Hermits killing snails?

This is my first saltwater tank. It's a 24x48x30 120g with a corner overflow. I got the tank cycled and went to the LFS to get my first critters. After much reading I went for 4 Chromis and a cleanup crew. I got my cleanup crew on the recommendation of the LFS employee. The crew consists of 10 blue leg hermits, 10 red leg hermits, 2 turbo snails, 2 nassarius snails, and 4 astria snails.

Right off the bat I managed to kill one of the astrias, I think by damaging it's foot when I was trying to move it from the bowl where I was acclimating it into the main tank. One of the astrias and the smaller turbo were attached to the shell of the larger turbo and I was having trouble getting the large turbo loose so I tried removing the smaller turbo and astria from the larger turbo to move them while I fought with the large turbo. I'm pretty sure I damaged both the small turbo and the astria when I was tried to take them off the large turbo.

The astria never did anything, just layed on the bottom and after a day or two the hermits cleaned him out of his shell. The small turbo wasn't moving around much, but he did start crawling on the rocks finally. After about a week he fell in the sand and didn't really move around much. After a couple of days the hermits had him out of his shell as well.

I wasn't too worried about these two because I figured I had killed them with improper handling and the hermits where just cleaning up. Now the hermits have gotten ahold of a second astria. I'm pretty sure this one wasn't already dead because he had be crawling on the glass the day before. It looked like he had just let go of the glass and fell to the bottom to reattach at the bottom but he didn't get to the glass quick enough and the hermits got to him.

After the wall of text here is my question, are either one of the crab species I got predatory to snails? Have I screwed up already and put incompatible species in my tank, or was the second astria injured as well and just made it a little longer than the other two snails?
 

gpdno

New member
Hermit crabs need new shells as they outgrow the old ones. They will either find a suitable one laying around in the rubble or appropriate one from a snail. In short. Hermit crabs will kill snails for their shells. All part of the circle of life :)
 
I thought of that, but they aren't taking up residence in the shells. They leave the shells where they are, just pull the juicy snail bits out and gobble them up.
 

Crooked Reef

New member
Hermits will kill snails, eat them, and may or may not try on their shells before they move on. Even if they try the shell they may not like it and go back to their original one.
 

gpdno

New member
Ya, I have a few hermits that bounce around from shell to shell depending on there mood. I do have a mix of snails and hermits and I do see a hermit wearing a snail shell from time to time. I do have a lot more snails and a lot more empty shells then hermits so I don't notice the occasional snail loss.
 

snorvich

Team RC member
Team RC
Hermits will kill snails, eat them, and may or may not try on their shells before they move on. Even if they try the shell they may not like it and go back to their original one.

this. LFS should know this but it will not stop them from selling them to you.
 
So should I just not worry about it and assume any snails I purchase will eventually end up hermit food? Snails are essential for the CUC right?
 

gpdno

New member
Yes and yes. Just get a bunch of snails. They eat stuff, lay eggs, and some get eaten. Such is life.
 

ViktorVaughn

New member
My turbos probably fare the best against my hermits but its still not a guarantee, I added about 10 empty shells that were all larger than my Red and Blue legged Hermits current shells but some still killed snails for their shells anyway. I currently have 1 blue leg in a Turbo shell, 1 in a Nassarius shell, and 1 red leg in a trochus snail shell. Here's the blue leg in the turbo shell below which is quite large, he looks very comical moving around.

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