New Mom of Birthday Crabs

Please post here if you are a new crab owner and someone will be along shortly to welcome you to the HCA! This is also the place to welcome new crabbies to your clan!
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KinoAndTeto
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New Mom of Birthday Crabs

Post by KinoAndTeto » Fri May 10, 2019 5:34 pm

Hello! I found this forum through the hermit crab subreddit during my initial research this morning. I received two "Purple Pincher" Caribbean hermit crabs today as a birthday gift.

:cake:

I've been interested in the possibility of adopting hermit crabs for a while, but hadn't done any serious research into them previously, so I am now trying to cram as much info into my brain as possible. The only pets I've had previously have been of the furry variety (dogs, cats, mice, rats, and hamsters), and I volunteer at an aviary, so I have limited bird care experience, but this is quite different and a bit intimidating. I'm going to do my best by them. (I was happy to learn they can live up to 30 years if well cared for, though I'm sure this is only in rare instances). The terribly short average life span is the only reason I stopped keeping rodents. I love and miss them dearly, but the constant loss was too much.)

I've named my two Kino (blue shell) and Teto (orange shell). They were purchased at Petco and are currently in the painted shells from the store. Husband said the store's stock of shells was empty, so I just ordered 12 natural turbo shells for them today online. I'm hoping they'll switch as soon as alternatives are available. Kino is a bit bigger and lighter-colored. Teto is overall darker. So far Teto is pretty shy, Kino is the opposite.

I have their tank set up currently with about six inches of 100% coconut coir moistened so that it just holds its shape when squeezed. I'm thinking the substrate could use some additional moisture, but I don't want to disrupt them again so soon to stir everything up again.

I have a fairly large fresh water (de-chlorinated with drops) container and a smaller salt water container, also de-chlorinated with drops and using bottled hermit crab salt water mix from the pet store. Going to get them a bigger salt water container and some instant ocean soon as well.

Currently they have hermit crab pellets, fresh veggies (carrot and will add some bok choi tonight or tomorrow), and dried fruit. I will be phasing out the hermit cab pellets in favor of actual meat/seafood. The vial I got in small, so I'm sure it won't last long. Might be best to gradually phase it out instead of completely changing their food overnight anyhow, since they were getting a mix of pellets and fresh veggies at the store.

I've attached some photos of my crabbies and their new crabitat below. Please let me know if you have any suggestions for immediate or future changes. :)

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🦀 🦀 Caretaker for two Purple Pinchers , Kino and Teto, adopted May 9, 2019. 🦀 🦀

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Oliviet#1
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Re: New Mom of Birthday Crabs

Post by Oliviet#1 » Fri May 10, 2019 8:12 pm

Welcome, congrats on the new crabbies, and happy birthday! I think most of what you did was good! Something you might want to change is to have the water dishes deep enough for the crabs to fully submerge and have something for them to climb out, make sure the temperature is around 75-85 F, the humidity 75% or higher, and I was wondering if you had a 15 gallon tank(my guess). If this is too overwhelming you can ignore it. I’m glad you did research because you seem like your doing awesome! I hope you and your crabs have an awesome time!
I have had pets in the past, but my family can’t have any furry or feathered ones due to allergies. I usually try my best to help and currently trying to set up a crabitat. I also try to treat others with Love!❤️

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KinoAndTeto
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Re: New Mom of Birthday Crabs

Post by KinoAndTeto » Fri May 10, 2019 9:59 pm

Thanks so much! :D Sorry, I thought I included the bit about the tank. It is a 10 gallon tank. I will get a bigger tank for them some day, but this should be okay for a starter, right?

Do you think containers like this would be all right for them for water? I'm currently just using them to store extra water that I use to top off their current supply with. The crabbies are about an inch and a half tall with the shell, I suppose, and the containers are about 3-4" tall. I have this plastic mesh that they might be able to use to crawl out with, but I'm worried it might be too fine a mesh and they would get stuck in it. Also not sure how to arrange/connect it so that they can actually get out.

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🦀 🦀 Caretaker for two Purple Pinchers , Kino and Teto, adopted May 9, 2019. 🦀 🦀

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Motörcrab
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Re: New Mom of Birthday Crabs

Post by Motörcrab » Fri May 10, 2019 10:38 pm

Welcome to the HCA!

I use a drill and a small bit to drill holes into the container. Then I attached the mesh with small zip ties.

Stock up on small zip ties! I go through almost 100 a month but I'm always trying to make silly stuff.

The mesh you got will be fine. Crabs can grip just about anything!Image

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curlysister
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Re: New Mom of Birthday Crabs

Post by curlysister » Sat May 11, 2019 1:25 am

Welcome! I had my two PP's in a 10 gallon for the first two years or so, then I upgraded to a 20 gallon....and then I lucked into a free 55 gallon! The HCA is the only place I have gone for crab info and advice. I have had my crabs for 8 1/2 years. Be sure to read the care sheets, and refer to them as needed - lots of good info in them!
Do you have a thermometer and hygrometer yet? It is imperative to know the temp and humidity.
What is the lid of your tank? If it's mesh, you will need to cover it with plastic wrap (ie- Saran Wrap) to hold in the humidity.
Many of us use a mixture of playsand and EE - the sand is cheaper than all EE, and the mix holds moisture well and helps with humidity.
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." -Will Rogers

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Oliviet#1
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Re: New Mom of Birthday Crabs

Post by Oliviet#1 » Sat May 11, 2019 8:45 am

KinoAndTeto wrote:
Fri May 10, 2019 9:59 pm
Thanks so much! :D Sorry, I thought I included the bit about the tank. It is a 10 gallon tank. I will get a bigger tank for them some day, but this should be okay for a starter, right?

Do you think containers like this would be all right for them for water? I'm currently just using them to store extra water that I use to top off their current supply with. The crabbies are about an inch and a half tall with the shell, I suppose, and the containers are about 3-4" tall. I have this plastic mesh that they might be able to use to crawl out with, but I'm worried it might be too fine a mesh and they would get stuck in it. Also not sure how to arrange/connect it so that they can actually get out.

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Yes your tank should be good for a starter, but you may need to upgrade when they get bigger. For the mesh that should be good. If you don’t have zip ties or if you don’t want to drill holes, you can get a strip a little less wide than the container(so I’m conclusion for size, it is a long strip that is a little less wide than the container), put the middle of the strip inside the container, put pebbles or gravel to weigh it down, and put the water ends of the mesh into the dirt. I haven’t done this but I think I have seen other people do it. It is only a suggestion and you don’t have to do it. I hope this helps!
I have had pets in the past, but my family can’t have any furry or feathered ones due to allergies. I usually try my best to help and currently trying to set up a crabitat. I also try to treat others with Love!❤️

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Oliviet#1
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Re: New Mom of Birthday Crabs

Post by Oliviet#1 » Sat May 11, 2019 8:50 am

Oliviet#1 wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 8:45 am
your tank should be good for a starter, but you may need to upgrade when they get bigger. For the mesh that should be good. If you don’t have zip ties or if you don’t want to drill holes, you can get a strip a little less wide than the container(so I’m conclusion for size, it is a long strip that is a little less wide than the container), put the middle of the strip inside the container, put pebbles or gravel to weigh it down, and put the water ends of the mesh into the dirt. I haven’t done this but I think I have seen other people do it. If you do have zip ties you can do about the same thing but you can have the strip less wide, you don’t need the pebbles or gravel, and you don’t need the ends dig into the dirt(just shorten the length so it ends at the top of the container). These are only suggestions and you don’t have to do them. I hope this helps!
I have had pets in the past, but my family can’t have any furry or feathered ones due to allergies. I usually try my best to help and currently trying to set up a crabitat. I also try to treat others with Love!❤️

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RiNiKy506
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New Mom of Birthday Crabs

Post by RiNiKy506 » Sat May 11, 2019 11:12 am

Welcome and Happy Birthday! You’ve got a great start for your little guys. Plastic mesh is perfect, a lot of us use it for a lot of stuff! I love their names and they are so cute! You don’t need to transition them off of the pellets, the sooner you get rid of them the better. Some brands contain harmful preservatives in them that are not good for hermit crabs, unfortunately a lot of things marketed for hermit crabs are bad for them.

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Hermiesguardian
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Re: New Mom of Birthday Crabs

Post by Hermiesguardian » Sat May 11, 2019 11:26 am

Welcome!! They do need calcium and protein daily.
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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KinoAndTeto
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Re: New Mom of Birthday Crabs

Post by KinoAndTeto » Sat May 11, 2019 6:41 pm

Thanks, everyone! :) I added new swimming pools for the crabbies today with fresh and salt water. I was happy to see Teto (the shy, less active one) out and about when I went up to install them, so I wanted until Teto went back into their hide before I put them in so I didn't scare them too much. I hope they will like it.

I have a basic temp gauge and hygrometer. Temp has been consistent at about 75 degrees. I put a blanket behind the back of their tank today to try to insulate it a bit more. Humidity has fluctuated more, but not gotten below 70. Usually also around 75. Installed plastic wrap over most of the mesh tank lid last night, and hoping the larger pools of water will contribute some additional humidity as well. Still spritzing regularly with fresh dechlor water.

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🦀 🦀 Caretaker for two Purple Pinchers , Kino and Teto, adopted May 9, 2019. 🦀 🦀

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curlysister
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Re: New Mom of Birthday Crabs

Post by curlysister » Sat May 11, 2019 8:17 pm

You can cover the entire lid, actually. They get enough air exchange when you open and close to change water and food etc.
What kind of heater do you have? Some can be insulated over top, while others can not.
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." -Will Rogers

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Hermiesguardian
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Re: New Mom of Birthday Crabs

Post by Hermiesguardian » Sat May 11, 2019 10:34 pm

A digital thermometer/hygrometer is more accurate.
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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Oliviet#1
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Re: New Mom of Birthday Crabs

Post by Oliviet#1 » Sat May 11, 2019 10:39 pm

Hermiesguardian wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 10:34 pm
A digital thermometer/hygrometer is more accurate.
Either one can be accurate if you calibrate it
I got two digital acurite weather station that day the temperature and humidity. One of them was 7% too dry when I calibrated it. I felt like I could have saved $4
I have had pets in the past, but my family can’t have any furry or feathered ones due to allergies. I usually try my best to help and currently trying to set up a crabitat. I also try to treat others with Love!❤️

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KinoAndTeto
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Re: New Mom of Birthday Crabs

Post by KinoAndTeto » Wed May 15, 2019 9:57 pm

Haven't seen either of them in a few days. Doesn't seem that they're eating (take pictures of their food bowl before going to sleep to see if anything's been moved in the morning).

I put some new shells in two days ago. Only two that actually fit, 2" Turbos that are about the same size as their shells now, maybe slightly larger, and 10 tiny green Turbos that are just decoration. Which wasn't the original intention... Zero experience shell shopping before, learning curve. The shells haven't been touched. Ordered five more shells, getting delivered on Friday.

I also installed a craft mesh tunnel that they can climb to, filled with a bit of damp sphagnum. Doesn't seem to have been touched, either, but it's been helpful in maintaining the humidity.

I know it's common for them to hide for a while when they're new, so I'm not too worried. It's only been three or four days, after all. Would feel better, though, if I woke up in the morning to a messy tank, so I know they're out doing things for at least a little bit in the middle of the night.... ImageImageImage

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🦀 🦀 Caretaker for two Purple Pinchers , Kino and Teto, adopted May 9, 2019. 🦀 🦀

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Hermiesguardian
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Re: New Mom of Birthday Crabs

Post by Hermiesguardian » Thu May 16, 2019 6:31 am

KinoAndTeto wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 9:57 pm
Haven't seen either of them in a few days. Doesn't seem that they're eating (take pictures of their food bowl before going to sleep to see if anything's been moved in the morning).

I put some new shells in two days ago. Only two that actually fit, 2" Turbos that are about the same size as their shells now, maybe slightly larger, and 10 tiny green Turbos that are just decoration. Which wasn't the original intention... Zero experience shell shopping before, learning curve. The shells haven't been touched. Ordered five more shells, getting delivered on Friday.

I also installed a craft mesh tunnel that they can climb to, filled with a bit of damp sphagnum. Doesn't seem to have been touched, either, but it's been helpful in maintaining the humidity.

I know it's common for them to hide for a while when they're new, so I'm not too worried. It's only been three or four days, after all. Would feel better, though, if I woke up in the morning to a messy tank, so I know they're out doing things for at least a little bit in the middle of the night.... ImageImageImage

Sent from my moto g(6) using Tapatalk
If you smooth out the sand you will probably see clawprints.
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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