Small Crabs Underground for 3 Months

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Tkelly1
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Small Crabs Underground for 3 Months

Post by Tkelly1 » Mon Dec 02, 2019 8:58 pm

My daughters bought boardwalk crabs (I know, I know!) in Late August. Once I read about how to care for them I quickly created the correct habitat for them. One of them moved into a bigger shell immediately. Within one week of the new habitat, they dug under and have not been seen for three months. There is no fish smell or other indication of death. They showed signs of molting before digging so I expected it to run its course and see them emerge. But now I am wondering where they are. We have not dug them up or disturbed them. They were about two inches when they came home. Should I assume they have died? How much longer should I wait? Thank you!

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Hermiesguardian
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Re: Small Crabs Underground for 3 Months

Post by Hermiesguardian » Tue Dec 03, 2019 12:24 am

Welcome! It could take months. I have heard that at month 8 it's time to worry. Just keep feeding and changing the water. Just resist the urge to dig.
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Raising daughter's hermit crabs, Shelder, Paras and Derek. Added 2 more of my own (of course) Pete and Stryper. Former mommy to 2 guinea pigs and beloved cat, Nissi

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curlysister
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Re: Small Crabs Underground for 3 Months

Post by curlysister » Tue Dec 03, 2019 12:28 am

As HG said, it could take months. Also, they might come up and go back down and you don't notice. I always said my smaller crab molted for longer than my larger crab. But then I saw her top-side for literally two hours one evening and back down she went. If I hadn't happened to be looking in the tank, I would have said that she molted for like 5 months - when in reality she was down for 3 months, up for 2 hours, then back down for 2 more months!
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CrabbyLover77
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Re: Small Crabs Underground for 3 Months

Post by CrabbyLover77 » Tue Dec 03, 2019 12:30 am

Tkelly1 wrote:My daughters bought boardwalk crabs (I know, I know!) in Late August. Once I read about how to care for them I quickly created the correct habitat for them. One of them moved into a bigger shell immediately. Within one week of the new habitat, they dug under and have not been seen for three months. There is no fish smell or other indication of death. They showed signs of molting before digging so I expected it to run its course and see them emerge. But now I am wondering where they are. We have not dug them up or disturbed them. They were about two inches when they came home. Should I assume they have died? How much longer should I wait? Thank you!
Someone else can probably give you a more exact time line, but I don't think I'd worry just yet. Larger crabs can take even take a few months to molt. They were probably in very bad conditions before they got to you and were very stressed. So they could have been just destressing in the beginning, and then decided to molt. It's good that you haven't disturbed them. Just keep putting fresh food and water out for them as needed. They'll probably come up when you least expect it! Image

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Re: Small Crabs Underground for 3 Months

Post by wodesorel » Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:03 am

I don't even get concerned until month 4, and at two inches they are squarely in the medium category if not squeaking towards large, so 2 to 4 months would be an average for them.

Like curly, I've experienced the teeny crab ghosts, too. I saw my Firefly all of 4 times the first year because he would molt, some up for a few days only in the middle of the night to eat, and then immediately molt again! Thats not normal thankfully, but it can happen.


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Tkelly1
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Re: Small Crabs Underground for 3 Months

Post by Tkelly1 » Tue Dec 03, 2019 1:36 pm

Thank you all for your advice. I will let them be and hope to see them soon!

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Re: Small Crabs Underground for 3 Months

Post by DragonsFly » Tue Dec 03, 2019 3:35 pm

Tkelly1 wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 1:36 pm
I will let them be and hope to see them soon!
:lol: That's the whole story of crab-keeping, right there!
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MauiMama
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Re: Small Crabs Underground for 3 Months

Post by MauiMama » Tue Dec 03, 2019 8:48 pm

I'm struggling with this too, my only crab has been down 3 months and counting. I'm very sure he has not been up (I put out "lines" of calcium powder on the substrate to see if it gets disturbed). It is SO HARD not to worry! Taking care of my pet sand has gotten dispiriting, too. TT_TT

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DragonsFly
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Re: Small Crabs Underground for 3 Months

Post by DragonsFly » Thu Dec 05, 2019 8:46 pm

Yes, well that will be what happens on a regular basis throughout their lives. As I said, Major Tom was down for 18 months a couple of years ago, and yes, while they are down you still need to maintain conditions and keep some fresh food and waters going. As a result (and for a number of other reasons), they really are not good "pets"--they are wild animals with specific needs, and generally speaking, the attraction really has to be in creating your own home zoological exhibit, not so much in the crabs themselves as "pets." :?
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MT and BJ jumbos now. Everybody excited to move somewhere warm and beachy.

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MauiMama
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Re: Small Crabs Underground for 3 Months

Post by MauiMama » Thu Dec 05, 2019 11:21 pm

Don't get me wrong, I love the hobby and I love caring for them. I can't help but miss him anyway.

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DragonsFly
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Re: Small Crabs Underground for 3 Months

Post by DragonsFly » Fri Dec 06, 2019 12:46 pm

Yeah, I get it. :( I am worried about Major Tom now, as they were fostered for some time in what turned out to be not-ideal conditions, and he has struggled since they got here. He's down now for the second time since I finally got them here (a couple of months ago), and I hope he is okay, but I realize I may not know whether or not he even survives for another year and a half or so! Welcome to the waiting game. :/
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Resident PP's:"Major Tom" "Billie Jean" & "Mr. Jones"
MT and BJ jumbos now. Everybody excited to move somewhere warm and beachy.

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MauiMama
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Re: Small Crabs Underground for 3 Months

Post by MauiMama » Fri Dec 06, 2019 2:34 pm

Your story is the main thing that gives me hope when I do start to worry. A year and a half is ridiculous lol

I hope the Major comes up alright!

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DragonsFly
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Re: Small Crabs Underground for 3 Months

Post by DragonsFly » Fri Dec 06, 2019 7:03 pm

:) Thanks; best wishes for yours, too!
--{}: Dragons Fly Farm --{}:
Resident PP's:"Major Tom" "Billie Jean" & "Mr. Jones"
MT and BJ jumbos now. Everybody excited to move somewhere warm and beachy.

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