An Epic Reef Part 7 – Crab and shrimp saga

An Epic Reef Part 7 – Crab and shrimp saga

This post is part 7 of the epic reef series.

Crab Discovery …

In Part 6, I mentionned that we discovered a surprise crab in our fish tank just before moving everyone to the 90 gallon tank. We could not identify what kind of crab it was, but we decided to keep it on the basis that it had shared the tank for a month with the anemone, the clown fishes, the ppermint shrimp and 5 hermit crabs with almost no incidents (one hermit crab died). We called the crab “Pincette”.

Pincette
Pincette

And Loss

A week after putting everything together in the large tank, we decided to add a lysmata shrimp, a tiger pistol shrimp and a watchman goby (see Part 6 for pictures). Unfortunately, it seemed that the tiger pistol shrimp met the little crab and gave him a hard time. The next day, we found a carapace and a crab claw on the sand bed. I was a little sad and assumed that the pistol shrimp must have killed the little crab as they live in the same area of the aquarium. Can’t stop nature, it’s the circle of life (insert Lion King music here).

New Twist

I enjoyed watching the symbiose going on between the watchman goby and the tiger pistol shrimp for a few days. That little shrimp is so much fun to watch digging!

Pistol Shrimp Happily Digging

Surprise and Mystery

Then, just as I was going to write in Part 6 that the crab was dead, and we would never know what specy it was, Sebonaut tells me to come see: he was looking in a rock hole and found the crab! Well, a crab.

Indeed, is it possible that Pincette simply moulted? Or, was there not one but 2 crabs all along? Mystery… It seemed a bit larger and had both claws, so I lean towards the second hypothesis.

Gorilla Crab?
Gorilla Crab?

An Ominous Finale

According to this video, the claws of a pistol shrimp are very powerful weapons, rendering them able to fight and kill a crab. So we were not wrong to suspect the shrimp for the death of the first crab.

With all this, we became a bit worried about our two small crustaceans and as Sebonaut was lifting a rock to check in on the pistol shrimp, he witness their fight. The mean little crab had cut down both of the pistol shrimp claws! We concluded that this aggessive crab (to which we gave the name “Assassin”) was probably to blame for the death of Pincette. It was time for him to leave the aquarium.

Hunting Down the Culprit

We put in a trap with a piece of frozen raw shrimp to catch that bad crab overnight, but we only caught an hermit crab. However, Sebonaut was lucky the next day to spot the crab outside of his hiding place, and fished it quickly.

Bad Crab
Bad Crab

Final Sentence

This aggressive crab is too much of a danger to the other creatures and just cannot be kept in our tank. Sadly, we had to sentence Assasin to death. Freezing was the least painful way to kill it that we could think of, so we sent the crab in exodus outside, in the harshness of the Canadian winter. RIP.

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