Where to post and/or get advice regarding ill hermit crab(s) that are NOT molting, streaking or dropping legs.
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I have recently had the problem that both of my pp's have started digging in their sand. I've read about digging, and it seems that the main causes are molting, improper living conditions, and stress. I have really tried to keep their humidity and temperature consistent and in the proper ranges. Also, neither crab seemed to look whitish though they were acting a bit lethargic. So, I don't think they were about to molt, but maybe.I know that sometimes crabs dig under their substrate just to de-stress, but recently I found that one of my crabs who had buried himself for a long period of time had died. Now I'm worried about my remaining crab who has also buried himself. I have tried the trick of smoothing out the top of the sand to see if he is coming up for water/food at night, and he is not. Is there anything I can do to save my remaining crab? Thanks for your help.1) How long have you had your crabs and how long have you been caring for this particular crab in distress?RIP Bernie (~3 months) and Juice (1 month)2) What size is your tank and what kind of lid do you have?10 gallon with mesh top that has plastic wrap to boost humidity3) What are you using for heat? Please be specific and include fixture type, watt or mat size and where the heat source is mounted.No heating source. It's summertime, and I have to keep the air on or else it's too hot for them.4) What kind of substrate do you use in your tank and at what depth? Is it dry or damp and sand castle consistency?Play sand. About 3 inches deep.5) Do you dechlorinate your fresh water and if so, with what product? Do you offer aquarium salt water in addition to fresh water? Again, what product?Dechlorinate tap water with Zoo Med Drinking Water Conditioner; Salt water available using HBH Hermit crab salt6) What do you normally feed your crabs?Fruits, veggies, pet store pellets, meat sometimes7) Do you bathe, mist or handle your crabs at all?Have to mist crab's environment often. Sometimes take him out to play when he is not buried. What are the temperature and humidity readings? Please be specific and include high low fluctuations if you're aware of them.Currently both at 80. Temperature may have been as high as 85 or so.
2 PPs: Bernie and Juice
I am so sorry your having such a tough time with your crabs I know it's hard when you loose them and you don't even know why and trust me I've been where you are when I first got started three decades ago.What most people don't know including the guys and gals who work at the pet store, gift shop or board walk curio where we most often get these little wonders is how stressed they are by the time they get to the store.We must first go back to when the hermitcrab is harvested which is generally a rough and tumble time for them being handled inappropriately by the harvesters, then taken to the company warehouse to be held for shipping where they get little to no care, poor nutrition and are forced to live in crowded conditions.All this leads to stress and stress compromises the immune system in hermitcrabs just like it does to us so you factor in almost no nutritional food, tight spaces and hundreds of these little guys/gals packed tightly together you get a recipe for the spread of bacteria and fungus which the crabs would normally be able to fight off in their natural habitat but like I stated before they aint been eating too good which impacts overall health and now they have a poor immune system so they can't fight off the infections.We fast-forward between two weeks and a couple of months of living in storage at the warehouse and now some of the crabs are being sent to the store that just acquired them for the purposes of selling and they get put into the store enclosure generally either a ten gallon tank with no/poor sub, no water and bad commercial foods often pellets or a wire cage with none of the above mentioned necessities either.By the time the hermitcrab has made it to the store depending on it's size it may have to postpone molting anywhere from a few weeks to several and hermitcrabs postpone molting by secreting a hormone in their eye-stalks that will eventually build up and go toxic either outright killing the hermit or forcing it into a surface molt either way the odds are stacked against it.The harvesting company aka the supplier wont tell this information the stores acquiring their hermitcrabs so the store owner/manager just goes by what the supplier has told them the crabs need for care and as I said it's often wrong.So we go to the store/shop and purchase these crabs which are in dire need of a molt and have been subjected to all sorts of stress and illness over the last six to twelve weeks.We get them home and going on the advice of the people working at the store/shop we set up our enclosures just as we saw them in-store which regrettably leads to the crabs suffering even more stress and then they perish.This is known as PPS or post purchase stress and is the number one cause of early death in newly purchased hermitcrabs but it can be avoided about 80% of the time and I'll tell ya how.Your crab who passed died of PPS and the other who is still under is suffering from it too.First if you know or are planning on getting hermitcrabs it's best to set up the enclosure a minimum of ten gallons at least a week before purchasing your hermitcrabs to give the enclosure time to stabilize.Next you'll want to go completely hands off for a minimum of four weeks after introducing your hermitcrabs to the enclosure you can still however change out the food and water at this time this process is called iso'ing.Iso'ing is done to allow to allow the hermitcrab/s to de-stress, molt if need be and replenish vital nutrients.Your conditions sound good but there are several things we need to address 1: The commercial food/pellets need to be checked for Ethoxyquin, Copper Sulfate, BHA and BHT which are all highly toxic to hermitcrabs over long term exposure and should be avoided.Sadly most commercial foods will have one or more of the above listed ingredients if yours does then it will need to be tossed.2:Your substrate depth is too shallow the minimum is six inches this is to give enough overhead room for burrowed or molting hermitcrabs.3.Hermitcrabs are tropical creatures and need a constant temp no lower than 75 any lower for too long can result in a sleep stasis know as Hyper sleep which is basically where the crab just stops doing anything and appears to be sleeping and will do so until it dies unfortunately.You need to get a UTH or under tank heat pad rated for a 60gallon and either side or back mount it never bottom mount as this puts burrowed crabs in danger of overheating and dieing if the pad is bottom mounted.4.The Zoo-med water conditioner doesn't actually remove chloramines and heavy metals which is necessary to make the hermits drinking water safe.A good product like API or Top-fin will be cheaper and will get the job done.The HBH hermitcrab salt is essentially the same thing as Instant Ocean or Oceanic marine salts but it more expensive since you need to triple the recommended dosage on the back of the bottle to get the right concentration for your hermitcrabs.Mixing 8tblspns to one gallon of water will give you full strength sea water but the bottle wont last long doing this meaning you'd need to replace it every week or so ending up with you spending well over the the ten dollars it costs to get a ten gallon box of Instant Ocean.I know your new at this and thats okay so please don't take anything I've said as anything but constructive criticism.
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.
Sand is relatively damp on the top, but was not damp enough throughout (based on other posts I've read). Just to clarify the bottom line though: the only thing I can do for my current crab is to leave him alone, right? I will get him new water dechlorinator ASAP, but I'm afraid he hasn't been up for water in a while anyway.
2 PPs: Bernie and Juice
Yes, he made it! He was just molting--thank goodness! He is now a very happy crab. Remarkably the other crab that I thought had died was okay too--good thing I kept him around just in case! They are now friends and enjoy following each other around their crabitat!
2 PPs: Bernie and Juice
Y'all can call me Sara
Certifiably Crab Crazy
Certifiably Crab Crazy
We have 2 PP crabs that we purchased in mid September. 1 week after purchasing they went down to molt. A stressful experience for my girlfriend and I since these are our first hermies. (Our posts; http://landhermitcrabs.com/eve...1101988/m/9374071538) Well they both survived after our daily attempt at keeping their conditions ideal while they were down. Well it's been a little over 1 month since our larger crab surfaced. Well yesterday he tunneled himself under the substrate again. The humidity has been on the high side, but we have been keeping an eye on it to keep it down. Since it's been colder lately we have been running our apartment heater more often. 10gal. tankplaysand/coconut fuber substrate(moist)coconut fiber backingSat water/fresh dechlorinated waterFood; fruits, meats, shrimps, dry foodsAre hermit crabs known to molt 1 month after molting?
I have had crabs who did just that especially right after I got them or if there was an injury. It could also just as easily be that he is just going under to hang out and will be back without a molt. I would not worry.
Yes, I have found out that some crabs just like to dig! My larger crab loves to make tunnels and stays down for days at a time. After a few days I'll see (or hear) him come back up for water and food. No molting, just enjoying his underground world. Though it really worried me at first, he seems just to like digging around!
2 PPs: Bernie and Juice