Where to post if you have questions or concerns about your Isolation Tank ("ISO").
Your toys and climbers look great! I made the same mistake with the 'Hermit Crab Sand' at the chain pet store. I went to the local hardware, and a large (like 40 lb) bag of play sand was $4. From what I understand it's extremely important to offer protein- meat, poultry, seafood and such. There is also something at the pet store called a 'cuttle bone' that is calcium and very good. For calcium you can also use egg shells, coral, sand dollars, etc. Also, I would suggest going with at least a 20 gallon if you have the room/ money. I got 2 hermies in August and went from 2 crabs in a 5 gallon to 4 in a 20 gallon in 2 months. It's like the potato chip commercial, you can't have just one!!
There are supposed to be UTHs for plastic but they are small. The ones for glass enclosures are not good for plastic. Glass is just so much better for keeping stable temperatures. It seems you're not having problems though. I don't use a UTH during the summer either but have started turning them on overnight since our temperatures are dipping to freezing outside.
I'm new also my son received his first hermit crab back in June named him spidey because he had Spider-Man painted on his shell got a five gallon tank and some sand put a few climbing items on there and a water dish that is like a mini pool he can climb in and out of it pretty easily. I bought a new crab so he would have some company a few weeks ago they seem to get along just fine we names him lightning because again he has lightning McQueen painted on his shell and I also purchased a few extra shells because he is almost twice the size of spidey and he looks a little cramped but he hasn't changed shells yet may need to get bigger shells? Idk they seem larger but poor lightning is hanging out of his shell but he won't change to a new one... But my main question is do I really need to get a heater for my tank? We don't keep it like a meat locker in our house but the winter is approaching and I am a little worried my little crabs will die if it gets to cold for them any advice is appreciated
Melanie, unless you live in a very warm climate or keep your house unusually warm, you will likely need a heater. You want to mount it in the side/back of the tank not under it. And it will need to be rated for 3x's the size of your tank. 10 gallon tank, UTH rated for 30 gallons. Do you have gauges to keep track of temperature and humidity? Both should ideally be about 80 (degrees Fahrenheit and percent), 75 is the low end. If it gets below that it can do damage to your hermit crab.
I have used the Under Tank Heaters by Zoomed, again side or back mounted not under. I've heard really hood things here about the Ultratherm. Both are available through Amazon and other online retailers. I get mine through Amazon often because their prices are cheaper. I have found some really good deals at the petstore so shopping around makes sense.
Side or back is recommended because they were designed to go under the tank with dry, shallow substrate. By putting damp, deep substrate which is necessary for hermit crabs, several things don't work correctly. The heat doesn't warm the enclosure well because it has to go through thick sub. It can create hot pockets that are too warm for the hermit crabs and will kill them. It can react with the moisture/water and crack the glass at the bottom spilling the contents, sub and crab. So, short answer, yes you should stop using the UTH under the tank. You can try to take it off and move it to the side/back, just about at the sub line above it. It is easier to remove when it is warm and the adhesive is looser. Be careful not to bend it.
Update!After 1 month on monday we had activity from the 2nd molter. We heard a clicking noise coming form the cage and the crabby was tossing around under the oyster shell we placed over the hole he dug. We were nearly giving up hope, but he came out for a bit and ate some fresh banana and shrimps. There was some extra stuff coming out of his shell which I am guessing is the exoskeleton? Correct? Just wondering when he will munch it. He's still hiding out, but alive and feeding. So the 1st molter, hadn't surfaced so we were going to actually check on it's status on Sunday. Well last night we heard something coming from the cage, and his little clam shell cover too was moving around. It's alive!!! We didn't disturb him, but placed some fresh bananas and shimps in there to eat. Again I will keep this forum updated on the progress. I was losing hope and feeling like we failed at this, but it looks like we may have done something correct. I guess the long wait is over, and time to wait some more until they have their full strength back? Any suggestions? Thoughts?
Put some organic honey in as well. You might want to describe what the thing coming out of the shell looked like. Hope your leaving the tail on the shrimp too. Oh and most crabs like organic unflavored popcorn.Congrats!
Well hermie #2 has been very active since resurfacing 1 week ago. Hermie#1 still seems to be in the process. He's surfaced once but goes back to the hole he dug under the clamshell. There are signs of his legs coming off around the hole. (This is in the ISO tank set up temporarily in a very short period of time over 1 month ago). #1 coninutes to eat what we put in the cage, and there are signs of him getting water, but we haven't really seen too much activity. Back to #2. Since he's been up, I went ahead and purchased a 10gal tank to replace the 5gal. I am about to take the suggested "Play Sand/Coconut fiber" approach. I will be laying it minimal 5-6" depth.Question 1: 1/2 and 1/2, mixed, or layers, or what? I've seen several creative ways of laying the substrate, but would like to see some more of your pictures please for ideas. Question 2: Since #1 gave us the impression he was finished molting by surfacing 1 time, but went back to his hole, we have elected to let him be until we see more normal activity.Question 3: when I mentioned #1's legs, are these exoskeleton of the legs or the actual legs? Like I said, we haven't been able to see him yet.Question 4: #2 has been very energetic however, during the day he partially hangs out of his shell. It's cute but I think he may need a larger one? He does have a selection to choose from, but he won't even consider moving.Normal behavior? Brandee&Jeremy
Wow! That was alot of posting/reposting. If you want to edit, there is an edit button at the bottom, looks like a pencil eraser. Question1: you can layer it and they will mix it or mix it yourself. Half and half is fine, 75/25 sand to EE also fine. Really up to you. Photos in huge quantity in the link in my signature line.Question 2: did not see a question but it sounds like a good plan.Question 3: I hope the legs are exo if not your crab is in serious trouble but pick one up, if it is hollow, it is exo. If it is exo just leave him be and he will eat it. If it is not then you need extra precaution to make sure his conditions are ideal and very quiet. The fact that you can tell he is eating and accessing the water is a very good sign. He is in this tank alone correct?Question 4: check your conditions, sometimes if they are too hot, too humid, have an irritation (check for bugs or rubbed spots) or just being themselves they will do this, sometimes they are housekeeping (emptying their waste from the shell). You can add a little salt water to the empty shells which can sometimes create interest in a new shell.
Thanks for the quick response. The previous message was edited a few times that's why so many reposts. I checked #1's legs, and came across a pincer. (1st image close up) It looks meaty. Now I'm worried. We will begin grinding his food going forward. Yes he is by himself in the original 5gal tank. Conditions are still ideal Temp/humidity wise. http://i40.photobucket.com/alb.../20131 ... 07.jpg#2's conditions are ideal also. He's awake just sitting partially out of his shell. (2nd image)http://i40.photobucket.com/alb.../20131026_192810.jpgWe will keep you up to date and thank you for your advice.