Can a rescued cannibal crab be "rehabilitated"?

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BlazeTheWeirdo
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Can a rescued cannibal crab be "rehabilitated"?

Post by BlazeTheWeirdo » Fri Aug 23, 2019 6:15 pm

I recently got a very large crab from a pet store. I already have 6 small ones at home, and wasn't looking for a 7th.

I went shopping for shells and found him in a HORRIBLE enclosure. The substrate was gravel on one side of the tank, and filthy blue calcium sand on the other side. There was no heat/humidity gauge, no attempt to keep any humidity in, little to no water, a moldy sponge, and very little food (pellets of course, but not the greatest concern with this one). They were going through some store changes and he went without food for SEVERAL days, to the point where he ate the 2 baby crabs that were in the tank with him. He was the only one left. : C

I took him home in an attempt to save him. At first I put him in a critter keeper with food while I set up the ISO tote. He was so hungry he dragged the food dish in his corner and acted like he lived in it. https://www.dropbox.com/s/tl6jyzjl42thw ... 0.jpg?dl=0
I set up his 16.5 gallon ISO tote with enough proper substrate to fully submerge in if he needs to, gave him 4 shells, a crapton of food, honey, a boiled egg, a hide, a moss pit, and two deep pools. He seems to have mellowed down a little bit.

My bf is very worried about putting him in with the rest of the crabs because of the cannibalism/aggression. Is it possible that he could calm down and normalize after a proper diet and setup? Also as big as he is, could he ever be introduced to the others? He is the size of a tennis ball, and they're roughly quarter-sized - golf ball size. Here's some pics of him and the new tote.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/kw9mjuhlv3c4b ... 9.JPG?dl=0
https://www.dropbox.com/s/tvzl6hgs50o5b ... 3.JPG?dl=0
https://www.dropbox.com/s/9g26d7oka3ahs ... 8.JPG?dl=0
https://www.dropbox.com/s/epzcuspwot94l ... 4.JPG?dl=0

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doth
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Re: Can a rescued cannibal crab be "rehabilitated"?

Post by doth » Fri Aug 23, 2019 6:30 pm

poor guy, he must have been starved! I know larger and smaller crabs can cohabitate so I'd imagine be could eventually be introduced to yours. I'd wait to introduce them until you can be sure that any nutritional deficiencies he might have had have been resolved. Maybe until after he molts with you? I'll defer to the judgement of others here though as I haven't experienced this situation

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Hermiesguardian
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Re: Can a rescued cannibal crab be "rehabilitated"?

Post by Hermiesguardian » Fri Aug 23, 2019 6:38 pm

I typed a whole answer but it disappeared. Lol. As doth stated, different size crabs do well together. They don't need the same shells. Make sure he has enough to choose from anyway. If you do introduce him, give him a quick dip in the freshwater pool in the tank so he smells like the tank. Is the tank big enough to add him and the substrate deep enough? Sounds like he would need more than 6 inches. I'm sure someone with more experience will advise anything else.
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

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Re: Can a rescued cannibal crab be "rehabilitated"?

Post by BlazeTheWeirdo » Fri Aug 23, 2019 6:43 pm

Hermiesguardian wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 6:38 pm
I typed a whole answer but it disappeared. Lol. As doth stated, different size crabs do well together. They don't need the same shells. Make sure he has enough to choose from anyway. If you do introduce him, give him a quick dip in the freshwater pool in the tank so he smells like the tank. Is the tank big enough to add him and the substrate deep enough? Sounds like he would need more than 6 inches. I'm sure someone with more experience will advise anything else.
The tank is big enough. It may need more sub though. I'm gonna have to add sub slowly since One of my crabs is under. Nice timing Phillipe. >.>

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Re: Can a rescued cannibal crab be "rehabilitated"?

Post by BlazeTheWeirdo » Sun Aug 25, 2019 5:50 pm

Another question regarding this big guy. How big can Purple Pincers get? I've been debating on getting some new shells for him, but I don't know if I should stay in his current size, or get bigger shells. I don't like the fact that he's in a murex, and would like to get him a better shell.

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Re: Can a rescued cannibal crab be "rehabilitated"?

Post by curlysister » Sun Aug 25, 2019 6:40 pm

PP's can get big! You will definitely need to size up!
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Re: Can a rescued cannibal crab be "rehabilitated"?

Post by BlazeTheWeirdo » Tue Aug 27, 2019 12:56 pm

Things got pretty weird last night. He absolutely trashed the tote! I'e seen him rearrange things, but I've never seen him do anything this extreme! Here's the before and after pics.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/9g26d7oka3ahs ... 8.JPG?dl=0
https://www.dropbox.com/s/3tdpg5zwlgfv6 ... 1.jpg?dl=0

He did change shells recently. The shell is too small for him though (I'm ordering new shells soon). I boiled his old shell clean (the murex) and placed it back in the tote since it's the only shell that fits him right now. He hasn't changed back into it, and it's pretty damaged. I'm worried that this might be a sign of aggression. Is this normal, or is something wrong?

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Re: Can a rescued cannibal crab be "rehabilitated"?

Post by Hermiesguardian » Tue Aug 27, 2019 1:07 pm

BlazeTheWeirdo wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 12:56 pm
Things got pretty weird last night. He absolutely trashed the tote! I'e seen him rearrange things, but I've never seen him do anything this extreme! Here's the before and after pics.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/9g26d7oka3ahs ... 8.JPG?dl=0
https://www.dropbox.com/s/3tdpg5zwlgfv6 ... 1.jpg?dl=0

He did change shells recently. The shell is too small for him though (I'm ordering new shells soon). I boiled his old shell clean (the murex) and placed it back in the tote since it's the only shell that fits him right now. He hasn't changed back into it, and it's pretty damaged. I'm worried that this might be a sign of aggression. Is this normal, or is something wrong?
They modify their shells so he may have tweaked it to his liking. As for the "redecorating" he did that's normal. That craft mesh that was up against the wall and is now down, was it attached to anything? I can see him climbing on it and it just falling over.
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

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Re: Can a rescued cannibal crab be "rehabilitated"?

Post by curlysister » Tue Aug 27, 2019 2:00 pm

Hahaha, that's hardly rearranged, not trashed! LOL! I have seen mine do way more damage than that. Wait til they shred up all those beautiful flowers! And dig huge mounds of sub! How deep is that substrate?
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." -Will Rogers

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Re: Can a rescued cannibal crab be "rehabilitated"?

Post by BlazeTheWeirdo » Tue Aug 27, 2019 2:23 pm

curlysister wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 2:00 pm
Hahaha, that's hardly rearranged, not trashed! LOL! I have seen mine do way more damage than that. Wait til they shred up all those beautiful flowers! And dig huge mounds of sub! How deep is that substrate?
It's deep enough to fully bury himself, but I would've preferred more. I may get some more play sand later.

I guess I'm just freaking out because I have 6 babies way smaller than he is. I don't want them getting hurt when I eventually introduce him. I haven't even named him yet honestly, until I know for sure he doesn't show aggressive behaviors.

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Re: Can a rescued cannibal crab be "rehabilitated"?

Post by curlysister » Tue Aug 27, 2019 6:40 pm

The rearranging of the tank isn't a sign of aggression.
Remember that the sub needs to be at least 3 times as deep as the crab.
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." -Will Rogers

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Re: Can a rescued cannibal crab be "rehabilitated"?

Post by BlazeTheWeirdo » Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:18 pm

curlysister wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 6:40 pm
The rearranging of the tank isn't a sign of aggression.
Remember that the sub needs to be at least 3 times as deep as the crab.
Alright. That is a relief to hear. Thank you. And I'm gonna try to get some more sand soon (I have a crapton of coconut fiber but ran out of sand).

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Re: Can a rescued cannibal crab be "rehabilitated"?

Post by MauiMama » Wed Aug 28, 2019 12:02 am

I would like to hear more about this topic. More thoughts from anyone?
•°☆~♡~☆°• MauiMama•°☆~♡~☆°•

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Re: Can a rescued cannibal crab be "rehabilitated"?

Post by Hermiesguardian » Wed Aug 28, 2019 12:44 am

MauiMama wrote:
Wed Aug 28, 2019 12:02 am
I would like to hear more about this topic. More thoughts from anyone?
About a "cannibal" crab?
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

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Re: Can a rescued cannibal crab be "rehabilitated"?

Post by BlazeTheWeirdo » Wed Aug 28, 2019 1:20 pm

MauiMama wrote:
Wed Aug 28, 2019 12:02 am
I would like to hear more about this topic. More thoughts from anyone?
I would kinda like to hear some testimonies of something like this, myself. I'll keep updating about this as I go.

He didn't do too much to the tote last night. He was climbing everything and test driving some other shells. He likes his new green one too much though. ^w^
He's not eating as much of the seafood mix as I thought, so I'm worried he's not getting his protein. He is eating some of the unsalted nuts so that's some plant protein I guess, but still. I ordered some more protein food mixes from the hermit crab patch, and got some shells his size, so we'll see what happens there.

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