Aussie salt water myth?

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wodesorel
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Post by wodesorel » Mon May 03, 2010 10:15 pm

gclnin wrote: What you were told is how they have been kept for a long time, unlike other vendors the 'crazy crab' people say you can have your pet for many years with the right care. so they obviously do not treat the species as disposable like many vendors in the US do.
This is a direct quote about aussie care from their website:
On the bottom of the tank you can use aquarium gravel, beach sand, untreated wood shavings or river pebbles. The gravel or sand does not have to be deep as the crabs do burrow and you can't see them if they are buried too deep. The floor needs to be kept dry as wet sand and high humidity can create a smelly and slimy environment for your crabs.
That wouldn't even allow them to molt! How could they say that crabs cared for that way could live for years? While they may claim to know what they're talking about, a quick read through their site contradicts everything we know to be good care for other species.

You can check out the website yourself at
http://www.crazycrabs.com/main.html
Want to see all my crazy pets? @waywardwaifs on Instagram

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tnt4eva
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Post by tnt4eva » Mon May 03, 2010 11:27 pm

I've not had the chance to read the other replies yet, but I will do soon. I live in Australia and I kept Aussies as a child and have them again now.

I have never restricted their salt water access. The Aussies I had as a child, wandered into the salt water every few days or so and would rinse their shells by quickly pulling into their shell to eject the water. It was something they were obviously accustomed to and it came naturally to them. They never did it in the fresh water. Immediately after bathing they would drink some fresh water.

The ones I have now go in the salt water when they happen on it in their travels across the tank. They walk through it, but rarely sit in it for long.

In their natural environment, they have access to salt water whenever they feel that they need it. I do my best to replicate the conditions they have survived in since before humans even knew what a hermit crab was.

If over frequent salt water bathing were harmful to them, and they didn't instinctively know that, I fail to see how they would be alive today. They are smart enough to know when they need it and I let them make that choice.

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tnt4eva
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Post by tnt4eva » Mon May 03, 2010 11:29 pm

wodesorel wrote:
Please pay NO attention to that site!! That man....AUGHHH!!! I have spoken to him in emails trying to get information on certain things and he was useless, despite claiming to have decades of knowledge and experience. Also - he owns the company that supplies pet shops here with the painted shells!! His knowledge and ethics are highly questionable.

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tnt4eva
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Post by tnt4eva » Mon May 03, 2010 11:33 pm

As far as I have always known, they do live on the beach.


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Post by Guest » Mon May 03, 2010 11:39 pm

I think you pointed out the flaw rather nicely... "for other species." There are notable and significant differences between these crabs and the species we are used to. They like it drier and cooler, get out of the water before they are even out of larval stage, live in areas of severely fluctuating salinity... and you have latched on to a single thing as proof that the entire site is full of misinformation, while all the other information seems quite good. Again - wild conjecture.

I'm not familiar with the topography of the areas they inhabit nor where they molt, so while I can say that those instructions seem odd per my experience with other species, I certainly cannot say it's bad information because I don't know the specifics for THIS species. It is a good question due some research.

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tnt4eva
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Post by tnt4eva » Mon May 03, 2010 11:44 pm

By the way - the guy with the crazy crabs site put out a leaflet when I had them the first time. In that publication, he claimed they had a perfect digestive system and never ever pooped.

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sugarselections
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Post by sugarselections » Mon May 03, 2010 11:48 pm

tnt4eva-

Thank you so much for all the information you've provided. It's extremely helpful. Have you ever had the opportunity to observe Australian hermit crabs in the wild?

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Post by tnt4eva » Mon May 03, 2010 11:56 pm

Not yet, but I am hoping to soon as I found out that there are apparently some colonies of them around Sydney, where I live.

I thought I'd share this link also - this lady has kept Aussies for 14 years, and says nothing about restricting their salt water access
http://users.tpg.com.au/users/vanessap/hermit/cs/

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Post by aquav » Tue May 04, 2010 5:11 am

Did anybody see the readings I posted yesterday? Not sure that it helps in this case, since I don't have aussies, but it gives us a baseline to compare aussie readings to, if someone else can get them.


Just measured the specific gravity of perlatus and clypeatus shell water with a refractometer, keep in mind, these measurements were just taken from one member of each species:

1.028 and 1.025 respectively.

So, there is a definite difference. I tried to also get a compressus reading, however only had one up and was not able to get any shell water. Will try later this evening if someone else comes up.

As far as those values are concerned, for comparison, saltwater aquarium specific gravity runs anywhere from 1.022 in a LFS, to keep disease in the fish to a minimum, to 1.027 for some reef tanks that contain many corals.

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kgbenson
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Post by kgbenson » Tue May 04, 2010 8:58 am

Jeremy wrote: Well I'm not exactly certain being so new to crabs, but I would need to get shell water out of the shell possibly by turning one of my PP's upside down until I get a drop or two and measure it that way? Suggestions?
That would work. It might get contaminated by dried salts on the lip of the shell, but I don't think it is a problem. Using something to extract shell water directly runs the risk of damaging the soft abdomen - don't want to do that!
I thought this conversation was interesting and thought I might participate if I could.
Now I am gonna have to do the same thing. . . .

Keith

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Post by kgbenson » Tue May 04, 2010 8:59 am

aquav wrote:
1.028 and 1.025 respectively.

So, there is a definite difference.


There is a definite difference between these two animals at that time. Keep making measurements over time and the results will take on more significance.
I tried to also get a compressus reading, however only had one up and was not able to get any shell water. Will try later this evening if someone else comes up.


Way to go - taking the bull by the horns and generating some data.

Keith
Last edited by kgbenson on Tue May 04, 2010 9:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by kgbenson » Tue May 04, 2010 9:00 am

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happy hermit
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Post by happy hermit » Wed May 05, 2010 3:42 am

i also live in Australia and a started to restrict my Aussies salt water 3 weeks ago. since then i have noticed that they have become very inactive all they do is lay around all day. i am thinking about giving them there salt water all the time. i will trial to see if they become more active. one of my red Aussies was always crawling around but now he is always hiding.
13 Aussie hermit crabs, 3 dogs 2 cats and 5 fish
but hermit crabs are the best

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Post by sugarselections » Wed May 05, 2010 7:24 am

happy hermit-

I hope the salt water trial goes well for you. If your Aussies' behavior patterns have changed and they're acting lethargic it's definitely a good idea to try going back to your old way of doing things to see if it perks them up. I know my Aussie is very active and I'd get worried if she suddenly stopped being such a wild gal.

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tnt4eva
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Post by tnt4eva » Mon May 10, 2010 5:41 pm

Sugarselections - is your Aussie mostly nocturnal or does she come out during the day a reasonable amount too?

I'm also wondering - has anyone here had an Aussie that gouged on salt water or know anyone that has?

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