Archive for September, 2008

The Gift

September 21, 2008

I’ve been remiss in my gifts, a casualty of just exhaustion, illness, and recovery. I’m preparing a teaching on the mind training slogans of Atisha, an 11th century Buddhist master, for my meditation group. The slogans are also known as Lojong, and teach emptiness and compassion, and reinfornce the ideal of sending and taking – you send what you’d prefer to cling to….your compassion, love and equanimity, and you take what you’d rather reject….the things that scare you. In this way, you share your humanity with all mankind.

Pema Chodron works heavily in this area. In searching for things to add to my own teachings I came across this quote of hers on another blog, My Inner Edge, and it is my gift to all today. Namaste.

Compassion practice is daring. It involves learning to relax and allowing ourselves to move gently toward what scares us. The trick to doing this is to stay with emotional distress without tightening into aversion; to let fear soften us rather than harden into resistance.


The Post – News from Fiddler breeders out there!

September 8, 2008

I’ve been on break and generally restoring my spirit after being sick for a few months. In that time,  I’ve received a few correspondences about fiddler crabs from work others are doing.

So for today’s post, I wanted to get back in touch and share these items here. There’s some good info here for all. I’ll relate them as a question and answer format, and one correspondent even provided pictures of his fiddlers. So lots of exciting things to share with you all.

Thus, without further delay:  News from fiddler breeders out there

From Jeff from Michigan:

i recently purchased 1 male and 3 female fiddlers from my local pet store. i have scavenged what little information there is on the net for about 3 weeks now. this past friday i noticed my smallest female is carrying eggs. HELP! i have no idea what to do. does anybody out there have full, detailed information that could help me? any info would be greatly appreciated.

My reply:

I had a similar call for help recently and here was my response to that person. What you do depends on what you want to achieve. But read my post to her for starters:

Also, for all the info I know about fiddler crabs, please check out this page on my blog – it has all the post links for any post I wrote with fiddler crab info:

Hopefully, this will help you get started. Let me know if you need any more info and I can help. Good luck!


Jeff responded with a new question:

believe it or not debra, you probably have the most information available to prospective fiddler crab breeders. i read through a lot of your journals, and i have to ask: what if i were to start with full marine salinity? would my female be able to handle that, or would it shock her. let me know what you think. by my calculations, i have 7 days to get a nursery tank set up with flawless water conditions. thank you so much for your response and your help on this.
My response:
My next experiment was going to be to just set up the nursery aquarium with the same brackish water as the original tank. It might not work, but I wanted to give it a try. The last two marine water experiments didn’t work, which doesn’t mean I was necessarily wrong, and it might be something else yet in that tank. But I was curious that since fiddlers do generally live in brackish water, whether the babies could survive by keeping the water stable at that salinity. My experience with my adult fiddlers regarding full marine salinity, is that they hate it and freak out and try to literally climb the aquarium walls. Their reaction was strong and negative. And in researching it, the species I have, they are generally found furthest up the salt marsh away from the ocean, so they are used to the least salinity, hence, they do NOT like high salinity. In fact, a research study I came across on salinity showed that my species just don’t live in it. There’s a couple other species that might, but not mine. So at least for me, I don’t think my female would handle it well. And I just didn’t have the heart to stress her out being pregnant, ready to deliver, and being put in a new tank all at the same time. I tried to minimize her discomfort. Long way of saying, I won’t put the adults in marine salinity.

I wish you luck on your efforts!

On Aug 6, He came back with some info he gleaned from the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, CA AND some pictures!!!!:
Hello again Debra. Thank you again for responding. Although i think i may not be able to get things set up for this batch of eggs, my head is swirling with ideas. I have been cramming as much knowledge as i can get off the net into my head, and i have also been making a few phone calls. I had an interesting conversation with a husbandry specialist at The Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, California. Although she told me my chances were slim to none, she was able to make some possibly helpful suggestions. First, she told me one of the reasons the larvae have such a high mortality rate is because of how susceptible they are to parasites. Have you ever heard of a uv filter? My friend has one in his saltwater aquarium. It is my understanding that these filters will almost completely sterilize your tank of parasites that may be harmful to it’s inhabitants. Secondly, the lady i talked to described what is called an ozone generator. I have no knowledge of these, i only know that they supposed to keep your water almost completely sterile and that they make them for aquariums. I was wondering if these 2 items combined with live rock, live sand, and possibly some marine micro algae could almost make a nursery tank completely sterile for these larvae to make it to mini-crab status. If it’s okay with you, i’d like to keep in touch with you to see if maybe we can come up with a solution for this. I think all fiddler crab enthusiasts should unite to solve this problem. If there’s one thing I hate more than anything in life, it’s somebody or some website telling me i CAN’T do something! Thank you again for responding and understanding my love for my fiddlers. P.S. I am enclosing a picture of Dr. Claw and the pregnant female. We haven’t named her yet.                                                     jeff
My comment:
Since I can’t figure out how to get pics from my email into this post, here is the link to see his photo of Dr. Claw, followed by the link of his picture of the pregnant female:


I asked Jeff if I could share his posts and he responded with an enthusiastic YES, along with questions for the readers:

Hello debra. i absolutely approve of you posting my responses to you. although at this time i will not be able to put my theories to the test, i would like to hear of someone else trying. the reason for this is the price of the ozone generator (Cheapest one i’Ve seen is $150) and uv filters are also around $50-$90. preliminary research i have done leads me to believe that there is a combo uv/Ozone generator, but it was well over $200. i look forward to following your progress, as well as sharing any new information i can dig up. in my mind, i would like to find out exact salinity parameters, proper size tank, and how to implement the uv/Ozone generator to make water conditions near perfect. i think it is wonderful what you are doing for fiddler crab enthusiasts around the world. they are a very underrated pet. good luck to you and to us all in finding the solution to this mystery.


On Aug 24th, he added this happy news:

hello again debra. this is jeff again. long time no talk. i thought i would give you an amazing updated on my progress. after chatting with you, i found a cheap 3 gallon eclipse aquarium system off of craig’s list. i purchased the tank and and was lucky to find a uv sterilizer at my local petsmart that fit perfectly in the 3 gallon tank. i put a brand of gravel called carib-sea into the tank. it is loaded with live microbacteria and aragonite. after the tank was set up i decided to let it run overnight and put the female in the next day. that was my mistake. the next morning i awoke to find her releasing the larvae in the crab tank. nothing i could do at that point. when i got home from work i took an eye dropper and a turkey baster and tried to get as many larvae out of the parent tank and transferred them to the 3 gallon nursery tank. at that point, more than half had disappeared. the next day i noticed hundreds of them attached to the glass into the adult tank, and none were found in the nursery tank. i put drops of phytoplankton in both tanks twice a day, even though none were visible in the nursery tank. the next day i noticed that all larvae had also disappeared out of the adult tank. i was bummed. i continued to put phytoplankton in both tanks anyways. a few days ago i was feeding my crabs when i noticed that i large group of larvae were congregated behind my filter inside of the adult tank. no way! i am continuing to feed the phytoplankton twice a day, and they are still in there. then today, day 11 for both larvae tanks, i actually spotted a couple in the 3 gallon nursery tank. unbelievable! i am officially on day 11 right now and i still have larvae alive in both tanks! the only thing i can think of is that they are surviving in the carib-sea gravel. i witnessed one of the larvae in the nursery tank swimming down into the gravel and then disappeared. i will continue to monitor the situation and pray to the heavens that i can get a few to survive to the megalopa stage. wish me luck!


P.S. i also now have 2 other pregnant females in my tank. both are less than a week along now. hooray!

If anyone has any thoughts to add regarding all the things Jeff has discovered or any answers to his questions, PLEASE do respond so the info can be shared with all.
ALSO, another reader, Kelly, sent this:
My female crab released her eggs about 3 weeks ago. there have been tiny little bug like things swimming in the tank since then. I have a 6x magnifier and when looking through it these things do not look like any of the pictures of crab larvae posted on the web., How do I know if these moving specs are my baby crabs or small bugs in my tank? They crawl on the rocks and float/swim around they are whitish gray and round. They do not seam to have a tail as pictured on the web. Please help this is the only blog (re: scarlet o hara) that may give me some insight.
My response:
It sounds like those could be babies. I used a 10x magnification to see the babies and even then it was just barely able to see the tails. But then mine only survived a few days.
I have to ask….it’s been three weeks?  If so, and those ARE babies, then you’ve had the best success of all of us. By three weeks they would be big enough to move around rocks and swim in the water as opposed to just drifting in the currents. What is your tank water like in terms of salinity – fresh? brackish? marine?  Are you running a water filter or just an air bubbler or air wand?  Can you describe your tank setup?  Do you have any other critters in the tank or just fiddler crabs?  Please see the links above in this post for all the blog entries I have on this subject and I would love to hear how your tank is set up compared to what I and others have been trying. Looking forward to your info!!
Thanks Deb
So that’s all the fiddler goings on with readers. In another post tomorrow, I’ll update on how my three fiddlers are doing!  Take care!