Crabs Molting, Not Enough Substrate

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abesze
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Crabs Molting, Not Enough Substrate

Post by abesze » Fri Sep 27, 2019 11:43 am

Hi, I'm new here. I just got two medium sized land crabs a couple days ago. I think one of them is trying to molt, however I'm not sure that the substrate is deep enough. (I realize this is a result of my own stupidity, I was rushing in setting up the tank to get the crabs out of their tiny boxes as soon as possible) I'm using a mixture of coconut fiber and calcium sand ( approx 2.5-3 inches deep). One of my crabs attempted to bury itself and has been pretty inactive. I read that crabs need sufficient darkness to molt, however he is against the glass of the tank. He also doesn't have very much substrate covering him or underneath him and I'm worried he might try to surface molt. The other crab tried to dig him up but I put a divider in the tank. Is it safe to move the burrowed crab and add substrate underneath and on top of him? Or what else can I do to make sure he makes it through his molt?

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Maddamay32
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Re: Crabs Molting, Not Enough Substrate

Post by Maddamay32 » Fri Sep 27, 2019 11:46 am

It is safe to add 1 in of substrate per day to prevent smothering your crabs. Also he may just be destressing if he's a newbie, but good idea with the tank divider just incase!
9 crabs at the moment "Tarzan, Kermit, Shy guy, Eduardo, Jimbo, Sharkboy, Rosa, Diesel, Treaker"


Topic author
abesze
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Re: Crabs Molting, Not Enough Substrate

Post by abesze » Fri Sep 27, 2019 11:55 am

Thanks! Is it ok to add substrate directly on top of him?

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Maddamay32
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Re: Crabs Molting, Not Enough Substrate

Post by Maddamay32 » Fri Sep 27, 2019 12:52 pm

Yes, that's fine. What do you use for substrate btw?
9 crabs at the moment "Tarzan, Kermit, Shy guy, Eduardo, Jimbo, Sharkboy, Rosa, Diesel, Treaker"

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curlysister
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Re: Crabs Molting, Not Enough Substrate

Post by curlysister » Fri Sep 27, 2019 12:56 pm

Calcium sand is not safe for hermit crabs. You need to replace it with play sand and EE.
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." -Will Rogers


Topic author
abesze
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Re: Crabs Molting, Not Enough Substrate

Post by abesze » Fri Sep 27, 2019 12:59 pm

Ok I've been using calcium sand and a version of EE (not the brand name). Are my crabs going to be ok if they remain in the calcium sand until tomorrow or Sunday? I have to order the play sand


Topic author
abesze
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Re: Crabs Molting, Not Enough Substrate

Post by abesze » Fri Sep 27, 2019 1:13 pm

The ratio of calcium sand to EE that I have right now is about 1:2

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Hermiesguardian
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Re: Crabs Molting, Not Enough Substrate

Post by Hermiesguardian » Fri Sep 27, 2019 4:05 pm

abesze wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 12:59 pm
Ok I've been using calcium sand and a version of EE (not the brand name). Are my crabs going to be ok if they remain in the calcium sand until tomorrow or Sunday? I have to order the play sand
Play sand can be purchased for less than $5 a 50lb bag at hardware stores, like Home Depot, Lowes. The problem with calcium sand is that when it gets wet it hardens like cement. So if it gets in their shell it would be deadly. If you add substrate I wouldn't cover the partially buried crab. When they bury themselves they create a cave so they can breathe.
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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Maddamay32
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Re: Crabs Molting, Not Enough Substrate

Post by Maddamay32 » Fri Sep 27, 2019 7:51 pm

abesze wrote:Ok I've been using calcium sand and a version of EE (not the brand name). Are my crabs going to be ok if they remain in the calcium sand until tomorrow or Sunday? I have to order the play sand
I would like to hear from a more experienced crabber if you need to remove the crabs before the weekend, when you get the proper sub. I don't want to give any bad advice, I'm sorry Image

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9 crabs at the moment "Tarzan, Kermit, Shy guy, Eduardo, Jimbo, Sharkboy, Rosa, Diesel, Treaker"

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curlysister
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Re: Crabs Molting, Not Enough Substrate

Post by curlysister » Fri Sep 27, 2019 8:20 pm

I wouldn't add play sand to the current sub. I would get rid of the current calcium sand/ EE mix and start new.
It's risky to dig up a crab who has dug under the sub, but I wonder if it would be better in this case than leaving him to molt in dangerous sub? You could gently dig him up and isolate him, and replace the sub. A day or two likely won't make a big difference - but I would do it as soon as you can.
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." -Will Rogers


Topic author
abesze
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Re: Crabs Molting, Not Enough Substrate

Post by abesze » Sat Sep 28, 2019 1:39 am

Thank you guys!! I think I'll leave them in the current substrate for tonight and replace it fully as just EE without sand tomorrow morning. (I haven't had any chances to replace it today)


Topic author
abesze
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Re: Crabs Molting, Not Enough Substrate

Post by abesze » Sat Sep 28, 2019 2:23 am

Sorry, one more question. If it turns out that my crabs are just de stressing and not molting and come up to the surface, would it be a good idea to bathe them to get any calcium sand out of their shells? Or would that make it cement further?
Last edited by abesze on Sat Sep 28, 2019 11:55 am, edited 1 time in total.


KristenL0522
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Re: Crabs Molting, Not Enough Substrate

Post by KristenL0522 » Sat Sep 28, 2019 3:09 am

I can’t answer the question about bathing him. I’m not sure it would be terrible if you do but just using all EE has mixed opinions on it and that it is not good. I personally wouldn’t use all EE. It’s best mixed with play sand. Is there no where close to be able to get play sand at?


Topic author
abesze
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Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2019 11:31 am

Re: Crabs Molting, Not Enough Substrate

Post by abesze » Sat Sep 28, 2019 11:58 am

There's a nearby Lowe's, but I don't have enough space to store a 50 lb bag. I looked online to see if I can find a smaller bag, is any brand ok?


Topic author
abesze
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Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2019 11:31 am

Re: Crabs Molting, Not Enough Substrate

Post by abesze » Sat Sep 28, 2019 3:22 pm

So I went to my local hardware store and found the 50lb bag it's not as big as I thought so all is good :D thank you so much for all the help!!!

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