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Shell stolen Mid Molt

This forum is where you discuss issues relating to molting hermit crabs, including pre- and post-molting issues.

If you are having a molting emergency please post in the Emergency Forum.

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Shell stolen Mid Molt

PostAuthor: emmaline » Wed Jul 11, 2018 12:31 pm

Hi all,
I have a weird situation going on. I was gifted 2 medium sized crabs around 2 months ago, I've done a lot of research and believe I have their tank set up properly.
What happened was, my larger crab buried itself. I didn't recognize the molting signs and so didn't move him to an iso tank in time. I read that moving during molting is very bad and he was buried quite deep so I decided to leave him be. I did cut the top off of a pop bottle and placed it around the molting crab so that the other one couldn't get to it.
All was well and the he was buried for around 2 weeks. Then one day I woke up to find that my crab had dug down to the molting crab and around the pop bottle and had stolen the molters shell! It doesn't look like the molter was physically harmed at all
I gently scooped up the molter and moved him to an ISO tank. After an hour or so he moved into a (smaller) shell thankfully.
However, it looks like his molt was interrupted, he stayed in the ISO tank for about a week, moved around and appeared to be eating so I moved him back into the main tank recently.

He hasn't gone back down to molt and it appears as if he still has his old exoskeleton, since it looks the exact same as before. Also he's remained in the smaller shell- I have about 7 shells in the tank right now in case so he has larger options

It looks like he's survived the whole ordeal unscathed- no missing or damaged limbs and quite active, but I'm wondering if having a molt interrupted like that is really bad for them and If I should leave him in the main tank?

emmaline
 
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Re: Shell stolen Mid Molt

PostAuthor: Hermiesguardian » Wed Jul 11, 2018 2:01 pm

emmaline wrote:Hi all,
I have a weird situation going on. I was gifted 2 medium sized crabs around 2 months ago, I've done a lot of research and believe I have their tank set up properly.
What happened was, my larger crab buried itself. I didn't recognize the molting signs and so didn't move him to an iso tank in time. I read that moving during molting is very bad and he was buried quite deep so I decided to leave him be. I did cut the top off of a pop bottle and placed it around the molting crab so that the other one couldn't get to it.
All was well and the he was buried for around 2 weeks. Then one day I woke up to find that my crab had dug down to the molting crab and around the pop bottle and had stolen the molters shell! It doesn't look like the molter was physically harmed at all
I gently scooped up the molter and moved him to an ISO tank. After an hour or so he moved into a (smaller) shell thankfully.
However, it looks like his molt was interrupted, he stayed in the ISO tank for about a week, moved around and appeared to be eating so I moved him back into the main tank recently.

He hasn't gone back down to molt and it appears as if he still has his old exoskeleton, since it looks the exact same as before. Also he's remained in the smaller shell- I have about 7 shells in the tank right now in case so he has larger options

It looks like he's survived the whole ordeal unscathed- no missing or damaged limbs and quite active, but I'm wondering if having a molt interrupted like that is really bad for them and If I should leave him in the main tank?



Hi! Actually there's no need to isolate a molter. It's rare, but not impossible, for them to be attacked as long as conditions are good. How deep is your substrate? HCA recommends at least 6" or 3x the height of your largest crab. It has to be sandcastle consistancy to hold their tunnels and caves. And mixed with dechlorinated fresh or salt water. They also need plenty of calcium and protein to ward off attacks. And at least 3 extra shells per crab to choose from. It's great that he chose another shell quickly and is doing well. Sometimes they dig just to destress, or just because. Not always to molt. They are diggers as well as climbers.
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: Shell stolen Mid Molt

PostAuthor: JoeHermits » Wed Jul 11, 2018 2:07 pm

Usually you can avoid the entire ordeal by having substrate in the main tank deep enough for them to molt in.

Having a molt interrupted can be stressful, but a hermit crab can usually recover if they’re in conditions suitable for molting.


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Re: Shell stolen Mid Molt

PostAuthor: emmaline » Wed Jul 11, 2018 2:20 pm

Hermiesguardian wrote:
emmaline wrote:Hi all,
I have a weird situation going on. I was gifted 2 medium sized crabs around 2 months ago, I've done a lot of research and believe I have their tank set up properly.
What happened was, my larger crab buried itself. I didn't recognize the molting signs and so didn't move him to an iso tank in time. I read that moving during molting is very bad and he was buried quite deep so I decided to leave him be. I did cut the top off of a pop bottle and placed it around the molting crab so that the other one couldn't get to it.
All was well and the he was buried for around 2 weeks. Then one day I woke up to find that my crab had dug down to the molting crab and around the pop bottle and had stolen the molters shell! It doesn't look like the molter was physically harmed at all
I gently scooped up the molter and moved him to an ISO tank. After an hour or so he moved into a (smaller) shell thankfully.
However, it looks like his molt was interrupted, he stayed in the ISO tank for about a week, moved around and appeared to be eating so I moved him back into the main tank recently.

He hasn't gone back down to molt and it appears as if he still has his old exoskeleton, since it looks the exact same as before. Also he's remained in the smaller shell- I have about 7 shells in the tank right now in case so he has larger options

It looks like he's survived the whole ordeal unscathed- no missing or damaged limbs and quite active, but I'm wondering if having a molt interrupted like that is really bad for them and If I should leave him in the main tank?



Hi! Actually there's no need to isolate a molter. It's rare, but not impossible, for them to be attacked as long as conditions are good. How deep is your substrate? HCA recommends at least 6" or 3x the height of your largest crab. It has to be sandcastle consistancy to hold their tunnels and caves. And mixed with dechlorinated fresh or salt water. They also need plenty of calcium and protein to ward off attacks. And at least 3 extra shells per crab to choose from. It's great that he chose another shell quickly and is doing well. Sometimes they dig just to destress, or just because. Not always to molt. They are diggers as well as climbers.


Oh that's a relief! I have pretty much everything you mentioned- fresh and salt water, calcium supplements, protein rich food, fresh food, and lots of extra shells. The only thing I'll need to change is the substrate, I need to add more sand to my eco earth- right now it's mostly eco earth and the substrate is quite deep (around 3 times the height of the crabs) but i could probably add an inch or two to it.
Thanks for the advice! I was pretty worried

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Re: Shell stolen Mid Molt

PostAuthor: Motörcrab » Wed Jul 11, 2018 4:47 pm

5 parts sand to 1 part Eco Earth is what is generally recommended here at HCA.

With your current substrate being mostly Eco Earth it may be difficult to get the cclose mix without filling the entire tank with substrate.

If you only have the two crabs I would put both crabs in ISO while reworking the substrate. I'd keep them in ISO for an extra day or two, if suitable, in order to make sure the conditions are ideal once again.

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