Hermit Crab Killing Fields

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VickieG
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Hermit Crab Killing Fields

Post by VickieG » Mon Jan 13, 2020 5:37 pm

How do I keep my crabs from killing their plants? In the last 6 months they've eaten an entire fern, a sorrel plant (the only one they were supposed to eat!) and a dracaena. They killed a beautiful bromelied by first snapping off the upper 2/3rds and finally by digging the rest out of the planter. They also dug out 2 other succulents and my most recent casualty is an arrowhead plant. They dug out over half the soil and the roots appear to have been clipped off. I think I can replant it, but they're just going to dig it out again. The only plants left are 2 crotons. Either they don't care for the taste of those or they're just biding their time. Lulling me into a false sense of security before killing them.

They seem to like hiding in amongst the leaves and poking through the soil for whatever. Sometimes I put moss on top of the soil for them. I'm fine with the occasional casualty, but my issue becomes what do I replace these plants with? Should I give in and go with another yummy fern or should I try to find a way to limit their access to the soil? The same thing happens when I plant seeds. As soon as they sprout, if they last long enough to do so, they're dead.

I really don't want to use artificial plants. I'd rather just replace the plants, albeit reluctantly, and muttering under my breath.

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Cococrabgirl!
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Re: Hermit Crab Killing Fields

Post by Cococrabgirl! » Mon Jan 13, 2020 6:19 pm

Sorry I don't have advice. But I am curious what succulents are safe for crabbies. My succulents keep multiplying and if they are safe for my crabbies that would be great because I have an infinite supply.

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aussieJJDude
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Re: Hermit Crab Killing Fields

Post by aussieJJDude » Mon Jan 13, 2020 6:25 pm

How is it set up in the tank. I've had great success in keeping the plants up high (away from the crabs usual activities) and others have had great success in covering the pot with large pebbles, rocks or plastic mesh (even eggcrate) to stop the crabs from digging into the planter.

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curlysister
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Re: Hermit Crab Killing Fields

Post by curlysister » Mon Jan 13, 2020 9:58 pm

Aussie made a really great guide to plants!

http://www.hermitcrabassociation.com/ph ... 9&t=120839
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VickieG
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Re: Hermit Crab Killing Fields

Post by VickieG » Wed Jan 22, 2020 5:19 pm

Sorry I haven't responded, it's been a busy month. First, I have the plants all over the tank. Some are in glass containers suction cupped to the sides, up above the water. Others are in planters around the tank. One is on a second level, one is on a platform over the water, and some are positioned just above the substrate. I think putting rocks or shells over the soil might be a good solution. The ones that have live moss on top are disturbed last. I hate to limit their access to all the goodies deep down, but....

Also, as far as succulents go, I went with the theory that if they're ok for other inverts, amphibians and pets, they're most likely fine for the crabs. I used an aloe plant, which isn't toxic to anything, but I planted it in the sand and it eventually rotted from the dampness of the sand. I don't know the names of the other succulents. The store usually doesn't say what they are. They've never tried to eat the succulents, they just dug them up to have the bowl to themselves.

The 1st pic is the fern I originally planted. You can see how popular it was. I thought they liked hiding in the leaves, but instead it was an all-you-can-eat buffet. The next is live moss, which I find on the bottom of the tank about twice a week. On the left of the 3rd, imagine 2 Crotons, because they ate the fern and the dracena. The last one is a pic of the empty bromelied planter.

I guess I should just be happy they seem to enjoy themselves, stop by the nursery on my way home, and call it a day! ImageImageImageImage

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gunstreet.girl
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Re: Hermit Crab Killing Fields

Post by gunstreet.girl » Thu Jan 23, 2020 2:28 pm

VickieG wrote:
Wed Jan 22, 2020 5:19 pm
Also, as far as succulents go, I went with the theory that if they're ok for other inverts, amphibians and pets, they're most likely fine for the crabs. I used an aloe plant, which isn't toxic to anything, but I planted it in the sand and it eventually rotted from the dampness of the sand.
Aloe is in fact toxic to many animals, including common pets (dogs, cats). The majority of commonly-sold-as-houseplant succulents are highly toxic to dogs and cats and other mammalian pets (and humans, too).


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VickieG
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Re: Hermit Crab Killing Fields

Post by VickieG » Thu Jan 30, 2020 11:54 am

Thank you, I didn't know that about aloe. I was under the complete opposite impression. Fortunately, they never bothered the succulents except for hiding behind them or throwing them from the planter. Perhaps it is true that they know better than we do what they can safely eat. I certainly won't be putting anything back in that I'm uncertain of. I'll just let them have their leafy buffets and suck it up!

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gunstreet.girl
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Re: Hermit Crab Killing Fields

Post by gunstreet.girl » Thu Jan 30, 2020 12:08 pm

VickieG wrote:
Thu Jan 30, 2020 11:54 am
Thank you, I didn't know that about aloe. I was under the complete opposite impression. Fortunately, they never bothered the succulents except for hiding behind them or throwing them from the planter. Perhaps it is true that they know better than we do what they can safely eat. I certainly won't be putting anything back in that I'm uncertain of. I'll just let them have their leafy buffets and suck it up!
I wouldn’t have suspected it either, had I not had cats who were/are serial plant-munchers and were I not an avid gardener. Once I started looking into the toxicity of various commonly-sold-as-houseplants (or cut flowers) I was floored. I knew some plants were highly toxic (eg, plants in the lilium family) but I really had no clue about just how many plants could seriously harm or kill my little ones.

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Links
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Re: Hermit Crab Killing Fields

Post by Links » Thu Jan 30, 2020 12:38 pm

What about the aloe in stress coat de-chloronator?


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JoeHermits
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Re: Hermit Crab Killing Fields

Post by JoeHermits » Thu Jan 30, 2020 1:47 pm

jrleath wrote:What about the aloe in stress coat de-chloronator?


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I believe they are referring to the sap of the aloe, which is slightly toxic but can be drained out to harvest the edible flesh.

I am certain that the sap is not used in conditioners.


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gunstreet.girl
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Re: Hermit Crab Killing Fields

Post by gunstreet.girl » Thu Jan 30, 2020 2:12 pm

JoeHermits wrote:
Thu Jan 30, 2020 1:47 pm
I believe they are referring to the sap of the aloe, which is slightly toxic but can be drained out to harvest the edible flesh.

I am certain that the sap is not used in conditioners.
Just to clarify: aloe gel is non-toxic (and, in fact, considered medicinal) to humans and many other animals. The aloe latex is the part considered toxic to many animals (including humans). It’s the yellow-ish juice (or sap, as JoeHermits has called it) which sits just inside the outer flesh/rind of the plant.

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Links
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Re: Hermit Crab Killing Fields

Post by Links » Thu Jan 30, 2020 2:39 pm

Ahhh the old xylem and phloem. Haha I’m a turf idiot.


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