My poor thing dropped a limb! Help!

Please post here if you are having a crab care emergency! Use a real subject and not just "HELP!"
User avatar

Topic author
parker_roo
Posts: 206
Joined: Thu Sep 18, 2014 8:10 pm

My poor thing dropped a limb! Help!

Post by parker_roo » Tue Dec 15, 2015 11:39 pm

Okay, so here is the info. I was changing the food and water in my tat, when I found a limb! My Hendel was close to the water dishes and I gently picked him up and moved him to change the water. But when I removed the FW, there was a claw next to the water dish. I really don't think he dropped it when I picked him up because he was too far away from the limb when I picked him up. The first thing that comes to mind of a possible cause is that there was a recent death of the family. Ollie recently passed away after a molt gone bad. I removed her from the tank and put her in iso. She passed away in a few weeks. My crabs have been scared everytime I come into the room since this has happened. Right before, they were finally getting comfortable where they didn't jump in their shells or sprint to a hiding place. I pulled Hendel out of the tank to take a look at him. He wouldn't come out of his shell all the way so I couldn't get a closer look. But I did see a small white bug crawling around his shell. That's all I've got for now. I will post the answers to those condition questions. The part that I'm really worried about is that I am working every night after school this week. I don't have any time to check on him during the day. Please, help me out! I'm so worried!

Thanks!
***Let the crabby adventures begin!***

User avatar

Topic author
parker_roo
Posts: 206
Joined: Thu Sep 18, 2014 8:10 pm

Re: My poor thing dropped a limb! Help!

Post by parker_roo » Tue Dec 15, 2015 11:40 pm

Here's the pictures I've got. Then I will answer those questions in the next post.
Image
Image
***Let the crabby adventures begin!***

User avatar

Topic author
parker_roo
Posts: 206
Joined: Thu Sep 18, 2014 8:10 pm

Re: My poor thing dropped a limb! Help!

Post by parker_roo » Wed Dec 16, 2015 12:04 am

1. What kind of substrate is used in your tank and how deep is it? 
*It's a mixture of EE and play sand, and it is about 6 inches deep.*

2. Do you have gauges in the tank to measure temperature and humidity? If so, where are they located and what temperature and humidity do they usually read? 
*Yes, on average, they read as 80°F for the temp, and 85%-99% for the humidity.*

3. Is a heat source used in the tank? If so, what? 
*I use an Ultratherm UTH on the back side of my tank, above the substrate. Since my room gets cold in the winter, I've been using additional heat from a ceramic heat emitter, which I adjust by using a light dimmer (keeps it around 80°F).*

4. What types of water are available (fresh or salt) and how is the water treated (what brands of dechlorinator or salt mix and what ratio is used to mix it)? 
*FW is conditioned with Aqueon tap water conditioner, I mix 2ml per gallon, as stated in the instructions. SW is first conditioned with Aqueon tap water conditioner (same ratio as FW), then mixed with Instant Ocean (1/2 cup per gallon).*

5. What kinds of food do you feed and how often is it replaced?
*I feed several different foods from THCP, an Etsy store called, "DeliciouslyCrabby." These foods are mostly dried foods offering enough protein, calcium, and other important nutrients. Since I've not had as much time, the food is changed about every 3 days.*

6. How long have you had the crab and what species is it, if known?
*I adopted this crab from Craigslist with another one in February, the other one is doing great. They both are PPs.*

7. Has your crab molted, and how long ago did it happen?
*Hendel came up from his molt about a week or two ago.*

8. What type of housing are the crabs kept in, what size is it and what kind of lid is on the housing?
*29 gallon tank, and it has a glass top I made which is cracked open on both ends to allow air flow. The lid is taped to avoid escapes.*

9. How many crabs are in the tank and about how large are they? 
*I have two small to medium crabs, and Hendel is a small crab, and the smallest in the tank.*

10. How many extra shells are usually kept in the tank, if any?
*There are about 15-20 shells in the tank ranging from different appropriate sizes for the crabs. Hendel has changed shells about four times in the last week.*

11. Have there been any fumes or chemicals near the crabitat recently? 
*Not that I can think of.*

12. How often do you clean the tank and how? 
*Last time I cleaned the tank was about a month ago, which consisted of wiping down the glass above the substrate with paper towels and FW. I threw out some of the old food on the substrate, and reorganized some things. The last deep cleaning was about a year ago, when I changed the substrate and cleaned the entire tank and boiled all of the items in the tank.*

13. Are sponges used in the water dish? If so, how are they cleaned?
*Nope.* 

14. Has anything new been added to your crabitat recently?
*Yes, a ceramic flower pot that I cleaned with FW, as well as some old food dishes that used to be in the tank.*

15. Is there any other information you would like to share that might be helpful (anything that is regularly part of your crab care, playtime, bathing, etc.)?
*I honestly need to change the food and water more often. I have gone at the most 4 days without changing it...*

16. Please describe the emergency situation in detail.
*See first post*
***Let the crabby adventures begin!***

User avatar

wodesorel
Tech Support
Tech Support
Posts: 9816
Joined: Thu Oct 01, 2009 8:49 am
Location: Leetonia, Ohio
Contact:

Re: My poor thing dropped a limb! Help!

Post by wodesorel » Wed Dec 16, 2015 2:26 am

He molted within I'd say the last week or so. That color of indicative of not being fully hardened. The fallen leg is definitely his, but he's not missing either of his claws. Could another crab have dug him up? Is the sub a good consistency all the way down?
Want to see all my crazy pets? @waywardwaifs on Instagram

User avatar

Topic author
parker_roo
Posts: 206
Joined: Thu Sep 18, 2014 8:10 pm

Re: My poor thing dropped a limb! Help!

Post by parker_roo » Wed Dec 16, 2015 9:20 am

wodesorel wrote:He molted within I'd say the last week or so. That color of indicative of not being fully hardened. The fallen leg is definitely his, but he's not missing either of his claws. Could another crab have dug him up? Is the sub a good consistency all the way down?
I would agree with you. When I attempted to scoop the leg onto the shell you see in the picture, it seemed very soft and seemed like rubber. I'm not sure if he was attacked, but this is what happened to my other crab Ollie. She came up early being soft, and I saw Hendel eating her exo, which caused her to be too weak and passed. I'm not sure who would attack him because I haven't had this happen in the past. And I believe the sub is the right consistency. Last time I checked it was moist enough to that "sand castle" consistency. The sub on the surface becomes a little dry every once and a while, but I keep it moist by spraying it with FW when I change their food and water.

One quick side note. I was straightening the tank a few weeks ago and I picked up the pool (not filled with water) that I keep some shells in, basically one of their shell shops. I saw Hendel under it in a tunnel, and I believe this was when he was molting. I really hope I didn't disturb his molt to the point where he would come up early! But I didn't think I did because he came up about two weeks after I pulled the shell shop up. And I put the shop back down with in the few first seconds after I picked it up because I saw Hendel. I did notice that where he was under the shop was connected to what seemed to be other tunnels that were open up to the surface. That being said, it could have been possible he was confronted by another crab during his molt because he seemed like an easy target with him being that close to the other tunnels.

What should I do? Should I try to put him in iso? I'll for sure offer him plenty of calcium rich foods, but it will be hard because I won't be home until 11:30 tonight. Time is an issue right now, I'm really busy!
***Let the crabby adventures begin!***

User avatar

wodesorel
Tech Support
Tech Support
Posts: 9816
Joined: Thu Oct 01, 2009 8:49 am
Location: Leetonia, Ohio
Contact:

Re: My poor thing dropped a limb! Help!

Post by wodesorel » Wed Dec 16, 2015 12:41 pm

Being disturbed a few weeks ago wouldn't have made this happen now. If he was that easy to find though, another crab could have chased him up early. Some crabs like to molt under a solid structure. It's just what they do.

Iso is never a bad idea when you have a situation like this with other crabs around. Crabs are opportunistic and they will attack a weaker crab if they think they can get away with it.

Since this has happened twice now, I think you should start considering there being a bigger issue here. I would suggest getting down into the substrate and make sure it didn't get too wet or that there is a bacterial bloom at the bottom. 6 inches is the minimum recommendation - for crabs bigger than small they often need several inches more to stay hidden from their tank mates. And if it's not the sub - you may have a troublemaker on your hands. :(
Want to see all my crazy pets? @waywardwaifs on Instagram

User avatar

Topic author
parker_roo
Posts: 206
Joined: Thu Sep 18, 2014 8:10 pm

Re: My poor thing dropped a limb! Help!

Post by parker_roo » Wed Dec 16, 2015 1:06 pm

wodesorel wrote:Being disturbed a few weeks ago wouldn't have made this happen now. If he was that easy to find though, another crab could have chased him up early. Some crabs like to molt under a solid structure. It's just what they do.

Iso is never a bad idea when you have a situation like this with other crabs around. Crabs are opportunistic and they will attack a weaker crab if they think they can get away with it.

Since this has happened twice now, I think you should start considering there being a bigger issue here. I would suggest getting down into the substrate and make sure it didn't get too wet or that there is a bacterial bloom at the bottom. 6 inches is the minimum recommendation - for crabs bigger than small they often need several inches more to stay hidden from their tank mates. And if it's not the sub - you may have a troublemaker on your hands. :(
I will try to check the sub soon. Right now I have one crab down, molting. I don't think the sub is too wet because I do have a false bottom for flooding, but it is still a possibility. I have been planning on finishing my 55 gallon tank during winter break. It will have new substrate and I'm going to sanitize everything by boiling them in FW. Plus I'm planning on putting more than 6 inches in the 55 gallon. I will try to check on Hendel tonight and see if I can put him in iso. Thank you for your help and information! I'll keep you updated with any news!
***Let the crabby adventures begin!***

User avatar

landlubber
Posts: 672
Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2015 2:53 pm
Location: Akron Oh

Re: My poor thing dropped a limb! Help!

Post by landlubber » Wed Dec 16, 2015 6:59 pm

Since everything else seems good, I agree with wode that it appears something may be going on with your substrate......if you haven't deep cleaned in a year in a 29 there could be a bacterial bloom down there (that's my guess). I believe crabs can poison their substrate with their waste and such just like fish can in a tank full of water. I actually used to test the PH and such of my substrate using gardening kit. This is why I am diligent about deep cleans even if I have molters down. I consider the risk to molters if I dig them up compared to the risk created by a bacterial bloom in my tank and I considered the digging to be a calculated risk, I don't want to dig up molters but I don't want molters shedding with a bacterial issue down there either. Personally I think mysterious molt issues in previously normal crabs (crabs that have been molting well for at least several molts) in tanks that don't follow a regimented deep clean schedule happens more than we realize.

Crabs make it after losing one limb all the time. You ISO and provide good nutrition and conditions and there's no reason at this point to think he won't be just fine.
6 PPs, 4 Straws, 3 Es * 1 Teeny, 6 Smalls, 4 Mediums, 1 large and 1 Jumbo in a 70 gallon
1 Boxer puppy, 1 Yorchie mutt, 1 cat, 1 ball python, 1 boa

User avatar

rml6f4
Posts: 166
Joined: Wed Nov 19, 2014 7:47 pm

Re: My poor thing dropped a limb! Help!

Post by rml6f4 » Thu Dec 17, 2015 7:27 pm

landlubber wrote:Since everything else seems good, I agree with wode that it appears something may be going on with your substrate......if you haven't deep cleaned in a year in a 29 there could be a bacterial bloom down there (that's my guess). I believe crabs can poison their substrate with their waste and such just like fish can in a tank full of water. I actually used to test the PH and such of my substrate using gardening kit. This is why I am diligent about deep cleans even if I have molters down. I consider the risk to molters if I dig them up compared to the risk created by a bacterial bloom in my tank and I considered the digging to be a calculated risk, I don't want to dig up molters but I don't want molters shedding with a bacterial issue down there either. Personally I think mysterious molt issues in previously normal crabs (crabs that have been molting well for at least several molts) in tanks that don't follow a regimented deep clean schedule happens more than we realize.

Crabs make it after losing one limb all the time. You ISO and provide good nutrition and conditions and there's no reason at this point to think he won't be just fine.
Interesting. I had previously read on the forums here that deep cleans weren't necessary unless there was a known problem. How often do you recommend scheduled deep cleans?

User avatar

Laurie LeAnn
Posts: 989
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2015 12:31 am

Re: My poor thing dropped a limb! Help!

Post by Laurie LeAnn » Fri Dec 18, 2015 9:57 am

Some people don't believe that deep cleans are needed if all is going well..it's more of a personal choice..I do a deep clean. I take everything out ,ALL the substrate and start over.I don't " seed " or save any old substrate. I have had black mold down deep because my sand had got to wet and I didn't know it..you want to talk about stinky smell! I have also had crabs die in the substrate and it made it stink! I put food in my tank at all times of the day..if I'm not going to be home til.the next morning and leaving at mid afternoon I will put food in. I will put food in and sometimes put the crab on it and say here!! Something new EAT IT! Lol! They might sit a sec and start eating it or scurry off.. I can see your diet is problem. Not your diet...your crabs diet.. :banana: they need more real foods like you eat, with no seasonings, fresh fruits and veggies..have a spring mix salad save some for your crab, mom.cooking chicken? Ask her if you can have a wing, gizzards, back & put them in a bowl w their water and zap in the microwave. Organic baby foods beech nut sells some..organic peanut butter. Goes a long way! I don't know how long you have had your crabs but if you haven't had them long they could of died from post purchase stress

User avatar

landlubber
Posts: 672
Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2015 2:53 pm
Location: Akron Oh

Re: My poor thing dropped a limb! Help!

Post by landlubber » Fri Dec 18, 2015 1:48 pm

I think tank cleaning would depend on many factors. The size of the tank (smaller ones would be more likely to need a deep clean than larger tanks). It would also depend on one's set up. To have a true vivarium tat, where it was pretty much self sustaining requires a lot of biological activity, and most of us are operating in the dark because we really don't know what's down there in the substrate bacteria wise. All the water eventually seeps down to the bottom where our crabs molt, where it sits with high heat and humidity and the bacteria balance can thrown off. It's going to depend on how well one can surface cleans and how often, what kind of substrate they have, whether they have natural cleaners and bacteria balencers such as isopods, worms, live plants living in the tank. Even if one does a great surface cleaning things get moved around under the substrate more than we think with all the digging the crabs do. Food and waste can pretty easily find it's way anywhere in the tank.

When I do a deep clean I do not remove all the substrate and clean the tank as used to be suggested. I take all of the decor and such and wash that, but with the sand I do a partial substrate change and I mix up and aerate the substrate down at that bottom. I think substrate aeration is important for the "health" of the substrate, and although the crabs aerate it quite a bit with all their digging the bottom where things get yucky is where the would be least likely to have been well aerated. Personally, if a bacteria issue on the tank bottom is starting I don't see the point of doing a surface substrate change only, it wouldn't deal with what's on the bottom as far as my understanding. So, even though I don't do a deep clean the old fashioned way (which can create a bacterial vacuum) I still dig all the way to the bottom and mix up the new and old substrate, which is quite a task.
6 PPs, 4 Straws, 3 Es * 1 Teeny, 6 Smalls, 4 Mediums, 1 large and 1 Jumbo in a 70 gallon
1 Boxer puppy, 1 Yorchie mutt, 1 cat, 1 ball python, 1 boa

User avatar

Topic author
parker_roo
Posts: 206
Joined: Thu Sep 18, 2014 8:10 pm

Re: My poor thing dropped a limb! Help!

Post by parker_roo » Sun Dec 20, 2015 3:14 pm

Hey everyone. I'm sad to say that Ollie did not make it. I never got a chance to put her in iso because I was so busy. It feels awful to go from four crabs to two crabs, since my other one, Hendel passed a few weeks ago. I'm still not sure what the problem is, but I have this 55 gallon tank I have half way set up that now is pointless. I really wanted to set it up and move my crabs into it, but now I'm just thinking of giving up. I'm considering putting my crabs up for adoption since life has been so crazy that I haven't been able to give enough time to my crabs. I'm going to miss my Ollie, and I'm just not sure what to do. I'm really worried about my other two crabs! And now I have this 55 gallon tank for my crabs which I probably won't finish setting up. It literally has everything ready, I just had to find time to put the substrate in, I even made a false bottom. Besides the point, I just want to do what's best for my crabs and keep the other two healthy. It's going to be hard on my crabs because I got the first two together, Sebastian and Ollie, and then the other two later, Marcel and Hendel. Both Sebastian's and Marcel's friend has died, and I have a bad feeling about what will happened next. What do you guys think I should do? I'm thinking about either putting my last two crabs up for adoption and stopping owning crabs, or try to finish the 55 gallon tank and adopt more crabs. I really have enjoyed owning hermit crabs, but I'm worried that I won't be able to keep up with them. Ugh, it's a hard decision...

Again, I just want to thank you guys for your help and support through this emergency I had. Thanks!
***Let the crabby adventures begin!***

User avatar

wodesorel
Tech Support
Tech Support
Posts: 9816
Joined: Thu Oct 01, 2009 8:49 am
Location: Leetonia, Ohio
Contact:

Re: My poor thing dropped a limb! Help!

Post by wodesorel » Sun Dec 20, 2015 3:47 pm

I'm so sorry parker_roo. :comfort:

I don't think your idea of the 55 is a bad one. If you still enjoy hermits, you should keep moving forward with them. :) Accidents happen, and not every molt will be successful. A fresh tank will correct anything that might be wrong, if that's your concern. Hermits only need a friend - look at the two who lived the longest! They had each other. WE like to have a lot of crabs in an enclodure because it gives us something to watch instead of a sometimes empty tank, but crabs tend to do the best in pairs and trios.
Want to see all my crazy pets? @waywardwaifs on Instagram

User avatar

Topic author
parker_roo
Posts: 206
Joined: Thu Sep 18, 2014 8:10 pm

Re: My poor thing dropped a limb! Help!

Post by parker_roo » Sun Dec 20, 2015 3:53 pm

wodesorel wrote:I'm so sorry parker_roo. :comfort:

I don't think your idea of the 55 is a bad one. If you still enjoy hermits, you should keep moving forward with them. :) Accidents happen, and not every molt will be successful. A fresh tank will correct anything that might be wrong, if that's your concern. Hermits only need a friend - look at the two who lived the longest! They had each other. WE like to have a lot of crabs in an enclodure because it gives us something to watch instead of a sometimes empty tank, but crabs tend to do the best in pairs and trios.
Thank you for your support! I do enjoy them, but I don't want them to suffer if I don't have time to take care of them. Thanks for the encouragement! I may continue with my 55 gallon, but I'm going to have to think about the pros and cons. Things have just been stressful and because of that, I haven't been able to keep up with caring for my crabs properly. There have been too many times where I wasn't able to change the food that has gotten gross, or the water that should have been changed two days ago. That's my main concern for my crabs is that I need to find more time for them. But I will definitely think about my decision again, thank you again for being so kind and looking on the positive side!
***Let the crabby adventures begin!***

User avatar

landlubber
Posts: 672
Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2015 2:53 pm
Location: Akron Oh

Re: My poor thing dropped a limb! Help!

Post by landlubber » Sun Dec 20, 2015 3:59 pm

I'm so sorry about your losses. I know how disheartening it is. The question you are asking is a question you ask your own heart. There are certainly a lot of great adopters out there. I would recommend taking a little time to consider things so you aren't making a decision based more on emotion than what is best for you and the crabs.
6 PPs, 4 Straws, 3 Es * 1 Teeny, 6 Smalls, 4 Mediums, 1 large and 1 Jumbo in a 70 gallon
1 Boxer puppy, 1 Yorchie mutt, 1 cat, 1 ball python, 1 boa

Locked