended to keep the Zebra Hermit Crab with aggressive fish species, as they may become targets for aggression or predation.
Q: How often should the Zebra Hermit Crab’s shells be checked for size suitability?
A: It is important to regularly check the Zebra Hermit Crab’s shell size to ensure it has enough room to grow. If necessary, provide additional empty shells of suitable size for the crab to move into.