Did you know that crabs are not just good at looking cool in your saltwater aquarium, but are also very handy when it comes to cleaning? Discover what cleaning crab is the best choice for you and your aquarium needs! 

Best Crabs For Tank Cleaning

Most aquarium hobbyists love crabs. There is something beautiful and strange about these crustaceans, but did you know that many of them are also great natural cleaners for your saltwater aquarium?

Debris and algae can both be an issue with your tank, and nobody likes an unclean environment. Not keeping on top of things like algae runs the risk of damaging your aquarium, harming plants and animals. However, we can rely on nature to give us a helping hand. 

A clean up crew is essential in any tank to make sure the habitat is looked after and healthy. Some of the great cleaners are crabs! Let’s look at the top five tank cleaning crabs and the reasons why you should have them in your aquarium!

Also, not only are these crabs amazing cleaners, they are also coral safe, so don’t be worried about that when choosing which one you are wanting to add to your aquarium.

1 – Blue and Red Legged Hermit Crabs 

Hermit crabs are a great addition to your saltwater aquarium and will eat just about anything. Hermit crabs are great for both beginners and novice hobbyists. 

These crabs are infamous for moving from shell to shell as they grow, finding new homes every as they get bigger! They are fascinating crustaceans and also very useful when it comes to cleaning the aquarium. 

Blue legged hermit crabs love scavenging and sifting through the substrate for any detritus, finishing off any leftovers that might be hanging around. They also are a great way to keep on top of any algae problems you might be having. They love the green stuff and as they are small they can reach a lot of algae and debris in the deep depths of the aquarium that might be hard to find!

They are pretty hard and easy to look after, however they can get aggressive towards snails if they feel threatened. Make sure you have a lot of different sized shells around the tank so they feel comfortable and secure and always have a place to hide.

The red-legged cousin of the blue legged hermit crab is another great way of keeping your saltwater aquarium clean.

Similarly to the blue legged hermit crab, this one also loves to eat algae and debris. It is a serious scavenger and eats hair algae, which a lot of cleaners tend to avoid. 

These crabs are known to be less aggressive than the blue legged hermit crab, but do watch out for them when they are around snails as they might attack. Make sure they have enough shells to live in and enough food to eat and your aquarium will stay peaceful! 

2 – Left-handed Hermit Crab

The left-handed hermit crab is another wonderful crab and a very interesting species! This type of hermit crab is famous for having one massive left claw. This claw is used to block the entrance of the crab’s shell when it has hidden inside. It is the second-largest family of hermit crabs, with over 400 variants of the species found around the world. 

It is a really popular choice for beginner hobbyists as they are docile and hardy crustaceans. They are also fine to have in a coral reef. Growing up to an inch, these crabs are also known as zebra hermit crabs as their legs have black and white stripes.

These crabs will munch on the green hair in your tank, which can be a real nuisance for saltwater aquarium owners. They also will clean up any debris that might be floating around in your tank. 

3 – Emerald Crab

Finally, let’s take a look at the emerald crab, a beautiful and helpful addition to your saltwater aquarium. 

Their dark green exoskeleton is incredibly eye catching and they are wonderful to look at. They are also very hardy crustaceans and can be kept happy easily enough. As long as they have enough food to eat, these crabs are content and peaceful.

If you have issues with bubble algae, these are the crabs to go for as they love the slimy stuff! Bubble algae can be difficult to deal with, so having a helping hand (or pincer) is great.

They also eat debris and leftover food, spending most of their time either wandering around the aquarium looking out for anything to munch on or hiding in the rocks. When deciding what clean up crew you are going to assemble, be aware that this crab needs their rocks as they will feel a bit unsafe if they can’t hide out in them!

Emerald crabs don’t grow too big and very dolice, rarely bothering with the other fish or inverts around them as long as they have enough food to eat.

Final Thoughts

Crabs are an amazing addition to any saltwater aquarium. Most are very interesting to watch and learn about, with every crab having interesting and unique shells and appearances. 

If you are a beginner hobbyist, bringing crabs into your aquarium is a great way to keep on top of the cleaning. The three discussed are very easy to take care of and do a great job when it comes to the aquarium clean up!