Question about Crabitat Substrate

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tawatson
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Joined: Sat Aug 06, 2016 7:39 pm

Question about Crabitat Substrate

Post by tawatson » Fri Oct 07, 2016 7:10 pm

I am new to "crabbing." I have had my crab babies for almost three months and I'm sure all have molted but one. We're upgrading from a 20 gallon tank to a 55 gallon tank. I was wondering how moist the sand should be and how do I keep so much sand from drying out? I read in the contents..."Substrate should always be kept moist enough for a hermit crab to be able to dig underground and form a cave. It needs to damp enough that it holds its shape when you squeeze, but not so wet that it drips or pools water. (We call that “sandcastle consistency”.) Too dry and it’s not diggable, too wet and you risk bacterial growth at the very bottom of the tank. Substrate should be mixed using salt water that is the same their drinking water in order to keep it fresh for a long time and cut down on the risk of mold growth. Substrate may also require maintenance such as spraying with fresh dechlorinated water on a regular basis in order to keep it moist enough since the moisture in it will evaporate over time. (Use freshwater to spray as salt does not evaporate, and spraying with saltwater constantly can lead to a harmful salt build-up!)

However, "Substrate should be mixed using salt water that is the same their drinking water in order to keep it fresh for a long time and cut down on the risk of mold growth."...Should it be mixed with drinking water or salt water?

I do mist my crabs daily to keep the top soil moist cause my crabbies dig, dig, dig....

I'll post pictures as soon as I get them transplanted to the bigger tank! Wish me luck!!!

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Crabinski
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Re: Question about Crabitat Substrate

Post by Crabinski » Sat Oct 08, 2016 12:42 am

tawatson wrote:However, "Substrate should be mixed using salt water that is the same their drinking water in order to keep it fresh for a long time and cut down on the risk of mold growth."...Should it be mixed with drinking water or salt water?

I do mist my crabs daily to keep the top soil moist cause my crabbies dig, dig, dig....

I'll post pictures as soon as I get them transplanted to the bigger tank! Wish me luck!!!
You should have two bowls/pools in the tank, one FW (dechlorinated tap water) and one SW (dechlorinated tap water treated with Instant Ocean, Sea Prime or another saltwater aquarium mix). When initially preparing the substrate, it's best to use SW but many crabbers use the dechlorinated FW with no problems. Once it's mixed to sandcastle consistency, the substrate should be able to maintain that consistency indefinitely: I prepared new substrate for the 29g tank 21 months ago and it's still doing its sandcastle thing. If you're having issues with the substrate drying out, try adding bubblers to the pools; the bubblers put more moisture in the air, keeping the tank more humid and the substrate damper.
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Laurie LeAnn
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Re: Question about Crabitat Substrate

Post by Laurie LeAnn » Sat Oct 08, 2016 11:04 pm

Before you go and start misting and adding water to your tank if you think it's getting to dry..take your crabs out and your things and mix up your sand or what ever your using. Making sure you go way to the bottom..you will be surprised at how much moisture is still at th bottom and can become over saturated and cause mold

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