Crab keeps forcing another out of shells*

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Drewski
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Crab keeps forcing another out of shells*

Post by Drewski » Mon Dec 09, 2019 6:10 am

So, about two or three days ago, I adopted another hermit crab so that my Oakley wouldn’t be so lonely. (I’ve only had him for about 3 months) The new crab is similar in size, but appears to be a bit unhealthy from lack of proper care. All the time I’ve had Oakley, he would not switch shells( he had a gross painted shell) but the day that I introduce a new crab to his crabitat, he shed his exo, and moved to a larger, differently shaped shell! At first I thought this was good, until I noticed Oakley then started bullying the other crab out of his shell. The first time, I stopped this because I was unsure what was happening. The second time, I let him take it, I figured once he got the shell he wanted he would leave the other guy alone. But then even after he stole his shell & inhabited it, Oakley bullied him out of the next one too(this was the shell he first switched to), and he didn’t even want it back, it seems he just wanted to make the other crab vulnerable. I put Oakley in temporary ISO because I’m not sure what else to do. Does anyone have any advice on how to correct this behavior?

[side note]- I have 6 new shells on the way from Napal Seashells to try to solve the shell stealing issue, but I’m worried this goes deeper than just shells.

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Motörcrab
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Re: Crab keeps forcing another out of shells*

Post by Motörcrab » Mon Dec 09, 2019 6:34 am

Did you have any shells in the crabitat when the shell theft took place? If not it very well could have been from lack of shells. Crabs can be extremely picky when it comes to deciding on new shells. Shells must be the correct size and shape. We usually do an ok job at picking shells but the crab has the final say in what's best. Be sure when your shells arrive to boil them in your dechlorinated salt water for 30 seconds or so. It kills any bacteria that may be on the shell.

I introduced a rescue into my tank a while ago. I had 15 or so shells in the tank already. One of my crabs decided it wanted the rescues shell. I heard chirping separated them. Heard chriping and separated again. Then I pulled all my shells and cleaned them with a rinse in my saltwater and added a few new ones. The attacker changed shells 10 minutes later.

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Drewski
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Re: Crab keeps forcing another out of shells*

Post by Drewski » Mon Dec 09, 2019 10:30 am

I had two shells in the crabitat. Oakley switched into shell #1 after shedding. Then he took the rescue’s shell. The rescue took over shell #1 and then Oakley forced him out of that one too, but Oakley didn’t want to inhabit it. I will see if adding a mix of shells will help resolve this issue. I only have two crabs and there will be a total of 8 shells for them to choose from. & I can always order more too. I’ll remember to boil them in dechlor salt water when they arrive, thank you for the advice!

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curlysister
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Re: Crab keeps forcing another out of shells*

Post by curlysister » Mon Dec 09, 2019 2:00 pm

Are you certain that he 'shed his exo'? Because that would be a surface molt, which is not a normal or good thing. What kind and how deep is your sub? What are your temp and humidity? What do you feed your crabs?
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." -Will Rogers


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Drewski
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Re: Crab keeps forcing another out of shells*

Post by Drewski » Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:00 pm

Yes I am positive, I found his exo in his little hideaway hut. I use Fluker’s Hermit Beach sand substrate, that uses natural sand, coconut fiber and calcium carbonate. The substrate is about 3-4 inches deep. The temp fluctuates in between 75-82 degrees, and I am not sure about the humidity, but I do mist the terrarium daily with dechlor water. I had been feeding my crab Zoo Med hermit crab food, but recently obtained various new foods to feed them, like Fluker’s buffet blend for hermit crabs, JurrasiDiet hermit crab food, and Hermit the Crab deluxe hermit crab food.

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Hermiesguardian
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Re: Crab keeps forcing another out of shells*

Post by Hermiesguardian » Tue Dec 10, 2019 2:30 pm

Drewski wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:00 pm
Yes I am positive, I found his exo in his little hideaway hut. I use Fluker’s Hermit Beach sand substrate, that uses natural sand, coconut fiber and calcium carbonate. The substrate is about 3-4 inches deep. The temp fluctuates in between 75-82 degrees, and I am not sure about the humidity, but I do mist the terrarium daily with dechlor water. I had been feeding my crab Zoo Med hermit crab food, but recently obtained various new foods to feed them, like Fluker’s buffet blend for hermit crabs, JurrasiDiet hermit crab food, and Hermit the Crab deluxe hermit crab food.
The substrate needs to be a minimum if 6 inches or 3 times the height of your largest crab. Whichever is deeper. It would be cheaper to get a 50lb bag of playsand for under $5 and mix with eco earth. It's imperative you know the humidity. The have modified gills and need the humidity to breath. Walmart and Lowes sell a digital therm/hygrometer for $12 and under. Too much misting can cause flooding. When purchasing their food make sure there are no preservatives in it. They need calcium and protein every day.
raising son's dog, Dante. Husky/hound.
Raising daughter's hermit crabs, Shelder, Paras and Derek. Added 2 more of my own (of course) Pete and Stryper. Former mommy to 2 guinea pigs and beloved cat, Nissi


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Drewski
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Re: Crab keeps forcing another out of shells*

Post by Drewski » Tue Dec 10, 2019 4:43 pm

I will order more substrate then, and a humidity gauge as well. What is the ideal humidity for my crabs? And what food would you recommend for them?

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Hermiesguardian
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Re: Crab keeps forcing another out of shells*

Post by Hermiesguardian » Tue Dec 10, 2019 6:40 pm

Drewski wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 4:43 pm
I will order more substrate then, and a humidity gauge as well. What is the ideal humidity for my crabs? And what food would you recommend for them?
The minimum humidity should be 80% but it can never be too high. They can eat almost everything we eat, organic as much as possible. No seasonings. Raw or cooked is fine. Check out the safe/unsafe food list and the food pyramid.
raising son's dog, Dante. Husky/hound.
Raising daughter's hermit crabs, Shelder, Paras and Derek. Added 2 more of my own (of course) Pete and Stryper. Former mommy to 2 guinea pigs and beloved cat, Nissi

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DragonsFly
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Re: Crab keeps forcing another out of shells*

Post by DragonsFly » Tue Dec 10, 2019 8:40 pm

It's a good rule of thumb to have three extra shells PER CRAB (so, you should have six extra shells for two crabs) in the tank. They need to be of the proper type and appropriate opening shape and size for the crabs you have. Do not trust pet store displays of "hermit crab shells"--the last two times I looked at those, there were NO shells in the whole display that a hermit crab could even use. Total rip-off. Turbo shells are a favorite of PP's, and polished turbos seem to be absolutely ideal. It's a good idea to have one shell with the same opening size as the crab is currently in, one a tiny bit bigger, and one a little bit smaller, for EACH crab. Remember that the size of the whole shell does NOT necessarily correlate with the size of the OPENING; you can get a caliber to measure shell openings from Hermit Crab Patch. If you don't have enough shells of the proper type and opening size, you can get exactly what you have been seeing--shells are a precious resource for hermit crabs, and they will fight over them!
--{}: Dragons Fly Farm --{}:
Resident PP's:"Major Tom" "Billie Jean" & "Mr. Jones"
Keep a good thought--they're rare these days.

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