23 May 2007

Decorating for Fiddlers

Dear Blue Lobster:

i am going to buy two fiddler crabs and i want to know the best way to decrorate their tank

Anonymous

Dear Gentle Sir:

Fiddler crabs are gregarious creatures who love companionship and a lively environment in which they can explore. So on top of the stones and gravel and rocks and plants that any Fiddler tank should provide, you can also feel free to liven it up in a number of ways.

Fiddlers love light. In addition to the default imitation sunlight lamps you can mix things up a bit with colored bulbs. For Christmas, try a red and a green bulb, and for Easter purple and yellow. Halloween might be a fun time to try out a black, or "UV" bulb that can bring out some interesting patterns in your crabs' shells. To recreate sunset on a Hawaiian beach, try GE's new pink bulbs that produce a soft, dying-sun glow that can send you and your crabs straight to the tropics. The only thing missing will be the piƱa colada.

Underwater caves and grottos are important too: your Fiddlers need to feel safe, secure, and at home. A meeting place created by conjoining pipes or crevices can give them a secret meeting area in which they can molt or mate.

Filling the tank with free-floating plants enables your crabs to enjoy hours of acrobatic fun, jumping and floating from one bunch of plants to another. And if the plants include an extra crayfish or shrimp, all the more fun! Just make sure the crays or shrimps aren't larger than your crabs or you will be left with a Fiddler holocaust.

Posters of teen idols can augment the morale of your tank. After reaching breeding size, the Fiddler lives to interact and breed on the beach. This perpetual childhood can be celebrated by using collectible trading cards as "posters" taped to the outside of your tank for the crabs to enjoy. Kirk Cameron, Scott Baio, the Coreys, and Michael J. Fox are all appropriate choices. Cards with their visages can be had on eBay for little more than the cost of shipping.

With these ideas in mind, the possibilities for aquarium decoration are endless. Just recently I set up a Fiddler crab tank with pink lights, rooted plants, and a couple trading cards of A.C. Slater and Zach Morris in the background to recreate the Malibu Sands episodes of Saved by the Bell. The Fiddlers have never had more fun!