I found a way to keep sand bubbler crabs in captivity, will it work?

BRS

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The crabs will make sand balls around there burrow. When the tide starts coming up, the crabs will bury themselves into the burrow so only there eyes and antennas are showing. When the tide comes up the sand balls around the burrow will catch phytoplankton, the crabs will pass the sand balls through there mouth and catch the phytoplankton off the sand balls to eat. Because of this people think keeping them is impossible, well I think otherwise.

I thought maybye I could have a rank that's half sand half water. I will pour some phytoplankton into the water, then slowly pour more water in the aquarium so that its like the tides coming up, I will pour more phytoplankton into the water, the sand balls should catch onto the phytoplankton then the crab will do the rest of the work. I will feed in the mourning. I'll then remove half the water 10 minutes later so the tides low again. Do you think its worth a try?
 
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It seems like it would be difficult to keep the parameters of the water low; nitrates, ammonia, since the sand will need to be fairly deep.
Thats true, ill have to wash or replace the sand every once in a while
 

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I'm not sure that the high low tide + add plankton will properly supply the sand balls with only a ten minute high tide? I presume they are fairly easy to acquire for you, so why not give this a try and see if you can?

Also, who is going to watch the tank when you are on vacation?
 
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I'm not sure that the high low tide + add plankton will properly supply the sand balls with only a ten minute high tide? I presume they are fairly easy to acquire for you, so why not give this a try and see if you can?

Also, who is going to watch the tank when you are on vacation?
Usually my grandmother looks over my aquariums, she used to have a 100 gallon tank with neon tetras and angelfish and she's great at keeping my 22 gallon and 3 gallon safe on vacation.
 

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Experimentation is the reason why we can keep anything today. Give it a shot if you feel up to it and these animals are something you can easily acquire. It definitely sounds possible but will more than likely require a lot of unforseen adjustments along the way.
 
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I’m by no means an expert, but if the goal is to replicate the tide, couldn’t you set the water level just below the sand, then have a wavemaker on a timer that sends a wave over the top of the sand every so often? You could even set it so that it’s only on for a few hours a day to more closely imitate natural high tide/low tide schedules.

(If you do try this, let us know how it goes - I only found out about sand bubbler crabs a few months ago, but they are fascinating little creatures and I’d love to be able to keep them.)
 

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I’m by no means an expert, but if the goal is to replicate the tide, couldn’t you set the water level just below the sand, then have a wavemaker on a timer that sends a wave over the top of the sand every so often? You could even set it so that it’s only on for a few hours a day to more closely imitate natural high tide/low tide schedules.

(If you do try this, let us know how it goes - I only found out about sand bubbler crabs a few months ago, but they are fascinating little creatures and I’d love to be able to keep them.)
So you could create a phytoplankton culture to feed your reef and feed your crabs. That would be pretty cool. I would love to have some crabs like that.
 
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Experimentation is the reason why we can keep anything today. Give it a shot if you feel up to it and these animals are something you can easily acquire. It definitely sounds possible but will more than likely require a lot of unforseen adjustments along the way.
I'm willing to put effort and commitment into this, and who knows, maybye one day sand bubbler crabs will be popular aquarium creatures
 
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I’m by no means an expert, but if the goal is to replicate the tide, couldn’t you set the water level just below the sand, then have a wavemaker on a timer that sends a wave over the top of the sand every so often? You could even set it so that it’s only on for a few hours a day to more closely imitate natural high tide/low tide schedules.

(If you do try this, let us know how it goes - I only found out about sand bubbler crabs a few months ago, but they are fascinating little creatures and I’d love to be able to keep them.)
Honesly I think your onto something, try this and maybye they will become popular pets to keep. If you do want to try this, make sure you use wild sand from the beach, as they prefer it from store bought sand, the like a tempriture of 75 degrees farenhight and feed 1 time a day. Also make sure there not in direct sunlight.
 

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Honesly I think your onto something, try this and maybye they will become popular pets to keep. If you do want to try this, make sure you use wild sand from the beach, as they prefer it from store bought sand, the like a tempriture of 75 degrees farenhight and feed 1 time a day. Also make sure there not in direct sunlight.
I would love to give it a try, but I have not been able to find sand bubbler crabs at all in the US, and I’m currently on something of a budget (so I wouldn’t be able to special order them through a retailer at the moment).
 
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I would love to give it a try, but I have not been able to find sand bubbler crabs at all in the US, and I’m currently on something of a budget (so I wouldn’t be able to special order them through a retailer at the moment).
Thats true, sand bubbler crabs are found in the pacific region, I live in Sydney so there EVERYWERE. When you can get a few, they like to be in groups of 2+, so get at least 2.
 

PeterLL

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Why not use a peristaltic pump on a timer to replicate the tide?
Have the main tank and a secondary tank with salt water where you could potentially dose the phytoplankton into. Have the peristaltic put the water into the main tank from the secondary tank to simulate rising tide, and then have another pump running in the reverse to remove the water again. Have this on 2 cycles a day to have a somewhat realistic tide simulation?
Just a thought
 

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Just a follow up note for anyone interested: I don’t have a tank at the moment, so I can’t try sand bubbler crabs yet (though I likely will once I get a tank up and running), but I did find a store with a waiting list for a species of sand bubbler crab (Dotilla myctiroides, aka Soldier Crabs) that (to my knowledge) is available for people in the US. For anyone interested, here’s the link:
It was a different species (and genus) then the one I had looked for previously, so I was unable to find it earlier.
 

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I was just sitting on the beach in mazatlan and see these little sand bubbler crabs all over. So reef 2 reef here I come. I saw your post. I do think that you might be on to something. I feel like in order for this to work properly, you would need a minimum of two tanks to make it work Right and a very programmable gyre type pump. I feel like you could set up your main display with the sand and the water/waves like the ocean. And then your other tank is just full of water. You could use a ATO in each tank to act as the tide. Have it slowly pump water from tank B into display tank A. As the tide comes in you add more water and increase the power on your wave pump. As the tide goes out you have another ATO that pumps water out back to the other tank. In the mean time you could set up the non display tank B with your heater and throw a filter on it and such. Just use your two ATOs to act as your high and low tide, just moving water back and forth from each tank. Using the gyre pump to control your level of wave during the tide. If you wanted to take it one step further, you could add a third ATO in tank B as a actual ATO with fresh RODI water. That is the only way I could really think of this working in such a way that would some how replicate some form of tide. With that said, tides are different each and every day. They come in and go out at different times, and the amount of water that comes in and goes out is different from day to day as well. So unless you had a really good way to set all that up, I think the best thing you could hope for is a high and low tide either ever 12 or every 24hrs. I definitely think it is do able. If you would be able to keep the bubbler crabs or sand fleas alive is another thing. I would love to follow your progress and see what you end up trying and how it works. Hope you keep us updated.
 
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