New Crab Owner, is my setup okay? Do I need anything else?

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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shesse
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Joined: Sun Aug 18, 2019 6:21 pm
Location: New Jersey

New Crab Owner, is my setup okay? Do I need anything else?

Post by shesse » Sun Aug 18, 2019 6:37 pm

Hi All! I am a first time hermit crab owner (with the exception of the poor souls I bought on the beach in a wire cage as a child :( I knew so little then) and I want to provide a great life for my new crabs! I have a 24 in by 12 in tank (30 gallons?) With a 5 or so inch mix of sand and coconut fiber as substrate. I have an under gravel heater on one side of the tank. 2 very small bowls of fresh and salt water (salt is freshwater fish salt) and 2 food options available. Shell with sponge over heater, fake plant, drift wood, sea glass in one area. Also salt water soaked reptile moss from the pet store on one side near the water bowls. Humitity is hanging between 70-80 and temp is at around 72. Any suggestions? Is this sufficient? I brought home 6 small crabs today. They seem to be loving it... all have been active. Really hoping they stay this active :clap:

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curlysister
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Re: New Crab Owner, is my setup okay? Do I need anything else?

Post by curlysister » Sun Aug 18, 2019 7:03 pm

Welcome to crabbing!

Your sub needs to be at least 6 inches deep, or 3 times as deep as your largest crab, whichever is deeper. It needs to be moistened with dechlorinated water so that it is sand castle consistency - moist enough to hold shape but not so wet that water pools.

Is your heater on the bottom or the side or back of the tank? What do you mean 'under gravel' heater?

Are you using a dechlorinator? Prime is the recommended one. The salt then needs to be mixed in to dechlorinated water to make the salt water. It needs to be marine salt. Instant Ocean is the most common one used. The pools/ dishes need to be deep enough that the crabs can fully submerge but also have a way that they can climb out.

Crabs need a varied diet, which includes calcium and protein daily. Check the 'food' care sheet for more info, the food pyramid, and safe/ unsafe food lists. Commercial foods are not considered safe.

What do you mean the sponge is over the heater? How much sea glass is in the tank?

Humidity needs to be closer to 80 than 70. There is no such thing as too humid. Crabs have modified gills and need the humidity to breathe. What do you have as a lid on your tank?

Your temperature could be a bit higher, 75-80 is better.

You will need extra shells, HCA recommends at least 3-5 extra shells per crab. There are correct and incorrect shells to buy, see the shells care sheet for info.

Your 29 gallon tank will not be adequate for too long with that many crabs. You will need to upgrade at some point. See the care sheet on size of tank for what size of crabs.
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." -Will Rogers


Topic author
shesse
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Aug 18, 2019 6:21 pm
Location: New Jersey

Re: New Crab Owner, is my setup okay? Do I need anything else?

Post by shesse » Mon Aug 19, 2019 7:02 pm

My heater is on the bottom of the tank. Ordered a highly reviewed crab food the other day. For the next couple days they are eating cichlid food and a mealworms mix. Any recommendations on calcium? Do they need a supplement? How can I raise the temperature around 5 degrees?

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curlysister
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Re: New Crab Owner, is my setup okay? Do I need anything else?

Post by curlysister » Mon Aug 19, 2019 7:23 pm

Your heater must be on the side or back of the tank, never on the bottom.

Cuttle bone is a commonly used source of calcium. Also eggshells, and some of us buy mixes or crushed coral/ exo/ shells.

What do you have as for the lid on the tank?
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." -Will Rogers


Topic author
shesse
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Aug 18, 2019 6:21 pm
Location: New Jersey

Re: New Crab Owner, is my setup okay? Do I need anything else?

Post by shesse » Mon Aug 19, 2019 8:46 pm

Oh I will have to move the heater. I have a wire top on the cage covered about 3/4 with plastic wrap.

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curlysister
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Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2010 3:54 pm
Location: Manitoba, Canada

Re: New Crab Owner, is my setup okay? Do I need anything else?

Post by curlysister » Mon Aug 19, 2019 10:22 pm

You can cover the whole top with plastic wrap. It will hold in the humidity better. The crabs will get enough air exchange when you change out the food every couple of days. You can insulate part of the tank - depending on the brand of heater, some you can insulate over top and some you have to insulate around. How big is the heater? You will need to check the temp of the tank once the heater is in the proper place, before you know if you need to insulate.
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." -Will Rogers

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