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 Post subject: Halloween Crab caresheet
PostPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2006 12:22 am 
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Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2005 12:34 pm
Posts: 45363
Location: south east london uk
Steve Paine.Dip Pi Am Inst Ta (ATS,IHS,FBH,BTS,ESRAS)
Phone : 01273 701708 or 07801 128701
www.tarantulabarn.com email: Steve@tarantulabarn.com
Thanks steve for letting us use these

The Halloween Crab
Gecarcinus quadratus

Introduction to Halloween Land Crabs
The Halloween Crab is like all other crabs actually a crustacean. This particular creature is not aquatic like most crabs but instead lives most of its life on the waters edge where is digs deep burrows in river banks and at night goes foraging through leaf litter. Halloween crabs are a species from Costa Rica and although it is a land living crab it must have access to water in order to keep its lungs wet, if they dry out then the crab will quickly die. Water is also needed for reproduction.

Housing Halloween Crabs
These crabs do not have a large range but instead they patrol their 'patch' on the rivers edge, this is good news for those wishing to keep these fascinating creatures in captivity. A standard 24 x 12 x 15 inch aquarium is fine for up to 2 medium to large sized crabs, keeping more together would result in fighting and probably the loss of at least one of the crabs.
The best way to keep these crabs is to re create the river bank edge where they would be found. This will involve making a sloping bank leading to a 3 inch deep water area.As these crabs need to create a burrow in which to retreat and also shed their exoskeleton the substrate should allow this. Fine aquarium sand or Zoo Med Repti Sand both make excellent substrates and when wet will allow a burrow to be created which will hold its shape.
To keep the water clean you can use a small water filter like a Zoo Med Micro Clean filter, these will filter out any debris. You can also add other things to the water area, I add a few water snails to the water to eat up any uneaten food and also eat any algae that grows.
Temperature for Halloween Crabs
Keeping Rainbow Crabs at the right temperature is very simple. Under the water end of the tank place an 11 x 11 inch heat mat, you wont need to use a thermostat as the water and heat will also be drawn in to the sand area which is unheated. This will create the right temperature in the burrows. If you are going to put a lid on the tank then you WILL need to use a temperature thermostat for the heater otherwise the whole tank may get too hot, set the temperature to 22C.
Feeding Halloween Crabs
Rainbow Crabs are omnivorous and would normally eat whatever washes up on the shoreline or what they find in leaf litter. Commercially available food for hermit crabs is good but also crickets which have been killed, fish flakes, apple, potato and small bits of raw fish will also be taken. You should remove any uneaten food every day as the crabs are intolerant of foul food and it will help prevent bacteria and odors. As these animals have a large need for calcium you should place a chunk of natural cuttle fish bone in the tank at all times, this will allow them to nibble at is as required.
Breeding Halloween Crabs
Halloween crabs are very difficult to breed because they require a large volume of water, this can be saline or brackish. The female releases hundreds of thousands of eggs which once fertilized will hatch and become floating plankton for at least a month. The tiny crustaceans then spend months at the waters edge foraging for minute particles of food.

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