molting/destressing crab-possible tank transfer

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lyrem591
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molting/destressing crab-possible tank transfer

Post by lyrem591 » Tue Jan 20, 2015 4:12 am

I'm posting with some follow up questions to a post here (http://hermitcrabassociation.com/phpBB/ ... 7&t=102624), where you can go if you want to see my responses to the emergency questions. Otherwise.

Short version: Should I move a crab that is not fully buried and doesn't seem to be actively molting to a better living situation? Remove her temporarily and improve her ISO situation (where she is currently)? Or just leave her be?

Long version:

I am a new crab owner and recently upgraded from a 10 gallon to a 29 gallon (it took me about a month to start itching for a bigger tank). The 29 gallon is well set up, I think, with a good substrate mix that I am pretty sure is the right sand castle consistency, and good temp and humidity. I'm still working on getting the heating to be more even (just ordered a bigger heating pad) but I'm pretty happy with the set up and think my new crabs are liking it.

Before I had done as much reading on crabs, I set up the first 10 gallon tank with a 3 inch layer of sand/EE on one side, and full EE on the other side, per some set of instructions I read. My medium PP buried in the EE the day after I got her, and has been down since (for a month). She is under half log (it's really not even a proper half log, because the arc is so shallow, and it's fairly flat). If I lift up the log, I can see her hanging out in a cave with no top, in her shell. I have only done this a couple of times to mist, and I always make sure it's really dark when I do so.

Her tank mate was seeming very depressed and lonely, and has since been moved into the big tank with crab friends and deep substrate. So now, her buried tank mate is effectively in ISO, but a really crummy ISO. In the previous thread, some people pointed out if I can see her just sitting there in her shell she is probably just destressing and I could move her.

I'm hoping for some other's opinions/experience with similar situations and thoughts on the following options:

1. Leave her be. Continue to offer food and water, keep temp and humidity stable, but leave her in her spot in her crummy substrate, ISO.
2. Take her out, give her a stress coat bath, and put her in the tank with new friends and good substrate, where she may decide to dig down right away, or go about her business (it's possible she already has molted, maybe?)
3. Take her out, put her into a temp container, redo her 10 gallon with proper deep substrate, and put her back in ISO.

If it makes a difference, in terms of concerns about her being eaten, she is bigger than all the other crabs save maybe one other PP who is the same or a little smaller.

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aussieJJDude
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Re: molting/destressing crab-possible tank transfer

Post by aussieJJDude » Tue Jan 20, 2015 4:51 am

Hi,
Here to offer my opinion. :)
Since she is the only crab in the 10g she will do fine in there by herself, I would leave her until she is ready to "come up". At most, I would say is when adding her to your 29g, is to dip her in the FW or SW pool so she smells like the other crabs and doesn't get picked on.

(Is the heat mat still on? If so, I suggest turning it off just to be on the safe side.)
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lyrem591
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Re: molting/destressing crab-possible tank transfer

Post by lyrem591 » Tue Jan 20, 2015 4:56 am

I braved moving the mat, so it's above the substrate on the side of the tank she's on. It's a pretty small, crappy zoo med one. :)

Thanks! Should I just offer tiny amounts of dry food that lasts a bit until I see her come up? I don't want to keep letting food go bad in there, but I also want her to have good options in case she decides to come up.

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Re: molting/destressing crab-possible tank transfer

Post by aussieJJDude » Tue Jan 20, 2015 5:08 am

Yes, dry food will do until she she is ready to come out. I personally don't see any problems with it. :) But good job on moving the mat. :thumbsup::
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Re: molting/destressing crab-possible tank transfer

Post by CallaLily » Tue Jan 20, 2015 8:40 am

aussieJJDude wrote:Hi,
Here to offer my opinion. :)
Since she is the only crab in the 10g she will do fine in there by herself, I would leave her until she is ready to "come up". At most, I would say is when adding her to your 29g, is to dip her in the FW or SW pool so she smells like the other crabs and doesn't get picked on.
I'm with JJ on this. I would wait until she resurfaces on her own. When she does, quick dip in the freshwater pool before letting her loose in the main tank.


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lyrem591
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Re: molting/destressing crab-possible tank transfer

Post by lyrem591 » Tue Jan 20, 2015 4:15 pm

Alright, thank you guys! I'll just leave her and as soon as she comes up I'll set it up properly for future iso. Do you guys just put the substrate in and then rehydrate it when the time comes you need to ISO a crab? Or have sand and EE on hand but wait to set up til needed?


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lyrem591
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Re: molting/destressing crab-possible tank transfer

Post by lyrem591 » Wed Jan 21, 2015 1:19 am

Thanks again for reassuring me that she would be best off staying in the tank, everybody. I just peaked in at her and she is molted, sitting next to her exo in her shell. She looks so pale! Her feeler thingies are moving so I'm guessing she is fine and hopefully I didn't scare her too much!

I'm so glad I didn't move her! I'm carefully and quietly changing out the food and water in the tank. Hope she'll smell yummy things and feel like coming out soon! I want her to meet her new friends so badly! I'm going to put out some protein food and honey :)

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Re: molting/destressing crab-possible tank transfer

Post by MuseCrazy » Wed Jan 21, 2015 3:27 pm

lyrem591 wrote:Thanks again for reassuring me that she would be best off staying in the tank, everybody. I just peaked in at her and she is molted, sitting next to her exo in her shell. She looks so pale! Her feeler thingies are moving so I'm guessing she is fine and hopefully I didn't scare her too much!

I'm so glad I didn't move her! I'm carefully and quietly changing out the food and water in the tank. Hope she'll smell yummy things and feel like coming out soon! I want her to meet her new friends so badly! I'm going to put out some protein food and honey :)
From what you're describing it sounds like she molted on the surface and not underground. It is important that you do not move her until she has hardened and eaten most of her exo. The molting process is far from over, if you move her back with the other crabs too soon she will not be able to defend herself if she still smells freshly molted to them.


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lyrem591
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Re: molting/destressing crab-possible tank transfer

Post by lyrem591 » Wed Jan 21, 2015 11:05 pm

MuseCrazy wrote: From what you're describing it sounds like she molted on the surface and not underground. It is important that you do not move her until she has hardened and eaten most of her exo. The molting process is far from over, if you move her back with the other crabs too soon she will not be able to defend herself if she still smells freshly molted to them.
The reason I can see her is because she is underneath a piece of wood. She is in the ground, but not fully buried. I definitely won't move her until she comes out on her own, and is walking around well. I Was planning to give her a Stress coat bath. Unfortunately she burrowed the day after I got her, so I can't gauge what her normal behavior looks like.

How long does it usually take their exo to harden/how can you tell it is hardened?

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Re: molting/destressing crab-possible tank transfer

Post by aussieJJDude » Thu Jan 22, 2015 1:06 am

Normally it will take a week or two however they normally stay under for a lot longer just to chill out. :) It is also worth mentioning just to leave her be and try to limit the peeks as it just stresses her out further as I noticed that you said:
If I lift up the log, I can see her hanging out in a cave with no top, in her shell. I have only done this a couple of times to mist, and I always make sure it's really dark when I do so.
Also, you don't want to mist a moulting crab as I have heard that mold can grow on the crab and kill it. Never had this happen to me - but then again, I don't mist ;) - but like I always say, it is better to be safe rather than sorry.
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molting/destressing crab-possible tank transfer

Post by kornchaser » Thu Jan 22, 2015 2:31 am

lyrem591 wrote: How long does it usually take their exo to harden/how can you tell it is hardened?
I really want to know this too because I have a similar situation.
aussieJJDude wrote:Normally it will take a week or two however they normally stay under for a lot longer just to chill out. :)
Sorry I didn't see this! How long do you suppose it'll take for a crab like my Octavius?ImageImage

Hermit mommy of 10 PP babies: Octavius Flemming, Poseidon, Junior, Matty Pumpkin, Turbo, Aries, Kaylee Frye, Pepper, Flower and Adrian Shephard.
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Re: molting/destressing crab-possible tank transfer

Post by aussieJJDude » Thu Jan 22, 2015 3:37 am

kornchaser wrote:Sorry I didn't see this! How long do you suppose it'll take for a crab like my Octavius?ImageImage

Hermit mommy of 10 PP babies: Octavius Flemming, Poseidon, Junior, Matty Pumpkin, Turbo, Aries, Kaylee Frye, Pepper, Flower and Adrian Shephard.
Umm, I assume that your Octavius - are you are hunger games fan?! :) - is a small or medium? It will probably take a month or two before he pops back up again in my experiences...
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lyrem591
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Re: molting/destressing crab-possible tank transfer

Post by lyrem591 » Thu Jan 22, 2015 5:11 am

aussieJJDude wrote:Normally it will take a week or two however they normally stay under for a lot longer just to chill out. :) It is also worth mentioning just to leave her be and try to limit the peeks as it just stresses her out further as I noticed that you said: Also, you don't want to mist a moulting crab as I have heard that mold can grow on the crab and kill it. Never had this happen to me - but then again, I don't mist ;) - but like I always say, it is better to be safe rather than sorry.
Oh wow. Thanks! I didn't mist when I peeked because I figured she'd have sensitive skin/delicate Exo stuff going and she was on her side (before she was standing normally so I was just missing the soil and her she'll top). now I definitely won't do it again. I won't peek again unless I smell something funky! Thanks!

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Re: molting/destressing crab-possible tank transfer

Post by kornchaser » Thu Jan 22, 2015 5:39 am

aussieJJDude wrote: Umm, I assume that your Octavius - are you are hunger games fan?! :) - is a small or medium? It will probably take a month or two before he pops back up again in my experiences...
Nope just a big name for a big dude is all lol! But he was under for 8 weeks and still pink... more info here viewtopic.php?t=102648


Hermit mommy of 10 PP babies: Octavius Flemming, Poseidon, Junior, Matty Pumpkin, Turbo, Aries, Kaylee Frye, Pepper, Flower and Adrian Shephard.
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