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one of my crabs bothered another while molting

Posted: Tue Apr 02, 2019 6:51 pm
by jillrabbit
I saw this ITTY bitty crab at petsmart and it only had one claw and all of it's legs were gone. It had a shell way too small on. I decided we needed to get it out of there. We've had him for a week and he started getting little gooey bits where his legs would be. Great, I thought. He would hopefully regen them during his molt. Well, he went down a few days ago to molt and I guess he couldn't dig down very deep because of only having one working appendage? There are 6 inches of substrate and he only dug down about an inch. I found our ecudorian hermit crab laying on him one morning. At first I thought he was dead, but it was just his claw he molted off. He had a little dent in his pincher claw. I couldn't see the rest of him because he was in the shell and I didn't want to move him. Anyway, I moved the hermit crab on top of him and then buried up the substrate in the area where the molting crab was disturbed. I put his claw next to him so he could eat it. Do you think this messed him up super badly? Is there anything else I can do? My ecudorian crab has been messing with the other 2 crabs in the tank whenever he gets the chance. I'm new to this and could really use some help. My temp/humidity is perfect and so is everything else.

Re: one of my crabs bothered another while molting

Posted: Tue Apr 02, 2019 8:03 pm
by curlysister
If a crab has been dug up, it should not be re-buried. When they molt, they make a cave, but if you re-bury them they cans suffocate. It should be isolated from the other crabs (you can use a cut down 2L pop bottle with the lid off, or a margarine tub with some vent holes - this way the crab is still in ideal tank conditions but the other crabs can't get at it). You will need to put his exo in there with him, and maybe some healing foods and extra calcium.
I don't have E's, but understand that they like more sub than PP's. Be sure to check out the species specific care sheets.

Re: one of my crabs bothered another while molting

Posted: Tue Apr 02, 2019 8:24 pm
by Princess R.
I think it's great you helped the little fella. Curlysister is right. You should check the care sheet. Good luck!

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Re: one of my crabs bothered another while molting

Posted: Tue Apr 02, 2019 8:55 pm
by Motörcrab
E's can be very picked eaters. They also need to be offered several animal and fish proteins daily. At least two. The more your variety the less chance they will attack a molter.

With your crab missing it's legs you need to Isolate him ASAP like curly said. With only having one claw he can't defend himself. It would be best to put him in a small critter keeper inside of your main tank with ground up healing foods. Bee pollen, honey, proteins, and lots of calcium's.

If your guy is trying to molt you can dig a small hole and put him and his exo in it. DON'T COVER HIM WITH SUBSTRATE, place a hide on top of him to make it dark and cover the opening of the hide with a shell. Idealy this would be best in a small Isolation tank.

I'm currently caring for our E that we found molting after digging due to a bacterial bloom. Eddie only has one leg and no claws. I am hand feeding him and bathing him daily in hopes he makes a recovery. I have a topic in the Emergency section "Molting E in Bacterial Bloom and Missing Limbs". Wodesorel posted a lot of great information to help me. It will definitely help you to see what kind of care your guy will need.

Re: one of my crabs bothered another while molting

Posted: Wed Apr 03, 2019 3:48 am
by wodesorel
Injured crabs are at high risk of being attacked by their tankmates - crabs are opportunistic cannibals, and a crab that cannot run away or protect itself is an easy meal. Isolation is always recommended for this reason!