New substrate = behaviour changes

This is where you discuss the conditions of your crabitat -- temperature, humidity, substrate, decorating, etc.
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Kelly4779
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New substrate = behaviour changes

Post by Kelly4779 » Sun Dec 23, 2018 1:39 pm

We bought a pre set up terrarium with 3 purple pinchers. The previous substrate was a little bit of dirt and a lot of moss. With the old substrate they were burrowed most of the time, we rarely saw them.
Yesterday we changed the substrate to play sand/coco fibre with ratio of 5:1. We made sure the playsand was sand castle consistency.
When we put the crabs back in the terrarium there was an instant change in behaviour. They were exploring and out, they were climbing on things and going in both pools. We are assuming this is a good change and they like the new substrate.
We put a little bit of moss in one corner and they are burrowing into the moss but none of them are burrowing into the sand.
Is it normal for their behaviour to change so much just by changing the substrate? Should I be concerned that they are not burrowing into the sand? We are pretty sure we got the consistency correct, but worry because they aren't burrowing into the sand.

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Motörcrab
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Re: New substrate = behaviour changes

Post by Motörcrab » Sun Dec 23, 2018 1:54 pm

Crabs are like just about every other creature. When their environment changes they will check out everything to get familiar with everything. Very similar to how a cat will cristen an freshly cleaned litter box! Crabs love moss. They love picking at the moss and dragging where "you" don't want it. I wouldn't be surprised if they stay up exploring a day or two then dig. To answer your question, yes that is normal crab behavior. Although most crab behavior is not normal, to us!
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jeansaunders13
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Re: New substrate = behaviour changes

Post by jeansaunders13 » Sun Dec 23, 2018 10:26 pm

Hi! I am new to the forum, in a way. I've been reading posts for years, but could not reply due to a technical issue.

Just now...I was able to log in!!! And I am THRILLED!!!

You say that cwabs (my nickname for my babies) like moss. I tried giving them some a few years ago...but they never touched it.

What is your secret?

I have 10 Purple-pinchers that are my only family. I want them to be happy and safe.

Do they eat it and dig in it? Maybe I bought the wrong kind. It was from Exo-terra for Reptiles. How often do you change it out and how moist do you keep it? Do you hydrate it with non-chlorinated water or sea salt water?

Thank you for your time,
Jean

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Motörcrab
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Re: New substrate = behaviour changes

Post by Motörcrab » Mon Dec 24, 2018 1:15 am

We use dechlorinated fresh water and the Zoo Meds Terrarium Moss. We soak it for about 15 minutes. I usually squeeze it a few times to help it soak up water. Then squeeze out most of the water so it's not dripping wet. Then we either lay it around on the substrate or fill a shower caddy for a moss pit. Just follow the directions on the box.

The crabs will pick at it and eat it, dig in it and just move it around. When it starts to dry out in a few days just use a spray bottle and mist again. Maybe once a month you can change it out for fresh.

Some of our guys sleep in it all the time, others don't really mess with it. They all have different likes and personalities so it can be hit or miss with it. With having 10 crabs I'm sure some will like it.
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