Seven up! Good window for deep clean?

This is where you discuss the conditions of your crabitat -- temperature, humidity, substrate, decorating, etc.
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hprmom
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Seven up! Good window for deep clean?

Post by hprmom » Mon May 22, 2017 4:18 am

First--wow, I've missed you all! I've been popping in every now and then but life has been, you know, life...

Last night I saw all seven crabs up! This has happened twice since Christmas, so it's rare but not impossible! In a couple of weeks Hermitree Haven, our 65g crabitat, will be a year old. It's time for some maintenance (repair collapsed shell shop!), redecorating (the tree is still sporting fall colors, lol), and I'm thinking of replacing part of the sub and turning the rest over. Which leads to the question:

I was planning to do this on Memorial Day, but with all crabs up, should I rearrange my schedule and try to pull it off sooner? If I wait a week and don't see all the crabs again, is it a pretty safe bet that if I run into one underground, I can move it? I'm thinking if I cleaned, say, TODAY, then any crab underground is just hanging out and would not have begun molting yet. But what about in a week? I'm hoping to do the bulk of the work in a day or two, with the crabs removed to temporary tanks (10g and 20g) with shallow sub to discourage molting. Having a couple of days to prep before I start would help it go quickly.

I know deep clean isn't necessary, but I don't have isopods or other tank cleaners, and I wonder if I should be concerned about the concentration of waste, or whether the sub has lost any nutrient qualities. For the record, it's various ratios of EE and playsand (in layers to create "sand art", which the crabs have naturally since obliterated), mostly 5:1, with crushed oyster shell sprinkled in. I can see that it's settled, but while my eyes say it's compressed a LOT, the piece of tape I put on the side to mark a 12" depth last year says that's an optical illusion. I'm thinking to remove the top 4" of sub, replace it with new sub, and then turn the whole thing over to mix it in. Thoughts, warnings, advice?

THANKS!!

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Kermie16
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Re: Seven up! Good window for deep clean?

Post by Kermie16 » Mon May 22, 2017 6:53 am

Good to have u back, hprmom!! I've been MIA off and on as well since our recent move and life just being crazy. I don't have an answer to ur question but I am following because our tank is also almost a year old and wondering exactly the same thing for future reference. Although we do have isopods in our tank, which does help:) Hoping u post some pics of any redecorating u do! I love seeing how u decorate ur tank:) Very creative!!


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GotButterflies
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Seven up! Good window for deep clean?

Post by GotButterflies » Mon May 22, 2017 8:50 am

It's up to you as to whether or not you want to churn your sub. I never have. Some crabbers do once a year. It wouldn't hurt anything. You can certainly add more substrate if you want. I wouldn't toss Edit: toss as in throw away, any though- especially if there aren't any issues.

As far as your substrate loosing nutrients...your aren't growing plants... Just teasing you!! Lol you don't need to worry about that.

So glad you are back!


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Re: Seven up! Good window for deep clean?

Post by wodesorel » Mon May 22, 2017 9:13 am

In theory, a week could put them in the danger zone if they disappear now. I personally would still do it IF the crabs are all at least medium-large. Smaller than that and they could be on the brink of shedding exo in 5-7 days.

ANY crab you find underground should be protected from the others once back in the tank. Do not ever assume that it is "fine" unless it has been given the option to bury for several days in safety. I have lost crabs in the past that I thought had been hanging out down there and that acted completely normal, only to have them surface molt a couple of days later and get attacked. Don't take any risks! It takes a few extra moments to secure them against the others.
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Re: Seven up! Good window for deep clean?

Post by hprmom » Mon May 22, 2017 1:21 pm

GotButterflies wrote:As far as your substrate loosing nutrients...your aren't growing plants...Image Just teasing you!! Lol you don't need to worry about that. Image
HA HA HA!

@Kermie16, yes, I remember we set up tanks around the same time! I'm good at taking photos but bad at remembering to post them. But I will, eventually!

@wodesorel, I'm so glad to see you're back, too! I hold your experience in high regard. I've always had trouble understanding crab sizing, but I'd say I have one small, one smallish medium and the rest medium to large. The small appears to have just come up, sporting the smallish-medium's old shell. :) If I understand your reply, I *can* move them, but then when I put them all back in the tank I need to be sure to protect (e.g., soda bottle?) anyone I found underground at the time of moving them? I should also protect them in the temporary housing, if I find them under when I start?

Originally I was just going to do a little maintenance and maybe replace a couple of inches of sub, working around the crabs in the tank. I've redecorated around them before (all the main structures stay in place, I just replace decor) and they've been fine. Wondering if I should go back to that plan. This would be more involved. My availability is down to a couple of hours each day today, tomorrow and Wednesday; after that it would have to wait for Memorial Day!

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Re: Seven up! Good window for deep clean?

Post by LadyJinglyJones » Mon May 22, 2017 1:28 pm

It's so good to see you on again! :)
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RIP Vegita :(

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Re: Seven up! Good window for deep clean?

Post by hprmom » Wed May 24, 2017 4:05 pm

LadyJinglyJones wrote:It's so good to see you on again! :)
Aw, thanks!

So yesterday I got home from work to discover the a/c was broken. The house temp was just over 80 degrees and the tank had jumped from 81 to 86F. Six out of seven crabs were shell-to-shell in the moss pit, the most I've seen in one spot at the same time in a year! When I set up the tank I ordered the UTH 6" shorter than the length of the tank, thinking to set up a cool corner where I put the moss pit. Guess it worked!

Anyway, cleaning was delayed while I dealt with the a/c (it was lizards in the compressor). And with the homeschool convention starting tomorrow, the Hubs has convinced me to wait until he can help me manage the sub and spare tank. So I guess I will be taking my chances waiting until Memorial Day as originally planned.

I did remove the collapsed two level shell shop, and just in time. The bottom shelf fell as I was extracting the top shelf. Silly crabs are already climbing the industrial velcro strips left behind! :D

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Re: Seven up! Good window for deep clean?

Post by GotButterflies » Wed May 24, 2017 6:15 pm

Awe man! Good luck!
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Re: Seven up! Good window for deep clean?

Post by wodesorel » Wed May 24, 2017 9:02 pm

hprmom wrote:(it was lizards in the compressor)
Why does this sound like it should be something out of Jurassic Park? :hlol: I hope they were okay. I have a soft spot for little lizards.

And yes, that was exactly what I was saying! :)
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Seven up! Good window for deep clean?

Post by hprmom » Mon May 29, 2017 11:31 am

wodesorel wrote:
hprmom wrote:(it was lizards in the compressor)
Why does this sound like it should be something out of Jurassic Park? :hlol: I hope they were okay. I have a soft spot for little lizards.
HA ha ha! We have a screen over the top, so I'm not sure how they got in. The repair guy said he took a picture but I haven't seen it yet. Living in Florida, we are always catching the little guys and releasing them back outside. Once when I was stumbling through a dim hallway in the middle of the night, a big one leaped from one wall across to the other right in front of me. It looked like a shadow had oozed down the wall, morphed into a 3D shape and come to life. Needless to say, I screamed!

Well, after a long weekend at the convention we are all out of energy. And now we're getting ready to leave town next weekend. So after all this, we're putting off any big changes to the sub. One of our big guys, Junior, opened up a window a couple of inches from the bottom of the tank this morning and has been hanging out there expanding his cave all day, thereby displaying that the sub is holding a good consistency.

Image

So, at least we know things are holding up. If the crabs stay on schedule, we should see all of them up again in about 4-6 months!

If we get any surface maintenance or cosmetic work done, I'll share. Thanks, everyone!

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Re: Seven up! Good window for deep clean?

Post by GotButterflies » Mon May 29, 2017 12:19 pm

I know not everyone does, but I always cover my windows with a taped up piece of cardboard. Darkness is supposed to help with the molting hormone. Glad all is well! Have a great trip!


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