Inactive crabs

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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Topic author
arosenbaum
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Joined: Tue Aug 13, 2019 12:16 pm
Location: Kansas

Inactive crabs

Post by arosenbaum » Fri Oct 18, 2019 11:01 am

I've had Holmes and Watson since August 2nd. They've been doing really well it seems like. Watson started molting the day after I got him, and stayed down for about a month. Holmes went down about a month ago and came back up last week. Watson has always been my active one, keeping me up all night with his clattering. He loved to climb EVERYTHING! Holmes has always just enjoyed chilling in his coconut hide, although I thought he might become more active after his molt (which he hasn't, so far). What's concerning me is that (Watson especially) they have been hardly moving, eating, drinking, soaking, or climbing the last few weeks. I've been trying to entice them to eat by giving them a little extra coconut the last few days, but they haven't touched it. I'm not sure what could be up...I've wondered about temperature. It used to always be around 75*, but lately I can't seem to get it above 70*. Humidity is fine (80* on average). I tried adding some foil and cardboard over the UTH to keep it more insulated, but that didn't really do anything. I went ahead and filled out this emergency template for y'all 'cause I know you'll ask anyway. Let me know any other questions you have! Just want to make sure my crabs are ok!

1. What kind of substrate is used in your tank and how deep is it?

50/50 mix of play sand and coconut fiber. Gradient of about 6" on the deepest end and 2" on the shallow end.

2. Do you have gauges in the tank to measure temperature and humidity? If so, where are they located and what temperature and humidity do they usually read?

Yes, temperature has been reading about 70* F and humidity stays at about 80* F.

3. Is a heat source used in the tank? If so, what?

UTH insulated with several layers of cardboard and aluminum foil.

4. What types of water are available (fresh or salt) and how is the water treated (what brands of dechlorinator or salt mix and what ratio is used to mix it)?

Both fresh and salt. ZooMed reptisafe water dechlorinator (2 drops/cup I believe), and ZooMed part 2 salt water conditioner (1 tsp/cup).

5. What kinds of food do you feed and how often is it replaced?

Try to replace every day or so. I give them a decent variety of fruits and vegetables (I always verify that it's safe by checking the safe foods list). I also rotate hard boiled eggs, chicken, and freeze dried shrimp (which they probably get the most of) for protein. I have a couple of store bought foods (JurassiDiet and Zilla Reptile Munchies Omnivore Mix), but I only give those occasionally. I also have some Fluker's calcium powder supplement, but they don't seem to care for it, so I don't use it very often.

6. How long have you had the crab and what species is it, if known?

A little over 2 months. Unknown species...I've heard purple pinchers are the most common though.

7. Has your crab molted, and how long ago did it happen?

Both have molted with no issues, see above.

8. What type of housing are the crabs kept in, what size is it and what kind of lid is on the housing?

10 gallon aquarium tank, glass lid.

9. How many crabs are in the tank and about how large are they?

2 crabs, about golf ball size (?) Maybe a little smaller. Holmes is a little bigger than Watson.

10. How many extra shells are usually kept in the tank, if any?

About 5. I just got some new ones and I need to boil them and add them in.

11. Have there been any fumes or chemicals near the crabitat recently?

No.

12. How often do you clean the tank and how?

Never have cleaned it (beyond changing the water and food...and I spray various structures with salt water about once a week to keep mold at bay).

13. Are sponges used in the water dish? If so, how are they cleaned?

No.

14. Has anything new been added to your crabitat recently?

I did add another hanging faux plant in there a couple weeks ago since they seemed to like to climb so much. I also added a mesh hammock type thing (made for lizards, I believe), again because Watson was climbing so much.

15. Is there any other information you would like to share that might be helpful (anything that is regularly part of your crab care, playtime, bathing, etc.)?

No (see above).

16. Please describe the emergency situation in detail.

(see above).
RIP Holmes and Watson: in hermie heaven since 10/2019.

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Hermiesguardian
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Re: Inactive crabs

Post by Hermiesguardian » Fri Oct 18, 2019 12:09 pm

arosenbaum wrote:
Fri Oct 18, 2019 11:01 am
I've had Holmes and Watson since August 2nd. They've been doing really well it seems like. Watson started molting the day after I got him, and stayed down for about a month. Holmes went down about a month ago and came back up last week. Watson has always been my active one, keeping me up all night with his clattering. He loved to climb EVERYTHING! Holmes has always just enjoyed chilling in his coconut hide, although I thought he might become more active after his molt (which he hasn't, so far). What's concerning me is that (Watson especially) they have been hardly moving, eating, drinking, soaking, or climbing the last few weeks. I've been trying to entice them to eat by giving them a little extra coconut the last few days, but they haven't touched it. I'm not sure what could be up...I've wondered about temperature. It used to always be around 75*, but lately I can't seem to get it above 70*. Humidity is fine (80* on average). I tried adding some foil and cardboard over the UTH to keep it more insulated, but that didn't really do anything. I went ahead and filled out this emergency template for y'all 'cause I know you'll ask anyway. Let me know any other questions you have! Just want to make sure my crabs are ok!

1. What kind of substrate is used in your tank and how deep is it?

50/50 mix of play sand and coconut fiber. Gradient of about 6" on the deepest end and 2" on the shallow end.

HG - the entire tank needs to be a minimum of 6 inches. Then if you want to add a gradient section, just build up one side. Molting space is of utmost importance.

2. Do you have gauges in the tank to measure temperature and humidity? If so, where are they located and what temperature and humidity do they usually read?

Yes, temperature has been reading about 70* F and humidity stays at about 80* F.

HG- do you have an analog or digital thermometer? Analogs are very inacurate. Digital are best. 70 degrees is too low. That's probably why they are sluggish. They become more active at 80 degrees.

3. Is a heat source used in the tank? If so, what?

UTH insulated with several layers of cardboard and aluminum foil.

HG - what type of UTH do you have? If it's the stick on kind it cannot be insulated. It's a fire hazard. How big is it? Your heater should cover the entire back of the tank from the top of the substrate to top of tank. A good brand is Ultratherm.

4. What types of water are available (fresh or salt) and how is the water treated (what brands of dechlorinator or salt mix and what ratio is used to mix it)?

Both fresh and salt. ZooMed reptisafe water dechlorinator (2 drops/cup I believe), and ZooMed part 2 salt water conditioner (1 tsp/cup).

HG - many things marketed for hc aren't good for them. The most recommended dechlorinater is Prime. And most recommended salt to add to dechlorinator is Instant Ocean.

5. What kinds of food do you feed and how often is it replaced?

Try to replace every day or so. I give them a decent variety of fruits and vegetables (I always verify that it's safe by checking the safe foods list). I also rotate hard boiled eggs, chicken, and freeze dried shrimp (which they probably get the most of) for protein. I have a couple of store bought foods (JurassiDiet and Zilla Reptile Munchies Omnivore Mix), but I only give those occasionally. I also have some Fluker's calcium powder supplement, but they don't seem to care for it, so I don't use it very often.

HG - they do need a supply of calcium daily. You can use egg shells, crushed oyster shells, cuttlebone found in bird section of store.

6. How long have you had the crab and what species is it, if known?

A little over 2 months. Unknown species...I've heard purple pinchers are the most common though.

7. Has your crab molted, and how long ago did it happen?

Both have molted with no issues, see above.

8. What type of housing are the crabs kept in, what size is it and what kind of lid is on the housing?

10 gallon aquarium tank, glass lid.

9. How many crabs are in the tank and about how large are they?

2 crabs, about golf ball size (?) Maybe a little smaller. Holmes is a little bigger than Watson.

10. How many extra shells are usually kept in the tank, if any?

About 5. I just got some new ones and I need to boil them and add them in.

11. Have there been any fumes or chemicals near the crabitat recently?

No.

12. How often do you clean the tank and how?

Never have cleaned it (beyond changing the water and food...and I spray various structures with salt water about once a week to keep mold at bay).

HG - mold isn't harmful to hc. Only you if you are allergic. You may be adding too much salt to their enviornment. The water evaporates but leaves the salt. Too much salt can burn them.

13. Are sponges used in the water dish? If so, how are they cleaned?

No.

14. Has anything new been added to your crabitat recently?

I did add another hanging faux plant in there a couple weeks ago since they seemed to like to climb so much. I also added a mesh hammock type thing (made for lizards, I believe), again because Watson was climbing so much.

15. Is there any other information you would like to share that might be helpful (anything that is regularly part of your crab care, playtime, bathing, etc.)?

No (see above).

16. Please describe the emergency situation in detail.

(see above).
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


Topic author
arosenbaum
Posts: 22
Joined: Tue Aug 13, 2019 12:16 pm
Location: Kansas

Re: Inactive crabs

Post by arosenbaum » Fri Oct 18, 2019 12:25 pm

Substrate-good to know, I will plan to fix that.

Thermometer-Mine is analog, so I guess I should replace that. Do you have any recommendations? I've looked on Amazon, but the reviews are inconsistent.

Heat source-yikes, good to know. It's "Fluker's Premium Heat Mat." It didn't come with anything to stick on to the glass, so I had to tape it (per the instructions). It does cover the whole back of the tank. I will check out Ultratherm. Edit: upon looking around for Ultratherm UTH, I keep seeing ZooMed "Reptitherm" pop up...are they the same thing?

Water-I have heard good things about Prime. Will go order some. Is API Aquarium salt ok for them? I have some I was wanting to try, but thought I should double check.

Calcium-good to know.

Mold-I had read that the mold wasn't harmful to them, so I guess I should let it go. It's just kind of gross.

Thanks for the tips!
RIP Holmes and Watson: in hermie heaven since 10/2019.

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gunstreet.girl
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Location: Hull, Quebec, Canada

Re: Inactive crabs

Post by gunstreet.girl » Fri Oct 18, 2019 4:37 pm

It’s my understanding that you can safely insulate the Fluker’s Premium Heat Mat.

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Hermiesguardian
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Re: Inactive crabs

Post by Hermiesguardian » Fri Oct 18, 2019 6:43 pm

Yes, the Flukers is a good brand. Zoomed reptitherm is pretty useless.
Many people use the Accurite digital therm/hygro. You can find them in Walmart or Lowes. Usually under $12.
I think there's a difference between aquarium salt and marine salt. You want marine salt.
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


Topic author
arosenbaum
Posts: 22
Joined: Tue Aug 13, 2019 12:16 pm
Location: Kansas

Re: Inactive crabs

Post by arosenbaum » Wed Oct 23, 2019 11:32 am

Alrighty...just wanted to post a quick update. I added the extra substrate, so now it measures 6" all over. I got an digital thermometer/hygrometer (the Accurite one as recommended). I still need to calibrate it, but it seems pretty accurate (I had it sitting outside of the crabitat for a few hours and read the correct temperature of what we keep our house at). At this moment (now in the crabitat, where it has been since last night), it reads 93% humidity and 72*F. I cannot get the temperature up! I have added even more insulation, but it's not doing anything. At this point, I think I must need to get another UTH and/or get some actual insulation (I've heard of the Reflectix brand). I'm super worried about them because while I was fixing the substrate last night, I kind of nudged both of them slightly to see if they would move at all...Watson moved slightly, but Holmes did not move at all. I haven't smelled "that smell" yet, but I'm worried. I haven't picked either of them up to see if they are completely limp or anything though. Anyway, I also got the Prime dechlorinator and am still working on getting my hands on the Instant Ocean. I also got some cuttlebone and mixed some with some honey for them, but they haven't moved. I feel so bad that they've just been freezing their butts off the last few weeks, and I will feel even worse if they die because of it. At least I will have learned my lesson and hopefully everything I've learned about these little guys will help if I decide to get some more.
RIP Holmes and Watson: in hermie heaven since 10/2019.

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Hermiesguardian
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Re: Inactive crabs

Post by Hermiesguardian » Wed Oct 23, 2019 12:40 pm

arosenbaum wrote:
Wed Oct 23, 2019 11:32 am
Alrighty...just wanted to post a quick update. I added the extra substrate, so now it measures 6" all over. I got an digital thermometer/hygrometer (the Accurite one as recommended). I still need to calibrate it, but it seems pretty accurate (I had it sitting outside of the crabitat for a few hours and read the correct temperature of what we keep our house at). At this moment (now in the crabitat, where it has been since last night), it reads 93% humidity and 72*F. I cannot get the temperature up! I have added even more insulation, but it's not doing anything. At this point, I think I must need to get another UTH and/or get some actual insulation (I've heard of the Reflectix brand). I'm super worried about them because while I was fixing the substrate last night, I kind of nudged both of them slightly to see if they would move at all...Watson moved slightly, but Holmes did not move at all. I haven't smelled "that smell" yet, but I'm worried. I haven't picked either of them up to see if they are completely limp or anything though. Anyway, I also got the Prime dechlorinator and am still working on getting my hands on the Instant Ocean. I also got some cuttlebone and mixed some with some honey for them, but they haven't moved. I feel so bad that they've just been freezing their butts off the last few weeks, and I will feel even worse if they die because of it. At least I will have learned my lesson and hopefully everything I've learned about these little guys will help if I decide to get some more.
Wow! You're doing great! You can put a blanket over the tank. See if that helps.
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


Topic author
arosenbaum
Posts: 22
Joined: Tue Aug 13, 2019 12:16 pm
Location: Kansas

Re: Inactive crabs

Post by arosenbaum » Wed Oct 23, 2019 12:44 pm

Thank you! Just ordered another UTH too (thank goodness for prime same-shipping--it will be here later today!) The blanket is a good idea too!
RIP Holmes and Watson: in hermie heaven since 10/2019.


Topic author
arosenbaum
Posts: 22
Joined: Tue Aug 13, 2019 12:16 pm
Location: Kansas

Re: Inactive crabs

Post by arosenbaum » Wed Oct 23, 2019 11:05 pm

Update: Good news and bad news.

Good news first. Watson has moved (just a few inches, but I am so happy). I think this is because the temperature finally got up to 75* early this evening. He hasn't really done much, but he seems to be doing fine!

Bad news...I think that Sherlock has passed. I've now started to smell that rotting fishy smell, so I'm pretty sure he's gone. :,( Is there any way to tell 100% that he's dead???? I don't want to throw him out without knowing for absolute certain. I thought maybe it could be the dried shrimp I put in there last night, but I picked up the food dish and it didn't smell too bad. If I do indeed find out that he's dead, I will plan on getting Watson a buddy, as I don't want him to be alone (that is, once I get that environment stabilized).

*Side note, I am not excited to touch a dead crab, but I'll get over it.*

About the temperature: I got the second heater just a bit ago, and just now installed it. Hopefully it will solve the temperature problem, but I am going to stay up for a little while tonight, as I also don't want it to get too hot.

Thank you all so much for your help and support. Even if poor Sherlock is dead, at least I've learned so much the last couple weeks, and hopefully I will be able to give some other crab out there an amazing home because of it.
RIP Holmes and Watson: in hermie heaven since 10/2019.


Topic author
arosenbaum
Posts: 22
Joined: Tue Aug 13, 2019 12:16 pm
Location: Kansas

Re: Inactive crabs

Post by arosenbaum » Sat Oct 26, 2019 12:19 pm

Unfortunately, both Sherlock and Watson have passed away. Sherlock on Tuesday/Wednesday I believe, and Watson Thursday/Friday. I thought that I might have been early enough to save Watson, but I was too late. The extra heater did fix the temp problem though. But now I have no crabs to enjoy a now virtually perfect home. I also finally got the instant ocean.

I'm not sure what to do now. I feel too upset at myself to get new crabs (at least not right away). For now, I will just mourn the loss of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson.

RIP Holmes and Watson.
RIP Holmes and Watson: in hermie heaven since 10/2019.

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CrabbyLover77
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Re: Inactive crabs

Post by CrabbyLover77 » Sat Oct 26, 2019 2:24 pm

arosenbaum wrote:Unfortunately, both Sherlock and Watson have passed away. Sherlock on Tuesday/Wednesday I believe, and Watson Thursday/Friday. I thought that I might have been early enough to save Watson, but I was too late. The extra heater did fix the temp problem though. But now I have no crabs to enjoy a now virtually perfect home. I also finally got the instant ocean.

I'm not sure what to do now. I feel too upset at myself to get new crabs (at least not right away). For now, I will just mourn the loss of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson.

RIP Holmes and Watson.
Sorry for your loss! Image
When you feel the time is right, you can always adopt some crabbies from the HCA classified listings. ImageImage

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My Pets: 1 Pomeranian, 1 Russian tortoise, fishes/snails(40 gal freshwater aquarium), and 4 hermit crabs.
"Animals are my friends, and I don’t eat my friends".
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Hermiesguardian
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Re: Inactive crabs

Post by Hermiesguardian » Sat Oct 26, 2019 2:54 pm

I'm so sorry for your loss. Keep up the conditions in the tank so it's ready when you are.
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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DevilNDisguise
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Re: Inactive crabs

Post by DevilNDisguise » Sat Oct 26, 2019 7:42 pm

arosenbaum wrote:
Sat Oct 26, 2019 12:19 pm
Unfortunately, both Sherlock and Watson have passed away. Sherlock on Tuesday/Wednesday I believe, and Watson Thursday/Friday. I thought that I might have been early enough to save Watson, but I was too late. The extra heater did fix the temp problem though. But now I have no crabs to enjoy a now virtually perfect home. I also finally got the instant ocean.

I'm not sure what to do now. I feel too upset at myself to get new crabs (at least not right away). For now, I will just mourn the loss of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson.

RIP Holmes and Watson.
I'm so sorry for your loss. :( Take as much time as you need to mourn the loss of your crabbies. I totally understand the self-doubt that can rise from your animals dying. But don't give up. :) The hobby isn't for everyone, but if you decide you are ready to try again in the future, there are plenty of hermits in this world who need saving.

Don't beat yourself up. These creatures go through quite a lot of trauma before they end up in the hands of people who care. It isn't your fault.
1 Bearded Dragon, 1 Guinea Pig, 1 Rabbit, 1 Lovebird, 1 Dog, 2 Cats, 2 Frogs, 2 Cockatiels, 2 Budgies & Their 3 Babies, 3 Rats, 4 Hamsters, and Many Hermit Crabs!


Topic author
arosenbaum
Posts: 22
Joined: Tue Aug 13, 2019 12:16 pm
Location: Kansas

Re: Inactive crabs

Post by arosenbaum » Sat Oct 26, 2019 7:59 pm

Thank you everyone for your kind words. I have decided that I do want to try again sometime, but I'm not quite ready.

One last question here, though. I have cleaned up the crabitat (washed dishes, boiled shells, etc.) and I also removed the sand that the crabs were on when they passed. I did go ahead and turn off the heaters just because I'm not sure when I'll be getting new crabs (I will, of course, test it for several days before I get them) just to conserve energy. I'm curious if there are any other things that I should do to keep the crabitat ready for it's new residents when the time comes. Do I need to air out the tank to remove the "dead crab" smell...or will it just go away eventually?

Also, I am planning to adopt if possible when I get new crabs. Although, I sometimes feel that buying them from the store is rescuing them as well (the Petco I went into the other day for my Instant Ocean had the crabs at 45% humidity...I did get in touch with the store to see if anything can be done, and I was also reading in the crab abuse forum today, so I might take even more steps). I feel so bad for those little guys in pet stores. But, whether I adopt or buy/rescue, I will take the absolute best care of them that I can.

Thanks again, everyone!
RIP Holmes and Watson: in hermie heaven since 10/2019.

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DevilNDisguise
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Re: Inactive crabs

Post by DevilNDisguise » Sat Oct 26, 2019 9:47 pm

arosenbaum wrote:
Sat Oct 26, 2019 7:59 pm
Thank you everyone for your kind words. I have decided that I do want to try again sometime, but I'm not quite ready.

One last question here, though. I have cleaned up the crabitat (washed dishes, boiled shells, etc.) and I also removed the sand that the crabs were on when they passed. I did go ahead and turn off the heaters just because I'm not sure when I'll be getting new crabs (I will, of course, test it for several days before I get them) just to conserve energy. I'm curious if there are any other things that I should do to keep the crabitat ready for it's new residents when the time comes. Do I need to air out the tank to remove the "dead crab" smell...or will it just go away eventually?

Also, I am planning to adopt if possible when I get new crabs. Although, I sometimes feel that buying them from the store is rescuing them as well (the Petco I went into the other day for my Instant Ocean had the crabs at 45% humidity...I did get in touch with the store to see if anything can be done, and I was also reading in the crab abuse forum today, so I might take even more steps). I feel so bad for those little guys in pet stores. But, whether I adopt or buy/rescue, I will take the absolute best care of them that I can.

Thanks again, everyone!
It wouldn't hurt to let it air out. I don't know how easy it is to get rid of otherwise.

And I agree with the buying/adopting thing. Yes, it "supports the cause", but you're also helping to take these crabs out of horrible conditions.
I work at a pet store, so I understand how difficult it is to get their environment up to par in places like this.

I've "rescued"/bought many that have come into our store, mainly ones who have lost limbs, are pale, or generally seem weak, as well as actually adopted any who get dropped off.

But regardless of the background and how they were obtained, I've always considered it a form of rescuing, knowing their wellbeing is much more improved after being removed from wherever they had been before.
1 Bearded Dragon, 1 Guinea Pig, 1 Rabbit, 1 Lovebird, 1 Dog, 2 Cats, 2 Frogs, 2 Cockatiels, 2 Budgies & Their 3 Babies, 3 Rats, 4 Hamsters, and Many Hermit Crabs!

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