Hermit crabs are dying off for no known reason

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SlackJacket
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Hermit crabs are dying off for no known reason

Post by SlackJacket » Mon Sep 28, 2020 1:15 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? cocofiber and “play” sand, sand at the top fiber at the bottom


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 an acurite, it sits towards the middle on a rock. They usually sit around the upper 70’s to upper 80’s


3. Is a heat source used in the tank? If so, what? i live in texas so i try to balance it with the natural heat and fans


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 use seachem and at the time the only salt ive used is salinity reef salt, never been able to find instant ocean and have been told this was fine


5. What kinds of food do you feed and how often is it replaced? i feed them a random safe fruit once or twice a week with dried food mixes off hermies kitchen


6. How long have you had the crab and what species is it, if known? ive had all 5 my crabs for close to a year, the last two (possibly three) i have are purple pincers, i believe


7. Has your crab molted, and how long ago did it happen? they have all molted a few months ago, and the ones that died did also


8. What type of housing are the crabs kept in, what size is it and what kind of lid is on the housing?
I have a 50 gal plastic container, holes drilled on all sides, and plexi glass top

9. How many crabs are in the tank and about how large are they? theres one thats been buried for about two months, assuming he isnt dead, hes about medium, i have another medium thats on the surface and a very big one also


10. How many extra shells are usually kept in the tank, if any? theres about 10/11, i have not been able to find adequate sizes or decent prices for more shells lately


11. Have there been any fumes or chemicals near the crabitat recently? i dont think so


12. How often do you clean the tank and how? i mix the top of the sub and any waste or food i may find when i change their water every other day


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? recently added more driftwood


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 handle them as little as possible and do not bathe them


16. Please describe the emergency situation in detail.

Starting with my smallest crab, they have one by one been spontaneously dying. My smallest crab made obvious signs but i wasnt sure at that time if they were sick or if they were just slowing down to molt or something, i found them out of their shell dying and put them in iso where they died a day later.

My second smallest was acting similarly shortly after but began to perk up and was highly active, then just died at complete random by a waterbowl, he was absolutely not molting. Im starting to suspect my last two are getting sick, my biggest is usually highly active and reactive but hes started acting somewhat off, my medium one has not changed much- i could just be paranoid but i am not sure. The other ones had no signs of mites or anything else, the one that spontaneously died was simply very lethargic for about a week or two before perking up and acting normal again. I am unsure if the one thats buried is dead as he had molted about two or three months prior, I have no plans of digging him out and have already assumed hes gone.


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Re: Hermit crabs are dying off for no known reason

Post by GotButterflies » Mon Sep 28, 2020 1:30 pm

I answered your questions with GB for GotButterflies :)
SlackJacket wrote:
Mon Sep 28, 2020 1:15 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? cocofiber and “play” sand, sand at the top fiber at the bottom

GB: Great! IMO, for purple pinchers substrate should be 6 inches or 3 times the height of your largest crab (whichever is deeper). If you have Es substrate should be at least 10-12”. Substrate should be mixed with dechlorinated marine saltwater or dechlorinated freshwater to make the substrate sandcastle consistency. I personally mix mine with dechlorinated marine saltwater.


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 an acurite, it sits towards the middle on a rock. They usually sit around the upper 70’s to upper 80’s

GB: IMO, minimum heat and humidity should be 80/80.

3. Is a heat source used in the tank? If so, what? i live in texas so i try to balance it with the natural heat and fans

GB: Hermit crabs have modified gills, and need humidity to breathe. IMO heat lamps are terrible at making the humidity evaporate, so I personally do not like them. A vast majority of crabbers use the ultratherms to heat the air instead of heat lamps. www.reptilebasics.com or www.beanfarm.com


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 use seachem and at the time the only salt ive used is salinity reef salt, never been able to find instant ocean and have been told this was fine

GB: Both pools should be deep enough for them to fully submerge in and safe enough for them to get out of.
Double dish water pools: http://hermitcrabassociation.com/phpBB/ ... le+dish+yo



5. What kinds of food do you feed and how often is it replaced? i feed them a random safe fruit once or twice a week with dried food mixes off hermies kitchen

GB: Hermit crabs can eat a lot of the same things that we eat. Just check to make sure the item is on the safe list. Foods should be organic when possible. Hermit crabs are sensitive to pesticides and fertilizers.
You also want to provide one or more calcium sources at all times. Examples would be Cuttlebone, Organic Eggshell, Oyster Shell, Lobster Exo, Shrimp Exo.
Make sure you cover all aspects of food pyramid :)
Safe food list: http://hermitcrabassociation.com/phpBB/ ... 25&t=92557
Unsafe food list: http://hermitcrabassociation.com/phpBB/ ... 25&t=92556
Food pyramid: http://hermitcrabassociation.com/phpBB/ ... 25&t=92554


6. How long have you had the crab and what species is it, if known? ive had all 5 my crabs for close to a year, the last two (possibly three) i have are purple pincers, i believe


7. Has your crab molted, and how long ago did it happen? they have all molted a few months ago, and the ones that died did also


8. What type of housing are the crabs kept in, what size is it and what kind of lid is on the housing?
I have a 50 gal plastic container, holes drilled on all sides, and plexi glass top

GB: Holes should not be drilled. You are letting humidity out. Hermit crabs will do better in a glass tank or a storage tote.

9. How many crabs are in the tank and about how large are they? theres one thats been buried for about two months, assuming he isnt dead, hes about medium, i have another medium thats on the surface and a very big one also


10. How many extra shells are usually kept in the tank, if any? theres about 10/11, i have not been able to find adequate sizes or decent prices for more shells lately

GB: The HCA recommends 3-5 shells per hermit crab. I personally recommend more. It never hurts to have more :) There are incorrect shells to buy. Here is the shell guide: http://hermitcrabassociation.com/phpBB/ ... 24&t=92552


11. Have there been any fumes or chemicals near the crabitat recently? i dont think so


12. How often do you clean the tank and how? i mix the top of the sub and any waste or food i may find when i change their water every other day

GB: Do not mix the top of the substrate. Just clean up poop, change water and food. :)

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? recently added more driftwood


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 handle them as little as possible and do not bathe them


16. Please describe the emergency situation in detail.

Starting with my smallest crab, they have one by one been spontaneously dying. My smallest crab made obvious signs but i wasnt sure at that time if they were sick or if they were just slowing down to molt or something, i found them out of their shell dying and put them in iso where they died a day later.

My second smallest was acting similarly shortly after but began to perk up and was highly active, then just died at complete random by a waterbowl, he was absolutely not molting. Im starting to suspect my last two are getting sick, my biggest is usually highly active and reactive but hes started acting somewhat off, my medium one has not changed much- i could just be paranoid but i am not sure. The other ones had no signs of mites or anything else, the one that spontaneously died was simply very lethargic for about a week or two before perking up and acting normal again. I am unsure if the one thats buried is dead as he had molted about two or three months prior, I have no plans of digging him out and have already assumed hes gone.

Edit: possibly due to lack of calcium, food pyramid not being met, humidity not being met.
.
Truly blessed to have incredible creatures, wonderful friends and my amazing family in my life!! I'm very thankful & grateful for all of them! www.thehealthyhermit.com

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wodesorel
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Re: Hermit crabs are dying off for no known reason

Post by wodesorel » Mon Sep 28, 2020 3:31 pm

I'm worried about humidity level as well, that one can be a slow killer if it's too dry. Not sure if you are in the humid part of Texas or the desert part? If that isn't it, then it could be contamination by something. When I've had this happened I gutted everything, changed the substrate completely, and washed everything before adding it back. Stopped the deaths in their tracks but never gave me a clue as to why it happened!
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Topic author
SlackJacket
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Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2020 9:46 am
Location: Texas

Re: Hermit crabs are dying off for no known reason

Post by SlackJacket » Tue Sep 29, 2020 12:56 am

I ended up dumping everything and putting them in my 20gal, i really didnt want to dig up my burried one but he was totally fine and is pretty active right now, i plan on cleaning out the 50 and putting in new substrate once i have the money for more coco and sand, but im not sure if moving them around so much will cause them even more stress and how long i should wait to move them back?

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Re: Hermit crabs are dying off for no known reason

Post by GotButterflies » Tue Sep 29, 2020 2:14 pm

What are you cleaning out the 50 with? I would recommend cleaning it with vinegar and water. Rinse well.

Don't use any strong cleaners on it. Once it is cleaned and dried - you can set the tank up immediately. :)
Truly blessed to have incredible creatures, wonderful friends and my amazing family in my life!! I'm very thankful & grateful for all of them! www.thehealthyhermit.com

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