92g 3-Level Subterranean Habitat Crabarium! (Pics)

This is where you discuss the conditions of your crabitat -- temperature, humidity, substrate, decorating, etc.
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JediMasterThrash
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92g 3-Level Subterranean Habitat Crabarium! (Pics)

Post by JediMasterThrash » Mon Mar 13, 2006 10:14 pm

Here's page full of pics of the latest incarnation of my 92g crabarium:
http://home.comcast.net/~JediMasterThra ... allery.htm

The only real problem I had with my previous tank was that, even though the coco-fiber substrate was on the opposite half of the tank, and the pools were raised, that coco-fiber still got into the pools, and makes them mucky. Between that and the poo, the filters were hard at work to keep the pools clean. A lot of it gets filtered, but a lot just settles to the bottom out of the way of the water flow, but then at least the water above the bottom is circulated and clear. So this time I decided to go back to all sand, to hopefully reduce the dirt in the pools. I still plan on cleaning the sponge filter once a week, and replacing the charcoal once a month.

Also, I went for 6 months without deaths when I used only sand, and had only a couple total, but with my mixed half’n’half sand & coco-fiber, and my separated half’n’half, I got a lot more deaths. Granted most were strawberries. They seem to be really delicate. I’m looking to see at least if things will go better again with an all-sand tank.

There are 4 bags (200lbs) of sand in there, with a depth of a good 6 inches. The pools are raised again. This leaves about 3 inches of sand under them for crabs to burrow in, and this allows a “rampâ€
Last edited by JediMasterThrash on Thu Jun 03, 2010 7:32 pm, edited 2 times in total.
JMT.

Stuck-up, half-witted, scruffy-looking crab-herder since '92.

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Posts: 1788
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Location: Nerima district of Tokyo, Japan

Post by JediMasterThrash » Tue Mar 14, 2006 10:30 am

I added some lessons learned during a deep clean words to my LHC post, I thought I'd also add here:

I do a deep clean once every 6 months. The last time I did a deep clean (the end of my 3rd iteration, start of the 4th), I was busy with a toys 'r' us buyout in the summer, and neglected cleaning the tank until about 8 months. And that was a mistake. I suddenly started getting lots of crab deaths in two weeks, and one died where I couldn't see it, and it started attracting flies, and then created a colony of maggots. Lets just say it wasn't pleasant, and I had to do an emergency deep-clean. So I'm definitely making sure to never go over 6 months again. I had mixed half'n'half substrate that time.
I also think it was caused by having large pools without filters, and the coco-fiber and poo gucked them up a lot and the water got a bad smell, even with regular water changes. That's why for the last iteration (4th), I got those duetto 3-stage filters. for the pools.

Unfortunately (or fortunately?) I didn't really learn any big "lessons during the deep clean" this time that weren't already posted in previous deep-clean posts. Just a couple minor things which I decided to just place in the above post rather than create a separate thread. I already had a prior separarte thread chronicalling my experience with the new filters.

That is pure playsand from home despot. It was moist, which is why it looks darker.

To re-iterated some priorly posted lessons:
The filters needed to be cleaned (wash out the filter sponge) about once a week regularly, otherwise they get too clogged up with poo/EE and the outflow noticably drops to nothing. Suprisingly, with the filters, in place, my waterfall pump never got clogged. It kept flowing as good as the first day all through the 6 months. The waterfall again is modified, same as laster iteration; I removed the original base and used a tupperware I got at a garage sale for 25c. I use one regular and one slim-case CD case to boost the waterfall up to the tupperware rim level, and since it turns out that the waterfall floats when it isn't screwed into the base, I added those smooth rocks from a table fountain into the pool to weight it down.

Keeping the heat up and a day-time light on seemed to do wonders at preventing mold. I had two small cholla pieces on the sand against the pools to use as ramps, and they stayed there all 6 months, and they never once got a single spot of mold on them. That's a miracle. If you let your tank drop to 70, and don't have lights on it, cholla will sprout mold like mad in high humidity. And also no mold on the baskets, since they are supported above the sand. I'd discovered previously that placing baskets (or naything organic) on or buried in the substrate easily causes mold.

Also, I had two crabs that were unaccounted for when I cleaned. But there were two shells I found on the bottom of the tank without any crabs in them. I think that the crabs were actually completely degraded by the microbes in the coco-fiber substrate. Other than that, I did not find any dead crabs during the deep clean, which is a first. Previously there'd usually been at least one crab found that didn't survive a molt.

A couple of times, I had to take out the baskets and clean them. The crabs are up their a lot, and they eat the baskets, and we all know they poop where they eat, so occasionally the baskets just get soo filled with poop that it was just ugly dirty so I had to clean them out.

I did not have to spot-clean poo once during either of the last two iterations when I had half coco-fiber substrate. The microbes degrade it pretty fast. Even though the last time I had separated one-side sand and one-side coco-fiber, I think the microbes in the coco-fiber migrated into the sand as well.

The crabs love to climb the cords for the filters and waterfall and tropicair. They climb all the way to the top, and then latch onto the plastic ledge. They shimmy along that until they reach the glass. They can't get past the glass because it presses against the ledge too tight, which is a good thing, otherwise they'd escpae, since I keep the front glass lid propped open about 1.5 inches for circulation.
JMT.

Stuck-up, half-witted, scruffy-looking crab-herder since '92.

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