Recommendations from other groups?

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Kydra
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Recommendations from other groups?

Post by Kydra » Mon Nov 11, 2019 2:45 am

Just a quick introduction: I am a Registered Nurse and happened to bring home two hermit crabs from vacation. I, of course, received terrible guidelines for their care and have corrected everything to HCA standards with both plus one adopted crab in a 20 gallon long. This was an upgrade from their original mesh cage, then 10 gallon, now 20 gallon long with plans to upgrade again with adoption in mind.

So far, this has been an interesting and rewarding trial and error learning experience. I am grateful to have found this forum and care guides here so the three that I have are currently happy and healthy. Thanks to the HCA and all members here!

I did want to start a conversation RE other respected hermit crab groups and any differentiations from the care recommended here.

So my question(s) is/are for those that have been or are currently members of multiple hermit crab groups. All are, hopefully, striving to give the best advice possible for the sake of the hermit crabs health and well-being.

Without naming other groups or responding negatively, I am truly curious about care that differs from this forum (HCA).

I initially oversaturated my substrate and read one group recommending to leave substrate dry. I see how this may have been helpful for me initially, but also wonder about struggling with humidity and digging/molting in dry substrate. My understanding is that as one gets humidity adequate, the substrate would then be moist enough for proper molting. I do see how this could be a beneficial recommendation for a beginner. One question would be if anybody here goes with dry substrate during setup and how that has worked out?

I have looked around and, while I am not very active on Facebook, I became more interested in any deviations in care for hermit crabs that could possibly be gathered into a post like this. Just something that we can openly discuss without criticizing or naming any of these groups.

Maybe it's my curiosity that is getting the best of me, but I would be grateful for those that are or have been in other groups to share experiences that they have had. I am hoping that other members do post information that may conflict with the guidelines here, but strictly for informational purposes and if/how that advice may or may not have altered your own care for your hermit crab(s).

Sorry for the long post, but I thought this could be an interesting post if we could stay on topic and avoid any negativity towards other groups. Thanks!

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Re: Recommendations from other groups?

Post by CrazyCrab12 » Mon Nov 11, 2019 7:45 am

I'm currently only a member of one other hermit crab group. Its on facebook and its okay 90% of the time, but you get banned for correcting the mods or recommending other groups so when information is wrong, I can't do anything which sucks. For example, they told someone they couldn't feed a trail mix because it contained citric acid. Citric acid is actually naturally found in most of the fruits that are safe to feed for hermit crabs. Its a completely safe ingredient for crabs.

Crab Street Journal was a great group, but I haven't been there in about a year. I mostly lurk here without commenting.
Last edited by CrazyCrab12 on Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Recommendations from other groups?

Post by Kydra » Mon Nov 11, 2019 2:56 pm

Thanks for the info. I have read that many Facebook groups are super strict and have just avoided them hence my reasoning for the post here. I am glad that this forum is open to having discussions on these things so just stumbled into the right place!

I would have difficulty reading incorrect advice without at least being able to have an opinion on it. I do know, as you wrote, citric acid is relatively common in fruits and even vegetables. I am guilty of comparing the safe food list here to anything new I may buy as a treat though.

So far, I've only found substrate as one of the primary needs for hermit crabs with differing advice depending on which site/forum/blog/fb the advice is coming from. Just wandering what else, if anything, truly deviates from the care most of us follow (HCA guidelines).

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Re: Recommendations from other groups?

Post by wodesorel » Mon Nov 11, 2019 3:11 pm

To understand where our advice comes from, you kind of have to look at the history of the HCA and the previous groups it inherited it's information from. Usenet was the home of the original hermit crab group, then yahoo, then the old forum, and then the current forum that has gone through several upgrades. At one point in the use net and yahoo days, CSJ and HCA and LHC and Paradise were all made up of ladies who interacted regularly, but because of reasons unbeknownst to me (well before my time, in the late 90's) they all split into their own groups. That's when the care recommendations started changing. HCO's founding members we're all HCA members in the year preceding their breakway as well, which is why their care at the core is similar to ours.


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Re: Recommendations from other groups?

Post by Kydra » Mon Nov 11, 2019 5:28 pm

Interesting. Definitely am unaware of the history going back more than knowing that this forum was updated/upgraded from the previous one.

Thank you for the information! I'd guess that you are 100% correct that as groups split/formed their own websites/forums/etc that the primary care advice is likely similar with some changes as time went on.

Appreciate the post as it gives me another perspective on why/how we have multiple sources of information with deviations in advice for care. Thanks again!


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Re: Recommendations from other groups?

Post by Moe2076 » Mon Nov 11, 2019 6:43 pm

Thank you Kydra for posting this and asking these questions! I haven't scoured the internet too much since I've found the HCA, but I did find myself looking to soak up more information and have looked around at some other places. I haven't looked a lot or found any conflicting or different information but I would love to hear the theory behind different recommendations for care. Thank you wodesorel for the interesting bit of history of the HCA!
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Re: Recommendations from other groups?

Post by Motörcrab » Mon Nov 11, 2019 6:51 pm

I am a member here, obviously. I also joined CSJ, and LHCOS on Facebook. I believe there is a right and wrong way to care for hermit crabs. I also believe there is more than one correct way to properly care for them too. As long as end result is a properly set up crabitat I don't think it matters how you get there.

All groups have the basic requirements standard, heat, humidity, fresh a salt water pools crabs can fully submerge in, minimum of 6" of sandcastle consistency substrate.

I believe a lot of the other details of crab care are what change. Things like number of crabs per gallon, caring for new store bought crabs and mixing substrate. I caught heck a few weeks ago on another for recommending to dip a new crab in fresh water. They don't recommend that. They claim that can stress the crab to the point of dropping limbs and or leaving it's shell. I feel it would be more stressful for the crab smell different and be bullied by several crabs for several days compared to being dipped for a few minutes.

I have received great advice from all places. I sort of pick and choose what place offers what I feel is the best for the crab.

I find that the HCA is set up the best for finding information quickly in the caresheets. All the mods on here and several members know everything about hermits. I find that sometimes less experienced members are too quick to answer questions and can give inaccurate information.

On the LHCOS FB group it is a lot of picture sharing and new people with questions. I do like how when someone has an emergency you can flag the post so a mod can assist with the problem. I think that really helps from someone new being bombarded with a lot of different suggestions.

CSJ also has good care guides but are a bit tougher to find. They mainly use the LHOS FB group not their own forum. I do enjoy their calendar crab, and crabitat of the month contests. Stacy Griffith also offers inexpensive foods and does a lot of advocacy work and also runs Claws in the Classrooms program offering school lessons and correct supplies for teachers.

I really think all groups are helping crabs, just in slightly different ways. I don't think that's a bad thing.
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Re: Recommendations from other groups?

Post by mlakers » Mon Nov 11, 2019 8:53 pm

Like Motorcrab, I pick and choose what sounds right to me and for my hermits. The basics in most groups don't differ all that much. If I dislike anything, it's the groups (and there are ones out there) that are 100% certain that everything they espouse is The Gospel of Hermit Crab Care and should never, ever deviate. Really? Just think about how we feed our pet dogs compared to even ten years ago. Care guidelines should be flexible enough to change and adapt as we learn more. Shoot, even human food guidelines change. Not that many years ago eggs were considered unhealthy because of cholesterol.

How do I adapt my personal care for my hermits? I observe the hermits' behavior and adjust accordingly. A very simple example would be that if they are aren't very active and are hanging out huddled close to the heat mat, I would bump the temperature up, assuming they are seeking/need additional warmth. It's really just the sort of minor tweaking that we all do with our pets and in our own lives. Follow a basic care guideline, but adapt as needed for the individual's comfort and health.

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Re: Recommendations from other groups?

Post by DevilNDisguise » Mon Nov 11, 2019 11:23 pm

I agree with others here regarding the strictness of some groups. I'm a member here and part of one Facebook group that I don't typically take part in due to its strictness. But I enjoy seeing pictures and videos of other people's hermits, so I stick around.

I've always used this place as my main resource for research, but I've also learned different things from my own experience and a lot of trial and error. What I enjoy most about these forums compared to the group I'm in is the flexibility. We have the ability to share what has worked best from our own experiences.

I don't think for me personally, I've done anything differently than what guidelines here offer and found better results. But that could always change as the years go by. :) I've only been doing this for a bit over a year now, so I'm still fairly new to the adventure.
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Re: Recommendations from other groups?

Post by curlysister » Mon Nov 11, 2019 11:46 pm

I decided when I first started and found the HCA, that I would only get my info from this group. I have literally never gone on any other site, and the only Facebook page I belong to re- crab care is the HCA page. This way, there is no conflicting advice, LOL! Do I follow every single detail right down to the letter? Nope. But I won't necessarily confess what I do differently, hehehe!
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Re: Recommendations from other groups?

Post by MauiMama » Tue Nov 12, 2019 11:01 am

Interesting topic! I was curious about some of these things too. I haven't been crabbing long, but I chose to join HCA (vs others) due to the wealth of well-organized, helpful, and kindly-offered information and advice.

When I have found conflicting care standards, I tend to take an average. Before joining HCA, I googled what percent humidity I should maintain, wrote down whatever each individual site recommended, and settled on the average of those numbers. Then, as others have said, adjust according to my crab's preferences. I believe there is more than one right way to take care of them.

Anytime I come across wildly opposing info (someone told me I should keep humidity around 50-60 in the winter time??), I trust HCA. I don't stick 100% to every official recommendation (I handle mine a bit, which is discouraged on this forum), but it is my go-to!

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Re: Recommendations from other groups?

Post by Kydra » Tue Nov 12, 2019 2:45 pm

Wow. Thank you all for the replies. Wanted to go through each one, but seems redundant. After just jumping in to hermit crab obsession, I was interested in any deviations in care from other respected groups just for informational purposes.

I had posted about the dry substrate after having bacterial blooms, but that was on me for being new... trial and error and all which had my mind going about other advice and how we use it or do not use it.

Definitely not a bad thing that there are other groups and I absolutely agree with follow the basics with information, but also adjust as one sees fit related to one's own circumstances. Also, I can only imagine how hermit crab care has evolved to where it is now. I think that the comparison to not only other pets, but even our own care for ourselves having evolved with research, time, and real world experience is a great way to look at it especially for those that have been doing this so much longer than I have.

I would think that care for hermit crabs would have much more substantial changes throughout the years as we all understand more about them and through experience of what seems to work well for them since almost all are wild caught animals sold in gift shops and pet stores already in horrible conditions with mostly horrible advice given. My co-worker said the other day "Don't they just die after like a month anyway." Public perception is definitely lacking for far too many reasons to get into without starting another conversation.

As for other groups being strict or thinking their way is the only way as well as not allowing others to voice their own opinions or give advice... well, yeah, that would definitely rub me the wrong way and I'd move on from such a group.

Just doing some more of my own research here a bit. I am already itching to upgrade, but will wait through winter at this point. It would have been nice knowing what I was getting myself into that evening on the boardwalk after a few drinks and purchasing a few cute crabs. I doubt that most others would put in the resources and time to actually setup a proper crabitat when obtaining a few hermit crabs in a mesh cage with pellets and a sponge!

It did land me here which so far has been a great experience. The care guides were easily accessible and really helped the transition to a proper setup for them so I am grateful for that as well as all of the members helping out with newbie questions along the way.

I am finally getting their hamster wheel in this evening which should be fun once they figure it out. Again, I've read about them walking miles in the wild and this is the closest I can get right now to offering a new toy and providing more exercise for them.

Look at me going off topic in my own thread lol. So it seems that most recommendations are relatively similar throughout different groups, but just more differences in how each group functions rather than differences in caring for hermit crabs. I definitely gave my adopted crab a short dip in freshwater from the tank prior to interacting with my original two though which would have been frowned upon depending on who or what group you ask apparently.

Was expecting more differences honestly, but if all are on the same basic page for care I do not think that's a bad thing. Thanks again for all of the feedback!

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Re: Recommendations from other groups?

Post by aussieJJDude » Wed Nov 13, 2019 4:04 am

Some groups still advocate using UTH underneath the crabitat, but on a thermostat to control temperature so substrate doesnt get too warm. Honestly it does provide warm/cool zones within the tank, so I do wonder if its beneficial when used correctly!

Also seen differences in the tank setup. A group I know of only reccomends using front opening tanks, as a open topped tank can stress the crabs due to us reaching down into the tank. (They low on the foodchain in the wild, so anything overhead to a crab could be frightening).

Then the foods. From what I know of, everyone in some way started out with the same basic 'safe food list' but as each group has experimented with different food groups and lead to a slow evolution of their safe food lists. Nowdays, the safe foods lists can vary wildly from each group!

As mentioned, a few groups tend to be heavily monitored, in the terms that there's only one way to do things. Others, still advocate what they perceive is successful in crabbing, but acknowledge that their member base may deviate from the groups guidelines slightly but still be a healthy setup to crabs. I honestly think when keeping animals, there's more than one way to keep them successfully, and it's not a simple mathematical equation.... you plug it in, and you'll only get one (right) answer. Not to mention the strictness, I do wondee if it does inhibit crab care since different care methods can help open up discussion and improve crab care! I really hope that HCA is always going to a place where people from 'opposing ideas' can talk about their differences in a respectful way, and provide discussion and help enlighten us all! Some of the best learning curves I've received have been from others that have different views from mgself, and find that I grow and often implement those new ideas into my care!

~~~~~~~
The only thing I'd wish is that groups within the hobby could be a lot more civil with eachother, and open to sharing new information with one another. I do wonder the 'lack of information' flowing between groups hinders new ideas for crab care, as well as advocating for successful crab care. But that's my logic.... :/ (and me just moaning at this point)

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Re: Recommendations from other groups?

Post by Kydra » Wed Dec 04, 2019 4:33 pm

Interesting. I have been reading a few different forums and some that have, I'm assuming, been shut down as the posts are years old. Wow how that information has changed over time.

So far my two molts were either at the very bottom of the substrate and the other just a little bit above towards one of the corners. I'd be way too concerned with a UTH... well... under the tank cooking a 🦀. I'd think they'd move to a cooler area, but maybe not initially if brought in from no sub/poor conditions.

I wanted to be a veterinarian since I was young and ended up in healthcare instead, but still have a passion for all living things and get the whole predator vs prey aspect, but a front opening tank 🤔. Guess it would be something I'd have to see set up properly. Being mostly hands off and with the food/water changes during the day while the crabs are hiding out, I don't see this as really necessary even if I understand the reasoning.

I mean being wild caught, I do think the survivors start to adapt to captivity to a point. As for foods, I recently bought a bunch of dried organic fruits (some I've never heard of) and have been frequently checking the safe food list here only.

I 100% agree that you really can't have a large group of pet owners doing every single thing by the posted guidelines exactly. If so, more than likely a few aren't being completely truthful. I like that here, I have been able to experiment with certain things without being given a strict "no" or threatened to be banned for using more EE than an exact 5:1 ratio or something like that.

It would definitely be beneficial to all of us for all groups to be able to interact with respect for each other and with any new information shared whether it be something a member experienced and so on. Would definitely improve care and different care ideas for us all as you wrote. I still haven't and do not plan on venturing into the FB groups as they seem to be the most strict from what I've read. At least the forum here is public which was a HUGE help when I was trying to just get the basics for my boardwalk crabs back in August!

It was really interesting to say the least reading posts from a decade ago or so and how much of that care has been dropped by mostly everyone that has been staying up to date with current information.

Appreciate your thoughts! 😎

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