Your daughter is a cutie!! The learning curve for crabs is steep because of so much mis-information. MOST, if not ALL of us have been in your shoes. Don't Fret!! You already have a lot of it figured out and are making changes to fix what isn't right. I'm going to address each of your answers individually not to beat you up when you are already feeling down, but to help you make better choices the next time you are able.
1. What kind of substrate is used in your tank and how deep is it?
One shown above but since cleanings ect it's 6inch depth has went down. I have purchased play sand and Eco Earth loose coconut fiber substrate (not sure how I wanna do that or should n can't right now as I have 2 down) The play sand is perfect and cheap! The calcium sand sold at the pet stores is harmful because it can harden like cement and trap the crabs underground. The Eco Earth is perfect. The compressed bricks that you wet with water are cheaper than the loose stuff. You just soak them for a few hours in dechlorinated water and fluff them up. Try for at least 6" of substrate, 8-10" is even better. You can add substrate when a molter is down, just mix it up and add it about 1" per day. BUT don't add it on top of the calcium sand. You need to get rid of that stuff or dilute it way down with regular play sand. Like 50lbs of play sand to 5lbs of calcium sand.
2. Do you have gauges in the tank to measure temperature and humidity? If so, where are they located and what temperature and humidity do they usually read?
Yes AccuRite that was recommended here, located front n center of tank.
Nice! Temperature is a little low. Perfect is 80-85. Humidity is good. Anything above 80 is good.
3. Is a heat source used in the tank? If so, what?
Ultratherm 11X6 (I believe) what was recommended here for our 10 gallon, placed on the back left side
Good! You can put aluminum foil and/or cardboard over the Ultratherms to hold in heat. Only Ultratherms are safe to insulate like this
4. What types of water are available (fresh or salt) and how is the water treated (what brands of dechlorinator or salt mix and what ratio is used to mix it)?
Zoomed freshwater mixture, I go by the bottle and make a gallon at a time, usually just buy a gallon of distilled water n treat it.
Most of us just use tap water and treat it with Prime.
Saltwater I was using ZooMed as well I realized it was not recommended and switching to Instant Ocean (was easily found on Amazon) Unless another is recommended? !Perfect! Be sure to dechlorinate it too.
Water changed out daily.
I change my water about once a week, but I have deep pools with bubblers.
5. What kinds of food do you feed and how often is it replaced?
Started with store bought n realized early on they weren't recommended....
I bought foods from HermitCrabPatch: soil diet supplement, bugs n breakfast, surf n turf, a lil' bit of everything and Natural Mineral Supplement (saw it was good for molting crabs and our first n largest one had just molted for 4+ weeks)
Also have tried grapes and carrots.
Usually leave the HCP foods in there a week and been adding in the fresh stuff and removing it the next morning.
Perfect on the fresh food. Can you change the HCP food a little more often, like every 2-3 days?
6. How long have you had the crab and what species is it, if known?
All PP's I believe
Crabbie- Aug. 28th
2 others unnamed - Sept. 8th (medium that I showed pic above and very very small one)
Congratulations! Good on purchasing friends for your first
7. Has your crab molted, and how long ago did it happen?
Crabbie- 2nd molt now
Smallest one first molt now (as soon as we got the heating issue going)
8. What type of housing are the crabs kept in, what size is it and what kind of lid is on the housing?
10 gallon aquarium with screen lid, use press n seal
Good start. You will eventually need to upgrade, but you are golden for now!
9. How many crabs are in the tank and about how large are they?
Crabbie seems medium/large
There is a sizing chart you can print out and put your crabs on to see about what size they are.
http://crabstreetjournal.org/download/p ... hartv2.pdf
10. How many extra shells are usually kept in the tank, if any?
There's 4! Definitely need more shells, went yesterday to Hobby Lobby after reading on here this weekend & of course they are closed on Sunday, wasn't thinking so my sister is shell shopping for me today (everyone thinks I'm crab crazy now anyway, especially since I told them I found a forum about all things crab)
You already know what you need to do here!
11. Have there been any fumes or chemicals near the crabitat recently?
12. How often do you clean the tank and how?
Once a week I try and move things out clean off top layer, smooth things out.
I hardly ever clean mine! Like maybe once every 5 years.
13. Are sponges used in the water dish? If so, how are they cleaned?
14. Has anything new been added to your crabitat recently?
Moss in a soap dish and even some on sub n they crabs love to lay in it, makes for a huge mess. Tried do net but having trouble keeping it stable.
Decorating is fun! I use mostly wood to decorate my tanks. Grape wood, cork bark, mopani wood, cholla, etc.
15. Is there any other information you would like to share that might be helpful (anything that is regularly part of your crab care, playtime, bathing, etc.)?
I think you got the point about handling and bathing them
Not that I can think of, I have another 10 gallon I'd love to get set up as a fall back of a ISO but really looking for a 29 gallon I believe....unless any other thoughts on this?
29 is a nice size. Bigger is better. Wait for a $1.00/gallon sale at Petco and get as big as you can afford and have space for.