Hermit crab help please

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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Cjwaibel
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Hermit crab help please

Post by Cjwaibel » Sat Aug 01, 2020 9:51 am

My girlfriend brought hermit crabs home from the beach about 6 weeks ago both of those hermit crabs died after about to 2 weeks.Then we went to pet smart and we bought 2 hermit crabs after just 1 week of having them one has died please send help I have no idea what we’re doing wrong, and I want these hermit crabs to stop dying. :(. I am a new hermit crab owner and just need to know what I’m doing wrong because I’m tired of killing innocent crabs. Below are the pictures of both the tank and everything we’re usingImage
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Last edited by Cjwaibel on Sat Aug 01, 2020 9:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

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JoeHermits
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Re: Hermit crab help please

Post by JoeHermits » Sat Aug 01, 2020 11:05 am

Have you read our care guides? Those would be a good place to start.

Basic care guide: http://hermitcrabassociation.com/phpBB/ ... 0&t=119273

Even under optimal conditions, however, mortality can be high for new crabs. They are captured wild and shipped en masse, which can of course cause all kinds of physical and mental stress.

It’s such a problem we have a term for it: Post-Purchase Syndrome (PPS), a sudden death with no explanation.


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PuddKitty
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Re: Hermit crab help please

Post by PuddKitty » Sat Aug 01, 2020 11:44 am

Awe I’m pretty sure it’s not your fault especially since you only had them for a few weeks. More than likely it was stress either due from taking them out of their natural habitat or the conditions at petsmart. A lot of hermit crabs just don’t adapt to being a pet. Especially if their conditions aren’t right. They need deep substrate eco
Earth/sand mix 6 inches deep or more. High humidity their temp & humidity should be around 80/80. Salt water (instant ocean) & Fresh water, Variety of shells and a wide range of different foods.
Mommy of 2 Beautiful Princesses, A Clan Of Royal Hermies, 1 King Bearded Dragon (Boomie) & A Guard Leopard Gecko (Melly) 💕🥳


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Cjwaibel
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Re: Hermit crab help please

Post by Cjwaibel » Sat Aug 01, 2020 1:31 pm

JoeHermits wrote:Have you read our care guides? Those would be a good place to start.

Basic care guide: http://hermitcrabassociation.com/phpBB/ ... 0&t=119273

Even under optimal conditions, however, mortality can be high for new crabs. They are captured wild and shipped en masse, which can of course cause all kinds of physical and mental stress.

It’s such a problem we have a term for it: Post-Purchase Syndrome (PPS), a sudden death with no explanation.


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Could you look at the pictures I added to my post and tell me how it looks I use coconut bedding bottled water instead of tap water and we play with them and check on them frequently


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CrabbyLover77
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Re: Hermit crab help please

Post by CrabbyLover77 » Sat Aug 01, 2020 5:36 pm


Cjwaibel wrote: Could you look at the pictures I added to my post and tell me how it looks I use coconut bedding bottled water instead of tap water and we play with them and check on them frequently


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PK has some good recommendations.

At least 6" of substrate. I can't tell by your pic if both sides are at least that high.

You'd be better off using a dechlorinator like Prime. It also detoxifies nitrates/nitrites and heavy metals. No need to use bottled water, tap with Prime is fine and cheaper. The salts marketed toward hermits are usually of no benefit to them. Use a marine salt like Instant Ocean, like PK mentioned. Make sure the dishes are deep enough to submerge in, but have a way to climb in and out.

Digital gauges are more reliable for temp/humidity. Temps for purple pinchers should be 75-85F and humidity should never drop below 70%, but ideal is 80%+.

Crabs love to climb, so I'd suggest some more climbing material. Adding egg crate from a hardware store on the back allows them to climb up it, and onto anything you can zip tie to it. I would add more hiding places so they can feel safe. Besides coconut huts, I use an overturned cool whip jar with a hole cut out of the side. I also use a small terra cotta pot turned over on it's side. It's important that they feel safe and secure, especially when they've been stressed out from their travel to the pet store.

Variety is key for food. Protein and calcium should be provided at all times. Many foods marketed toward hermits crabs have a lot of preservatives, and aren't crabby safe. Check out the safe foods list here on the HCA. They can eat many of the things we eat. Cuttlebone and calcium powder are easy ways to provide them with a constant calcium source.

I also would avoid handling them and bothering them as much as possible when you first bring them home. Many of the crabs see us as predators, and handling them can stress them out even more than they already are.

Using all eco earth s fine, but for beginners, it may be easier to maintain a mix of playsand and EE. Whatever you use, it should be mixed with dechlor salt or fresh water to sand castle consistency.

I would def read the basic care guide and food/water guides. They are super helpful.

Good luck with everything. Feel free to ask questions!

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My Pets: 1 Pomeranian, 1 Russian tortoise, fishes/snails(40 gal freshwater aquarium), and 7 hermit crabs.
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Cjwaibel
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Re: Hermit crab help please

Post by Cjwaibel » Sat Aug 01, 2020 5:39 pm

Thank you so much for the advice me and my girlfriend are gonna be renovating the entire crabitat very soon!


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CrabbyLover77
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Re: Hermit crab help please

Post by CrabbyLover77 » Sat Aug 01, 2020 5:40 pm

Cjwaibel wrote:Thank you so much for the advice me and my girlfriend are gonna be renovating the entire crabitat very soon!


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You're welcome! I hope everything works out. Image

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My Pets: 1 Pomeranian, 1 Russian tortoise, fishes/snails(40 gal freshwater aquarium), and 7 hermit crabs.
"Animals are my friends, and I don’t eat my friends".
-George Bernard Shaw

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Hermielover121
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Re: Hermit crab help please

Post by Hermielover121 » Sat Aug 01, 2020 11:20 pm

I would recommend adopting instead of buying from PetSmart. You would not have to deal with pps and it would really help In not supporting the pet stores with buying hermit crabs. It really is awful at the pet stores for the hermit crabs so we are trying not to purchase from them anymore. Try checking out our adoption pages here on the HCA and you could probably find some local hermit crabs to adopt. Feel free to ask anymore questions.


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Hermiesguardian
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Re: Hermit crab help please

Post by Hermiesguardian » Sun Aug 02, 2020 1:29 am

Welcome! You've gotten great advice here so far. If any of your crabs bury themselves, never dig them up. If they are in the middle of molting, digging them up could be fatal. If any of those painted shells are empty, remove them. They are toxic. You can order extra shells on etsy, ebay, amazon and other places. Purple pinchers usually prefer shells with round openings. What kind of lid do you have? Is it sealed to keep in humidity?
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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Cjwaibel
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Re: Hermit crab help please

Post by Cjwaibel » Sun Aug 02, 2020 9:48 am

Hermiesguardian wrote:Welcome! You've gotten great advice here so far. If any of your crabs bury themselves, never dig them up. If they are in the middle of molting, digging them up could be fatal. If any of those painted shells are empty, remove them. They are toxic. You can order extra shells on etsy, ebay, amazon and other places. Purple pinchers usually prefer shells with round openings. What kind of lid do you have? Is it sealed to keep in humidity?
The tank is sealed I’ve started misting the cage with water to keep the humidity and he’s a lot happier. I don’t know what type he is at this moment I’m going to PCB today so might go to the hermit crab store. The lid is a fish tank lid and for the most part is sealed. He’s buried himself today and yesterday he climbed for the first time ever.

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CombatMist
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Re: Hermit crab help please

Post by CombatMist » Mon Aug 03, 2020 9:18 am

Welcome. Sorry for your loss

Doesnt sound like your doing anything critically wrong. I'd avoid handling new crabs beyond when necessary. For a few weeks let them adjust to the new home. They can be scared of humans particularly at first. Mine I've had a few months and I can still startle them if I move close to the tank quickly. In my daily life I try to not walk closer than 3 feet from tank quickly. If getting closer I walk slowly to not scare them.

The first time they were probably handled by a human was capture. The 2nd time was captured to pet shop. The 3rd time was pet shop to new owner. All they know is who ever gets taken never returns. Scary if you think about it.

They have individual personalities. Some are more shy or active or nocturnal ect. They dont like baths. They can do it themselves. Try not to handle them daily. They are not a dog who wants and needs handling. I try to only handle the crabs 1-2 times weekly. They get used to it.

Looks like you have a good start. Environmental conditions are the first steps. Temp, humidity, food, fresh, salt water, substrate. All with the hermit crab recommended ways.

Then it gets more fun. Hides, climbing opportunity, heigh places to reach, climbing upside down, wood to nibble on, calcium sources (egg shells, land snail shells, exoskeletons, coral, cuddle bone ect), mixed foods (dry, fresh, powder, dehydrated so they have choice), multiple levels to climb, fake plants, diy craft projects, better water dishes, shell shop, moss pits, lids ect

The possibilities to enrich the hermit crabs life and crabitat are near endless.
Craber since (december 2019)
5 pps, 1 successful molt 🥳
20 gallon long


Topic author
Cjwaibel
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Location: Fort Rucker

Re: Hermit crab help please

Post by Cjwaibel » Mon Aug 03, 2020 9:39 am

CombatMist wrote:Welcome. Sorry for your loss

Doesnt sound like your doing anything critically wrong. I'd avoid handling new crabs beyond when necessary. For a few weeks let them adjust to the new home. They can be scared of humans particularly at first. Mine I've had a few months and I can still startle them if I move close to the tank quickly. In my daily life I try to not walk closer than 3 feet from tank quickly. If getting closer I walk slowly to not scare them.

The first time they were probably handled by a human was capture. The 2nd time was captured to pet shop. The 3rd time was pet shop to new owner. All they know is who ever gets taken never returns. Scary if you think about it.

They have individual personalities. Some are more shy or active or nocturnal ect. They dont like baths. They can do it themselves. Try not to handle them daily. They are not a dog who wants and needs handling. I try to only handle the crabs 1-2 times weekly. They get used to it.

Looks like you have a good start. Environmental conditions are the first steps. Temp, humidity, food, fresh, salt water, substrate. All with the hermit crab recommended ways.

Then it gets more fun. Hides, climbing opportunity, heigh places to reach, climbing upside down, wood to nibble on, calcium sources (egg shells, land snail shells, exoskeletons, coral, cuddle bone ect), mixed foods (dry, fresh, powder, dehydrated so they have choice), multiple levels to climb, fake plants, diy craft projects, better water dishes, shell shop, moss pits, lids ect

The possibilities to enrich the hermit crabs life and crabitat are near endless.
Thank you we have quit handling him and we must his cage and he loves it. So happy now to get him a friend.


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Hermiesguardian
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Re: Hermit crab help please

Post by Hermiesguardian » Mon Aug 03, 2020 11:47 am

Be careful of too much misting. It can create a flood. If your sub is sandcastle consistancy and your pools deep enough for them to fully submerge, you shouldn't have to mist. You can add damp moss to help with humidity. Also air bubblers in the pools.
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


Topic author
Cjwaibel
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Re: Hermit crab help please

Post by Cjwaibel » Tue Aug 04, 2020 12:31 pm

Image
Is he Molting or dead and how can I tell


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CrabbyLover77
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Re: Hermit crab help please

Post by CrabbyLover77 » Tue Aug 04, 2020 12:45 pm


Cjwaibel wrote:Image
Is he Molting or dead and how can I tell


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It looks like he may just be digging around since he's closer to the surface. Does he move at all if you go near the tank? His colors still look pretty bright, so he's probably just hanging out. Usually a fishy smell will appear after a crab has died (not always tho). Just from the pic, I'd say he's ok. You'll probably notice him elsewhere in the tank tonight.

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My Pets: 1 Pomeranian, 1 Russian tortoise, fishes/snails(40 gal freshwater aquarium), and 7 hermit crabs.
"Animals are my friends, and I don’t eat my friends".
-George Bernard Shaw

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