sluggish crab won't leave water bowl

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soilentgringa
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Re: sluggish crab won't leave water bowl

Post by soilentgringa » Sun Feb 19, 2017 11:33 pm

Hello, I'm going to go through your responses to the emergency template one by one. My text will be in bold.

1. What kind of substrate is used in your tank and how deep is it?
Its 50% coconut fiber and 50% play sand hydrated with salt water. It started an even 8 inches but the crabs dug out a section around the bowls so it ranges from 6 inches to 9.5 inches.

As long as this is sandcastle consistency, it is fine, just remember to never mist or add salt water to it, as doing so can cause the salt levels to build up and burn crabs.

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, its 86% relative humidity. 77.2F currently. it gets warmer in summer and colder in winter. this is colder than it usually gets. I'm having a hard time trying to figure out with my dad if all the heater's have been plugged in. he's taking care of them while i'm away at school, and though the wire's are labeled. he is unsure if all my heaters are plugged in. we are sorting it out.

The temperature is okay, but really needs to be above 80. What kind of heaters do you have? Multiple heaters can be a fire hazard and depending on the brand, they cannot be insulated. I would suggest getting an Ultratherm from Reptile Basics, Amazon, or the Bean Farm that covers the back of the tank above the substrate line. These can be insulated. I've had mine for 3 years and temps in my tank stay in the mid 80's. It is insulated with foil.

3. Is a heat source used in the tank? If so, what?
3-4 under tank heaters. i plug them in and unplug them as extra heat is needed. they are placed on the back and side.

I've addressed this in #2

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)?
Salt water and fresh water. Its dechlorinated with aqueous ammonia treatment stuff. i don't remember the exact name of it. the salt water is instant ocean. Seachem Prime is currently the only brand that I recommend for treating crab water. There are some other brands listed as safe in the care guides, but I am only comfortable with Prime at this time.

5. What kinds of food do you feed and how often is it replaced?
Too much variety to list it all but in the last week they've had freeze dried meal worms, freeze dried brine shrimp, freeze dried turkey, hermit crab variety bites ( the kind without EQ in it. I know they used to have that but changed the recipe or something), primal turkey and sardine recipe cat food, Fluckers orange cubes (meant to feed crickets), peanuts, sunflower seeds, zilla reptile munchies vegetable mix, Katee bird greens origin treats, zoo med peanut butter treats for crabs,freeze dried banana,dried papaya (it had food coloring in it). all of these items were things left in a bin of non-perishable items that i told my dad was safe to feed the crabs. he won't feed them fresh food because he's afraid he'll accidentally feed them something bad and i will get upset with him.

I would not feed the crab the Flukers cricket cubes at all. The food coloring, yellow #6, has been known to cause adrenal tumors in animals and is banned in some countries. Since we don't know exactly how hermit crabs would respond to artificial coloring/flavoring, it's best to avoid them. What are the ingredients in the cat food? Your best bet with feeding hermit crabs is to use whole, organic foods (when you can source them), with no additives. Since they are scavengers, I generally place a large dish with a variety of crab safe foods in the tank and switch it out every 3-5 days, depending on how much sub they've dragged into the tank and how much they've eaten.

6. How long have you had the crab and what species is it, if known?
not sure which crab it is anymore, but i've had him between 2 and 6 years. he's a purple pincher

7. Has your crab molted, and how long ago did it happen?
He came up around the first week of january.

8. What type of housing are the crabs kept in, what size is it and what kind of lid is on the housing?
its a 45 gallon aquarium with a hood. i put packaging tape on the bigger holes to hold in humidity. there is velcro to keep it shut because the crabs are strong enough to lift the lid.
9. How many crabs are in the tank and about how large are they?
6, they range from tiny to large but i haven't seen the tinies since i added them which was months ago.
10. How many extra shells are usually kept in the tank, if any?
120+ they get rotated out whenever i'm home from college.
11. Have there been any fumes or chemicals near the crabitat recently?
no
12. How often do you clean the tank and how?
i wipe down the glass with a wet paper towel occasionally. i've only done a deep clean twice due to infestations.
13. Are sponges used in the water dish? If so, how are they cleaned?
no
14. Has anything new been added to your crabitat recently?
this coconut thing, but i took off the metal clips https://www.chewy.com/prevue-pet-produc ... lsrc=aw.ds
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.)?

16. Please describe the emergency situation in detail.
this crab has been hanging out by the fresh water bowl for 3 days without leaving. he is now acting sluggish. he sits at the water's edge. if the water bowl is topped off it covers him a little and he move back to the edge of the water after a few hours. he may have molted recently because he was gone for a long time but he doesn't look very hairy. his antenna movements are slower than usual. If you go near him, he partially withdrawls into his shell. I can't seem to think of why he would be doing this. the water bowl also happens to be as close to all the heaters as possible, and he's recently changed into a thicker shell so maybe he is cold. i don't know.

Sometimes when crabs hang out in the water dish for an extended period of time, they are either loading up prior to a molt, or they are dying. The best thing to do is just make sure all the conditions are good and that nutritious food is offered, and leave them be. If the crab has been isolated, make sure ISO conditions are adequate.

I hope that your crab recovers. Best of luck.


Dragonfreak
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Re: sluggish crab won't leave water bowl

Post by Dragonfreak » Mon Feb 20, 2017 1:03 pm

Good luck

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magicbrd
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Re: sluggish crab won't leave water bowl

Post by magicbrd » Fri Mar 10, 2017 9:20 am

Just curious how your little crab did?

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CrazyCrab12
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Re: sluggish crab won't leave water bowl

Post by CrazyCrab12 » Thu Mar 16, 2017 7:28 am

No change. he's still chugging water. He pretty much sits in or around the waterbowls all day. He has a reduced reaction time too. he doesn't hide for about 5 seconds after i move my hand near him. I don't scare him on purpose obviously, i just have to change out the water bowls and he is always right there.
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LadyJinglyJones
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Re: sluggish crab won't leave water bowl

Post by LadyJinglyJones » Fri Mar 17, 2017 10:11 am

My pet theory (completely unsubstantiated, mind you) whenever a crab behaves oddly for a prolonged period, is paracitic infection.... they come from the wild where an astounding number of these organisms are super prevalent. Paracites are known to cause all kinds of unusual behaviour if animals - inverts in particular.

But then again, he may just be stocking up for a moult (though it's been a really long time for that now.)

Also, if his gills are badly damaged, hanging by the water may be soothing to him. I'd perhaps try to place something to keep him in the dark over top of him.
"Gaze upon the rolling deep..."
Quince the fat tailed gecko; Amazonian minnows; and now Harry & Luis, Bede & Aster, Chandra & Jace, Pax, & Piccolo, my adopted PPs.
RIP Vegita :(

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CrazyCrab12
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Re: sluggish crab won't leave water bowl

Post by CrazyCrab12 » Fri Mar 17, 2017 3:42 pm

We placed a towel over his tank to keep it dark, and have only been changing out the water at night so as to disturb him as little as possible. i guess i forgot to mention that. I have no idea how to treat an internal parasite. Time for some googling! and maybe i'll talk to my exotic vet, though generally i know more than her about this stuff.
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CrazyCrab12
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Re: sluggish crab won't leave water bowl

Post by CrazyCrab12 » Fri Mar 17, 2017 6:57 pm

My dad just informed be that the crab died today. I'm crying. I wish i could've figured out what was wrong to give him some treatment.
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daws409
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Re: sluggish crab won't leave water bowl

Post by daws409 » Fri Mar 17, 2017 7:55 pm

Oh no! Sorry for tor loss.

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Re: sluggish crab won't leave water bowl

Post by GotButterflies » Fri Mar 17, 2017 8:30 pm

That is a total bummer. I'm sorry to hear about this. I wish we could have figured it out. Perhaps it was parasitic.
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Dragonfreak
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Re: sluggish crab won't leave water bowl

Post by Dragonfreak » Sat Mar 18, 2017 10:12 am

So sorry for your loss. A friend of mine hers passed the same way vet said he was old and that's how they go when they can't molt anymore... Don't know how old yours was but it's a thought..

love my babies..human ones too!!

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soilentgringa
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Re: sluggish crab won't leave water bowl

Post by soilentgringa » Sat Mar 18, 2017 5:45 pm

Dragonfreak wrote:So sorry for your loss. A friend of mine hers passed the same way vet said he was old and that's how they go when they can't molt anymore... Don't know how old yours was but it's a thought..

love my babies..human ones too!!
Usually older crabs are larger (think tennis to softball sized). PP's life span in nature is around 50-70 years (estimated). In captivity they've lived with some owners from 10 to over 30 years.

It's hard to pinpoint exactly how old a crab is. I have a 10 year old rescue who is about tennis ball sized, but I had some others who were kept in a dry tank for years who rarely molted that were small by our measurements. The owner told me they were 10 too. :-/

Usually when crabs leave their shells or spend a lot of time in or trying to reach the saltwater/whatever water is available to them, and are sluggish, immobile, no antennae movement, etc. They're already too ill or dying to save. This seems to be an instinctive move on their part; it's been observed and discussed here in many places, I think.

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LadyJinglyJones
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Re: sluggish crab won't leave water bowl

Post by LadyJinglyJones » Sat Mar 18, 2017 10:34 pm

I'm so sorry for your loss! You did what you could. .. sometimes they're just too far gone
:(
"Gaze upon the rolling deep..."
Quince the fat tailed gecko; Amazonian minnows; and now Harry & Luis, Bede & Aster, Chandra & Jace, Pax, & Piccolo, my adopted PPs.
RIP Vegita :(

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CrazyCrab12
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Re: sluggish crab won't leave water bowl

Post by CrazyCrab12 » Sun Mar 19, 2017 3:44 pm

I think he was about a little smaller than a tennis ball and i actually have a theory about how dying in saltwater can be benefcial to the species. I think if a crab went looking for shells in the wild he'd probably look near salt water, so dying near saltwater makes it more likely that another crab will find the shell.
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