scarlet hermit vs snails


New member
Do scarlet reef hermit crabs eat snails? Im finding some empy shells, and havent seen or heard any mantis or pistol shrimps.. but sometimes see a hermit near the empty shells.


Infinitely Prolonged
Premium Member
A hermit crab will go after a snail if the snail is dead or dying. Snails have a nasty habit of falling over and dying, often in the middle of the night when no one is looking. A crab isn't going to pass up a free snack.

If you're worried about crabs stealing shells, put a couple of empty ones in your tank, so crabs have something to move into when they molt.


Phish Lover
They are scavengers and will eat a dying, injured or dead snail. I find them to be less aggressive then other hermits though. It is still possible that they could try to kill a snail and successfully do it. I usually only keep scarlet hermits because they are less aggressive, so when I find a dead snail with them in eating at it I presume its because the snail died first from some other cause. Its also good to have empty shells in your tank so the hermits can change their shells as they grow. Without them it is more likely that they will attack the snails just for their shell and a little dinner.


New member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=10487808#post10487808 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by MalHavoc
A crab isn't going to pass up a free snack.

Your correct, but it dosent matter if its dying injured or dead. If they can get ahold of it they will eat it.. Usually though scarlet hermits are less prone to be killing snails.


New member
After watching my dwarf hermits, including one scarlett, off 2 snails in a day they were sent packing.


New member
I had a lot of problems with hermits eating my snails as well. I've seen the blue legs and scarlet hermits do this to astrea snails, and then use the shell. The way I solved this problem was by buying large mexican grazers. They are bad about knocking things over that are not well placed though, so if you buy them beware. When these guys die, the smell is horrendous too if you don't get them out immediately. Its quite a large snail, and they all seem to have voracious appetites.


New member
I kicked the hermits out and have been very happy since. Got tired of buying "replacement" snails to feed to the crabs...cause that seemed like all I was doing.


New member

I have also seen a significant decrease in my snails overtime and I never thought the two were related. Is there something else that can
replace the job that is done by the hermits or just thorough water changes. What about serpent stars and brittles stars are they worth having.



New member
I have not had any problems without them. Just some extra snails. I think I remember others reporting the same thing.....

btw, dont know where the fishy logo is, but WELCOME!!!!!