Buried for a month, please help!!

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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mycrabslovemelon
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Buried for a month, please help!!

Post by mycrabslovemelon » Tue Dec 04, 2018 11:34 pm

My golf ball sized PP has been buried for the past month and a half without coming up. I've been trying to do research to see if they're supposed to come up for food or water and I can't find anything. She hasn't moved at all and I don't want to move her in case she is really molting. I'm in desperate need of advice, please help!

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Hermiesguardian
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Re: Buried for a month, please help!!

Post by Hermiesguardian » Tue Dec 04, 2018 11:40 pm

mycrabslovemelon wrote:My golf ball sized PP has been buried for the past month and a half without coming up. I've been trying to do research to see if they're supposed to come up for food or water and I can't find anything. She hasn't moved at all and I don't want to move her in case she is really molting. I'm in desperate need of advice, please help!
No need to worry. If he's molting he could be buried for several months. Just don't dig him up. It's what we call pet sand. Just keep putting out food for when he does come up.
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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mycrabslovemelon
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Re: Buried for a month, please help!!

Post by mycrabslovemelon » Tue Dec 04, 2018 11:41 pm

She's not supposed to move at all?

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Hermiesguardian
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Re: Buried for a month, please help!!

Post by Hermiesguardian » Tue Dec 04, 2018 11:49 pm

mycrabslovemelon wrote:She's not supposed to move at all?
How deep is your substrate? How do you know she's not moving?
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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RiNiKy506
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Buried for a month, please help!!

Post by RiNiKy506 » Wed Dec 05, 2018 8:00 pm

mycrabslovemelon wrote:She's not supposed to move at all?
No, they will go down and can stay down for a month or even more, depending on the size of the crab. They eat their shedded exoskeleton while they are down there.


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curlysister
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Re: Buried for a month, please help!!

Post by curlysister » Thu Dec 06, 2018 12:07 am

A golf-ball sized crab will stay buried for at least a couple of months to molt. Don't dig him up!!
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." -Will Rogers


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mycrabslovemelon
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Re: Buried for a month, please help!!

Post by mycrabslovemelon » Tue Dec 18, 2018 12:10 am

The substrate is about 3 inches deep. I check on her every day and I know she isn't moving at all. There aren't any tunnels, she just isn't moving at all. I'm starting to feel like something went wrong...

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Hermiesguardian
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Re: Buried for a month, please help!!

Post by Hermiesguardian » Tue Dec 18, 2018 2:40 am

mycrabslovemelon wrote:The substrate is about 3 inches deep. I check on her every day and I know she isn't moving at all. There aren't any tunnels, she just isn't moving at all. I'm starting to feel like something went wrong...
Substrate needs to be a minimum of 6". Or 3 times the height of your biggest crab. Whichever is deeper wins. Please fill out the emergency template.
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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mycrabslovemelon
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Re: Buried for a month, please help!!

Post by mycrabslovemelon » Tue Dec 18, 2018 11:41 pm

1. What kind of substrate is used in your tank and how deep is it?
Coconut fiber, 3 in 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 usually read? Yes, 90 degrees F and 70% humidity.

3. Is a heat source used in the tank? If so, what?
Yes, one heat mat from the bottom and one on the side, it sounds like a lot, but it keeps the tank warm.

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)? Fresh and salt, I use purified, bottled water and All Living Things is used for salt.

5. What kinds of food do you feed and how often is it replaced?
Fruits, veggie, peanut butter, and meat. It's replaced when it starts getting old.

6. How long have you had the crab and what species is it, if known?
I've had Natasha since the beginning of this July. She's a PP.

7. Has your crab molted, and how long ago did it happen?
I haven't seen her molt.

8. What type of housing are the crabs kept in, what size is it and what kind of lid is on the housing?
For just one, golf ball- sized crab, she's in a 5 gallon tank. It's one of those cheap, plastic ones with the colored lids.

9. How many crabs are in the tank and about how large are they?
Just her, she's about the size of a golf ball, or a small Christmas ornament.


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

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

12. How often do you clean the tank and how?
I'll take everything out and replace the fiber.

13. Are sponges used in the water dish? If so, how are they cleaned?
Yes, I run it under water.

14. Has anything new been added to your crabitat recently?
No.

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.)?
She's been buried for 2 months without any movement or tunnels. I want to know if it's normal that a crab won't eat, or move. Is crab hibernation a thing?

16. Please describe the emergency situation in detail.
I'm beginning to believe my crab is dead. She doesn't move at all. She hasn't come up for almost 2 months now. I want to know if she's just molting or actually dead.


crabby33
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Re: Buried for a month, please help!!

Post by crabby33 » Wed Dec 19, 2018 1:58 pm

What kind of substrate is used in your tank and how deep is it?
Coconut fiber, 3 in deep.

3 inches deep is considered too low by this forum. You’ll want it 3 times the height of your largest crab, whichever is deeper is the best.

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? Yes, 90 degrees F and 70% humidity.

If you have analogue gauges, digital gauges are recommended and preferred.


3. Is a heat source used in the tank? If so, what?
Yes, one heat mat from the bottom and one on the side, it sounds like a lot, but it keeps the tank warm.

Placing it on the bottom is not recommended for hermit crabs, so please remove the one on the bottom. The one on the side is where it’s supposed to go. Your crab may have been baked.

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)? Fresh and salt, I use purified, bottled water and All Living Things is used for salt.

You will need a dechlorinator. A lot of hermit crab groups recommend Prime. The only pet store brand salt recommended is Instant Ocean. Any kind of marine salt used for fish is safe for hermit crabs.

5. What kinds of food do you feed and how often is it replaced?
Fruits, veggie, peanut butter, and meat. It's replaced when it starts getting old.

Please look at the food pyramid.

6. How long have you had the crab and what species is it, if known?
I've had Natasha since the beginning of this July. She's a PP.

7. Has your crab molted, and how long ago did it happen?
I haven't seen her molt.

If her substrate was the preferred depth, you would not be able to watch the molting process. Crabs actually prefer to be underground during this time and they don’t like being dug up when they’re buried. I know this because both of my crabs are buried and I learned that from one of them having to re-bury 5 times because I kept checking on her. Digging them up like can kill the crab. So it’s recommended to leave them alone for anywhere from 6 weeks to 6 months.

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

For just one, golf ball- sized crab, she's in a 5 gallon tank. It's one of those cheap, plastic ones with the colored lids.

Okay, so she’s in a critter keeper. Those are not recommended as permanent homes for hermit crabs. I’m sorry but you’ve fallen for the pet store’s marketing ploys. Critter keepers are what we call “death boxes” because they don’t hold humidity well. That is also why your crab only lasted 6 months. Glass tanks are preferred and recommended. I have mine in a 20 Gallon tank, which I believe is a good starter tank for two crabs.

9. How many crabs are in the tank and about how large are they?
Just her, she's about the size of a golf ball, or a small Christmas ornament.

If you have to buy crabs, it’s recommended to purchase them in pairs. But most people prefer to adopt, rather than buy so they’re not supporting the hermit crab industry.


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

Two is not enough. This forum recommends 3-5 shells to lessen the chances of shell aggression.

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

12. How often do you clean the tank and how?
I'll take everything out and replace the fiber.

Doing complete cleans is not necessary.

13. Are sponges used in the water dish? If so, how are they cleaned?
Yes, I run it under water.

Sponges are an old practice and are not recommended.


14. Has anything new been added to your crabitat recently?
No.

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.)?
She's been buried for 2 months without any movement or tunnels. I want to know if it's normal that a crab won't eat, or move. Is crab hibernation a thing?

Your crab may be suffering from Post Purchase Stress. Not moving or eating are signs of PPS.

16. Please describe the emergency situation in detail.
I'm beginning to believe my crab is dead. She doesn't move at all. She hasn't come up for almost 2 months now. I want to know if she's just molting or actually dead.

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Hermiesguardian
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Re: Buried for a month, please help!!

Post by Hermiesguardian » Wed Dec 19, 2018 7:13 pm

Just one thing on the depth of substrate. Yes it has to be 3x the height of largest crab. But at minimum 6". Whichever is deeper wins.
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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curlysister
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Re: Buried for a month, please help!!

Post by curlysister » Wed Dec 19, 2018 8:06 pm

Your humidity needs to be a bit higher too, around 80 or more is best.

As for the substrate, many of us use a mixture of 5 parts playsand to 1 part EE; it needs to be moist enough to hold it's shape (ie- sand castle consistency) but not too wet. If you have the proper depth and consistency, and in proper tank size and conditions, you will not need to change the whole thing out, just spot clean bits of food etc.
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." -Will Rogers

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ROSIEonFIRE
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Re: Buried for a month, please help!!

Post by ROSIEonFIRE » Thu Dec 20, 2018 9:21 am

I have 5 crabs about that size and the first year I had them was kind of an emotional roller coaster. They're so different from any other pet I ever had, they'd disappear for months and I'd be sure they were dead only to eventually reappear every time. After a year I've learned to be much more relaxed when I dont see them for a long time. As a matter of fact, for the last few months the WHOLE GANG was down for a molt and they only just came up a few weeks ago. Your crab is probably fine.

All that being said, conditions in your tat could use some improvements. Luckily this place is a great resource for new hermit crab owners :)


Topic author
mycrabslovemelon
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Re: Buried for a month, please help!!

Post by mycrabslovemelon » Sat Dec 22, 2018 12:11 am

Thanks guys!

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