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FAQs about Abalone Compatibility

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Related FAQs:  Abalones, Abalone Identification, Abalone Behavior, Abalone Selection, Abalone Systems, Abalone Feeding, Abalone Disease, Abalone Reproduction, Gastropods in General: Gastropods/SnailsSnail ID 1, Snail ID 2, Snail Behavior, Snail Selection, Snail Compatibility, Snail Systems, Snail Feeding, Snail Disease, Snail Reproduction, MollusksSea Slugs

Most all macro and micro-algae are likely food. Caulerpa racemosa, Green Grape Algae.

Question for the experts. Hermit, snail in/comp.    11/3/09
Thank you so much for your informative website, and generous dealings with newbies to the saltwater/reef hobby. About 3-4 weeks ago, I went to PetCo (I prefer my LFS but they are the only place open after 6pm...) and bought two pieces of live rock, transferring them to my 20g aquarium. I didn't notice anything until about 2 weeks after I had the rocks, when I turned the lights off. There were several tiny, maybe half to 3/4 the size of a dime snails that didn't look anything like the other snails Petco had advertised! I had a suspicion that they were something unusual, and did some research.
Although so tiny that one would need a good magnifying glass to see details, the shape of the shell is pretty textbook. So I really enjoyed having these little guys, as they were the only moving thing in the aquarium big enough to watch! I went out of town for 5 days over thanksgiving, and forgot to tell my boyfriend (who was taking care of my freshwater thank) to watch the water level on the saltwater. When I got back, I thought the evaporation might have caused high of salinity levels, and wasn't sure what would have become of the abalone. A day or so later I saw one empty shell on the sand, and sadly thought all of them must have died. Then in a couple days I decided that since the aquarium levels were all good (0's on phosphate, nitrites/ates, ammonia) I would get some hermit or Mithrax crabs as "janitors". I purchased two "red legged" hermit crabs yesterday. Then yesterday night after turning off the lights, what do I see but the two little abalone I had thought were dead! So my big question is this (and I'm sorry if this was too long-winded of a message but I wanted to be clear):
Do the abalone have any chance of escaping the hermit crabs?
<Mmm, some, yes. If the Hermits are well fed...>
I have found on your website and others that hermits are voracious and not to be trusted with smaller snails, but pointedly because the crabs wanted the shell.
<Mmm, no, not just the shells... but for food as well>
Your website definitely mentioned that one should stay away from housing hermits together with any similar sized snails, with attractively shaped shells, but that if kept well fed and given extra shells the crabs probably would not bother snails, especially those much bigger or smaller than themselves.
<Size bears little relation to predation here... the Hermits will eat the largest of Gastropods if hungry>
I want to keep the abalone, but would rather not keep them as the only thing in the tank, I really want some crabs or shrimp for interest. Would another
type of sand-sifter/algae eater be a less predatory tank mate for the abalone?
<Mmm, yes... but really better to counter algae here in other ways.
Competition, nutrient limitation, removal...>
Do the abalone have the possibility of growing to near-full-size?
<If conditions are propitious, yes>
I read elsewhere that they are very sensitive to changes in salinity, and usually don't last long in captivity. But if they would continue to grow, and the hermits are a real threat, I will gladly take back the hermits to keep the abalone. Please let me know what you think, and thank you SO much for the great resources and info you provide!
Katie P.
P.S. you can, of course, edit this email to a reasonable length if you wish to post it!
<No worries. Katie, if you're very interested in these snails, I would return the Hermits. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Abalones... predaceous? 3/19/08 Hello, I recently bought an abalone (ORA aquacultured), it seems to have acclimated to my tank just fine. However, today while sitting on my couch I saw a hermit crab walk by the abalone and as it went past, the abalone reached out and grabbed the crab by its shell. I was freaked out so I coaxed the crab away from the abalone. A few minutes later I saw the abalone reach for my mandarin as it went past. These actions don't match anything that I have read? Is this odd behavior? In your opinion is it possible the abalone will eat my other critters? Thanks for your time, Matt <Is very odd... All Haliotids are macrophagous herbivores when they're of any size (an inch or more)... I did a stint working in the same area as David Leighton of much Abalone research/publishing note, and have visited facilities that raise Abs... never heard of this. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Wrasse eating an abalone?   4/1/07 Just a short question today guys. I have recently purchased a lone 3 cm 6-lined wrasse for my 10 gallon tank. I was wondering if this fish would pose a problem to my hitch-hiking abalone (1cm Radius). Thanks <With this size ratio of the wrasse to abalone, it unlikely he will be able to consume the animal right "now." However as he matures and grows, and he will grow quickly at this size...the abalone will be fair game as will any other smaller invertebrate life like amphipods...it's only a matter of time. **AJ**>

Abalone, Haliotis, BTA, Entacmaea quadricolor Compatibility -- 3/7/07 Hi, <Hi Brian, Brenda here tonight> Love the website & thanks for the help!! <Thank you Brian and you're welcome!> I received an abalone today from LiveAquaria.com.  After acclimating and placing it in my tank, I noticed two small anemones on the abalone's shell. <No doubt a pest anemone of some sort.> I also have in the tank a rose colored bulb tip anemone.  Will there be any compatibility problems? <You will not have any compatibility problems with the BTA and Abalone.  However, do get rid of the pest anemones that arrived with your order before they take over your tank.  More information here:  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/cav1i3/aiptasia_impressions/aiptaisia_impressions.htm> Thanks, Brian <You're welcome!   Brenda>

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