Crab molted above substrate and died

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.
Post Reply

Topic author
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2019 6:43 pm
Location: Ohio

Crab molted above substrate and died

Post by shugoryuu » Fri Feb 01, 2019 7:04 pm

My crab which I've had for 6 years recently molted and died almost immediately.

I have had the same depth of substrate in the tank (mix of sand and coconut fiber) for the entire time I've had him and he has molted successfully several times before. Though I've been reading that he should have had 6 inches of substrate and I only had 3 in the tank. I have a glass lid, 30 gal tank, high humidity, temp typically 80-85 degrees, fresh and salt water available, and he has been eating the same hermit crab food pellets for all six years I've had him plus occasional supplemental foods. He has never had any problems before this.

I noticed after he molted that he turned almost bright white. He seemed okay at first and I didn't touch him to avoid harming him, but I did see him move his legs. There is a shed exoskeleton next to him and when I looked at him today he has shriveled up like all the water has evaporated from his body and looks quite dead.

Any idea why his molt might have killed him this time?

User avatar

Posts: 2890
Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2017 10:41 pm

Re: Crab molted above substrate and died

Post by Hermiesguardian » Fri Feb 01, 2019 7:22 pm

I'm so sorry for your loss. Sometimes even though all the conditions are right, they had damage done before we get them that eventually kills them. And as you said your conditions and his diet weren't perfect. And the effect builds up.
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

User avatar

Posts: 1928
Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2010 3:54 pm
Location: Manitoba, Canada

Re: Crab molted above substrate and died

Post by curlysister » Fri Feb 01, 2019 11:51 pm

It could be an accumulation of less than ideal conditions and improper food. In the six years, he must have grown quite a bit, so would need increasingly deep substrate to molt properly. Six inches is the minimum, or at least three times as deep as your largest crab. Pellets (ie- commercial food) is not safe for crabs. What brand of dechlorinator and salt do you use for water? Is your substrate sand castle consistency?
If you would like to fill in the Emergency template, we can further help to troubleshoot your conditions.
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." -Will Rogers

Post Reply