New (ish) crab owner w/ a few questions

This is the place to post if you have questions and aren't sure where to ask them! If it relates to one of the sections below, please post there instead.

Topic author
meg_and_the_zoo
Posts: 201
Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2015 10:33 pm

New (ish) crab owner w/ a few questions

Post by meg_and_the_zoo » Mon Jun 08, 2015 10:58 pm

Hi all! First let me say this site is wow...so much information. Very cool! Back in the fall of 2013 I purchased 3 crabs (I believe all are PPs based on other's photos here) from Petsmart and, based on what I've read here, its a miracle that they're all still alive. And yet...they are lol but a full day spent on Pinterest that led me here has shown me that I could be doing a lot more for them.

That being said, I could no doubt spend weeks+ reading all of the info here & learning everything I need to know but based on my perusing from most of the day yesterday, I have a few quick, specific questions as I prepare to better my setup & care.

1. What is the purpose of a false bottom? I've seen a few posts referencing floods but am not sure what would cause such a thing.
2. I found a video online (Pinterest is a blessing & a curse lol) showing how to make a DIY humidifier. Is a humidifier OK for a crab tank or is more organic moisture introduction preferred?
3. Is it ok to serve crabs frozen fruits and/or veggies? I saw several posts referencing freezing fresh foods for them since they eat so little but not sure if they can be given treats straight from the freezer or if it should be thawed first.
4. How long should I boil rocks, stones, etc. before setting them out to cool before use in the tank?
5. How should I clean/sterilize plastic to be used in the tank? I can't boil it so I'm not entirely sure how best to prepare it for use in the tank.

I'm sure I'll have plenty more questions as I navigate my way through this but these are the ones that jumped out at me last night.

Thanks!!


fantasybookworm
Posts: 475
Joined: Wed Apr 22, 2015 8:59 am

Re: New (ish) crab owner w/ a few questions

Post by fantasybookworm » Mon Jun 08, 2015 11:12 pm

I'm pretty new too, but I think I might be able to help! I'm starting to get the hang of things finally (I think).

1. If water pools manage to leak, or if they get something in them that helps siphon water out & into the sub, that can cause a flood. Likewise, humidifiers, too much misting, drip systems, etc. can all cause a flood because there's only so many places for the extra moisture to go.

2. They're fine! I used a store-bought humidifier for a short time before I discovered how to keep my humidity up better (tinfoil over the whole lid, airstones in the pools). But if you use a humidifier, you definitely want a false bottom because that's a very likely situation for a flood.

3. Yup! Personally I put them in frozen because they're so small & the tank is so warm they thaw in no time. But I'm no longer doing frozen/fresh foods (crabs won't eat it, they go after the dried stuff more). And I know others do thaw things before putting them in. I think it may be more of a personal preference thing.

4. That one I"m not sure on.

5. 50/50 vinegar/dechlor water works well! I think some people just do a saltwater soak instead, and I know I've seen bleach referenced before, if used sparingly, rinsed very well, and allowed to air dry completely before going in. Hopefully someone more experienced will have more info on the best option.


Topic author
meg_and_the_zoo
Posts: 201
Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2015 10:33 pm

Re: New (ish) crab owner w/ a few questions

Post by meg_and_the_zoo » Tue Jun 09, 2015 12:36 am

Awesome...thank you!

As I'm reading more tonight I'm feeling worse and worse for my dudes It seems that most of the shells I have for them are the D opening rather than the round opening that seems to be the preference for the PPs. It appears that some more shopping is in my future for tomorrow lol My husband will be so pleased


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


fantasybookworm
Posts: 475
Joined: Wed Apr 22, 2015 8:59 am

Re: New (ish) crab owner w/ a few questions

Post by fantasybookworm » Tue Jun 09, 2015 12:49 am

Try not to feel too bad - a lot of people start off badly with crabbies, but the important thing is that you're here & learning more, and that you want to do better for them. :) Do you have a Joanne Fabrics nearby? I got a surprise when I found an awesome shell bag there was specifically a green mix - with tons of green turbos! http://www.joann.com/panacea-products-g ... s&start=14 If I remember right, I got about 30 usable shells out of the bag for my guys, but I have two that are still quite small. Even so, I still got one or two shells for my medium crab too. Michaels & Hobby Lobby both sell shell bags too, usually with a few turbos in them. Good luck! :)


Kleinerhejhog
Posts: 307
Joined: Sat May 23, 2015 5:14 pm
Location: Wylie, Texas

Re: New (ish) crab owner w/ a few questions

Post by Kleinerhejhog » Tue Jun 09, 2015 12:52 am

Welcome meg_and_the_zoo!

I was told 5-10 minutes of full boil for shells. I can't imagine rocks being different.

I am still struggling with shells, too; after touring a number of craft stores, I finally found a bag at JoAnn's today that contains a number of green turbos. Those are apparently popular with PP's.


Topic author
meg_and_the_zoo
Posts: 201
Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2015 10:33 pm

Re: New (ish) crab owner w/ a few questions

Post by meg_and_the_zoo » Tue Jun 09, 2015 1:14 am

I feel bad ish lol

I'm working with a theory that I've had them for 18 months or so and they've endured numerous tank cleans before I had any idea you shouldn't dig them up a 1200 mile car trip and lord only knows how many other transgressions.

I'm not sure about JoAnn's but I'll check and see. I looked at a few dollar stores and walmart for shells today and nada. I found some decent mixes at Hobby Lobby when I was in OKC so I'll poke around my craft store options here.

Also...I saw some bird toys that looked promising today and am wondering if they'd be safe (labeled all natural and weren't dyed/treated) as long as I can determine that they aren't pine?

And if anyone is in the Atlanta area...any recommendations on reptile shops? I'm having a bear of a time finding any pet stores other than Petsmart, etc


Zoo mom of 3 cats, a dog, a fish and 3 crabs


Topic author
meg_and_the_zoo
Posts: 201
Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2015 10:33 pm

Re: New (ish) crab owner w/ a few questions

Post by meg_and_the_zoo » Tue Jun 09, 2015 1:17 am

Image

I'm thinking that fat purple claw answers my breed question? Image


Zoo mom of 3 cats, a dog, a fish and 3 crabs Image

User avatar

Nia
Posts: 237
Joined: Tue Sep 24, 2013 1:35 am

Re: New (ish) crab owner w/ a few questions

Post by Nia » Tue Jun 09, 2015 5:25 pm

meg_and_the_zoo wrote:Awesome...thank you!

As I'm reading more tonight I'm feeling worse and worse for my dudes Image It seems that most of the shells I have for them are the D opening rather than the round opening that seems to be the preference for the PPs. It appears that some more shopping is in my future for tomorrow lol My husband will be so pleased Image


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Welcome! Don't worry we have all be starters :). You will learn as you go and the more you read on here the better educated you will be on their care :).
There are people selling shells here:viewforum.php?f=12.
I get a lot on Ebay as well mostly with one company :http://www.northfloridashells.com/Hermi ... _c_16.html. Right now they have Free shipping on their hermit crab shells with really great prices (esp on lots). I buy from them often and without a single complaint so far. The shells are beautiful and I have never had a single chipped/broken shell. They also add extra shells just in case you you get a few more than you order.
I hope that this helps :D!

Fantasy:
My crabs are the same! I put in fresh bowls twice a day on some days they eat all the fresh others they don't touch it....anymore they refuse anything I put in other than coconut and apples. Mine are far from picky eaters. They eat way to much >.> I have very fat crabs lol. I have to fill their XL bowl everyday -.-. Where do you order from? For mine their 2 favorite places are : http://www.hermitcrabpatch.com/Pet-Herm ... ts-s/3.htm So far they devourer everything that I have bought from them :o.
http://www.hermitcrabaddictionstore.com ... ame&per=10
They love this store! They love their vitamins from here. I usually see them sifting to get to the clumps of vitamins in their food lol. I get mine the: Astaxanthin, Boost Powder, and Spirulina Powder. This is probably why I have crazy crabs lol. They love them, they keep them healthy, and active ^.^!
Mom to: 2 Kids,4 PP's, Cats, 1 Dogs, and whatever else gets put on my doorstep. (Box on doorstep. Hubby says,"Did you order anything?" I say "no". He says, "go get it, I don't want to know." Even tho he always ends up loving it or at least accepting it lol.)


fantasybookworm
Posts: 475
Joined: Wed Apr 22, 2015 8:59 am

Re: New (ish) crab owner w/ a few questions

Post by fantasybookworm » Tue Jun 09, 2015 6:13 pm

Yeah, I gave up on the fresh bowls. :lol: I might try them on it again later when my friend & I have our own place, but for the next few months, it'll be easier to stick with dry & they eat it. They were all on pellets before I got them, so dry is probably more familiar to them.

I've ordered things from a couple places online - an Ebay store whose name I forget (just a couple things at the very beginning), Alaskan Hermit Crab & Hermit Crab Addiction that you linked (but they're closing, last I heard). But I've been mostly making my own mixes, and I'm going to continue doing that, I think. I like making animal food! :) I got a bunch of things from Mountain Rose Herbs, and it's my new favorite site. I'm planning on ordering from HCP at some point, and my order will include some of their mineral blend, which I've heard is popular. I have spirulina powder already (hasn't been touched so far when offered). The Astaxanthin looks interesting, but I don't need anything else at the moment & don't want to order for one thing, heh. I'm glad your crabs like them though!


Topic author
meg_and_the_zoo
Posts: 201
Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2015 10:33 pm

Re: New (ish) crab owner w/ a few questions

Post by meg_and_the_zoo » Tue Jun 09, 2015 6:27 pm

I now see how this becomes addicting lol I've been to the pet store like 5 times in 3 days, several craft stores and walmart 3-4 times...all for crab related trips. Although I'm feeling much better about their setup now.

Have a (sort of) 2nd level with a couple of the shower caddies...one with shells and one with (not nearly enough) moss. I also added a few more inches of EE, ditched the PetSmart feeding bowls in favor of a few small, flat shells and have offered them some foods other than pellets. Got a few more hides and built a "tree" out of some grapewood branches I forgot I had stashed.

And of course while I was at Petsmart this morning I ended up with more crabs there were 5 total in their tank and I brought all but one home. Felt bad leaving the one there but he was ginormous and I just didn't see having room for him just yet One of them, an itsy bitsy one disappeared as soon as she (?) hit the tank but the other tiny one proceeded to march around the tank introducing herself to everyone. She even shimmied her way into the little hidey pit that one of my originals had made for himself this morning they really are very entertaining!

I also got a free 40 gallon tank off of craigslist but I have to wait to make the move until I figure out heating and a lid for it.

I've bookmarked a ton of websites recommended here and will be checking them out as time and the bank balance allow


Zoo mom of 3 cats, a dog, a fish and 3 crabs


Topic author
meg_and_the_zoo
Posts: 201
Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2015 10:33 pm

Re: New (ish) crab owner w/ a few questions

Post by meg_and_the_zoo » Tue Jun 09, 2015 7:59 pm

Strawberries are a hit!!


Zoo mom of 3 cats, a dog, a fish and 3 crabs

User avatar

Nia
Posts: 237
Joined: Tue Sep 24, 2013 1:35 am

Re: New (ish) crab owner w/ a few questions

Post by Nia » Wed Jun 10, 2015 7:07 pm

lol Yea they are addicting. You can't help but love those little guys.
I haven't heard of the Mountain Rose Herbs, I will have to check them out. No as far as I know HCP isn't closing it was a store that they bought that closed. They sold that persons brand of food to sell on their site. If they close I will be broken -.-. Lol my crabs love their food and "special" holiday mixes way to much. I love that they have those too, it makes their gifts for the holidays that much more worth it. >.> Yes I am one of those :hlol:. My crabbies are so spoiled they have their own stockings at Christmas :hlol:. Well each of my animals do lol. We also have a dog, cats, and 2 mice lol. My son is buggin the life out of us for a fish ugh lol. Our convo on this went as follows: "mommy I want a fish can I get 2?" me: "Why?" Him:"cause I love them n want to watch them swim around n race" me:"Will you take care of them?" him:"No that's your job..." me:"Lol another thing for me to take care of? Why can't you take care of them?" him:"Cause you are mom and that is what you do...". He said that so matter of factually that I could not help but to laugh. He is 5 but how can you argue with that it was so cute n funny. Impossible 5's man they are not kidding lol.
Bat Girl (our biggest female crab) and him have a lot in common they are both Tasmanian devils :hlol:!
Mom to: 2 Kids,4 PP's, Cats, 1 Dogs, and whatever else gets put on my doorstep. (Box on doorstep. Hubby says,"Did you order anything?" I say "no". He says, "go get it, I don't want to know." Even tho he always ends up loving it or at least accepting it lol.)


fantasybookworm
Posts: 475
Joined: Wed Apr 22, 2015 8:59 am

Re: New (ish) crab owner w/ a few questions

Post by fantasybookworm » Wed Jun 10, 2015 9:38 pm

Not HCP, Hermit Crab Addiction was the one I heard is closing. I could be wrong though! And it's okay, my crabbies are going to be getting Christmas presents too. :lol: I want to plan out Thanksgiving & Christmas dinners for them too!


Topic author
meg_and_the_zoo
Posts: 201
Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2015 10:33 pm

Re: New (ish) crab owner w/ a few questions

Post by meg_and_the_zoo » Wed Jun 10, 2015 10:59 pm

setup my 2nd floor shell shop yesterday and it has its first (at least first that I've seen lol) customer


Zoo mom of 3 cats, a dog, a fish and 3 crabs


Topic author
meg_and_the_zoo
Posts: 201
Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2015 10:33 pm

Re: New (ish) crab owner w/ a few questions

Post by meg_and_the_zoo » Thu Jun 11, 2015 11:31 am

I'm sort of stupid excited about what I've been able to do on the (fairly) cheap over the last few days.

Added about 2" of additional EE.

Added a slightly larger and deeper SW dish.

Added 4 additional hides and a semi-hide made out of the crooks of a grouping of grapewood sticks.

Ditched the commercial food and got quite a bit of organic veggies and fruits, some shrimp and added cuttlebone and other calcium sources.

Added a 2nd level with a shell shop + a ton more shells and a moss pit. There will also be a leaf/flower garden when I can find time to gather.

Added a chola superhighway to connect everything on the 2nd floor.

I need to add some greenery but I've been underwhelmed by what I've seen around lol

I'll be upgrading to a 40 gallon tank in the bearish future...have the tank, just need to make the plexiglass lid and convince the hubs I need the bigger UTH



Zoo mom of 3 cats, a dog, a fish and 3 crabs

Locked