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Keeping Horseshoe Crab Healthy and Happy

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  • Keeping Horseshoe Crab Healthy and Happy

    Hey guys.

    So my parents got me a small horseshoe crab (I'm assuming Atlantic?) for Christmas. The little guy (actually girl) is a bulldozer, and I fully understand that she will soon outgrow my 28g, but she is just too darn cute to get rid of. If she survives and grows I will be more than happy to give her a tank of her own.

    However, I understand that people have some difficulty in keeping them for more than a few months in captivity. It would seem that this is typically a result of them starving. Whenever I see her, I give her some food (Mantis' recipe) through a small pipette, and she does seems to eat it.

    Does anyone have any experience caring for Limulus and have any wisdom to share?


  • #2

    It's always good to hear from you. Hopefully your parents aren't reading this, because Limulus Horseshoe Crabs have a very low survival rate in a home aquarium, and they can and SHOULD get huge. (like a foot or two in diameter)

    They are super fun to watch however, so enjoy your new friend.

    This doesn't mean that you can't keep her alive for a while, but horseshoe crabs eat primarily chopped mollusks and worms. I think Hikari has a freeze dried worm product, but I'm not sure who carries it locally. I would probably go to Kroger and get a pound of clams and mussels and chop them up a couple times a week and feed your little girl.

    I do think when she gets a little big for your tank that you might consider selling her to someone with a big system to let her thrive (and much on someone else's fauna).


    • #3

      Thank you for the advice. I will look into your food recommendations.

      And I would not have any qualms about giving her to someone with a large system down the road. I do not want her to suffer, and as much as I idealize the idea, I am not sure how practical keeping a giant horseshoe crab through college and grad school would actually be.

      I am trying to strike the balance between properly appreciating the thoughtful gift, and ensuring that she doesn't die or suffer needlessly.