What did I do wrong...? (And how can I do better on try #2?)

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JulesRolyCrab
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What did I do wrong...? (And how can I do better on try #2?)

Post by JulesRolyCrab » Sun Jun 12, 2016 8:04 am

Hey guys, I haven't been active for a while. I purchased three crabs last August, and unfortunately, none survived. I have no idea what I did wrong, but I was wondering if perhaps I missed something? I thought I did excessive amounts of (good) research...
Here's a (semi outdated) picture of the tat. The humidity rose after I replaced the plastic wrap with a towel and covered more of the lid.

Image

1. What kind of substrate is used in your tank and how deep is it?
--5:1 ratio of play sand and Eco Earth (from one of those bricks).

2. Do you have gauges in the tank to measure temperature and humidity? If so, where are they located and what temperature and humidity do they usually read?
--Yes, an Acurite temp/humidity gauge, which rests on the ground on the side opposite the heat mat. Usually read 77 degrees Fahrenheit. Humidity varied a lot.Tried to keep it around 80- something by spraying whenever I could. I live in a very dry state.

3. Is a heat source used in the tank? If so, what?
--Yes, an Ultratherm heat mat, placed on the back wall above the sub line.

4. What types of water are available (fresh or salt) and how is the water treated (what brands of dechlorinator or salt mix and what ratio is used to mix it)?
--Fresh and salt. Oh shoot, I totally forgot the brand names. Seachem Prime, I think, used on both types of water (a couple drops for a gallon) and Instant Ocean. I did whatever the box said for a gallon, I think 1/4 cup?? I looked on the HCA to double check the proportions at the time, though.

5. What kinds of food do you feed and how often is it replaced?
--HCP worm castings/oyster shells/protein mix, sometimes the mineral dust. I also fed apple, carrot, cucumber, leafy greens, garbanzos, oats, sunflower seeds, um??? Maybe beets?? Can't remember anything else. Turkey, once on Thanksgiving.

6. How long have you had the crab and what species is it, if known?
--Well, they're all dead now... Purple pinchers, got them in August.

7. Has your crab molted, and how long ago did it happen?
--One died underground on their first molt, the other molted, came up for a month or so, and then went down for another molt and never came up again...

8. What type of housing are the crabs kept in, what size is it and what kind of lid is on the housing?
--10 gallon glass aquarium, with a screen lid. It's sort of a metal mesh/grated thing. I have lid clips. The lid is mostly covered with plastic wrap, and now I cover most with a towel. Nearly the whole lid was covered due to humidity problems.

9. How many crabs are in the tank and about how large are they?
--There were three for about a day, but two once Iggy passed. Ludwig (the one that molted successfully once) was the only one that actually lived on the surface.

10. How many extra shells are usually kept in the tank, if any?
-+I think there's maybe ten, not including the tiny ones at the bottom of the water pools. Both crabs changed out of their painted ones on arrival.

11. Have there been any fumes or chemicals near the crabitat recently?
--Not that I remember. We sprayed for bugs in the basement, but the tank's upstairs and I closed the door and sealed any cracks.

12. How often do you clean the tank and how?
--Mostly just rearrange anything out of placed, refill moss, and change the water ever few days. Clean the fresh food bowl when it gets nasty.

13. Are sponges used in the water dish? If so, how are they cleaned?
--Nope, n/a

14. Has anything new been added to your crabitat recently?
--Everything was new at the time.

15. Is there any other information you would like to share that might be helpful?
--As mentioned before, it's very dry in my state. I did my best to keep the humidity up, but I had to spray a lot. Checked for floods, nothing was there. However, sand always seemed dry. Idk if they died from PPS or if there is some obvious flaw in my setup. Thanks so much for reading this, I just want my crabbing endeavors to not be a waste.

One other question I might have. So, I'm going to eventually have to do something about... you know, the crabs. I don't exactly think I can handle decomposing crabs. Any idea the state at which they'll be? It's been months since death for one, and more than half a year for the other....

Thanks. :love::

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CallaLily
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Re: What did I do wrong...? (And how can I do better on try

Post by CallaLily » Sun Jun 12, 2016 9:55 am

So the only major concerns I see are the humidity and trouble with the substrate drying out as a result. I strongly suggest investing in a humidifier/fogger with living in such a dry area.

Other smaller concerns: Instant Ocean should be mixed 1/2 cup per gallon of dechlor water, and space. Though two small crabs in a 10 gallon is fine for a while, more room is better.

Did you calibrate your hygrometer to make sure you were getting an accurate reading? Also, kept right on the surface of the substrate can sometimes throw the reading off. Especially if (when) the crabs get it all sandy. They're best placed a couple inches up off the surface.

I hope this helps. It sounds like your first two deaths were likely more PPS related.
JulesRolyCrab wrote: One other question I might have. So, I'm going to eventually have to do something about... you know, the crabs. I don't exactly think I can handle decomposing crabs. Any idea the state at which they'll be? It's been months since death for one, and more than half a year for the other....
If they've been dead for that long there likely won't be a whole lot left, especially if they're underground. Maybe just a few small yucky bits on the shell of the one that passed more recently. Based off my experience anyway.

On that note, are you sure they've passed?

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JulesRolyCrab
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Re: What did I do wrong...? (And how can I do better on try

Post by JulesRolyCrab » Sun Jun 12, 2016 10:23 am

Thank you for the reply. For the Instant Ocean, I honestly have no idea what the amount was, it was whatever it says on the HCA water page :) Sorry! The hydrometer was calibrated, but I really should elevate it, thanks for the idea.

I think I'll look into a humidifier fogger,. I hadn't thought about that. Only concern, do those take up a lot of space? Due it in fact being a 10 gal. tank, I don't even know if that's an option (then again I know literally nothing about humidifiers...). Are they bulky??

Unfortunately, I am sure. After waiting for 8 months? for one, and 5 months for the other to come up, I stopped spraying the surface and unplugged the heat. The first had been down for a very long time (and was a small/medium Crab) and the second was tiny, and had taken three weeks to molt the first time. :(

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MsWorld
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Re: What did I do wrong...? (And how can I do better on try

Post by MsWorld » Sun Jun 12, 2016 11:36 am

JulesRolyCrab wrote:Thank you for the reply. For the Instant Ocean, I honestly have no idea what the amount was, it was whatever it says on the HCA water page :) Sorry! The hydrometer was calibrated, but I really should elevate it, thanks for the idea.

I think I'll look into a humidifier fogger,. I hadn't thought about that. Only concern, do those take up a lot of space? Due it in fact being a 10 gal. tank, I don't even know if that's an option (then again I know literally nothing about humidifiers...). Are they bulky??

Unfortunately, I am sure. After waiting for 8 months? for one, and 5 months for the other to come up, I stopped spraying the surface and unplugged the heat. The first had been down for a very long time (and was a small/medium Crab) and the second was tiny, and had taken three weeks to molt the first time. :(
I personally have the brand repti fogger. It sits outside of the tank. I have 2 of them since I have a few tanks. I love them. Petco online is THE cheapest place to get them.


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CallaLily
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Re: What did I do wrong...? (And how can I do better on try

Post by CallaLily » Sun Jun 12, 2016 8:16 pm

I have this humidifier. It sits outside of the tank and I pipe it in to the crabitat with a bit of leftover pond tubing (the nozzle pops off and by luck, the bit of tubing my husband had leftover fit down in it perfectly). I love it! I wish I had thought to use one earlier on, it's taken a lot of worry out of crabbing for me. :crabbigsmile:

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JulesRolyCrab
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Re: What did I do wrong...? (And how can I do better on try

Post by JulesRolyCrab » Mon Jun 13, 2016 4:52 am

Oh! Wow that is so much simpler than I imagined. You don't need anything else??
This sounds like a great idea, thank you both. :love::

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Crabinski
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Re: What did I do wrong...? (And how can I do better on try

Post by Crabinski » Mon Jun 13, 2016 2:00 pm

Another inexpensive way to boost humidity is to add bubblers to the pools: the whole set-up (mini aquarium pump, tubing, splitter and airstones was about $10 at Walmart). I, too, live in a very dry area (Arizona) and have no issues with humidity and credit a lot of that to the bubblers; however, I should mention that I have a hinged glass lid on the tank and that really helps to keep both heat and moisture in.
PPs are Big Enzo, Charles Paris and Mr Pinch
On the Big Beach in the Sky: Murray, Gino, Oscar, Gordon, Ignatz, Harry and King Felix the Pale
Also Mom to Imogene the Syrian Hamster

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Re: What did I do wrong...? (And how can I do better on try

Post by JulesRolyCrab » Mon Jun 13, 2016 11:31 pm

I've heard a lot of crabbers who have bubblers. Do you know if (again, space wise) that would work for a 10 gallon?

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Crabinski
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Re: What did I do wrong...? (And how can I do better on try

Post by Crabinski » Mon Jun 13, 2016 11:40 pm

JulesRolyCrab wrote:I've heard a lot of crabbers who have bubblers. Do you know if (again, space wise) that would work for a 10 gallon?
Yes, bubblers can work in a 10g. The pools shown in your tank pic are fine for adding bubblers as all you need are the airstones smaller than mini Tootsie Rolls. The small aquarium pump sits outside the tank with a length of tubing dropping down into the tank; getting a little "T" connector/splitter allows that one piece of tubing to serve both pools as short pieces of tubing are attached to the "T" and the airstones are attached to the bottom of those short tubes. Not only will the humidity increase, but the pools stay cleaner longer and crabs (at least my guys) visit the pools to drink and soak far more frequently when the water is aerated.
PPs are Big Enzo, Charles Paris and Mr Pinch
On the Big Beach in the Sky: Murray, Gino, Oscar, Gordon, Ignatz, Harry and King Felix the Pale
Also Mom to Imogene the Syrian Hamster

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JulesRolyCrab
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Re: What did I do wrong...? (And how can I do better on try

Post by JulesRolyCrab » Mon Jun 13, 2016 11:54 pm

Wow, and for that cheap! Thank is for the advice, everyone, this all helps so much!!! :)
What type of aquarium pump do you get? There seem to be a million types and models, and "sizes" so to speak...
Last edited by JulesRolyCrab on Tue Jun 14, 2016 12:24 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Crabinski
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Re: What did I do wrong...? (And how can I do better on try

Post by Crabinski » Tue Jun 14, 2016 12:02 am

JulesRolyCrab wrote:Wow, and for that cheap! Thank is for the advice, everyone, this all helps so much!!! :)
What type of aquarium pump do you get? There seem to be a million types and models, and "sizes" so to speak...
Remember that you only need a low-power pump because you're not using it to cycle all of the water in an aquarium, just the few cups in the pools. This is the pump I have:
http://www.walmart.com/ip/Aqua-Culture- ... p/44662572

This is the tubing:
http://www.walmart.com/ip/Aqua-Cultures ... s/11965102

A two-pack of "T" connectors was about $2 as was the two-pack of airstones.
PPs are Big Enzo, Charles Paris and Mr Pinch
On the Big Beach in the Sky: Murray, Gino, Oscar, Gordon, Ignatz, Harry and King Felix the Pale
Also Mom to Imogene the Syrian Hamster

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Re: What did I do wrong...? (And how can I do better on try

Post by JulesRolyCrab » Tue Jun 14, 2016 12:26 am

Awesome, thanks for taking the time to link that.
Edit: also, how does it get into the tank? Do the spaces in the corners of the lid let the pipes fit??

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soilentgringa
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Re: What did I do wrong...? (And how can I do better on try

Post by soilentgringa » Tue Jun 14, 2016 2:43 am

JulesRolyCrab wrote:Awesome, thanks for taking the time to link that.
Edit: also, how does it get into the tank? Do the spaces in the corners of the lid let the pipes fit??
I used a pair of my kids craft scissors to bore a hole in the plexiglass lid that I have under my screen lid. My screen lid has about 1/2 gap from the side of the tank so I run the tubing underneath it and make sure it isn't pinched. You could also use needle nose pliers or snips to make holes in a screen lid to run the tubing through.

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CallaLily
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Re: What did I do wrong...? (And how can I do better on try

Post by CallaLily » Tue Jun 14, 2016 10:00 am

Yes, bubblers! I always forget about them since having the humidifier. :oops: They can work great, many crabbers use them with great success, and definitely worth trying first.

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Re: What did I do wrong...? (And how can I do better on try

Post by JulesRolyCrab » Wed Jun 15, 2016 3:31 am

Thanks to everyone! <3

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