Mistakenly dug up moulters. (I know, I’m an idiot. Let’s move on)

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Minkxies
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Mistakenly dug up moulters. (I know, I’m an idiot. Let’s move on)

Post by Minkxies » Wed May 01, 2019 8:57 pm

Since you've come to the emergency forum, we know you want a fast answer to your question. In order for us to figure out the problem as quickly as possible, we ask that you answer the following questions as best you can. Some of them may seem odd, but they're all designed to give us the information we need to give you a good solution for your problem. The things in the [ brackets ] are there to make this post easier to read once submitted. Thanks!


1. What kind of substrate is used in your tank and how deep is it? Play sand and eco earth substrate.


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? No


3. Is a heat source used in the tank? If so, what? No


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)? Imagitarium saltwater and tap treated with aqua safe water conditioner(10ml for 10 gal, I use 1ml for 1gal)


5. What kinds of food do you feed and how often is it replaced? Zoo med hermit crab food, replaced every other day, occasionally daily(man that stuff molds QUICK)


6. How long have you had the crab and what species is it, if known? I found them around the beginning of March, I believe they’re purple pincher.


7. Has your crab molted, and how long ago did it happen? I guess recently?


8. What type of housing are the crabs kept in, what size is it and what kind of lid is on the housing? 20gal long, wood cover


9. How many crabs are in the tank and about how large are they? Two, ones quite small the other is about the size of a half dollar


10. How many extra shells are usually kept in the tank, if any? 4


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


12. How often do you clean the tank and how? I haven’t had to do a deep clean, but I have to clean out molded food every other day and dump/rinse/refill dishes regularly


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? No


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.)? No


16. Please describe the emergency situation in detail. Okay let me start by saying I had absolutely no knowledge on hermit crabs, I NEVER intended to own any. While on vacation we stopped at a grocery store and there was a shoebox in the back of the parking lot, inside where these two hermit crabs. With limited funds I attempted to set them up a nice crabitat and take best of care of them as possible, but I messed up. I had a family emergency at the end of March and had to leave for two weeks, while I was gone the lady pet sitting for me let me know that my crabs had disappeared. No big deal, I had read about molting and there was no way they had escaped so I told her to just make sure they still had food and water. Well today comes around and I noticed a weird smell in my tank, and having become attached to these guys I panicked thinking they were dead and dug them up. My smaller one, Raymond, is very light and dusty in color and I found a single pincher left over from his ex. I moved him into another tank with food and water and began searching for the other. I found my larger one, Rowena, with an intact exo beside her, and her tucked in her shell, she’s bright pink now. I haven’t touched her, only brushed away the sand from her. Where can I go from here? Is she supposed to be bright pink? I still have NO CLUE what the weird odor is in my tank but too scared to investigate. Please don’t tell me I messed up, I know. Just help me ease their stress and right my wrong.


.

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curlysister
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Re: Mistakenly dug up moulters. (I know, I’m an idiot. Let’s move on)

Post by curlysister » Wed May 01, 2019 11:26 pm

1. What kind of substrate is used in your tank and how deep is it? Play sand and eco earth substrate.
Curly - how deep? Is it moist enough to hold it's shape?

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? No
Curly - These are imperative to have. Digital are more accurate that analog. You need to know the humidity and temperature of your tank.

3. Is a heat source used in the tank? If so, what? No
Curly - you will probably need a heat source, under tank heaters mounted on the back are most popular and effective. You must get a thermometer and hygrometer.

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)? Imagitarium saltwater and tap treated with aqua safe water conditioner(10ml for 10 gal, I use 1ml for 1gal)
Curly - I don't think that Imagitarium is marine salt, which is what hermit crabs require. Many of us use the brand Instant Ocean. And depending on your water and which Aqua Safe, it may not remove everything that it needs to. See the care sheet about water here:
http://www.hermitcrabassociation.com/ph ... 27&t=92553


5. What kinds of food do you feed and how often is it replaced? Zoo med hermit crab food, replaced every other day, occasionally daily(man that stuff molds QUICK)
Curly - Commercial food is not considered safe, even though it is marketed for hermit crabs. See the 'food' section for info about nutrition and safe/ unsafe foods. They need a variety of foods, including a source of calcium and protein daily.

6. How long have you had the crab and what species is it, if known? I found them around the beginning of March, I believe they’re purple pincher.


7. Has your crab molted, and how long ago did it happen? I guess recently?


8. What type of housing are the crabs kept in, what size is it and what kind of lid is on the housing? 20gal long, wood cover


9. How many crabs are in the tank and about how large are they? Two, ones quite small the other is about the size of a half dollar


10. How many extra shells are usually kept in the tank, if any? 4
Curly - HCA recommends 3-5 extra shells per crab. There are proper and improper shells to buy - see the care sheet about shells.

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


12. How often do you clean the tank and how? I haven’t had to do a deep clean, but I have to clean out molded food every other day and dump/rinse/refill dishes regularly
Curly - A deep clean won't be needed unless something drastic like a bacterial bloom happens. Just spot cleaning is good.

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? No


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.)? No


16. Please describe the emergency situation in detail. Okay let me start by saying I had absolutely no knowledge on hermit crabs, I NEVER intended to own any. While on vacation we stopped at a grocery store and there was a shoebox in the back of the parking lot, inside where these two hermit crabs. With limited funds I attempted to set them up a nice crabitat and take best of care of them as possible, but I messed up. I had a family emergency at the end of March and had to leave for two weeks, while I was gone the lady pet sitting for me let me know that my crabs had disappeared. No big deal, I had read about molting and there was no way they had escaped so I told her to just make sure they still had food and water. Well today comes around and I noticed a weird smell in my tank, and having become attached to these guys I panicked thinking they were dead and dug them up. My smaller one, Raymond, is very light and dusty in color and I found a single pincher left over from his ex. I moved him into another tank with food and water and began searching for the other. I found my larger one, Rowena, with an intact exo beside her, and her tucked in her shell, she’s bright pink now. I haven’t touched her, only brushed away the sand from her. Where can I go from here? Is she supposed to be bright pink? I still have NO CLUE what the weird odor is in my tank but too scared to investigate. Please don’t tell me I messed up, I know. Just help me ease their stress and right my wrong.
Curly - I think your crabs need to be separated from each other until their exo's both harden. But you are going to need to get a thermometer and hygrometer asap so you know that your conditions are right. If your second tank doesn't have proper conditions, I would leave Raymond in the main tank. Get some proper, high quality food for him, and proper salt and water conditioner. And then Rowena will need to be isolated, which can be done in that tank. Don't re-bury her. You can use a 2L pop bottle cut down and lid off, then press that into the sand around her, or better yet a washed out margarine container so she is in the dark. She will need to eat her exo, so that needs to go in there with her. You could also give her a bit of extra calcium (ie- cuttle bone or egg shells). Until she has completed her molt, she won't need anything else. But she will need to stay under there until she hardens up, and you might offer small amounts of water (ie- fresh and salt in separate pop bottle lids) at some point.
I won't tell you that you are an idiot, LOL. But now you have learned the hard way - if a crab is dead under the sub, it does not hurt or cause any further trouble to leave it there, dead is dead. But if a crab is not dead, and you dig it up, it can have very serious consequences. You do what you know, and when you know better you do better. I know that you won't make the mistake again. Feel free to ask as many questions as you need to. Also be sure to read through all the care sheets. The HCA is literally the only source I have used for information on my crabs, which I have had for 8 1/2 years now.
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." -Will Rogers


Topic author
Minkxies
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Re: Mistakenly dug up moulters. (I know, I’m an idiot. Let’s move on)

Post by Minkxies » Thu May 02, 2019 1:09 am

1. 6.5" On one side of the tank, about halfway it gradually goes down to around 4" or 3". It is moist enough to hold it's shape loosely.
2. I intend to get gauges for both I just unfortunately haven't had the funds to. It took a lot to buy some the supplies at once to begin with.
3. I intend to get an under tank heater as well, the ones I've looked at were very expensive and frankly, I'm not quite familiar with what size would be appropriate.
4. Thanks for the link! I had no clue on the marine salt and all the other elements in sea salt, I'll definitely be looking into switching. As for the conditioner, I have AquaSafe for Reptiles and Amphibians. I actually purchased this at the grocery store I found them at off of a quick google search when they didn't have the one for fish in stock. It states that it neutralized chlorine, chloramines, and heavy metals.
5. Unfortunately, I cannot feed my crabs a natural diet, but I'll definitely be looking into the safe commercial food options listed in the 'food' sections.
10. Again with the funds, Raymond was quite small for his shell so I believe I have time for him to be looking for a new one, I have two smaller sized shells and two larger ones to hopefully prevent them from fighting.
12. I guess I've been doing that bit right at least.
16. Thank you so much for all the helpful information. Truthfully, my panic was fueled by reading about substrate killing crabs, so I thought maybe one had died and there was still time to save the other. I had already removed Raymond and he's been in the other enclosure since before I made this post. Is it too late to move him back into the main tank?

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Re: Mistakenly dug up moulters. (I know, I’m an idiot. Let’s move on)

Post by JoeHermits » Thu May 02, 2019 6:36 am

I would keep them separated until they’re both done for now. You’ll know they’re ready when they’re both eating and drinking normally (post-molt crabs will forego food and water while their exoskeletons harden).


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soilentgringa
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Re: Mistakenly dug up moulters. (I know, I’m an idiot. Let’s move on)

Post by soilentgringa » Thu May 02, 2019 7:19 am

Hermit crabs can eat many of the foods we do, and are easy to feed from scraps from preparing meals.

Cheap food items can also be picked up at grocery stores and places like Walmart.

A small container of dried shrimp from the pet section is a couple of dollars and will last a while with just two crabs. You can even powder them to stretch that out.

They can have many vegetables, eggs, bits of meat, etc.

It is very important to provide them with calcium and protein sources, and they generally won’t eat the same food over and over.


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Minkxies
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Re: Mistakenly dug up moulters. (I know, I’m an idiot. Let’s move on)

Post by Minkxies » Fri May 03, 2019 11:35 pm

A little update!

The separate enclosure I had placed Raymond in was acceptably small so I was able to actually place that inside the tank to keep it as close to the same conditions as possible, as suggested. Today I went to check their food/water and found Raymond hanging upside down trying to escape, AND Rowena hanging out of her shell in all her pink glory munching on her exo skeleton(I'd still really like to know if it's natural for them to be a bright baby pink when they molt, it's probably the cutest thing I've ever seen). I've now taken a left over cut of plastic from a previous DIY and divided the tank in half with a crab on each side. Currently Raymond has the two large water dishes, and the large food dish, leaving Rowena with the smaller dishes. That's assuming she in fact doesn't need much water or food?

Not quite sure why we are returning to the food topic, but I wasn't being stubborn when I said I could not feed my crabs a natural diet. The meals my SO and I prepare for ourselves consist of bulk Kraft Mac n Cheese and Ramen, so unless Rowena and Raymond are feeling like noodles, they're staying commercial. I will say though, a friend of mine had a Hedgehog that passed away and gave me some mealworms to add with my crabs food, but they weren't even interested enough to drag it around and play with it. This being said, I'll look into multiple varieties of safe commercial food for them to mix it up and ensure they get the nutrients they need.

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Re: Mistakenly dug up moulters. (I know, I’m an idiot. Let’s move on)

Post by Oliviet#1 » Thu May 09, 2019 8:41 pm

If you use commercial food, you could look at some fish food and reptile products like freeze dried shrimp, freeze dried fruit, etc. I have also heard someone mention baby food. Just make sure it only has very litle ingredients. Like for the shrimp, the only ingredient should be freeze dried shrimp. You should read the food care sheets for more info. I think it is normal for them to be pink. I hope this helps!
I have had pets in the past, but my family can’t have any furry or feathered ones due to allergies. I usually try my best to help and currently trying to set up a crabitat. I also try to treat others with Love!❤️

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