Moving molting crab in shell?

Please post here if you are having a crab care emergency! Use a real subject and not just "HELP!"
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Topic author
Mooeena
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Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2020 10:23 pm
Location: Jacksonville

Moving molting crab in shell?

Post by Mooeena » Thu Feb 13, 2020 2:06 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?
4 inches 2/3 play sand 1/3 coconut fiber

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?
Solid mid 70s temp 75-85 munifity

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


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?


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

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

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


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

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


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

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


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


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


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.)?


16. Please describe the emergency situation in detail.
After New Year's a family member agave me their hermit crab because they were moving. Said crab was in alright tank size and food, but with an open screen lid in Florida the temperature and humidity were probably off and the sand was too shallow for molting. Anyway, as soon as I get this crab into proper conditions in my tank it digs down and buries itself. It has been lmost 7 weeks and there was absolutely no sign of it so I was beginning to believe it had died.
I gently dug above above where I knew it had buried itself and found its shell with nothing (crab or exoskeleton) hanging out. I lifted it out to smell it and found that it was alive and tucked tightly into its shell, brightly colored with two molted exoskeletons in the sand next to it. I immediately buried it again, but I'm worried about having disturbed it. I never touched the crab itself, just the shell, and it seems to have been eating the shed skin so I can only assume it's pretty late into the process.
Could have moving a molting hermit crab in the shell stress it enough to harm it? I would hate to fear for the worst only to be the one to do it in.

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JoeHermits
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Re: Moving molting crab in shell?

Post by JoeHermits » Thu Feb 13, 2020 2:19 pm

The main concern here is that it was reburied; we can’t replicate a tunnel, so if you put the substrate back in the hole there’s a significant risk of suffocation. Covering the hole with a solid object is better.

The crab can be physically harmed if it’s still soft immediately after molting. It’s a small window of time but it’s difficult to judge, that’s why we don’t dig unless there’s a bacterial bloom (which is more harmful).

Staying underground for months on end is normal. Try not to fret, the crabs know what they’re doing.


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Topic author
Mooeena
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2020 10:23 pm
Location: Jacksonville

Re: Moving molting crab in shell?

Post by Mooeena » Thu Feb 13, 2020 8:45 pm

Well that's relieving. I put only about half an inch of substrate over him and I covered that with half a coconut for privacy

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Hermiesguardian
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Re: Moving molting crab in shell?

Post by Hermiesguardian » Thu Feb 13, 2020 8:55 pm

Mooeena wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 8:45 pm
Well that's relieving. I put only about half an inch of substrate over him and I covered that with half a coconut for privacy
That would be enough to suffocate him. They make caves for themselves. At this point it's best to unbury him again and just put the coconut on top.
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
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Re: Moving molting crab in shell?

Post by curlysister » Thu Feb 13, 2020 8:59 pm

Also just to clarify that he is the only crab in the tank? If not, he needs to be isolated from the other crabs (coco hut might not be enough to keep others from him).
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." -Will Rogers


Topic author
Mooeena
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2020 10:23 pm
Location: Jacksonville

Re: Moving molting crab in shell?

Post by Mooeena » Fri Feb 14, 2020 11:30 pm

Huh. It looks like it dug a new tunnel under the coconut. It seems like he's no longer paralyzed, just... Shy. There are three other crabs in the 30 gallon tank, but I think at this point he's okay.

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