What makes a colony?

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Emily
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Location: B.C. Canada

What makes a colony?

Post by Emily » Sun Mar 22, 2015 3:31 am

Tank size notwithstanding (let's assume we are in a fairy world where tanks are free and you can get the size you want!), what number do you find is ideal for a functional colony? Is a simple 2-4 crabs enough? Or do you find that having 12+ hermit crabs makes a difference? What are your experiences?

I'm a returning crabber thinking about starting up again. I like to leave lots of room for my crabs, so I am thinking of getting only two this time. I'm curious to see what people think about colony sizes.
Returning crabber. Used to own 7 crabs.
5 PP's and 2 Ruggies. <3

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wodesorel
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Re: What makes a colony?

Post by wodesorel » Sun Mar 22, 2015 5:02 am

The longest lived crabs are the ones usually kept in pairs. I personally don't see anything wrong with keeping only two. :) They'll be easier to care for, and there will be less to worry about with a smaller number of crabs. Big colonies are a labor of love, and most of us with a crazy numbers of crabs did it because there was no one else to take in local adoptions, not because we said "we want all these hermits!". Having a huge colony is not for everyone. I also don't think having a massive amount of crabs has much of an effect on the behaviour of the crabs - there's just more of them to watch so they seem to be more active.


Topic author
Emily
Posts: 43
Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 2:52 am
Location: B.C. Canada

Re: What makes a colony?

Post by Emily » Sun Mar 22, 2015 10:54 am

Hey Wode, can I ask what is the longest you've been able to keep a hermie alive in captivity? I remember that you have excellent husbandry and the pics from your tanks were always top rate.
Returning crabber. Used to own 7 crabs.
5 PP's and 2 Ruggies. <3

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wodesorel
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Re: What makes a colony?

Post by wodesorel » Sun Mar 22, 2015 1:30 pm

I got Goji - my first hermit crab - in September 2009, and he just went down to molt for the fourth time last month. So long as he comes up again, it'll be 6 years on Labor Day. :) Hannibal we got just a couple of months after Goji, and he's king of the tank right now while Goji is gone. One-Eye we brought home in... 2010? He's still around, too. The biggest crabs in the tank are the ones I can recognize on sight - the smaller ones I have no idea which ones are which so I can't say for sure how long they've been with me, but I'm pretty sure most of my original crew is still here. The crab I have that's been in captivity the longest is one of three that I adopted from an HCA member two years ago, and she had him for 8 years prior to that. There are four more that I adopted a year ago from a somewhat local gentleman who was not an HCA member but who did everything right, and he had them for something like 7 or 8 years.

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