Molting or dead

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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Molting or dead

Post by GRMU99 » Fri Sep 07, 2018 7:30 pm

I had this one crab since may and motled back in july once with me so far. So, the other day i was fixing this plant thing i had in the tank and when i had moved it i saw one of the crabs there in a little whole. I picked me up to check on him to make sure he wasnt dead. When i pick him up he was really limp and his eyes was right up next to each other. He had no dead smell do thinking that he is trying to do a partly surface molt since he made a little whole to sit in. That was 3 days ago. Today i check on the tank and smelled nothing dead. Dont know if i just claim that he is dead or not. Last week he was climbing and eating just fine.


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Re: Molting or dead

Post by curlysister » Fri Sep 07, 2018 8:36 pm

Was he buried in the substrate just under the plant thing?

You should isolate him, even just underneath a cut-down pop bottle or a margarine container inside he main tank. He needs both fresh and salt water as well as high protein and calcium foods in there with him.

Surface molts are a sign that something isn't right. Can you please fill in the emergency template, so we can see if there are things that could be better in your tank?
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Re: Molting or dead

Post by GRMU99 » Fri Sep 07, 2018 10:19 pm

1. What kind of substrate is used in your tank and how deep is it? Mix of sand and EE. Its about 3 to 4 inches deep.

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 read? Yes, its a combo that is attach to the shell shop. It reads between 70-75 as the temp and the humidity is about 90

3. Is a heat source used in the tank? If so, what? As of right now i just have a daylight bulb that i turn on during the day since the room that its in gets very warm in the summer. Will be getting an uth soon for the fall and winter.

4. What types of water are available(fresh or salt) and how is the water treated (what brands of dechlorinator or salt mix and ratio is use to mix it)? I have both that i do change every other day. For the salt i use instant ocean and i dont remember the brand that i use of the water.

5. What kinds of food do you feed and how often is it replaced? Different kinds of food that i order from thehermitcrabpatch.com and its replaced about every other day or when it starts growing.

6. How long have you had the crab and what species is it, if known? Had it since May of this year. He is an E.

7. Has your crab molted, and how long ago did it happen. Yes he has and it was in july.

8. What type of housing are the crabs kept in, what size is it and what kind of lid is on the housing? 29gl tank with a glass canopy.

9. How many crabs are in the tank and about how large are they? 3 and the are all small

10. How many extra shells are usually kept in the tank? At least 10 or more

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

12. How often do you clean the tank and how? I just spot clean here and there. Havent done a full clean since i got the crabs back in may.

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

14. Has anything new been added to you crabitat recently? Nope

15. Is there any other information you would like to share that might be helpful (anything that is regularly part of your crabs care, playtime, bathing, etc.)? No

16. Please describe the emergency situation in detail? Found him all limp not moving but, dosent have the dead fish smell.


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Re: Molting or dead

Post by curlysister » Fri Sep 07, 2018 11:30 pm

From looking at your answers, I believe you need more substrate. I have PP's, but I believe E's need more substrate, like at least 10-12 inches. Your crab might have been molting on the surface because he doesn't have enough substrate.

Your temp should probably be a bit higher, in the 75-80 range - do you know if it dips below that at night when you don't have the light on?

I hope someone else chimes in here. But as I said before, he needs to be isolated from the other crabs, along with good protein, calcium, and both sw and fw. Honey and organic natural peanut butter are good foods to help in iso too/
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Molting or dead

Post by GRMU99 » Fri Sep 07, 2018 11:40 pm

I know i need more substrate in it. I had problems in the past with having too much substrate in the tank and drying out way to fast. So, i went for little less just to see if that was my big problem years ago when i had crabs go under and dying.

I did had a night glow bulb but, it had burned out and i havent made it back to petco to get another one yet. Plus my dad has another clamp lamp that his said i can have.


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Re: Molting or dead

Post by GotButterflies » Sat Sep 08, 2018 9:58 am

I replied with GB for GotButterflies :butterfly:: :butterfly::
GRMU99 wrote: 1. What kind of substrate is used in your tank and how deep is it?
Mix of sand and EE. Its about 3 to 4 inches deep.

GB: Substrate should be 6 inches or 3 times the height of your largest crab (whichever is deeper). It should also be mixed with dechlorinated marine saltwater or dechlorinated freshwater to make the substrate sandcastle consistency.

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 read? Yes, its a combo that is attach to the shell shop. It reads between 70-75 as the temp and the humidity is about 90

GB: Have you calibrated your guage? I think it is wrong. I think there is no way your humidity can be 90 with you having a daylight bulb as heat. Honestly, those analog gauges can go wonky - especially if you spray your tank a lot. You can buy an Acurite digital 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. :) IMO Minimum heat and humidity should be 80/80. Hermit crabs have modified gills and need the humidity to breathe.

3. Is a heat source used in the tank? If so, what? As of right now i just have a daylight bulb that i turn on during the day since the room that its in gets very warm in the summer. Will be getting an uth soon for the fall and winter.

GB: I personally don't like using bulbs as heaters. They make the humidity evaporate which is important for the crabs to breathe due to their modified gills. Most of us use ultratherms. They are great heaters. www.reptilebasics.com or www.beanfarm.com sells them. Wodesorel likes the ones made by Flukers. Crabs really don't need a light on their tank if there is sufficient light in the room.

4. What types of water are available(fresh or salt) and how is the water treated (what brands of dechlorinator or salt mix and ratio is use to mix it)? I have both that i do change every other day. For the salt i use instant ocean and i dont remember the brand that i use of the water.

GB: You 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. Both pools should be deep enough for them to fully submerge in and safe enough for them to get out of.

5. What kinds of food do you feed and how often is it replaced? Different kinds of food that i order from thehermitcrabpatch.com and its replaced about every other day or when it starts growing.

GB: Make sure you cover all aspects of food pyramid :) Foods should be organic when possible. Hermit crabs are sensitive to pesticides and fertilizers. Are you providing calcium? Cuttlebone, eggshells, coral, oyster shell.
Safe food list: viewtopic.php?f=25&t=92557
Unsafe food list: viewtopic.php?f=25&t=92556
Food pyramid: viewtopic.php?f=25&t=92554


6. How long have you had the crab and what species is it, if known? Had it since May of this year. He is an E.

GB: IMO Es need 10-12" of substrate, 10 gallons per crab, 2 proteins daily and lots of calcium.

7. Has your crab molted, and how long ago did it happen. Yes he has and it was in july.

8. What type of housing are the crabs kept in, what size is it and what kind of lid is on the housing? 29gl tank with a glass canopy.

9. How many crabs are in the tank and about how large are they? 3 and the are all small

10. How many extra shells are usually kept in the tank? At least 10 or more

GB: 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: viewtopic.php?f=24&t=92552

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

12. How often do you clean the tank and how? I just spot clean here and there. Havent done a full clean since i got the crabs back in may.

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

14. Has anything new been added to you crabitat recently? Nope

15. Is there any other information you would like to share that might be helpful (anything that is regularly part of your crabs care, playtime, bathing, etc.)? No

16. Please describe the emergency situation in detail? Found him all limp not moving but, dosent have the dead fish smell.


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Re: Molting or dead

Post by GRMU99 » Wed Sep 12, 2018 12:44 am

Unfortunately have to say that he had died. I had ordered an uth, new digital gauge, and another lamp stand off of amazon that its post to be delivered tomorrow. The next time i get to a pet store i’ll get more EE.


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