New Hermie Owner - HELP

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jbaker
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New Hermie Owner - HELP

Post by jbaker » Wed Jun 03, 2020 4:06 pm

Hello Everyone. My 1st grade son won one of the class hermit crabs and Hermie has officially joined our family. I was given lots of misinformation so I am coming here for some basic information to clear up a lot of questions I have. Please add any information that would be helpful in giving our new family member a great and happy life with us.
1. SIZE OF TANK. I was told that the guideline is 1 gallon per hermie. I read that online also but saw a post in here that said 5 gallons per hermie. Which is it? I ended up buying a 5 gallon tank and got our hermie a friend so he wasn't lonely. The friend didn't make it past a week, but I really want to get him another friend so he isn't lonely. Is it ok to have 2 hermies in a 5 gallon tank? I would get a tiny hermie next time to save space. Hermie is probably considered a small-medium size hermit crab.
2. NEW SHELL. We have had Hermie for 3 months now. 3 nights ago he came out of his shell and went into another shell. I was given one shell from the teacher and didn't realize until now that they are supposed to have multiple options. The shell he moved into is literally about 2 times the size of his last shell so I know it is FAR too big. I went to the pet store and they gave me 3 suggestions. I bought them and found this site and read that painted shells are no good and I learned a lot about the turbo shells being favorites among the hermit world. So, I ordered some online and they just arrived. I am boiling them now in water, and will rinse them in the hermit crab salt water. I only had a metal pot and it states online that metal is not good. I read on some posts here that it is ok. Am I ok?
3. IN RELATION TO #2, will he come out of this new shell that is too big and pick another one? I am putting 6 new shells in as options that are more suitable for his size. So, I am really hoping he will change so he is more comfortable. It is so big it seems like he is having a tough time moving around with it on his back.
4. The pet store sold me a type of substrate, but I have changed to sand with some flecks of dirt or wood in it. He seems to like it and is burying himself. He is making a lot of noises and I am wondering if that is good or bad? I worry about his shell being so big and am hoping he isn't in pain or stuck? Is it "molting". It isn't that noise that I have heard online of a type of "chirp" but more of a crackling sound.
5. EATING. It doesn't appear that he eats much of anything. What is normal? I have only used the food the pet store recommended but he must be eating eat since he is still here with us? I have found online other important options like fruits and veggies and protein. So I have been putting those in too now, however it still doesn't look like he is eating any of that either?

Sorry this post was so long. I am just tryign to give this guy a happy life and looking for lots of info....

:-) Julie

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asiankanye
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Re: New Hermie Owner - HELP

Post by asiankanye » Wed Jun 03, 2020 4:09 pm

Wait until nighttime. Hermit crabs nocturnal, so most of their activity happens during night. During the day, they normally bury themselves or just go hide somewhere. As for the shells, he probably will switch if there is a shell of his size. Welcome!


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jbaker
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Re: New Hermie Owner - HELP

Post by jbaker » Wed Jun 03, 2020 4:16 pm

asiankanye wrote:
Wed Jun 03, 2020 4:09 pm
Wait until nighttime. Hermit crabs nocturnal, so most of their activity happens during night. During the day, they normally bury themselves or just go hide somewhere. As for the shells, he probably will switch if there is a shell of his size. Welcome!


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Thank you for your information. :-)

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asiankanye
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Re: New Hermie Owner - HELP

Post by asiankanye » Wed Jun 03, 2020 4:17 pm

No problem! You should read the care sheets here as they contain a whole ton of information.


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FJrocks003
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Re: New Hermie Owner - HELP

Post by FJrocks003 » Wed Jun 03, 2020 4:33 pm

Could you fill this out it would help us understand better (also, no do not keep two crabs in a 5 gallon tank. You won't be able to fit everything in there, a 10 or 20 would be better but bigger is better, keep in mind you will have to fit and least 6 or 7 inches of substrate in there)
Just copy and past this, fill it out and I'll be sure to ome back and help.

1. What kind of substrate is used in your tank and how deep is it?


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?


3. Is a heat source used in the tank? If so, what?


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)?


5. What kinds of food do you feed and how often is it replaced?


6. How long have you had the crab and what species is it, if known?


7. Has your crab molted, and how long ago did it happen?


8. What type of housing are the crabs kept in, what size is it and what kind of lid is on the housing?


9. How many crabs are in the tank and about how large are they?


10. How many extra shells are usually kept in the tank, if any?


11. Have there been any fumes or chemicals near the crabitat recently?


12. How often do you clean the tank and how?


13. Are sponges used in the water dish? If so, how are they cleaned?


14. Has anything new been added to your crabitat recently?


15. Is there any other information you would like to share that might be helpful (anything that is regularly part of your crab care, playtime, bathing, etc.)?
Proud owner of two snakes, one dog, too many fish, and 3 hermit crabs.

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CrabbyLover77
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Re: New Hermie Owner - HELP

Post by CrabbyLover77 » Wed Jun 03, 2020 4:50 pm


jbaker wrote:Hello Everyone. My 1st grade son won one of the class hermit crabs and Hermie has officially joined our family. I was given lots of misinformation so I am coming here for some basic information to clear up a lot of questions I have. Please add any information that would be helpful in giving our new family member a great and happy life with us.
1. SIZE OF TANK. I was told that the guideline is 1 gallon per hermie. I read that online also but saw a post in here that said 5 gallons per hermie. Which is it? I ended up buying a 5 gallon tank and got our hermie a friend so he wasn't lonely. The friend didn't make it past a week, but I really want to get him another friend so he isn't lonely. Is it ok to have 2 hermies in a 5 gallon tank? I would get a tiny hermie next time to save space. Hermie is probably considered a small-medium size hermit crab.
2. NEW SHELL. We have had Hermie for 3 months now. 3 nights ago he came out of his shell and went into another shell. I was given one shell from the teacher and didn't realize until now that they are supposed to have multiple options. The shell he moved into is literally about 2 times the size of his last shell so I know it is FAR too big. I went to the pet store and they gave me 3 suggestions. I bought them and found this site and read that painted shells are no good and I learned a lot about the turbo shells being favorites among the hermit world. So, I ordered some online and they just arrived. I am boiling them now in water, and will rinse them in the hermit crab salt water. I only had a metal pot and it states online that metal is not good. I read on some posts here that it is ok. Am I ok?
3. IN RELATION TO #2, will he come out of this new shell that is too big and pick another one? I am putting 6 new shells in as options that are more suitable for his size. So, I am really hoping he will change so he is more comfortable. It is so big it seems like he is having a tough time moving around with it on his back.
4. The pet store sold me a type of substrate, but I have changed to sand with some flecks of dirt or wood in it. He seems to like it and is burying himself. He is making a lot of noises and I am wondering if that is good or bad? I worry about his shell being so big and am hoping he isn't in pain or stuck? Is it "molting". It isn't that noise that I have heard online of a type of "chirp" but more of a crackling sound.
5. EATING. It doesn't appear that he eats much of anything. What is normal? I have only used the food the pet store recommended but he must be eating eat since he is still here with us? I have found online other important options like fruits and veggies and protein. So I have been putting those in too now, however it still doesn't look like he is eating any of that either?

Sorry this post was so long. I am just tryign to give this guy a happy life and looking for lots of info....

:-) Julie
Hi! Welcome to the HCA!

I would def go with the rule of at least 5 gals/crab. In my opinion, a 10 gal tank should be the min size you should use. A 5 gal is good for an isolation/temporary tank though. Just be prepared to upgrade as the crabs get larger.

You can boil the shells in a metal pot. It's just not recommended to put metal in the tank as it can rust with the high temps and humidity.

The HCA recommends 3-5 shells per crab. So that's great you got some new non-painted shells. Crabbies will change shells as they feel the need too. Sometimes they will choose pants that are too small or too large for them. If you have a purple pinchers they will prefer shells with round openings.

The ideal substrate is a mix of playsand and eco earth. Most of us use a 5:1 ratio. You can get a 50 lb bag of playsand for under $5 at a hardware store. Calcium sand marketed toward hermits isn't safe. It can harden when it's wet. The substrate should be at least 6" deep, or 3x the height of your biggest crabby. The nosies could be him scratching and digging around under the substrate.

If he's still alive, he's eating lol. They can eat such small amounts that it's hard to tell they are eating at all. It's very important they have a constant source of protein and calcium. Many foods marketed toward hermits aren't crab safe because of the preservatives. Check out the safe/unsafe foods list to get some good dinner ideas.

I hope this helps! Be sure to check out all the care guides the HCA has. They are super helpful! Image

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My Pets: 1 Pomeranian, 1 Russian tortoise, fishes/snails(40 gal freshwater aquarium), and 4 hermit crabs.
"Animals are my friends, and I don’t eat my friends".
-George Bernard Shaw


Topic author
jbaker
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Jun 03, 2020 3:29 pm
Location: Long Grove

Re: New Hermie Owner - HELP

Post by jbaker » Wed Jun 03, 2020 5:43 pm

asiankanye wrote:
Wed Jun 03, 2020 4:17 pm
No problem! You should read the care sheets here as they contain a whole ton of information.


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I assume the care sheets are on the main page somewhere? Thanks so much!

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asiankanye
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Re: New Hermie Owner - HELP

Post by asiankanye » Wed Jun 03, 2020 5:44 pm

https://www.hermitcrabassociation.com/p ... .php?f=120
Right here. You should also fill out the emergency sheet in the reply by FJrocks003.


Topic author
jbaker
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Joined: Wed Jun 03, 2020 3:29 pm
Location: Long Grove

Re: New Hermie Owner - HELP

Post by jbaker » Wed Jun 03, 2020 5:55 pm

FJrocks003 wrote:
Wed Jun 03, 2020 4:33 pm
Could you fill this out it would help us understand better (also, no do not keep two crabs in a 5 gallon tank. You won't be able to fit everything in there, a 10 or 20 would be better but bigger is better, keep in mind you will have to fit and least 6 or 7 inches of substrate in there)
Just copy and past this, fill it out and I'll be sure to ome back and help.

1. What kind of substrate is used in your tank and how deep is it?
Sand - 3 inches on one side and rest of tank is 5 inches.


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?
No gauges. I keep the house between 70-73, which I thought was fine for the hermit crab. I also spray the tank 2 times a day to keep it moist.


3. Is a heat source used in the tank? If so, what?
I bought a heat source and it seems really hot, so I didn't use it much. Another question for me. Is it important to use? If so, when should I use it - night or day? Do I put it directly over the top of the tank?


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)?
I have both fresh and salt. I use the store bought salt water for hermit crabs.


5. What kinds of food do you feed and how often is it replaced?
I use the food the pet store recommended until I read online that they needs fruit veggies, protein - so I have been adding those as well. Read above in my original question. It doesn't seem like he eats anything?


6. How long have you had the crab and what species is it, if known?
3 months, I do not know the species. It is not bright red, so it isn't that one.


7. Has your crab molted, and how long ago did it happen?
I don't know - that was one of my original questions. I am not sure if he is molting now.


8. What type of housing are the crabs kept in, what size is it and what kind of lid is on the housing?
5 gallon tank with a locked lid with "holes in it.


9. How many crabs are in the tank and about how large are they?
1 crab, I want to get another one. He is small-med sized. I woudl get a tiny one to live with him.


10. How many extra shells are usually kept in the tank, if any?
I currently have 6 shells for him to choose.


11. Have there been any fumes or chemicals near the crabitat recently?
no.


12. How often do you clean the tank and how?
I have cleaned it twice in the 3 months I have had him. I rinse it out with water.


13. Are sponges used in the water dish? If so, how are they cleaned?
Yes, I have a sponge in the water dish. I have not cleaned it yet.


14. Has anything new been added to your crabitat recently?
yes. A salt water bowl, and new shells.


15. Is there any other information you would like to share that might be helpful (anything that is regularly part of your crab care, playtime, bathing, etc.)?
Thank you so much. In relation to substrate, I read online and also on this site somewhere that 3-4 inches of substrate is the rule of thumb (or enough for your crab to be able to completely bury himself)? Not true? I answered questions above.

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asiankanye
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Re: New Hermie Owner - HELP

Post by asiankanye » Wed Jun 03, 2020 5:58 pm

6 inches or three times as deep as the size of your largest crab.


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GotButterflies
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Re: New Hermie Owner - HELP

Post by GotButterflies » Wed Jun 03, 2020 5:59 pm

Hi there! Welcome to the HCA and also to the addicting world of crabbing!

A few things I wanted to mention: Number one - hermit crabs should have a minimum of 5 gallons per crab if they are purple pinchers. If they are Es (Ecuadorian) Crabs IMO they need a minimum of 10 gallons per crab.

IMO Substrate should be 6 inches or 3 times the height of your largest crab (whichever is deeper). IF your crabs are Es - Substrate should be a minimum of 10-12". It should also be mixed with dechlorinated marine saltwater or dechlorinated freshwater to make the substrate sandcastle consistency.

Hermit crab saltwater is not good. Unfortunately most products marketed for hermit crabs are not safe. As far as salt, you need marine salt, to mimic the ocean. A lot of us use a product called Instant Ocean which is what aquarium hobbyists use to make saltwater aquariums. It has the essential trace elements that hermit crabs need. :) You also need a dechlorinator that removes chlorine, and chloramine as well as neutralizes ammonia and heavy metals. A lot of us use a product called Prime. You have to use the dechlorinator for both freshwater and marine saltwater. Both pools should be deep enough for them to fully submerge in and safe enough for them to get out of.

Hermit crabs can eat a lot of the things that we do. Make sure you cover all aspects of food pyramid :) Foods should be organic when possible. Hermit crabs are sensitive to pesticides and fertilizers.
Safe food list: http://hermitcrabassociation.com/phpBB/ ... 25&t=92557
Unsafe food list: http://hermitcrabassociation.com/phpBB/ ... 25&t=92556
Food pyramid: http://hermitcrabassociation.com/phpBB/ ... 25&t=92554
Make sure you provide them with lots of calcium sources as well. Egg shells, cuttlebone, shrimp exo are good examples.

Please check out our guides! We are here for you!

Edit: I see you just posted emergency template:

You need to know what the humidity and the temperature is for your crabs. You can buy an Acurite guage from Walmart if you are interested ;) They are $8, digital, run on batteries, and tell you temp and humidity currently as well as low and high for last 24 hours. You can find them in the home improvement section by the air filters. :) Minimum heat and humidity should be 80/80. Hermit crabs have modified gills and need the humidity to breathe.
Hygrometer on Amazon: https://smile.amazon.com/AcuRite-00325- ... 184&sr=8-2

As far as your lid, you can cover the metal with press n seal or by taping ziplock bags to keep moisture in.

To heat the air in your tank, you can most of us use ultratherms. They are great heaters. www.reptilebasics.com or www.beanfarm.com sells them. We put them on the back of our tanks above the substrate to heat the air.
Truly blessed to have incredible creatures, wonderful friends and my amazing family in my life!! I'm very thankful & grateful for all of them! www.thehealthyhermit.com

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GotButterflies
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Re: New Hermie Owner - HELP

Post by GotButterflies » Wed Jun 03, 2020 6:05 pm

two more things - Sponges don't help with humidity. Take it out of the water bowl and just give it to your hermit as a food source.

The HCA recommends 3-5 shells per hermit crab. I personally recommend more. It never hurts to have more :) There are incorrect shells to buy. Here is the shell guide: http://hermitcrabassociation.com/phpBB/ ... 24&t=92552
Truly blessed to have incredible creatures, wonderful friends and my amazing family in my life!! I'm very thankful & grateful for all of them! www.thehealthyhermit.com


Topic author
jbaker
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Joined: Wed Jun 03, 2020 3:29 pm
Location: Long Grove

Re: New Hermie Owner - HELP

Post by jbaker » Wed Jun 03, 2020 6:06 pm

asiankanye wrote:
Wed Jun 03, 2020 5:44 pm
https://www.hermitcrabassociation.com/p ... .php?f=120
Right here. You should also fill out the emergency sheet in the reply by FJrocks003.
Thank you so much - that helps a lot so I don't have to dig for it! Pun intended! :-) I answered the questions from FJrocks003 above.

Thanks again!! :-) Julie


Topic author
jbaker
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Jun 03, 2020 3:29 pm
Location: Long Grove

Re: New Hermie Owner - HELP

Post by jbaker » Wed Jun 03, 2020 6:07 pm

asiankanye wrote:
Wed Jun 03, 2020 5:58 pm
6 inches or three times as deep as the size of your largest crab.


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Thank you! :-) Julie

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FJrocks003
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Re: New Hermie Owner - HELP

Post by FJrocks003 » Wed Jun 03, 2020 6:20 pm

Two more thing that they didn't ask about on the template but I want to make sure you saw. One - painted shells are bad (just making sure you didn't use them). Two - Make sure that both water bowls are deep enough for the crabs to submerge in and have clear way out (I just use plastic containers from my kitchen and some homemade mini ladders).
Proud owner of two snakes, one dog, too many fish, and 3 hermit crabs.

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