Quirky crab

mattybecks

Polypterus
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Feb 21, 2012
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Dubai, UAE
Does anyone else's hermit crab do this?
I have 11 in total, but there is only one who likes to find a nice position (full light, in the open) flip over, lay on his back, and just stare at the surface. He can do this for a long time before getting up, grazing a little, and then come back to the same place and lay on his back again. Not re-treating into his shell, just peeping out.
He stays in one spot for a few days before moving on and finding another spot he likes to lay on his back and stare at the surface.
 

islandguy11

Redtail Catfish
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Sep 17, 2017
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Does anyone else's hermit crab do this?
I have 11 in total, but there is only one who likes to find a nice position (full light, in the open) flip over, lay on his back, and just stare at the surface. He can do this for a long time before getting up, grazing a little, and then come back to the same place and lay on his back again. Not re-treating into his shell, just peeping out.
He stays in one spot for a few days before moving on and finding another spot he likes to lay on his back and stare at the surface.
That is funny -- looks like he's working on his sun tan lol.
 
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mattybecks

Polypterus
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Feb 21, 2012
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Dubai, UAE
Jokes aside you really do have to wonder what's making just the one do it. And from a survival point of view it seems pretty weird, they'd be somewhat less protected in such a position.
Thats why I was hoping to find out if anyones elses crabs had done this, and what the more experienced aquarists may know about this behavior
 
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twentyleagues

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I kept salt for years and have never seen that. Like islandguy11 islandguy11 stated seems a serious issue, not very safe. I wonder if the shell is to big for it? But if he's able to flip back over without issue.....? I stopped keeping crabs in my reefs they are all to opportunistic to be considered trully reef safe. Shrimp are right there too. But those I still kept.
 

islandguy11

Redtail Catfish
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Actually I've no idea if it's a serious issue, but rather a curious one -- in fact my personal take was that he was just being eccentric ha ha. I dig hermit crabs, see land ones all the time at the beach here, but I'm not a reefer, so will bow out of this one and just observe "The Mystery of the Upside Down Hermit Crab."
 

twentyleagues

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Flint town!
Actually I've no idea if it's a serious issue, but rather a curious one -- in fact my personal take was that he was just being eccentric ha ha. I dig hermit crabs, see land ones all the time at the beach here, but I'm not a reefer, so will bow out of this one and just observe "The Mystery of the Upside Down Hermit Crab."
Yeah I really meant to say "could be". I have no clue either. Please keep us updated!
 

mattybecks

Polypterus
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I will keep you updated should I discover anything new about this behavior.
He can flip back over easily, grazes as normal along the rocks when he is hungry, and when I feed the fish he quickly gets up and goes crazy like the other inverts looking for the food that has just fallen down. It seems to be his relaxing, chill out time when he flips over. Makes me wonder about crabs sentience and consciousness…
 
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Fishpony

Candiru
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Aug 29, 2015
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Maybe he's filter feeding? I'd imagine that since your tank is mostly populated with prey fishes in the wild, and since they're swimming out and acing as dithers that crab feels that it's safe enough to expose itself and just try to get some easy calories from whatever floating by. Though I never had that species of hermit before, only kept red legs and blue leg hermits.
 
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