My Crabs Won’t Come Out of Their Cave; is This Normal?

This is the place to post if you have questions and aren't sure where to ask them! If it relates to one of the sections below, please post there instead.
User avatar

Topic author
LeeHasCrabs
Posts: 385
Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2018 6:06 pm
Location: Pennsylvania

My Crabs Won’t Come Out of Their Cave; is This Normal?

Post by LeeHasCrabs » Tue Jul 31, 2018 10:22 pm

Hello! Noob crab owner here. We got 5 PPs at the beach last month and I’ve researching and learning as much as I can to set up the proper crabitat for them. Im almost there, I just need to keep the humidity up and keep it constant. All of the crabs just hide out in their cave almost all of the time. Right now, two of them are awake, but just hanging out inside the cave. Some must come out overnight while we’re sleeping because I see the food moved around. My question is how long does it take for crabs to typically come out more often and climb and is their hiding also due to the humidity not being high enough constantly? Right now the temp is at 75°F and humidity is at 50%. I mist the tank a few times daily and have a blue heat lamp on it. Also have a UTH on its way. Any advice would be appreciated!

User avatar

JoeHermits
Posts: 577
Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2018 9:26 pm

Re: My Crabs Won’t Come Out of Their Cave; is This Normal?

Post by JoeHermits » Tue Jul 31, 2018 10:36 pm

Their humidity is much too low, which may be a major reason why they’re inactive. Levels below 70% will put them at risk of gill damage.

Be warned that heat lamps are notorious for lowering humidity. A good UTH would be preferred.

You can seal the lid with seran wrap to make it air tight.

Moss works well. Keep it in a container so the substrate doesn’t wick away the moisture.

Bubblers are also effective. Get an air pump for small aquariums and drop air stones into the water dishes.

Note that they are nocturnal prey animals, so even in ideal conditions they may choose to only come out at night.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

User avatar

curlysister
Posts: 1417
Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2010 3:54 pm
Location: Manitoba, Canada

Re: My Crabs Won’t Come Out of Their Cave; is This Normal?

Post by curlysister » Tue Jul 31, 2018 10:46 pm

Definitely agree with getting the humidity up!

And remember that even though they are called UNDER tank heaters, they DO NOT go under the tank - they go on the back or side.
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." -Will Rogers

User avatar

Topic author
LeeHasCrabs
Posts: 385
Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2018 6:06 pm
Location: Pennsylvania

Re: My Crabs Won’t Come Out of Their Cave; is This Normal?

Post by LeeHasCrabs » Wed Aug 01, 2018 12:11 am

Thank you Joehermits and curlysister! I didn’t even think that the heat lamp would cancel out the humidity, but that makes obvious sense. I do have a UTH arriving tomorrow and yes, I am aware that I should mount it on the back side of the tank. I will look into the air stones as well. The water dish(es) I have for them now are pretty shallow so I may need deeper ones if I use an air stone.

Funny that I post this tonight. I just checked on the crabs and three of them just came out of their cave to explore tonight. But yes, I will work on bringing that humidity up more. Thanks!

User avatar

piratetoothgir
Posts: 1357
Joined: Mon Jun 05, 2017 7:08 am
Location: Texas

My Crabs Won’t Come Out of Their Cave; is This Normal?

Post by piratetoothgir » Wed Aug 01, 2018 7:57 am

Hello, and welcome to the HCA!

I agree that your humidity is too low, I recommend anywhere around 80 percent, but the guides on the forum say that anywhere in the mid 70’s are acceptable.
You can buy a quality UTH heater from ReptileBasics, they make lots of sizes to choose from
Heat lamps will burn out humidity quickly, especially if they are incandescent or red bulbs, which many of them are.
If you just bought the crabs, they will be inactive to "destress" because of the stress they receive in shipment.
Last edited by piratetoothgir on Sat Aug 04, 2018 5:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Crabber Since 2016
7 Caribbeans & 2 Ecuadorians
I am the proud owner of my hermit crabs, aquarium fish, and isopod totes!

User avatar

AwesomeHermit
Posts: 774
Joined: Thu Nov 16, 2017 7:19 pm

Re: My Crabs Won’t Come Out of Their Cave; is This Normal?

Post by AwesomeHermit » Wed Aug 01, 2018 9:49 am

JoeHermits wrote:Their humidity is much too low, which may be a major reason why they’re inactive. Levels below 70% will put them at risk of gill damage.

Be warned that heat lamps are notorious for lowering humidity. A good UTH would be preferred.

You can seal the lid with seran wrap to make it air tight.

Moss works well. Keep it in a container so the substrate doesn’t wick away the moisture.

Bubblers are also effective. Get an air pump for small aquariums and drop air stones into the water dishes.

Note that they are nocturnal prey animals, so even in ideal conditions they may choose to only come out at night.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
My 60watt incandescant light never took out my humidity.
3 Clypeatus
Goodbye my little E. See you soon.
Crabbing for over two years!

User avatar

Topic author
LeeHasCrabs
Posts: 385
Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2018 6:06 pm
Location: Pennsylvania

Re: My Crabs Won’t Come Out of Their Cave; is This Normal?

Post by LeeHasCrabs » Wed Aug 01, 2018 9:55 am

stella wrote:Hello, and welcome to the HCA! :)

I agree that your humidity is too low, it needs to be at or above 80 percent.
You can buy a quality UTH heater from ReptileBasics, they make lots of sizes to choose from :)
Heat lamps will burn out humidity quickly, especially if they are incandescent or red bulbs, which many of them are.
If you just bought the crabs, they will be inactive to "destress" because of the stress they receive in shipment.
Thank you Stella!

User avatar

piratetoothgir
Posts: 1357
Joined: Mon Jun 05, 2017 7:08 am
Location: Texas

Re: My Crabs Won’t Come Out of Their Cave; is This Normal?

Post by piratetoothgir » Wed Aug 01, 2018 7:58 pm

Yes, of course!


Sent from my IPA1489 using Tapatalk
Crabber Since 2016
7 Caribbeans & 2 Ecuadorians
I am the proud owner of my hermit crabs, aquarium fish, and isopod totes!

User avatar

Topic author
LeeHasCrabs
Posts: 385
Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2018 6:06 pm
Location: Pennsylvania

Re: My Crabs Won’t Come Out of Their Cave; is This Normal?

Post by LeeHasCrabs » Wed Aug 01, 2018 9:04 pm

I received my 10-20 gal. size UTH in the mail today and placed it on the back-left side of the tank. I’ve had it on since about 4pm today (now 10pm) and it’s barely warm to the touch. I guess I was under the impression it would give off more heat but maybe I’m wrong. How warm should it feel to the touch?

Oh, and a humidity update: I turned off my heat lamp, misted the tank, and placed a sheet of plexi over a portion of the mesh cover and my humidity level has been steady at 85% since last night. :)

User avatar

ciaraalston
Posts: 1162
Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2018 3:33 am
Location: Louisiana

Re: My Crabs Won’t Come Out of Their Cave; is This Normal?

Post by ciaraalston » Fri Aug 03, 2018 11:38 pm

ApePlanet wrote:I received my 10-20 gal. size UTH in the mail today and placed it on the back-left side of the tank. I’ve had it on since about 4pm today (now 10pm) and it’s barely warm to the touch. I guess I was under the impression it would give off more heat but maybe I’m wrong. How warm should it feel to the touch?

Oh, and a humidity update: I turned off my heat lamp, misted the tank, and placed a sheet of plexi over a portion of the mesh cover and my humidity level has been steady at 85% since last night. :)

i have both heat tape and a UTH on my tank. both are warm when i touch them but not hot enough for me to feel burned. I guess the inside part thats on the glass would be hotter than the outside, but if it's keeping steady temp i wouldn't worry :)
4 purple pinchers & 2 ecuadorians living a life of luxury in south west Louisiana.
Follow my hermit crab learning journey on instagram! @hermitcrabs_in_the_boot

User avatar

Topic author
LeeHasCrabs
Posts: 385
Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2018 6:06 pm
Location: Pennsylvania

Re: My Crabs Won’t Come Out of Their Cave; is This Normal?

Post by LeeHasCrabs » Sat Aug 04, 2018 1:14 am

ciaraalston wrote: i have both heat tape and a UTH on my tank. both are warm when i touch them but not hot enough for me to feel burned. I guess the inside part thats on the glass would be hotter than the outside, but if it's keeping steady temp i wouldn't worry :)
Awesome. I’ll have to check out heat tape. So far it’s been going well, keeping the temp and humidity steDy Also Ciaraalston I love your posts and ideas on this forum. Nice stuff!

User avatar

ciaraalston
Posts: 1162
Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2018 3:33 am
Location: Louisiana

Re: My Crabs Won’t Come Out of Their Cave; is This Normal?

Post by ciaraalston » Sat Aug 04, 2018 2:29 am

ApePlanet wrote:
ciaraalston wrote: i have both heat tape and a UTH on my tank. both are warm when i touch them but not hot enough for me to feel burned. I guess the inside part thats on the glass would be hotter than the outside, but if it's keeping steady temp i wouldn't worry :)
Awesome. I’ll have to check out heat tape. So far it’s been going well, keeping the temp and humidity steDy Also Ciaraalston I love your posts and ideas on this forum. Nice stuff!
Awe thank you! :)
I'm new to this, i just found this site earlier this year. I spend all night at work scouring old posts for ideas haha
4 purple pinchers & 2 ecuadorians living a life of luxury in south west Louisiana.
Follow my hermit crab learning journey on instagram! @hermitcrabs_in_the_boot

User avatar

curlysister
Posts: 1417
Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2010 3:54 pm
Location: Manitoba, Canada

Re: My Crabs Won’t Come Out of Their Cave; is This Normal?

Post by curlysister » Sat Aug 04, 2018 10:47 am

Depending on the brand of UTH, you can insulate overtop of some to hold the heat in better. What brand did you get?
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." -Will Rogers

User avatar

Topic author
LeeHasCrabs
Posts: 385
Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2018 6:06 pm
Location: Pennsylvania

Re: My Crabs Won’t Come Out of Their Cave; is This Normal?

Post by LeeHasCrabs » Sat Aug 04, 2018 11:26 am

curlysister wrote:Depending on the brand of UTH, you can insulate overtop of some to hold the heat in better. What brand did you get?
Zoo Med. it’s warming the tank on the side it’s on. I just wasn’t sure how warm it should get. I’m reading it should only raise the temp a few degrees so it’s probably okay.

User avatar

Hermiesguardian
Posts: 2627
Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2017 10:41 pm

Re: My Crabs Won’t Come Out of Their Cave; is This Normal?

Post by Hermiesguardian » Sat Aug 04, 2018 11:51 am

ApePlanet wrote:
curlysister wrote:Depending on the brand of UTH, you can insulate overtop of some to hold the heat in better. What brand did you get?
Zoo Med. it’s warming the tank on the side it’s on. I just wasn’t sure how warm it should get. I’m reading it should only raise the temp a few degrees so it’s probably okay.
I have used zoomed in the past and had an awful time heating up the tank. Had to insulate around the heater and on the sides with no heater and cover with a blanket. I have since switched to Ultratherm and have no problem keeping the heat up.
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

Post Reply