Arrow Crab Care Sheet: Setup, Feeding, & More

Arrow crabs require a well-maintained aquarium and a varied diet that includes both live and frozen foods. They are active creatures that need hiding places, and their tank must be kept free of predators and pests.

Arrow crabs are fascinating creatures that make an interesting addition to any saltwater aquarium. If you’re thinking about keeping arrow crabs as pets, you should know that they need a bit of special care. Proper arrow crab care involves setting up a conducive living environment, providing a varied diet, and keeping the tank clean. If you don’t provide these things, your arrow crab may become stressed, sick, or even die. In this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about arrow crab setup, feeding, and more.

Setting Up Your Arrow Crab’S Habitat

Creating the proper habitat for your arrow crab is essential for their health and well-being.

Tank Size

Arrow crabs need a minimum of a 10-gallon tank, but it’s ideal to have a tank size of 20 gallons or more for larger crabs. Keep in mind that these crabs are active and need plenty of space to move around.

Water Conditions

Arrow crabs require brackish water with a salinity level of around 1. 010-1. 015 specific gravity. This can be achieved by mixing freshwater and marine salt mix. Maintain the water temperature between 72-78℉ (22-25. 6℃).


A suitable substrate for an arrow crab is a fine sand or crushed coral, which will help simulate their natural environment. Avoid using a sharp or coarse substrate that can damage their delicate legs.


Provide hiding spots and areas to climb by adding live rock, coral, or artificial decor. Ensure that there are no sharp edges that may harm the crab.


Arrow crabs do not require a specific amount of lighting as they are mostly active at night. However, adding a low-level light can help to replicate natural lighting conditions.

By adhering to the above guidelines, you can create a comfortable and natural habitat for your arrow crab.

Choosing Your Arrow Crab

Arrow crabs are intriguing creatures with a unique appearance that makes them stand out in any marine habitat. They are known for their sharp and pointed legs that resemble arrows, hence their name. However, choosing the right arrow crab for your aquarium can be challenging, especially for beginners.

In this section, we will discuss how to choose a healthy arrow crab, what to look for, and common health issues to be aware of.

Choosing A Healthy Arrow Crab

When selecting an arrow crab, it’s crucial to choose a healthy one to ensure its survival in your aquarium.

  • Size: choose an arrow crab that is at least two inches in size. Smaller crabs are often difficult to feed and less hardy.
  • Active: observe the crab to make sure it’s active, responsive and moving around. Stay away from crabs that move sluggishly.
  • Legs and claws: check to see if the crab’s legs and claws are in good condition. There should be no signs of injuries or damage to the limbs.
  • Shells: be sure to check the crab’s shell for cracks, chips, or other damage. Crabs need a hard outer shell to protect them in the wild, so any damage to the shell can be potentially life-threatening.

What To Look For

Besides choosing a healthy arrow crab, it’s essential to pay attention to a few other factors when selecting one for your aquarium.

  • Color: arrow crabs can come in a variety of colors, including brown, red, and even purple. Choose one that has a bright, vibrant color and is free of any discoloration or spots.
  • Compatibility: before purchasing an arrow crab, make sure it’s compatible with the other creatures in your aquarium. Some arrow crabs can be territorial and may attack other creatures.
  • Acclimation: always acclimate your arrow crab to your aquarium before introducing it. This process ensures the crab adapts to the new environment, and it reduces the chances of disease or stress.

Common Health Issues

Like any living creature, arrow crabs can experience health issues from time to time.

  • Molting: arrow crabs need to molt their outer shell to grow, so it’s not uncommon to see them hiding and less active. Make sure to provide a quiet, low-stress environment to help them get through the molting process.
  • Injuries: keep an eye out for any injuries, especially to the limbs. Any injuries to the arrow crab can lead to infections or other complications.
  • Parasites: arrow crabs can develop parasites, which can cause sluggishness and discoloration. Make sure to take a proactive approach to prevent and treat parasites.
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By following these tips, you can ensure that you choose a healthy arrow crab that will thrive in your aquarium. Remember to provide the crab with a suitable environment and regular care to keep it healthy and happy.

Feeding Your Arrow Crab

Feeding your arrow crab may seem like a daunting task, but it’s actually quite simple once you know what they like to eat. Here are some key points to keep in mind when feeding your arrow crab.

Best Foods For Arrow Crab

Arrow crabs are carnivorous creatures that primarily feed on small invertebrates.

  • Mysis shrimp
  • Brine shrimp
  • Krill
  • Small pieces of fish or shrimp
  • Pellets or flakes designed for carnivorous saltwater creatures

How Much And How Often To Feed

It’s essential to feed your arrow crab the appropriate amount of food. Overfeeding can lead to health problems and excess waste in the tank.

  • Every other day, offer your arrow crab a few small pieces of food. One or two pellets or flakes are enough.
  • Observe your arrow crab to ensure that they are eating all of the food. If there is any leftover food, reduce the amount you’re offering next time.

What To Avoid Feeding

There are some food items that you should avoid feeding your arrow crab.

  • Vegetables or fruits: arrow crabs are carnivores and do not require any plant matter in their diet.
  • Large pieces of food: arrow crabs have small mouths and can only eat food that is small enough for them to handle.
  • Anything that has been dead for an extended period of time: live prey is the best option as it provides the most nutrition for your arrow crab.

By feeding your arrow crab a balanced and appropriate diet, you can ensure they stay healthy and happy in your aquarium.

Maintaining Your Arrow Crab’S Health

Arrow crabs are fascinating creatures to keep as pets, with their unique appearance and interesting personalities. Maintaining their health is vital to ensure they have a long and happy life in captivity. This care sheet will guide you on the best practices for taking care of your arrow crab.

Arrow Crab’S Lifespan

Arrow crabs have an average lifespan of two to three years in captivity. However, with proper care, some have been known to live up to five years. To ensure your arrow crab lives a long life, you need to provide it with the best possible care.

Routine Water Changes

Arrow crabs are sensitive to water quality, so performing regular water changes is crucial. The frequency of water changes will depend on the size of the aquarium and the number of inhabitants. Generally, weekly water changes of 10-15% are recommended.

Keep An Eye On Water Quality

Maintaining good water quality is essential to the health of your arrow crab. You should test the water regularly for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels. Keep in mind that arrow crabs are sensitive to high nitrate levels, so water changes may be required more frequently if the nitrate level is too high.

Common Health Issues To Watch Out For

Arrow crabs are prone to certain health problems, and early detection is crucial for treatment.

  • Molt issues: arrow crabs will shed their exoskeletons as they grow. If your crab is having difficulty molting, it may indicate a problem.
  • Parasites: arrow crabs are susceptible to several types of parasites. Signs of infestation include white, thread-like worms in the gills, and lethargy.
  • Injuries: arrow crabs can be injured if they are not provided with enough hiding spaces or if they have to compete with other aggressive tank mates.

Regular observation of your arrow crab’s behavior and appearance can help you spot potential problems early. Taking proactive measures to maintain good water quality can also prevent many health issues in the first place. By following the guidelines in this care sheet, you can give your arrow crab the best possible care and enjoy their company for years to come.

Arrow Crab Behavior And Temperament

Understanding Arrow Crab Behavior

Arrow crabs are fascinating creatures and have several unique behaviors and traits.

  • Arrow crabs are nocturnal creatures and are most active at night.
  • They are not social creatures and prefer to live alone.
  • Arrow crabs are great at hiding and often burrow themselves in rocks, sand, or crevices to avoid predators.
  • They are excellent scuba divers and can swim upside down or crawl along the ocean floor using their sharp claws to grasp objects.
  • Arrow crabs like to explore their environment, and you may occasionally find them outside their hideout.
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Interacting With Your Arrow Crab

Keep in mind that arrow crabs are not affectionate creatures and may become territorial if they feel threatened. It is essential to handle them carefully when cleaning or maintaining their aquarium.

Here are some tips on interacting with your arrow crab:

  • Never approach your arrow crab from the front or above. Always approach it from the side or behind to avoid startling it.
  • Allow your arrow crab to explore your hand on its terms gently. Do not force it to touch you.
  • Avoid keeping more than one arrow crab in the same aquarium as they may fight.
  • Provide hiding places for your arrow crab to feel comfortable and secure.

Common Quirks And Behaviors

Like all animals, arrow crabs have their quirks and behaviors.

  • Arrow crabs love to hunt and eat small animals, such as snails, hermit crabs, and other crustaceans.
  • They have the tendency to pick at live coral and other aquarium decorations, so be sure to provide them with plenty of hiding spots and natural prey to keep them occupied.
  • Arrow crabs often change their hiding spots; don’t worry if your crab isn’t in the same spot every day.
  • Arrow crabs can regenerate lost limbs, which is amazing to watch. If they lose a claw, it will gradually grow back over several molts.

Understanding arrow crab behavior and temperament is essential in caring and providing them with a comfortable and nurturing environment. Be patient and attentive, and you will have a happy and healthy arrow crab for years!

Frequently Asked Questions On Arrow Crab Care Sheet: Setup, Feeding, & More

What Is The Recommended Tank Size For Arrow Crabs And How Should The Tank Be Set Up To Meet Their Needs?

Arrow crabs require a minimum tank size of 30 gallons with plenty of hiding spots, such as live rock and caves. They prefer a slightly alkaline ph and a temperature range of 75-80°f. The tank should also have a strong filtration system to maintain water quality.

What Type Of Diet Do Arrow Crabs Require And How Often Should They Be Fed?

Arrow crabs are omnivorous and their diet includes meaty and plant-based foods. They can be fed flakes, pellets, frozen or live foods, 2-3 times a week. Overfeeding may cause health issues, so it’s important not to exceed their feeding requirements.

How Can You Tell If An Arrow Crab Is Sick Or Stressed, And What Steps Can Be Taken To Treat Them?

Symptoms of a sick or stressed arrow crab include decreased appetite, lethargy, and abnormal behavior. To treat them, maintain water quality and add stress-reducing agents. Consult a veterinarian if these measures don’t work.

Are Arrow Crabs Compatible With Other Marine Species, And Are There Any Specific Types Of Fish Or Invertebrates That Should Be Avoided?

Arrow crabs are generally peaceful and compatible with most marine species, but should not be kept with smaller shrimp or crabs, as they may become prey. Avoid keeping them with aggressive fish that may harass or nip at the crab.

What Are Some Common Behavior Patterns And Habits Of Arrow Crabs, And How Can Owners Encourage Natural Behaviors In Their Tank Setup?

Arrow crabs are active and nocturnal in nature. They are highly territorial and aggressive towards their own species. To encourage natural behaviors, provide hiding places, deep sand beds, and live rock in the tank setup. Owners can also add small crustaceans and other invertebrates for them to hunt and feed on.


Great job! You have successfully gone through all the facts and figures related to arrow crab care. With proper setup and feeding, you can keep these fascinating creatures happy and healthy in your aquarium. Remember to keep the water condition, temperature, and salinity levels in check, as the arrow crabs are quite particular about their habitat.

You should also consider getting a suitable diet, including a mix of meaty foods, to meet their nutritional needs. Furthermore, keep a close eye on the compatibility of the tank mates while adding new members to your aquarium. By following these tips, you will ensure a thriving and enjoyable experience with your arrow crabs.

So, gear up and give your pet arrow crab the love and care it deserves, and you’ll be rewarded with a happy and vibrant creature in return.

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