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Changing the Care of Fiddler Crabs

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Male Fiddler Crab

Male Fiddler Crab

Shirlie Sharpe
Improper Care
Fiddler crabs are often improperly cared for in the aquarium trade. Although the problem is primarily due to lack of knowledge, the end result is the same - the crabs are not given the care they require. Fiddlers originate from brackish habitats, and require access to land. However, most of the time they are kept in freshwater tanks with little or no access to the surface. While they can survive for a while, ultimately they will have shortened lifespans.

Like many such issues, consumers feel helpless to effect a change. Fortunately that is not always the case. Recently a consumer was able to bring the issue of Fiddler Crab care forward to a person who was in a position to make a change in a significant way. What follows is his story ...

Making a Change
Recently I bought 2 Fiddler Crabs for my aquarium. After getting them home and wanting to know more about them, I looked them up on-line. Finding the page about them at exoticpets.about.com, I was very displeased about how they live vs. how they are sold. At PetSmart, where I bought them, they were in a regular freshwater aquarium with no surface access. I contacted Dr. Nick, the head vet for Petsmart in Phoenix and told him about my experience (I have since returned the crabs to the store). He told me that he would look in to it.

Imagine my surprise when he called me to tell me that after checking with the supplier in Florida and doing some research that he is implementing a nationwide change at all 750 U.S. PetSmart stores regarding how Fiddler Crabs will be sold. They will now get a salt/fresh water mix and they will be housed in tanks 1/2 full with rocks to climb on. Also the handouts and website care and maintenance page will be updated to reflect the proper care and handling of Fiddler Crabs. Please check your local PetSmart to make sure that they did this where you are. I dropped in mine and they had already implemented the change. You CAN make a difference!
~ Brett

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