Holding your Hermit Crab?

Archived information regarding hermit crab behavior.
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lovemycrabbies
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Holding your Hermit Crab?

Post by lovemycrabbies » Thu May 30, 2013 4:41 am

Is holding my hermit crabs bad for them? Today I had another crabber on my instagram get really upset with me and tell me that I am not taking proper care of my crabs(they referred me to the HCA and told me to look at it if I wanted to take proper care of my crabs) and am stressing them out by holding them and that they are just for watching but not playing with, and this person told me that the things I'm doing are going to kill them. My crabs have lots of personalities, and I know that. Some of them don't like being held or are not used to it yet, while others will walk right onto my hand and climb up my sleeve to my shoulder. This person also told me that taking them anywhere that doesn't have 80 percent humidity(like out of the tank for a few minutes) causes permanent damage to their gills. I am very careful and keep the room I am in with them humid and warm(it is around 80 degrees and 70-75 perfect humidity). I also mist them all the time. Am I really that wrong in what I'm doing? My tank is a 40 gallon tall and has at most 5-6(currently, but I need to add more; I just had bugs of some sort and had to remove a bunch of the substrate. It will be around 8 inches after I get more) inches of sand at one end and 4 inches of eco earth at the other end. The temperature stays between 80-85 degrees F and the humidity stays around 90 percent; I have two UTH and a tank light. They have sticks and a coconut fiber wall to climb, plenty of coconut huts, both salt and fresh water, and I feed them every night. They also get about 12 hrs of light and dark.
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Keg
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Holding your Hermit Crab?

Post by Keg » Thu May 30, 2013 5:24 am

Hi LovemycrabbiesThere are some people who swear by taking their crab out for a walk on the floor for excercise. My girlfriend did that with Azazul for the first six years she took care of her. I hesitate to do this because there may be chemicals on the floor from cleaning. Also if she goes under the stove there's no way to safely retrieve the crab. And they won't come out on their own. But if you can do it safely, there may be something to be said for the excercise and variety it brings.Hey, if mine would walk into my hand and up my arm, I would encourage that! They like being as high as possible. Why not be friendly at the same time.I think a few minutes out in room air won't hurt the crab. I think they may keep a little water in their shell to manage their humidity level anyway. The reason I say this is because in my tank, the only place where the hygrometer reads 80% is directly on wet sand. The crab tends to avoid that area and prefers being near the top of the tank where it's much drier.If you've got a new crab, that might be different. They've probably been treated badly and could use some very specific measures to restore their equilibrium.Mine don't like being picked up, and I don't want to risk another pinch in this lifetime if I can help it.There are other ways to form a personal connection with your crab.

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lovemycrabbies
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Holding your Hermit Crab?

Post by lovemycrabbies » Thu May 30, 2013 11:33 am

Okay thanks Keg
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Laurie LeAnn
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Holding your Hermit Crab?

Post by Laurie LeAnn » Thu May 30, 2013 6:20 pm

to each their own..some of us have dif views on the care of crabs. New crabs that have been just purchased shouldn't be handled for a month because they are stressed. Some believe that letting your crabs run on the floor will allow them to pick up carpet fibers or other things and eat them, being out of their tank for long periods is hard on their gills, or that someone might come along and step on the crab or people forget that the crab is out then go on the merry way. I am more of the my crabs are wild creatures and they stay in the tank only coming out for tank cleaning. I don't play or handle mine. These are your crabs, you don't let anyone bully you into anything about the care of them. A forum is for help and suggestions. You do what is best for your crabs. I would suggest if you do want them out maybe putting them in a big shallow plastic tote so they are not on carpet. even a card board box will do and not keep them out for very long. When their gills start to dry out it becomes painful to them this is how they breathe, with out the humidity and heat they basically suffocate if I am thinking correct. misting: please don't mist directly at them, do it from above like a gentle rain. misting straight at them would be like us getting squirted in the face by a fire hose, oouuch! lol! if this person was from this site that was being rude all you have to do is report them and they will have a strike against them.

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Crabby Abby
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Holding your Hermit Crab?

Post by Crabby Abby » Mon Jun 03, 2013 2:46 am

I prefer to watch and not handle but I don't discourage others who may enjoy a hands on approach.Things you want to be mindful of include: not handling new crabs during their first month when they're in their most compromised health and may not be up for it (Please read ISO, ISO, ISO in the Zoea forum) limiting outside the tank play to no more than 15 minutes a couple of times a week unless you live in a very humid environment don't allow them to play on floors where they can pick and eat peeling paint from doorways, painted porches don't permit them to play anywhere that's been treated with pesticides, on Scotch guarded or just shampooed carpets or furniture or in areas where cleaning products, air fresheners or teflon products have recently been used as these odors are highly damaging to a hermits modified gills try to keep them at floor level or handle them when sitting to prevent falls and internal injuries (I always hold my second hand opened flat under them) always supervise them. Hermits have disappeared on crabbers in the blink of an eye
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lovemycrabbies
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Holding your Hermit Crab?

Post by lovemycrabbies » Mon Jun 03, 2013 2:54 am

yes definitely I do all of these things. Usually I only have them out for around 10 minutes or less and definitely not in the first month! And of course two hands are always used Thank you for your reply, it has reassured me that I am taking the right steps for my choice of holding them.
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sonny
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Holding your Hermit Crab?

Post by sonny » Mon Jun 03, 2013 10:50 am

my relationship with 2 of my crabs does involve handling they know if they wait by the door when i am sitting there eventially i will open and allow them to choose (sometimes my arm gets tired)but both will walk onto my hand often. never have any of my e's. only winston and sampson(pp)

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lovemycrabbies
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Holding your Hermit Crab?

Post by lovemycrabbies » Mon Jun 03, 2013 11:08 am

great thank you! Mine are the same way
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JediMasterThrash
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Holding your Hermit Crab?

Post by JediMasterThrash » Mon Jun 03, 2013 3:30 pm

Crabs will keep their gills moist using shell water for a fair length of time. Though it's hard to know what is the "comfort" limit, even if we know the survival limit is quite long (they can survive for a few weeks in a low humidity environment before permanent damage is inevitable, but they probably aren't happy for all that time).For sure a few minutes to hold them or hand feed them will be OK. I think my crabs like me (probably since whenever they see me, I have food) and enjoy feelering up my hands and gripping my fingers.I used to let my crabs roam my bedroom floor for hours a night. They had fun exploring. I carefully walled off every possible exit or lose-able location so I never managed to lose a crab.But in hindsight they were probably out too long too often. But I think 15 min here and there should be OK.
JMT.

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lovemycrabbies
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Holding your Hermit Crab?

Post by lovemycrabbies » Tue Jun 04, 2013 2:49 am

Okay thanks JMT
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Crabber85
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Holding your Hermit Crab?

Post by Crabber85 » Tue Jun 04, 2013 4:26 pm

I agree with CA and JMT you can safely handle your crabbies out of the enclosure for about fifteen minutes as everyone has said as this seems to be a good time limit for exercise out of the enclosure without risking to much.I like JMT used to handle my crabs freaquently and would keep them out for hours at the time and then after loosing a few it hit me one day that I might be doing more harm than good by removing them from good climate conditions for such long periods of time so I stopped and haven't lost as many as I had been years ago.The key thing to remember is that your houses ac unit is designed to pull moisture from the air before it is pumped into your house so the average humidity level in the typical american home is only fifty percent give or take a percent which is well below the safe minimum for hermitcrabs unless you live us a particularly humid state like Florida year round.You can by a small room humidifier for thirty to fifty bucks at most home improvement stores if you need it and use that to boost the humidity level in the room where the crabs are being kept so that they can have some safe out of the tank play time without having the risks.
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Keg
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Holding your Hermit Crab?

Post by Keg » Tue Jun 04, 2013 9:38 pm

May I respectfully submit a cosmology here -Crabber85, JMT and Crabby Abbey feel free to analyze:I don't have the exact reference, but one of the oldest hermit crabs in captivity (29 years at the time) was owned by the person who blogs here:http://crabbywiki.com/tiki-index.php?pa ... '+OrmesShe let her crabs roam on the floor every day... and I recall a story where she was pinched by one of them during a misadventure in cleaning (I don't have the discipline at the moment to find the hyperlink) and she held it for quite a while to re-establish a 'bond' with it. She was/is in her 80's at the time... I suppose that even an arthropod intellect could sense the benevolence in being held, if the intention was ~that~ sincere.Since the crab has a relatively limited (though charming) perception, it can memorize a few things (obviously its terrain, since they are sensitive to changes). Also, I suspect they prioritize memories that pertain to danger/pain.Studies (somewhere) support that... I can find them or produce them if someone insists...Since they are not capable (they don't have enough neurons in their brain) of rationalization like humans are... they are basically limited to a very primitive method of learning/behavior modification.This amounts to (in my opinion) a sort of superstition on their part. They can only believe (without any supporting analysis) that their human/handler is benign... or not, on the basis of experience. Over the course of decades, they recognize who you are (by smell and sight biometric signiture) and realize that you are (in some sense of the word) not a seagull.******That's all there is to my silly theory #1. Have at it.********Silly theory #2 begins here:I suppose if I was a crab, I could sense that I was being cared for by a higher intelligence, or a benign 'big crab' or whatever fits.The point is, I am an unequivocably higher conciousness when compared to my crab. I can reach into the intricacies of Turkish politics or anything else in the googlesphere. I can have an effect on the outcomes of world politics, just as you can, by voting... In a sense, my consciousness is nearly angelic...And yet.. do I really have a higher level of 'awareness' than my crab? She can direct the activities of ten limbs, two antennules and two antennaes simultaneously. But to be honest, if the crab had a brain that weighed several pounds, it would no doubt function smarter, so let's not waste too much time on this issue.My crab looks into mirrors and interacts with them. She KNOWS what a crab looks like and knows what a pretty crab looks like because she has seen herself.But she also knows ME, and seeks attention from this entity who is obviously not a crab (and by definition is not pretty).So I am a higher power in some sense, to the crab. You are too. They are capable of knowing it.I think; now that they're in captivity, they need to be MORE than a simple wild animal. They need to have a connection with the higher power that controls their environment.The crab has a religion, sort of. But it's better than ours. It's walking around in the same room. It's purer and simpler (neurologically). That's a good thing, I think.


sonny
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Holding your Hermit Crab?

Post by sonny » Tue Jun 04, 2013 11:03 pm

very much enjoyed reading that

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Crabber85
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Holding your Hermit Crab?

Post by Crabber85 » Wed Jun 05, 2013 7:51 am

@Keg, I have no doubt that hermitcrabs can and do recognize consistent things in their lives which includes us and if certian scientific theorys are correct then it is possible to develope an owner pet relationship to that of a dog or cat as was Carol Ormes case.lolShe has stated more than a couple of times that when Kate was alive that she and John whould actually chase strange people from the appartment Carol had and would seemingly be attempting to either protect her, their home or both.Carol got sick and ended up having to leave her appartment to live in an assited living facility and as a result had to downsize from her old enclosure to a twenty gallon if I'm not mistaken which caused a molting problem for Kate and Kate sadly didn't make it.I've been following Mrs.Ormes since 09' and yes she did allow John and Kate to roam her appartment but I believe she also had a pretty tight grip on climate control in the appartment so it was as if the two were in a huge enclosure which made allowing them out for such long periods of time pheasable. I had one female jumbo several years ago named Harra and she loved for me to sit and talk to her while I held her she was spoiled and she knew me by sight as she would approach me in the enclosure and climb right into my hand and this was with no training or coaxing sadly I lost her due to a molt complication back in 10' so yes I do believe that hermitcrabs can come to understand what if not who we are and develope a relationship with us based on their own personalities and traits.While it is true that hermitcrabs may not posses the same level of cognitive function as humans I truly believe that they do think, reason, problem solve and understand to a degree which makes them inteligent in my book.
Hi I have autism so I tend to answer questions very directly and with little emotion so please don't think I'm being rude.
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JediMasterThrash
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Holding your Hermit Crab?

Post by JediMasterThrash » Wed Jun 05, 2013 3:05 pm

Incredible living sea people!
JMT.

Stuck-up, half-witted, scruffy-looking crab-herder since '92.

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