Tank Size And Heating

This is where you discuss the conditions of your crabitat -- temperature, humidity, substrate, decorating, etc.
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CrabbyCancerian
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Tank Size And Heating

Post by CrabbyCancerian » Sun May 17, 2020 1:17 pm

I just purchased a larger tank from the pet shop. It was really difficult shopping because the clerks were super busy and I had to place my order over the phone (due to Covid). I purchased a 15 gallon. It is 24 1/4 inches length, 12 1/2 inches width, and 12 3/4 inches high (I hope I got that right). I purchased this tank because A) eventually I will have two crabs which will be growing. And B) the appropriate type of water dishes won’t fit in a small 10 gallon without crowding. A tank measuring at about 20-24 inches in length is all I can fit in my apartment at this time.

Here are my questions:
-Tank size:
I keep my substrate 6 inches deep. I heat my crabs tank with a moonlight bulb and a dome lamp. Will the tank I purchased be too short in height, given that I use deep substrate and a dome lamp? Will it be too much heat and light too close to/directly on the crabs?

As far as heating goes: Initially I was going to purchase a heating pad and place it on the side of the tank. The clerk said that a heating pad would not provide enough heat and that it would only heat a small area, directly near the heating pad itself. Thus, I opted for heating the tank with a moonlight dome lamp.

-Also, they told me that I wouldn’t need to purchase a larger dome lamp than I had for the 10 gallon (in order to cover more surface area).

-The bulbs they sold me were the following (I told them the tank needed to be 80 degrees with one side being a little cooler): Moonlight 60 watt.

Does everything sound correct? I can still return/exchange everything when Covid-19 subsides.

Ps. I have read that hermit crabs do not need light and that it’s important that the tank is not too bright for them (hence why I bought the moonlight bulbs for 24 hour use).
Last edited by CrabbyCancerian on Mon May 18, 2020 6:04 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Tank Size And Heating

Post by CrabbyCancerian » Sun May 17, 2020 3:36 pm

I would like to add to my post-I have read that hermit crabs do not need light and that it’s important that the tank is not too bright for them (hence why I bought the moonlight bulbs for 24 hour use).
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GotButterflies
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Re: Tank Size And Heating

Post by GotButterflies » Mon May 18, 2020 2:24 pm

Hi there! First of all, I don't recommend purchasing new tanks. They are just so expensive. If you haven't picked it up yet, for the price you paid, you can probably get a larger one off of Facebook Marketplace, OfferUp, LetGo, or Craigslist. A lot of times tanks like that will come with a stand and glass tops too.

I personally don't like heat lamps. They can tend to evaporate your humidity. Hermit crabs love light. I personally use UVB in all of my crabitats. To each's own though!

As far as the heat mats - the ones sold in the stores are pretty pricey and don't do much for heating up our tanks. We don't really use them what they are made for. I personally like the ones from www.reptilebasics.com or www.beanfarm.com You can get larger ones that can be insulated on these websites. They are awesome.

I hope this helps you.
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Re: Tank Size And Heating

Post by anotherashley14 » Mon May 18, 2020 2:57 pm

I agree that heat lamps tend to suck humidity. You also have to be careful if you're using a glass top because they're designed to use with mesh. The glass top can have a sort of 'oven' effect making the heat from the bulbs much stronger.

I use a UVB light in a low profile fixture set right on top of the glass lid and a heat mat on the side. The trick with a heat mat is to get at least one size up from what the package recommends. I have an 8x12 on my 20g tank (which is recommended for 30-40g size). I also put a layer of bubble wrap and aluminum foil behind it and that helps a TON. It keeps the tank consistently 76-82 degrees (the UVB bulb adds just a little heat when it's on, so there is a mild fluctuation) and my humidity stays in the upper 70s with just 2 water dishes and damp substrate.

Edit to add: If you stick with the bulb, pay close attention the first few days as a 60w may be too much if you have a glass top. When my UTH went out last year, I improvised with a regular 40w incandescent bulb in a gooseneck lamp and it was plenty warm enough for my tank.

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Re: Tank Size And Heating

Post by GotButterflies » Wed May 20, 2020 10:57 am

I just wanted to state that you cannot use heat lamps with glass tops. They will crack the glass.
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Re: Tank Size And Heating

Post by CrabbyCancerian » Wed May 20, 2020 1:27 pm

I use a mesh lid and I cover part of the tank with a wet towel to keep the humidity in.
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Re: Tank Size And Heating

Post by anotherashley14 » Wed Jun 03, 2020 12:34 am

GotButterflies wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 10:57 am
I just wanted to state that you cannot use heat lamps with glass tops. They will crack the glass.
This is absolutely a very real risk if the wattage is too high or is placed too close to the glass. You cannot use the dome fixtures or anything else that sits on the glass directly. It's also an issue if you have a mister/fogger/ taller fountain. But it isn't as much of a problem if the light is suspended above the glass at least 8 inches and under 100 watts. The glass will get warm, but not hot, and will only crack if it gets wet.

I still wouldn't recommend it because it's not worth the risk (as well as the other issues mentioned previously) But I've used them in emergency situations quite a few times over the years and never personally had the glass get hot enough to be dangerous or crack so long as the light was up off of it.

Please note: that's my personal anectdotal experience and should not be mistaken for an HCA approved recommendation. 🙂

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Re: Tank Size And Heating

Post by wodesorel » Fri Jun 05, 2020 5:26 am

anotherashley14, that exact warning is in our lighting guide for using heat lamps.

Okay, so the upgrade from a 10 to a 15 is so small it is really not worth the price. A 20 tall would give you more area for climbing and substrate and has the same footprint as a 15. It's also a standard sized tank and is part of the $1 a gallon sales, and is easy to find used!

That heat lamp - depending on the temperature of the room - may freeze or cook them. That's just how heat lamps roll. I used to heat a 15 with a 40 watt when upstairs and a 75 watt when downstairs because of the temperature difference. All you can do is play around with the wattage until you find what works, or purchase a dimmer at the hardware store. With the broken bulbs that inevitably happen and how expensive heat producing bulbs have become, going for that Ultratherm or Flukers UTH saves so much! It needs to be a pad that fits across the entire back of the tank in order to produce enough heat.

They don't need direct light, but they still need to have day and night. Most keepers have a light on the tank to be able to watch them.
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