Mites and Molting Crabs

For the discussion of any creepy crawlies that may have taken up residence in your tank, including mites. Please note that isopods have their own forum.
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Moniris
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Mites and Molting Crabs

Post by Moniris » Fri Nov 09, 2018 12:25 pm

Hey all, first post so I apologize for the rambling.

I recently picked up some crabs and did a ton of research to find out everything I needed to do to care for them properly. I understood the risk of having mites and did as much as I could to avoid it. I thoroughly cleaned the sand and EE before adding it to my tank, dipped each decoration and toy in boiling water to sanitize it before adding it to the tank. The only thing I can think of is either my crabs already had them or there was one day where I didn't change out the lettuce and apples and just left them in there for a couple days because it still looked healthy. Of course a proper crabitat is the perfect place for mites and such to bread considering the high humidity and warm, stable temperature. My problem right now is that one of my crabs is up and about while the other is completely buried and has been for a couple weeks now. It doesn't smell like death in there so I'm assuming he's molting (he's certainly got the space for it in there). If both crabs were up and moving then there'd be no need for this post. I know that I need to deep clean the tank to get rid of the mites but I'm not quite sure how to do that without disturbing the molting process of one of my crabs. Especially since he's only seen me once, or twice since purchasing him so it's not like he trusts me quite yet.

Anyone have any recommendations? I can provide pictures of my crabitat if anyone is interested, I'm pretty proud of it atually.
Tamatoa ◆ Possum ◆ Apollo ◆ Racer
Instagram: @home_defense_crabs

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wodesorel
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Re: Mites and Molting Crabs

Post by wodesorel » Fri Nov 09, 2018 12:34 pm

Food / grain / wood mites are pretty much unavoidable in the tank and cause no danger at all to the crabs. There is no reason to try and get rid of them unless it is something that is bothering you! Most of us just put up with them. Even if you were to clean heavily, they are likely to just come right back since they occur naturally in our homes!

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Moniris
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Joined: Fri Nov 09, 2018 11:33 am
Location: Phoenix, AZ

Re: Mites and Molting Crabs

Post by Moniris » Fri Nov 09, 2018 12:39 pm

Oh really? Ok well that's relieving, I did one of the "googles" and the first things I saw were "DEATH AND DESTRUCTION MIGHT AS WELL THROW THE WHOLE CRAB OUT", everywhere from loss of limb to death. Guess I should know better lol. I appreciate the rapid response Wodesorel! I'm gonna go pick up a few more crabs this afternoon so my Tommy (Tamatoa) has some friends since his only other one is currently preoccupied.
Tamatoa ◆ Possum ◆ Apollo ◆ Racer
Instagram: @home_defense_crabs

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wodesorel
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Re: Mites and Molting Crabs

Post by wodesorel » Fri Nov 09, 2018 1:06 pm

The first time I found mites I literally permanently injured myself tearing the tank apart to try and get rid of them. Three days later they were back. After that I just said screw it! And they do have a place in the tank doing clean-up and preventing mold, so they aren't just gross invaders.

There are kinds of mites that feed on the crabs and those for sure are bad! However, because those mites can only dine on crab, you won't find them wandering the tank. They will be glued to the crab, in the soft joints where they can bite down. They are rarely ever a problem with Purple Pinchers or Es, usually only foreign species will come with mites.

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