Is a gradient temp a common practice?

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Maddamay32
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Is a gradient temp a common practice?

Post by Maddamay32 » Fri Nov 01, 2019 10:44 pm

It's getting cold where I am, and since I love it! I turn off any ac/heating in the home.

My tank is usually at 80-85 degrees but is now resting at around 78-79 which I know is still "safe" just wanting to discuss what everyone else does or thinks about a gradient temp or even humidity. In the wild crabs experience these changes (even more extreme than just a few degrees) and I've always wondered if it's important to their lifestyle in captivity or even molting patterns.

Do y'all purposefully change the temp to match seasonal changes? Or noticed any difference in crabs behavior when you do? If this is an unsafe practice I have no problem purchasing a THIRD uth lol.

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Re: Is a gradient temp a common practice?

Post by Motörcrab » Fri Nov 01, 2019 11:21 pm

I try to keep my tank at a steady temperature. If I move my Acurite different places it will change temperature due to location. My Crabbyland tank 29 gallon Acurite is reading 77 at the front center of the tank. The temperature probe for the thermostat is about 5 inches from the heater and was reading 82.

If your gauge is at the front of the tank it will read cooler. I would say if you are still in the mid to upper 70's it is deffinately warm enough near the UTH. If you see all your crabs huddled near the heater I would add insulation to the sides to help hold in more heat.

In my 75G l have an UTH across the entire back. That one is hooked up to a thermostat since it is the biggest effect on temperature. I also have an UTH on one side that is always on in winter. The back and side of my tank are insulated. I managed to keep my temperature around 83 all winter.
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Re: Is a gradient temp a common practice?

Post by Maddamay32 » Fri Nov 01, 2019 11:31 pm

I do have different temps in different areas of my tank, due to the position of my uths and suggestions of the care sheets.

I was just posing the question if overall cooler temps are a common practice during winter months, in order to simulate the changes in the crabs natural habitat. Or if it should be done at all!

Like I said, I have no problem buying another uth to utilize during the winter months if that is the safest thing to do. Or if seasoned crabbers have experienced I'll effects from what I'm proposing above.

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Re: Is a gradient temp a common practice?

Post by wodesorel » Sat Nov 02, 2019 12:02 am

I've never fussed, and my tanks do stay warmer in the summer and cooler in the winter. There is going to be some seasonal changes in the wild, and after researching it years ago I was comfortable with it happening in my tanks. If anything, they tend to eat like pigs over the winter so being a little cooler triggers something.
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Re: Is a gradient temp a common practice?

Post by Moe2076 » Sat Nov 02, 2019 12:34 am

This is a great question/discussion to have. Thank you for asking it! It was below freezing for the first time here in West TN last night/this am. (The first week of October it was 90's and 70's at night...LOL) I am trying to figure out how to keep temperature/ humidity steady with the changes in the weather. I have a couple of small thermometer/hydrometers that I ordered from amazon in 3 places in the tank and a thermometer connected to a temperature control with one of the side UTH's I have on the tank. I have UTH on the back and sides of the tank. There is definitely a gradient in my tank. The 2 thermometer/hydrometers in the front left upper and rear left upper corners read: 74% 82.9 F and 60% 87.4 F I have one in the bottom center of the front of the tank reading 94% and 74.6 F The temperature probe is on the rt hand side about 6 inches in and 2 in from the top at the front of the tank reads 78.4 F There is insulation on most of the back of the tank and all 3 UTH are currently plugged in. I'm thinking I am going to go ahead and insulate the rest of the back and sides of the tank.

A few questions:
Where should I put the temperature probe? I feel like leaving it in the front where there is no UTH and where it is going to be the coolest spot is where it is best so then I can know what the lower level temp is and then if by some chance it ever gets too hot then one of the side UTH's can cut off.
At what temp/humidity should I start unplugging UTH?
The temp/humidity yo yo is making me a little nuts. If I get the temp up much over 80 the humidity starts dropping but those thermometers are at the top of the tank with UTH's right behind them and there are gaps in the glass pieces I have cut covering the tank so that humidity is not always constantly over 90 and condensation is taking over.
I might be obsessing a bit much, but I'm just wondering how to balance it out. I have a moss pit that I have been misting 2-3x a day
Should I just focus on the front middle sand level thermometer/hydrometer? It stays pretty consistently at 90% and 75 ish degrees.
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Re: Is a gradient temp a common practice?

Post by Motörcrab » Sat Nov 02, 2019 1:50 am

Moe2076 wrote:
Sat Nov 02, 2019 12:34 am
Where should I put the temperature probe? I feel like leaving it in the front where there is no UTH and where it is going to be the coolest spot is where it is best so then I can know what the lower level temp is and then if by some chance it ever gets too hot then one of the side UTH's can cut off.
I try to keep my thermostat probe centered in the tank. If that is set to say 84 my temperature will be 87 next to the heater. The front of the tank may be 77. Your crabs will move around to warm up and cool down. I keep my Acurite gauge at the front to give me the lowest temperature in the tank. You just need to find the placement that works for you.

At what temp/humidity should I start unplugging UTH?
The temp/humidity yo yo is making me a little nuts. If I get the temp up much over 80 the humidity starts dropping but those thermometers are at the top of the tank with UTH's right behind them and there are gaps in the glass pieces I have cut covering the tank so that humidity is not always constantly over 90 and condensation is taking over.
Do yourself a big favor and buy a thermostat for your UTH. Plug your UTH into the thermostat, plug thermostat into the wall, set your desired temperature, place thermostat probe in tank. Then you just need to tweak your settings. It will save you from forgetting to plug the heater back in. I try not to let my temperature reach the upper 80's. Above 87 I get nervous.

I might be obsessing a bit much, but I'm just wondering how to balance it out. I have a moss pit that I have been misting 2-3x a day Should I just focus on the front middle sand level thermometer/hydrometer? It stays pretty consistently at 90% and 75 ish degrees.
When winter sets in and temperatures drop humidity always becomes somewhat of a battle. Tight fitting tops are your best bet. If you get condensation you can add some dry moss on the substrate in those areas. If the condensation beads down the wall the moss should help catch the water. Be careful with misting. If you mist too much the water can build up in the bottom of the tank causing a flood, or even worse a bacterial bloom. They are no fun.
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