Crab only active if I dig him/her up?

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.
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Crab only active if I dig him/her up?

Post by topbunkbear » Wed May 08, 2019 10:41 pm

:crabblush: :crabbigsmile: hey guys! Crab semi-newbie here!
My latest addition, Jade, has been with me for a couple weeks now and I've noticed something quite interesting.
I know it's not great to dig these guys up, but I did in order to tidy up the tank.
When I did this I noticed Jade come out of her shell and walk on my hand. (She DIDN'T entirely leave her shell, but she came out to play)

After that, I decided to dig her up again the next day to see if she'd do it again, and she did. Once I put her back in the enclosure, she spent a good 20 minutes exploring. It was as if I woke her up from a nap.

I did the same today and the same thing happened. Is this a sign of stress, or am I just waking her up to play?

I understand it's usually a no no to dig up a crab, but she doesn't seem to be bothered by it. Her exoskeleton is still pale, but she had already molted. Im a newbie, like I said, so I just wanted to double-check with the experts (you guys) before I messed up.

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Re: Crab only active if I dig him/her up?

Post by ha_haley » Thu May 09, 2019 12:12 am

Crabs becoming extremely active can be a sign of stress...

I would stop digging up your crab immediately. Digging is never recommended unless you have a bacterial bloom or a flood. It shouldn’t be done because you want to tidy up a tank or because you want to see your crab be active. If you continue, your crab could start dropping limbs due to the stress.

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Re: Crab only active if I dig him/her up?

Post by curlysister » Thu May 09, 2019 12:47 am

I agree, definitely NOT a good thing The crab is definitely bothered by it.
Please stop digging him/ her up.
Please read through all the care sheets regarding hermit crab care, to ensure that you are following proper care guidelines. There is great info in that section, it's pretty much the only place I have gotten information, and I have had my crabs for 8 1/2 years.
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Re: Crab only active if I dig him/her up?

Post by scuttlecrusty22 » Thu May 09, 2019 8:13 am

If you feed your crab carrots and foods that are red/yellow/orange, next molt he/she will gain a better color. ( Btw, don't trust pellets that say "color enhancing") I wouldn't recommend digging up your crab anymore, usually crabs just aren't very active during the day. I understand that it can be annoying ( especially since you just got them ) but once you have them for awhile you'll get used to their common nature. My crabs are usually like clock-work, as soon as the sun goes down and my room is dark, give them a few to dig back up and both of them are always out eating/drinking/bathing.

P.S. How many crab do you have? How big of a tank?
(Scuttle, Crusty) crabs, (Buster,Ruby) chihuahuas, (Bugs) goat, (Echo) betta fish (Skittles,Sky) parakeets

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Re: Crab only active if I dig him/her up?

Post by purplepincher » Thu May 09, 2019 9:14 am

mine does that too but is really shy. he gets along great with the others and loves to climb but is afraid of me. i dont dig him up, i just find tunnels and he has his shell poking out of the ground, just resting. i usually just pick him up sometimes to get excersise and climb, but he spends half an hour climbing, eating, and drinking and then digs down only to come up at night and PARTY. i love watching him! he just molted, so i am happy to see him.
a lot of the crabs that are bigger than him always run away when shadow aproaches. shadow is also my smallest crab that fully regenerated a leg last molt.
I love my little Acorn! #besthermitcrabever
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Re: Crab only active if I dig him/her up?

Post by Adastra1018 » Tue Jun 25, 2019 10:04 am

Crabs are nocturnal and they should be left alone to sleep underground during the day, though with time they may be comfortable enough to sleep on the surface like some of mine do. Digging them up like that, especially when the're sleeping, is extremely stressful for them and when they're that stressed, they're more likely to dig down and stay down much longer. Give them lots (and lots) of time and you may be rewarded with them feeling more secure with staying above ground for the most part where you can see them. You have been lucky so far, but I guarantee from experience and I know others can say the same, it is only a matter of time before you dig up a molter, and then you'll really have problems. Every crab is different, but they really just don't like to be handled much at all, no wild animal does. There's a line between tolerating human contact and actually enjoying it, and very few wild animals cross it. If they're moving that much during and after contact, they're stressed. Give them plenty of things to climb, hide their food in different places every night and change the decor every so often. All this will encourage them to explore and they'll get plenty of exercise on their own terms. As scuttlecrusty already said, foods that are high in beta carotene will turn them red/ purple over time, but be sure to still provide a balanced diet with calcium at all times and lots of animal protein. Good luck with your new crabs and welcome to HCA!

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