New Crabitat-Heat Issue

This is where you discuss the conditions of your crabitat -- temperature, humidity, substrate, decorating, etc.

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PhillyCrabbie
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New Crabitat-Heat Issue

Post by PhillyCrabbie » Wed May 06, 2020 7:08 pm

I just got done building a 96 gallon crabitat out of 2x4's and plywood. It looks great, and the crabs are loving it, but I can't keep my temperature up high enough, and I obviously can't put a heat mat on wood.

I have a heat lamp, which gets it to the needed temps, but sucks my humidity, so I am trying not to use it. I am typically getting 65 degrees.

One idea I had, that has been working but only in small areas is to velco glass to the underneeth of a wood moss pit I made, and that's working but only covers a small portion of the crabitat.

The other idea I had which I dont want to do, as it limits their climbing areas, is put a UTH along the side on glass and then another glass sheet so the crabs don't get burned.

I'm fresh out of other ideas, so hit me with whatever you've got. Thanks.

I can send pics if needed.

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Re: New Crabitat-Heat Issue

Post by Motörcrab » Wed May 06, 2020 7:24 pm

Can you upload pictures? Front, back, sides, and top. It will help us get a better understanding.
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PhillyCrabbie
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Re: New Crabitat-Heat Issue

Post by PhillyCrabbie » Wed May 06, 2020 7:38 pm



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Re: New Crabitat-Heat Issue

Post by PhillyCrabbie » Wed May 06, 2020 7:40 pm

I also have a heated rock, which I wanted to use, but after reading more about it, I became more hesitant

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Re: New Crabitat-Heat Issue

Post by curlysister » Wed May 06, 2020 10:22 pm

To clarify, the entire enclosure is made of wood? So the moist sub sits on and against wood?
Do you have a lid/ cover for it?
What is the humidity?
What is the current temperature?
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Re: New Crabitat-Heat Issue

Post by SilverHermits » Wed May 06, 2020 11:05 pm

To keep the heat in, rap your tank in tinfoil covered cardboard and cover it in a blanket. This tends to prevent the heat from escaping, although not very good for viewing... But at least your crabs will be a little warmer, which is important. Maybe order some heating tape (awesome invention), it is usually cheaper then heating pads.

Hermits, hounds and horses made a video about keeping hermit crabs warm in winter. But you can use it all year around, not just for winter. I suggest you check that out. (:
I have had hermit crabs for over 9 years so far (Yes, I got them when I was 7) I currently have 6 hermit crabs (last time I checked anyway) split between two tanks, one is a 30 gallon and the other is a 35 gallon with a 15 gallon topper tank. I believe I only have Purple Pinchers.

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Re: New Crabitat-Heat Issue

Post by Motörcrab » Thu May 07, 2020 2:13 am

Curly does bring up very good questions that can help.

I'm going to take a guess based on what I saw from your pictures. You can correct me if i'm off on my assumption.

The top is make out of a wood frame with wire screen stapled to it.
The walls are about 12" tall (not including the lid) X 48" long and about 24" wide and a bottom made of plywood

I have a few concerns aside from the heating.
If my dimensions are close, withing 3 inches it appears your substrate is about 3-4 inches deep. The substrate should be at least 6 inches to allow crabs to properly burrow while molting. Is your substrate mixed with water to sandcastle consistency?

If the 2x4's are kiln dried pine that are untreated they will eventually mold due to the high humidity. Also the plywood is laminated with glue. Eventually with the moisture of the substrate it will delaminate due to long term exposure. It is hard to say what type of glue is used. There is a good chance the crabs can pick through to the glue, or it can possibly leach out into the substrate.

To answer your original questions.
I would consider adding Plexiglass over about 3/4's of the lid. In the area that is uncovered is where you can place your heat lamp. That would help hold in humidity and still allow heat to easily enter the tank. Just be sure the heat lamp isn't close to the plexiglass to prevent melting. The heat lamp sitting on the mesh may pose an issue if a crab would decide to climb on the mesh. I'd like to think a crab wouldn't get that close but you can't be too cautious. You may have to purchase a thermostat so the tank doesn't overheat.
Adding larger water pools near the heat source would help boost the humidity. The only issue with that is if the water gets too hot, or the plastic melts from the heat.
You can also attempt to make a humidifier. I have never tried this although reading through the reviews it seems to work very well. The humidifier along with the plexiglass lid would may be your best options. Due to the size of your tank I would probably try to make it larger than the tutorial.
Here's a link to the DIY Humidifier
viewtopic.php?f=39&t=26260

Your final option I can think of would be to add a fogger. Foggers can be a bit of a headache to set up and can cause major issues inside a crabitat. Using a fogger with a heat bulb can cause the bulb to explode! I normally don't recommend them them but since you have a custom built crabitat your options are limited.

Here is also our guide for lighting and heating with bulbs. Toward the very bottom it explains the issues I mentioned, but in more detail.
viewtopic.php?f=26&t=92543
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Re: New Crabitat-Heat Issue

Post by PhillyCrabbie » Thu May 07, 2020 6:59 am

Motörcrab wrote:
Thu May 07, 2020 2:13 am
Curly does bring up very good questions that can help.

I'm going to take a guess based on what I saw from your pictures. You can correct me if i'm off on my assumption.

The top is make out of a wood frame with wire screen stapled to it.
The walls are about 12" tall (not including the lid) X 48" long and about 24" wide and a bottom made of plywood

I have a few concerns aside from the heating.
If my dimensions are close, withing 3 inches it appears your substrate is about 3-4 inches deep. The substrate should be at least 6 inches to allow crabs to properly burrow while molting. Is your substrate mixed with water to sandcastle consistency?

If the 2x4's are kiln dried pine that are untreated they will eventually mold due to the high humidity. Also the plywood is laminated with glue. Eventually with the moisture of the substrate it will delaminate due to long term exposure. It is hard to say what type of glue is used. There is a good chance the crabs can pick through to the glue, or it can possibly leach out into the substrate.

To answer your original questions.
I would consider adding Plexiglass over about 3/4's of the lid. In the area that is uncovered is where you can place your heat lamp. That would help hold in humidity and still allow heat to easily enter the tank. Just be sure the heat lamp isn't close to the plexiglass to prevent melting. The heat lamp sitting on the mesh may pose an issue if a crab would decide to climb on the mesh. I'd like to think a crab wouldn't get that close but you can't be too cautious. You may have to purchase a thermostat so the tank doesn't overheat.
Adding larger water pools near the heat source would help boost the humidity. The only issue with that is if the water gets too hot, or the plastic melts from the heat.
You can also attempt to make a humidifier. I have never tried this although reading through the reviews it seems to work very well. The humidifier along with the plexiglass lid would may be your best options. Due to the size of your tank I would probably try to make it larger than the tutorial.
Here's a link to the DIY Humidifier
viewtopic.php?f=39&t=26260

Your final option I can think of would be to add a fogger. Foggers can be a bit of a headache to set up and can cause major issues inside a crabitat. Using a fogger with a heat bulb can cause the bulb to explode! I normally don't recommend them them but since you have a custom built crabitat your options are limited.

Here is also our guide for lighting and heating with bulbs. Toward the very bottom it explains the issues I mentioned, but in more detail.
viewtopic.php?f=26&t=92543

Thanks this was helpful.

The substrate is 9 inches in some parts, but the majority has 5-6 inches.

The wood has all been covered with landscape tarp that will prevent any moisture from seeping into the wood, and then wire screen on the bottom and sides to make sure the crabs don't interact with the tarp that is stapled down.

Yes there is a 2x4 lid with a wire mesh on top that sits on the inside of the crabitat flush.

I am going to try the plexigass idea, and see if that solves my problem ( I think it will since it's not too far off, and I can get the heat high, but just with the lamp running.


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PhillyCrabbie
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Re: New Crabitat-Heat Issue

Post by PhillyCrabbie » Thu May 07, 2020 7:02 am

curlysister wrote:
Wed May 06, 2020 10:22 pm
To clarify, the entire enclosure is made of wood? So the moist sub sits on and against wood?
Do you have a lid/ cover for it?
What is the humidity?
What is the current temperature?
Yes the entire thing is made of wood, but has tarp surrounding where the substrate goes to prevent mold and decay on the wood.

Yes there is a lid that sits inside the crabitat preventing them from getting out.

Humidity is 73-80% mostly.

Temperature without the heat lamp, is not going above 66 degrees.

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Re: New Crabitat-Heat Issue

Post by wodesorel » Thu May 07, 2020 7:57 am

A radiant heat panel set onto the lid may work with this setup.
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Re: New Crabitat-Heat Issue

Post by PhillyCrabbie » Thu May 07, 2020 8:26 am

wodesorel wrote:
Thu May 07, 2020 7:57 am
A radiant heat panel set onto the lid may work with this setup.
Interesting, didnt think of that. Will check it out. Would this suck humidity out as well though?

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Re: New Crabitat-Heat Issue

Post by wodesorel » Thu May 07, 2020 8:46 am

It should act the same as a heat mat, and because it's a big plastic panel it will also act like a lid to hold in more moisture.
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Re: New Crabitat-Heat Issue

Post by PhillyCrabbie » Sat May 30, 2020 7:00 pm

What are people’s thoughts on these: https://www.petco.com/shop/en/petcostor ... 475-length

It’s a Repti Heat Cable. It can run along wood and now be an issue. I could use this to bring my temp up just enough since I’m still struggling with it. I can even place it behind the metal Mesh so the crabs could pick at it and cause an issue.

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Re: New Crabitat-Heat Issue

Post by CrabbyLover77 » Sat May 30, 2020 10:23 pm

PhillyCrabbie wrote:What are people’s thoughts on these: https://www.petco.com/shop/en/petcostor ... 475-length

It’s a Repti Heat Cable. It can run along wood and now be an issue. I could use this to bring my temp up just enough since I’m still struggling with it. I can even place it behind the metal Mesh so the crabs could pick at it and cause an issue.
I didn't even know something like this existed. I would say it would be ok as long as the hermits couldn't pinch at it or put their bodies up against it. Not sure about using metal mesh to wall off the cord though. With high humidity it might rust. Maybe someone else will jump in with their thoughts too. Also, are you running any AC yet? I always close the air vent that is near the crabs when the AC is on. Image

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Re: New Crabitat-Heat Issue

Post by PhillyCrabbie » Sun May 31, 2020 6:14 am

I didn’t either.

The issue is I have the crabs in the basement and even in mid summer it won’t get above 70. I can’t use an UTH on wood, so this looks like it could solve my issues.

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