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Why does my watchman goby pick up hermit crabs with his mouth???

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  • t874chy
    Hi, We have a watchman goby and a pistol shrimp that live together in a burrow in our tank. Twice now we have seen him pick up a hermit crab, complete with
    Message 1 of 3 , Apr 8, 2004
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      Hi,

      We have a watchman goby and a pistol shrimp that live together in a
      burrow in our tank.

      Twice now we have seen him pick up a hermit crab, complete with
      shell and take it into his burrow.

      So - is this an unusual game of hide and seek?? or is he providing
      an expensive diet of hermit crabs for his mate the pistol shrimp?

      If we hadnt seen it twice we would never have believed it!! - not
      sure if the hermit crab escapes in the network of caves or if they
      disappear for ever.

      Any advice please?

      thanks

      Val
    • robert
      The pistil shrimp is trying to eat your crab :) LOL !!!!!. When it gets bigger it will drag the crab somewhere eat it ! Manta shrimp are worse. That shrimp
      Message 2 of 3 , Apr 8, 2004
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        The pistil shrimp is trying to eat your crab :) LOL !!!!!.  When it gets bigger it will drag the crab somewhere eat it !  Manta shrimp are worse.  That shrimp should be kept with only other shrimp and even then you run the risk of one shrimp eating another one.  Pistol shrimp can get into a reef tank ( and manta shrimp )  from live rock.  Both these shrimps are considered pests in a reef  tank.  There is one sure fire method to get rid of these  notorious pasty shrimps.  Put an octopus into the tank because octopuses eat shrimp.  There is no way the shrimp can get away.  There are all these funny stories of what these shrimps do to reef tanks but they aren't funny to reef tank owners who have coral crushed and eaten as well as butched fish.  Most of these pest shrimp are nocturnal.  Pest shrimp can be up to 10 inches long and able to inflect serious injuries to humans by wielding a hammer claw used to pound on coral to eat.  Some pet shops even rent octopuses to get rid of unwanted shrimp in reef tanks.  I hope you are not insulted by what I said.    
         
        Robert G Smith
        ----- Original Message -----
        From: t874chy
        Sent: Thursday, April 08, 2004 3:48 PM
        Subject: [Saltwater_Aquariums] Why does my watchman goby pick up hermit crabs with his mouth???

        Hi,

        We have a watchman goby and a pistol shrimp that live together in a
        burrow in our tank.

        Twice now we have seen him pick up a hermit crab, complete with
        shell and take it into his burrow.

        So - is this an unusual game of hide and seek?? or is he providing
        an expensive diet of hermit crabs for his mate the pistol shrimp?

        If we hadnt seen it twice we would never have believed it!! - not
        sure if the hermit crab escapes in the network of caves or if they
        disappear for ever.

        Any advice please?

        thanks

        Val


      • sg1twilight
        It sounds to me like you re describing a mantis shrimp, not a pistol shrimp, Robert. Although pistol shrimp are sometimes confused with a mantis, and mantis
        Message 3 of 3 , Apr 9, 2004
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          It sounds to me like you're describing a mantis shrimp, not a pistol
          shrimp, Robert. Although pistol shrimp are sometimes confused with a
          mantis, and mantis shrimp are NOT reef safe (or fish safe, for that
          matter) pistol shrimp rarely cause a problem. Pistol shrimp will often
          share a burrow with gobies and share their food with them. They help
          keep the tank clean, stir the sand, and eat flake, pellet, or meaty
          bits of food. Mantis shrimp do get very large, but pistols only grow
          to 2-3" in an aquarium.
          I've never heard of any pet store renting out an octopus and don't
          think I'd ever trust a store that did! Octopi are very difficult to
          keep as they need near perfect water conditions, take a long time to
          adjust to a tank, and can die within hours if they get spooked and ink
          in the tank. That, plus the fact that you need to pretty much seal the
          entire tank top to keep them from escaping makes me think anyone even
          THINKING of "renting" them out would have to be nuts!

          I've never heard of a goby carrying a hermit to it's burrow before
          Val, but it definately is interesting behavior. Assuming these are
          mini hermits, if your pistol is very large it COULD pull the hermit
          from the shell to eat it, but I don't know if it actually WOULD. Were
          the hermits alive and active when this happened? I'm asking, because
          animals can often sense when another is dying, and even generally
          "safe" ones will eat another if it senses the other is very sick. It's
          also possible that they're not getting enough to eat, either because
          of competition or that they don't like the food offered, or are
          missing something in the diet. You might want to try putting a small
          piece of a meaty food near the burrow occasionally to see if that helps.
          Keep us informed on how and what they're doing. I'd be very
          interested in hearing if you figure this out! Sandi





          --- In Saltwater_Aquariums@yahoogroups.com, "robert" <rgs50@b...> wrote:
          > The pistil shrimp is trying to eat your crab :) LOL !!!!!. When it
          gets bigger it will drag the crab somewhere eat it ! Manta shrimp are
          worse. That shrimp should be kept with only other shrimp and even
          then you run the risk of one shrimp eating another one. Pistol shrimp
          can get into a reef tank ( and manta shrimp ) from live rock. Both
          these shrimps are considered pests in a reef tank. There is one sure
          fire method to get rid of these notorious pasty shrimps. Put an
          octopus into the tank because octopuses eat shrimp. There is no way
          the shrimp can get away. There are all these funny stories of what
          these shrimps do to reef tanks but they aren't funny to reef tank
          owners who have coral crushed and eaten as well as butched fish. Most
          of these pest shrimp are nocturnal. Pest shrimp can be up to 10
          inches long and able to inflect serious injuries to humans by wielding
          a hammer claw used to pound on coral to eat. Some pet shops even rent
          octopuses to get rid of unwanted shrimp in reef tanks. I hope you are
          not insulted by what I said.
          >
          > Robert G Smith
          > ----- Original Message -----
          > From: t874chy
          > To: Saltwater_Aquariums@yahoogroups.com
          > Sent: Thursday, April 08, 2004 3:48 PM
          > Subject: [Saltwater_Aquariums] Why does my watchman goby pick up
          hermit crabs with his mouth???
          >
          >
          > Hi,
          >
          > We have a watchman goby and a pistol shrimp that live together in a
          > burrow in our tank.
          >
          > Twice now we have seen him pick up a hermit crab, complete with
          > shell and take it into his burrow.
          >
          > So - is this an unusual game of hide and seek?? or is he providing
          > an expensive diet of hermit crabs for his mate the pistol shrimp?
          >
          > If we hadnt seen it twice we would never have believed it!! - not
          > sure if the hermit crab escapes in the network of caves or if they
          > disappear for ever.
          >
          > Any advice please?
          >
          > thanks
          >
          > Val
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
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