New Crabitat (Pics) - Curious if this has been done before.

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CrabberCuber
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New Crabitat (Pics) - Curious if this has been done before.

Post by CrabberCuber » Mon Apr 09, 2018 3:09 pm

Hello fellow crabbers! Year long lurker here. I just recently put together a new habitat for my guys going from a 15 gallon to a 75 gallon. I think I have a unique approach to pools that I want to share. This tank took 1 year to research and meditate on and 6 weeks to actually put together. I am still doing minor decorating and monitoring before transferring my guys, but too excited not to share now. I'd love to hear your input and I'll answer any questions anyone has. I'm here to contribute and I hope this pool design is something that the community can use and further mature.

Please view my detailed album - 95 pictures!

I'm calling this "Infinite Paradise"
https://imgur.com/a/hCDh3
~CrabbyCuber
Last edited by CrabberCuber on Wed May 30, 2018 11:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

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LadyJinglyJones
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Re: New Crabitat (Pics) - Curious if this has been done befo

Post by LadyJinglyJones » Mon Apr 09, 2018 4:47 pm

That's really a neat build.

Just curious - apart from not wanting to change the water constantly, is there a reason you wanted to go with a sw filtration sump?
"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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Re: New Crabitat (Pics) - Curious if this has been done befo

Post by wodesorel » Mon Apr 09, 2018 5:50 pm

The reason why no one does pool dividers is that they will fail, possibly in a week, possibly in a couple of years, flooding the rest of the tank and potentially drowning any molters. Plexi dissolves silicon over time creating epic massive failures, and new silicon does not bond with old silicon so even if glass is used, the edges where the tank was originally sealed are a failure point.

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Hermie225
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Re: New Crabitat (Pics) - Curious if this has been done befo

Post by Hermie225 » Mon Apr 09, 2018 5:51 pm

Wow! Those pools are awesome, very creative. Love the big piece of cholla wood too .


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CrabberCuber
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Re: New Crabitat (Pics) - Curious if this has been done befo

Post by CrabberCuber » Tue Apr 10, 2018 7:52 am

That's really a neat build.

Just curious - apart from not wanting to change the water constantly, is there a reason you wanted to go with a sw filtration sump?
I'm am very new to building aquarium environments in any fashion this is my second go at anything like this. I've never dealt with salt water or filtration and this whole this is an experiment in attempt to solve some problems I saw with my smaller, first tank (15 gallon). I really get tired of changing water out of tupperware with a turkey baster. being new to this, it may work and it may not, and im positive it'll change over time as I fine tune. I'm a natural problem solver and this type of thing is stimulating and sometimes stressful(good stress) figuring out unique solutions to problems. From my research into this stuff over the past year, and I mean almost obsessively, I saw that many advanced aquarists have completely custom setups where they've done something unique to solve their issues within their set ups and its always evolving. I love to tinker, so this is a good hobby for me.

Thanks for the reply and kind words :)
The reason why no one does pool dividers is that they will fail, possibly in a week, possibly in a couple of years, flooding the rest of the tank and potentially drowning any molters. Plexi dissolves silicon over time creating epic massive failures, and new silicon does not bond with old silicon so even if glass is used, the edges where the tank was originally sealed are a failure point.
The dividers in the main tank are of 1/4" annealed glass and sealed in place with 100% type 1 silicone. There is no plexi or acrylic in the actual tank. The two pieces are perpendicular to each other. The substrate weight is against the one side of one piece (going front to back) and I have another piece of glass on the other side (perpendicular to it) that is supporting the other way which runs to the outside wall of the aquarium that is 3/8" Glass. So structurally I don't see where it would fail, but I'm new so its possible I missed something and it does. It'll be a hard learned lesson. But I feel confident that the main tank will not have any trouble for years to come.

As for the sumps, I used 1/4" Cell cast Acrylic. If those fail, I drain them, pull them out and redo them using an Aquarium adhesive rather than type 1 sealant, something i learned about AFTER putting them together the second time! first time I was a **** and used type 2 not realizing it till after the fact.

Thanks for critique. :) I welcome those as well as praise. We cant grow and learn without knowing what we are doing wrong and this will not be my last tank. I love watching and raising these little guys. I have dreams of some day doing something massive, in-wall, but that's going to have to wait years as I tinker and figure out what works. I want to see my little guys grow into Jumbos!
Wow! Those pools are awesome, very creative. Love the big piece of cholla wood too .
Thank You! :)


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Re: New Crabitat (Pics) - Curious if this has been done befo

Post by ErikRasmussen » Sun Apr 22, 2018 12:50 am

wodesorel wrote:The reason why no one does pool dividers is that they will fail, possibly in a week, possibly in a couple of years, flooding the rest of the tank and potentially drowning any molters. Plexi dissolves silicon over time creating epic massive failures, and new silicon does not bond with old silicon so even if glass is used, the edges where the tank was originally sealed are a failure point.

I can attest to this. I had a pool divider and i constantly tested it each water change to see if it had busted yet. It took about 9 months before I went back to separate pools

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Re: New Crabitat (Pics) - Curious if this has been done befo

Post by aussieJJDude » Sun Apr 22, 2018 2:35 am

Ive always wanted to do something similar... Id love to hear how it goes a few months down the line!

I would watch out for the bamboo, the freshwater one in particular may mould and rot... likewise, since the mesh is so small, you may find that through capillary action sw may go to fw... (or vise versa.)

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Re: New Crabitat (Pics) - Curious if this has been done befo

Post by CrabberCuber » Mon Apr 23, 2018 9:27 am

ErikRasmussen wrote:
wodesorel wrote:The reason why no one does pool dividers is that they will fail, possibly in a week, possibly in a couple of years, flooding the rest of the tank and potentially drowning any molters. Plexi dissolves silicon over time creating epic massive failures, and new silicon does not bond with old silicon so even if glass is used, the edges where the tank was originally sealed are a failure point.

I can attest to this. I had a pool divider and i constantly tested it each water change to see if it had busted yet. It took about 9 months before I went back to separate pools
I have a feeling some of you aren't understanding the pool construction. The pools are actually the kritter keepers. At anytime i can turn off the sumps, drain the water that collects at the bottom before being drained and just use the pools as is - supported by egg crate. Only difference is that my pools aren't sitting on the substrate like many crabitats I have seen. I have read where some people have had issues with some of their bigger crabs displacing a lot of the water in the pool when they submerge and this can lead to a flood. You can only imagine the trouble you can have if the pool overflows into your substrate. With this in mind i wanted to partition off a section for the pools and design something that is meant to overflow. The partitions are 1/4" annealed glass siliconed in place (solid beads and a 2 week cure) and I don't have any worry that it will fail, first they are not acrylic (which has been mentioned as bad) and they stayed in place by themselves before any silicone touched them. Maybe I'll be proven wrong, but I'm willing to take the risk to try and solve some issues many crabbers have in regards to pools, avoiding a flood and providing a constant fresh, clean supply of water. Most of us just put water in a container and add bubblers. I think the quality in this setup goes away quite fast. Does anyone know how long water takes to go stale? We have no idea how fast the ammonia builds in there or how long the water quality stays high enough to entice our little guys - let alone be good for them.

Thanks for the heads up on the bamboo. I will have to keep an eye on that. If/when this becomes an issue, I will probably have to silicone in some acrylic pieces to support the mesh floor. This has also been a concern of mine that I've been watching.

As for the mixing, this was an issue early on and since been tightly monitored after some minor adjustments. I do have a plan B if this becomes a problem. For the time being I pay attention to the sump levels. if there is mixing, one will end up with more water while the other drains far faster than natural evaporation, which right now is pretty high becasue I haven't made lids for the sumps yet - its around 1/4 gal a day. I'm in Michigan and the air is really really dry right now - I expect this to drop as it gets warmer and more humid with summer approaching. I think my house is around 35%, so it pulls a lot of water from this tank. On top of monitoring the sump water level, i also test salinity on both pools with a refractometer to ensure my fresh isn't getting salty or the salt losing salinity. I have been testing every 2-3 days and keeping a log. I log temp, salinity, ammonia, PH, nitrites and nitrates on both pools. i also check under the stand to make sure i don't have water collecting under the tank. the stand is completely dry inside where the sumps are which is why i think that water is just being pulled out by my dry winter home.

I appreciate the critiques. Hopefully they can lead to better designs, or new ideas. My point here is just to let those reading know that I'm trying something new and that I don't know what will happen, but based on what i have seen, to date, with most, is that the pool solution needs work, IMO. Some of you are probably OK with doing regular water changes every couple of days, But i personally got tired of the turkey baster and was ready to try something new and slightly risky to maybe lead to a better pool solution that makes this area easier to maintain and keep in the highest quality for our lovely little creatures.


Hermit Mom
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Re: New Crabitat (Pics) - Curious if this has been done befo

Post by Hermit Mom » Sat May 12, 2018 1:32 pm

I'm wondering, how big are the crabs that will be housed in this tank? Will they go down in those pools of water?

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Re: New Crabitat (Pics) - Curious if this has been done befo

Post by LadyJinglyJones » Sun May 13, 2018 11:17 am

I did ammonia testing in one of my fw pools for a couple weeks - I found that the first week it took four days before the ammonia went up (and then it spiked pretty hard, but because a couple of isopods had wandered in & drowned). The next week the crabs were all about dragging stuff into the pools it seemed, and most days I had to change the water after two days max. Ammonia correlated pretty closely with visible icky stuff, though there was one instance of clear water/no debris and a high ammonia reading. But it wasn't much of an experiment because I gave up after the exceptionally messy second week, lol. Testing water that's obviously fouled seemed pointless.

If you have isos you'll likely still want to get the turkey baster out when they fall in (they arent terribly clever :( ). Rotting animals (even wee ones) are nitrate factories.
"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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Re: New Crabitat (Pics) - Curious if this has been done befo

Post by soilentgringa » Sun May 13, 2018 5:15 pm

Kritter keepers tend to become brittle and crack easily.

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Re: New Crabitat (Pics) - Curious if this has been done befo

Post by soilentgringa » Sun May 13, 2018 5:16 pm

IMO pools like this just take away digging and molting space from the crabs.



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CrabberCuber
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Re: New Crabitat (Pics) - Curious if this has been done befo

Post by CrabberCuber » Mon May 14, 2018 3:24 pm

LadyJinglyJones wrote:I did ammonia testing in one of my fw pools for a couple weeks - I found that the first week it took four days before the ammonia went up (and then it spiked pretty hard, but because a couple of isopods had wandered in & drowned). The next week the crabs were all about dragging stuff into the pools it seemed, and most days I had to change the water after two days max. Ammonia correlated pretty closely with visible icky stuff, though there was one instance of clear water/no debris and a high ammonia reading. But it wasn't much of an experiment because I gave up after the exceptionally messy second week, lol. Testing water that's obviously fouled seemed pointless.

If you have isos you'll likely still want to get the turkey baster out when they fall in (they arent terribly clever :( ). Rotting animals (even wee ones) are nitrate factories.
I don't have any Isopods in this tank. But this past weekend, on Saturday, I added a few ghost shrimp. so far they seem to be doing fine. I've been testing regularly and tonight I going to do another one. I have been using SeaChem products like Stabilize, Prime and Neutral Regulator - added to the sump while the guys are sleeping. I have some pretty beefy filters on these pools, so i don't expect to get to big of spikes. Talking a 10 gallon sump for a 1 gallon pool. I would assume its going to get less extremes being a 10 gallon system versus a stand alone 1 gallon pool without a filter. The way the water flows, they are somewhat self cleaning, especially if the detritus is buoyant to any degree. It eventually skims right over the top and into another chamber and that's before it has a chance to get sucked in the drain where I have filter floss media, bio media and a bubble trap.
soilentgringa wrote:Kritter keepers tend to become brittle and crack easily.

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For the price, if it cracks i have no worry. I just replace it. There is no risk of water getting in the substrate in the event a pool cracks and start leaking. I'm fine replacing them every year if that's what it takes. But I would assume it'll take much longer. i still have Kritter Keepers purchased years ago that still seem and feel fine. One i use as a temporary transport or iso tank.
soilentgringa wrote:IMO pools like this just take away digging and molting space from the crabs.



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I would agree. But this is a big reason I went with a 75 gallon tank. Right now I only have 6 guys in there, and they are doing great. They have PLENTY of room for digging. The reason i separated the pools like I did was because i would have guys burrow right next to them, in the old tank, getting substrate into the pool, making a bridge for water to wick out. Also had a couple close calls where they would dig under them and want to try and come up right under, risking a complete dump.

I have 11 inches of substrate and the foot print is 36"x18". That's more area than most people's entire crabitats. that's virtually filling a 30 breeder with all substrate. Right now, with the pools, I have over 10 gallons of space for each crab.
Hermit Mom wrote:I'm wondering, how big are the crabs that will be housed in this tank? Will they go down in those pools of water?
Here are some pictures. They have no issue getting in and out. Ive been watching them use it quite a bit. unplanned bonus is the way the ramps sit, it works for the crabs that the farther they go out, the deeper they get in without actually going all the way in. They can fully submerge without ever letting go. I really love how its turned out. I will try and get video some time of them using it. and share it here.

Full night shot - https://imgur.com/WQlHN8X

Pools close up (current) - https://imgur.com/7xLnBTq

Pools right after adding the mesh ramps - https://imgur.com/y7wKzlo

Action shot! - https://imgur.com/7D0jzNd

Food Bin - https://imgur.com/PEgpPNS (to show the variety these guys get. This has since been filled completely with different dry items)

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