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Rinsing Dishes and Crab Poop/Color

Posted: Sat Apr 13, 2019 4:19 pm
by WiseGuy884
Hello all!

I have a few questions pertaining to different aspects of my hermit crab. First and foremost, I found out recently that she is actually a female crab! I decided to continue to call her Shelldon considering that is what she is used to, but I have begin to also call her pet names such as "sweetie" and even "princess", she seems to enjoy it.

First two questions: a couple of weeks ago I had noticed that her poop had started to become fully white. And last week it was closer to brown, but still gray-white-ish. Is this normal? There is barely any poop in her tank today, and I just spot cleaned as well, and did not find much. She seems to be eating/drinking normally, and she is still as active as she usually is (for a PP :lol: ) but I was concerned about the white poop, and I did not find much online about it when I researched it.

Secondly, her color has been a solid reddish color as of late, but recently it seems to have changed...I think. Parts of her are seeming to turn a little lighter, and I see what might be either a reddish gray or something in that color, is it normal for their exo's to change color in between molts, it has been almost a full year since she last molted, and as I said above, she seems to be completely healthy. Besides being a little skittish around me at times due to it being too cold in my room for me to hold her out of her tank, she seems normal.

Lastly, I have been on a schedule where I change her water and food every 2 days, and her salt water every 2-3 days, and I rinse the dishes out with poland spring water, that same water I use for her water and salt water as well. Every few months I take some time to boil her dishes, let them soak for 5 minutes in salt water, then rinse them off with bottled water. I have been thinking of changing that so I boil her stuff once a month and stop rinsing it out in hot water altogether. I have well water where I live, and I have always assumed that using hot water and then finishing it with bottled water would do her no harm, but if there is a better way to do it for her, then I will gladly adopt it.

Just for reference, I use instant ocean sea salt for her salt water, poland spring for all her water, fluker's hermit crab food for her main meal, and I add some dried mealworms, cuttlebone, hermit crab cakes, and some zoomed dried fruit and zoomed peanut treats on rotation. I give her fresh food often, she loves unsalted peanuts, carrots, apples, and honey, and I am giving her blueberries soon as well as some meat to see if she will like that. If there are any suggestions on how to better her food to make sure she continues to have a balanced diet I would love to try it! Money is a bit tight but I would add to it ASAP. There are weeks where she barely touches her mealworms, and weeks where she devours them, same goes for the cuttlebone.

I apologize for the long post, any feedback and advice would be welcome! :crabblush:

Re: Rinsing Dishes and Crab Poop/Color

Posted: Sat Apr 13, 2019 4:35 pm
by AwesomeHermit
For the first two questions, they are normal. The color of their poop sometimes depends on the color of the food they eat. I never noticed it myself, but some crabbers reported that their crabs’ exoskeletons may become ashier right before they

Re: Rinsing Dishes and Crab Poop/Color

Posted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 10:48 pm
by WiseGuy884
Thank you so much! That is comforting to hear

Re: Rinsing Dishes and Crab Poop/Color

Posted: Mon Apr 15, 2019 12:46 pm
by curlysister
My crabs poop changes color depending on what they are eating. That said, most of the commercial foods are not considered safe from crabs, even though they are marketed for them. Pellets, cakes, Fluker's hermit crab food are not safe long term. Be sure to check out the 'food' section for the nutrition pyramid.
As for the water, it would be better to use tap water and a dechlorinator, rather than spring water I believe.
How deep is your substrate, and how large is your crab? What are your temp and humidity? It seems strange that she hasn't molted for a year.

Re: Rinsing Dishes and Crab Poop/Color

Posted: Sat Apr 20, 2019 6:07 pm
by WiseGuy884
Interesting, I always assumed spring water is safe for them, I have seen little to no issue with that regarding her, but I will take a look into it!

Her substrate is about 4 inches deep currently, and she is just able to dig completely under (she disappeared for about a month back in November/December) and I am getting new substrate within the next month in order to clean out her tank and make it much deeper for her. She is on the smaller side of the medium size crabs, bigger than when I got her last year, but still quite small.

Her tank humidity stays between 70-90% most days, with the average being around 75-80%. Her temperature is currently around 79 degrees, and it gets a little cooler at night, and a little warmer during the warmest parts of the day. In the winter she averages about 75 degrees and in the summer it holds around 80-83. If anyone has any tips on how to keep the tank cooler in the summer I would greatly appreciate it!

Re: Rinsing Dishes and Crab Poop/Color

Posted: Sat Apr 20, 2019 6:20 pm
by WiseGuy884
I just looked up what I use for food, here is the link on Amazon, I have been using it for almost a full year now and she absolutely loves it. I use it in conjunction with hermit crab cakes, zoo-med dried fruit (which she loves), zoo-med peanut treats (I don't use them that often, she prefers real unsalted peanuts), cuttlebone shavings, and freeze-dried meal worms. ... M9EQGNCLQA

Re: Rinsing Dishes and Crab Poop/Color

Posted: Sat Apr 20, 2019 9:19 pm
by curlysister
Here is the HCA page about commercial foods. It talks about the additives that aren't safe, and includes info on both crab cakes and the FMR food. ... 25&t=92555

I looked into spring water a bit more. It is safe, but just like tap water, needs to be treated with a dechlorinator such as Prime.

As for the substrate, as long as you have proper sub, you never need to replace the whole thing (except in the event of a bacterial bloom or flood). You can just add more to make it the proper depth. I have had my crabs for 8 1/2 years, and have never replaced the substrate, only added more. Most of us use a mixture of EE and play sand. If a crab is under, you can add up to an inch a day, don't pack it down.