Substrate

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Crusty12
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Location: Ontario

Substrate

Post by Crusty12 » Sun Jun 16, 2019 12:21 pm

Hello everyone, i have been trying to figure out the right substrate to you for my crabs. I have read people saying using just eco earth causes deformities. I wanna know from some experienced users what they find the best substrate. I'm very conflicted.


Topic author
Crusty12
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2019 10:47 am
Location: Ontario

Substrate

Post by Crusty12 » Sun Jun 16, 2019 12:21 pm

Hello everyone, i have been trying to figure out the right substrate to you for my crabs. I have read people saying using just eco earth causes deformities. Ive also read that people say sand gets into their shells and can irritate crabs gills. I wanna know from some experienced users what they find the best substrate. I'm very conflicted.

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Oliviet#1
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Re: Substrate

Post by Oliviet#1 » Sun Jun 16, 2019 1:29 pm

Im probably not what you would experienced, but I can tell you some that I know. Some more experienced crabbers use a 5:1 raito of playsand to ecoearth. My crabs love the eco earth and I also didn't buy enough sand so my mixture is around 4:3-4 (playsand to EE) More EE can make it a higher chance to have flooding, and can be harder to shape. the sand or EE shouldn't (I think) get in your hermit crabs' gills if the mixture is sand castle consistancy. having EE can help with nutrients and breaking down organic products (I think). I think having playsand is to help prevent flooding and to keep it more natural. I don't think I have seen anyone say that EE cause molting deformities but I think it can stain shells so it is probably better to have the shells in a shell shop. If you are concerned about flooding you can do a 5:1 ratio but have a section of the tank with an inch or so with EE on top for the crabs to play in. Some people use only EE, and some people use a mix somewhat like the ratio 5:1. It depends on your opinion. (
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doth
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Re: Substrate

Post by doth » Sun Jun 16, 2019 1:40 pm

I haven't heard that about deformities, but EE by itself doesn't hold its shape very well, so it is harder for the crabs to dig tunnels. I guess I could see that causing molting issues?

I use EE mixed with play sand. you get a good consistency plus the moisture-holding benefits of EE. a lot of pple on here use a 5:1 ratio of sand to EE. mine I think is more like 3:1.

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Xenocrab
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Re: Substrate

Post by Xenocrab » Sun Jun 16, 2019 2:19 pm

We use less EE and more sand. We've had flooding and bacterial blooms. We lost 2 crabbies as a result

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curlysister
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Re: Substrate

Post by curlysister » Sun Jun 16, 2019 2:28 pm

I use the 5 parts sand to 1 part EE ratio. I find it holds the shape well, and my humidity has always been good.
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aussieJJDude
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Re: Substrate

Post by aussieJJDude » Sun Jun 16, 2019 5:29 pm

If anything, more EE has the potential for less flooding. EE is a fantastic wick as well as being great for releasing moisture into the air. Sand on the other hand doesn't wick as well as EE, and water will pool up at the bottom.

In my opinion, EE is used primarily to add a a wicking agent to the substrate a decrease the amount of pooling water at the bottom. And also to add some organic matter to the substrate, which closely simulates the wild along the beaches.

Sand is useful as when moist, it holds it shape really well.

And the two also work quite well together and really help with maintaining tunnels/caves.


While the ratio (5:1) is commonly used, it's also perfectly acceptable to use straight sand or EE (or anywhere inbetween).

Likewise, some people also like to add more than just sand/EE to the substrate. Leaf litter, sphagnum moss, crushed coral/shells (shellgrit) and wormcastings are things I've commonly seen added.

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KinoAndTeto
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Re: Substrate

Post by KinoAndTeto » Wed Jun 19, 2019 5:17 pm

I'm currently using 100% EE and have found that it seems to hold its shape very well. When my crabs dig against the glass the tunnels they make keep their shape basically forever until the crabs mess them up, also when I pull out my water/food dishes/etc it always leaves a perfect shape and doesn't collapse. I've got some sphagnum moss thrown about in certain areas for them too which they love to sit in and eat.

I've also read about it being too acidic for the crabs when molting, but everything I've read says that the pH of coconut coir is neutral. I used to work in a production greenhouse that used coconut coir for hydroponic plants and never heard of any issues or having to make any accommodations due to it being acidic. So I'm not sure how much science is behind this claim.

I've only had my crabs for a month and a half, but the straight coconut coir seems to be working well for me. One of my crabs had a successful molt already, went down the day after I got him and came back up a month later big and beautiful.

Some of the groups on Facebook make it seem like you're sentencing your crabs to death by using Eco Earth only, so I'm glad to read some supportive responses.



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