Me too... Mites! also interesting observation**

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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Topic author
Guest

Me too... Mites! also interesting observation**

Post by Guest » Sat Jul 02, 2005 4:39 pm

I just picked up two straws from petco last night and sure enough, they've got mites. White ones. I checked them in the store and did not see any. Got them home and bathed them in IO water and didn't see any. Put them in iso (just clean with fresh substrate) and some shells. Next morning, one of them had changed shells and when I went in to fish out the old shell, it had white mites inside and a couple outside. I immediately took both of them out of the iso tank and gave them both baths in IO + stress coat. After leaving them in a couple of minutes, saw mites float to the top. Here's the strange observation... while they were taking their soak, I started investigating the tank and could not see any mites anywhere. I have CF in the iso and the white mites should show up. After thinking about it some, I realized that I used salt water to expand the CF to keep mold down. Could this have kept the mites from leaving the shell that they were on and getting into the tank? Has anyone tried this to fight mites before?

I'm going to check them tomorrow to see if any new ones show up. In the meantime they are back in the same iso after I scraped the top inch of substrate away and tossed it just in case.

How long should I wait to make sure they are mite free before putting them into the main tank? Basically, how long does gestation take for mites so I can be sure I'm not transferring any eggs? I figure if they are mite free after two gestation cycles, then it should be safe.


Topic author
Guest

Post by Guest » Sat Jul 02, 2005 5:49 pm

With mine and Robins, we put in damp paper towels for substrate. I didn't want to take a chance of sand or anything getting the mites. I can throw away the papertowels,sanitize the tank all while they are bathing in IO.

I'm sorry to hear yours are infested too..Its sad to see them bathing and making thier shells swoosh out the bugs. Mine seem to be doing better, only 2 bugs the other day and none today. *knocks on wood*


Topic author
Guest

Post by Guest » Sun Jul 03, 2005 3:06 am

They seem to be ok. I got one jumbo and one med. The jumbo has a molt sac starting so I'm a liitle worried about this being too much stress. Also, this means I may have to transfer him to the smaller iso to molt soon. So far, he seems to be taking it well. Found him climbing up the temp probe cable earlier today. The smaller one has been a little lethargic though. How long are you planning to wait before putting them back into the main crabitat?

Of course all of this will cause yet another delay in getting Es. :( I have a feeling I'll need both iso tanks free just in case.


Topic author
Guest

Post by Guest » Sun Jul 03, 2005 10:39 am

it's weird that everyone is getting mite problems all of a sudden. i just recently *finally* got rid of all of mine. i ended up doing a x2 concentration of IO, and i only had to do one bath with it to get rid of all of them.

i did also notice that the mites were only on the crabs, and not on substrate, toys, extra shells, etc. i had both red and white ones, the white ones were extra tiny. i use sand for a substrate, but when i dampen the sand, i use IO instead of fresh. and sometimes if i need to mist the tank, i use IO. maybe this is a good method to keep them contained.

as for the gestation period, i remember being told 72 or 78 hours or something like that. i'm glad to hear it sounds like yours are gone too. stinky little buggers are hard to get rid of!


Topic author
Guest

mites

Post by Guest » Sun Jul 03, 2005 2:38 pm

mine have the red ones. Question though, is there another brand of IO type that I could use. IO only comes in the 5gallon bucket here and I'm not paying that much for that. Does it matter which brand I use?


Topic author
Guest

Post by Guest » Sun Jul 03, 2005 4:10 pm

there's also Oceanic, but the smallest bag you can buy makes 5 gallons, so i just divide it five ways to make the one gallon. there's also another kind, i think it's called Red Sea or something like that. you should ask the store you get IO at if they can order the small boxes, they might. i don't think it really matters which one you use, it seems like all of them are used by everyone on here, and i haven't heard anything bad about any. i used to use IO and now use Oceanic, and haven't noticed a difference.

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Christa
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Post by Christa » Sun Jul 03, 2005 8:46 pm

Sometimes when I bathe mine a mite or two floats out but then I never see the mites otherwise. It is very strange. The mites that float out of my hermies are sort of yellowish-whitish and have a fattish butt. The first time I saw them I freaked and scoured my tank (then I was using forest bedding) and didn't see a one!

I asked a crustacean scientist about the mites and he said that all hermit crabs have gill mites, and that what I'm seeing is probably them. The gill mites live in a hermit crab's gills and (aside from the gross-out factor) supposedly don't cause any harm to the hermies. So I left the crabitat alone (no sterilization) and I do not see any of them unless I bathe them and even then it's maybe 2 mites out of 80 hermies.

The ones that stress them out are the ones that get in their food and crawl all over them. Weird, eh? FWIW I've found that the C. cavipes have more of those gill mites than most other species, but that might just be my hermies.

hc!
Christa
~~ The HCA ~~ the original and still the best -- ACCEPT NO IMITATIONS
Ting-Tang (Walla walla bing bang!)
Crabbing since 1974
http://www.hermit-crabs.com


Topic author
Guest

Post by Guest » Mon Jul 04, 2005 1:04 pm

hmm, so maybe some of these mites aren't bad then? the gill mites that don't harm them are probably there to get rid of the ones that do. lots of animals have defenses like that, so it's not too surprising. good to know that i don't always have to panic when i see a few mites every now and then! :D

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