Cause of crab death?

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Cause of crab death?

Post by topbunkbear » Mon May 06, 2019 3:12 pm

Tank stuff: I have a 10g class tank with a hoodlight that I keep on during the day and turn off at night. It's slightly purple so I assume it's UVB. I had 1 big guy and 2 little guys (1 little guy was new, the other was living with him since I got them both)
I feed them All Living Things food pellets, a calcium block (made for crickets), and various fruits and vegetables that I made sure were safe using the helpful information on this site. I have about 3.5 inches of pure Ecoearth. I keep the temperature at 73 or so and the humidity at about 60. I have fresh and salt water in separate bowls. (Salt water is mixed with declorinated tap water and All Living Things soaking salt)

The day I discovered the big guy's death, I also discovered that one of the little guys (the new one) had molted. The old little guy may have molted, but I can't tell.

The big guy has changed shells 3+ times. He was originally in a painted shell but as soon as he changed out of it I removed it from the tank.

When I got the big guy, the store clerk told me that he was at the store for 4+ months. It's hard to know if it was much longer than that.
At the store, the humidity reader read 'desert', there was 1 bowl of water, aquarium gravel, and only pellet food.
I had him since March 16, and he passed on May 3rd.

I think i was the one who made a mistake though. I know my care is probably not perfect, but I think my mistake was this: I dug him up.

I don't know if he was molting, but I was tidying up the enclosure and I wanted to change some things around, and I didn't want to accidentally crush him under any new decor.

I dont know for sure if me digging him up is the exact cause, so I wanted to ask you all. I'm embarrassed and ashamed at my ignorance, and I feel really guilty about this whole situation. I never want to cause another death. Thank you for your help and understanding.

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Re: Cause of crab death?

Post by curlysister » Mon May 06, 2019 4:12 pm

There are a number of factors that probably contributed to his death. Digging up a crab is not recommended except under extreme circumstances such as a flood or bacterial bloom. That said, you have a number of improvements that need to be made. Please read through the care sheets for complete information.
Your substrate needs to be at least 6 inches or 3x as deep as your largest crab, whichever is deeper. It must be moist enough to hold it's shape (ie- sand castle consistency). Many of us use a mixture of sand and EE, because it holds it's shape better.
Your temperature could be a little higher, around 75 to 80.
Your humidity definitely needs to be higher, over 75 at least (no such thing as too humid). 60 percent is not good, too close to 'desert'. They have modified gills and need humidity to breathe.
Your salt is not proper - it needs to be marine salt like Instant Ocean. What brand of dechlorinator do you use?
Pellets are not considered safe, too many preservatives. Check the food section for info on proper nutrition.
If a crab is under the substrate, it's not the best time to add things that could disturb him, better to just add surface items or wait til they are up.
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." -Will Rogers

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Re: Cause of crab death?

Post by doth » Tue May 07, 2019 9:10 pm

It sounds like you at least gave him a better life than he had at the pet store. Getting deeper sub could prevent this happening again though. When they molt they dig pretty far down if able to, so if you have deep sub then rearranging the decor wouldn't pose a risk to molting crabs (just be careful & look for their tunnels).

We all make mistakes, just keep trying & read over the care sheets to see what you can do to keep your remaining crabbies safe & healthy! If you have any questions definitely make a post on the forums here, there are a ton of helpful people on here who have helped me get through crab emergencies of my own. :)

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