About One Month into being New Crab Owner

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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girlwfreckles
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Joined: Mon Sep 16, 2019 1:15 pm
Location: Noblesville

About One Month into being New Crab Owner

Post by girlwfreckles » Mon Sep 16, 2019 2:24 pm

HELLO ALL,

SORRY FOR SUCH A LONG FIRST POST! I'm just so excited to talk to people who will really appreciate all the effort i've gone thru because I think I put my friends to sleep talking about it haha

We started about a month and half ago, not knowing what we were getting into. We had 1 out of 2 dead within 24 hours. (I don't think this was much fault on our ends as the conditions at pet store and it was a very teeny crab) and ended up with 4 altogether (3 from a different pet store chain which had much healthier looking crabs).

Lots of trial and error... smaller tank to bigger, 2 humidity gauges, 2 new tank tops, different lights, etc. This is where we're at now.

-29 gallon tank (I was lucky to catch a $1 per gallon sale)
-5 1/2-3/4" of substrate - I know 6 is really preferred, but this was about 3x our biggest ones (ours are per this site not quite small but a little bigger than teeny) - and it had already like I said been 3-4 days of trial and error and running around with 2 small children, and them having not ideal humidity conditions, and this was night time. That we just decided to add more in a few months when they get a little bigger. This is a mixture of play sand and coconut fiber, to the sandcastle consistency.
-2 climbing logs - 1 vertical that they love, and can also hide behind, 1 horizontal that they can also hide underneath, and it can be used to get to moss pit.
-1 log hideaway
-1 climbing hammock - the kind that's twine-ish consistency that won't mold. (Or hasn't so far) I have it more at an angle rather than like a hammock.
- faux vines for climbing and just to make them feel more like tropical.
- 2 water bowls - saltwater and dechlorinated. (I have a larger one for the dechlorinated water that I got from HCP but I have molting crabs and it's heavy so i'm waiting to use the larger one until they're back up so I don't accidentally put it on top of any of them) - CAN YOU BELIEVE THE FIRST PET STORE TOLD ME TO USE TABLE SALT! SO GLAD I DID RESEARCH BEFORE DOING THAT!
-Moss pit - made one out of shower caddy that sticks on the wall of the tank. And I made a ladder out of organic twine but they prefer the climbing log to get to it, and they go in the hole on the side. Will have to adjust when their shells are too big for the hole.
-lots of new shells, some from HCP, some from amazon (we made sure nothing was put on them)
-most of their food is from HCP, I also do organic veggies and fruits washed in spring water.
- 1 sponge from HCP

So most of the trial and error was 1. Buying stuff first without research... smaller tank, grated tank lid, etc.

But now I'm getting perfect temp and humidity - mostly 80-85 for both .. it was 99 until I took some live moss clumps out. But I can raise it the more I mist it. I ended up with 2 tank heaters, one on the back towards the side, and one on the side closest to the back one. And I wrapped 1/2 of it where the heaters were with thermal insulation (got this tip from another HC site), I got a glass lid that I can lift up to change out food, water, etc. and it's open just a tiny bit because I got the digital gauge that just has the sensor inside and gauge is on outside. The first gauge was from the pet store and I accidentally broke it trying to test it to see if it was accurate. I spray it down about once a day mainly the moss, and wood when the humidity starts to go under 80.

SO, now after all that work, we had 2 crabs go down for molting on/around 8/28 (Buzz) & 8/31 (Jessie), 3rd one (Bullseye) switched to a new shell, 4th one (Woody) (Can you tell my 3 year old named them haha) switched to Bullseye's old shell (We watched for about 1-2 days to make sure bullseye wasn't trying to get his old shell back) and then after about 2-4 test holes, they both went down about the same time 9/7.. which is also funny because they always hung out together and at one point had almost matching shells. So we think we're doing okay! My question is... food and water since they may be down for quite awhile and I don't have any up right now... do I continue to switch it out, etc? .. I haven't been doing the water as frequently because they're also not getting it as dirty since they're not up, and I haven't been doing any fresh food, just a small amount of powder/ground food. Also, anything that I might have left out? Any tips? We're so impatiently waiting for them to come back.. but know that we're doing something right if they're all molting! Per this website's size guide. I think they're "teeny" when I measured one of their openings to get new shells they were about if not a little smaller 5/8. So we got those size shells, maybe 1 smaller, and bigger due to how HCP has their shell selections.
So, anyways.. we know we have anywhere from 1 month - 2 maybe? We had read on other sites 2 weeks so were disappointed when that came and went for first 2. But now looking more on here, and HCP.. I think 1-2 months is more accurate for their size. PHEW, THANKS FOR READING!

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Hermiesguardian
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Re: About One Month into being New Crab Owner

Post by Hermiesguardian » Mon Sep 16, 2019 4:13 pm

Welcome!! Sounds like you're doing great. Yes, you want to contine putting out food. It can be dry food. You never know when they'll come up.
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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Xenocrab
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Re: About One Month into being New Crab Owner

Post by Xenocrab » Mon Sep 16, 2019 4:22 pm

Read the care sheets! There's a lot to know! Sounds like you're on the right track! Welcome!

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5 store bought, 6 rescues and 7 adopted.

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curlysister
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Re: About One Month into being New Crab Owner

Post by curlysister » Mon Sep 16, 2019 4:23 pm

When I have 'pet sand', I do like you and change the water less often. I also put out only a small amount of dry foods, and only change it when it starts to go moldy. I check the tank daily, so I see when someone is back up and can add more food then.
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." -Will Rogers


StephG72
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Re: About One Month into being New Crab Owner

Post by StephG72 » Tue Sep 17, 2019 7:57 pm

I’m in a similar situation with our one rescue crab who has now been under for almost 3 weeks. We’d only had him for about a week and almost as soon as we got him into his new 29 gallon tank, he went down and hasn’t been seen since. I was actually coming here to look for/ask about how often to change out food and water since I have no idea when (and hopefully it’s a “when” and not “if”) he comes back topside.

Are there any favorite “dry food” recommendations that I can leave out? Any food options better to have waiting for him when he finally surface since I’m hoping he’s molting? Since he’s out only crab at the moment, I only have to worry about him.


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curlysister
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Re: About One Month into being New Crab Owner

Post by curlysister » Tue Sep 17, 2019 9:30 pm

I buy my dry foods from the Hermit Crab Patch and Canadian Chubby Crab. One of the admins of the HCA has a store too. You can also get dried foods at some health food or pet stores. I buy freeze dried shrimp at a pet store, they are marketed for turtles. You just need to make sure they are organic and contain no additives or preservatives.
You will want to be sure to provide calcium and protein when they come up.
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." -Will Rogers


Topic author
girlwfreckles
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Joined: Mon Sep 16, 2019 1:15 pm
Location: Noblesville

Re: About One Month into being New Crab Owner

Post by girlwfreckles » Wed Sep 18, 2019 7:57 pm

I found a recipe that you can make tons of.
Peanuts (unsalted)
Powdered flax seed or flax seeds ground up yourself but you can’t do these in blender so I just bought already ground.
Dry oats (the can of oatmeal in breakfast isle)
Shredded carrots and then dry on low temp in oven. (I did this because I could not find freeze dried carrots that didn’t have any additives)
Turtle calcium block (break in into pieces)
Dried shrimp they were talking about in pet store
So you grind everything up. I just used my blender. I just made enough that filled my blender but I have lots of ingredients left over.

So this is what dry food I leave out for them. I also have some other stuff from the Hermit crab patch but saving that until they’re definitely up.

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curlysister
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Re: About One Month into being New Crab Owner

Post by curlysister » Thu Sep 19, 2019 12:27 pm

Be sure to use organic if you are making your own!
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." -Will Rogers


Kydra
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Re: About One Month into being New Crab Owner

Post by Kydra » Fri Sep 20, 2019 2:13 am

Just a tip on patience lol. It's tough! My small crab from the boardwalk was in a temp tank about 5 gallons (switched the day after purchasing them as I was learning here what was actually needed) and it was just 2 crabs at the time with 3 maybe 4" of all EE.

I added Instant Ocean, he soaked in it for a while then dug to the very bottom of the temp tank. I also read 2 weeks for small and was getting kinda impatient after 4 weeks went by. Then stressing that the sub was all EE and bottled water. In the end he took a little more than a month and came up looking great. Just gotta wait it out! Best of luck! 👍👍


Topic author
girlwfreckles
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Sep 16, 2019 1:15 pm
Location: Noblesville

Re: About One Month into being New Crab Owner

Post by girlwfreckles » Fri Sep 20, 2019 8:16 pm

Today right before we were leaving to go out of town until tomorrow night I noticed a hole. It was Bullseye which is funny because he was last to go down. However, I think he was healthiest looking in the first place. Luckily I had just changed our water and food so happy I didn’t have to stress about that! I just added a little extra of the yummy fruit food from HCP. Excited to get home tomorrow night and see him! Was bummed we were leaving! So tomorrow will be I think 3 1/2 weeks, 3 weeks and 2 Weeks for the other 3. I think it’ll be easier to have more patience with one of them up now! But yes my husband just keeps reminding me that this means that we’ve set up their home right and that this is a great sign.


Topic author
girlwfreckles
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Sep 16, 2019 1:15 pm
Location: Noblesville

Re: About One Month into being New Crab Owner

Post by girlwfreckles » Sun Sep 22, 2019 12:27 pm

Turns out it wasn't Bullseye it was Buzz the first one that went down, who had been down a little less than 3 1/2 weeks. He had just already changed into a shell that looked like Bullseyes. I thought that shell seemed kind of big for him but he must have agreed because he switched to a smaller one overnight sometime. But yeah I found his shell so I realized it was him.

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