MOLTING EMERGENCY!!

Please post here if you are having a crab care emergency! Use a real subject and not just "HELP!"
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hyelah1990
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MOLTING EMERGENCY!!

Post by hyelah1990 » Sun Oct 28, 2018 2:12 pm

1. What kind of substrate is used in your tank and how deep is it? Exo Terra Plantation Soil/play sand and the molting side of my tank is about 4 or so inches

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, middle back wall, temp and humidity both around 80

3. Is a heat source used in the tank? If so, what? UTH on back wall and clamp lamp above with night heat bulb

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)? Fresh -bottled water and salt water -instant ocean mixed as directed

5. What kinds of food do you feed and how often is it replaced? Fresh fruits and veggies/daily and a dry mix with coconut, raisins, oats, nuts, etc. I also give them reptile munchies omnivore mix which is bugs and veggies. Some natures salad... And I leave pellets out as well, I know they are bad just afraid someone wouldn't transition well and wanted them to have what they were used to just incase.

6. How long have you had the crab and what species is it, if known? Two since August and the other four since September -all PPs

7. Has your crab molted, and how long ago did it happen?
Its happening NOW!!

8. What type of housing are the crabs kept in, what size is it and what kind of lid is on the housing? 20 gallon tall with screen lid covered in aluminum foil and saran wrap with holes

9. How many crabs are in the tank and about how large are they? 6 -one I would call tiny -one tiny/small -three of them maybe small/medium -one medium

10. How many extra shells are usually kept in the tank, if any? I have no idea... I measured my cabbies and their shells and placed several for each crab in there.

11. Have there been any fumes or chemicals near the crabitat recently? No

12. How often do you clean the tank and how? Haven't had them long enough for a deep clean yet. I just spot clean

13. Are sponges used in the water dish? If so, how are they cleaned? No sponges

14. Has anything new been added to your crabitat recently? Not in the past three weeks

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.)? Not that I can think of

16. Please describe the emergency situation in detail.
My two biggest crabs went down about 2 weeks ago, I assumed to molt. I have been watching them through the bottom of the tank. They were about 4 inches apart minding their own buisness. The next to largest shed her exo 2 days ago. She ate almost all of it between then and now. She has been in and out of her shell, but only right there in her little cave. I went to check on her today and her shell is about half way between where she shed and my largest crab, Poppy. About two inches over is her left over exo pieces. And about three inches from that is Cora with no shell!!! It looks like maybe her tunnel caved in on her and she had to abandon her shell. It appears to be solid sub between her and her shell. She is in another little pocket but I don't think she will be able to get back to her shell. I see her moving, not going anywhere but she's alive. I really hope I am making sense here... I'm all flustered and don't know what to do!! Can someone please tell me what to do to help her... If anything.

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curlysister
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Re: MOLTING EMERGENCY!!

Post by curlysister » Sun Oct 28, 2018 5:50 pm

I am hoping that one of the admins will chime in here, or someone with more experience with molting problems. To clarify, you said that the substrate is 4 inches deep on the 'molting side' - what did you mean? Are the two sides physically separated? Or if there is a slope, how deep is in on the other side?
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Re: MOLTING EMERGENCY!!

Post by GotButterflies » Sun Oct 28, 2018 5:59 pm

Hello. I answered GB for GotButterflies
hyelah1990 wrote:1. What kind of substrate is used in your tank and how deep is it? Exo Terra Plantation Soil/play sand and the molting side of my tank is about 4 or so inches

GB: Great! Substrate should be 6 inches or 3 times the height of your largest crab (whichever is deeper). It should be this depth throughout the tank. It should also be mixed with dechlorinated marine saltwater or dechlorinated freshwater to make the substrate sandcastle consistency.

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, middle back wall, temp and humidity both around 80

GB: Analog? These tend to not be accurate.

3. Is a heat source used in the tank? If so, what? UTH on back wall and clamp lamp above with night heat bulb

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)? Fresh -bottled water and salt water -instant ocean mixed as directed

GB: Even though you are using bottled water, you need a dechlorinator that removes chlorine, and chloramine as well as neutralizes ammonia and heavy metals. A lot of us use a product called Prime. Both pools should be deep enough for them to fully submerge in and safe enough for them to get out of.


5. What kinds of food do you feed and how often is it replaced? Fresh fruits and veggies/daily and a dry mix with coconut, raisins, oats, nuts, etc. I also give them reptile munchies omnivore mix which is bugs and veggies. Some natures salad... And I leave pellets out as well, I know they are bad just afraid someone wouldn't transition well and wanted them to have what they were used to just incase.

GB: Make sure you cover all aspects of food pyramid :) Foods should be organic when possible. Hermit crabs are sensitive to pesticides and fertilizers. Are you providing calcium? Calcium: Cuttlebone, coral, oyster shell, eggshell. Commercial foods are not safe. We do not recommend them.
Safe food list: viewtopic.php?f=25&t=92557
Unsafe food list: viewtopic.php?f=25&t=92556
Food pyramid: viewtopic.php?f=25&t=92554


6. How long have you had the crab and what species is it, if known? Two since August and the other four since September -all PPs

7. Has your crab molted, and how long ago did it happen?
Its happening NOW!!

8. What type of housing are the crabs kept in, what size is it and what kind of lid is on the housing? 20 gallon tall with screen lid covered in aluminum foil and saran wrap with holes

GB: The holes aren't necessary. Sufficient air exchange happens when you change their water and food.

9. How many crabs are in the tank and about how large are they? 6 -one I would call tiny -one tiny/small -three of them maybe small/medium -one medium

GB: IMO you are overcrowded. I personally recommend 1 crab per 5 gallons for up to medium crabs.

10. How many extra shells are usually kept in the tank, if any? I have no idea... I measured my cabbies and their shells and placed several for each crab in there.

GB: The HCA recommends 3-5 shells per hermit crab. I personally recommend more. It never hurts to have more :) There are incorrect shells to buy. Here is the shell guide: viewtopic.php?f=24&t=92552

11. Have there been any fumes or chemicals near the crabitat recently? No

12. How often do you clean the tank and how? Haven't had them long enough for a deep clean yet. I just spot clean

13. Are sponges used in the water dish? If so, how are they cleaned? No sponges

14. Has anything new been added to your crabitat recently? Not in the past three weeks

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.)? Not that I can think of

16. Please describe the emergency situation in detail.
My two biggest crabs went down about 2 weeks ago, I assumed to molt. I have been watching them through the bottom of the tank. They were about 4 inches apart minding their own buisness. The next to largest shed her exo 2 days ago. She ate almost all of it between then and now. She has been in and out of her shell, but only right there in her little cave. I went to check on her today and her shell is about half way between where she shed and my largest crab, Poppy. About two inches over is her left over exo pieces. And about three inches from that is Cora with no shell!!! It looks like maybe her tunnel caved in on her and she had to abandon her shell. It appears to be solid sub between her and her shell. She is in another little pocket but I don't think she will be able to get back to her shell. I see her moving, not going anywhere but she's alive. I really hope I am making sense here... I'm all flustered and don't know what to do!! Can someone please tell me what to do to help her... If anything.

GB: Very carefully you will need to dig your crab up and put her into a shell. She will not survive without one. Then I recommend Isolating her. Do not rebury her. Give her her exoskeleton if she has shed it.
Truly blessed to have incredible creatures, wonderful friends and my amazing family in my life!! I'm very thankful & grateful for all of them! www.thehealthyhermit.com


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Re: MOLTING EMERGENCY!!

Post by crabby33 » Sun Oct 28, 2018 7:15 pm

I agree with GotButterflies about the commercial food. It’s safer to check our safe food list for things you can offer your crabs. They eat the same things you and I do: fruits, veggies and protein with zero processing. Tonight my crabs got some baby Arugula, baby Chard, and baby Spinach with the intention of adding a few dead crickets. They also have access to a calcium pit with crushed egg shell and oystershell.


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hyelah1990
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Re: MOLTING EMERGENCY!!

Post by hyelah1990 » Sun Oct 28, 2018 8:01 pm

Well, after about 5 long hours of freaking out, slowly taking my whole crabitat apart (other than the substrate) then laying somewhat on my back with my upper body wedged into my aquarium stand... I coaxed Cora back to her shell. Then I sit down and find two replies to my message lol. It has been quite a day. Let me pause there to thank both of you for your reply, I just couldn't NOT do anything while I waited. I also want to add that I've been reading here since summer so this is where about 90% of my info comes from.
I do know they can't live without a shell, my first instinct was to carefully dig her up. BUT, other than Poppy and Cora I only found two more that weren't burried (Junior and Ninja). I just didn't want to risk running into my other babies (Bubbles and Taco) unless that was the only option left. I've delt with a naked crab, just not underground. An like I said, she was still finishing up her exo, so freshly molted. Should I still have dug her out? I hope I did the right thing...
I also want to say that I noticed upon further inspection that Poppy had a tunnel leading to Cora's shell!! He also had what I hope was Cora's big pincher/exo eating it!! (I only hope that because like I said, I have two more burried somewhere) Her tunnel was blocked but I'm pretty sure she was just running from Poppy.
Anyways, you will all have to forgive me for not knowing exactly how this forum works yet. I hope its ok that I touch on the corrections that were made on my little questionier. I was in a hurry to get it sent in and would just like to complete a few of my answers and ofcorse fix whatever I have wrong with my crabitat. I try my best for my crabby babies, but I don't know everything. I'm always open to any tips, tricks, and any advise or info.
Ok, my substrate -apparently I've been reading the info a bit wrong. Its over three times as high as my tallest crab which I thought was deep enough. I will correct that as soon as I have everyone accounted for. It is mixed with my marine salt water though, but also not all the way across tank. I made a little beach on the other end which leads to the water bowls. I will get that fixed as well. I do have the sand castle consistency right though.
My guages are analog but I also have a temp gun to double check the temp. When humidity is low I mist the cage. Then I adjust the lamp as needed for heat. I have been searching for a digital one as well. Does anyone have anything to say about the Exo Terra Combometer? Good or bad... That is the one I'm leaning towards.
I've also got the pools deep enough with a way for them to get out. What is this prime and where can I get it? I was under the impression it was either bottled water OR dechlorinator. I will get that fixed as well.
I have also read over all of the food lists here, they have helped a ton. I've got that covered and I do give them cuddle bone as well, just got in a hurry when filling all of that out. I try to give them a good variety and swap things up on them so they don't get board with the same ol, same ol. Only bad thing is the pellets... So I shouldn't be trying to "wean" them off per say... Just cut them off completely? I know they are not good for them, I did my research but was afraid they wouldn't eat at all if they didn't have their normal food at first.
Now, my lid -Its screen with the heat lamp on one side, aluminum foil covering that side of the top. I was afraid the lamp might melt the saran wrap but also thought the saran wrap would help more with the humidity. So, saran wrap on the other end, poked a few holes but have a towel on it that I partially cover the tank with at night.
I also saw so many different opinions on how many crabs per gallon so I went with the in between. Guess I should have stuck with the lower number to be safe... I do plan on upgrading my tank as they grow, so hopefully it will work out.
I have also researched shells as well, I got mostly turbos but apparently Poppy and Bubbles prefer oval shapped... So I got a little bit of everything for each size and about 100 turbos in different sizes for everyone. I had a shell fight in the past so I made sure there are plenty!!
Hopefully I covered everything lol

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Re: MOLTING EMERGENCY!!

Post by fandt94 » Sun Oct 28, 2018 10:53 pm

So glad you got her back in the shell! I didn’t respond to your original emergency because I’m a newbie myself haha!

Just to answer a couple of your questions...a bunch of us on here use the Acurite digital hygrometer...it’s about $8 at Walmart by the humidifiers/furnace filters. I got mine on Amazon for about the same price. As for the Prime dechlorinator...since only a drop or two is needed for a gallon of water it lasts FOREVER. I got mine on Chewy.com but pet stores have it as well. (It is not expensive). As for the pellets...no need to wean at all. :wink:
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hyelah1990
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Re: MOLTING EMERGENCY!!

Post by hyelah1990 » Sun Oct 28, 2018 11:34 pm

I am too, and I understand I still appreciate any tips. Just placed an amazon order and have to go to the pet store anyways so I should have them all fixed up soon. Also kicked the pellets out when I fed them tonight. Thanks a bunch!!

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Re: MOLTING EMERGENCY!!

Post by fandt94 » Mon Oct 29, 2018 12:35 am

After reading your orig post...I noticed you said you use a heat lamp...any reason why? I had a lamp at first also but once I got the right size UTH and insulated it I found I no longer needed the lamp. (It’s still hanging above if needed) If you can ditch the lamp then you can just Saran Wrap the entire mesh lid..I have it also taped to the lid. (Depending on things I may or may not have a lightweight blanket on the top and draped along the back where the UTH is)
Mom to 3 human boys, 2 dogs - Hemi & Athena, 2 cats - Fat a$$ (realname Spark Plug) & Batman & 5 PP’s - Monstro, Pinkie aka Little Bit, Shellie, other 2 unnamed


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hyelah1990
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Re: MOLTING EMERGENCY!!

Post by hyelah1990 » Mon Oct 29, 2018 1:17 am

I guess that's just what I found works for me, I also have the UTH for a 30-40 gal. The light is on a dimmer and I just barely turn it on. It is also wrapped to the lid with aluminum foil. Plus I like being able to see in the cage at night.

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Re: MOLTING EMERGENCY!!

Post by GotButterflies » Mon Oct 29, 2018 9:37 am

So glad you were able to reshell your crabby! Don't be hard on yourself! WE ALL started off learning! :) I'm glad you found the forum. :)

Cuttlebone - bird section of the pet store - or Walmart. Eggshell - crack open an egg! ;)
Great hygrometer/thermometer (Walmart sells the same one): https://www.amazon.com/AcuRite-Thermome ... ref=sr_1_4
Prime - bottled water can have things that can harm hermit crabs modified gills. (can be purchased at a fish store/pet store in a much smaller bottle): https://www.amazon.com/Seachem-11604330 ... ref=sr_1_2

Hope that helps! :)
Truly blessed to have incredible creatures, wonderful friends and my amazing family in my life!! I'm very thankful & grateful for all of them! www.thehealthyhermit.com

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Re: MOLTING EMERGENCY!!

Post by RiNiKy506 » Mon Oct 29, 2018 10:33 am

If you are looking to replace your screen top you can get a glass aquarium canopy for about $25. I found one at a local pet store but you can get them on Amazon too. I love how mine fits perfectly and it holds humidity very well. There is a plastic panel on the back that you can cut to add anything that needs to go inside of the tank.

Image

Image

Plastic panel that goes on the back, it is hard to get on. Image


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hyelah1990
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Re: MOLTING EMERGENCY!!

Post by hyelah1990 » Mon Oct 29, 2018 1:50 pm

I am so glad I found the forum as well!! I appreciate all the help and the links. I have to go pick my prime up and I will also check that glass lid out while I'm at it.

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