2 Crabs from Boardwalk... Temp Tank... 1 Molting... Thoughts/Advice Appreciated!

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Kydra
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2 Crabs from Boardwalk... Temp Tank... 1 Molting... Thoughts/Advice Appreciated!

Post by Kydra » Thu Aug 15, 2019 2:33 pm

Since I have been lurking for hours a day (lol) thought I'd register and post what's going on.. maybe get some feedback.

I purchased two small hermit crabs from the boardwalk and was given the usual... a wired circular cage to climb, hermit crab food, a sponge, etc. This was on Friday, August 9th as I was on vacation. I drove back to my partner's house on Saturday and began researching proper care online. HCA has been the best resource I have found and I had read the care guide multiple times.

So after reading proper care per HCA I kinda freaked a bit and told my partner to do what you want, I have to go to a few stores. Still SMH at what they tell you when they sell the poor things. I drove to PetSmart or Petco (I forget) and they knew a little bit more, but not by much. I decided to do what I could with the funds I could use to get my two hermit crabs in more ideal conditions with the plan to use what I purchase to move them to a 10 gallon in a few weeks when I have more funds to use.

So... Their current temp tank = the largest critter container I could buy (need to get a larger tank, but currently have an issue with a molting hermit crab). Of course the lady at the pet store said I only needed the smallest plastic container they had which I ignored.

Ultimately, they were moved into a larger container (maybe 5 gallons if that) with EE substrate, UTH on the back side of tank, a large cave, dechlorinated freshwater bowl, mixes of all kinds of food (still sprinkling in hermit crab food as was slowly getting them off of this), extra shells from boardwalk store (which weren't the right shells), and a few other things I'm likely forgetting.

I also have way too much "stuff" for the size of the tank currently so that's all stuffed in the old wired cage I bought them in... of course I had already wasted a ton at the boardwalk buying the biggest cage, extra gravel, and all the useless items I was sold. The goal is to upgrade as I noted in a few weeks or so, but wanted them to be in much better conditions until then. There is a thermometer/h, that is analog but has been right around 80/80.

The one thing that I did not get was saltwater. On Tuesday, August 13th I went to a local shop and picked up instant ocean along with extra shells and a hammock to create more room with another level and figured be good for them to climb. I set this all up adding the saltwater bowl.

Later that evening one of the two small crabs is relaxing/playing in the saltwater for over an hour... I keep checking on him... Then he's eating what I had in there at the time (boiled an egg so pieces of egg, egg yolk, egg shell, and a little bit of hermit crab food sprinkled in) so I let him be only to come back searching for him. Thinking, did he somehow get out?

I panicked a bit from Tuesday night when he went missing until late Wednesday night when I finally decided to take a look under the tank. He definitely dug himself down into the EE substrate. With the behavior prior, the logical conclusion would be that he is molting.

The problem is this was supposed to be a temp setup because I felt horrible with what I received at the boardwalk. Also, while there are only two hermit crabs and they are both small, the substrate is maybe 4" or so which may explain why I was able to partially see his painted (ugh) shell underneath.

Now what? Obviously the answer is to just wait it out although any thoughts or advice would be appreciated. I may post a picture of the setup if any of you actually read through my ramblings since I started this wonderful journey (lol) and were interested in my quick fix setup. Still find it interesting that it was the day I added the saltwater bowl he then soaked in and went digging.

I do thank HCA for all the help/information and hopefully my littlest guy has a successful molt. Hoping they both change shells and get out of the painted ones. I'm going to upgrade as long as this molt goes well and no issues with the other guy in the meantime. The wait is already torturous and it's just been a few days haha. Just hoping he eventually comes up alive and well TBH. Thanks!

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Hermiesguardian
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Re: 2 Crabs from Boardwalk... Temp Tank... 1 Molting... Thoughts/Advice Appreciated!

Post by Hermiesguardian » Thu Aug 15, 2019 4:38 pm

Welcome! Many of us began as you did. Is the "tank" they're in now totally sealed? Including lid? 5 gal is really too small for 2 crabs. I know funds are tight but there are a couple of things you can do. Check out craigslist and the apps offerup and letgo for great deals on tanks. Mixing ee with playsand is not only good for holding its shape but a 50lb bag of playsand is less than $5. You can ditch the pellets. They eat pretty much what we eat. Just try and make it organic and no seasonings. They need protein and calcium daily. If you can set up a new tank for them in the meantime, and many people use totes because it may be cheaper, heat and humidity, depth of substrate, sandcastle consistancy, you can move over the crab that is above ground. If you wait until they are both above ground, chances are the 2nd one might molt. And molting can take a couple months. It's like playing whack-a-mole. Once you have the proper set up it doesn't really cost much to maintain. But beware! They are addicting. Lol. So get the largest tank you can afford. Because you will be adding more crabs.
raising son's dog, Dante. Husky/hound.
Raising daughter's hermit crabs, Shelder, Paras and Derek. Added 2 more of my own (of course) Pete and Stryper. Former mommy to 2 guinea pigs and beloved cat, Nissi


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Kydra
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Location: NJ

Re: 2 Crabs from Boardwalk... Temp Tank... 1 Molting... Thoughts/Advice Appreciated!

Post by Kydra » Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:10 pm

Hermiesguardian wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 4:38 pm
Welcome! Many of us began as you did. Is the "tank" they're in now totally sealed? Including lid? 5 gal is really too small for 2 crabs. I know funds are tight but there are a couple of things you can do. Check out craigslist and the apps offerup and letgo for great deals on tanks. Mixing ee with playsand is not only good for holding its shape but a 50lb bag of playsand is less than $5. You can ditch the pellets. They eat pretty much what we eat. Just try and make it organic and no seasonings. They need protein and calcium daily. If you can set up a new tank for them in the meantime, and many people use totes because it may be cheaper, heat and humidity, depth of substrate, sandcastle consistancy, you can move over the crab that is above ground. If you wait until they are both above ground, chances are the 2nd one might molt. And molting can take a couple months. It's like playing whack-a-mole. Once you have the proper set up it doesn't really cost much to maintain. But beware! They are addicting. Lol. So get the largest tank you can afford. Because you will be adding more crabs.
Thanks for the welcome! Yeah, crazy thinking I had hermit crabs as a child. Terrible they can sell them with such crap instructions and all!!!

It is definitely too small although the two crabs are really small themselves. With the substrate being only 4" it's still 3x deeper than the entire crab that went down to molt. Figured that would work for a few weeks until I can get a larger tank for them and to make sure they are healthy and weren't too stressed from so many changes.

The lid is half plastic half "mesh" but I have been keeping an older shirt over just the lid to keep more humidity in without disturbing the normal circadian rhythm of day/night. I am going to look out for a deal on a tank within the next week or so. Worse case I'll just buy one.

As for the substrate it was kinda rushed and I had the EE so after reading a few threads RE those that use all EE being fine I figured it would be ok for the emergency "temp tank" I thought I was making. As for the playsand I can easily get that at a local hardware store from what I've read. I kinda liked the way the EE held moisture and the sandcastle consistency as well, but haven't tried sand yet so will do for the upgrade. Any particular popular brands or anything to look out for? I did not buy the calcium sand that the pet store lady recommended and went with EE after researching a bit before going there.

The one crab is crazy about that hermit crab pellet food though lol. I felt bad just totally dropping it. I have a two way type food bowl and for tonight the one guy has the boiled egg again with pieces of grapes on the other side for the night. I did crush a pellet and put a very small amount with the egg/egg shell. I'm close to completely eliminating it. It is great though that most of what they need I already have here for myself!

It is kinda addicting though and I've already thought about adopting possibly later on and depending on how everything goes until I have a larger setup. I'm used to the usual 10 gallon + fish tanks, but could check out the tropical fish store down the road to see what they have if anything with more space/more interesting is available. I'd personally rather do glass than a tote type deal, but appreciate the suggestion.

At this point, I do not plan on disturbing the molting crab, but I really do hope he makes it. He's pretty small so hoping it's not too long of a wait! You may be right though to just start the setup now and move over the one that is still above ground into that once complete. My luck I'll end up going out in a few days, buy a larger tank and he'll decide to go down as well. Any thoughts on the stretch between just freshwater for days then the day I add saltwater the smaller guy chills in it for at least an hour then eats and goes under? Glad I was able to get the instant ocean regardless.

I've already spent a ridiculous amount of time doing research and sneaking in there all night to check out what's going on that most people would think I'm crazy haha. Who knew how interesting hermit crabs could be... especially with such misinformation from those selling them. I'm a huge animal guy. Love them all so that really bothered me. Going to do my best with getting things upgraded without adding anymore unnecessary stress for them. And you are correct... I will want to add more!

I did order the correct shells in all different sizes on Amazon from two different sellers so will have plenty. Definitely overspent, but I'll be set in the shell department if all comes in as advertised. Oh and I am pretty sure that the really small guy that is molting is a E while the one a little bit larger than him is a PP. Will check them out more for ID when things are a bit more settled. Maybe I'm stressing myself out trying to not stress them out haha.

Rambling again, but thanks for the reply/tips/suggestions. Always appreciated!

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Hermiesguardian
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Re: 2 Crabs from Boardwalk... Temp Tank... 1 Molting... Thoughts/Advice Appreciated!

Post by Hermiesguardian » Thu Aug 15, 2019 10:01 pm

For your future set up the sunstrate really needs to be a minimum of 6 inches. When molting they give off a yummy sweet scent that attracts the other crabs to chow down on them. And if that one is an E they are diggers and need around 10 inches of substrate. And they are a bit more agressive. They need 2-3 different types of protein daily as well as calcium. If there are any preservatives in the pellets they are doing more harm than good. You can give them raw chicken if you happen to be making chicken or beef. As long as it's 100%. Cover your lid with saran wrap taped down. A shirt will absorb the humidity.
raising son's dog, Dante. Husky/hound.
Raising daughter's hermit crabs, Shelder, Paras and Derek. Added 2 more of my own (of course) Pete and Stryper. Former mommy to 2 guinea pigs and beloved cat, Nissi


Topic author
Kydra
Posts: 111
Joined: Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:35 pm
Location: NJ

Re: 2 Crabs from Boardwalk... Temp Tank... 1 Molting... Thoughts/Advice Appreciated!

Post by Kydra » Thu Aug 15, 2019 10:20 pm

Hermiesguardian wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 10:01 pm
For your future set up the sunstrate really needs to be a minimum of 6 inches. When molting they give off a yummy sweet scent that attracts the other crabs to chow down on them. And if that one is an E they are diggers and need around 10 inches of substrate. And they are a bit more agressive. They need 2-3 different types of protein daily as well as calcium. If there are any preservatives in the pellets they are doing more harm than good. You can give them raw chicken if you happen to be making chicken or beef. As long as it's 100%. Cover your lid with saran wrap taped down. A shirt will absorb the humidity.
Going to try not to ramble again ha. Oh... Definitely on the sub in the upgrade will prob go at least 10" even though they are small what's a few extra inches of substrate esp if he is a E and they are diggers. I'm going to just cut out the hermit crab food for when I change it in the AM since I had just put in the egg side/fruit side not too long ago.

I only sprinkled a bit of the pellet powder around the egg section. It's a FMR food... That they were probably on since being captive, but they are trying the other food. I also bought some dried shrimp the one that's up picks at. Had that in there last night so they get a good variety. We actually feed our small dog grilled chicken. Just plain once daily. The thought of raw seems ehh, the cooked should be fine I believe?

I really didn't even think about the shirt absorbing the humidity TBH. Good catch. I'll get that done now. Thought it would actually help keep both the humidity and warmth in. Thanks again for the help!!

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Hermiesguardian
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Re: 2 Crabs from Boardwalk... Temp Tank... 1 Molting... Thoughts/Advice Appreciated!

Post by Hermiesguardian » Thu Aug 15, 2019 11:15 pm

You're welcome. Cooked is good. Just no seasonings. Raw is good. No one cooks for them in the wild. Lol
raising son's dog, Dante. Husky/hound.
Raising daughter's hermit crabs, Shelder, Paras and Derek. Added 2 more of my own (of course) Pete and Stryper. Former mommy to 2 guinea pigs and beloved cat, Nissi


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Kydra
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Re: 2 Crabs from Boardwalk... Temp Tank... 1 Molting... Thoughts/Advice Appreciated!

Post by Kydra » Fri Aug 16, 2019 1:00 am

One question regarding the substrate. As I wrote, just using straight EE right now; seems fine, but am aware of the 5:1 ratio. Thinking of upgrading sooner rather than later and have an off day. The EE has been fine by itself so far but...

TLDR: As for the playsand I can easily get that at a local hardware store from what I've read. I kinda liked the way the EE held moisture and the sandcastle consistency as well, but haven't tried sand yet so will do for the upgrade. Any particular popular brands or anything to look out for?

Any real reason not to just continue using the EE alone? It is still holding its consistency and humidity is good. Just curious. + It's been less than a week so not sure about the reasoning/need for the sand. Thoughts?

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Overmountain1
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Re: 2 Crabs from Boardwalk... Temp Tank... 1 Molting... Thoughts/Advice Appreciated!

Post by Overmountain1 » Fri Aug 16, 2019 10:03 am

It’s partially personal preference, but there are some issues to be aware of with the EE that happen less with some sand mixed in. Nothing beats sand for a sandcastle- there’s a reason they’re still made out of sand! Kidding.
Point is, we do recommend the 5:1 sand bc it does hold its shape and moisture more evenly. That said, there are others who have successfully used just EE with their crabs, but the issues I mentioned I know I’ve read but cannot provide a link; they pertain to molting primarily I believe, so maybe just do a search for that for more detail I am unable to provide. I didn’t pay much attention at the time bc I do use the sand. GL!!


Dave the Wondercrab~Pat~MaggieMoo~Billy~
Pop~Corn~Ten~Sam~Tim~Gene My PP clan


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Kydra
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Re: 2 Crabs from Boardwalk... Temp Tank... 1 Molting... Thoughts/Advice Appreciated!

Post by Kydra » Fri Aug 16, 2019 9:43 pm

Long day today... Bought a ten gallon and setup, etc, along with keeping some food/water/saltwater/shells in the "temp tank" for my guy that went under.

Was NOT planning on upgrading today after late last night. I was reading way too much online and thought I could smell a fishy smell thinking "darn, he didn't make it, prob just buried to die".

So later this afternoon I lifted up the plastic temporary just to confirm what I was thinking (although I really didn't smell much and remembered I had eggs in there too last night) and since he basically made a "pocket" at the bottom of the substrate that's really about 3" (poor guy) I took a look. He saw me and immediately retracted a bit so I put the tank back and then decided to just hope he's good and upgrade everything.

As I wrote, just about everything is now in the 10 gallon tank (except what I felt necessary to keep with the molter) with around 6-7" of a mix of 3:1 sand/EE. WOW, that 6-7" ended up being about half the new 10 gallon tank!

Moved Kraken over (the PP) and I left Hydra (the E) buried with the heater still on, but basically bare bone necessities until he hopefully surfaces healthy and can move back in with his buddy. I am very glad I did this. Even the 10 gallon is really just enough so, again, I feel terrible that these boardwalks can not only sell hermit crabs with such little knowledge, but looking at the "care guide" they gave me... It's really just irritating and terrible.

Thanks for the suggestion. Kraken seems much happier. I doubled the heater as well and still running perfect around 80/80. Glad I went with the sand as well even if not the 5:1... it has a really cool look to it lol.

Now, around 10:30PM, I'm just finishing everything up and think it's all good since this is also a long work weekend for me. Thanks again for the suggestions and extra help. Even after reading almost everything, it is nice to get actual advice from real people lol. Appreciate it!

On a side note; is there an "upload pictures" option on this forum? I am on quick reply so don't see an option, but if so I will upload pictures of both if interested/for others to see.

Finally feel like I can take a breath from stressing about setup. Now just the molter is going to stress me out every day for who knows how long lol.

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curlysister
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Re: 2 Crabs from Boardwalk... Temp Tank... 1 Molting... Thoughts/Advice Appreciated!

Post by curlysister » Fri Aug 16, 2019 9:50 pm

I also use the sand and EE mix, but I recall reading that straight EE has a higher risk of flooding.

To add pictures, many of us use the Tapatalk app. There's another way but I can't remember now, LOL.

Welcome to crabbing! I have had my two, Sonny and Cher, for almost 9 years!
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." -Will Rogers


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Kydra
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Re: 2 Crabs from Boardwalk... Temp Tank... 1 Molting... Thoughts/Advice Appreciated!

Post by Kydra » Sun Aug 18, 2019 1:40 am

Overmountain1 wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 10:03 am
It’s partially personal preference, but there are some issues to be aware of with the EE that happen less with some sand mixed in. Nothing beats sand for a sandcastle- there’s a reason they’re still made out of sand! Image Kidding.
Point is, we do recommend the 5:1 sand bc it does hold its shape and moisture more evenly. That said, there are others who have successfully used just EE with their crabs, but the issues I mentioned I know I’ve read but cannot provide a link; they pertain to molting primarily I believe, so maybe just do a search for that for more detail I am unable to provide. I didn’t pay much attention at the time bc I do use the sand. GL!!


ImageDave the Wondercrab~Pat~MaggieMoo~Billy~
Pop~Corn~Ten~Sam~Tim~GeneImage My PP clan
When I had some spare time I just googled some key words that sent me right back here RE all EE. There was a rather long post/thread going back and forth about whether or not all EE actually "dissolves" the hermit crabs and kills them during molting since it is biodegradable and breaks stuff down. I'm thinking this might be what you were referring to. Can't remember if the original post was from 2000 or 2005 (was reading two old threads so was around that time).

There were a few in the thread that were against it and theorized their crab died during molting r/t using all EE while a few others were adamant that their crabs have successfully molted in all EE without issue so who knows. I do have the one E down in the old temporary tank dug himself a pocket that can be seen from underneath the tank (only about 3" of all EE). Just hoping he is successfully molting and comes up healthy to move in with his buddy. First time dealing with this. Definitely need patience!!


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Kydra
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Re: 2 Crabs from Boardwalk... Temp Tank... 1 Molting... Thoughts/Advice Appreciated!

Post by Kydra » Sun Aug 18, 2019 1:43 am

curlysister wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 9:50 pm
I also use the sand and EE mix, but I recall reading that straight EE has a higher risk of flooding.

To add pictures, many of us use the Tapatalk app. There's another way but I can't remember now, LOL.

Welcome to crabbing! I have had my two, Sonny and Cher, for almost 9 years!
I saw the Tapatalk app posted before as an option, but hoped could just upload directly to post using the forum (I am a member of a few forums that allow direct uploads). Thanks though.

Appreciate the welcome! I can only hope my two follow Sonny and Cher lol. At this point just stressing until either the molt ends successfully or I start smelling something fishy. Fingers crossed for the best!


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Kydra
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Re: 2 Crabs from Boardwalk... Temp Tank... 1 Molting... Thoughts/Advice Appreciated!

Post by Kydra » Thu Aug 22, 2019 2:00 am

Checking in. Got a bit impatient and gently lifted the temp tank and the E is still buried at the bottom in all EE. Can just barely see some of the shell so not much else I could say there. Been a week plus. Have both the original and 10 gallon at 80/80+.

My other guy hasn't been too active in the 10 gallon and scares pretty easily. I did have a piece of climbing wood that grew some mold so trashed that and added a fake plant since he likes to hide out. Also, on the boardwalk they sold me a clamshell type food container, but was color-coated and it started to fall apart in the 80+ humidity so trashed that immediately and I just thoroughly boiled an old contact case and have some shrimp and dried food in the left and some dried fruits with organic baby apple food in the right. Is it ok to use the contact lens case for now?? I actually like that I have two sides to mix foods lol. I've only heard of no metals, nothing about plastic contact lens containers. Thanks!

Oh and after reading much more on here, I feel like my E surviving this molt is a 50/50 shot at best and feel bad for the other guy since he's alone in the new tank. Maybe I'm just being pessimistic. So far no smell in the small container so guess that's a good sign.

Anyway, thoughts on the contact lens case for food? I did order a bunch last night from the hermit crab patch so should be set for a bit in a few days. Am I being too negative RE the molter? Feel like 50/50 after reading here for a first molt in all EE seems realistic.

Appreciate the help!

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Hermiesguardian
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Re: 2 Crabs from Boardwalk... Temp Tank... 1 Molting... Thoughts/Advice Appreciated!

Post by Hermiesguardian » Thu Aug 22, 2019 7:00 am

Kydra wrote:
Thu Aug 22, 2019 2:00 am
Checking in. Got a bit impatient and gently lifted the temp tank and the E is still buried at the bottom in all EE. Can just barely see some of the shell so not much else I could say there. Been a week plus. Have both the original and 10 gallon at 80/80+.

My other guy hasn't been too active in the 10 gallon and scares pretty easily. I did have a piece of climbing wood that grew some mold so trashed that and added a fake plant since he likes to hide out. Also, on the boardwalk they sold me a clamshell type food container, but was color-coated and it started to fall apart in the 80+ humidity so trashed that immediately and I just thoroughly boiled an old contact case and have some shrimp and dried food in the left and some dried fruits with organic baby apple food in the right. Is it ok to use the contact lens case for now?? I actually like that I have two sides to mix foods lol. I've only heard of no metals, nothing about plastic contact lens containers. Thanks!

Oh and after reading much more on here, I feel like my E surviving this molt is a 50/50 shot at best and feel bad for the other guy since he's alone in the new tank. Maybe I'm just being pessimistic. So far no smell in the small container so guess that's a good sign.

Anyway, thoughts on the contact lens case for food? I did order a bunch last night from the hermit crab patch so should be set for a bit in a few days. Am I being too negative RE the molter? Feel like 50/50 after reading here for a first molt in all EE seems realistic.

Appreciate the help!
I actually have used contact lens cases too.
raising son's dog, Dante. Husky/hound.
Raising daughter's hermit crabs, Shelder, Paras and Derek. Added 2 more of my own (of course) Pete and Stryper. Former mommy to 2 guinea pigs and beloved cat, Nissi


Topic author
Kydra
Posts: 111
Joined: Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:35 pm
Location: NJ

Re: 2 Crabs from Boardwalk... Temp Tank... 1 Molting... Thoughts/Advice Appreciated!

Post by Kydra » Thu Aug 22, 2019 8:00 pm

Thanks, the contact lens seems to be working well. Kraken (PP) in 10 gallon just changed out of his painted shell. Wow. It has paint chips and a crack where the "lip" of the shell is. I just boiled it, but since he finally picked a new shell out of about 20 should I leave it in there? Just feeling he might not be comfy in the new one, but would rather him not go back. Idk?

And my E is still buried in the 5 gallon molting... I hope.

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