Substrate + live plants questions

This is where you discuss the conditions of your crabitat -- temperature, humidity, substrate, decorating, etc.
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SojMad
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Substrate + live plants questions

Post by SojMad » Mon Dec 19, 2016 8:07 pm

Hello!
I've bought a new aquarium for my hermit crabs and are now planning what to do with it. I want more texture in their substrate this time, and was wondering if adding Exo Terra Forest Bark, Jungle Earth or Rain Forest to the substrate mix is safe for them? If not, what would you use? I've already thought of coco husk, and I'll use some, but it doesn't do much when it comes to absorb water and I want something more. :wink: Sand, plantation soil (cocofiber) and some moss is already a given. ^_^

I'd also like to have some live plants in the crabitat. Are any of these harmful to them;
Philodendron hederaceum/scandens,
Hoya sp.,
Epipremnum Aureum?

Any suggestions on plants that works in a crabitat? The only plant I know for sure is harmless is spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum). :D

Thank you in advance!
C. brevimanus
C. rugosus
C. clypeatus
C. cavipes
C. violascens

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aussieJJDude
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Re: Substrate + live plants questions

Post by aussieJJDude » Tue Dec 20, 2016 2:07 am

I've known a few crabbers to use devils ivy (Epipremnum Aureum) without problems, so I sure they are fine. And if anything, the Philodendron hederaceum could work as well since PP's and the Philodendron have an overlap in its native range.
Some of the plants I have collated over the years are:
- Air plants
- Ferns (not asparagus) (I personally think that Adiantum raddianum or Adiantum venustum would work well! ;) )
- mini palms (Beaucarnea recurvata have been used successfully, but most of the other indoor palms will work IMO)
- bromeliads
- bird seed mix (get a packet of bird seed and sprout it)
- dandelion
- spider plant
- bamboo (not lucky bamboo! Dracaena braunii)

And then also some that a fellow crabber has used successfully, naalide.
- beaucarnea recurvata
- Monstera adansonii
- Saintpaulia ionantha
- orchids (phalaenopsis)
- phoenix canariensis
- Yucca
- philodendron xanadu
- moss

I tend to go with whats reptile safe is crabby safe. Naalide also has a similar view, where she refers to relying on the crabs instincts than worrying if they are toxic in some form.

All the barks are made from fir or pine, which is a touchy subject. Some crabbers have had no illnesses keeping crabs with pine, but in general pine is considered bad due to being toxic to a number of other animals. But one crabber did refer that hermit crabs - I believe either the E or the PP - do live in areas dominated by pine (http://www.hermitcrabassociation.com/ph ... 5&t=101901). But i tend to view the "grey areas" as a no go, but if you want, you could certainly use it. (I personally wouldn't).
If your looking for some texture, mixing a small amount of coconut chips could work well? And dried leaves? Small twigs? (all this will eventually break down as well, so as you replace you will have different sizes of litter.)
Crabs || Fish || Shrimp || Snails || Plants || Insects

25G Nano Freshwater || 64G Freshwater Community || 90G Fancy Goldie Pond || 64G Crabitat
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Re: Substrate + live plants questions

Post by Kermie16 » Tue Dec 20, 2016 8:23 pm

aussieJJDude wrote:I've known a few crabbers to use devils ivy (Epipremnum Aureum) without problems, so I sure they are fine. And if anything, the Philodendron hederaceum could work as well since PP's and the Philodendron have an overlap in its native range.
Some of the plants I have collated over the years are:
- Air plants
- Ferns (not asparagus) (I personally think that Adiantum raddianum or Adiantum venustum would work well! ;) )
- mini palms (Beaucarnea recurvata have been used successfully, but most of the other indoor palms will work IMO)
- bromeliads
- bird seed mix (get a packet of bird seed and sprout it)
- dandelion
- spider plant
- bamboo (not lucky bamboo! Dracaena braunii)

And then also some that a fellow crabber has used successfully, naalide.
- beaucarnea recurvata
- Monstera adansonii
- Saintpaulia ionantha
- orchids (phalaenopsis)
- phoenix canariensis
- Yucca
- philodendron xanadu
- moss

I tend to go with whats reptile safe is crabby safe. Naalide also has a similar view, where she refers to relying on the crabs instincts than worrying if they are toxic in some form.

All the barks are made from fir or pine, which is a touchy subject. Some crabbers have had no illnesses keeping crabs with pine, but in general pine is considered bad due to being toxic to a number of other animals. But one crabber did refer that hermit crabs - I believe either the E or the PP - do live in areas dominated by pine (http://www.hermitcrabassociation.com/ph ... 5&t=101901). But i tend to view the "grey areas" as a no go, but if you want, you could certainly use it. (I personally wouldn't).
If your looking for some texture, mixing a small amount of coconut chips could work well? And dried leaves? Small twigs? (all this will eventually break down as well, so as you replace you will have different sizes of litter.)
Great list!! Would any packet of bird seed mix be safe?


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Re: Substrate + live plants questions

Post by aussieJJDude » Wed Dec 21, 2016 6:38 pm

Kermie16 wrote:Great list!! Would any packet of bird seed mix be safe?
As long as its just seeds, then yeah. Any would work. The millet "stems" that they sell for birds work quite well IMO, so you could just get one and add it to the tank. Some will probably fall off and you may grow a patch of "millet" around the "stem" thing.
Crabs || Fish || Shrimp || Snails || Plants || Insects

25G Nano Freshwater || 64G Freshwater Community || 90G Fancy Goldie Pond || 64G Crabitat
I've never had any problems with 'Impulse Buying'... They're just things I forgot I had planned to get || Self Designated 'HCA Pic Fan' 2012+

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Re: Substrate + live plants questions

Post by Kermie16 » Wed Dec 21, 2016 9:47 pm

aussieJJDude wrote:
Kermie16 wrote:Great list!! Would any packet of bird seed mix be safe?
As long as its just seeds, then yeah. Any would work. The millet "stems" that they sell for birds work quite well IMO, so you could just get one and add it to the tank. Some will probably fall off and you may grow a patch of "millet" around the "stem" thing.
Great! Thanks!


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Re: Substrate + live plants questions

Post by erin.leaman » Mon Jun 05, 2017 9:19 am

aussieJJDude wrote:I've known a few crabbers to use devils ivy (Epipremnum Aureum) without problems, so I sure they are fine. And if anything, the Philodendron hederaceum could work as well since PP's and the Philodendron have an overlap in its native range.
Some of the plants I have collated over the years are:
- Air plants
- Ferns (not asparagus) (I personally think that Adiantum raddianum or Adiantum venustum would work well! ;) )
- mini palms (Beaucarnea recurvata have been used successfully, but most of the other indoor palms will work IMO)
- bromeliads
- bird seed mix (get a packet of bird seed and sprout it)
- dandelion
- spider plant
- bamboo (not lucky bamboo! Dracaena braunii)

And then also some that a fellow crabber has used successfully, naalide.
- beaucarnea recurvata
- Monstera adansonii
- Saintpaulia ionantha
- orchids (phalaenopsis)
- phoenix canariensis
- Yucca
- philodendron xanadu
- moss

I tend to go with whats reptile safe is crabby safe. Naalide also has a similar view, where she refers to relying on the crabs instincts than worrying if they are toxic in some form.

All the barks are made from fir or pine, which is a touchy subject. Some crabbers have had no illnesses keeping crabs with pine, but in general pine is considered bad due to being toxic to a number of other animals. But one crabber did refer that hermit crabs - I believe either the E or the PP - do live in areas dominated by pine (http://www.hermitcrabassociation.com/ph ... 5&t=101901). But i tend to view the "grey areas" as a no go, but if you want, you could certainly use it. (I personally wouldn't).
If your looking for some texture, mixing a small amount of coconut chips could work well? And dried leaves? Small twigs? (all this will eventually break down as well, so as you replace you will have different sizes of litter.)
Saintpaulia ionantha is African Violet. Isn't that on the unsafe foods list?
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Re: Substrate + live plants questions

Post by aussieJJDude » Tue Jun 06, 2017 2:42 am

The Unsafe list is a good guide, and understand your reasoning since the leaves are on the list. In saying that, after some quick googling I couldn't find any results that african voilets are toxic to crabs/insects, however it did mention that the hairy leaves can be irritating... A another quick search found this website that list some common pests which include:
- mites
- pillbugs (isopods)
- springtails

These 3 - among many - are what one can be considered to be biologically similar to crabs, and since these crustaceans/insects eats the plant with no side effects; it would be reasonable and safe to conclude that african violets are safe to grow in the tank. The crabs might snack on them from time to time, but I wouldn't imagine crabs dying from eating the plant.... If anyone finds something on the contrary and african violets are toxic, please share! :D
http://www.ag.auburn.edu/landscape/African_Violets.htm

edit: in saying that, pothos is another plant found on the list, but a few years back pothos and crabs went together on this forum just like "running wheels", pretty much everyone had a pothos stem in their tank! I know that pothos is included since it does secrete calcium oxalates, which can bind to calcium - inhibiting the uptake of calcium for our crabs. In saying that, many crabbers note that their crabs if kept with pothos - or similar toxic plants - they tend not to eat them as readily as other plants; so crabs themselves may be aware of potential dangers and we give them less credit than what is due. :) In saying all that, oxalates are common in many species of plants, and in most cases a body shouLd be able to process them into less harmful substances or eventually will be flushed out of the crabs system.....
Crabs || Fish || Shrimp || Snails || Plants || Insects

25G Nano Freshwater || 64G Freshwater Community || 90G Fancy Goldie Pond || 64G Crabitat
I've never had any problems with 'Impulse Buying'... They're just things I forgot I had planned to get || Self Designated 'HCA Pic Fan' 2012+

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Re: Substrate + live plants questions

Post by LadyJinglyJones » Tue Jun 06, 2017 6:12 pm

aussieJJDude wrote:The Unsafe list is a good guide, and understand your reasoning since the leaves are on the list. In saying that, after some quick googling I couldn't find any results that african voilets are toxic to crabs/insects, however it did mention that the hairy leaves can be irritating... A another quick search found this website that list some common pests which include:
- mites
- pillbugs (isopods)
- springtails

These 3 - among many - are what one can be considered to be biologically similar to crabs, and since these crustaceans/insects eats the plant with no side effects; it would be reasonable and safe to conclude that african violets are safe to grow in the tank. The crabs might snack on them from time to time, but I wouldn't imagine crabs dying from eating the plant.... If anyone finds something on the contrary and african violets are toxic, please share! :D
http://www.ag.auburn.edu/landscape/African_Violets.htm
I mostly agree with this principle, but wanted to table a minor consideration: when we're talking about mites and things, its likely important to consider if the animals prone to eating the plants tend to be generalists or a species (/species-es?) that have evolved locked in the tandem arms-race of pest & prey - like milkweed butterflies on milkweed. I feel like african violets, as house plants, are probably free of mites native to their home range... but globalisation applies to many pests, so I don't know. If generalists are eating it, it likely isn't a problem. Also, isopods seem like a good indicator species.
aussieJJDude wrote:edit: in saying that, pothos is another plant found on the list, but a few years back pothos and crabs went together on this forum just like "running wheels", pretty much everyone had a pothos stem in their tank! I know that pothos is included since it does secrete calcium oxalates, which can bind to calcium - inhibiting the uptake of calcium for our crabs. In saying that, many crabbers note that their crabs if kept with pothos - or similar toxic plants - they tend not to eat them as readily as other plants; so crabs themselves may be aware of potential dangers and we give them less credit than what is due. :) In saying all that, oxalates are common in many species of plants, and in most cases a body shouLd be able to process them into less harmful substances or eventually will be flushed out of the crabs system.....
See, and I would agree with this if I hadn't watched Luis eating plastic. She's some kind of orally fixated psychopath, and I have to be careful about what I put in her tank. But this concern probably doesn't apply to most crabs. :confused:
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Quince the fat tailed gecko; Amazonian minnows; and now Harry & Luis, Bede & Aster, Chandra & Jace, Pax, & Piccolo, my adopted PPs.
RIP Vegita :(

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Re: Substrate + live plants questions

Post by wodesorel » Tue Jun 06, 2017 6:59 pm

Did she swallow the plastic, or just pick at it? Crabs will pick apart a lot of things out of boredom without actually trying to eat it.

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Re: Substrate + live plants questions

Post by LadyJinglyJones » Tue Jun 06, 2017 7:07 pm

I couldn't say if swallowing occurred (I suppose she might have just mashed it up with her mandibles without ingesting it per se), but the claw travelled repeatedly to the visible area of the mouth and there was a lot of movement in there. I decided after a few moments not to allow it to go on, being that I couldn't say what the effect might be on her. It looked the way crabs eating usually does.
"Gaze upon the rolling deep..."
Quince the fat tailed gecko; Amazonian minnows; and now Harry & Luis, Bede & Aster, Chandra & Jace, Pax, & Piccolo, my adopted PPs.
RIP Vegita :(

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