Danys

Danys was the first to breed captive C. clypeatus.

Sadly her website is now gone, which is exactly why I’ve created this website.

You can view the archive of the website using this link:

https://web.archive.org/web/20160502100245/http://naali.de/einsiedler/

Here is an English description from Danys’ website (photos are missing because the website is gone)

In general: Description of my attempts to breed land-living hermit crabs, especially the trials 9 and 10, when some of them made it on land.My tanks: Since September my crabs are living in a big self-build tank, which was extended in 2011. You can see pictures of those connected tanks at ” Terrarium ” (Description is only German).

The size of the area is about 2.4 square yard. The bigger one is about 5.9 foot long, 2.6 foot wide and between 1.5 and 3.9 foot high. This is the “woodland”.

The smaller one is about 3.9 foot long, 1.3 foot wide and 3.9 foot high. This is the “beachside”. This tank is a 2.1 cubic foot saltwater tank (15.8 US gal / 13.2 UK gal).

Both tanks are connected, so the hermits can decided, they like to stay at the beach or in the wood area. In both tanks are small bowls with salt and fresh water.

I use real plants, for a better damp climate, with only one exception.

There are other animals, which share the tank:

Asian geckos ( Hemidactylus frenatus ), batik crabs (Metasesarma obesum), and some time ago a pair of halloween crabs (Gecarcinus quadratus).

 

 

To nurse larvae is difficult and needs a lot of time and commitment, because the larvae live in salt water for some weeks, until they get houses and walk onto beach.The larvae molting several times and this molting, the search for a fitting house and the transition from water to land are difficult phases.

In a small water bowl they suffocate soon, because of the few oxygen. Of the volume of my salt-water tank gifts you a better start.

For the raising of the larvae, I use separate tank.

This is how little larvae look like (enlarged):

 

It seems best for the larvae, if they can float in the water and not sink to the ground.Therefore gyro tanks are perfect. A Keisel tank is a round tank, in which the water circulates.

You can make a gyro-tank become reality in differed ways.

You can use a bucket, cookie or fruit gum boxes to build one on your own.

Or you can buy a Lucite or Perspex tube and cover the ends.

If you have luck, you can get a glass vase like I did (see pictures below).

To circulate the water I use an air tube. The bubbles rotate the water. Another way to make the water flow, is to use a little pump, but that can be dangerous for the larvae.

To heat the water, it’s the simplest way to put the gyro tank into another tank, in which you heat the surrounding water.

Now I only use the glass vases, got five of them! But I still own the others. Anyway, you never know, how much larvae you get. 😉

The following pictures gives you an impression of the tanks I used before.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Parameters:The concentration of the saltwater should be between 1,022-1,026. Most likely the same, which you use in your salt-water dish. It’s bad for the larvae if the concentration of the salt-water changes.

1.025 is a salinity of 3.5% (35 g / L, or 599 mM) .

The temperature should be between 24-26 ° C (75.2-78.8 ° F). In fact, in my last successful breeding. Because of the hot weather the temperature had been 30 ° C (86 ° F). The mortality rate is higher the higher the temperature grows. Over a long term it’s better to adjust the temperatures I mentioned in the first line.

In earlier tries I used light in the night to prevent the larvae from sinking to the ground of the tank. But since the rotation in the glass vases are almost perfect, I did not use extra light in my last tries.

I feed the larvae form my hermits with freshly hatched larvae from brine shrimp (Artemia salina ).

The picture shows freshly hatched brim shrimp between some hermit larvae:

 

I With clear salt-water you should daily change 20-50% with new salt-water, because it’s getting dirty very fast. In clear salt-water should not be more than 50 larvae per liter.Using algae like Nannochloropsis salina in a higher concentration (the water look green) helps to stabilize the water. The amount of larvae can bee much higher and the period in which the water has refreshed is much longer.

But anyway, it’s always good to know the exact water-parameters of use regular fish-keeping tests.

Keisel tanks with various concentrations of algae and some larvae in “green-water”:

Development of my larvae (trial 10):For pictures of the different tanks, mentioned in the following text, see below.

Day 1 (06 | 25 | 2015): approximate 15,000-20,000 larvae

Day 7: high loses in the clear salt-water, still approx. 15,000 larvae, most of them in stage zoea 2

Day 10: stage zoea 2 and zoea 3, about 12,000 larvae

Day 13: stage zoea 3 and the first zoea 4, about 9,000 larvae

Day 16: first zoea 4, about 8,000 larvae

Day 18: first zoea 5, approximate 7,000 larvae

Day 20: first megalopa – unfortunately dead!

Day 21: counting the larvae of two tanks and those of the other tank: still 5,000 larvae, 5 megalopas moved to the separate reef tank.

Day 22: 13 more megalopas

Day 23: 21 more megalopas

Day 24: 40 more megalopas

Day 25: 45 more megalopas

Day 26: 63 more megalopas

Day 27: 15 more megalopas (together 202 so far), silent 2058 larvae left (counted)

Day 28: Now the new megalopas stay in the gyro tanks. First megalopas are interested in shells / houses.

Day 37: 3 megalopas in houses transferred to a water-land transition tank

Day 38: One animal seen on land! 23 more megalopas in houses transferred to the transition tank. All megalopas from the gyro tanks moved to the reef tank.

Day 39: 12 more megalopas in houses transferred to the transition tank.

Day 40: 3 more megalopas in houses transferred to the transition tank.

Day 41: 8 miniature crabs, which stayed on land, transferred to a separate small tank. 3 more megalopas in houses transferred to the transition tank.

Day 42: 12 miniature crabs, which stayed on land, transferred to the separate small tank. 4 more megalopas in houses transferred to the transition tank.

Day 43: 3 megalopas more megalopas in houses transferred to the transition tank.

Day 44: 2 miniature crabs, which stayed on land, transferred to the separate small tank. 4 more megalopas in houses transferred to the transition tank.

Day 45: 3 miniature crabs, which stayed on land, transferred to the separate small tank. 1 more megalopa in a house transferred to the transition tank.

Day 46: one miniature crab, which stayed on land, transferred to the separate small tank.

Day 47: 3 more megalopas in houses transferred to the transition tank.

Day 48: 4miniature crabs, which stayed on land, transferred to the separate small tank.

Day 50: 2 more megalopas in houses transferred to the transition tank. 2 miniature crabs, which stayed on land, transferred to the separate small tank.

Day 52: 1 more megalopa in a house transferred to the transition tank.

Day 54: 2 miniature crabs, which stayed on land, transferred to the separate small tank. 1 more megalopa in a house transferred to the transition tank.

Day 55: 3 miniature crabs, which stayed on land, transferred to the separate small tank. 1 more megalopa in a house transferred to the transition tank.

Day 58 (09 | 21 | 2015): One last megalopa without a house (!) Transferred to the transition tank.

Total all for now:

40 little crabs on land and at least 8 in the transition tank.

10 | 20 | 2015: Still 24 little hermits are living on land and develop well.

11 | 25 | 2015: It’s certain that they are C. clypeatus (PPs, Purple Pincher)!