Decorator crab in a reef tank


New member
I have a 45 gal AIO, and am considering adding a decorator crab. I owned one when I first got into the hobby and gave him away.

I have two concerns - one being a conflict with my fairly large coral banded shrimp who is currently a model citizen (even with my cleaner shrimp), and the other being with one tearing up the few zoas I currently have. Has anyone tried keeping these two together?

I've read on old RC posts about decorator crabs snipping soft corals but aren't sure how much damage to expect and am curious if a zoa will just die when attached to one - or will it be able to live as if it was fragged.

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A Aaron

New member
Haven't had a decorator but every crab or shrimp I've had has nipped a coral at one point. I have a cleaner shrimp for 2 years and never had a problem but recently it popped a bubble on my og bounce!! I noticed he stopped cleaning fish so I think he's looking for food more.


New member
Decorator crabs in a reef tank are either really cool, or a pain - depending on your outlook. Expect to see them browsing around with things like zoas on their back. It's what makes them interesting, but also annoying. It all comes down to your tolerance for things being changed outside of your control. Because they will!