New Owner/Burrowing Question

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TiffanyMC68
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Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2016 10:25 pm

New Owner/Burrowing Question

Post by TiffanyMC68 » Wed Aug 03, 2016 10:39 pm

Hi, My name is Tiffany. Yesterday, my daughter talked me into getting hermit crabs. Now I am in love with them! We only got the 10 gallon habitat for three crabs. I am pretty sure we need to make the substrate (coco fiber and sand) deeper. The largest crab just burrowed under the large feeding dish. He/she is out now. I was going to ask what to do if it stayed under there!

I had to put plastic wrap over part of the top (screen lid) because the humidity wasn't high enough. It is working fine now so far.

One of the crabs who seemed to be sleeping a lot today has since been in the feeding dish for hours eating the apple and egg I put in there. I am happy to see him moving but why on earth is he eating for hours?

I read somewhere in this forum to let them be for a while so they don't get shocked. I think I need to take them out and everything in the tank so I can add deeper substrate. They haven't pinched and don't seem too afraid. But I don't want to handle them too much and stress them out. My kids want so badly to take them out and let them walk around in a box lid for a little bit to watch them and let them crawl on their hands.

New mom or maybe I'm the grandmom since the crabs are my daughter's, of:
Leonard, Egward, and Oxalis
tiffany

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Crabinski
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Re: New Owner/Burrowing Question

Post by Crabinski » Wed Aug 03, 2016 11:43 pm

First of all, welcome aboard to you, your daughter and crabbie "grandkids."

You are correct that the crabs need to destress and probably molt before they are disturbed. If the crabs have pointy black "nails" on the ends of their walking legs and those legs are hairy, then they've recently molted; if not, they'll be due for a molt very soon. The kids will be disappointed but hermit crabs really aren't "hands on" pets -- the fun in having them is watching them climb, bathe, eat, dig, etc. Some crabbers do take their crabs out to walk around close to them but, as I stated above, let each one go through its destressing period and a successful molt first.

The pigging out by that one crab is a good sign that he's preparing to molt. Before digging down for molting purposes (as opposed to going under to destress or just nap), a crab will load up on proteins and calcium. You already have the protein in the egg but also offer him half of an eggshell -- he'll pick away at the shell to consume the calcium. Crabs always love a half shell that still has raw albumin in it: that way, they get protein and calcium in one handy serving dish!

The substrate should be at least 6" deep and of sandcastle consistency. Even if there are crabs buried, you can still gently add more substrate to the top, about 1" at a time, as long as you don't tamp it down. That said, I'm assuming that you used playsand to mix with the EcoEarth to create the substrate. If you've used calcium sand (sold as reptile or hermit crab sand at the pet store), I hate to tell you this but you'll have to start all over again as calcium sand can be fatal to the crabs -- it doesn't hold water well and tends to harden and clump around a buried crab, essentially smothering it.

Last but not least, three crabs will outgrow that 10g tank after a few molts so start thinking about going larger and deeper, i.e., a 29g, 30g or 40B. Keep an eye on your local craigslist for postings for "terrariums" as well as tanks; the difference is that people listing "terrariums" usually have the appropriate size screen or glass lid to go along with it. Another excellent source for tank upgrades is Petco's $1-a-gallon sale -- the savings are deep (for example, a 29g usually runs around $60 instead of the $29 you'd pay) and you'd be getting a brand new item.

If you haven't already checked out the FAQS and Care Guides, please do so as most of your concerns will be answered in them. Ask questions as you go along (there are no dumb questions in crabbing!) as we've all been in your shoes at some point in the past and are glad to ensure that you and your hermit crabs are doing well.
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


Topic author
TiffanyMC68
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Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2016 10:25 pm

Re: New Owner/Burrowing Question

Post by TiffanyMC68 » Thu Aug 04, 2016 8:27 am

Thank you for your response. I bought the 10gal hermit crab starter kit and of course it came with the calcium sand. UGH!

OK, the large one has buried himself again. I do not know what type of crabs these are and I read in another thread that one type needs a very large tank and also they do well alone. Aggressive? I will try to get pictures of all three so maybe someone can identify them for me.

I was thinking since this one buried himself, I will create another habitat in a plastic bin (I have several that are larger than the 10gal tank) and put the two smaller ones in it while the big one is molting (assuming that is what is happening).

OR

If big guy comes back up today he will be put into the larger bin.

I need to find suitable water dishes. Good thing we aren't on a strict budget. Already put 150 into this! I love them though!

We also have two cats that I love and I don't recall being this goofy over them when we first got them :)

Tiffany


Topic author
TiffanyMC68
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Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2016 10:25 pm

Re: New Owner/Burrowing Question

Post by TiffanyMC68 » Thu Aug 04, 2016 9:17 am

Image

Hoping I did this correctly to share a photo. This is one of them. Not the largest.


Topic author
TiffanyMC68
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Re: New Owner/Burrowing Question

Post by TiffanyMC68 » Thu Aug 04, 2016 9:22 am

This guy is super red. Also not the largest.

Image


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TiffanyMC68
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Re: New Owner/Burrowing Question

Post by TiffanyMC68 » Thu Aug 04, 2016 9:26 am

I can't get a picture of the larger one. I want to say he is similar in color as the lighter colored one. Gray/beige.

Is anyone able to identify if they are all same type? And not one that has to be in a very large tank?

Thanks :)


Topic author
TiffanyMC68
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Re: New Owner/Burrowing Question

Post by TiffanyMC68 » Thu Aug 04, 2016 9:30 am

I got him. He's being shy. When I get close he hunches down. So this is they guy that is burrowing but he came up again this morning.

Image


Topic author
TiffanyMC68
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Re: New Owner/Burrowing Question

Post by TiffanyMC68 » Thu Aug 04, 2016 9:53 am

Eating apples. Any idea of species?

Image
Image

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Cortnilin
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New Owner/Burrowing Question

Post by Cortnilin » Thu Aug 04, 2016 9:56 am

Look up Info on Ecuadorian hermits. That is what they look like to me. However, the red one is not the same species and might be a purple pincher hermit.


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Topic author
TiffanyMC68
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Re: New Owner/Burrowing Question

Post by TiffanyMC68 » Thu Aug 04, 2016 9:59 am

Thank you. And those are the ones that need a very large habitat? LOL fun! My husband is so happy with our decision :hlol:

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Cortnilin
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New Owner/Burrowing Question

Post by Cortnilin » Thu Aug 04, 2016 10:02 am

From what I understand the Ecuadorians do need a little extra room, in particular they need a lot of substrate bc they really enjoy digging. I'm still new to hermit crabs as well and have an Ecuadorian. They are all different personalities but from what I gather the Ecuadorians tend to be a little more aggressive and the extra room is best. I will say though that my E is sweet as pie and has yet to be aggressive to anything. So you just never know but I wouldn't chance it. And my husband thinks I'm crazy too lol. He'll adjust eventually but for now he is jealous of the crabs


Sent hastily from my iPhone....


Topic author
TiffanyMC68
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Re: New Owner/Burrowing Question

Post by TiffanyMC68 » Thu Aug 04, 2016 10:25 am

My husband used to have fish. So he can relate a bit at least LOL

Well, this guy sure likes to dig.

Also, yesterday he went up to another one and they had a little bit of feeler touching. No one pushed though. Just feelers going like a kitty fight. Hopefully they were just saying hi.

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Cortnilin
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New Owner/Burrowing Question

Post by Cortnilin » Thu Aug 04, 2016 10:35 am

If I remember correctly, I had seen a post recently from an admin stating her recommendation for E's is no less than a 40g tank...

the feeler fights are normal crab behavior as long as they aren't trying to pinch each other or remove each other from their shells. They can throw down with the best of em lol.

My E chirps a lot when he's upset. One of the big guys in the tank stepped on him and he started yelling about it. I've been told chirping is pretty common for E's and from my experience he only does is when he's upset. So listen for screams to indicate aggression or a fight


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soilentgringa
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Re: New Owner/Burrowing Question

Post by soilentgringa » Thu Aug 04, 2016 11:39 am

They are E's.

If the dollar per gallon sale at Petco is no longer running, I would suggest looking on Craiglist or your local yard sale sites.

IMO, yes, E's need at least a 40 gallon tank with a minimum 12" of substrate because they dig,and dig, and dig. A lot.

They can also become aggressive and cannibalistic if not fed enough protein. Not every E owner has experienced this, but some have.

I have 3 E's at the moment, the fourth passed during it's first molt.

Read through all the care guides and make sure you have silica based playsand for them, not calci sand. Calcium sand absorbs any moisture and hardens like cement. Crabbers have lost crabs because they had the calcium sand harden around them.


Topic author
TiffanyMC68
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Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2016 10:25 pm

Re: New Owner/Burrowing Question

Post by TiffanyMC68 » Thu Aug 04, 2016 2:42 pm

Thank you. I think I will start looking in a community forum for a tank.

Also, is the orange one also an E or a PP?

I really think petsmart should read up on these things so you get the right tank to begin with!!

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