Can I use Sand Crabs (Sand Fleas) as food?

Silman

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I'm in the bay area and whenever I go Surf Fishing I use Sand Crabs (sometimes called Sand Fleas) for bait to catch Surf Perch and Striper.

I was wondering if I could use these as food for Octopus as well. I haven't even started a tank but I was curious about my potential food possibilities if I were to start one.

If I were to keep an octo it'd be a Bimac so I guess my question is really: will bimac eat/enjoy Sand Crabs? But I am also curious if in general octopus will eat them and if anyone's done that.

What other foods can I easily/cheaply acquire to feed an octopus if I'm in the Bay Area, CA?
 

Silman

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I might keep a dwarf instead because of it's smaller size. Would O. mercatoris also eat the Sand Crabs if I make sure to get tinier ones?
 

Nancy

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Octopuses love shrimp and crabs, so I imagine your bimac would eat sand crabs, I don’t know sand crabs - do you catch them or buy them? My bimac was very fond of fiddler crabs, even when she grew larger.

Are you planning to catch an bimac? They’re not readily sold.

Nancy
 

Silman

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Octopuses love shrimp and crabs, so I imagine your bimac would eat sand crabs, I don’t know sand crabs - do you catch them or buy them? My bimac was very fond of fiddler crabs, even when she grew larger.

Are you planning to catch an bimac? They’re not readily sold.

Nancy
I wasn't planning on catching the bimac, I'll honestly raise whatever I can find that's sold online or in-store nearby. I'm close to SF so I'd imagine there must be some pet store that sells them (or other octopus).

As for the sand crabs, I catch them. They are ALL OVER if you scoop up the wet sand on the beach and I find all sized from pea-sized to quarter-sized. Unlike other common crab that i think most people feed their cephs these crab burrow into the sand. Not sure if that will be a problem for the octo since they aren't visible when they are burrowed and the only way fish find them is because of the waves washing them out of their sand for moments before they attempt to burrow again.
 

tonmo

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Not sure if that will be a problem for the octo since they aren't visible when they are burrowed and the only way fish find them is because of the waves washing them out of their sand for moments before they attempt to burrow again.
I'm not an expert, but my guess would be it would not a problem for the octopus since the tank is confined. I'm pretty sure we've had folks who have access do indeed catch such crabs and feed them to their cephs. I just did a search for sand fleas, here -- https://www.tonmo.com/search/ -- try it, there are plenty of discussions to peruse!
 

Silman

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I'm not an expert, but my guess would be it would not a problem for the octopus since the tank is confined. I'm pretty sure we've had folks who have access do indeed catch such crabs and feed them to their cephs. I just did a search for sand fleas, here -- https://www.tonmo.com/search/ -- try it, there are plenty of discussions to peruse!
Thanks!

i also did a search for "mole crab" and "sand mole" to get all the possibilities. There is a lot of talk but not a ton of results posted.

At least one member I found had success feeding his octo and it seemed to take to them just fine: Octo Food and Sand Moles

So this is good news! Might be worth experimenting with if/when i build my tank.
 

tonmo

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cool, we'd definitely be interested in the results (and the tank journey itself :smile:)
 

Nancy

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If you hold up the crab and let your octopus see it, he’ll be watching when it enters the water. He will dig for it. It was the same with the fiddlers I used.

Nancy
 

DWhatley

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Definitely try it but place the crab in some kind of open container. I ordered some a number of years ago but sadly the sender did not know how to ship them and then the post office delayed the shipment further so that my poor mailman had to carry an extremely stinky package in the middle of summer. The smell was so bad that he left the package some distance from our door. Needless to say, I never got to try them with an octo so do post your results!
 

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