Crabs, shrimp and the rest of those many-legged creatures we know as crustaceans can have varied roles in marine aquaria. Some are employed as useful cleaners and scavengers which can assist in the maintenance of a healthy aquarium. They form part of the “clean-up crew” and have a role to play in the prevention of issues and helping to tackle existing problems.
Other crustaceans, such as the Aiptasia eating peppermint shrimp (Lysmata wurdemanni) or Asterina munching Harlequin shrimp (Hymenocera picta) have a role to play in controlling the populations of nuisance and pest species that frequently arrive as accidental hitch-hikers on a coral base rock. Perhaps you might employ a team of emerald crabs (Mithraculus sculptus) to deal with your bubble alga (Valonia spp) outbreak. We can often offer advice for those wishing to use biological control techniques such as these to eradicate problem animals from the aquarium based on many years in the hobby and also using the experiences and feedback of our customers.
Then there are those species we stock into our aquaria simply because they are really cool!! Think of the boxer or pom-pom crab (Lybia tesselata) or pistol shrimp (Alpheus spp) and their partner gobies. These diminutive crustaceans can be fascinating to observe albeit they might not be on permanent display!
Be sure to check out our current stock lists for up to date crustacean stocks.