Single crab owner- want friends. Help?

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cassiedj
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Single crab owner- want friends. Help?

Post by cassiedj » Sat Aug 01, 2015 2:25 am

Hello all!

I've had my lone hermit crab Rommy for four years now. I know, I know, he should have friends- however, before now I was always in the dorms or a small apartment that didn't allow for more than a 10g tank, and my crabby is quite large. He's been through four successful molts and he is active and silly, so I haven't worried too much about him.

I *did* try to give him a friend 3 years ago, a small crab I got from a crappy kiosk at the Mall of America. He died pretty quickly, even though he seemed happy for the first couple days. He lost limbs and eventually just sat still... forever. My dad, for some reason, has a hunch that Rommy killed him or something. I don't know if that's common or what happened, but I've always tended to think the other crabby was just suffering from PPS.

Now, I am upgrading to a bigger tank very soon after my 10g broke today. I hope to get him at least one other friend, MAYBE two (I don't want to push it since it will be a taller tank). I'm kind of worried about introducing new crabs to my solitary buddy over here after so many years. What if he is a lonely freak and attacks the newbies? What if he gets territorial?

I am really nervous about this and I don't know what to do. I want Rommy to have a great quality of life and finally have friends, but I'm just so unsure.

If anyone has thoughts, let me know. Thank you.
Crabbies: currently only one named Romulus.

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aussieJJDude
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Re: Single crab owner- want friends. Help?

Post by aussieJJDude » Sat Aug 01, 2015 6:35 am

Depends on crab to crab... Some will just 'click' together; becoming each other's piece to the puzzle. Other times... not so much. :/ It's a risk.
(Sorry it's not that much help; but each crab has a different personality)

So if you do want to get some buddies see how they react; and make sure you have a backup just in case anything goes south.
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25G Nano Freshwater || 64G Freshwater Community || 90G Fancy Goldie Pond || 64G Crabitat
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khs12
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Re: Single crab owner- want friends. Help?

Post by khs12 » Sat Aug 01, 2015 11:13 am

I'm a new crab owner myself and initially only got one little guy, but added 2 more buddies a few days later. I got very lucky in that they all get along swimmingly and are always laying or sleeping on top of each other. However, from everything I've read so far, if you think you're going to get two, I would personally get the two at the same time and introduce them to Rommy all at once rather than introduce one now and the other in a week.
But if they don't get along, try fighting for shells or just don't like each other, it would be a good idea to have a separate tank to put them in to cool off and reintroduce later.
Mommy of 3 PP crabbies: Nickademus, Izzy, and Patrice.

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CallaLily
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Re: Single crab owner- want friends. Help?

Post by CallaLily » Sat Aug 01, 2015 11:32 am

cassiedj wrote: I *did* try to give him a friend 3 years ago, a small crab I got from a crappy kiosk at the Mall of America. He died pretty quickly, even though he seemed happy for the first couple days. He lost limbs and eventually just sat still... forever. My dad, for some reason, has a hunch that Rommy killed him or something. I don't know if that's common or what happened, but I've always tended to think the other crabby was just suffering from PPS.
I agree with you, it sounds like that crab was suffering from PPS. Not an attack.

I would definitely look into adopting some friends for Rommy. Giving them all a bath in the freshwater dish will help them to smell the same to each other and is usually a good way to lower the risk when introducing new crabs. There will likely be some normal dominance displays but these are usually nothing to worry about. Just something to keep an eye on. Make sure you have plenty of room, deep enough substrate, tons of extra shells, and offer a good diet. Good luck!

Edit to add: Normal dominance displays are; antennae "fights", shoving, standing over another crab, claw/leg waving. These should just be watched closely to make sure it doesn't turn into actual aggression. Worrisome behavior would be pinching or actively trying to steal another crab's shell. These behaviors should be stopped. You can try another dip in the fw pool for the fighting crabs and placing them on seperate ends of the crabitat. If this doesn't work, the bully should be Isolated with plenty of food and extra shells so they can get their fill. Usually kept there until after a molt but sometimes they'll settle down sooner.

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cassiedj
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Re: Single crab owner- want friends. Help?

Post by cassiedj » Sat Aug 01, 2015 5:19 pm

Thank you everyone! I just finished setting up Rommy's new crabitat, so I will think about getting more friends in the near future. I need to fill up the crabitat and get some shells first, then I think I will be ready. :)
Crabbies: currently only one named Romulus.

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