Dropped Limbs and Dead?

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Dropped Limbs and Dead?

Post by Thatfranke » Sun Aug 11, 2019 9:39 pm

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

I use eco earth and it is about 6-7 inches deep.

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 currently have a humidity gauge. It is on the floor of the tank and usually reads about 70% humidity. I try to keep it above that. Thermometer broke So no clue what it had been recently.

3. Is a heat source used in the tank? If so, what?

I use a heat lamp. It has a 60watt reptile 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)?

I have both fresh and saltwater available. I use the brand instant ocean for the saltwater. All water used is treated with aqueon water conditioner prior to use.

5. What kinds of food do you feed and how often is it replaced?

Lately it’s been cooked turkey, spinach or lettuce, and apple or banana replaced every 24 hours.

6. How long have you had the crab and what species is it, if known?

The one that dropped limbs I have had for almost two months. It’s a PP.

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

Came up from molt less than a week ago.

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

10g tank. Lid is saran wrap and keeps in humidity fine.

9. How many crabs are in the tank and about how large are they?

Three including the one who dropped limbs. One is an E who has a shell opening that’s almost an inch. The others are small PPs that fit in half inch shells.

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

A ton. Every crab has at least 5 shells around their size to switch from. The E switches just about every day. The one who dropped limbs has switched 2-3 times and the other PP has yet to switch.

11. Have there been any fumes or chemicals near the crabitat recently?


12. How often do you clean the tank and how?

I spot clean for soiled food and poop daily. Once a week the water is completely refilled but is otherwise topped off daily or refilled completely if food gets in there.

13. Are sponges used in the water dish? If so, how are they cleaned?


14. Has anything new been added to your crabitat recently?

Got two new shells a day before they Came up to molt but both were properly sterilized (boiled). Other than that nothing new since getting the two crabs.

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 pick them up about every other day or so (sometimes more, sometimes less) to inspect them and make sure they’re okay. Took the one who dropped limbs out yesterday night to inspect her new claw as before her molt it had a dent in it and after molt it did not.

16. Please describe the emergency situation in detail.

Got a crab from petco in early June. Only got her and the two others because I literally wept seeing the contusions they were being kept in. A month after I got them, two of them went down to molt. Shortly after the largest one died. I figured this was due to he stress of being home from the store as the hermie I had before seemed to be thriving. Fast forward to now, the two that went down for a molt are back up and seemingly okay. Mr. Krabs has been less active than he was before the molt and I haven’t seen him eat. Jiji was also not active and eating, but they both had successfully molted and looked physically better. I’m always very worried about my crabs. I checked them this morning and everything was fine. Then I check tonight, about 12 hours later and Jiji is dead in the eggshell (for calcium after molting) with multiple limbs detached from her body. Was this due to stress? Did my other crabs eat her? Is there any way for me to tell? Could it be from molting? From her past life being imported and living at the pet store? I am devastated because they seemed to be so happy. The two were PP crabs and the crab I had before is an E. They seemed to get along so well and now I’m very sad. I just want to fix whatever the issue is so I don’t lose more crabs :(


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The Crab Maid
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Re: Dropped Limbs and Dead?

Post by The Crab Maid » Tue Aug 13, 2019 1:59 am

So Eco Earth by itself can flood easily - a crab that digs down can drown due to flooding. A mixture of sand with sand being the main component is best. 5:1 ratio though some do even more sand than that, and it should be play sand consistency so they can build tunnels.

Humidity does need to be higher, 80% preferred. A heat lamp as the only heat source is not good. It can't be on 24/7 because it'll mess with their cycle, and turning it off will cause a drastic temperature drop. You'll want to invest in UTHs, which will actually help your humidity a lot.

You need some calcium in that diet. Calcium all the time, dust or crushed eggshell. Not just for molting but a daily supplement.

A 10g tank is really small for 3 crabs, especially if one is an E.

Limb dropping can be due to stress, and if it happens too much it can lead to death. Also, they can contract bacteria issues when they go down to molt and the substrate is too flooded which leads to crabs drowning or bacterial blooms (which are bad for crabs).

It is also possible, if the E is constantly changing shells, that there was a shell fight and the E killed the other crab, which can happen in small spaces. Doesn't matter if the shell doesn't fit, shell jacking can still occur. Even if you provide extra shells. Es are a touch more aggressive, they find molting and newly molted crabs easy targets, and they have a lot of energy spent climbing and making tunnels. It's often suggested they have a 20g to themselves to start with, then an additional 10g for each crab after. They're very big on digging too, so small tanks make it easier for them to dig up molting crabs.
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Re: Dropped Limbs and Dead?

Post by Hermiesguardian » Tue Aug 13, 2019 3:14 pm

As pelagic said, E's need more room. 6 inch minimum substrate for pp's but 10, 11 inches for E's because they are diggers. Most of us have a hands off policy. Handling them stresses them out. No need to pick them up to check them out. The only time I have picked up my crabs is when I upgraded tanks and had to move them over.
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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