Breeding attemt

This area is dedicated to the pioneers who have captive bred crabs, and for those who wish to learn more or attempt it themselves. Also for inquiring about the gender of your crabs.
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LoveTheEarth11
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Breeding attemt

Post by LoveTheEarth11 » Mon Apr 13, 2020 4:48 pm

Hello!
I have a 45 gal bioactive aquarium, and 5 pp's. My ultimate goal is to breed them. (I have already started to see 'guarding' behaviors between my two largest, but it could easily be something else.) Yes, I have fully read Mary Akers's blog and such. She is the one who is inspiring this goal.
I am starting to make an amazon list of supplies needed to rear them, but I have no clue when that will be able to ship due to COVID-19

I understand that they need to be fed constantly, like 3 times a day. I was wondering if this product would work to hatch brine shrimp and feed them to the zoea? https://www.amazon.com/Koller-Products- ... ies&sr=1-4

Also, say the eggs are hatched during quarantine. What do I do then? I have no access to air bubbles to make the rearing tank for Zoea. My neighbor does have brine shrimp eggs (Dead) That I can uses as food, and I bet I can find some from other places as well, but would the Zoea survive without proper aeration? I do have a powerful filter that I could use to aerate the rearing tank... But I don't know how long that would last. (Assuming that we are in quarantine for longer than 2 months, that my female IS gravid, and she successfully spawns her eggs,)

Lastly, is there any tips/ really ANY basic knowledge you guys can give me?


:crabbigsmile:
Thanks!
Last edited by LoveTheEarth11 on Tue Apr 14, 2020 5:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
5 PP hermit crabs: Coconut, Blackberry, Huckleberry, pomoganet, Apricot & Pineapple | Cockatiel: Luna Quaker parrot: kiwi| 1 bearded dragon: Copper | 3 alligator lizards | 2 rats: Latte, Cinder | | 1 crested gecko: Papaya | 200 bettas (I breed) | 164 pacific tree frog tadepoles

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JoeHermits
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Re: Breeding attemt

Post by JoeHermits » Mon Apr 13, 2020 7:32 pm

I personally wouldn’t go through the trouble of hatching unless you’re confidant you can do so, since the shrimp must be eaten within hours of hatching to maintain their nutrition.

I much prefer instant: https://www.amazon.com/Ocean-Nutrition- ... B00176GU32

If you can find it in pet stores you may also consider frozen baby brine shrimp (Hikari Bio-Pure Frozen Baby Brine Shrimp is of good quality).


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LoveTheEarth11
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Re: Breeding attemt

Post by LoveTheEarth11 » Mon Apr 13, 2020 8:44 pm

JoeHermits wrote:
Mon Apr 13, 2020 7:32 pm
I personally wouldn’t go through the trouble of hatching unless you’re confidant you can do so, since the shrimp must be eaten within hours of hatching to maintain their nutrition.

I much prefer instant: https://www.amazon.com/Ocean-Nutrition- ... B00176GU32

If you can find it in pet stores you may also consider frozen baby brine shrimp (Hikari Bio-Pure Frozen Baby Brine Shrimp is of good quality).


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Hello!

Thank you for responding. =) . I have hatched brine shrimp before as a kid. so it shouldn't be too hard.
And are you sure that the Zoea will eat the brine shrimp dead? Otherwise, I would probably use dead, as it is easier.

Thanks!
5 PP hermit crabs: Coconut, Blackberry, Huckleberry, pomoganet, Apricot & Pineapple | Cockatiel: Luna Quaker parrot: kiwi| 1 bearded dragon: Copper | 3 alligator lizards | 2 rats: Latte, Cinder | | 1 crested gecko: Papaya | 200 bettas (I breed) | 164 pacific tree frog tadepoles

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JoeHermits
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Re: Breeding attemt

Post by JoeHermits » Mon Apr 13, 2020 9:13 pm

People have raised them with microalgae and fish fry starter, I don’t think dead is an issue.


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mlakers
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Re: Breeding attemt

Post by mlakers » Sun May 17, 2020 7:57 am

LoveTheEarth11 wrote:
Mon Apr 13, 2020 4:48 pm
Hello!
I have a 45 gal bioactive aquarium, and 5 pp's. My ultimate goal is to breed them. (I have already started to see 'guarding' behaviors between my two largest, but it could easily be something else.) Yes, I have fully read Mary Akers's blog and such. She is the one who is inspiring this goal.
I am starting to make an amazon list of supplies needed to rear them, but I have no clue when that will be able to ship due to COVID-19

I understand that they need to be fed constantly, like 3 times a day. I was wondering if this product would work to hatch brine shrimp and feed them to the zoea? https://www.amazon.com/Koller-Products- ... ies&sr=1-4

Also, say the eggs are hatched during quarantine. What do I do then? I have no access to air bubbles to make the rearing tank for Zoea. My neighbor does have brine shrimp eggs (Dead) That I can uses as food, and I bet I can find some from other places as well, but would the Zoea survive without proper aeration? I do have a powerful filter that I could use to aerate the rearing tank... But I don't know how long that would last. (Assuming that we are in quarantine for longer than 2 months, that my female IS gravid, and she successfully spawns her eggs,)

Lastly, is there any tips/ really ANY basic knowledge you guys can give me?


:crabbigsmile:
Thanks!
Good luck!! I'm so glad that you are inspired by my efforts. Really, that's one of my biggest goals: to get others doing this so we can make a big (hopefully permanent) dent in the capture of wild crabs. Depending on where you are physically located, if you have PPs, you probably won't see mating until June or July. I've watched other people posting about PPs having eggs, and it seems to happen earlier in the summer for people in the warmer south and later for those in the north (like me--my PPs tend to mate in August and September). It's not a hard-and-fast rule, of course, and as far as I've learned, there are no hard and fast rules in this venture but every attempt teaches us something more about the best (and simplest) methods to use. I will be giving a talk at (virtual) Crab Con this year that will offer tip to create the most basic setup--one that has given me the best results. (I promise I am trying to find out how to make this easiest for ALL of us.)

If you can get nannochloropsis, I would recommend you order that. It will keep in the fridge for several months if you agitate it every day (just invert the bottle quickly once a day). Mercer of Montana is where I get mine and the quality has always been good. Shipping is slower now, but they are shipping, so you could order now to have it on hand. You could even culture it if you wanted to make sure you had enough.

I feed Instant Baby Brine shrimp (Ocean Nutrition brand) for the first week or so and it works well. Just be sure not to overfeed. One bottle should last you for the whole spawn-to-land course unless you have multiple spawns to deal with. I also feed spirulina, chlorella, Marine Snow, and a couple of other things used to feed corals (PhytoPlan and Goniopower), but these aren't necessary, especially if you have nannochloropsis. I just like to round out their diet as much as possible, but I'm also trying to get as many to land as possible.

After about a week, they really prefer live brine shrimp--it's also better for them and helps to activate their hunting instinct. You don't really have to worry about having freshly hatched brine shrimp for them every couple of hours. Artemia are most nutritious when they still have the yolk sack, but the larvae will still consume them and will benefit from it. I keep two mason jars going at a time, staggered by start date and every 24 hours I swap the older one out for a fresh jar. I use the San Francisco brand of brine shrimp eggs. Other brands are cheaper, but they don't hatch as well (imo) and they tend to have a lot of dirt/detritus that makes the water gross fast.

Once the larvae make megalopa, they can't easily catch brine shrimp and they will prefer sinking pellets like you feed to shrimp, crayfish, or lobster. You really do need to be careful about offering any of the frozen stuff because it will foul the water quickly. Flitration isn't a great option because the zoeae get sucked into the filter easily and you will likely lose a lot. You definitely need aeration, though. I can't see any way you succeed without an airstone in there with them. Maybe you will be the one to disprove that if you try to raise them without a bubbler, but personally I don't think it will work.

Teeny tiny shells will also be one of your biggest hurdles. At one time I had hoped to be able to offer them to people attempting this, but it's just way too time-intensive for me to do that for others. I can barely find and keep enough on hand for my breeding efforts.

Keep us posted and good luck! If you succeed, I will certify you as an official breeder (if you like) and provide you with the stamp, seal, and digital file to create official application papers that certify that.

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LoveTheEarth11
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Location: Washington

Re: Breeding attemt

Post by LoveTheEarth11 » Mon Jun 01, 2020 2:54 pm

mlakers wrote:
Sun May 17, 2020 7:57 am
Good luck!! I'm so glad that you are inspired by my efforts. Really, that's one of my biggest goals: to get others doing this so we can make a big (hopefully permanent) dent in the capture of wild crabs. Depending on where you are physically located, if you have PPs, you probably won't see mating until June or July. I've watched other people posting about PPs having eggs, and it seems to happen earlier in the summer for people in the warmer south and later for those in the north (like me--my PPs tend to mate in August and September). It's not a hard-and-fast rule, of course, and as far as I've learned, there are no hard and fast rules in this venture but every attempt teaches us something more about the best (and simplest) methods to use. I will be giving a talk at (virtual) Crab Con this year that will offer tip to create the most basic setup--one that has given me the best results. (I promise I am trying to find out how to make this easiest for ALL of us.)

If you can get nannochloropsis, I would recommend you order that. It will keep in the fridge for several months if you agitate it every day (just invert the bottle quickly once a day). Mercer of Montana is where I get mine and the quality has always been good. Shipping is slower now, but they are shipping, so you could order now to have it on hand. You could even culture it if you wanted to make sure you had enough.

I feed Instant Baby Brine shrimp (Ocean Nutrition brand) for the first week or so and it works well. Just be sure not to overfeed. One bottle should last you for the whole spawn-to-land course unless you have multiple spawns to deal with. I also feed spirulina, chlorella, Marine Snow, and a couple of other things used to feed corals (PhytoPlan and Goniopower), but these aren't necessary, especially if you have nannochloropsis. I just like to round out their diet as much as possible, but I'm also trying to get as many to land as possible.

After about a week, they really prefer live brine shrimp--it's also better for them and helps to activate their hunting instinct. You don't really have to worry about having freshly hatched brine shrimp for them every couple of hours. Artemia are most nutritious when they still have the yolk sack, but the larvae will still consume them and will benefit from it. I keep two mason jars going at a time, staggered by start date and every 24 hours I swap the older one out for a fresh jar. I use the San Francisco brand of brine shrimp eggs. Other brands are cheaper, but they don't hatch as well (imo) and they tend to have a lot of dirt/detritus that makes the water gross fast.

Once the larvae make megalopa, they can't easily catch brine shrimp and they will prefer sinking pellets like you feed to shrimp, crayfish, or lobster. You really do need to be careful about offering any of the frozen stuff because it will foul the water quickly. Filtration isn't a great option because the zoeae get sucked into the filter easily and you will likely lose a lot. You definitely need aeration, though. I can't see any way you succeed without an airstone in there with them. Maybe you will be the one to disprove that if you try to raise them without a bubbler, but personally I don't think it will work.

Teeny tiny shells will also be one of your biggest hurdles. At one time I had hoped to be able to offer them to people attempting this, but it's just way too time-intensive for me to do that for others. I can barely find and keep enough on hand for my breeding efforts.

Keep us posted and good luck! If you succeed, I will certify you as an official breeder (if you like) and provide you with the stamp, seal, and digital file to create official application papers that certify that.
Hello!

Sorry for late response.

I am very excited to be attending virtual crab con this year! I'm really glad its going virtual because that means people who are unable to travel across the country (like me) can still attend! :D

I have been trying to prepare their tank and make the best environment possible since it is now officially mating season. I don't know how to do that, so I guess i've just been on top of cycling the pools, keeping the humidity up, and food variation. Is there anything else that you would suggest I do?
To promote breeding?

I just got my first air bubbler (I was using strong filters before) and i've got to say that was expensive/hard to find all the pieces XD. I have noticed the PP's are hanging around the water pools more often, so that is a good sign.

I went to the pet store the other day and picked up some of the San Francisco brand brine shrimp eggs. Ima gonna hatch them and feed them to my betta fry, but I bet i'll still have some left over for the zoea.

I'll make sure to not overfeed. And thank you for all the tips and food recommendations (PhytoPlan, Goniopower, nannochloropsis ETC.)
The craft store in my town has craft shells and I think they are the right size.

I do have a question though.
Will a male about the size of a quarter breed a female a tiny bit smaller then your fist?
Or do I need to get a male the same size as my females?
And what is the youngest size/age they breed at?

Thank you so much! :crabbigsmile:
5 PP hermit crabs: Coconut, Blackberry, Huckleberry, pomoganet, Apricot & Pineapple | Cockatiel: Luna Quaker parrot: kiwi| 1 bearded dragon: Copper | 3 alligator lizards | 2 rats: Latte, Cinder | | 1 crested gecko: Papaya | 200 bettas (I breed) | 164 pacific tree frog tadepoles

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mlakers
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Re: Breeding attemt

Post by mlakers » Tue Jun 16, 2020 12:14 pm

Good conditions are the best thing to encourage mating. Slightly warmer temperatures help, too, but that usually occurs in most summer tanks.

I'm not sure what you purchased as a bubbler, but the smallest air pump, some airline tubing, and an air stone is all you need. The whole thing should have cost only around $10-$15 and can be purchased in any pet store.

The shells in craft stores appear tiny, but the shells you will need should fit under your fingernail. Those craft store shells MIGHT fit them when they are ten months old. I recommend you check Etsy for shells used to make "Sailor's Valentines". The Philippines Melissa shells work well, but they need to be only the very tiniest ones for that first walk out of the water.

I don't know the answer to your question about size vs. breeding. I have one alpha male who breeds with all my females and he is the largest crab in my tank. Other, smaller males are always interested, though, so I would think any size is fine as long as the female agrees to the transaction. I "believe" based on my own experience--but can't verify, because the age of a wild-caught crab isn't knowable--that they *can* reach sexual maturity at roughly 3-4 years of age. That doesn't mean all will. Some of my 2018 babies are almost as big as the adult crabs in my 120 tank, and some are smaller than the 2019 babies, so growth in hermit crabs is something really unusual that needs more study. :)

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