How do I move a molting crab to isolation without disturbing it?

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Bgmarcel27
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Joined: Mon Aug 05, 2019 12:01 am
Location: TN

How do I move a molting crab to isolation without disturbing it?

Post by Bgmarcel27 » Wed Aug 21, 2019 12:45 am

Hello friends....I am very new to “crabbing” and must say I’m in love (and awe) with these mysterious marvels. I have a 25 gallon long tank with eco-earth substrate (about 8”) and several UTH heaters (on back of tank) —they are smaller pads as well as a digital thermometer and hygrometer. I have both fresh and salt water (with bubbler) as well as fresh food and supplemented nourishment (*all following guidelines recommended here on the site). I have two (2) TINY crabbies and two (2) small ones (4 total crabs). I’ve had my crabs a little over 2 months. All have changed shells (except one little guy) and I’m afraid it’s because my teenage son purchased him at the beach with a painted shell (BEFORE we knew how terrible it was). Now it’s my mission to give these little guys an amazing life if at all possible.


Here’s my question: I have one crab that went in to her coco hut and literally buried herself (*and the hut). She’s been down for weeks now. Recently one of my crabs “Hellboy” who had been buried himself emerged and has started to dig in the general vicinity that my “Shelby” has been buried. Hellboy is very fast and can tunnel quickly and I’m terrified that he will get to Shelby in her weakened state (*if he hasn’t already). I don’t even know if Shelby is molting for sure but believe she is.

I obviously don’t want to dig her up but how do I isolate her to protect her? Do I scoop substrate and all out of tank (her included) to move her to iso? I’ve also read to put a plastic bottle around them. I just don’t know what to do. Can some wise “crab whisperer” please help me???

Please and thank you!,,

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curlysister
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Re: How do I move a molting crab to isolation without disturbing it?

Post by curlysister » Wed Aug 21, 2019 10:37 am

I would not do anything. It is very likely that she isn't in the same place as where she went down - they often move. As long as your substrate is deep enough (which it sounds like it is) and your tank isn't over crowded (which it sounds like it isn't), they will be fine. In the 9 years I have had my crabs, the only time one dug the other up was when I didn't have enough substrate. The risk of your digging up a crab is greater than the risk the others will dig it up.

Welcome to crabbing!
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." -Will Rogers


Topic author
Bgmarcel27
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Aug 05, 2019 12:01 am
Location: TN

Re: How do I move a molting crab to isolation without disturbing it?

Post by Bgmarcel27 » Wed Aug 21, 2019 8:02 pm

Thank ya kindly Curly Sister! Again...I’m very new to all this and unexpectedly more obsessed with their safety then one would imagine. Me thinks it’s because my oldest son is a senior. These are my new babies. Lol.

I do have another question.....I live in Tennessee and it is SUPER humid here and I keep my house at 67 year round. My tank stays around 77 during the day but dips to the low of 72 in the wee hours of night. Im afraid they aren’t warm enough. Do you prefer a closed lid or mesh? I currently have a mesh lid with Saran Wrap and have a night bulb and do wrap a blanket around the top (*with air holes). Y humidity is on par (*usually around 88) but I just can’t seem to stabilize the heat since my house is an igloo. Any suggestions? I don’t care what I spend to fix it.

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curlysister
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Re: How do I move a molting crab to isolation without disturbing it?

Post by curlysister » Wed Aug 21, 2019 11:16 pm

Well, I kind of got obsessed with the little critters late in life too. I am in my late 40s, and think I am likely old enough to be most of the people on this forum's mother! LOL!
I live in an old farm house on the Canadian prairies. The weather ranges from -40C in winter to +40C in summer. We don't have air conditioning, and the room the crabs are in upstairs only has a baseboard heater. So needless to say the house temp varies widely. I have four UTH's - one on each side and two on the back of the tank. I check the tank temp at least twice a day, and can plug and unplug heaters as needed. That's the only way I have found I can keep the temp right. It's a 55 gallon tank. I have upgraded twice, from 10 to 20 and then to this 55. The first two tanks I only had saran wrap for the lid. This one has a plexiglass lid, it came with it (someone actually gave me the tank after all their crabs had died). If I know it's going to cool off overnight in summer (I open windows because of no a/c), I will often just throw a blanket over the top of the tank for the night rather than plug another heater in, because I know it's going to warm up in the room the next day. The weather joke here on the prairies is that winter isn't bad because it's a 'dry cold'. I would never be able to keep the humidity up in the proper range if my tank wasn't completely covered. Air holes aren't really needed, because they get enough air exchange when the food and water are changed out. That said, the lid of mine does have a small corner cut out of one side. There's no such thing a 'too humid', so it's okay it the humidity is higher.
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." -Will Rogers


Topic author
Bgmarcel27
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Aug 05, 2019 12:01 am
Location: TN

Re: How do I move a molting crab to isolation without disturbing it?

Post by Bgmarcel27 » Wed Aug 21, 2019 11:24 pm

Too funny....you may have to be my “Mr Miagai” from Karate Kid oh wise one. I’m mid-40’s and my husband said I’m acting like a teenage girl over these crabs. Hahah. Not quite sure how I got in to these so much.

In all seriousness I do want to make sure I’m doing the right thing. Guess I’ll just have to keep moving along with trial and error. Per your advice, I won’t isolate Shelby and hope Mr Hellboy keeps his nosey britches on the other side of the tank until she resurfaces. :lol:

Good to know about the humidity and I’ll continue to monitor heat to ensure their continued comfort. Thanks again.

Best,

Miss B

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curlysister
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Location: Manitoba, Canada

Re: How do I move a molting crab to isolation without disturbing it?

Post by curlysister » Thu Aug 22, 2019 11:46 pm

Bahaha, the first Karate Kid, tho - not the remake! LOL!
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." -Will Rogers

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