Introducing myself, AND a substate question

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gilsmom
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Introducing myself, AND a substate question

Post by gilsmom » Wed Dec 03, 2014 4:59 am

Hello. My well-intentioned parents brought 2 hermit crabs home to my son from a vacation to the gulf coast (purchased in a shop). He is only 4, so they have certainly become mine, though he really loves watching them in their tank. We have had them a month now, and moved them right away into a 10 gallon tank, they are small sized (prob ping-pong size and slightly smaller). We have researched (totally have lurked many many nights all over this forum!) and have things all right, but have been wanting to add more sand to have deeper substrate for them, is currently only 4 inches or so, I know it needs a few more inches. Also hoping to add more moisture to the sand when we add more, and get it more tunnel-able without panicking about collapse. It is all play sand, though we have coconut fiber to add when we add the additional needed amount. They have seemed great so far, don't seem stressed and I don't let my son do things that will cause them any more stress than a cross-country trip to their arrival already had. They don't seem to eat or drink much (have both fresh and salt water, and feed fresh foods daily, whatever fruit and veggie, plus the fish or poultry we are having for dinner, minus seasonings, we are also beekeepers and give them honey and bee pollen.
Anyhow, my question that finally caused me to register rather than continue to lurk... One crab finally dug down on Thursday or last week for the first time of digging, surfaced Friday, and then went back down Friday evening (so that was 4 or so days ago now) and hasn't been seen since, no biggie, hoping he is happily de-stressing or perhaps molting. Other one (the smaller) started making a tunnel from under his castle today, and seems to have also gone down now They were both trying other shells on for the first time (that we noticed) in the couple days before digging, though didn't wear any new shells for longer than an hour or so before returning to the originals, quite a variety of sizes and species offered. Since I didn't get the additional substrate added, do I now wait until they eventually emerge and then do it, while worrying the whole time about them not having sturdy tunnels or enough room? Or do I dig them up, and disturb them in order to provide a better place in the long run for destressing and molting? Totally torn about this. The new bag of sand and the ee is just sitting there waiting, I wish I did it before they decided to dig!
Sorry for the long post, just hoping to get some opinions on what is the lessor evil, to dig and disturb after one down 4 days, or to risk them not having the best conditions. (I'm afraid the sand has dried out more than I would like, and really want to add the coconut fiber and re-moisten it, in addition to the additional depth). THANKS A MILLION!!

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Teedeums
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Location: Connecticut, USA

Introducing myself, AND a substate question

Post by Teedeums » Wed Dec 03, 2014 7:07 am

First of all, welcome to the HCA and congrats on your new hermie freinds! It is great that you are taking such good care of them!

Since it has been less then a week, you could dig up the crabs if you really wanted to since they probably haven't actually started molting yet, just preparing themselves, but I wouldn't recommend it (it could really stress them out). They should both be up in a little bit more then a month, based on the way you described their size, so if you are willing to wait that long that would be the better option. Maybe mist the top of the sand with a spray bottle if you feel it is getting dry, that should help a little bit in keeping it moist. And please be careful not to collapse their tunnels! Hope this helps! :D
5 PPs; Ghast, Eager, Boomer, Plato, and Indigo
2 Family Dogs; Lilly and Ginger

Have a very crabby day! =D


Topic author
gilsmom
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Joined: Wed Dec 03, 2014 4:34 am

Re: Introducing myself, AND a substate question

Post by gilsmom » Wed Dec 03, 2014 7:43 am

Thank you! That sounds do-able!

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Teedeums
Posts: 177
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Introducing myself, AND a substate question

Post by Teedeums » Wed Dec 03, 2014 4:17 pm

No problem! :D
5 PPs; Ghast, Eager, Boomer, Plato, and Indigo
2 Family Dogs; Lilly and Ginger

Have a very crabby day! =D


Topic author
gilsmom
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Dec 03, 2014 4:34 am

Re: Intro, AND a substate question: UPDATE, they're up!

Post by gilsmom » Fri Jan 23, 2015 1:52 am

Just to let anyone know, both our crabs had successful molts, and are doing amazing. We were sad that they missed Christmas with us as they were underground, but my son made them a Christmas tree out of Legos so their tank was festive even if they didn't see it...
The larger one, who went down Nov 30th (Froggy), finally came back up on January 12th, which was great as that was our son's 5th birthday-and it helped make for an extra special birthday for him! The smaller one, Towie, who went down three days after Froggy (I believe), re-emerged January 16th. Froggy looks a whole lot larger, and is just COVERED in hairs, he is REALLY fuzzy. Towie doesn't seem to be much bigger than before at this time, but he looks amazing too, shiny and much more red than before. His small pincher had broken just a day or two before he went down to molt, and is completely re-grown. The articulating portion of the pincher was gone, and it now looks perfect-which was a surprise. Figured it would take a couple molts to be back to normal. Froggy chose a new shell as soon as he emerged, Towie stayed in his original one until yesterday. There had only been 5 or 6 shells in their shell shop, but yesterday we bought and boiled a whole bunch and put in a dozen or so new ones, and they went NUTS changing, stealing, stalking, changing again, etc. They must have each changed into a half dozen different shells, and that was just the ones we saw (and they were still at it when I turned off their light tonight)! They each tried on each other's original shells, and were in some WAY too big and some far to small at different times, really fun to watch and giggle at. Added a second level to their habitat yesterday as well. We are really enjoying them!!


Topic author
gilsmom
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Joined: Wed Dec 03, 2014 4:34 am

Re: Intro, AND a substate question: UPDATE part II

Post by gilsmom » Fri Jan 23, 2015 1:59 am

By the way: while they were down, we did mist the surface of the sand quite regularly, and we carefully moved the tank out of my son's room into a common room, so that he didn't have to hear me say "stop jumping! you may collapse their tunnels" twenty times a day... The table we put them on has a glass top, so we were able to occasionally peek under the tank and could see one of them once in a while. We saw him moving his pinchers when he was close enough to the bottom of the tank. That was good reassurance that he was still alive during our excruciating wait, though we taped paper under where he was so it stayed nice and dark (between peeks!)

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singlemomwithcrab
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Re: Introducing myself, AND a substate question

Post by singlemomwithcrab » Fri Jan 23, 2015 2:10 am

WHOOT WHOOT!!!!!! Congradulations :cheer: :cheer: :cheer: :cheer:
"Do or Do Not. There is no try"
50 PPs, 1 E

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kornchaser
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Re: Introducing myself, AND a substate question

Post by kornchaser » Fri Jan 23, 2015 3:28 am

Sounds like your a great crab owner even so early in as a crab mom! Congrats on your first successful molts!


Hermit mommy of 10 PP babies: Octavius Flemming, Poseidon, Junior, Matty Pumpkin, Turbo, Aries, Kaylee Frye, Pepper, Flower and Adrian Shephard.
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Crabinski
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Re: Introducing myself, AND a substate question

Post by Crabinski » Fri Jan 23, 2015 5:49 pm

No better gift any time of the year than resurfaced successfully molted crabs with hairy legs and lovely black toenails :D !
PPs are Big Enzo, Charles Paris and Mr Pinch
On the Big Beach in the Sky: Murray, Gino, Oscar, Gordon, Ignatz, Harry and King Felix the Pale
Also Mom to Imogene the Syrian Hamster

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soilentgringa
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Re: Introducing myself, AND a substate question

Post by soilentgringa » Fri Jan 23, 2015 6:10 pm

Yayyy!!!

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