Two first-time molters out of three crabs

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CrabLoverPT
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Two first-time molters out of three crabs

Post by CrabLoverPT » Sun Apr 17, 2016 10:00 pm

I'm pretty much a newcomer to this forum but I just had to share the news that, as of last night, two of my three PP's have gone under to (presumably) molt. While they're all medium-sized going on large, the first that did so was the largest of the three and he did it just two days after I got moved them from a temporary housing (a critter box with all the necessary trimmings) into the main 54 liter/14 gallon tank where my first PP was already waiting for them after a week with the place all to himself.

Since the big guy went under so quickly and unexpectedly, not only did I not get a chance to snap any pics of him, but more importantly, I very much doubt he had the time to eat or drink sufficiently before he undertook a molt and now I'm constantly worried about him. He's been under the substrate (one side is beach sand, the other side is coconut fiber but they seem to prefer the side with the sand for burrowing) since March 8th, and I do suppose he could have been destressing at the start but after a while I stopped hearing the grating sound beneath the sand. I take that to mean that he is either dead, or is shedding his exo and I'll just have to be patient, but I don't think I need to tell any of you guys how hard that is!

He's a magnificent creature, too. Easily the biggest of the three I've bought so far and with impressively thick legs. The folks at the store told me they'd been feeding him (didn't mention with what, though) and giving him water gel. Well, that's hardly the salt water they need for a successful molt, is it...?

As for the second crab, the smallest of the bunch, I'd been noticing him acting restless and eating rather well, but last night when I turned off the lights he was soaking in the salt water dish and this morning I found the dish bone-dry, as well as a suspicious lump of sand and coconut fiber where he had buried himself during the night, right in the border between the two substrates. Just as well, this way he won't disturb the big fellow molting almost in the opposite corner of the tank!

While I can only assume that the first crab to have gone under is molting, this second one I almost know for sure since he exhibited several signs. Strangely, the first one I bought, and the first one to arrive at my home, doesn't seem to be in any rush to join them under the sand. What do you folks make of all this? Should I be worried for the first crab? It's been barely over a month, even less since I stopped hearing him rustling about under there...

Oh, and just for fun, here's a couple of photos of the one that went under last night! I call him Ninja because I genuinely thought he was dead when I got him from the shop (in the mail, but it was a short trip and they came with a heat pack and some moss for moisture) due to how still he was, and then after almost half an hour, boom! He starts exploring the critter box! He still has a tendency to stay hidden and very, very still for unusual periods of time, even for a hermit crab, just like his namesakes. :D

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Candie
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Re: Two first-time molters out of three crabs

Post by Candie » Thu Apr 21, 2016 8:37 am

A month is fine for a medium crab it can take up to 8 months depending on the size but did you mention 14 gallon tank? If you did mean that than that's not the right size tank for a medium little alone 3 crabs, they will grow quickly so be on the lookout for a bigger tank, how big is your largest crab, like inch wise,


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CrabLoverPT
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Re: Two first-time molters out of three crabs

Post by CrabLoverPT » Thu Apr 21, 2016 5:16 pm

That's correct, 54 liter/14 gallon tank, at least according to Google since I'm not really used to the imperial system. My largest crab was in a 2.5 centimeter/0.9 inch shell when he went under, the others are slightly smaller but not by much. Two of them are starting to look too big for their shell, though, but they never switched to a new one. I do have a much bigger, also empty, tank right next to it, but it's used as temporary winter housing for a pet rabbit and winter has dragged on around these parts, so I can't do anything with it yet. All three of them have now burrowed beneath the substrate. Gotta keep changing the food and water and hope for the best, I guess?

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Candie
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Re: Two first-time molters out of three crabs

Post by Candie » Thu Apr 21, 2016 6:09 pm

Yes food and water, they can molt for a long time I have a small down and it's almost 5 weeks, and it sounds like your crab is a small :)


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CrabLoverPT
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Re: Two first-time molters out of three crabs

Post by CrabLoverPT » Thu Apr 21, 2016 6:24 pm

I looked at a couple of size charts and they seemed to fit what's commonly called "medium", so I went with that. Though I did wonder if "small" wouldn't be more appropriate based on the size of the shells that I ordered for them, but they're not yet friendly enough to be accurately measured and it's not like I could hold them up to the computer screen to make sure they fit each circle... Well, I could, but, y'know. :D Small it is, then. Thanks for replying, molting must be even more stressful on us than it is on them!


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CrabLoverPT
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Re: Two first-time molters out of three crabs

Post by CrabLoverPT » Mon Jun 13, 2016 8:15 pm

So, much to my surprise, almost two months after creating this topic and three months after my first PP went under, closely followed by the other two and making me despair a bit, I suddenly noticed that a tiny "window" had appeared in the sand, on the side of the tank with one of them quite noticeable inside, and upon further inspection found a burrow with yet another one hiding underneath.

This is their first activity in at least well over a month, or in the case of the one visible from the side of the tank, since the second week of March. His legs are tapping on the glass, so it's quite clear at least these two out of my three have survived their molt. The other fellow is skittish and hid as soon as I opened to lid to take a closer look. What should I do now? Wait for them to come up eventually? What sort of food should I offer them when they surface? I have pieces of cuttlebone in there, and a dish with some rolled oats. I'll add some boiled shrimp or thawed out bloodworms in the morning. Does that cover their nutritional needs for this stage of the process, or should I consider something else?

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soilentgringa
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Re: Two first-time molters out of three crabs

Post by soilentgringa » Mon Jun 13, 2016 11:12 pm

Just offer nutritious foods. Sounds like you have it covered with the bloodworms, oats, and cuttlebone. You may add some dried veggies or raw honey if you want. A boiled egg is always a good addition.

I'm so glad they made it! Mine always pop up when I've given up hope :)

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