I was in one of your stores the other day and saw some adorable Fiddler Crabs in the Pet Dept. They were in an aquarium with the water to the top and filled with other fish. They were so cute (I thought) as they were dancing all about on the barren aquarium floor. I asked for help, as I knew NOTHING about them, other than I would like to purchase some. A young man came up to assist me. Asking questions, I was told by your employee, that these were "Fresh water crabs, did not need to surface, as they hold enough air in their shell to last a year." (?) I pondered that statement, what do they do after a year? Then he said he had to come by and knock the ones that made it up to the surface filter, off! I was also warned, that they were climbers and could get out of the aquarium. I was told they sell fast, because people buy them to clean the bottom of their aquariums. When I asked again if they didn't need some dry land, I was told no, they live under the water. I was also told two would live comfortably in a fish bowl. I bought two males and brought them home, placing them in de-chlorinated fresh water in the bowl with some pebbles on the bottom. Then, I fed them. They DEVOURED EVERYTHING I dropped in the bowl, like they had not eaten for months! Next morning, I did what I usually do when I find something I love...I research it on the web. Well...I WAS SHOCKED! Fiddler Crabs can only live long term in brackish water (some salt in the fresh water!) They ALSO need LAND to crawl out of the water and BREATH! One can also keep 2 Fiddlers in a 10 gallon aquarium comfortably, not a fish bowl! After reading this, I went straight to Pets Smart, bought an aquarium, filter, hood, beach sand and hideaway decorative plants in rocks with holes (as they also love to hide) and everything they needed to “feel at home!” In their natural environment, they live on the beach sand and go into the water. Surprisingly, I also read, they can become so frustrated trying to get out of the water, they give up and die!
I then went straight back to Wal-Marts, where I purchased my first two little guys. The rest were still dancing, but not “adorably”...This time I knew they were frantic...THEY WERE DROWNING! Yes, they will live in fresh water for several weeks, but by the time a consumer buys one and keeps it per the instructions (if any) that your information misguided employees gives them, they too, will die. As I was standing in line waiting to purchase the two (more) little guys I was, at this point RESCUING (my heart still breaks for all the rest in the tank at your store!)...the couple behind me remarked, that they bought two also, a couple of weeks ago, and put them in the aquarium with the rest of their fish. The Fiddlers climbed out within two days and were both found on the kitchen floor, dead. Their two little daughters were devastated! They too, had been told they would live on the bottom of their aquarium, in fresh water, and did not need air!
I know I am most likely wasting my time here, writing to you, because the DOLLAR speaks more than life itself, evidently, no matter what form of life it is.
But I will plead to you to at least put them in their own tank, with water on one end and sand for land, on the other. ALSO, when I went back, I noticed, there was no evidence of ANY FOOD OR NOURISHMENT! Why, I would presume, my little guys were starving when I got them home! I have ALWAYS FELT SO SORRY for the Beta fish, from what I can tell, they are never fed either. I wouldn't hesitate to say, none of your fish are fed while in your stores. (?) Right?
There is PLENTY OF INFORMATION on the little Fiddler Crabs on the internet...so if your poor unsuspecting consumers, like myself...purchase them, the least Wal-Mart can do is advise your customers to research them. No life, big or little, deserves to die, especially because of ABUSE, and YES WAL-MART, this is ABUSE!
Signed, Rebecca L. Welter, McKinney, TX.