New - not real emergency

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shan5321
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Joined: Wed Jun 28, 2017 10:51 pm

New - not real emergency

Post by shan5321 » Wed Jun 28, 2017 11:14 pm

Hi,

We recently acquired two hermit crabs. I think we have made a few mistakes with them so far, but really want to give them a good home and need some assurance that we are going in the right direction. One was very active, changed shells and has buried himself, other has been sluggish since we brought them home. I have filled out the help template. Thanks in advance.

1. What kind of substrate is used in your tank and how deep is it? Eco earth, started low, but just added enough to have 4inches (didn't know about the inch per 24 hr until I found this forum)

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. Close to substrate, temp 85, humidity 80

3. Is a heat source used in the tank? If so, what? Undertake heater, on back of tank

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)? Both. Using distilled water and salt water using aquarium salt

5. What kinds of food do you feed and how often is it replaced? Daily replacement. Have pellet food (have learned that's not so good), put some strawberries in last night, blueberries tonight

6. How long have you had the crab and what species is it, if known? Three days, not sure

7. Has your crab molted, and how long ago did it happen? Maybe now?

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 tank, mesh lid, mostly covered with Saran Wrap with opening for fresh air

9. How many crabs are in the tank and about how large are they? 2. Maybe medium sized

10. How many extra shells are usually kept in the tank, if any? Three currently, pretty sure I need to get some bigger ones.

11. Have there been any fumes or chemicals near the crabitat recently? No

12. How often do you clean the tank and how? When purchased. Cleaned with vinegar and waterm rinsed multiple times

13. Are sponges used in the water dish? If so, how are they cleaned? Yes

14. Has anything new been added to your crabitat recently? No

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.)? One has not moved much since it came home. One was active, explored tank when they were transferred to it, but has since changed shells and buried itself a bit (can see top of shell). I don't think the new substrate is wet enough for them, but humidity looks ok on the gauge. Should I mist more and mix? Neither is fully buried. One that changed shells had a painted shell with a pretty big opening, went into new shell that had more of a slotted opening. Doesn't look like they are eating much, but could be while we sleep. I just want to give them a happy, healthy home and nervous they are not moving much.


Giner13
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Re: New - not real emergency

Post by Giner13 » Thu Jun 29, 2017 6:36 am

Hi!!! Welcome & so glad you've found this group!!! You're off to a good start for your hermies

Keep adding sub. It's best for molting to have 6-8inches of sub. Sand castle consistency of EE & play sand.

What is the brand of salt you are using? A popular & recommended one on here is Instant Ocean.

Definitely keep pellets, anything labeled "for hermits" away! Get foods from places online like Hermie's Kitchen. Very tasty for the little guys!

You'll know if they're molting if they stay under for a few weeks or months

Naples Shells is good online for shells. Or buy the bags from Joanns, etc...stores. Good variety!

Consensus now is sponges can potentially harbor bacteria. So it's not necessary

A lot of times hermits take time to destress! So don't worry too much about them. Get some more sub in there for sure before you do have a surface molter on your hands.

Again welcome to the group!! I'm sure someone else will chime in as well


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shan5321
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Re: New - not real emergency

Post by shan5321 » Thu Jun 29, 2017 9:45 am

Thanks!
Found the one on top of the one that is semi-buried this morning. Promptly moved him.
Any tips on getting substrate more damp with one buried?
Also, doesn't look like he has eaten or been in water either - suggestions?

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Jellybean!
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Re: New - not real emergency

Post by Jellybean! » Thu Jun 29, 2017 8:53 pm

shan5321 wrote:Thanks!
Found the one on top of the one that is semi-buried this morning. Promptly moved him.
Any tips on getting substrate more damp with one buried?
Also, doesn't look like he has eaten or been in water either - suggestions?
Hi I would recommend misting the substrate with a spray bottle with the distilled water. I'm not sure distilled water is good for them - I hope someone else will come along with their input. It might be better if you use fresh water and decholorinate it. Also, I would recommend getting some play sand from Lowe's or Menards or wherever to add to the Eco Earth. It's recommended to be 5 parts sand to 1 part Eco earth as it makes it easier for them so molt in. Third, I would get some baby freeze dried brine shrimp from Walmart or the petshop for now that you can feed them. Its by the fish food. Also some organic honey to help them along after they molt. In the future, you can order from a website called the Hermit Crab Patch and they provide different blends of foods for hermies. There are many other places as well this is just one I have used personally and was pleased with. They also sell shells on there. If you can't do that, you can try to find shells at places like Hobby Lobby or Michael's. Sometimes they have mixed bags of shells and they have turbos in them which hermies tend to like. I kind of am assuming you have purple pinchers since they are most common and they love the turbos. Make sure once you buy them to boil the empty shells in order to clean them before puting them in the tank! Good luck I hope I helped some!. As for the molter if the other crab won't leave him alone you could try puting a cocohut over him (so the other crab can't enter) and make sure to keep it humid by spraying the cocohut or the substrate around him - but not the crab itself. Some people add moss on top of where they molt when they surface molt to help keep it humid too. I believe terrarium moss by zoomed is a good brand, otherwise I use frog moss from petsmart.
ETA: don't worry about them not eating or drinking. They usually do in the middle of the night so you won't see it anyway. one way I check is to see if they ate is if there is substrate in their food dish - then I know they have been in there.
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Topic author
shan5321
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Jun 28, 2017 10:51 pm

Re: New - not real emergency

Post by shan5321 » Thu Jun 29, 2017 10:14 pm

Oh boy - now I'm worried about them! The first one that went down (the shell-changer) is in substrate that I think is the right consistency. I haven't seen the second one all day since I moved him off his buried tank mate, but found him behind the plant - mostly buried - but I'm not confident the substrate is wet enough! I've been continuing to mist with distilled but, with the second one possibly molting too...I put some chicken (plain) and carrot in the food dish tonight - will be interesting to see if the one eats or is down for a molt (can still see his shell though). I hope they are molting and not sick/dying!

I have Tetra AquaSafe for the goldfish we have - can I use that in the fresh water?

Thanks for the help!

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GotButterflies
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Re: New - not real emergency

Post by GotButterflies » Sat Jul 01, 2017 6:07 pm

shan5321 wrote:Oh boy - now I'm worried about them! The first one that went down (the shell-changer) is in substrate that I think is the right consistency. I haven't seen the second one all day since I moved him off his buried tank mate, but found him behind the plant - mostly buried - but I'm not confident the substrate is wet enough! I've been continuing to mist with distilled but, with the second one possibly molting too...I put some chicken (plain) and carrot in the food dish tonight - will be interesting to see if the one eats or is down for a molt (can still see his shell though). I hope they are molting and not sick/dying!

I have Tetra AquaSafe for the goldfish we have - can I use that in the fresh water?

Thanks for the help!
Hello! I answered your emergency template on the other post that you had ;) The tetra aquasafe doesn't remove ammonia according to Petco's website where I looked up the product, so I would not use that for a dechlorinator for your crabs. Ammonia can burn the hermit crabs modified gills.

Hope that helps. :)
Truly blessed to have incredible creatures, wonderful friends and my amazing family in my life!! I'm very thankful & grateful for all of them! www.thehealthyhermit.com

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