when to start searching

Where we discuss the behavior of our hermit crabs, as in fights, pecking orders, shell swaps, etc. Please post all naked-crab posts in the Emergency forum.
Post Reply
User avatar

Topic author
destahays
Posts: 11
Joined: Sat Nov 18, 2017 1:54 pm

when to start searching

Post by destahays » Sun Mar 18, 2018 10:37 am

I started with one 20 gallon tank that had 9 crabs. The tank was too small for that many so I made a second tank (44 gallon) and as the crabs came up (they were all buried for many weeks) I moved them into their larger tank. I have 3 very small crabs that are still buried. It has been 5 months. These 3 all came from a pet store (the tank there of course was not set up correctly) and 2 of the 3 are in painted shells :( I know for sure they haven't been out and about at night. At what point do I go searching? My assumption is they are no longer alive- either from post purchase syndrome or possibly crab aggression when I first got them and my tank was overstocked. If they aren't dead, how does it affect them to be discovered? If I did carefully start digging them up and found one alive, would I just let it be so it could keep doing its thing?
Oh, both tanks are set up correctly, I posted the filled out template a few months ago so know that isn't part of the issue :)
TIA for help!

User avatar

curlysister
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 2159
Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2010 3:54 pm
Location: Manitoba, Canada

Re: when to start searching

Post by curlysister » Sun Mar 18, 2018 11:02 am

It generally affects them badly if you disrupt their molt. If you dig them up and they are alive, you then must iso them until they are strong enough to be with other crabs - you can not just leave them to keep doing their thing.

Personally, I would leave them for a while yet.
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." -Will Rogers

User avatar

Topic author
destahays
Posts: 11
Joined: Sat Nov 18, 2017 1:54 pm

Re: when to start searching

Post by destahays » Sun Mar 18, 2018 11:30 am

I don't think they are molting. From what I've read and seen with my others, it seems much more likely that they went down to destress right? It doesn't make sense that a tiny-small size crab would take 5 months to molt, right? They didn't do any of the normal pre molting behavior (excess eating, etc), they just dug down and haven't moved since....if I thought they were molting I do know to not bother them. My others dug down for weeks to destress, came up for a few weeks of heavy eating then dug down to molt and were only down about a week each for that.
I am ok to wait longer if they really might be molting, that's why I'm on here asking the experts :) I don't have much crab experience other then spending a zillion hours reading posts here and 6 months with my crabbies :)

User avatar

Moonlightdreams
Posts: 402
Joined: Wed Jan 17, 2018 4:01 pm

Re: when to start searching

Post by Moonlightdreams » Sun Mar 18, 2018 11:43 am

destahays wrote:I don't think they are molting. From what I've read and seen with my others, it seems much more likely that they went down to destress right? It doesn't make sense that a tiny-small size crab would take 5 months to molt, right? They didn't do any of the normal pre molting behavior (excess eating, etc), they just dug down and haven't moved since....if I thought they were molting I do know to not bother them. My others dug down for weeks to destress, came up for a few weeks of heavy eating then dug down to molt and were only down about a week each for that.
I am ok to wait longer if they really might be molting, that's why I'm on here asking the experts :) I don't have much crab experience other then spending a zillion hours reading posts here and 6 months with my crabbies :)
Any crab can take up to 8 months, possibly even longer.
Loving owner of two hermit crabs and two dogs! Call me Moon, Icy, Kermit, or anything you'd like! sheldon_and_peanut (hermit crabs) and sisterchins (dogs) on Instagram.

User avatar

arsavoir
Posts: 37
Joined: Wed Sep 13, 2017 3:59 pm

Re: when to start searching

Post by arsavoir » Sun Mar 18, 2018 12:39 pm

Moonlightdreams wrote:
destahays wrote:I don't think they are molting. From what I've read and seen with my others, it seems much more likely that they went down to destress right? It doesn't make sense that a tiny-small size crab would take 5 months to molt, right? They didn't do any of the normal pre molting behavior (excess eating, etc), they just dug down and haven't moved since....if I thought they were molting I do know to not bother them. My others dug down for weeks to destress, came up for a few weeks of heavy eating then dug down to molt and were only down about a week each for that.
I am ok to wait longer if they really might be molting, that's why I'm on here asking the experts :) I don't have much crab experience other then spending a zillion hours reading posts here and 6 months with my crabbies :)
Any crab can take up to 8 months, possibly even longer.

I would also wait. When I moved mine into a new big tank they all went under for about a month and a half. They sneak up occasionally now but mine like it underground.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Jareth, Turbo, Winston, and Albert

User avatar

wodesorel
Tech Support
Tech Support
Posts: 9771
Joined: Thu Oct 01, 2009 8:49 am
Location: Leetonia, Ohio
Contact:

Re: when to start searching

Post by wodesorel » Sun Mar 18, 2018 3:00 pm

If you are positive it has been 5 months, I would be inclined to dig and get it over with. They can stay down for 8 months but that is a rarity. I have never had a crab stay down for more than 4 and still be alive, so a little more than that is my personal cut off so long as I have no doubt they weren't sneaking up for food and water in between. Little crabs only need two or three nights to recharge and remolt so you can go a year or more without seeing them! Have isos handy in case they are alive, you have to keep them separate for quite a while in case they are at some point of the molting cycle. And never rebury! Use a dish or cocohut to create a false cave.
Want to see all my crazy pets? @waywardwaifs on Instagram

User avatar

leah610
Posts: 118
Joined: Wed Aug 09, 2017 10:28 am
Location: Florida

Re: when to start searching

Post by leah610 » Mon Mar 19, 2018 5:36 pm

I'm honestly in the same position. I have one crab that has now been under for 6 months, and I'm positive that there hasn't been any sneaking up to the surface and that she's actually molting. My heart says "don't dig!" but my brain says "there's no chance :( "

User avatar

Topic author
destahays
Posts: 11
Joined: Sat Nov 18, 2017 1:54 pm

Re: when to start searching

Post by destahays » Tue Mar 20, 2018 10:46 am

Thank you wodesorel- I wasa hoping you would chime in and confirm what I should do! I am mostly a lurker on this site, but I have certainly noticed you are one of the people to listen to :)
On a sadder note, I did just dig them up and all 3 were dead. Poor little guys. And I had thought 2 were in painted shells but all 3 were. I guess at least the rest of them (in my larger tank) are doing fine and in good conditions now!

User avatar

GotButterflies
Administrator
Administrator
Posts: 6895
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2016 6:56 pm
Location: Florida
Contact:

Re: when to start searching

Post by GotButterflies » Tue Mar 20, 2018 12:56 pm

I'm sorry for your loss!
Truly blessed to have incredible creatures, wonderful friends and my amazing family in my life!! I'm very thankful & grateful for all of them! www.thehealthyhermit.com

User avatar

wodesorel
Tech Support
Tech Support
Posts: 9771
Joined: Thu Oct 01, 2009 8:49 am
Location: Leetonia, Ohio
Contact:

Re: when to start searching

Post by wodesorel » Tue Mar 20, 2018 4:23 pm

I am so sorry you found them all dead. That is one of the worst feelings, waiting so long and then it ends up being bad news. :(
Want to see all my crazy pets? @waywardwaifs on Instagram

Post Reply