The Vampire Crab is a great choice for anyone looking to keep a distinctive low-maintenance pet in their freshwater aquarium. If you're interested in keeping a pet Vampire Crab, here are a few things that you will need to know.
If you’re looking for a unique freshwater aquarium pet, the Vampire Crab is a great choice. An undescribed species of the genus Geosarma aristocratensis, Vampire Crabs are semi-terrestrial invertebrates that are native to regions of Southeast Asia. They get their name from their glowing yellow, bright orange or red eyes and their habit of feeding nocturnally, from dusk to dawn. The beautiful, purple crustaceans grow to be about two and a half inches wide with legs spread. Also called panther crabs and carnival crabs, Vampire Crabs have an average life span of 2-3 years when cared for properly. Here are some key pointers on properly caring for your new pet Vampire Crab.
Housing Your Pet Vampire Crab
A key factor in the care of your Vampire Crabs is their home. Their natural habitat is in forests near fresh water rivers, so a fresh water aquarium is required. Water temperature should be kept between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit and the PH level should be between 7.5 and 7.8.
As Vampire Crabs are semi-terrestrial, they only spend about 50 percent of their time in the water, so it’s important to have a variety of surfaces for them to access out of the water. Big Al’s pets has the rocks, plants, driftwood and other decorative features for the aquarium to ensure your Vampire crabs have ample space to crawl, climb and sit.
A sandy substrate and a supply of java moss are also necessary for molting and reproduction. Once a year, Vampire Crabs burrow into the substrate to molt which takes several weeks. Females will burrow into the moss to give birth to live, fully formed miniatures of the adult Vampire Crab. Both molting and breeding occur in freshwater which is unique to this type of crab.
Feeding Your Pet Vampire Crab
One of the reasons that Vampire Crabs make such good pets is their feeding habits. These omnivores will eat practically anything including algae and organic matter which helps keep the tank clean. Because they aren’t especially active, they will eat pretty much whatever is nearby, so it’s important to place food in different locations to encourage movement.
A varied diet of live baby crickets, earthworm pieces, fish flakes, brine shrimp and even fresh vegetables ensure your pet Vampire Crab remains healthy. Remember that these little guys are scavengers, so feeding them once a day should be sufficient.
Tank Mates For Your Pet Vampire Crab
Vampire Crabs are social creatures that do well in a community. A ten gallon tank can comfortably house a half a dozen of these beautiful creatures.
Appropriate tank mates for your pet Vampire Crab include large snails and shrimp. Larger pet fish should be avoided as they may eat your crab, while smaller pet fish should be avoided as they may be eaten by your crab. Most active at night, your will find your pet Vampire Crab spending most of its day just sitting in their favorite spot. However, your pet crab will tend to be more active in warmer water.
Enjoy Your New Pet!
Vampire crabs are uniquely beautiful creatures of vivid color. Their blue or reddish colored legs and carapace are a striking complement to their purple front and pincers, and they are fascinating just to look at. These non-aggressive, easy to care for creatures are a great way to get your aquarium hobby started.