Octo Food and Sand Moles


Hey everyone. Ive actually got a couple of questions. I went to the beach today in Wilmington, NC and caught a bunch of these sand sifting crabs out in the wake to feed my octopus, Blooper 2. I think they are genus Emerita, if that gives anyone a better idea of what they are and some people call them sand moles. Anyway, I was thinking I might put a bunch in the tank for Blooper 2 to eat and the ones he doesnt catch can maybe help turn over the sand bed a little. Has anyone had any experience with these critters? I read that they are filter feeders and Im a little afraid that they might just burrow and starve and then rot.

I also found these tiny clams that burrow around the shore as they get washed around by the waves. I thought about doing the same thing with these guys in the hopes that they move some sand around before they get eaten, but again, Im wondering if they are viable in a tank without adding plankton or anything.



So far so good. He seems to really love eating the little guys. They pop in and out of the sand every now and then and he'll snatch them up. I did a little reading up on some message boards and saw that they don't have a great survival rate in aquariums over the long term. Hopefully they'll survive long enough to get eaten. They're doing a good job turning the sand though. I'm thinking I'll try the same thing with these nassarius snails we have around here. I think they'd do a better job cleaning stuff up and not just moving sand around.


Haliphron Atlanticus
What temp do you keep your tank at? I'm asking because that may be a factor in how long the crabs and nassarius that can be caught at the beach can survive in your tank.


Staff member
You might try your moles in a small tank and only put a few in the primary tank just to see how well they hold up over time. I order (maybe when we retire I can move somewhere I can collect them out my back door :hmm:) clams and put a couple in each tank and the rest in a 10 gallon with my shrimp. They seem to do fine and Octane (Hummelincki) has eaten a couple (but not lately). I have lost one in the octo tanks on occassion but my Knobby starfish make sure the tank is not fouled. They seem to live quite a long time this way.

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