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Freshwater Pet Aquarium Crabs
Information about Aquarium Crabs
Click here to buy Aquarium Crabs.
Red Claw Crabs at, Tropical Fish stores.   These are Red Claw Crabs for sale in a large aquarium at our online retail Tropical Fish store. We also have Gold Fiddler Crabs for sale. Both of these Crabs do well in fresh water. Click here for more about buying Crabs from us.
The Red Claw Crabs are very attractive with black or very dark maroon bodies and red claws.
These Red Claw Crabs and the Gold Fiddler Crabs are truly aquatic and do not need to get out of the water. They can live indefinitely on the bottom of your aquarium completely under water.

Customer Comments

in your web sites you says that red claw crabs do not not to come out from water as well as the fiddler crabs. well this is not a correct information, Both Species need to come out of water from time to time. red claw crabs are fresh water where as fiddler crab are brakish water crabs.
thanks for reading
farhan : )
Reply. Hello Farhan. Thank you for your comments. You may be right, but both of the types of Crabs, that we sell, do well for us in freshwater.

We keep these Crabs in big aquariums with very shallow water, but I have kept Crabs in smaller aquariums, where they could not get out of the water, and they did fine for a long time.

Other aquarists have told me that their Crabs have done well in aquariums similar to mine. But it would be best to give the Crabs a choice by placing a big rock or pile of rocks that extend up out of the water and allow the Crabs to climb up and out of the water.

The rocks must be arranged carefully in such a way that will not allow the Crabs to get out of the aquarium. It would be interesting to carefully observe the Crabs to see if they enjoy getting out of the water and to see how much time they spend out of the water.

It would also be interesting to arrange a light above one side of the rock to see if the Crabs enjoy basking in the light, or if they stay on the side of the rock away from the light.

I would like to try this with both a small incandescent light bulb and perhaps a special wide spectrum light bulb, like the bulbs recommended for reptiles.

Thanks again for your comments.


Common Name

Scientific Name
Red Claw Crabs Sesarma bidens
Gold Fiddler Crabs Uca (species)

Common Name

Scientific Name

These Crabs will escape from your aquarium unless you make sure there is nothing near the vertical pieces of glass for at least 4" above the bottom of your aquarium.

So move the rocks, ornaments, and all the other objects away from the glass. Shorten the length of the siphon tube to the filter, so the strainer is 4" above the gravel. Make sure there are no pieces of airline tubing the Crabs can use to crawl out.

Here is an interesting email comment sent to us by David, after he visited this web page.


Customer Comments

I came across many posts on various boards asking for help in controlling snails, and cleaner tanks etc. I think I found a very good solution. Crabs and crayfish: Crabs eat the snails! I had about 12 of the little snails that usually come on live plants and I noticed the Crabs eating them so they are keeping them under control in my tank. Like you already have on your Crab info they help keep the tank clean.
Also though they help aerate the substrate a little. I use sand and they are very good for it; they sift through the very top layer about 1/4-inch all day long looking for food which helps keep the sand loose etc. The crayfish does the same but it goes in a bit deeper maybe 1/2 - 3/4 inch down sometimes. So It seems there are a few extra reasons to have them in a tank
1. Scavenge bottom of tank - helps keep it clean
2. Keeps snails under control 
3. Helps aerate, loosen substrate which helps the biological process better - especially sand
4. They appear to "groom" live plants of unwanted junk also without harming the actual plants
5. They are fun to watch.
Reply. Thank you, David, for your comments about your Crabs. If you see something interesting and useful while watching your fish or other animals, send us your comments and we may include them in this web site. Like we did with David's interesting comments about his Crabs.

Incidentally, we do not recommend using sand in aquariums or fish bowls, because the water does not circulate well through the sand, and it soon becomes polluted. You can substitute a thin layer of aquarium gravel that is at most 1/4" thick. Click here for more about aquarium gravel.

Aquarium Crabs at, where you can shop online for an Aquarium Crab.     This picture shows a Male Gold Fiddler Crab. You can tell he is a male by his large right claw at the top of the picture. Females do not have oversized claws. To some people with lots of imagination these large claws look like fiddles, so these Crabs are called Fiddler Crabs. Males often climb on top of something like a rock and wave their large claw.
Gold Fiddler Crabs are very attractive and interesting to watch. The male Gold Fiddler Crabs have one large claw and one smaller claw. The females have two smaller claws.

The males often climb on top of a rock, hold their big claw up, and wave it back and forth. Why? We don't know, but we'd like to know. Click here for the answer.


Appropriate Home
An aquarium with an external power filter with a BIO-Wheel and a maximum of 1/4-inch of gravel. These Crabs can live in an aquarium with or without an aquarium heater at a temperature of about 65 to 82 degrees F. Many of these Crabs prefer water from 75 to 82 degrees F. Be sure the Crabs can't escape, or they will escape.


Recommended Diet
Crabs will eat almost anything such as particles of flake food that sink to the bottom of the aquarium and other bits of food. For this reason they are excellent scavengers and help improve the water quality by reducing the amount of uneaten food in the aquarium. They also stir the top 1/4" of gravel and help keep it clean.

But they are not a substitute for cleaning your aquarium and changing some of the water. Click here for more about cleaning aquariums.

Crabs will eagerly eat live and frozen food such as blood worms and brine shrimp. We give all of our Crabs an occasional treat of live food such as live Black Worms. Click here for more about Black Worms.

The ad below links to this advertiser.
Link to now.   Feed Your Crabs ...

The Proper Foods !!

Click here to go the page in Hikari's web site with more information about the proper food for your Pet Crabs.

These Crabs will quarrel among themselves, so be sure each one has plenty of room and don't crowd too many in the same aquarium. One Crab per square foot of bottom area is enough. So, for example, a standard 10-gallon aquarium would have about 2 Crabs. A larger 40-gallon aquarium has about four square feet of bottom area, which is room for about 4 Crabs.

We received an email that said when they looked at the picture at the top of this page, they saw that we were in obvious violation of our own advice about how much space each Crab needs.

They're right. You should give each Crab about one square foot (12" x 12") of bottom area, or crowd them together like we did in the photo above, which seems to neutralize their territoriality and aggressiveness. This is also true of many fish. Give them plenty of space or crowd them to reduce fighting.

Since most of the people reading this page are aquarium hobbyists and will keep just a few Crabs, it's best if each Crab has at least one square foot of bottom area. We are dealers and keep hundreds of Crabs. These Crabs do fine the way we keep them as shown in the picture at the top of this page.

Compatible Tank Mates
These small Crabs seem to be too slow to catch most fish. The Crabs wave their claws at fish but don't ever seem to catch a fish, unless the fish is sick and crashed on the bottom.

The Crabs don't seem to bother Plecostomus Catfish. The Plecos. just swim away and hang on the side of the aquarium above the Crabs.

The Crabs will bother and sometimes eat African Dwarf Frogs and Ghost Shrimp. Some types of Puffer Fish will attack and eat Crabs.

Click here to read more about several other groups of compatible fish.


Size and Lifespan
These Crabs can live for a few years and grow to be about 2.5" across the shell.

Click here to to on to another page in this web site with Customer Comments and our Replies about Freshwater Crabs.
Books about
Shrimps, Crayfish, and Crabs
The books shown below are listed on You can click on the title or on the image of a book to go to the page at, where that book is listed and discussed. In some cases you can preview several of the pages in that book.
Click on this image to go to, where you can learn more about this book.   Shrimps, Crayfishes, and Crabs in the Freshwater Aquarium
By Uwe Werner
48 pages
Click on this image to go to, where you can learn more about this book. Crayfish
By Phyllis W. Grimm
Library Binding
48 pages
Click on this image to go to, where you can learn more about this book.   RED CLAW! Raising the Giant ...
By Don R. Wilson
50 pages
Click here for a complete list of books about Shrimps, Crabs, and Crayfish at
Click here to to on to another page in this web site with Customer Comments and our Replies about Freshwater Crabs.
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This page was updated on November 13, 2015.


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