A quick 10 gallon paludarium for crabs

On November 5th last year, I decided to put together a quick and dirty paludarium as a grow out for a handful of Red Devil crabs I had caught from my main tank. The tank’s been really easy to care for, and is way more pleasure than work, so I thought I’d share some photos of the build and growth.

I used materials I had left over from previous projects: plastic eggcrate, window screen, some driftwood and gorilla glue, some left over ecocomplete cichlid substrate, the end of a bag of ABG mix. And I inserted a Grow Panel as the back wall to give myself an extra step up and pocket of soil, up off the waterline.

It was a really quick and simple build. I threw together a false bottom with eggcrate and zip ties. I wrapped it in window screen and attached with zip ties. It was placed into the tank, and the driftwood was attached with dabs of gorilla glue. Leaf litter was added to hide excess glue and cover some corners where the window screen would be left exposed.

Once the glue had set, I added the ABG mix behind the driftwood, and added the eco complete around the edges of the land, trailing into the water area and forming the underwater substrate. The whole process only took 3 hours from start to finish.

I added moss and plant trimmings from my other tanks, and topped it with leaf litter. The substrate was seeded with isopods and spring tails using soil from an existing tank. I added about 9 tiny baby crabs over the first week.

I mist the tank 2 or 3 times a week at the most, and feed fruit flies and bits of crab pellets, repashy soilent green, banana, and frozen blood worms two to three times a week. The crabs are shy, I rarely see them. But I do know they are there, they’ve made clear burrows, have favorite hunting spots and hides. I think they hide more in smaller enclosures. They seem to have very keen eyesight at this age, and hide when I move at my desk, over 6 feet away.

Tagged : , , by mellowvision on April 9th, 2014 Comments (2)

2 Responses to “A quick 10 gallon paludarium for crabs”

  1. Yolanda Jones Says:
    June 4, 2014 at 3:56 pm

    Really useful to see this; I’m planning on getting my vampire crabs in the autumn and I’m currently researching suitable habitats. I have one or two questions though; does the water require heating? Also, you mention misting the environment – can this be done with a normal household plant spray? Also, does sand make a suitable substrate at all or should I steer clear? My rough idea at the moment is to have no more than a couple of inches of water (de chlorinated and filtered)with plenty of dry land made from rocks and driftwood that they can climb onto when needed. I’ll also be adding live plants etc. any advice? Thanks !

  2. I don’t think sand is a suitable terrestrial substrate, as it’s not really great for burrowing or plant rooting. A hand mister can be enough if you’re around enough to mist a few times a day, but I really recommend an automated mister like the mist king. Makes things so much easier and more consistent. Mine runs 8 times a day.

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