Hermit crabs staying in hut

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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suebrad
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Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2018 8:38 pm

Hermit crabs staying in hut

Post by suebrad » Mon Sep 30, 2019 12:35 pm

DJ and Sharky stay in their hut all the time lately. Approx a month ago, their sand was getting low and I decided that it was time to replace it with new sand. I ordered their new sand from the same place that I have been using for the last couple of years and there has never been a problem. However, approx a month or so ago, I noticed a few microscopic size bugs walking on their mopani pieces. Their size was about the size of a grain of sand and their color was white to pale yellow. If they had not been moving on the mopani I would have thought it was just grains of sand. I notified the company and she told me to bathe the crabs a few days once daily and that that might solve the problem. However, it did not. The guys seemed to be fine but I was totally grossed out about it. As I saw these things move, I would kill them but it didn't stop. I have never had this problem before and I can only assume that they came from the new batch of sand that I purchased. The company puts together their own hermit crab sand by using sand, coconut fiber, etc. The company is out of FL. Since I discovered this, I have been closely watching my guys and their habitat for any more bugs. I have had to take everything out of their tank and scold with hot water to get rid of these things but I know that there must be some still in the sand. Because they still pop up occasionally. My hermies had been acting fine up until approx 1-2 weeks ago. They do not come out of their hut at all to eat or drink. The other evening, I took out their hut for awhile and they started eating and drinking. I have looked them over and as of yet have not seen anything on them. However, they moved back into their hut later that same evening and have not been out since. I am quite concerned about them. I was hoping to replace their sand with new sand but from another source. I welcome any comments/recommendations as to what they are and what I can do to get rid of them. I am certainly open to recommendations of a new source of sand for my guys. Thank you for your time.

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Hermiesguardian
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Re: Hermit crabs staying in hut

Post by Hermiesguardian » Mon Sep 30, 2019 12:49 pm

It's possible the bugs were springtails. Which are harmless and actually beneficial. They eat mold. Your crabs may be stressed from all the handling and bathing. As long as all the conditions are correct, sub depth, heat, humidity, then just try leaving them be. Put the hut back in so they can hide and feel more secure. Maybe they're coming out at night to eat.
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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purplepincher
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Re: Hermit crabs staying in hut

Post by purplepincher » Mon Sep 30, 2019 2:01 pm

hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm sounds fishy
I love my little Acorn! #besthermitcrabever
I also Love Jesus! My favorite food is doughnuts, my favorite drink is orange soda,
and my favorite color is gold! (I like shiny things)

I am also a Die hard Lego fan!

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KinoAndTeto
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Re: Hermit crabs staying in hut

Post by KinoAndTeto » Mon Sep 30, 2019 2:11 pm

I'm not an expert by far, but I think that mites that affect crabs would be visible on the crabs themselves, around soft spots like joints or eyes. If the crabs don't have any visible bugs on them I wouldn't bathe them.

There are lots of little tiny critters that live in crab tanks that are complete benign, and can actually be helpful.

I would leave then alone for a while if it were me. Nothing inherently wrong with them hiding in their hut. My crabs love their hut.

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JoeHermits
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Re: Hermit crabs staying in hut

Post by JoeHermits » Mon Sep 30, 2019 3:00 pm

I agree, the crabs are fine. They are most likely just relaxing. Give them time.

The bugs sound like food mites. They came back because they live in your home. Food mites are harmless.


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curlysister
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Re: Hermit crabs staying in hut

Post by curlysister » Mon Sep 30, 2019 8:03 pm

If you have proper substrate, you never need to replace it all. Just scoop out the bits of food they drag around, and the poop if you want. In the 9 years I have had my crabs, I have never thrown out all the sub - I have just added more when I upgraded tanks and as they have grown, to keep it deep enough.
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." -Will Rogers


Topic author
suebrad
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Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2018 8:38 pm

Re: Hermit crabs staying in hut

Post by suebrad » Tue Oct 01, 2019 6:00 pm

So I shouldn't worry that they haven't eaten or drank anything for at least a week? I know they go longer when they are molting but they prepare for that. Again they have never done this before and I have had them for years. I have no choice but to wait them out so only time will tell I guess. I will have to change out the food dish though or it will just mold...thank you.

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