Crab halfway out of shell and limp, not moving

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Topic author
Yes_222
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Sep 09, 2019 3:13 pm

Crab halfway out of shell and limp, not moving

Post by Yes_222 » Mon Sep 09, 2019 3:38 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?
Black and white gravel-ish pebbles. It’s about 2 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 do not have any gauges

3. Is a heat source used in the tank? If so, what?
I do not have a heat source, although it dose get hot where they are kept

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)?


5. What kinds of food do you feed and how often is it replaced?
Small tablets (I’m not entirely sure how to describe this sorry)

6. How long have you had the crab and what species is it, if known?
I’m not sure if the species. I’ve had them for a little over 2 months

7. Has your crab molted, and how long ago did it happen?
He has not molted while with me

8. What type of housing are the crabs kept in, what size is it and what kind of lid is on the housing? [/i
It is around 5 gallons (I did think it was larger but I just did the math)

9. How many crabs are in the tank and about how large are they?
There are 3 crabs. There more on the small side. The smallest is about the size of a quarter. And the largest is not much bigger then that

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

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

12. How often do you clean the tank and how?
I have not cleaned the tank yet ( I know I should have done this by now and I was planning to do this soon)

13. Are sponges used in the water dish? If so, how are they cleaned?
I do not use sponges

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.)?
The crab in question (Frank) did come to me with an already missing leg ( I think from stress) and he tended to not come out of his shell much. Although in the morning he was moved in a different spot then the night before

16. Please describe the emergency situation in detail.
Frank (the crab in question) is mostly out of his shell and completely limp. I flipped him upside down to see if he would squirm like crabs usually do. He did not move at all. know that there’s supposed to be a smell when a hermit crab dies but I’m not entirely sure of what that smell is.
I was just going to assume that he was dead but I did some reading first and it said that there’s a possibility he could be molting so I wanted to make sure.
.


Topic author
Yes_222
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Sep 09, 2019 3:13 pm

Re: Crab halfway out of shell and limp, not moving

Post by Yes_222 » Mon Sep 09, 2019 4:06 pm

With more investigation I think that he is probably dead


crabby33
Posts: 563
Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2016 1:24 pm
Location: Dallas, TX

Re: Crab halfway out of shell and limp, not moving

Post by crabby33 » Mon Sep 09, 2019 4:31 pm

1. What kind of substrate is used in your tank and how deep is it?
Black and white gravel-ish pebbles. It’s about 2 inches deep

Hi there, I’m going to respond with Crabby33.

Gravel is not recommended. Most people here use a 5:1 ratio of play sand/eco earth to mimic their natural habitat. It needs to be 6-8” of substrate, or 3 X the height of your largest crab. Whichever is deeper. Once they dig down, do NOT dig them up. They can stay down for months.

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 do not have any gauges

Having gauges in your tank is very important. You need to know if your temperature and humidity levels are correct. Hermit crabs require humidity levels of 80% and 80 degrees. They breathe through modified gills.

3. Is a heat source used in the tank? If so, what?
I do not have a heat source, although it dose get hot where they are kept

You still need a heat source. People here prefer under tank heaters. Placing it under the tank is not recommended when you have hermit crabs due to the amount of substrate needed. Plus, people here will tell you the goal is to heat the air since hermit crabs breathe through modified gills.

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)?

You did not mention a water source. They need both fresh and salt water and it needs to be treated with a dechlorinator. A lot of people here use Seachem Prime. Their salt water needs to mimic the ocean. Instant Ocean is a very popular brand here.

5. What kinds of food do you feed and how often is it replaced?
Small tablets (I’m not entirely sure how to describe this sorry)

These are pellets. Hermit crabs are scavengers. They eat whatever they can find in the wild. They need a wide variety of foods daily. Proteins and calciums should be offered at all times. If they don’t get what they need, they will seek out a molting crab to fill that requirement.

6. How long have you had the crab and what species is it, if known?
I’m not sure if the species. I’ve had them for a little over 2 months

You probably have purple pinchers. This is the most common species along with Ecuadorians.

8. What type of housing are the crabs kept in, what size is it and what kind of lid is on the housing? [/i
It is around 5 gallons (I did think it was larger but I just did the math)

A 5 Gallon tank is too small for hermit crabs. You will want to upgrade to a 29 Gallon tank with the number crabs you have. A 29 gives you the recommended substrate depth as well room for climbing decorations, hides, a food bowl and pools deep enough for your crabs to submerge.

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

You will need to get extra shells for your crabs. The HCA recommends 3-5 per crab. There are right and wrong
shells to buy. Purple pinchers prefer turbos, murex and magpies. Preferably any shell with a round opening.

12. How often do you clean the tank and how?
I have not cleaned the tank yet ( I know I should have done this by now and I was planning to do this soon)

Once conditions are right, you don’t need to completely clean out your tank.

13. Are sponges used in the water dish? If so, how are they cleaned?
I do not use sponges

That’s good! Sponges are not needed and harbor bacteria.

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curlysister
Posts: 1365
Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2010 3:54 pm
Location: Manitoba, Canada

Re: Crab halfway out of shell and limp, not moving

Post by curlysister » Mon Sep 09, 2019 7:41 pm

Crabby33 has given excellent advice. The only thing I would add is that the pools/ water dishes need to be deep enough that the crabs can fully submerge, but also have a way to climb out.
You have a number of things that need to be improved in your crabitat as soon as possible; your other crabs will eventually die if left in the current conditions. Check out the 'care sheets' section, it has all the information that you need. If you have more questions, be sure to ask.
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." -Will Rogers

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MauiMama
Posts: 74
Joined: Sun Aug 18, 2019 7:35 pm
Location: MN

Re: Crab halfway out of shell and limp, not moving

Post by MauiMama » Mon Sep 09, 2019 10:04 pm

I'm so sorry about Frank. I don't know enough about crab health to comment, but I hope he feels better, or has gone to a happy crab heaven.
•°☆~♡~☆°• MauiMama•°☆~♡~☆°•


Kydra
Posts: 111
Joined: Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:35 pm
Location: NJ

Re: Crab halfway out of shell and limp, not moving

Post by Kydra » Thu Sep 19, 2019 1:57 pm

Your crab could have been surface molting R/T the conditions and being unable to dig to molt. Molting will put them in a paralyzed state for a period of time.

From what I've read here, a dead crab will usually just fall completely out of shell if dead as well. If this crab is limp and remained in shell I would have personally done the following below before declaring the crab deceased.

I would move the limp crab away from the others avoiding your other crabs given the opportunity to get to this one. Minimal hands on moving in a small isolation tank with proper heat/humidity. Then cover crab with a coco hut or some dark hideout. Have a small bowl of food/freshwater/saltwater available... could just cut a plastic cup down for the water and food bowls. Wait it out if it's a molt unless you do smell a dead fish type smell.

I'd write more, but not enough time at the moment. Will check back. Hope this helps for the future! And you do need proper substrate so the remaining crabs do not surface molt and are able to dig under along with all of the other recommendations made.

Good luck!

Edit: Was rushing so grammar. I did want to add that the premium playsand 50 pound bag was literally $4.90 after taxes in NJ at Home Depot. Can't see the original post from the edit, but I had just mentioned this in the chat option as it's less than five bucks for so much playsand. Add some EcoEarth and you'll be good to go! 👍👍

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