Keeping crabs or shrimp alive in a tank.



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  • Keeping crabs or shrimp alive in a tank.

    I'm planning for my move to the SE and am trying to sell off or otherwise rid myself of a lot of "stuff." One thing that has been following me around in my moves has been a large fiberglass fish tank. It is about five feet long and two feet wide. I'm thinking that it would make a wonderful tank to keep crabs in so when I caught extras, or wanted to have some fresh ones when company arrives, I could have a limit on hand.

    I haven't seen anything written about this in any of the postings, so I thought I would throw it out to see if anyone has any experience with keeping crabs, or even shrimp. Obviously the tank would have to be well oxygenated, but would that be enough??

    Stupid idea?

  • #2
    I think it would be a really neat idea. I dont know if its legal. Seems like the Law would have something in it about that. If not I would say go for it. I think shrimp would be really cool.



    • #3
      i have an uncle in southeast that keeps some dungies in a pot tied off the side of his dock. always has some fresh crab available .


      • #4
        Not sure if it would be what you wanted. Like the live Maine lobsters in the grocery stores, I have noticed king crab kept in tanks seem to loose some of their sweetness and "fresh" taste.


        • #5
          It counts as your possession limit, so be sure not to have more in the tank than you personally are allowed under your license. Regs do say something against keeping crab in a live-tank to combine limits (ie: you can't keep 30 alive and claim it's 2 day's limits.) As long as you're not in excess of your res or non-res limits, I don't believe there's a problem.

          I know of a few charter boats with windows in the live well. They keep one angler's limit live so you can choose that evening's dinner a la live lobster in a restaurant.

          M/V CanCan - 34' SeaWolf - Bandon, OR


          • #6
            Yes, I saw that regulation written up in the guide as well, and if I end up doing this I will research the actual statute to see how it reads before getting too involved. One limit is probably enough anyway. I just thought it would be an interesting thing to do and a good way to spread the crab feeds out without creating a lot of leftovers. The fresh cooked ones always taste better to me than the heated up leftovers. Like lobsters in a tank versus the ones straight out of the traps, I'm sure that the crabs from the tank wouldn't be quite as good as those straight out of the water, but I'll bet they would be pretty close.

            Hopefully within a year or so I will be able to report back


            • #7
              What you gonna do to keep the water cold? When it heats up to room temp i'd bet you'll kill whatever you have in the tank. Those lobster tanks are usually refridgerated.
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              • #8
                Water temperature concerns

                I've been waiting for the expert to chime in here!

                I'm thinking that if I connected a timer controlled small pump to move water out of the bay into the tank a couple of times a day and aerate the water continually, it might hold some critters for much of the year. During the summer the water might not be cold enough. From what I have discovered on line Dungeness crabs find water between 37 and 66F to be optimal. Shrimp are probably another story. Any idea what the maximum temperature is that they can handle? I know 212F doesn't thrill them.


                • #9
                  There are commercially available chiller units designed to keep water cold for aquarium setups. You can also construct one out of an old refridgerator or freezer guts. For tanks and pumps and such check out some of the freshwater prawn sites online. I know of at least one person in Anchorage that raises prawns.


                  • #10
                    done both in the lab

                    When I was a biology student I did some tagging studies on crabs and sopt shrimp. You most deffinetly need a chiller for shrimp and keep it around 3-5C. The biggest problem with shrimp is when they come to the sufrace thier eyes get burned which causes a lot of stress on the animal. If you what to keep them for any amount of time you will get about 50-70% mortalilty before they adjust to their new surroundings. Also keep the tank covered and have plenty of structure for them to hide in. If your trying to make a meal out of them I wouldn't recomend trying to keep them alive more than a day (don't eat dead shrimp). Dungeness are pretty hearty and keep well in tanks as long as there is circulation and oxygen. They key points to keeping them alive is don't crowd them for to long and make sure to remove any dead crab qwickly, as once one dies it will spread like the plage to the others and feed them.

                    If you have any other questions feel free to PM me.


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