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Posted: Wed May 15, 2019 11:14 pm
by newbiecrab
My 17yo teen daughter purchased two crabs not really knowing what she was getting into. I would say they were purchased about 9 months ago. She panicked today because she taught one was dead. After stumbling to this site (this is totally new to me also; great info and people btw), turns out it was surface molting. Not surprising since the substrate was not very deep (not even an inch) nor appropriate (only dry coconut which she regularly misted). No clue when it started to molt. My daughter moved it around though when she noticed it today, which I know she should not have.

We do not have an ISO tank. We moved the crab very gently to another container, while we prepared the tank with an appopriate 6 inch substrate mix of moist sand with coconut (sandcastle consistency). Again, not the best idea to move it. We put the crab back in with its exo. Humidity is around 70%, temp 75. I have cut a 2l bottle to isolate the crab with its exo.

My questions are:

1) what should we be looking out for to see if the crab is ok?
2) how long should the crab stay in isolation, and how does it drink if isolated in bottle? Is the exo sufficient for food? Is isolation really necesary, the other crab doesn't appear to have done anything, going about its regular business.
3) is there anything else we need to do? Or do differently?

Thank you for the help!

Re: Isolation

Posted: Wed May 15, 2019 11:49 pm
by curlysister
Definitely keep it iso'd from the other crab - it's soft and vulnerable.
When crabs are molting, they don't need anything other than their exo. Eventually they will need water, then you can use bottle caps, one with dechlor fresh and one with dechlor marine salt water.
One of the admins with more experience with surface molts can probably help more with the time line.
Read through all the care sheets - they explain everything from substrate to shells to proper water to nutrition. I have had my crabs for 8 1/2 years and the HCA is the only site I have gone to for advice and information.
If you would like us to offer more specific advice, copy and paste the 'emergency template' and answer the questions. We don't mind helping!

Re: Isolation

Posted: Thu May 16, 2019 7:25 am
by newbiecrab
Thank you you for the bottle cap advice. The crab appears fine and is moving around within the bottle. I will (or my daughter!) go through the care sheets.

It is a quite small crab, so the only thing missing is how long should it stay in ISO.

Re: Isolation

Posted: Thu May 16, 2019 5:01 pm
by Xenocrab
I keep mine in iso until I feel comfortable that it's completely healthy and had a successful molt. The go thru their form of P.T.S.D.

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Re: Isolation

Posted: Tue May 21, 2019 3:43 am
by PinchersAndShells
When you isolate using a soda bottle the crabs can typically dig themselves out when they're ready to leave unless you push it all the way to the bottom. Otherwise you can just keep an eye out for when most of the shed exoskeleton is eaten and the crab starts becoming active again, then let them free. You may need to dip the crab in the pool to neutralize their scent if the other crabs won't leave it alone.