New Crabber From California

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!

Topic author
Crab_Coalition
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Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2015 11:45 am

New Crabber From California

Post by Crab_Coalition » Wed Jul 08, 2015 6:11 pm

Hi, I posted a question in the molt topic before seeing this one so just wanted to do the right thing and say hello. My 7 year old son got me and the family interested in hermit crabs and we have been crabbing for 5-6 months. Currently have 14 crabs, 1 just died, in a spacious 20 gallon glass tank with glass top and I have plans to buy a 125 gallon tank and add more crabs in the future once I learn more.

I think from reading advice from all of you I have learned so much and use this forum as a hermit crab "bible" of sorts when I need answers or just want to learn more but I have found 2 things I think I need to remedy.

#1. Go from a 5 inch substrate to an 8 inch substrate.

#2. Boil the bottled water I currently use as fresh drinking water. I thought bottled water would be good enough. I also have a water filter but found out through your postings that it is not good enough so will begin low boiling the fresh water, letting it cool then placing it back in the water bottle marked for crabs.

I have mastered the salt water by using a conditioner but i think the water somehow gets cold because I see the crabs hanging on the rim and scooping the water rather than diving in...is this normal or an indication I should provide room temperature water...which I am but it is turning cold or cool.

I have 12 PPs and 2 Strawberries. The 2 strawberries I think are enough because they are everywhere. LOL But I want to add 2-4 Ecquardorian crabs into the mix in the future.

We have developed a separate crab shopping food list so when we return, we break off a portion of the acceptable foods that are reserved strictly for the hermies.

My crabs love sugar fruits and will eat broccoli after they have circled it for 3 days. We stick a nice stalk in the dir like a tree and sound that a crab was underground eating at the bottom of it when we pulled it up. LOL

When I was a kid I loved any farms and the structure and organization they lived through but I love the society and the independent nature of each hermit crab. I am an editor now so it soothes my mind to come out my office and lay down and watch them in the tank from time to time. (-:

I have a thick skin so I am open to constructive, criticism because i always want to improve and be as perfect as i can get so please if there is something I am doing wrong do not hesitate to tell me and if i am right on with my crab care please let me know too so I have an idea what direction i am going. I will be a consistent donor here and once I feel I have enough experience to talk then I will lend whatever feedback anyone needs but right now I am just going to be quiet and try to absorb as much as you guys (and ladies) can give me which I will also teach to my wife and kids who are equally interested.

I also plan to travel to San Diego for the family vacation so if anyone knows any good spots to view hermit crabs, I am all ears. (-:


Matt
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Re: New Crabber From California

Post by Matt » Wed Jul 08, 2015 8:36 pm

Sounds very good. Just remember when those 14 crabs come up from molts they will be bigger. I'd look into a 40 gallon breeder or a 55 gallon aquarium to hold them if that would be easier than the 125 gallon.
2 Purple Pinchers and 2 Ecuadorians in a 20g long.


fantasybookworm
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Re: New Crabber From California

Post by fantasybookworm » Wed Jul 08, 2015 8:46 pm

I'm relatively new myself, but it sounds like the tank is really overcrowded. Exotic species are supposed to have a lot more space than PPs (I just read on another post that 40 gal is the minimum recommended). Even without the strawberries, any crab over teeny size need more than 1 gallon of space per crab - viewtopic.php?f=26&t=92541 If you're not planning on getting the 125 gallon for a while, it'd probably be a really good idea to get a 40 or 55 gallon even for temporary purposes to avoid more crab deaths & make sure they have enough space until they get their new palace. :)

Also, rather than boiling the water, it'd probably be easier to get a dechlorinator to use for both fresh & salt water. The good dechlorinators will take care of chlorine and also any heavy metals or other harmful things in the water. It'd be less time-consuming than boiling water too. Also what kind of conditioner are you using for the salt water? Are you using a salt mix to mix in at all?

What temperature is the tank, by the way? Usually the water warms up decently if the tank is warm enough, but as far as I know, the behavior you've described sounds normal for drinking. Not all of the crabs will swim - the only time I've seen mine submerge was when I accidentally scared one further into the pool.

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soilentgringa
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Re: New Crabber From California

Post by soilentgringa » Wed Jul 08, 2015 9:02 pm

Hello and welcome to HCA. Here is a link to our basic care guide for all species with links to species-specific guides.

viewtopic.php?t=92457

Some areas of concern are: you are very overcrowded for a 20 gallon tank. If Petco is still doing it's $1 per gallon sale or you can find one on Craigslist, at least get a 55 gallon if it isn't going to be very long before you can get the 125.
Pick up some Seachem Prime or Aqueon water conditioner. 2 drops of Prime to a gallon of tap water is all you need. I got a small bottle a year ago for less than $3 and I still have some left. There's no reason to boil bottled water, at any rate.
Pick up a marine grade salt such as Instant Ocean. It is in a purple box. Make sure it isn't freshwater aquarium salt!
Your temps and humidity need to be a minimum of 80 for PP's but since you have straws, they like it a little warmer. Gauges are imperative. Crabs have to have a protein and calcium source daily. Can you post pics? The overcrowding puts you at serious risk of cannibalization because once a couple go down to molt and the others start digging, the smell will cause them to find the others and eat them. Also straws need 12" of sub as they love to dig and tunnel.
I know this is a lot of info to take in!

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Topic author
Crab_Coalition
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Re: New Crabber From California

Post by Crab_Coalition » Fri Jul 10, 2015 10:34 am

Matt wrote:Sounds very good. Just remember when those 14 crabs come up from molts they will be bigger. I'd look into a 40 gallon breeder or a 55 gallon aquarium to hold them if that would be easier than the 125 gallon.
I went to Pet Smart the other night looking around at the tanks and 40-55 is good too. May go with the 55 gal.


Topic author
Crab_Coalition
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Re: New Crabber From California

Post by Crab_Coalition » Fri Jul 10, 2015 10:43 am

soilentgringa wrote:Hello and welcome to HCA. Here is a link to our basic care guide for all species with links to species-specific guides.

viewtopic.php?t=92457

Some areas of concern are: you are very overcrowded for a 20 gallon tank. If Petco is still doing it's $1 per gallon sale or you can find one on Craigslist, at least get a 55 gallon if it isn't going to be very long before you can get the 125.
Pick up some Seachem Prime or Aqueon water conditioner. 2 drops of Prime to a gallon of tap water is all you need. I got a small bottle a year ago for less than $3 and I still have some left. There's no reason to boil bottled water, at any rate.
Pick up a marine grade salt such as Instant Ocean. It is in a purple box. Make sure it isn't freshwater aquarium salt!
Your temps and humidity need to be a minimum of 80 for PP's but since you have straws, they like it a little warmer. Gauges are imperative. Crabs have to have a protein and calcium source daily. Can you post pics? The overcrowding puts you at serious risk of cannibalization because once a couple go down to molt and the others start digging, the smell will cause them to find the others and eat them. Also straws need 12" of sub as they love to dig and tunnel.
I know this is a lot of info to take in!

Sent from my LG-D850 using Tapatalk
I am definitely looking into the 55 gallon tank now. The crabs are pretty spread out but I do understand, especially with 5 inches of substrate. If you have any recommendations for freshwater solutions I will look into it.

I currently use a salt water condition from ALL LIVING THINGS company and seems to work well as the crabs love it.

My temperature is a consistent 75 and the humidity is a consistent 99.

Yes, I feed my crabs lots of calcium and proteins daily and they love it. My crabs are not big meat eaters that I have seen but they love fruits and nuts. You know what I do also, I wash the shells, dry them then spray them with salt conditioned water then lace a few with calcium and they really love it.

Yes I have a gauge in the tank.

I currently have 5-6 inches of substrate which I have learned is low so I will be upgrading to 12 inches as soon as a few crabs come up from their molt which should be around the end of July. The funny thing is the rest of the crabs get along very well and do group activities together like following each other to do different things around the tank or just hanging out and flipping antennae at each other. (-:

No it is not a lot to take in and I really appreciate the feedback. I crave honest, direct feedback because we love these little guys and gals and want to give them the best living conditions possible. I realize I do not have as much expertise as this group and i am willing to learn and respond promptly to the advice so I really appreciate it.


Topic author
Crab_Coalition
Posts: 69
Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2015 11:45 am

Re: New Crabber From California

Post by Crab_Coalition » Fri Jul 10, 2015 10:45 am

fantasybookworm wrote:I'm relatively new myself, but it sounds like the tank is really overcrowded. Exotic species are supposed to have a lot more space than PPs (I just read on another post that 40 gal is the minimum recommended). Even without the strawberries, any crab over teeny size need more than 1 gallon of space per crab - viewtopic.php?f=26&t=92541 If you're not planning on getting the 125 gallon for a while, it'd probably be a really good idea to get a 40 or 55 gallon even for temporary purposes to avoid more crab deaths & make sure they have enough space until they get their new palace. :)

Also, rather than boiling the water, it'd probably be easier to get a dechlorinator to use for both fresh & salt water. The good dechlorinators will take care of chlorine and also any heavy metals or other harmful things in the water. It'd be less time-consuming than boiling water too. Also what kind of conditioner are you using for the salt water? Are you using a salt mix to mix in at all?

What temperature is the tank, by the way? Usually the water warms up decently if the tank is warm enough, but as far as I know, the behavior you've described sounds normal for drinking. Not all of the crabs will swim - the only time I've seen mine submerge was when I accidentally scared one further into the pool.
Actually a majority of our crabs are considered small or teeny which helps for now but I definitely see the point and get it.

The average consistent temp of the tank is 75 degrees hot and 99 degrees humid.

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soilentgringa
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Re: New Crabber From California

Post by soilentgringa » Fri Jul 10, 2015 10:52 am

You have to get your temps up in the mid 80's if you have straws and get a marine grade salt mix. The All Living Things or any other "hermit crab salt conditioner" does not provide them with the essential elements that they would get in the ocean. Straws especially need adequate salt water to thrive and since they do not live nearly as long in captivity as other species do, it is very important to provide them with the best chance. There are PP's recorded being in captivity from 1976 to today, but I believe the longest I've seen for straws is 5 years. You do not have to wait to add more sub. You can add handfuls at a time daily until it is deep enough. Straws also benefit from UVB lighting which is touched on in the Strawberry care sheet.
75°F is the minimum temp that PP's can survive at, as an evening temp but they need to be at least at 80°. Since you have more exotic crabs that require higher temps, you should be aiming for mid 80's at the lowest. Your crabs will be happier and more active.


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Topic author
Crab_Coalition
Posts: 69
Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2015 11:45 am

Re: New Crabber From California

Post by Crab_Coalition » Sun Jul 12, 2015 12:25 am

soilentgringa wrote:You have to get your temps up in the mid 80's if you have straws and get a marine grade salt mix. The All Living Things or any other "hermit crab salt conditioner" does not provide them with the essential elements that they would get in the ocean. Straws especially need adequate salt water to thrive and since they do not live nearly as long in captivity as other species do, it is very important to provide them with the best chance. There are PP's recorded being in captivity from 1976 to today, but I believe the longest I've seen for straws is 5 years. You do not have to wait to add more sub. You can add handfuls at a time daily until it is deep enough. Straws also benefit from UVB lighting which is touched on in the Strawberry care sheet.
75°F is the minimum temp that PP's can survive at, as an evening temp but they need to be at least at 80°. Since you have more exotic crabs that require higher temps, you should be aiming for mid 80's at the lowest. Your crabs will be happier and more active.


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Very enlightening but the only question I have is if i buy a heating pad, where do i install it without interrupting the molting process?


Kleinerhejhog
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Re: New Crabber From California

Post by Kleinerhejhog » Sun Jul 12, 2015 12:34 am

Even though they are called under tank heaters, for crabs they should ONLY be attached to the bank of your tank. It is unsafe to put them on the bottom both from a fire hazard standpoint, and because you really just want to heat the air in your tank, not the substrate. So, you don't have to interupt your crabs at all to install it.

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soilentgringa
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Re: New Crabber From California

Post by soilentgringa » Sun Jul 12, 2015 12:35 am

You wouldn't interrupt anything, as they are used externally-never inside the tank. You would attach it to the back of the tank, above the substrate. Not the best photo but the stripey lines are my Ultratherm taped down to the back of my tank.

Image

Ultratherm is highly recommended. You can get them from Reptile Basics, Amazon, or The Bean Farm (all online).

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Last edited by soilentgringa on Sun Jul 12, 2015 12:38 am, edited 1 time in total.


Kleinerhejhog
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Re: New Crabber From California

Post by Kleinerhejhog » Sun Jul 12, 2015 12:37 am

Here's what mine looked like when I installed it. It's the largest Ultratherm on a 55:
Image


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Topic author
Crab_Coalition
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Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2015 11:45 am

Re: New Crabber From California

Post by Crab_Coalition » Mon Jul 13, 2015 9:15 pm

soilentgringa wrote:You wouldn't interrupt anything, as they are used externally-never inside the tank. You would attach it to the back of the tank, above the substrate. Not the best photo but the stripey lines are my Ultratherm taped down to the back of my tank.

Image

Ultratherm is highly recommended. You can get them from Reptile Basics, Amazon, or The Bean Farm (all online).

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Really hard to see but I think I get the idea. Thank you. (-:


Topic author
Crab_Coalition
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Re: New Crabber From California

Post by Crab_Coalition » Mon Jul 13, 2015 9:16 pm

Kleinerhejhog wrote:Here's what mine looked like when I installed it. It's the largest Ultratherm on a 55:
Image


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I may sound like an idiot here but is it the long black screen-like item? if not, describe it to me please.


Kleinerhejhog
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Re: New Crabber From California

Post by Kleinerhejhog » Mon Jul 13, 2015 10:18 pm

Yes, is it the long black screen thing. The tail in the middle is its power cord. The mat itself is very very thin, it looked to me like they ran all the parts of the heater through a regular laminating machine, lol. The only part that has any thickness at all is a little semi circle bit where the power cord is attached.

Glad anytime to explain anything that's unclear, the only idiotic question is the one left unasked. :)

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