Can a smelly water dish kill crabs?

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

Topic author
troppo

Can a smelly water dish kill crabs?

Post by troppo » Thu Sep 07, 2006 11:04 pm

After having 4 crab deaths in as many weeks,I'm trying to figure out what is going on(tat conditions pretty good,already filled out template in emergency).
Yesterday I took a salt water dish out of the tank,emptied it and smelled it. It was fairly stinky. It's one of those dishes that has a finely pebbled texture(like sand),and normally I just rinse it with dechlor water and fill it back up again. If it is smelly, that'd mean bacteria would have been breeding.
Is there a possibility that dish could have killed my crabs with a bacterial infection?


Topic author
Guest

Post by Guest » Thu Sep 07, 2006 11:13 pm

It's possible that one of your crabs has an infection, it spread into the water, and then to the other hermies...

Or it started in the water, then into the hermies.. but I would guess that something carried it into your tank.

User avatar

Tremors
Administrator
Administrator
Posts: 273
Joined: Mon Aug 28, 2006 11:29 am
Location: Planet Jane-tune (aka NW USA)

Post by Tremors » Thu Sep 07, 2006 11:46 pm

It sounds possible that it killed your crab, but I'm not sure. I know one thing though, I will start smelling my water dish! :lol:
4 PPs: Petra (11 years), Big Crab (7 years), Rambunctious Crab (7 years), John Smith (1 year)
3 Es: Pacman, Captain Janeway, Googely-Bear (2 years)


Topic author
Hermit_of_Hermit_Crabs

Post by Hermit_of_Hermit_Crabs » Fri Sep 08, 2006 12:24 am

How old were the 4 hermies that died? Also, was their some type of connection between the 4? Did they come for the same pet store?


Topic author
troppo

Post by troppo » Fri Sep 08, 2006 6:01 pm

The 4 crabs did come from the same pet store,so I went back there last week and asked if they'd had any problems with their crabs there,and they said 'nothing whatsoever'. Obviously I won't be buying anymore crabs from that store especially as their conditions IMO are disgusting(I volunteered there to try and change that).
The first crab that died,he was a jumbo and had been with me for less than 6 months. The others were small and had been with me for only a few months if that.
At the moment I'm going through everything in the tat,have bought a new salt water dish already(scrubbed out first with vinegar & hot water,then dried),and last night saw a few crabs in the dish bathing themselves. In the old dish I never really saw any crabs attracted to it,maybe because they probably try and avoid anything which can be bad for them,I don't know. Right now I have one small crab in ISO,as he's showing the same symptoms as the others before they died,but he could be in pre-molt too,just don't know.


Topic author
Guest

Post by Guest » Sat Sep 09, 2006 7:42 am

I think these little guys are far mosre complicated then we think. I think that all we can do is the best we know how. Nature will determine the rest. When I started out. I had two crabs on gravel. Everytime I learned something new, I would change it. This meant putting them through some big changes every week. I was a new cab owner, what did I know except that I want to give them the best care possible. One of the crabs just couldn't take it and succombed to PPS. I probably was a contributor with all my trying to "help". The other is thriving like there's no tomarrow and has become one of my most outgoing and active crabs. If you lose all your babies, I would sterilize everything and start fresh. I would also agree not to go to that pet shop anymore. There are factors that are beyond our control. Just give them the best care you can.


Topic author
Guest

Re: Can a smelly water dish kill crabs?

Post by Guest » Sat Sep 09, 2006 9:02 am

troppo wrote:...normally I just rinse it with dechlor water and fill it back up again.
Well... for one thing, you're not supposed to empty all the water in the saltwater dish!! Believe it or not, you must keep 80% of the water, adding only 20% fresh water.

Look at it this way... how many times has the Atlantic ocean emptied itself out?

I think that if your hermies already had low immune systems (due to bad petstore conditions, etc), it didn't help that there was a whole bunch of bacteria breeding in the water. :(


Topic author
Guest

Post by Guest » Sat Sep 09, 2006 10:57 am

I've never heard that about the salt water before. The ocean is not a still body of water. We couldn't even begin to recreate that. It has was moving about and cycling in from all different places. I'm all for the natural environment, but I think there's only so much we can do to recreate that. My water dishes get all kinds of stuff in them from food to poo. I would rather change all the water.


Topic author
Guest

Post by Guest » Sat Sep 09, 2006 10:59 am

I understand that's your choice.

And fish experts everywhere will tell you to change out only a small percentage of the water. When you don't, there's a greater chance that your fish will die.

Just saying. :)


Topic author
Guest

Post by Guest » Sat Sep 09, 2006 11:16 am

Eliriel wrote:I understand that's your choice.

And fish experts everywhere will tell you to change out only a small percentage of the water. When you don't, there's a greater chance that your fish will die.

Just saying. :)
Land hermit crabs aren't fish, and they don't spend 24 hours in their water dish (in spite of what my straw might try to tell you). I think you're applying research about apples to orange trees here.


Topic author
Guest

Post by Guest » Sat Sep 09, 2006 11:26 am

OK, I decided that post was a little terse. Sorry.

Here's the reason that that doesn't apply - when you keep fish, if you don't have the correct balance of bacteria, fish waste will build up and ammonia levels in your fish tank will skyrocket. This is bad, because ammonia is poisonous to fish. The right bacteria in a tank will turn that ammonia into nitrites, which are less harmful. Other bacteria soon start growing which turn the nitrites into nitrates which are not poisonous to the fish at all.

In order to not get rid of all these nice bacteria and having to reintroduce them to your tank and get them to take hold all over again before you can put your fish back in, you cycle the tank, or change only a small portion of the water at a time.

With land hermit crabs, I would be more worried about an ammonia build up if you DIDN'T change out the water completely due to the lack of that bacteria.

Aquatic hermit crabs are a different story completely and their water should definintely be cycled...


Topic author
Guest

Post by Guest » Sat Sep 09, 2006 12:04 pm

Ah. Alright. That makes sense.

Thanks for that. :)


Topic author
Guest

Post by Guest » Sat Sep 09, 2006 12:12 pm

Troppo.... I notice when I change my water dishes that there is a slimy coating on the bottom of them... from food, waste... ??or what ever... rinsing it does't make it come out... I have to use a paper towel and wipe it out. Maybe something like that happened to yours and it was bacteria? I can only guess what the slimey stuff is...


Topic author
Willow

Post by Willow » Sat Sep 09, 2006 9:04 pm

After a good washing with dish soap, I sterilize my water dishes with a mixture of 1 teaspoon of chlorine bleach to one quart of water. This is a safe, effective sterilizing method used by aquarium keepers. I then wash the dish again (with dish soap) and rinse it really well. I do this about every 3rd time I wash the water dishes---maybe about once a month. I've nver had any problems, either with the washing method or with bacterial buildup. Yes, chlorine can be toxic to hermies if not handled properly, but it is the safest sterilizing agent (don't ever use Lysol!), and, if used properly, is quite safe. And it is far better then allowing our crabbie friends to be weakened by bad bacteria.

And, yes, Eliriel, it is true that it is very harmful to change all the water in an aquarium at once, but this is because a fish tank is it's own eco-system, with good and bad bacteria balancing each other out (if everything is going well), and changing all the water can stress the aquarium inhabitants and mess up the bacterial balance. But, for land hermit crabs, it's just a water dish, like a dog's water dish. You wouldn't change just 20% of your dog's slimy, nasty water, would you? Same thing for hermies. Depending on the size of the water dish, you should change the water fairly often, at least once a week, longer if you have a filter.


Topic author
Guest

Post by Guest » Sat Sep 09, 2006 9:11 pm

As long as you use something to wipe out the dish, under running water, while you are rinsing it it will be fine. Sometimes the slimyness is from the crabs. Mostly it is bacteria due to a still water source. It happens in all pet dishes. Just wipe it away and rise well.

I'm not against sterilizing the dishes from time to time. I just like to make sure they are well cleaned in-between.

I'm glad that someone had a more scientific explanation for the changing water thing. It's good for us to know what we're talking about and to have the right words to say it in.

Locked