Fiddler crabs and mudskippers are among the most interesting marine creatures out there. They commonly live in the same areas in the wild, such as the Mangrove Swamps of Japan – but can they live together in a tank?
Yes, fiddler crabs and mudskippers can live perfectly well together in a tank, as long as the tank meets both of their needs. Thanks to their interesting anatomies, both fiddler crabs and mudskippers can live both in and out of water. In fact, they require it!
Therefore, you will need to ensure that the tank has plenty of dry land (with sand and pieces of wood or rock for the animals to climb out of the water). They also live in brackish waters, which you will also need to ensure is accessible in the tank.
They have similar but not identical diets, with fiddler crabs usually eating worms, fish food in flake form, shrimp pellets, or even dried cat food. Mudskippers typically prefer a more natural diet of crickets, worms, and even small crabs (either live or dead). Therefore, they will not fight over food, nor over their land, and should live perfectly happily together in the tank.
Can fiddler crabs live with shrimp?
No, or at least, it is not likely. Fiddler crabs will eat any shrimp that are smaller than them and will fight any that are of the same size, eating them if they can. While some shrimp are particularly good fighters, the chances are that fiddler crabs will win.
They can sometimes avoid fiddler crabs in the wild, especially those using their natural capacity to hide (such as ghost shrimp) – however, this will be far more difficult in a tank, and there is no guarantee it will work.
That being said, there are also those who suggest that the Amano shrimp can live perfectly well with fiddler crabs in a tank. The Amano shrimp are of relatively the same size as fiddler crabs and are peaceful creatures.
They are not likely to get in the way of the fiddler crabs – however, should they need to defend themselves, then they will! So, if you do plan on placing some Amano shrimp with your fiddler crabs, it is essential to understand that it is a gamble and could go very well or very poorly.
Fiddler crabs with cichlids
While cichlids can survive in brackish water and would therefore seem like a perfect mate to have in a fiddler crab tank, this is not the case.
As you may know, cichlids are known for being particularly aggressive fish. They are very territorial and will fight for food. While the fiddler crabs are generally pretty peaceful, they will also attack fish that are smaller or even the same size as them as a food source.
Obviously, cichlids are also water fish, whereas fiddler crabs are amphibious and need both water and land in their tanks. While it is definitely possible to have water and land in a tank, you will need deep enough water for the cichlids, which will mean needing a particularly big tank. Therefore, it is best to opt for more amphibious creatures to share a tank with your fiddler crabs, or at least fish that are better suited to their company!
Fiddler crab and Betta
Betta fish are among the most beautiful fish that many of us ever hope to come across. Their incredible colors, fins and shapes make them an ideal addition to any tank. Or rather, we would hope that they would be an ideal addition to any tank. As it stands, fiddler crabs and Betta are definitely not well suited to living together.
First, Betta are freshwater fish, whereas fiddler crabs need brackish water in order to survive. Even if you have ever come across a fiddler crab in freshwater, the chances are that it will not survive for long, as the environment is not suitable for its needs. Therefore, you would kill one of them by keeping them either in a freshwater tank or a brackish water tank.
Secondly, as you may know, Betta fish are known for being particularly aggressive and very territorial. They do not live well with other creatures unless they have plenty of space in their tanks. Moreover, given their size, the fiddler crabs will likely try to eat them, leading to a particularly violent exchange between the two. It is, therefore, not a good idea to have fiddler crabs and Betta in the same tank.
Fiddler crabs and crayfish
Crayfish may seem like a natural companion to fiddler crabs, given their somewhat similar anatomy – however, in actual fact, the two are definitely not meant to mix.
While there are species of crayfish that can survive and even thrive in brackish waters, that does not mean that they necessarily do well in tanks with other creatures. Crayfish are particularly aggressive, especially when they are hungry and willing to catch what is around them.
While fiddler crabs are relatively calm animals, as we have seen, they will definitely fight when needing to defend themselves, and as you know, they definitely have the tools to do so! Crayfish are also very territorial and need a big enough tank to be able to live comfortably with other animals in the tank.
Sadly, crayfish and fiddler crabs in the same tank will more than likely lead to fighting and even killing each other. Therefore, it would not be wise to mix the two in the same tank, and instead look for more suitable companions for the two.