Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Crabs crabs crabs!!!

Not sure if it is because I spent so much of my life in the environs of Baltimore, or because my mother was born under the appropriate zodiac sign, but I do love me some crustaceans!

Or maybe it is just that I have a very "Crabby Patty" attitude some of the time, and I tend to snap at things that might be good to eat!

When the spousal unit was working in AK most of the summer, I was back in MI, where the only live saltwater crabs I saw were at the local aquarium shops.  We bought an emerald crab a couple years back for our saltwater tank, but I think he got eaten by the ravenous snails (who also dispatched an unsuspecting blue spotted sea hare within 24 hours) many moons ago.

So I had a hankering for some crabs other than the ones you can buy frozen in your local seafood emporia here in the landlocked (big lakes don't count) midwest of the US, and when my favorite pet shop [Lou's] had blue legged hermit crabs on sale 10 for $7.99, I had to pick up some to take home!!!  They at least fared better than the feeder fish I was experimenting with in old whiskey barrels in the backyard.  But that is a story for another day.......
[borrowed from]

I did do some research on them before I actually purchased them.  I was also waiting for the new saltwater tanks at Lou's to get firmly established, so that I was fairly certain that the critters living in there were healthy.  My research also indicated that the crabs themselves can be crabby about finding new and bigger places to live, and that they might attack snails and try and take their shells.  To forestall any more death in the saltwater tank, I went thru my extensive seashell collection and found a few good places for crabs that were bulking up, to potentially trade up into.  (Yikes!  Two prepositions next to each other AND ending the sentence......  but I am too lazy to rewrite it now, so it will have to stay that way.)

Instead of the crabs picking on the snails, someone has been eliminating crabs.  I think the likely culprits are either another nasty crab, or the aforementioned bullying snails.  I found a crab carcass in the back of the tank last sunday, and the urchin was making a beeline for that area.  When I looked in the aquarium a few hours later, the crab was gone, and the urchin was taking a  nap on the other side of the tank, just in case it got blamed for the original crab extraction from shell, is what I am thinking it was thinking......

Not really sure how complex the urchin brain is though, so I may be giving it too much credit.

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