Molting + Bacterial Bloom behavior question.

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.
Post Reply

Topic author
Kydra
Posts: 200
Joined: Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:35 pm
Location: NJ

Molting + Bacterial Bloom behavior question.

Post by Kydra » Sun Jan 19, 2020 2:41 am

So I was just pondering the thought of my last bacterial blooms prior to realizing my sandcastle consistency was way outta whack lol.

Not sure how this would be answered, but seems like hermit crabs are sensitive to smells and so on. So why not surface molt over digging in rotten egg substrate?

If there are other crabs in the crabitat, guess the best way and survival instinct for them. Just digging a molting grave though with a true bacterial bloom.

Not sure this is much of a question or rather an observation I guess. I have read about surface molts in proper conditions which is either a choice or maybe crab too weak to dig...

Just throwing my random late night thoughts around at almost 3AM lol. Guess a crab will go into survival mode and rather perish in a bacterial bloom over a good chance of being cannibalized molting on the surface in this situation.

My one guy had no issues digging into a terrible rotten bacterial bloom a few months back so figured I'd throw this post out there.

User avatar

Hermiesguardian
Posts: 3024
Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2017 10:41 pm

Re: Molting + Bacterial Bloom behavior question.

Post by Hermiesguardian » Sun Jan 19, 2020 8:34 am

Just curious. How did that one do that dug in the bloom?
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


Topic author
Kydra
Posts: 200
Joined: Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:35 pm
Location: NJ

Re: Molting + Bacterial Bloom behavior question.

Post by Kydra » Mon Jan 20, 2020 2:26 am

Hermiesguardian wrote:
Sun Jan 19, 2020 8:34 am
Just curious. How did that one do that dug in the bloom?
Not sure if you remember the thread I had posted... initially with a picture that caught my attention. At that point, it was either Kraken or Hydra (one of my two originals) that had begun digging.

Once I received advice here to dig and smell I just dug in a corner where I was pretty sure he wasn't and smelled. It just smelled off honestly, but with that and the green line picture, I just assumed the worst and was correct. I had another 10 gallon with the same sub and same consistency and a smaller (maybe 5 gallon) as well.

I initially moved them to the 10... he had just started burying and I pulled him up, waited a few then dipped in room temp freshwater and put all crabs in the 10 gallon. Started to dismantle and remove sub from the 20 gallon and that off smell from a small spot ended up smelling so rancid as I removed ALL sub that my entire room smelled like a dying animal and sulfur eggs.

While he was in the 10 gallon, he immediately dug into the substrate. So was down for a few hours in that... which turned out identically as disgusting as the main tank. Once again, dug him and dipped him and moved them to the 5 gallon while I removed all of the substrate there. Again he dug. Same consistency in the 5 gallon and I had the 5 gallon the longest, but that was ALL EE with no sand.

Once I was able to get everything right in the 20 gallon, I removed him AGAIN (poor guy) then he dug down in the new substrate and was down for about a month and a week. Came up and was all over the cuttlebone every night for at least a week... which was interesting because the cuttlebone was never touched prior to that and now subsequent molters.

They really go right for it after molting even with crushed oyster shell and egg shells, etc. So, while I did not think I needed the cuttlebone, I am so glad I ended up getting it for them!

I'm rambling and getting off-topic a bit, but in the end he was just fine as I was able to catch it as he was just starting to dig to molt. He ended up successfully molting after I changed the sub, boiled everything, and cleaned the tank as I mentioned.

My OP is from after work last night and all over the place as well lol. Late nights of work and stress!

What I actually found interesting which seems to contradict some opinions here is that all EE is more prone to bacterial blooms as the 5 gallon sub of all EE was also soaked, but no smell and seemingly no bacterial bloom (I changed it all out anyway). Whereas my EE and playsand mixed tanks were absolutely disgusting. Also, the all EE was from just trying to get things right after purchasing on boardwalk and temporary so was mixed with Aquafina bottled water with the others mixed with prime then IO saltwater.

I'm now at about a 3:1 playsand/EE ratio in all 3 tanks mixed to sandcastle consistency with saltwater. One just came up and waiting patiently on another. That was definitely an experience. Hopefully remembering it all accurately without going back to my thread on that.

Edit: Wow that was a long answer. Should do a TLDR: he was fine as was just beginning to dig pre-molt, but did spend a significant amount of time buried in bacterial blooms prior to molting successfully once corrected.

User avatar

Motörcrab
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 2143
Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2017 9:56 pm
Location: Coal Region in Pennsylvania
Contact:

Re: Molting + Bacterial Bloom behavior question.

Post by Motörcrab » Mon Jan 20, 2020 7:29 pm

The EE once moist will suck and hold a lot of water. If using mostly EE you need to get it wet then squeeze out a lot of the extra water.

Just a thought, your 3:1 ratio may be a little too much EE to your substrate. Since EE will breakdown over time that can be one issue you are having. Especially if a crab decides to take food under the substrate and not eat it. The saltwater mix should help limit bacterial growth too. The HCA recommends a 5:1 mix.
Coenobita Curiosities offering crabby decor
https://www.etsy.com/shop/CoenobitaCuriosities


Topic author
Kydra
Posts: 200
Joined: Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:35 pm
Location: NJ

Re: Molting + Bacterial Bloom behavior question.

Post by Kydra » Thu Jan 23, 2020 1:12 am

Motörcrab wrote:
Mon Jan 20, 2020 7:29 pm
The EE once moist will suck and hold a lot of water. If using mostly EE you need to get it wet then squeeze out a lot of the extra water.

Just a thought, your 3:1 ratio may be a little too much EE to your substrate. Since EE will breakdown over time that can be one issue you are having. Especially if a crab decides to take food under the substrate and not eat it. The saltwater mix should help limit bacterial growth too. The HCA recommends a 5:1 mix.
Thanks for the info. The 3:1 ratio wasn't really on purpose, but was just a mess of a night when I decided to dig and smell. Had a family member go get playsand for me as I started dismantling everything. Really needed more than what I got, but was thankful for the help as it was an emergency. Probably unnecessary, but I boiled and baked basically everything along with replacing all substrate so was a back breaking long night! I'm guessing it's about 3:1 at this point rather than the recommended 5:1.

I'm actually trying to upgrade from the 20L now so thinking should be fine for another few months then I'll likely do a full replace of all substrate. Waiting on another molter now. I may change it out sooner... and yeah I was questioning everything when I had those bacterial blooms. Honestly, was a newbie mistake as my opinion of sandcastle consistency is just too much water lol. I do have the correct consistency currently in all 3 tanks though.

And yeah I kinda have PTSD from that night haha. I was questioning the ratio and having too much organic material in there when it was all said and done... think I even posted a question about it here somewhere so will move to the 5:1 with the upgrade (possibly sooner if my work schedule eases up a bit).

Appreciate it! 👍👍

Post Reply