Molting crab under water bowl.

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
KristenL0522
Posts: 60
Joined: Fri Jul 19, 2019 11:11 pm

Molting crab under water bowl.

Post by KristenL0522 » Sat Jul 20, 2019 7:30 am

Hello all!! Hope you’re doing good today!!
I purchased 2 hermit crabs from a petsmart at the beach June 30th. Scuttle and Flounder :) We used to have hermits when I was little and I loved them. After purchasing I did some research and realized they are harder to take care of than we used to! Idk how ours survived when we were little!! Lol anyways so I get home and try to get a good crabitat going.

One was real active and was getting used to me and I would see him move around some at night. Then I didn’t see either for a long time... I have a smaller 10 gallon tank so I would lift it up just to try and see where they were buried. I wasn’t seeing a lot of movement so I thought they were dead... but bc of a lot of reading on here (thanks for all the information!!) I had a bit of hope for them probably distressing and maybe molting. I lifted up the water bowl to put some water in it and they were both under there! I was like ok cool!!! Not dead lol then later that night I saw one (who I think is the more active one) up and eating. They were in similar shells so I can’t exactly tell them apart unless I seen them. They are smaller crabbies. Anyways back to my issue... I picked the water bowl up again and saw him laying out next to the shell. So I’m freaking out!!! I thought for sure he was dead. I put the bowl back down and lifted up the tank to see he was thankfully still in his shell but pale. So that’s when I came to the conclusion he was molting.

My question/concern is he is not really under any substrate as I pushed it aside to put the bowl down when I set the tank up. I know not to move him but don’t want him to be bothered either. Should I leave the bowl alone from now on? I didn’t see the other one hiding so I’m not sure where he is.
I am appreciative of any comments or advice. I’m still working on getting the temps and humidity right. It usually stays 74 degrees and about 70 ish humidity. I did put an extra cover over it last night to try and help keep more humid. Thanks in advance!!

User avatar

curlysister
Posts: 1419
Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2010 3:54 pm
Location: Manitoba, Canada

Re: Molting crab under water bowl.

Post by curlysister » Sat Jul 20, 2019 10:53 am

How deep and what kind of substrate do you have?
Your humidity definitely needs to be higher than 70%. What did you cover it with? Saran Wrap will keep humidity in.
Are you using a heat source? If so, what?
What are you using for water? How deep are your dishes?

Put something over top of the molting crab, like a yogurt container with holes punched in it so he is in the same conditions as the tank, but is isolated from the other crab. You will need to move your water dish.
You will need to stop picking up and/ or moving your tank. If a crab has made a tunnel or molting cave, you can cause it to collapse.
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." -Will Rogers


Topic author
KristenL0522
Posts: 60
Joined: Fri Jul 19, 2019 11:11 pm

Re: Molting crab under water bowl.

Post by KristenL0522 » Sat Jul 20, 2019 12:01 pm

How deep and what kind of substrate do you have?
I use zoo med reptibark per the instruction of the associate at petsmart. It’s about 3 inches deep
Your humidity definitely needs to be higher than 70%. What did you cover it with? Saran Wrap will keep humidity in.
I have a wire top on it and some plastic mats on top of it that I can move around. When I got up it was 84 and is at 82 now. I mist spray the moss and the climbing stuff I got at night to help with the humidity.
Are you using a heat source? If so, what?
No heat source right now.
What are you using for water? How deep are your dishes?
I have one that has salt water in it that is treated spring water with all living things saltwater conditioner. It is in a decorative pool thing that is about 1 1/2 inches deep but I have some rocks in there to help the littlest one be able to get out.
My water bowl has a sponge in it and it is probably 1/2 inch deep
It has spring water in it as well.

I picked it up before I saw this and found the other one buried and the molting one with a leg and his big claw under him... I hope he didn’t lose the limbs and it is the exo that he is eating... I will cut down a water bottle and poke holes in it to protect him... he won’t have anything over him as far as substrate or anything to hide under. Will that be ok??
Thanks for your help!

User avatar

Hermiesguardian
Posts: 2628
Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2017 10:41 pm

Re: Molting crab under water bowl.

Post by Hermiesguardian » Sat Jul 20, 2019 12:12 pm

KristenL0522 wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 12:01 pm
How deep and what kind of substrate do you have?
I use zoo med reptibark per the instruction of the associate at petsmart. It’s about 3 inches deep
Your humidity definitely needs to be higher than 70%. What did you cover it with? Saran Wrap will keep humidity in.
I have a wire top on it and some plastic mats on top of it that I can move around. When I got up it was 84 and is at 82 now. I mist spray the moss and the climbing stuff I got at night to help with the humidity.
Are you using a heat source? If so, what?
No heat source right now.
What are you using for water? How deep are your dishes?
I have one that has salt water in it that is treated spring water with all living things saltwater conditioner. It is in a decorative pool thing that is about 1 1/2 inches deep but I have some rocks in there to help the littlest one be able to get out.
My water bowl has a sponge in it and it is probably 1/2 inch deep
It has spring water in it as well.

I picked it up before I saw this and found the other one buried and the molting one with a leg and his big claw under him... I hope he didn’t lose the limbs and it is the exo that he is eating... I will cut down a water bottle and poke holes in it to protect him... he won’t have anything over him as far as substrate or anything to hide under. Will that be ok??
Thanks for your help!
Reptibark is not good for hermit crabs. Unfortunately petshop associates usually know very little about hermit crab care. Your substrate can be all playsand, all eco earth or a mixture. Most of us on here do a mix of sand/ee, 5:1. It has to be mixed with dechlorinated fresh water or dechlorinated salt water, to sandcastle consistancy. And it must be a minimum of 6 inches or 3 times the height of your largest crab, whichever is deeper.
Most things marketed for crabs isn't good for them. The best dechlorinator is Prime. Then add Instant Ocean for salt. Even spring water needs to be dechlorinated.
Sponges just harbor bacteria. Ditch it. The pools need to be deep enough for them to fully submerge.
Check out the care guides on here for everything you need to know.
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


Topic author
KristenL0522
Posts: 60
Joined: Fri Jul 19, 2019 11:11 pm

Re: Molting crab under water bowl.

Post by KristenL0522 » Sat Jul 20, 2019 12:21 pm

Hermiesguardian wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 12:12 pm
Reptibark is not good for hermit crabs. Unfortunately petshop associates usually know very little about hermit crab care. Your substrate can be all playsand, all eco earth or a mixture. Most of us on here do a mix of sand/ee, 5:1. It has to be mixed with dechlorinated fresh water or dechlorinated salt water, to sandcastle consistancy. And it must be a minimum of 6 inches or 3 times the height of your largest crab, whichever is deeper.
Most things marketed for crabs isn't good for them. The best dechlorinator is Prime. Then add Instant Ocean for salt. Even spring water needs to be dechlorinated.
Sponges just harbor bacteria. Ditch it. The pools need to be deep enough for them to fully submerge.
Check out the care guides on here for everything you need to know.
Ok. Thank you. I can’t do anything with the substrate now that he is molting right? I can ditch the sponge and get another water bowl. And I’ll work on doing the water right as well. I think they can fully submerge in the saltwater but I’m afraid of it being too deep and drowning...


Topic author
KristenL0522
Posts: 60
Joined: Fri Jul 19, 2019 11:11 pm

Re: Molting crab under water bowl.

Post by KristenL0522 » Sat Jul 20, 2019 12:23 pm

I know not a lot of associates know what they are talking about... the one that was close to the beach told me I needed saltwater and all this stuff but once I got home I asked someone here and they said they don’t even need saltwater. I was like what??? If they are from a pet store bc they are farmed... I was like you can’t breed them in captivity so how you gonna farm them??

User avatar

curlysister
Posts: 1419
Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2010 3:54 pm
Location: Manitoba, Canada

Re: Molting crab under water bowl.

Post by curlysister » Sat Jul 20, 2019 12:47 pm

Yes, you need both dechlorinated fresh water and then the dechlorinated fresh water with marine salt added, two separate bowls. The bowls do need to be deep enough that the crabs can submerge, but have a way that they can climb out. Many people put rocks in the bowls, or use craft mesh zip tied to the bowl (like a Rubbermaid or Tupperware bowl).
When you use a mix of moistened playsand and EE, it will help with humidity too. You can cover the entire top of the tank with saran wrap or plastic, they will get enough air flow when you open it to change water and food.
It's okay that he won't have anything over him except the cover you put over. I suggested a yogurt container so that it's dark for him. You will need to check on him now and then so you know when he has eaten his exoskeleton, and then after that you will need to start giving some food and water.
I have had my crabs for almost 9 years. The HCA website is the only source of information that I have used. The care sheets have a ton of really good, reliable information. It seems like a lot to read, but everything you need is in there. Then ask any questions, and we can help you out!
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." -Will Rogers


Topic author
KristenL0522
Posts: 60
Joined: Fri Jul 19, 2019 11:11 pm

Re: Molting crab under water bowl.

Post by KristenL0522 » Sun Jul 21, 2019 2:46 pm

Thanks for all your help!! I got the instant ocean and prime water conditioner (it stinks though) and got a yogurt container over him with some honey in there... he doesn’t look too good though... got some different stuff for the substrate and the humidity has been staying at 78-82 so I guess now I wait...

Post Reply