Red Leg Hermit Crab (Clibanarius sp.)
Max Size: 1 inch
Reef Compatible: With Caution
Minimum Tank Size: 10 gallons
The Dwarf Red Tip Hermit Crab is a highly active scavenger, making it an excellent addition to the cleanup crew of your marine or reef aquarium, much like its Blue Leg relative. This crab, also known as the Red Tip Hermit Crab, displays omnivorous behavior as it scours your live rock and sand substrate, utilizing its ability to navigate even the narrowest crevices in search of algae and detritus.
Belonging to the genus with equally sized claws, the Red Tip Hermit Crab is sometimes referred to as an "Equal-handed Hermit Crab." It originates from the coastal waters surrounding Mexico and boasts a vibrant red face and legs. In the home aquarium, it thrives best in saltwater reef or fish-only systems with sand substrates, allowing them to forage and dig. The feeding habits of the Dwarf Red Tip Hermit Crab also contribute to sand bed aeration and the growth of beneficial bacteria. It is essential to maintain a well-established system with ample algae and live rock for the crab to graze upon.
As these small members of the Diogenidae family seek refuge in abandoned snail shells of various sizes and shapes, it is important to provide empty shells to accommodate their growth. In situations where algae levels are insufficient, dried seaweed can be offered as a supplement. During the acclimation process, care must be taken to prevent pH shock, as with other invertebrates. Additionally, it is crucial to create an environment free from predators and avoid the use of copper-based medications, ensuring a safe and conducive habitat for these creatures.