Molts are nerve-wracking!

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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MauiMama
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Molts are nerve-wracking!

Post by MauiMama » Tue Nov 12, 2019 10:33 pm

I'm going through my first molt (he's done it many times before, but first time with me). It is so scary! It's been a little over 2 months and my dude is still under. The complete lack of any evidence of life for so long just kills me!

I'm concerned he might have gotten too cold under there. My heater stopped working at some point, could have been up to 2 weeks, and the temp was falling to 67degees at night. My other greatest fear of crab-keeping is tunnel collapse. What if he is under the water dishes I still change out regularly and it caves in?

I'm a nervous mama. XD How do you make yourself worry less??

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Maddamay32
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Re: Molts are nerve-wracking!

Post by Maddamay32 » Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:40 pm

You don't lol. I'm a nervous wreck after the 1 month mark. Maybe filling out the emergency template would offer some insight into whether there is a real problem or not? That is, if you think there is one.

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Re: Molts are nerve-wracking!

Post by MauiMama » Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:33 pm

I think I'm just being a worrywart. Most advise not to be concerned about a crab his size until around 4 months. He was also missing a limb from his previous home, so I would expect him to take longer.

I'm mostly just concerned about how cold it got, I hope it wasn't too detrimental to him. D:

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Maddamay32
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Re: Molts are nerve-wracking!

Post by Maddamay32 » Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:02 pm

I'm not too sure about the temp elements. Ik the sub is always cooler than the open space above the tank. I hope an admin can weigh in on this for you!

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Re: Molts are nerve-wracking!

Post by Motörcrab » Mon Nov 25, 2019 8:31 pm

Any luck on the molter yet?

Once your crab is back up you can nest the water pools. Use two containers for each pool. That way you pull the top pool out and the other ones stays in the substrate. That way you don't disturb any crabs. It also helps to add several stones to the base container. It makes it easier to pull the top one out!

You always worry to a point. My colony of 7 in the 75 are all in
1-1/8 to 1-1/4 openings. With them I got to where a 6-8 week molt is normal. I try to log when the go down but thats easier said than done.

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Re: Molts are nerve-wracking!

Post by MauiMama » Mon Nov 25, 2019 10:32 pm

Thanks for checking in! So far he's still under. He went down around September 4th, and I am sure he has not come up in the night. I miss the little booger!

I'm interested in logging his molts, but this is the first time with me! Mine is about the same size as yours, and he came to me missing a leg. My only consolation is that regrowing a limb would probably make it take longer.

I really hope I didn't leave him too cold, too long. He's well-insulated and heated now. I just hope it wasn't too little too late.

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Re: Molts are nerve-wracking!

Post by MauiMama » Mon Nov 25, 2019 10:34 pm

I learned the double-tub trick after he went down, so my plan is to do that when he resurfaces :D

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Re: Molts are nerve-wracking!

Post by Motörcrab » Mon Nov 25, 2019 10:47 pm

Do you know how well he was fed before you got him? When you got him did he devour food of decide to dig right away?

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Re: Molts are nerve-wracking!

Post by MauiMama » Tue Nov 26, 2019 12:30 am

He was up for just shy of 2 months between when he came home with me and when he buried. The previous owners gave him a standard pellet diet, but I'm not sure what, if anything, they supplemented with.

When I got him, he loved walnuts and grapes, and he ate several of those, but he also nibbled on strawberries, spinach, and bits of chicken. I did notice chunks of cuttlebone going missing a few days leading up to the dig.

It seemed like his conditions were only partially met by the previous owners (they kept his humidity around 50-60%!), so it's also possible that he's taking a while to recover from the less-than-ideal situation.

I've devoured every bit of reading I could find about molting, looking for some kind of reassurance. But, someone here said they had a dude come up after EIGHTEEN MONTHS. That is just not right! XD I tried to find a solid answer for when to worry, and there just isn't one.

Crabbing is hard.

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Re: Molts are nerve-wracking!

Post by MauiMama » Tue Nov 26, 2019 12:31 am

I wouldn't say he "devoured," but he sure did eat a lot of walnuts.

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Re: Molts are nerve-wracking!

Post by Hermiesguardian » Tue Nov 26, 2019 10:16 am

MauiMama wrote:
Tue Nov 26, 2019 12:31 am
I wouldn't say he "devoured," but he sure did eat a lot of walnuts.

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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

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Re: Molts are nerve-wracking!

Post by Motörcrab » Tue Nov 26, 2019 12:39 pm

The two months up with you before molting is good. That allowed him time to eat properly and get his proper nutrition before molting. I think that greatly increases his chances for a healthy molt. The cuttlebone and nuts would be beneficial for his exoskeleton. I am pretty sure the oils in the nuts will help with shedding his exo.

Unfortunately molting is different for every crab and can be different everytime they molt. We have had them range from two weeks to around three months. It's nice when they molting near the glass and make a window so you can see they are ok, then you cover the hole to keep it dark.

I think they only take a week or to but like to wait as long as they can to stress us out!

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Re: Molts are nerve-wracking!

Post by MauiMama » Tue Nov 26, 2019 12:57 pm

I've read that sometimes they just chill there because "why not." Because it's bad for my emotional health, okay?? Lol

It would be so cool to see it against the glass. I'm always fascinated by what goes on where I can't see, so a window into that world would be awesome.

I hope I provided for him well enough to have a healthy molt, and that I haven't accidentally disturbed his slumber.

Would it be ill-advised to poke around for him if I hit the 6 month mark? He is my only crab so I don't know how long to keep feeding and watering my pet sand.

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Re: Molts are nerve-wracking!

Post by Motörcrab » Tue Nov 26, 2019 10:34 pm

DON'T POKE OR DIG! I read most of the time they are under they are trying to find a good spot where they won't be disturbed. Sometimes they sit in the same spot for days then move and move again until they are happy. Unfortunately we have no idea what makes a good molting spot. Any type of disturbance can cause them to stay down longer.

They are also super soft after they shed their exo skeleton. Any poking or sudden movement can hurt or kill the crab. Even with poking you would only be able to find out where he is.

I would offer smaller portions of dried foods since he is your only crab. Foods like shrimp, crickets, mealworms, and dried fruits and veggies. Always have calciums avaliable too. Stuff that will last a while in the tank without going bad. You shouldn't have to change it as much and still give him options if he decides to come up.

Her is a bonus pic of a molting or digging window one of my guys just made!
Image

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Re: Molts are nerve-wracking!

Post by MauiMama » Wed Nov 27, 2019 1:03 am

Hopefully he resurfaces soon, he's giving me grays. Maybe a bit of turkey in there on Thursday will encourage him to come topside for a particularly tasty snack.

I know about the little nutrient sac they build up for sustenance during the molt, but how long does that supply last? How long can crabs go without eating or drinking? They can't live off those stored nutrients forever.

That is an incredible view! Were you able to watch the whole molting process?

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