The electric blue hermit
There are a couple of reasons why I would advise the blue legged hermit crab for your nano reef compared to other species, but the most important one is probably its size. Especially the dwarf “variaty” that doesn’t get bigger than 1 inch, but also the electric blue hermit with a maximum size of 2 inches.
If you’re a loyal Mister Nano Reef Instagram follower and you’re wondering what kind “Sheldon” (and Herbie, R.I.P.) is, he is part of the electric blue hermit (Calcinus Elegans) family, my favorites. They are a bit bigger and have blue legs with black banding instead of red banding like the dwarf species.
They have one claw that is a tiny bit bigger then the other but the difference is not as profound as with other species. Its bright complementary orange antennas really pop out and make it a treat for the eyes.
Another reason is their hunger for algaes and dead organic food together with their ability to sift sand. Which makes them very good cleaners and a great addition to your tank and clean up crew.
A thief in the night
But that beauty and usefulness can come with a price. As all hermit crabs, they use shells as a shelter for the vulnerable (and for predators very tasty) back part of their body. And especially the electric blue hermit is a sucker for beautiful shells. If this means there is still another hermit or snail inside of that shell, well that’s too bad. Indeed, they can be real A-holes. 🙂 In any case, provide enough (beautiful) empty shells in your aquarium and you will avoid a lot of problems.
…and a bit crazy! You will want to get 2 of these for your nano reef as they thrive in company. (But take into account the above point that they can also get jealous of eachother’s shell.) I can assure you they will provide you with enough laughs for weeks and months. Just take a look at the videos below, where you see Sheldon exploring the tank and holding on to a shrimp he doesn’t really want to share but is clearly enjoying.
Year 3, Day 11: #hermitcrab Sheldon made it to the top again #nanoreef #marineaquarium #eatsleepreef #reefaddict #reefpicoftheday #reefpack #misternanoreef #coralreef #saltwateraquarium #reef2reef #reefaholiks #pieceofocean #saltlife #marine #tropicalfish #allmymoneygoestocoral #saltwatergardens #reefpro
Year 2, Day 349: when you ate enough but don’t want to share… #nanoreef #marineaquarium #eatsleepreef #reefaddict #reefpicoftheday #reefpack #misternanoreef #coralreef #saltwateraquarium #reef2reef #reefaholiks #pieceofocean #saltlife #marine #tropicalfish #allmymoneygoestocoral #saltwatergardens #reefpro #hermitcrab
Een video die is geplaatst door ? Stijn Van Bellinghen (@misternanoreef) op
Foods and molts
Some other fact I would like to point out is that a lot of people consider hermits to be the perfect algae eaters, so they don’t consider to feed them some additional food. Please do consider them as any other critter in your tank, drop in a shrimp or piece of fish once or twice a week and they will be very greatful for it.
And last but not least… do not panic when you find a seemingly dead hermit in your tank. Why? Because it’s probably a molt. It does look like a real life hermit, but it’s 90% of the time just its old “skin” like the one you see here. We’ve all been there…
Any more questions about the blue legged hermit crab? Let me know in the comments!