Molting? Destressing? Isolation? Oh my!

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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Moe2076
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Molting? Destressing? Isolation? Oh my!

Post by Moe2076 » Fri Sep 27, 2019 12:51 pm

I fell in love 3 weeks ago and am obsessed! I started with a 10 gallon and now also have a larger 30 by 12 by 12. The 2nd day I brought home this small sized crab he disappeared into about 3 inches of hermit sand and cocofiber and some other white rock mix (most of which I returned after I learned about the 5:1 EE play and ratio.)
I think it took me a week or so to get everything together and get ready to set up the larger crabitat and once I started mixing the substrate I started filling the 10 gallon an inch a day until it was bout 6 inches or so and left a few extra shells and declor (Stress coat) and Salt (instant ocean) water and a food dish. I'm sure temperature and humidity were rocky in the beginning that "Hermit Crab" zoo med thermometer is garbage and I have replaced it with some from amazon a 5 pack that all are ready pretty well.
I've ordered more shells 2 or 3 times and I still want more... I have 7 crabs total 3 of them are medium the one that is in the 10 gallon ISO is a small and I have 2 more in the small/medium range. I noticed that this one crab (sm to Med) was digging a lot more recently and when he disappeared for 2 days I cut off the bottom of a gallon plastic juice container and put it over where I thought he was. New shells came yesterday and I boiled them in declor for 20 minutes and then decided to clean out the crabitate and add more substrate since they been digging a little more and then under a coconut hut I find a whole and who is in there? the one I thought I isolated... It came out and I moved him to the other iso.

What about the other crab buried in there? its been under 3 ish weeks and I'm hoping will come out ok now but I'm pretty sure the other one may be getting ready to molt... and of course it's only changed shells and laid next to the heater today vs went int he hole I dug for it...

I have some other containers and I suppose I could get another plastic tote I could put him in but what about temperature and humidity? the glass lids I made and UTH's I have keep the tanks stable but I'm not sure what I could do with plastic and I cant have 7 10 gallon tanks around each time a crab decides to molt.... Oh I added another inch of sub to the 10 gallon last night too, with double bowls for water and food.

What do you all advise?
18 PP: 2 teenie 3 small Gumbo; 1 small/med shell diva; 6 med: Evil Kenival 6 med/large
3 dogs: Maltipoo Tosh Pomeranian/Spitz Kaylee: Rotwieler/hound Bear
4 cats: Dottie calico Luna: DSH grey and white Moxie:kitten with spunk Ellis:Big lovey orange tabby

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curlysister
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Re: Molting? Destressing? Isolation? Oh my!

Post by curlysister » Fri Sep 27, 2019 1:02 pm

Welcome to crabbing!
Crabs do not need to be isolated to molt, they can and should stay in the main tank. It is important to have a tank large enough to support the number and size of crabs you have, as well as deep enough proper substrate. Your sub needs to be at least 3x as deep as your largest crab, or 6 inches deep, whichever is deeper.
Once a crab digs down, don't put anything into the sub like the pop bottle. That method is only used to iso a crab on the surface. Crabs move once they are under the sub, and pushing anything into it could collapse their cave.
The number of crabs you can have in a tank depends on their size. For example, only two medium crabs would be appropriate for a 10 gallon, as each needs at least 4 gallons of space. Here is the HCA guide:
http://www.hermitcrabassociation.com/ph ... 26&t=92541
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." -Will Rogers


Topic author
Moe2076
Posts: 145
Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2019 12:06 pm
Location: West TN

Re: Molting? Destressing? Isolation? Oh my!

Post by Moe2076 » Fri Sep 27, 2019 6:31 pm

Oh that's good news! What about cannibalizm? I know I read somewhere to give them a bath whenever you introduce a new crab and after they molt. How do you be sure they won't eat the freshly molted one? Just have deep enough substrate? I have over 7 in of sub in both tanks now, the biggest crab is only a couple inches high, maybe golfball sized. I saw that guide you linked and that's why I stopped looking for more crabs... I started with 2 and after I bought the 20 Gallon I was looking for more. At first I could only find 1 or 2 on the smaller side then I found 3 medium sized ones and had to have them. It was half off when I found it and I keep eyeballing bigger ones... don't ask me where I would put another even larger aquarium...but next time I see a bigger one on sale I will probably buy it just to be able to put even more things in it and maybe bi level it.

So what is the ISO for? Just sick or new ones? I'm really relieved about the bottle thing and I was kinda losing my mind about everything related to molting and them eating each other. I've figured out so far from everything I've read that molting is not an exact science at all and have been stressing about all the different things I have read wondering how you balance it all out.
18 PP: 2 teenie 3 small Gumbo; 1 small/med shell diva; 6 med: Evil Kenival 6 med/large
3 dogs: Maltipoo Tosh Pomeranian/Spitz Kaylee: Rotwieler/hound Bear
4 cats: Dottie calico Luna: DSH grey and white Moxie:kitten with spunk Ellis:Big lovey orange tabby

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curlysister
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Re: Molting? Destressing? Isolation? Oh my!

Post by curlysister » Fri Sep 27, 2019 8:30 pm

Many people recommend a quick dip in fresh water for everyone when you intro a new crab - so that everyone smells the same. Crabs definitely do not need to be bathed after a molt, though. They already smell like the tank, and don't come back up til they have hardened and no longer smell like molting. A crab will eat another crab if they come across the molting crab when it is soft, before the exo has hardened. By having deep enough sub and not over crowding the tank, they shouldn't come across each other when down.
Yes, iso is only for sick or new crabs. I have used iso three times in the nine years I have had my crabs. Once when Sonny dug up Cher and she was missing a leg and not fully hardened (I did not have deep enough sub, my crabs had grown and my sub had settled and I needed to add more). Once when the third crab I added, Chaz, was not doing well (he didn't make it). And once when I had a flood and had to dig up Cher (she was actually finished molting and just hanging out down there).
I only use the HCA as a source of information....I decided there are many sources out there, and by only using one consistently, I avoided the conflicting advice out there.
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." -Will Rogers


Topic author
Moe2076
Posts: 145
Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2019 12:06 pm
Location: West TN

Re: Molting? Destressing? Isolation? Oh my!

Post by Moe2076 » Fri Sep 27, 2019 10:14 pm

Thank you so much! I've read almost solely from HCA since probably after the first week and I really like the format and all of the categories. It was VERY confusing and frustrating in the beginning both from misinformation I was getting from the pet stores and bunches of places on the internet with conflicting advice and opinions.
18 PP: 2 teenie 3 small Gumbo; 1 small/med shell diva; 6 med: Evil Kenival 6 med/large
3 dogs: Maltipoo Tosh Pomeranian/Spitz Kaylee: Rotwieler/hound Bear
4 cats: Dottie calico Luna: DSH grey and white Moxie:kitten with spunk Ellis:Big lovey orange tabby

User avatar

curlysister
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Re: Molting? Destressing? Isolation? Oh my!

Post by curlysister » Fri Sep 27, 2019 10:21 pm

I started with a 10 gallon, then upgraded to a 20 gallon. Then the only other person in my town with hermit crabs was giving away their 55 gallon! Unfortunately, they did not listen to all my ramblings about proper conditions, and all their crabs died. I only have two crabs in the 55 gallon, but of course I keep thinking about a bigger tank!
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." -Will Rogers


CrabberWill
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Re: Molting? Destressing? Isolation? Oh my!

Post by CrabberWill » Fri Sep 27, 2019 10:57 pm

I only use the HCA as a source of information....I decided there are many sources out there, and by only using one consistently, I avoided the conflicting advice out there.
I've ended up doing that without really realizing that I was doing it. When I was first starting out and doing my initial batch of research, I cast a wide net and visited as many sites as I could find, but I think that the care sheets and message boards here at the HCA complement each other well and make for an invaluable resource. I currently have two crabs, and the one that I've had the longest has been in my care since February of 2018, and he's still going strong. That's far and away the longest that I've ever had a hermit crab live--when I had them as a kid, I could get them to last maybe a month, tops. I credit the HCA and its community for the success that I've had this time.


Topic author
Moe2076
Posts: 145
Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2019 12:06 pm
Location: West TN

Re: Molting? Destressing? Isolation? Oh my!

Post by Moe2076 » Sun Oct 06, 2019 11:35 pm

My little crab came up! He is smaller than I remember. He's in this apple murex shell and it is so big for him. He flips over in it sometimes it's kinda funny but I feel bad for him too. He came out and ate a little and was looking at some other shells I had in there and then he went over close to the corner in the front of the tank and buried himself again. He was against the glass so I got to see how they dig! The last order of shells I had had all these smalls ones and at the time I was thinking that I would never be able to use them.... I put 5 of the smallest ones in the tank with him and I moved one of my coconut huts in there for a place for him to hide and misted the moss. I put some eggshell in there and a piece of apple in the food dish that has mealworms in it.

I've got some things to juggle and a few questions. I wanted to let everyone know he came up so I added to this thread. I'm going to start a new one with my next set of questions but I will leave them here also.

Post Molt Questions:
I just bought a 40 gallon breeder yesterday. I want to reinforce my desk where my 20 gallon tank sits just be be sure it will be able to handle the weight before I set up the 40 gallon. I moved the 10 gallon back to the bathroom where it has spent 3 of the past 4 weeks There is no natural light in there. I will have to move the 20 gallon off the desk and onto another surface I just cleared off for it in the same room.

Questions:
Do I need to be concerned about the lack of natural light in the bathroom now that my molting crab is up?
This crab had it the roughest of all the ones I have. I don't want to stress it anymore than I have to. Should I move another crab in with him or wait until I have the new tank all set up? I don't really want to move him 2x by introducing him into the 20 gallon (which has 6 crabs in it already 3 of them are definitely medium 2 small and one in the small/medium range and possibly overcrowd that tank.)
18 PP: 2 teenie 3 small Gumbo; 1 small/med shell diva; 6 med: Evil Kenival 6 med/large
3 dogs: Maltipoo Tosh Pomeranian/Spitz Kaylee: Rotwieler/hound Bear
4 cats: Dottie calico Luna: DSH grey and white Moxie:kitten with spunk Ellis:Big lovey orange tabby

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