hermie has molted on surface. Do I need to take any action

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.
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moltingpinchy
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Location: lutz, Florida

hermie has molted on surface. Do I need to take any action

Post by moltingpinchy » Fri Oct 11, 2019 9:20 pm

Hi, this is my first post. Figure I'd get better advice from here than any pet store. A little info on our crabs. Bought my daughter two hermies a year ago (larger crab Pinchy who is one molting and the other smaller one Mr. Krabs). Never witnessed any molting with either crab. I have noticed two of them had buried themselves and I haven't seen them in awhile so I dug them out to check on them (I know what you're thinking but like I said I am not familiar with molting). They seemed fine but I noticed the smaller one climbing on larger crabs shell. Didn't think anything of it. Well when I came back to their tank about two hours later the larger one was out of his shell. wondering if the other crab fought with him and made him come out. The smaller one did take residence in the others shell. I called the manager at pet store where we bought them. He said they do that when looking for shells in the wild so again I brushed it off. Well four hours, six, eight and he was still out of a shell. I checked on him one more time around midnight and I honestly thought he was dying the way he was acting. I prepared myself to find a dead crab in the morning but to my surprise I woke to what appeared to be two naked crabs. I checked the smaller crab and he was in shell. I then realized Pinchy had molted his exoskeleton so that gave me a relief he was still alive. I had seen his body moving slightly and his legs. My question is do I need to do anything at all. I have read about putting a cut 2L coke bottle over him for protection. However, hes wedged against the glass side of tank and water bowl. The smaller crab hasn't shown much interest in him but should I take precautions. I understand you're not supposed to touch or move them when they're this vulnerable.

Any suggestions? I am worried because he is out of his shell and he could dry out. The habitat is at optimal humidity and temp but is that enough to sustain him while out of shell and molting? I guess he's too weak to get into a shell right not but what is normal time frame for them to get into a shell. Hes shed his exoskeleton but I heard it could take weeks or more to get back to normal. I feel bad if I interrupted his molting process when I dug him up but it is what it is now. All I can do is try to keep him comfortable and do what I can. I am trying to upload image of him but it won't work. Anyhow, any advice would be much appreciated. Thanks! John

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curlysister
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Re: hermie has molted on surface. Do I need to take any action

Post by curlysister » Fri Oct 11, 2019 10:04 pm

This is a very serious situation. A crab who is out of his shell will die. You need to re-shell him ASAP. You can try putting him in a bowl with a millimeter or two of water in the bottom, and putting a couple of shells in there, to see if he will go back in a shell on his own. If not, you will need to very carefully rinse him in dechlor fresh water and manually re-shell him. He needs to be isolated from the other crab, or it will likely kill and/or eat it. A naked freshly molted crab is in grave danger, both because of the situation that he is now in, as well as danger from the other crab.

Digging up a crab is only recommended if there is an emergency such as a flood or bacterial bloom. You should never dig up a crab otherwise.

Read through all the care sheets, they contain all the information you need to have happy and healthy crabs.

If you fill in the emergency template (copy and paste), we can help you with proper conditions.

http://www.hermitcrabassociation.com/ph ... 27&t=46102
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." -Will Rogers

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Re: hermie has molted on surface. Do I need to take any action

Post by wodesorel » Sat Oct 12, 2019 4:02 am

I agree he needs to be reshelled as soon as possible. Choose something lightweight that is similar in size to what he was wearing. It's dangerous to the crab to handle them after molting, but if they aren't able to harden up in a shell they often won't survive, so you don't really have a choice. Once he's back in, put his exo underneath him so he can eat it and find a way to protect him from his tabkmate just in case.

When they molt, they go into a kind of stasis right before shedding and it leaves them unable to move or protect themselves. It sounds like this was just the worst possible timing ever. There is only a small window of extreme danger and luck was not on his side. I've got my fingers crossed for him!

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Hermiesguardian
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Re: hermie has molted on surface. Do I need to take any action

Post by Hermiesguardian » Sat Oct 12, 2019 10:44 am

They don't leave their shells to molt. So, yes, this is a problem. Just follow the advice above.
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
moltingpinchy
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Joined: Fri Oct 11, 2019 8:27 pm
Location: lutz, Florida

Re: hermie has molted on surface. Do I need to take any action

Post by moltingpinchy » Tue Oct 15, 2019 9:28 pm

Hey everyone, just an update. Pinchy went into his old shell (the one he had since we brought him home a year ago) on Sunday night. It's a little small but he fits in it so it's better than no shell at all, right. However, he did lose two legs on his left side unfortunately but maybe it fits better than it did. I bought some extra shells that should be his size at Petco but they aren't turbo shells. It's hard to find larger turbo shells in stores but I found a site naplesseashellcompany.com I think it was that sells them. I may order from there. At least I feel at ease that he may have a chance now. His exoskeleton seems to be getting darker which is good news. I was told to put peanut butter and some honey in there for him to eat to give him some strength. Looks like both crabs are enjoying it lol. He's still got some recovering to do. Poor guy molts naked on surface, loses two legs and was shell less for four days. He may not be out of the woods yet but a far cry from what I thought the outcome would be. Thanks again for the ones who replied back. I'll update later with any changes.

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