Crabbing Smells: Is there anything I can do?

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C_fiesta
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Crabbing Smells: Is there anything I can do?

Post by C_fiesta » Fri Aug 11, 2017 11:37 pm

I had my inlaws over tonight since having the crabs and they commented on the "smell" and my husband said he's noticed it but didn't want to complain. I am so sad! I am usually REALLY good at smelling stuff, but I don't smell anything! Love has me blind. Anyway, the tank is in our dinning room and we like having friends over, but I don't want them to be offended by this smell!

I am looking for natural crab-safe solutions to this "issue".

Here's what we are smelling: an earthy, slightly musty, slightly fishy (from the saltwater I think), day old food smell.

I'm thinking part of the problem is coming from dumping their day old food in the garbage. The other is the crabitat smell.

For the garbage, I am thinking either a small jar or something I can keep their old nasty food in and then dump out weekly. I also just thought I could dump it down the toilet since it's chopped so small.

For the crabitat smell, I'm thought of having a small cup/bucket of baking soda on the outside of the tank, but this might get expensive quickly? I also thought of putting activated carbon in the tank, i.e. filter taped to the ceiling of the tank out of reach. I think it would be safe (same thing in fish tank water filters), but I don't know how effective it would be as I *think* activated carbon filters require airflow.

Do you have any other ideas or thoughts on my ideas? Me and my husband's nose will appreciate it!

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Re: Crabbing Smells: Is there anything I can do?

Post by wodesorel » Sat Aug 12, 2017 1:45 am

I don't feel like that much of a smell isreally normal. My tanks have no odor until you pop the lid, and then it hits with an old books and overripe apple scent. Nothing really stomach turning or troublesome.

A fishy smell would likely be from hidden food. If the saltwater is changed regularly or filtered it shouldn't smell like anything other than salt. Even a fishtank smells primarily from algal growth and not the residents.

Mine always liked to hide poop in the shell shop and that's where most of the odor in my colony tank would come from. If you can keep up with that it gets rid of a lot of the problem. My hands ended up smelling like rotten apple cider vinegar for days after cleaning if I forgot to wear gloves. It sticks. Ugh.

Flushing or disposal if you have one would take care of the trash problem. Seafood does put out a stink after a day! And maybe stick to non seafood items when having company?

I'm not sure what I did with my personal food mix, but somehow my tanks smell like spearmint when I pop the lid now. I wish I could tell you why! I do not have any mint in it, and it's a mix of a ton of different items from my garden, purchased items and leftovers from The Addiction that another member here sent me. I do think finding the right food items can help! Some things are worse then others and can be reserved for a treat.

Air flow in general would help with any musty smells, but rigging a filter might be difficult. Carbon does need air passing through it to really do its job. Maybe look at getting a small air filter for next to the tank if you can afford one? I have a room one for my critter room to cut down on allergens, but it does a heck of a job with odors, and my reptiles can put out a heck of a stench when they go!


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Re: Crabbing Smells: Is there anything I can do?

Post by Giner13 » Sat Aug 12, 2017 8:19 am

I would definitely check some of the above!!
I had to check a corner of my tat as I noticed a musty smell & found it was so watery in one corner only. There was even a mushroom to be found!! So it's cleaned & less watery now. Smells much better.


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Re: Crabbing Smells: Is there anything I can do?

Post by PinchersAndShells » Sat Aug 12, 2017 9:29 am

I mean, you could possibly take a few snippings from a mint plant and place them around your crabitat.. they're on the safe list.
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Re: Crabbing Smells: Is there anything I can do?

Post by C_fiesta » Sat Aug 12, 2017 8:04 pm

Thank you all for your input. I started by adding clippings of basil from my organic garden in the tank spread throughout. I recognize that due to the humidity it won't last long, but I don't care...I have SOOO much Basil!! I also have access to organic mint, so I might snip some of that as well. Obviously this will only work for the next couple weeks before the colder weather settles in.

I'll also start flushing or disposing the old food. I've never had a disposal before now so I never think of it!

Does their poo stink bad? I have one guy who poos literally everywhere! It's hard to clean it all up. I'm on the fence about isopods.

I'll keep my eyes out for an air purifier for the dining room, even if I only run it about 24 hours prior to guests coming, it should help. They should be coming on sale here soon because it's the end of season.

I read an old tip to cut an onion and put it in your basement to remove musty smells. Do you think this would work in the crabitat?

If anyone has any other ideas, I'd love to hear them!







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Re: Crabbing Smells: Is there anything I can do?

Post by GotButterflies » Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:34 pm

Onion is bad for crabs - I don't recommend using that.

I agree with what Wodesorel said. None of my crabitats smell. I have glass lids. If I crack it open I still barely smell anything. Now...if I feed fresh seafood or an egg - it needs to be removed in the morning or it starts to stink.

Do you have bubblers in your water bowls? I think stagnant water stinks. Sometimes using dry food instead of fresh can help cut down on the smell also.
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Re: Crabbing Smells: Is there anything I can do?

Post by C_fiesta » Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:53 pm

Onion is on the safe foods list.

I have glass lids too. I do feed fresh food (seafood and egg last week) daily but don't remove it until the next feeding time (around 7pm). Maybe I will try removing it in the mornings.

I did have bubblers up until this evening, they drive me bonkers and the crabs didn't seem to like them so I took them out. I will return them if I think it's necessary.

The basil around the tank helped a lot! I took it out this evening though, I didn't want it to mold. I also surfaced cleaned and added new sand (along with a bit of redecorating, but I'll save that for another post). I discovered some pooy areas and also a carted off piece of shrimp under the shell shop!

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Re: Crabbing Smells: Is there anything I can do?

Post by GotButterflies » Mon Aug 14, 2017 8:40 am

C_fiesta wrote:Onion is on the safe foods list.

I have glass lids too. I do feed fresh food (seafood and egg last week) daily but don't remove it until the next feeding time (around 7pm). Maybe I will try removing it in the mornings.

I did have bubblers up until this evening, they drive me bonkers and the crabs didn't seem to like them so I took them out. I will return them if I think it's necessary.

The basil around the tank helped a lot! I took it out this evening though, I didn't want it to mold. I also surfaced cleaned and added new sand (along with a bit of redecorating, but I'll save that for another post). I discovered some pooy areas and also a carted off piece of shrimp under the shell shop!

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Onion is on the UNSAFE/UNPOPULAR list. I've never heard of onions being liked by hermit crabs.

Edit: Bubblers can take some getting used to for sure. Balancing the pump will help cut down on the noise... It really does help stagnant water smell though. My hermit crabs sometimes sit on the bubblers. I use the ball ones that are heavy.

Basil does smell awesome! Crabs like eating it - :)

Perhaps that shrimp was what stunk :) I also leave my fresh food in for 24 hours, but eggs and seafood I would remove at morning due to them stinking! :)
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Re: Crabbing Smells: Is there anything I can do?

Post by C_fiesta » Mon Aug 14, 2017 8:47 am

GotButterflies wrote:
C_fiesta wrote:Onion is on the safe foods list.

I have glass lids too. I do feed fresh food (seafood and egg last week) daily but don't remove it until the next feeding time (around 7pm). Maybe I will try removing it in the mornings.

I did have bubblers up until this evening, they drive me bonkers and the crabs didn't seem to like them so I took them out. I will return them if I think it's necessary.

The basil around the tank helped a lot! I took it out this evening though, I didn't want it to mold. I also surfaced cleaned and added new sand (along with a bit of redecorating, but I'll save that for another post). I discovered some pooy areas and also a carted off piece of shrimp under the shell shop!

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Onion is on the UNSAFE/UNPOPULAR list. I've never heard of onions being liked by hermit crabs.

Edit: Bubblers can take some getting used to for sure. Balancing the pump will help cut down on the noise... It really does help stagnant water smell though. My hermit crabs sometimes sit on the bubblers. I use the ball ones that are heavy.

Basil does smell awesome! Crabs like eating it - :)

Perhaps that shrimp was what stunk :) I also leave my fresh food in for 24 hours, but eggs and seafood I would remove at morning due to them stinking! :)
Whoops. So it is. I stand corrected. I did give them a small piece of green onion in with their food last week, but they probably didn't eat it then. Image

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Re: Crabbing Smells: Is there anything I can do?

Post by GotButterflies » Mon Aug 14, 2017 8:57 am

No worries ;)
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Re: Crabbing Smells: Is there anything I can do?

Post by wodesorel » Mon Aug 14, 2017 1:55 pm

Onion won't hurt them, but I've never had a crab touch them before.

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Re: Crabbing Smells: Is there anything I can do?

Post by nancat » Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:18 pm

Sometimes if I notice my crabitat is a little stinky smelling, I'll snoop around and it usually is because there is a piece of old food hiding somewhere that I didn't see. My crabs like to drag their food around, especially into the coconut hut! The basil and mint snippings sound interesting, I'll have to try that too!


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Re: Crabbing Smells: Is there anything I can do?

Post by Happyhermiehome » Wed Aug 16, 2017 3:26 pm

Hi, I'm new here I've noticed just about every protein i feed smells RANK the next day. What I do is dump the dish in a zip lock baggie and use a scallop shell to scoop the area around the food dish cuz they usually end up leaving tiny particles around. If it's really stanky I'll prop the lid, turn on the ceiling fan and through open the back door and that usually clears out the smell in a few mins. I always stay near by to make sure no one try's to escape and I make sure to get the humidity back up after But other than stinky old food I do not notice a smell normally. Also a bacterial bloom can make you want to cut off your nose lol. Maybe double check you don't have any oversaturated areas. bubblers can be noisy but for me they have been indespinsible in keeping my humidity regulated. I have a fogger system but have been reluctant to use it for fear of flooding and bacterial bloom and so far the bubblers have kept my humidity perfect in my 50 gal. To cut down the noise I put a double layer of that grippy rubbery shelf liner under mine and it cut down on the sound a lot. My crabbies were afraid of the bubblers at first too but got used to it rather quickly.
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Re: Crabbing Smells: Is there anything I can do?

Post by Teddscau » Fri Aug 18, 2017 7:14 pm

I find my crabitat starts to smell very, umm, "organic" if I don't get the air circulating enough in there. So, I take a small battery operated fan, reach my arm all the way to the bottom of the tank, point the fan upwards, then turn it on. That way, I can blow all of the old, stinky humid air out, and get fresh air in there. I do this at least once a day (the tank gets far too humid, so I have to air it out a lot).

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Re: Crabbing Smells: Is there anything I can do?

Post by Liam9653 » Thu Apr 11, 2019 2:49 am

I had this problem, these moisturizers helped me. Chose on this site https://wisepick.org/best-air-purifier-for-mold, you can choose to your taste :) After installation, 1-2 was enough for the smell to completely disappear.

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