Molting or death? WORRIED!

This forum is where you discuss issues relating to molting hermit crabs, including pre- and post-molting issues. If you are having a molting emergency please post in the Emergency Forum.
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Irisviel
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Molting or death? WORRIED!

Post by Irisviel » Thu Apr 09, 2015 2:00 am

I can't seem to find any information about this anywhere, I've skimmed the Forums in this section but maybe I missed it. No search results seemed to have an answer for me either. Weeks ago I saw my hermit crab burrow underground. I know about molting so I haven't been too worried... I see the other crab has been attracted to that spot too, so that was another sign. I moved the other crab to another location. But I was a little worried beforehand so I decided to dig a little and saw that the substrate was moist the further i dug down.

I never actually saw the hermit crab, I stopped worried I would bother him going any further. But the substrate being wet is concerning.. Did he die or is that normal during molting? Even more curious, I turned the tank around and sure enough on the side of the tank buried way down I saw there he was buried and it was "wet" all around the area.

Does anyone know what this occurance is, and if he has passed or if this is normal? Im super worried. :(


hermieluv1
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Re: Molting or death? WORRIED!

Post by hermieluv1 » Thu Apr 09, 2015 3:38 am

What do you mean by the sub being wet? Like flooded? It should be moist so they can tunnel through it and build their cave, but if it is too wet, the cave/tunnel could collapse.
Normally we don't dig up a molter unless we are reasonably sure he is in grave danger. A collapsed or flooded tank, in my opinion, would qualify for emergency rescue. Maybe if you could describe the situation in more detail, we can help you determine what to do.

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Irisviel
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Re: Molting or death? WORRIED!

Post by Irisviel » Thu Apr 09, 2015 7:06 am

It's kind of hard to describe and also hard to get a pic x__X but, no my substrate is not wet at all, he buried himself for days. I wanted to check on him so I dug down and I noticed as I dug down the substrate was wet. When I looked at the side of the tank through the glass to where he was buried (since he was buried on the side) i noticed that the entire area he was buried in is wet - or damp - it's hard to say, but it's darker colored than the rest of the substrate so I assumed.

I hope that makes more sense?? I know when they die they leak fluid so I'm wondering if he died beneath the sand in which case would be very sad. :( now maybe he made it wet himself somehow but.. it's just that area where he buried in is darker colored ;---;

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CallaLily
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Re: Molting or death? WORRIED!

Post by CallaLily » Thu Apr 09, 2015 7:36 am

Your substrate should be sand castle consistency to allow for tunneling, which is vital for healthy molts. It sounds like your sub was completely dry? Did he dig near a water dish? It's possible he remedied the situation himself and dumped water to allow himself to dig. If it's damp and not flooded, I wouldn't worry. After he's up and finished, you should moisten all of the substrate.

A bit off topic but what is your humidity like? With dry substrate I'm thinking it's probably too low. Your aim is 70-80% though higher isn't harmful. You could give the surface of the substrate a good misting now to help moisten it some and boost humidity but once all crabs are up you really need to moisten all of the substrate properly.

Edit: I'd also like to add that most times digging causes more harm than good. Be very cautious about deciding whether or not to dig. In most cases, the answer is not to. :)

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Irisviel
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Re: Molting or death? WORRIED!

Post by Irisviel » Thu Apr 09, 2015 3:50 pm

I use eco earth and sand mixed, it's very soft and it's not bone dry but I wouldn't call it damp either? The temp is usually around 80. sometimes at night it goes to 75. he did dig right next to the salt water dish, so maybe he moistened it himself. I usually mist it every 2-3 days ;w; I've had the first one for almost a year now, but the second guy (that dug underground) ive only had for a few weeks now. However Ive never experienced molting x - x

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Re: Molting or death? WORRIED!

Post by curlysister » Tue Apr 21, 2015 7:21 pm

Do you have a hygrometer to measure the humidity? The substrate shouldn't be dry, it should always be moist enough that if you stick your finger down deep into it, a hole will stay there and not have dry bits of sand falling in and filling it up again.
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." -Will Rogers

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