Crab Attacks!

Please post here if you are having a crab care emergency! Use a real subject and not just "HELP!"
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bobby
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2019 11:10 pm

Crab Attacks!

Post by bobby » Thu Aug 01, 2019 11:38 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? 5:1 ratio of Playsand and EE. It’s between 5.5 and 6in deep but either way more than 3x deeper than my biggest crab.


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? I have a thermometer, lowest temp is ~73 highest is ~80 (thermometer is on the cool side of the tank.) I very sadly do not have a hydrometer because my local pet store was OOS and it is en route via USPS. But I mist 2-3 times a day and keep a towel over the mesh lid.


3. Is a heat source used in the tank? If so, what? I have a small undertank heater on the side of my tank.


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 and Fresh water are available 24/7 and changed each day. I use zoo med brand salt and fresh water conditioner. (Not the best, if even acceptable and healthy but it was my only option.)


5. What kinds of food do you feed and how often is it replaced? I change the food each day, usually a variety of oats, bell peppers, cabbage, bananas, and maybe a dap of honey.


6. How long have you had the crab and what species is it, if known? I’ve had all my crabs less than two weeks. They were the sad, sad product of cruel fair prizes and beach store items. I ended up with 4 PP I believe.


7. Has your crab molted, and how long ago did it happen? To my knowledge, no. None of my crabs have molted which isn’t a surprise for how short of a time i’ve had them.


8. What type of housing are the crabs kept in, what size is it and what kind of lid is on the housing?
A 15 gal glass aquarium with a mesh lid covered with a towel to keep humidity in.

9. How many crabs are in the tank and about how large are they? 3 teeny crabs and 1 crab that is is pinch larger than the rest.


10. How many extra shells are usually kept in the tank, if any? Currently have 7.


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


12. How often do you clean the tank and how? Never have.


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? Everything.


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 have a coconut fiber background with branches for climbing and i always find sand on the wall (insinuating that they climb on it) but have never seen a crab on the wall.


16. Please describe the emergency situation in detail. I was at work and come home at 11PM. I see that my larger crab has changed into a new shell. (first shell change so far) And was super ecstatic, since i’ve got them they’ve mostly hung out in the warm end of the tank in the hide and burrowed or just sat and chilled out. As i look deeper i see the smallest crab at the very top of the coco background and thought it was odd but knew they climbed so didn’t think anything of it. I now go to change the food and as i reach in, the small crab falls off the wall near the bigger crab and i quickly close up the cage and go to change the food, but once i come back i see the bigger one is on on top of the smaller one and he’s on his back in the sand. My heart drops because I surveyed the tank and thought everyone was starting to finally get happy, but I take the big guy off and check on the little guy and as I pick him up I think I heard chirping? But I’m not 100% it was very sudden, short, and abrupt and stopped after I put him back. But when he was in my hand it looked like he was about to climb completely out of his shell! I saw his naked butt! My heart dropped more and as I notice this I also see he’s missing a limb. All of them unfortunately have the terrible background that all crabs do and were all missing limbs but I’m not sure if the big guy did this or not. But anyways, I then check on the big guy and think I hear chirping again but I’m not sure, it was short like before and stopped once he was in the cage. After I put him in the warm hide and the small guy in the other hide, I sit back and I just watched. The big guy then changed to his old shell and went into the warm hide and is just sitting in the back corner chilling. The small guy IS moving and is presumably OK. This is why i’m not sure if this is an emergency or not, I don’t know if any crabs are in danger, what caused it, if I misread the situation, I’m not sure if the chirping was because of me, i’m just not sure about much. Any help is appreciated, any knowledge you have is gold to someone like me! Thank you


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Xenocrab
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Re: Crab Attacks!

Post by Xenocrab » Fri Aug 02, 2019 3:46 am

Give them time. They are in a new and healthy environment. They may have crabby PTSD. Offer bee pollen. The chirping may be them telling you to back off. They are a hands off animal and they have more than likely been abused by humans. I would suggest upgrading your lid. This is a big change for them. Monitor them closely. I'm sure other people on here will have more suggestions and input. Also, read the safe foods list. Give proteins, calciums, leaf litter, maybe some fresh produce. Ours love carrots and berries. Organic is best. If fresh isn't available, frozen is ok too. Make sure the shells they have to choose from are big enough for them. Dip the shells in salt water. This attracts them. But, leave them alone. The more you mess with them, the more stressed they will be. Hopefully they will go down and molt. This may take weeks or months. They will take as long as they need.
Also, what are you using to measure heat and humidity? We use an Accurite that we got from Lowe's. It's digital and works great.

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5 store bought, 6 rescues and 7 adopted.

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Hermiesguardian
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Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2017 10:41 pm

Re: Crab Attacks!

Post by Hermiesguardian » Fri Aug 02, 2019 8:45 am

The only thing I would suggest is covering the lid with either saran wrap, taped down or plexi glass, taped down. A towel just absorbs the humidity. They need the humidity to breath.
raising son's dog, Dante. Husky/hound.
Raising daughter's hermit crabs, Shelder, Paras and Derek. Added 2 more of my own (of course) Pete and Stryper. Former mommy to 2 guinea pigs and beloved cat, Nissi

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curlysister
Posts: 1260
Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2010 3:54 pm
Location: Manitoba, Canada

Re: Crab Attacks!

Post by curlysister » Fri Aug 02, 2019 7:05 pm

1. What kind of substrate is used in your tank and how deep is it? 5:1 ratio of Playsand and EE. It’s between 5.5 and 6in deep but either way more than 3x deeper than my biggest crab.


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? I have a thermometer, lowest temp is ~73 highest is ~80 (thermometer is on the cool side of the tank.) I very sadly do not have a hydrometer because my local pet store was OOS and it is en route via USPS. But I mist 2-3 times a day and keep a towel over the mesh lid.
Curly - As Xeno said, a hygrometer is imperative, good it's on it's way.

3. Is a heat source used in the tank? If so, what? I have a small undertank heater on the side of my tank.


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 and Fresh water are available 24/7 and changed each day. I use zoo med brand salt and fresh water conditioner. (Not the best, if even acceptable and healthy but it was my only option.)
Curly - You need to get a dechlorinator such as Prime, and marine salt such as Instant Ocean. If not available locally, you can order online.

5. What kinds of food do you feed and how often is it replaced? I change the food each day, usually a variety of oats, bell peppers, cabbage, bananas, and maybe a dap of honey.
Curly - As already stated, they need protein and calcium daily, and a varied diet. Check out the food care sheet for information about safe/ unsafe foods, and the nutrition pyramid.

6. How long have you had the crab and what species is it, if known? I’ve had all my crabs less than two weeks. They were the sad, sad product of cruel fair prizes and beach store items. I ended up with 4 PP I believe.


7. Has your crab molted, and how long ago did it happen? To my knowledge, no. None of my crabs have molted which isn’t a surprise for how short of a time i’ve had them.


8. What type of housing are the crabs kept in, what size is it and what kind of lid is on the housing?
A 15 gal glass aquarium with a mesh lid covered with a towel to keep humidity in.
Curly - I agree with HG, you need to seal the tank rather than use a towel. Saran/ plastic wrap works great! There is no such thing as too much humidity, but there is too little - so erring on the side of too much until you get your hygrometer.

9. How many crabs are in the tank and about how large are they? 3 teeny crabs and 1 crab that is is pinch larger than the rest.


10. How many extra shells are usually kept in the tank, if any? Currently have 7.
Curly - HCA recommends at least 3-5 extra shells per crab. There are correct and incorrect shells to buy, check out the shells guide for more info.

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


12. How often do you clean the tank and how? Never have.


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? Everything.


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 have a coconut fiber background with branches for climbing and i always find sand on the wall (insinuating that they climb on it) but have never seen a crab on the wall.


16. Please describe the emergency situation in detail. I was at work and come home at 11PM. I see that my larger crab has changed into a new shell. (first shell change so far) And was super ecstatic, since i’ve got them they’ve mostly hung out in the warm end of the tank in the hide and burrowed or just sat and chilled out. As i look deeper i see the smallest crab at the very top of the coco background and thought it was odd but knew they climbed so didn’t think anything of it. I now go to change the food and as i reach in, the small crab falls off the wall near the bigger crab and i quickly close up the cage and go to change the food, but once i come back i see the bigger one is on on top of the smaller one and he’s on his back in the sand. My heart drops because I surveyed the tank and thought everyone was starting to finally get happy, but I take the big guy off and check on the little guy and as I pick him up I think I heard chirping? But I’m not 100% it was very sudden, short, and abrupt and stopped after I put him back. But when he was in my hand it looked like he was about to climb completely out of his shell! I saw his naked butt! My heart dropped more and as I notice this I also see he’s missing a limb. All of them unfortunately have the terrible background that all crabs do and were all missing limbs but I’m not sure if the big guy did this or not. But anyways, I then check on the big guy and think I hear chirping again but I’m not sure, it was short like before and stopped once he was in the cage. After I put him in the warm hide and the small guy in the other hide, I sit back and I just watched. The big guy then changed to his old shell and went into the warm hide and is just sitting in the back corner chilling. The small guy IS moving and is presumably OK. This is why i’m not sure if this is an emergency or not, I don’t know if any crabs are in danger, what caused it, if I misread the situation, I’m not sure if the chirping was because of me, i’m just not sure about much. Any help is appreciated, any knowledge you have is gold to someone like me! Thank you
Curly - I don't have any experience with aggression, so this is just my ideas, but do take with a grain of salt. Maybe more shells to choose from would help, so they have more to choose from and don't want each other's. If they aren't used to each other or not from the same tank where they came from, you could dip them all in fresh water so they all smell the same (that's what is recommended when introducing a new crab to a tank). When the crab molts, it will regrow it's missing limbs, which is pretty cool!
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." -Will Rogers

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