Paludarium 54L - Journal

Sesarma bidens/Pseudosesarma moeshi (Red Clawed Mangrove Crab) was the main reason for commencing this project. Like many other crabs even this one needs access to land. I would like to keep a few of these crabs responsibly, meaning successfully. Happy crab-keeping! :-)


Time for an update

This paludarium has been running just fine. How do I know that? Well the photo above is telling a story on its own ;-) One of the female Pseudosesarma moeshi has eggs again! I have seen 1 male and another female present, but the 4th crab is still somewhere hiding. I wouldn't say it is dead. It is easy to discover a dead crab... follow your nose, it does smell nasty. I am sure it is still alive. Sometimes it is very hard to see the crabs, they prefer being safe behind the rocks.

My Golden Apple Snails are doing fine. 2 of them are very active, while the 3rd one seem to be closed most of the time. I checked and it is alive.
Plants are almost destroyed by the Crabs (eaten). The only untouched plant is the Anubias afzelii for some reason. I perform weekly 50% water change. I feed the Crabs every day exclusively with the Crab Sticks from Hikari.


The Last Puffer appeared again!!!

I am not sure how this is possible, but the last Puffer appeared again. It was hiding somewhere for a long time. It is impossible for it to be stuck inside the filter chamber because the inlet bars are too narrow. I was certain that the Crabs ate it...but no, here it is safe and sound ;-)
I moved it now to my 180 liters planted, more space and no one to harm it.


The last Puffer disappeared...

A few days ago I introduced 3 Pomacea bridgesi aka the Golden Apple snail. They are adapting very well, always in search for food, grazing over the wood, rocks and glass. In the photo above, one can see how curious this Puffer is. The Puffer bit a couple of times into the snail, but this doesn't seem to be bothering it, since the Pomacea bridgesi continued grazing over the substrate. Snail that feels threatened usually closes it self behind its 'door'.

The last Puffer (the one in the photo), disappeared yesterday. I presume the crabs got him. The fish was very energetic, eating well. I performed weekly 50% water change + the plants are doing great (apart from the Anubias) so water quality is not the culprit, causing this fish to die. I sure hope that one of the crabs that ate this Puffer want die also, since the Puffers meat contains a very powerful toxin called Tetrodotoxin aka the anhydrotetrodotoxin 4-epitetrodotoxin. Apparently, Puffers in captivity can't develop this toxin, but one can not be sure without making lab test. I know one thing though, each time one of the Puffers vanished, I find another dead Crab. Is all this a coincidence? Time will tell. Other Crabs are doing well. At the moment I am feeding the Crabs with Crab sticks only. I am not sure if the cucumber I fed to Crabs cause the deaths. Just out of precaution I will continue feeding them with Crab sticks from Hikari.

Some German aquarists reported keeping Pseudosesarma moeshi with fish like Mollys and Platys without any fish loss...I am not sure about that, even my tiny Macrobrachium tries to catch a fish when passing near by...and Crabs are

Photos by Dusko Bojic.


Moulted exoskeleton

One of my Crabs moulted yesterday (female). Since the last incident (dead crab) everything seem to be in order. I introduced 3 Apple snails to the community. One German aquarist kept them without any problems with Pseudosesarma moeshi. The remaining Puffer seem to be enjoying the crab zoeas and eating them one by one.


Crabs and fish. Good combination?

In the last few days lots happened inside my crab paludarium. Two of my Dwarf Puffers disappeared and I also found one dead crab (female) on the land part.
It has been known that Puffer flesh is poisonous, and that leads me to the conclusion that one of my crabs died because of eating the Puffer. The other Puffer disappeared two days latter, so I am expecting to find another dead Crab. Dead Crabs smell very bad, so all I need to do, every day, is to stick my nose into the tank to check out.

After the dead crab was removed I changed 60% of the aquarium water and introduced some floating Cabomba and Egeria densa, to make sure all possible ammonia is gone.
Two days latter I introduced two more crabs (male and female, now total of 4 crabs).

As one can see on the first 2 photos, the female is carrying eggs under her tail. And just after a day she released the larvae into the water. Yesterday I discovered thousands of tiny, 1mm small, free swimming zoeas all over the tank.
The last photo poorly represents the Pseudosesarma moeshi zoea. It is very hard to make a good photo quality without a back light.

Photos by Dusko Bojic.


Carinotetraodon travancoricus

I got 3 Dwarf Puffers today. I wasn't really aware of the fact how interesting these fish are. As soon as I dropped them into the paludarium, they started exploring the new environment. One of the crabs started following them but they would wisely swim away.

Puffer attacking the baby Ramshorn snail (their natural diet - small snails)

Photos by Dusko Bojic.


Above the water surface

This Crab for sure needs some land. All 3 of my crabs are at some stage on the land. I fed them with cucumber but so far they are not showing any interest in eating it. Instead a bit of Anubias nana is gone missing. I will try feeding them with carrots to see what happens.

Photos by Dusko Bojic.


The first Pseudosesarma moeshi shots

And here are the first photos of my Pseudosesarma moeshi aka Sesarma bidens. They are adapting very well. They show great appetite, eating the Anubias 'Petit'
and the Java Moss as well as the soft parts of the bog wood. I can see them inhibiting both parts, the land and under the water (next photo shows this crab resting over the water line).The Macrobrachium spp. shrimp is still alive. I am sure Crabs will not harm this shrimp.

Photos by Dusko Bojic.


Crabs introduced at last.

Just for the records;
I introduced 3 Sesarma bidens (1 male 2 females) into this paludarium of mine. Like expected they are very shy at first. One female started showing interest in eating Java Moss, good sign that crabs are adapting to the new environment.

Not long ago, since I didn't have any other space for it, I decided placing my only Macrobrachium spp. shrimp (4cm) into this tank. I hope it will live in harmony with the rest of the Crab family. Time will tell.

As soon the Crabs get more comfortable and on right spot, I will post some photos.


The final scape

I planted a few Cryptocorine x willisii and that should be it concerning the fauna. I also placed 3 more pieces of bog-wood, so they reach above the water surface, creating extra "land" for several Sesarma bidens crabs.
I am not sure will plants resist the crabs appetite but time will tell. I will feed the crabs with cucumber, carrots and apples. This should keep them away from the plants. I will also feed them with Hikari Crab sticks.


A bit more planting

The terrarium part; I planted some Anubias afzelii and Anubias 'Petite' as well as some Anubias nana
The Aqua part; I planted Microsorum 'Windelow' and Anubias nana.
I will let this set-up run for a longer while before adding any Sesarma bidens to it. With all those plants, the bacteria/microorganisms will have no problem developing, creating a balanced portable ecosystem for my future Crabs :-) (I took an old sponge out of my established aquarium, that is full of infusoria and nitrifying bacteria, and rinsed it well inside this new paludarium water to jump start the process)


Building up the aquascape...

I decided to scatter around some small granite rocks and I am very pleased with the effect. I also introduced two pieces of bog wood. I am preparing a few more before planting the Java fern and Anubias spp.


This is not the final scape. There is more to come (plants, stones, rocks and mangrove roots). I still have no idea what aqua-terrarium plant I can use that doesn't grow high. I tied some Java moss to stones and placed them on the land/terrace. I also planted a few Java fern baby shots. I will see can they thrive in this kind of set-up. I decided adding no aquatic soil this time, but try planting Anubias spp. maybe. Aquatic soil might be bad for the crabs also, not sure just brain storming here.
The spray bar is directed onto the back wall, creating a mini-waterfall ;-)
There is approx 25 liters of water. I rinsed the filter media from one of my established tanks into this one, to seed some nitrifying bacteria. I am gonna let it run for a week before adding a few Endlers Guppy, or some other small fish, still deciding. I have red that Sesarma bidens can't rally catch faster swimming fish.


Everything is siliconed :-)

All glass is assembled and siliconed. And this is how it looks now;

I used Back to Nature "slim line" backgrounds. It has been cut and siliconed.
Since the Red Clawed Crab is a great escape artist I made sure all big holes are closed for that attempt. Air will still be able to enter.

So far so good. I am waiting for the silicone smell to disappear before adding the water, decor and plants.


Creating my first Paludarium

My first paludarium project has started.
I assembled all the extra glass to create the land zone (terrace). The aquarium is 54 liters capacity, but in this case it will hold hardly more than 22 liters of water.
It has just one fluorescent 15W tube in the hood, so low light plants are the only option.
Click on the drawing to enlarge it, please.