Saltwater Aquarium Crabs for Marine Reef Aquariums: Staghorn Hermit Crab
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Staghorn Hermit Crab
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Staghorn Hermit Crab (Manucomplanus varians)
Additional locales and sizes may be available!

Quick Stats

Care Level Difficult
Temperament Peaceful
Diet Herbivore, Plankton Eater
Reef Compatible Yes
Water Conditions 72-78° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.023-1.025
Max. Size 2"
Origin Mexico
Family Paguridae
Lighting Low
Supplements Calcium, Magnesium, Strontium, Trace Elements
Waterflow Medium
Compatibility View Chart
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The Staghorn Hermit Crab, sometimes called the Antler Hermit, or Coralhouse Hermit Crab is an unusual crab that requires specialized care by the more advanced hobbyist, and is well suited for the biotope or DSB (deep sand bed) refugium. These hermits are found along the reef faces and coral rubble zones throughout the Indo-Pacific. They scavenge animal matter and algae.

The Staghorn Hermit Crab lives in a branching shell that is covered with hydroids and bryozoans. The crab itself is a hardy companion for the aquarium, but the shell that it resides in requires specialized care. This shell has multiple branches that resemble the branching SPS coral Acropora. Because of its shell, this crab may not be able to right itself if it were to fall on its back, and will be stung and damaged by corals and anemones in the reef aquarium.

Staghorn hermits are best kept in a biotope system with other filter feeding invertebrates, or in a refugium where the hydroids and bryozoans on its shell can be fed properly with types of live or prepared plankton foods. The biotope system or refugium is an ideal location due to the fact the shell must not come in contact with stinging corals and anemones. The crab itself will graze on algae, and if there is an insufficient supply to eat, supplement the diet with offerings of dried seaweed.

Approximate Purchase Size: 3/4"-1-1/2"

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