Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
How do I sign up to participate in the project?
Fill out the registration form and mail it to Maryland DNR’s Conservation Education Division.
Can private schools sign up?
I have multiple classes that want to raise horseshoe crabs at my school. Can I receive more that one set of equipment?
Each participating school will only be given one set of equipment for the project. However, teachers can apply to the Chesapeake Bay Trust for a small grant to buy additional sets of equipment. You need to advise the project coordinator that you are planning to set up additional aquaria in other classrooms.
Can I collect horseshoe crab eggs?
No! It is illegal to collect horseshoe crab eggs in Maryland without a permit from the Maryland DNR. At this time, DNR only permits Fisheries biologists to collect a limited quantity of horseshoe crab eggs for the raising project.
When is the horseshoe crab field day?
The field days take place in May or June depending on the year and availability of the site.
Do I need to release horseshoe crabs to participate in the field day?
No, the field day is an opportunity for students to have a meaningful outdoor experience that revolves around horseshoe crabs and the near shore environment. Releasing horseshoe crabs that have been raised is optional.
I think that my horseshoe crabs have died. What should I do?
Don’t panic! First, record the tank’s physical condition and the water chemistry. Make sure your bubbler and filter are working. Clean the filter if needed. Perform a water change if the tests dictate so. If there is any loose debris, try to remove with the turkey baster. Removing the debris will help you see tracks in the sand. Continue to feed the crabs, whether you see crabs or not. Look for tracks at each feeding. Near the end of the school year, if you still haven’t seen any tracks or live crabs, break down your tank. Remove most of the water and carefully sift through the sand for any living crabs. If any living crabs are found, either keep them for another year or contact Stacy Epperson (see end of FAQ’s) to arrange a delivery to our Annapolis building.
Where should I place my aquariums in my classroom?
Place tanks away from sources of heat (windows, space heaters, heat lamps) or cold (under A/C vents or open windows). They should be near an electrical outlet and protected from the possibility of something breaking the tank.
How much baby brine shrimp should I feed the horseshoe crabs?
This could vary depending on the different experiments that you might be trying to do.
When do I need to set up my aquarium tanks?
As soon as you receive your horseshoe crab eggs, set up the aquarium. Don’t wait several days; the eggs will not survive out of non-oxygenated water for very long.
Do I need to replace the water in my aquarium tanks?
It is recommended that you replace 1/3 of the tank water monthly.
- Stacy Epperson
Aquatic Resource Education Dept
Department of Natural Resources
580 Taylor Ave., E-2
Annapolis, MD 21401