Halloween Crab care and trust issues

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RubberToe
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Halloween Crab care and trust issues

Post by RubberToe » Sat Apr 28, 2018 11:34 pm

So I adopted a male Halloween Crab from a shop at a flea market and I am completely new to the world of caring for crabs. I know it was probably not intelligent of me to adopt this type of crab with no experience. You are probably going to realize how inexperienced I was and am. Ever since I purchased him he seemed deathly scared of me (understandable), he never seemed in the mood to eat until I gave him some peanut butter, which he only took a couple bites out of. I found out his species loves burrowing so I bought him a ten gallon tank with coconut fiber substrate along with a water/sponge dish with fresh distilled water and a food dish. I became concerned when he was under ground for 24 hours and feared he would suffocate (very dumb decision I realize now*) I retrieved him from under and inch of soil and he clearly wasn't pleased. I let him burrow again this time with no interference and he has been underground for two days now. I guess he is breathing just fine and has a nice moist environment down there that is warm since I have a UV light going for him. What I am worried about is him not coming back up to eat. I have left some leaves of brussels sprouts for him and he still down there, and when I look in the morning there is no sign of him coming out during the night. Is he afraid of me, is something wrong on the surface? Or is it normal for crabs such as him to burrow for long periods of time? I don't know but because of my inexperience with crabs and lack of information on the internet, I am almost in a corner on trying to make his life as best as it can be. He's been living with me for a week so he might just be nervous about the new environment. The substrate is an estimated 4 inches deep, so it may be too shallow. Once again, I am clueless on what his kind likes and dislikes

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Re: Halloween Crab care and trust issues

Post by aussieJJDude » Sun Apr 29, 2018 3:57 am

In hermits, crabs burrow at the beginning to destress, and I wouldn't be surprised if he is doing the same. Best bet is just to leave him be, he knows what he is doing...

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wodesorel
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Re: Halloween Crab care and trust issues

Post by wodesorel » Sun Apr 29, 2018 10:25 am

They need large tanks (3 or 4 feet minimum) with at least a foot or more of deep moist substrate to dig in. They do spend a lot of time buried!

They are meat eaters (seafood, meat, fish) as well as needing plant material (veggies and fruits). Diet is very similar to a hermit crabs'.

Temps are also similar to hermits at around 80-85. They need both salt and freshwater, and a higher humidity.

So, basically really big shell-less hermits.

I would NOT house them together with hermits though. Due to a Halloween's size it could make a meal of the hermits, or vice versa if the hermits are the bigger ones!


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RubberToe
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Re: Halloween Crab care and trust issues

Post by RubberToe » Sun Apr 29, 2018 1:23 pm

My main worry is him starving down there with no food. I'm fine with him hiding for a while as long as he gets his nutrients. I saw on one of the forum posts a video of two halloween crabs chowing down on shrimp tails. They were eating more than I've ever seen my crab eat in one sitting! I know he's a more advanced crab than the hermit but I really don't want him to starve himself. Is this kind of stress normal for crabs moving into new homes? I also spray the soil with distilled water along with a dish of saline crab water ready for him so he should be hydrated down there in the moist soil. My thermometer reads nearly 80 degrees so that should be fine. Humidity gauge reads 60% humid in there so far. The saline water I am using for his dish is a commercial hermit crab hydration solution with salt so that should work. He is very inactive during the day (he's nocturnal I know) but at night i look at him in his hole which is up against the glass and he hasn't moved much except for turning around to face toward or away from the glass. The UV bulb is a MoonLite 100 watt bulb. Other than him wanting to eat he should be good, also bought some rocks for him to use and toy with.

Also I understand the tank issue, but it will be a while before that changes


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RubberToe
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Re: Halloween Crab care and trust issues

Post by RubberToe » Sun Apr 29, 2018 1:25 pm

Another quick thing, I know about not housing them with hermits but I have read that they live better with other halloween crabs to keep them company. He is male and I know males have a chance of being aggressive towards each other so I don't want to put him through that, I don't know about females either because a friend of mine told me about their two halloween crabs and the female ate the male. So is there some special qualification for them or is it just whatever?

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Re: Halloween Crab care and trust issues

Post by LadyJinglyJones » Thu May 03, 2018 4:38 pm

If they require a larger tank than you have (as mentioned by wodesorel above) then you wouldn't want to add another crab until you have more space for them. Crowding even the chillest of animals can lead to agression.

Is the species Grecarcinus quadratus? (I you're unsure just google the name & compare with yours. :) )
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RubberToe
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Re: Halloween Crab care and trust issues

Post by RubberToe » Sat May 05, 2018 10:21 pm

It is indeed a gecarcinus quadratus. So if the 10 gallons tank isn't big enough what would ya'll recommend? I have to shoot at minimums because of costs and what my parents will allow in the house. I would hope a 20 gallon is good enough.

Another question about companionship in these crabs. Some tell me not to ever house male and female Halloween's together or no male on male and its really kind of confusing since people say it is both best to have more than one of these yet at the same time dangerous since people have different experiences. So to put these to rest for me and for other beginner crab owners that stumble upon this thread for answers, what is the best companion for a male Gecarcinus Quadratus, male or female or just either? And are there measures to take so they make peace with each other like putting a barrier between them in the tank or something? Does size matter (of course it probably does)? I'm fine with anything as long as they don't try to kill each other.

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wodesorel
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Re: Halloween Crab care and trust issues

Post by wodesorel » Sat May 05, 2018 10:38 pm

You can probably do multiple in larger tanks, but they are wild animals and there ia no guarentee they will get along. The more space for them the safer it is. Even one should be housed in a 55 so it has enough space and enough substrate depth.

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