Crabs dying during molting!

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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LoveTheEarth11
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Crabs dying during molting!

Post by LoveTheEarth11 » Wed Apr 08, 2020 5:42 pm

Hi!
My smallest PP, Strawberry, just went under to molt. I am making this post because I have had three crabs die during molting, so I am very worried. I give them the best care possible- protein-rich foods, lots of substrate and humidity, saltwater- basically everything they need to thrive.
With my past hermit crabs I have moved them to a quarantine cage during molt (I know it's not ideal, but I worried that he would get eaten) After he died during molt, I thought it was because I moved him.
So next crab I left alone, only just placing a container over her molting spot to protect her. When she died, I thought it was because I put something around her, and maybe she suffocated?
The NEXT time, the third crab to molt, I left it alone. And guess what! It died!

So, as I have a history with crabs dying during molt, I am a very worried crab owner. Can anybody give any tips or know what's wrong? Thanks.


(To answer all the questions required to make this post::)
I am using a 50:50 eco earth to play sand mix. it is 9 inches deep (YES, they are completely covered. (They can dig all the way to the bottom and have at least 3 inches of soil above them)
I have a zoomed temp and humidity gauges. It reads 75 F and 85 Humidity. (They are located at the top of the tank)
I have a huge zoomed heat mat on the SIDE of the tank. (Not underneath)
I have two water pools. one for salt, one for fresh. I use prime to dechlorinate it. It is fully cycled with running filters.
I feed fresh food, such as banana or kale, and grains such as oats or chia. for protein, I give cuttlebone and crushed eggshell. (It changes a lot. They also feed off of live plants (food is replaced every day))
I have had my PP for about a year and a half.
None of my living crabs have molted so far. history shows that they die when they start. :(
They are in a 45 gallon, with a screen lid.
There are five hermit crabs, two large and two the size of a quarter. (I remove them from the tank when they are molting. (They go into a quarantine tank))
Lots of extra shells. Like 15?
No chemicals/fumes.
I clean the tank at least every 2 months. by removing all substrates and washing it all down with white vinegar.
No, sponges are NOT used!
Nothing new added to the tank.
There is also soil mites in the tank. I don't think they are affecting them molt though.
Last edited by LoveTheEarth11 on Wed Apr 08, 2020 10:03 pm, edited 3 times in total.
5 PP hermit crabs: Coconut, Blackberry, Huckleberry, pomoganet, Apricot & Pineapple | Cockatiel: Luna Quaker parrot: kiwi| 1 bearded dragon: Copper | 3 alligator lizards | 2 rats: Latte, Cinder | | 1 crested gecko: Papaya | 200 bettas (I breed) | 164 pacific tree frog tadepoles

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JoeHermits
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Re: Crabs dying during molting!

Post by JoeHermits » Wed Apr 08, 2020 6:44 pm

If your substrate is nine inches deep than you can simply let the crabs dig. Isolation is redundant at this point.

What are you offering for protein and calcium?


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Re: Crabs dying during molting!

Post by LoveTheEarth11 » Wed Apr 08, 2020 7:06 pm

JoeHermits wrote:
Wed Apr 08, 2020 6:44 pm
If your substrate is nine inches deep than you can simply let the crabs dig. Isolation is redundant at this point.

What are you offering for protein and calcium?


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One of my tiniest crabs just went under yesterday (To molt). That is why I made this post. I'll leave her alone this time. I offer cuttlebone and crushed, eggshell daily, as calcium. sometimes shrimp tails as a treat. For protein, they get boiled egg and freeze-dried shrimp.
5 PP hermit crabs: Coconut, Blackberry, Huckleberry, pomoganet, Apricot & Pineapple | Cockatiel: Luna Quaker parrot: kiwi| 1 bearded dragon: Copper | 3 alligator lizards | 2 rats: Latte, Cinder | | 1 crested gecko: Papaya | 200 bettas (I breed) | 164 pacific tree frog tadepoles

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Re: Crabs dying during molting!

Post by curlysister » Wed Apr 08, 2020 7:15 pm

I agree with Joe, there is no need to move them, you are just causing stress that isn't necessary.
And there is no need to change out the substrate unless there is a big problem like a flood or bacterial bloom.
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." -Will Rogers

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Re: Crabs dying during molting!

Post by JoeHermits » Wed Apr 08, 2020 7:23 pm

I see no red flags here. If none of them have molted successfully under your care it may be a case (or several) of Post-Purchase Syndrome.

The risk of PPS does not drop until after they molt. The stresses they endure before coming to our homes are great and some crabs just can’t handle them.

Continue to provide care as best that you can. If you get more crabs I would recommend either adopting or finding a different supplier.


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Re: Crabs dying during molting!

Post by LoveTheEarth11 » Wed Apr 08, 2020 7:34 pm

JoeHermits wrote:
Wed Apr 08, 2020 7:23 pm
I see no red flags here. If none of them have molted successfully under your care it may be a case (or several) of Post-Purchase Syndrome.

The risk of PPS does not drop until after they molt. The stresses they endure before coming to our homes are great and some crabs just can’t handle them.

Continue to provide care as best that you can. If you get more crabs I would recommend either adopting or finding a different supplier.


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Okay. Thank you for your help. I don't plan on getting any more crabs soon (Because in my opinion, any more crabs than five in a 45 gal is overcrowded.) But I will take your advice.
5 PP hermit crabs: Coconut, Blackberry, Huckleberry, pomoganet, Apricot & Pineapple | Cockatiel: Luna Quaker parrot: kiwi| 1 bearded dragon: Copper | 3 alligator lizards | 2 rats: Latte, Cinder | | 1 crested gecko: Papaya | 200 bettas (I breed) | 164 pacific tree frog tadepoles

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Re: Crabs dying during molting!

Post by JoeHermits » Wed Apr 08, 2020 7:35 pm

Sorry for what you’re going through. If there was a magic action that would solve all your problems I’d share it in a heartbeat.


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Re: Crabs dying during molting!

Post by LoveTheEarth11 » Fri Apr 10, 2020 3:48 pm

JoeHermits wrote:
Wed Apr 08, 2020 7:35 pm
Sorry for what you’re going through. If there was a magic action that would solve all your problems I’d share it in a heartbeat.


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Thanks! I really hope my little crab makes it. =)
5 PP hermit crabs: Coconut, Blackberry, Huckleberry, pomoganet, Apricot & Pineapple | Cockatiel: Luna Quaker parrot: kiwi| 1 bearded dragon: Copper | 3 alligator lizards | 2 rats: Latte, Cinder | | 1 crested gecko: Papaya | 200 bettas (I breed) | 164 pacific tree frog tadepoles

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Re: Crabs dying during molting!

Post by Motörcrab » Fri Apr 10, 2020 7:41 pm

LoveTheEarth11 wrote:
Wed Apr 08, 2020 5:42 pm
I clean the tank at least every 2 months. by removing all substrates and washing it all down with white vinegar.
Why are you cleaning the tank every two months? If a crabitat is set up properly you should never have to do a deep clean of everything. Only clean the the surface of carried off food and poop. The only real time a deep clean is needed is the if you have a tank catastrophe like a bacterial bloom or flood.

Do you dig up the crab when it's molting? That could be why they die. After they shed their exoskeleton they are super soft and any movement can really injure or kill them. Crabs can take anywhere from a week to nearly a year to molt. At the moment I have a crab or two down since mid December.
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Re: Crabs dying during molting!

Post by LoveTheEarth11 » Fri Apr 10, 2020 10:20 pm

Motörcrab wrote:
Fri Apr 10, 2020 7:41 pm
Why are you cleaning the tank every two months? Only clean the the surface of carried off food and poop.

Do you dig up the crab when it's molting? That could be why they die.
That is what I was told to do when I got my crabs. And I do have a mite problem so I have been trying to get rid of them. But I will keep this in mind for next time. :)

Yes, I did dig one of them up. I think that's why it died. I stopped after that, but they continued to die. :(
5 PP hermit crabs: Coconut, Blackberry, Huckleberry, pomoganet, Apricot & Pineapple | Cockatiel: Luna Quaker parrot: kiwi| 1 bearded dragon: Copper | 3 alligator lizards | 2 rats: Latte, Cinder | | 1 crested gecko: Papaya | 200 bettas (I breed) | 164 pacific tree frog tadepoles

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