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Adopted (2) Crabs - Need help with Substrate

Posted: Tue Mar 24, 2020 5:43 pm
by Lovetrain
Recently acquired two small hermit crabs from a teacher who is sick at my work. They were being kept in a 5.5 Gallon tank with gravel and not enough Eco Earth to bury themselves. I got a 10 gallon and brand new substrate to try to help at least give them a little more space. They're very small for now. I had done some reading but somehow missed how deadly the HERMIT CRAB (calcium sand) is ... *sigh* and now im going crazy trying to find out what sand to replace it with. The only "play sand" i can find in my area (Went to 5 stores yesterday) currently is linked below. Its natural, a bit dark colored, not white. I cant find anything on the bag about if its silica based or not. Hoping someone can help me as I am only reading conflicting information online and its driving me mad. Thanks in advance!



*Edit* I am currently using about 70% Eco Earth to 30% of this Calcium sand* separated on each side, with a very small mixture in the middle*

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Pavestone-0 ... /100577543

PS: Hi, been lurking and reading on this site for the last several days :)

Re: Adopted (2) Crabs - Need help with Substrate

Posted: Tue Mar 24, 2020 6:45 pm
by curlysister
Welcome to crabbing! Play sand won't be white, it will be...well, sandy colored LOL. I am in Canada, but think that looks like play sand.
You are correct that the Calcium sand should not be used. A very small amount may not be harmful to the crabs. If I were you, I would take out as much of the calcium sand as you can, including what is mixed with the EE and throw it out. If a bit remains, I would not panic. Moisten the EE and new play sand with either dechlorinated fresh or salt water. It should be moist enough to hold shape but not so wet that water pools (if you squeeze it together in your hand, it should stick but no water should drip from it). It will need to be at least 6 inches or three times as deep as your largest crab - whichever is deeper. Most of us mix an approximate 5 parts of play sand to 1 part of EE - it holds shape and moisture well, and isn't quite as tricky to look after as EE.

Re: Adopted (2) Crabs - Need help with Substrate

Posted: Tue Mar 24, 2020 6:50 pm
by Lovetrain
Hello and thanks :)

I guess my main concern was whether this play sand seemed ok? I had read that aragonite based sands could be harmful and I should be looking for Silica based. If this sand seems ok to use out of the bag, then I will start on removing the Calci Sand. Just didnt want to add another type that was not compatible.

And as far as the moisture/consistency I have done reading on this site about multiple facets of the habitat. Doing my best with what I have options to :)

Re: Adopted (2) Crabs - Need help with Substrate

Posted: Tue Mar 24, 2020 7:14 pm
by curlysister
I'm not sure about that brand. I *think* it is very similar to something like Quickrete....but hoping someone from the US will weigh in.

Re: Adopted (2) Crabs - Need help with Substrate

Posted: Tue Mar 24, 2020 7:51 pm
by Crabby7Crabber
I bought a 50 lb bag of Quikrete and my one PP is down for a molt (I think, kind of worried because it looks like there's a collapsed tunnel but trying not to think about it. He's definitely down though, or just only coming out at night and digging in the morning). Quikrete seems like the best brand out of all the ones I look at, and I gather a lot of us use it (it was recommended to me)! Welcome to crabbing :) Glad you're able to help out the little guys :D If you have any questions please just ask!

Re: Adopted (2) Crabs - Need help with Substrate

Posted: Tue Mar 24, 2020 8:32 pm
by CrabbyLover77
Here's the Quikrete playsand I use:

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Quikrete-50 ... /100318476

I get it at Lowe's, but Home Depot sells it too if you want to check it out. It looks like the sand you want to use and my sand are similar, so I would think it would be ok for use with crabbies. I like the sand I get because it says it's "screened and washed".

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Re: Adopted (2) Crabs - Need help with Substrate

Posted: Wed Mar 25, 2020 4:47 pm
by Kydra
As noted, purchase the playsand for children that says "screened/washed" as there are many different playsands available.

I use the Quikrete brand, but they also have different sands available depending on use (unscreened and unwashed more for mixing with concrete). A 50lb bag is <$5 here in NJ at Home Depot.

Re: Adopted (2) Crabs - Need help with Substrate

Posted: Thu Mar 26, 2020 6:44 am
by Crabby7Crabber
Yep! Quikrete is the best go!

Re: Adopted (2) Crabs - Need help with Substrate

Posted: Fri Apr 17, 2020 5:11 pm
by avocadocrabbies
hey! How are they doing? As someone from the US, that brand is perfectly fine. I have used that mixed with Quikrete, and they are very similar. Anyway, are you still taking care of them or have they gone back to the teacher?