Purchased substrate... that's already damp/wet.

This is where you discuss the conditions of your crabitat -- temperature, humidity, substrate, decorating, etc.
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Kydra
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Purchased substrate... that's already damp/wet.

Post by Kydra » Tue Feb 11, 2020 6:57 pm

Posted in the chat, but figured I'd ask what to do with this. I went to Home Depot and Lowes all Premium Playsand was outside. It's been raining for days. All were at minimum damp. Still bought a few bags. Really want to change the substrate as I can with crabs up. Thoughts?

Appreciate it. Know I've been asking a bunch of questions lately!

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CrabbyLover77
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Re: Purchased substrate... that's already damp/wet.

Post by CrabbyLover77 » Tue Feb 11, 2020 7:48 pm

Kydra wrote:Posted in the chat, but figured I'd ask what to do with this. I went to Home Depot and Lowes all Premium Playsand was outside. It's been raining for days. All were at minimum damp. Still bought a few bags. Really want to change the substrate as I can with crabs up. Thoughts?

Appreciate it. Know I've been asking a bunch of questions lately!
I'm not sure if rainwater would be an issue or not. If you're worried about it, you could always bake batches of sand in the oven to dry it out and sterilize it first. I know that would probably be a big pain though. Just a thought. Image
.

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Re: Purchased substrate... that's already damp/wet.

Post by Hermiesguardian » Tue Feb 11, 2020 8:27 pm

You can always mix dryish ee with it.
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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Crabby7Crabber
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Re: Purchased substrate... that's already damp/wet.

Post by Crabby7Crabber » Tue Feb 11, 2020 8:53 pm

What sand do you all suggest? I don't really know what to get them when I go to Lowes, plus didn't someone say something about something called silica or something not being good for them?
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Re: Purchased substrate... that's already damp/wet.

Post by CrabbyLover77 » Tue Feb 11, 2020 8:55 pm

Crabby7Crabber wrote:What sand do you all suggest? I don't really know what to get them when I go to Lowes, plus didn't someone say something about something called silica or something not being good for them?
I get whatever playsand Lowe's has that says it's washed/dried and screened. Image

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Re: Purchased substrate... that's already damp/wet.

Post by Crabby7Crabber » Tue Feb 11, 2020 9:08 pm

CrabbyLover77 wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 8:55 pm
I get whatever playsand Lowe's has that says it's washed/dried and screened. Image

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Thank you! I heard a lot of you use QUikrete. I'm just looking for a cheap option because if I have enough by the end of the month after buying the sand and the two containers for the water bowls, fingers crossed I'll have just enough to get a 20g! Yay! There's a sale that I'm going to jump on-
https://www.petsuppliesplus.com/shoppin ... -Tank/8463 (We have one really nearby. While I'm there will probably give them another lecture, lol!)
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CrabbyLover77
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Re: Purchased substrate... that's already damp/wet.

Post by CrabbyLover77 » Tue Feb 11, 2020 9:12 pm

Crabby7Crabber wrote: Thank you! I heard a lot of you use QUikrete. I'm just looking for a cheap option because if I have enough by the end of the month after buying the sand and the two containers for the water bowls, fingers crossed I'll have just enough to get a 20g! Yay! There's a sale that I'm going to jump on-
https://www.petsuppliesplus.com/shoppin ... -Tank/8463 (We have one really nearby. While I'm there will probably give them another lecture, lol!)
You're welcome! Yeah, I think that's the brand I got. It's usually under $5 for 50lbs. I just got that email from PSP about the tank sale. I hope you can get everything you need!

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Crabby7Crabber
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Re: Purchased substrate... that's already damp/wet.

Post by Crabby7Crabber » Tue Feb 11, 2020 9:24 pm

CrabbyLover77 wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 9:12 pm
You're welcome! Yeah, I think that's the brand I got. It's usually under $5 for 50lbs. I just got that email from PSP about the tank sale. I hope you can get everything you need!

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Thank you! :)
‧͙⁺˚*・༓☾ George Washington Hoodini Jubali Aaron Burr ☽༓・*˚⁺‧͙
︵‿︵‿୨Just a Geek that loves and worships her animals୧‿︵‿︵


Topic author
Kydra
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Re: Purchased substrate... that's already damp/wet.

Post by Kydra » Tue Feb 11, 2020 11:24 pm

I'll have to check that site again for a closer store to upgrade as I delayed the Petco sale, though they'll have another as always soon enough.

I'm not sure how I'd even go about baking 50lb bags of sand. Would like to start with dry add some saltwater, etc. Assuming just rainwater because being outside and the weather. Also, just purchase the premium playsand that's for children and noted as screened/dried/washed as mentioned. Under $5 for a 50lb bag.

Any thoughts on trying to bake or just leave it be? Just wanted to get thoughts of those much more experienced on this. Thanks again! 😎


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Re: Purchased substrate... that's already damp/wet.

Post by Kydra » Wed Feb 12, 2020 12:51 am

Wanted to get this done tomorrow morning, but my search results here are all over the place. My current substrate is maybe 3:1 with crabs already molted and I had mixed it all at one point which surely had crab waste in there. The top inch or so is fairly dry now with visible waste, and probably more that I previously mixed in.

Was going to just bake sand on low and add with EE to correct consistency then later remove waste manually on top layer as needed until I finally upgrade. I have a koi pond I take care of and beneficial bacteria is a huge part of the ecosystem. My searches here include this and many others...

"It suggests ammonia buildup only happens in pooling water. So you need to avoid oversaturating the substrate such that water can start to collect at the bottom. It's probably best to get the sand moist at the start, and then only add water or mist as necessary to keep it moist and the humidity right, but not too much as to oversaturate it.

It also reiterates that sterile substrates can be harmful to animals because there are no beneficial bacteria to break down matter or overwhelm harmful bacteria. I think it's very important that we somehow find an easy way to create a cycled substrate for hermit crabs."

All a back and forth RE deep cleans/changing substrate and removing all beneficial bacteria. My brain is friend at this point esp after multiple successful molts in current substrate.

Along with my post above, any thoughts? I just believe there's too much waste currently and not sure I trust the damp playsand to not bake then add EE and MSW. At least my plans for now. Maybe I'm just severely overthinking this!

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Links
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Purchased substrate... that's already damp/wet.

Post by Links » Wed Feb 12, 2020 2:52 pm

I can’t provide much experience but I’ve heard of some people dumping it in the tank straight from the bag.

I do know one thing for sure. In my situation I would want my sub to start out as dry as possible without loosing sandcastle consistency. Because my humidity is high. It was 99% this morning. And last night I had the lid open many times for feeding, water testing and changes. I also cracked the lid open a bit in hopes of reducing the humidity. I also get a lot of condensation on the front glass because The front is not insulated and my room temperature is 64°F. I was using a small fan to blow across the front and that kept condensation away. But I have lost one crab after four months of owning them and I decided to turn the fan off for whatever reason now I am using a blanket draped over the front of the tank to try to minimize condensation because I was getting so much that it would drip down into the sub, and my sub is not drying out like it used to because of this reason. So now I am worried about a flood and or a bacteria bloom.

So in my short experience I would not recommend wetting the sub unless it is bone dry you can always add water when it’s in the tank it’s very difficult to take it away.

I’ve been thinking about poking holes in it to dry it out (not completely) but I have one crab that is down and that is a huge no-no.

I also used to have to mist water on the surface but now I don’t have to because it is not drying out. I would rather see it dry out on top.

Today with my light on now the humidity is still pretty high at 95%.

I’m thinking about buying another ultra therm heater so that I can crack the lids more and let some of the humidity out without losing the heat. I did not buy the correct size to begin with it does not go all the way to the top of the tank but I have complete insulation on the back and sides so I am able to get my temperatures up pretty high. With using a blanket I was actually able to see 86°. After seeing that one time I decided to buy a thermostat and I have it set on 81°. My sensor is closer to the front of the tank which will be the cool side so I know it is warmer than that towards the back. The reason I don’t have it set any higher is because at night when my lights go off the temperature is going to drop to about 76 or 77° again being the coolest spot in the tank. So I didn’t really want a 10° difference from day and night even though you do see a 10° drop in the wild but then again how do you know the crabs really experience this change because they are allowed to move and find places that are more consistent. At least I think that’s what they would do I don’t really know for sure. There are some experts here that could provide much more insight.

If I add another heater I can keep the temperatures a little more consistent. But as of now a nighttime temperature of 77 and a daytime temperature of 81 sounds pretty good to me but I don’t know for sure.




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Kydra
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Re: Purchased substrate... that's already damp/wet.

Post by Kydra » Thu Feb 13, 2020 11:01 am

Links wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 2:52 pm
I can’t provide much experience but I’ve heard of some people dumping it in the tank straight from the bag.

I do know one thing for sure. In my situation I would want my sub to start out as dry as possible without loosing sandcastle consistency. Because my humidity is high. It was 99% this morning. And last night I had the lid open many times for feeding, water testing and changes. I also cracked the lid open a bit in hopes of reducing the humidity. I also get a lot of condensation on the front glass because The front is not insulated and my room temperature is 64°F. I was using a small fan to blow across the front and that kept condensation away. But I have lost one crab after four months of owning them and I decided to turn the fan off for whatever reason now I am using a blanket draped over the front of the tank to try to minimize condensation because I was getting so much that it would drip down into the sub, and my sub is not drying out like it used to because of this reason. So now I am worried about a flood and or a bacteria bloom.

So in my short experience I would not recommend wetting the sub unless it is bone dry you can always add water when it’s in the tank it’s very difficult to take it away.

I’ve been thinking about poking holes in it to dry it out (not completely) but I have one crab that is down and that is a huge no-no.

I also used to have to mist water on the surface but now I don’t have to because it is not drying out. I would rather see it dry out on top.

Today with my light on now the humidity is still pretty high at 95%.

I’m thinking about buying another ultra therm heater so that I can crack the lids more and let some of the humidity out without losing the heat. I did not buy the correct size to begin with it does not go all the way to the top of the tank but I have complete insulation on the back and sides so I am able to get my temperatures up pretty high. With using a blanket I was actually able to see 86°. After seeing that one time I decided to buy a thermostat and I have it set on 81°. My sensor is closer to the front of the tank which will be the cool side so I know it is warmer than that towards the back. The reason I don’t have it set any higher is because at night when my lights go off the temperature is going to drop to about 76 or 77° again being the coolest spot in the tank. So I didn’t really want a 10° difference from day and night even though you do see a 10° drop in the wild but then again how do you know the crabs really experience this change because they are allowed to move and find places that are more consistent. At least I think that’s what they would do I don’t really know for sure. There are some experts here that could provide much more insight.

If I add another heater I can keep the temperatures a little more consistent. But as of now a nighttime temperature of 77 and a daytime temperature of 81 sounds pretty good to me but I don’t know for sure.




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I actually ended up with a few huge stove top pots (metal handles) and just baked the sand. Added it in with some EE and mixed with MSW. As of now, my humidity is way up from before, but the top inch and maybe 2" near the one UTH was bone dry and would have to spray now and then. We'll see how it goes in a few weeks I guess.

I still have a mesh lid with one sheet of seran wrap taped over and one sheet of aluminum foil on top. Actually looks pretty well done as I've seen screen lids with wrap all over, etc. I have experience with bacterial blooms. I'm sure if you search it there is a long thread of the entire incident that'll show up in the results. I have a corner area that I can just open that allows me to let some of the humidity out if running too high with too much condensation.

Is your issue that the sand was wet and more water was added? I've always had the top inch or so dry out on me (after my newbie sandcastle consistency error and bacterial blooms). I also added an UTH to the side this winter to help with temperature and have the corner to open or close on the opposite side towards the front of the tank which works well. My temps will range from a 77 low at night to typically low 80's now. In the summer I'll unplug the one UTH as that room is always coldest in winter and warmest in summer.

I've had mine since August with all successful first molts... except a pity purchase tiny PP from Petco that just hid in a piece of cholla wood... never ate/drank and eventually passed after a few weeks.

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Links
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Re: Purchased substrate... that's already damp/wet.

Post by Links » Thu Feb 13, 2020 5:25 pm

I’ve been searching for some bacterial bloom stories. I need to know what to look for.

And when I first set up my tank I had to wing it together because I had a crab from vacation in a KK. Luckily I had an empty 55. But only had space heater to heat entire area Cost me $100 extra for that month. I also had a fan in the tank for little air flow. And keep condensation down. I also had to mist the sub then.

I got a uth and more playsand and ee and insulation board. Then I moved the tank and added more wood. And added live moss on the wood that I spot watered 1-2 a day for 2 weeks. That might have been why my humidity still so high. But today it was at 84. Maybe the moss is drying out or gauge faulty or my techniques are taking effect.


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Kydra
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Re: Purchased substrate... that's already damp/wet.

Post by Kydra » Fri Feb 14, 2020 12:11 am

Links wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 5:25 pm
I’ve been searching for some bacterial bloom stories. I need to know what to look for.

And when I first set up my tank I had to wing it together because I had a crab from vacation in a KK. Luckily I had an empty 55. But only had space heater to heat entire area Cost me $100 extra for that month. I also had a fan in the tank for little air flow. And keep condensation down. I also had to mist the sub then.

I got a uth and more playsand and ee and insulation board. Then I moved the tank and added more wood. And added live moss on the wood that I spot watered 1-2 a day for 2 weeks. That might have been why my humidity still so high. But today it was at 84. Maybe the moss is drying out or gauge faulty or my techniques are taking effect.


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Just did a Google search and sure enough my bacterial bloom thread is there. This should be the correct link. I might read it again myself for the 'fun' of it. It was a mess honestly. Typical noob mistake after hours and hours of research. More times than not, practice = perfect (or close enough to it). Plus many, many questions that may seem... well... basic. I live near beaches and let's just say my idea of sandcastle consistency was way off!

Here ya go...

viewtopic.php?p=1086655

I can understand using a space heater and the electric bill! Glad I added one to the side. Will just unplug when warmer weather comes. I've had this discussion RE humidity with members here and an admin. I had bone dry 1"-2" top layer yet if covered with lid the humidity would shoot up to the 90's regardless. When the weather and room got colder this would also increase condensation (dew point and all) so I do leave a small corner open; just enough to keep the humidity right around 80 and not too much to lose any substantial amount of heat.

I have multiple gauges and have not calibrated them, but have a 2 pack from Amazon and Acurite (all digital). I'll leave them out in the same area in the room for a few hours and if they all agree for the most part I'm cool with that. The original analog one is all out of whack though and definitely wouldn't reccomend analog.

Good luck with everything! 😎

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