Deep Cleans.....Not really necessary?

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

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Guest

Post by Guest » Fri Jan 26, 2007 2:17 pm

I agree 100% that the deep clean method could stand to be updated. When crabs appear stressed afterward, then something needs to be changed. I do think it can be done well, though.
I agree that the deep clean method is a valid one, just not necessarily the best method. As I said, adequate does not always mean optimal.
You know, I think this is where I disagree with some of my fellow fishkeepers as well as my fellow crab keepers. If we take this to its logical conclusion, then we would have to agree that what would truly be optimal for our fish or crabs would be for them to be in their native environment. My angelfish would be living in an Amazon river instead of my 30 gallon tank, and my purple pinchers would be roaming the beaches of South Florida. If that is true, then anything we can give them in captivity is less than optimal, in the strictest sense of the word. Now, stick with me here, because I’m not as heretical as I may sound at this point. ;) I’m NOT saying that anything in captivity is as good as anything else, just because it’s not nature. There are certainly setups that would cause stress, disease, death, or deformity. Aside from these factors however, if we establish that any captive setup is by definition not as good as being in the wild, then it becomes merely a matter of degree. Speaking strictly of size, we as a crabbing community have agreed that a 10 gallon tank can be adequately maintained for our crabs. A 20 gallon would be better and a 55 better than that. But a 10 gallon meets their needs (assuming we have the right number and size of crabs, good conditions, etc.) This same logic can be applied to more than just tank size—it can be extended to substrate, tank setup, vivarium vs. deep clean, etc. My point is that as long as all of their needs are provided for and they are healthy and “happyâ€

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JediMasterThrash
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Post by JediMasterThrash » Sun Jan 28, 2007 10:31 pm

Very interesting thread. I've been suggesting for a while that we retain some substrate during deep cleans to keep some of the beneficial bacteria and microbes for the new tank. However, my suggestion never really caused any waves like this thread! I posted a new thread that includes some of my own thoughts on the issue.

A couple things I'd like to add to this thread though.

The biggest issue I have is with digging up crabs. If you say you have to "stir" the substrate, or perform changes involve more than just the top layer, then that requires either:
A. always knowing where all your crabs are (completely impossible in my case)
B. digging up potential pre- or during molters in the area of the stif or change. Assume this is done every week, it it would be too stressful for the crabs.

Solutions are:
1. Invent "Crabdar" which can tell you where your crabs are in the substrate.
2. Hope the crabs stir the substrate enough themselves from all their tunneling.

Now, on the completely opposite side, is what happens if you never deep clean. Unfortunately, not every crab that goes down always comes up. If you don't regularly deep clean, you'll never recover the shells, and never know for sure if a crab is just still down, or gone.



Another oddity is that I've never experienced the deep-clean stress. Usually my crabs seemed to start getting stressed after about 7 months of not having a deep clean, which was my indicatino that one was definitely needed now, and one of the reasons why I recommend 6 months for deep cleans. Too often cuases extra stress by digging up molters. Too long inbetween deep cleans seemed to cause build-up in the tank of some bad bacteria.


I'm not too sure if temporarly movements to other conditions are detrimental. Carol gives her crabs walks regularly. There must be some safe time period that crabs can be out of high humidity without having any troubles (say, an hour? 12 hours? 2 days?)


My goal is to try to find a hands-free crabarium. Something that is completely self-sustaining without requiring any regular maintenance (besides food and water). Maybe it's unattainable, but I'm sure we'll learn a lot in the process.



What if you kept the bottom 1in of substrate completely saturated, and had an undersand filter? SO that basically you had a 1-inch aquarium at the bottom of your tank. And then the out-flow valve shot the water back onto the top of hte substrate and let it soak back in down to the lower "water table"?
JMT.

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


Topic author
Guest

Post by Guest » Mon Jan 29, 2007 10:26 am

I have a wetter bottom substrate, with an undergravel filter with filter media. I have mine just drain out the bottom, and fresh water cycled in through the top via standard aquarium tubing, to water the plants. It effectively does the same sort of thing, and is kind of necessary for the vivarium-type setting. I agree that we don't want to dig up crabs, but in my case, mine don't spend a lot of time down except for when they're molting, and the minute one pops back up, I immediately remove the substrate where they were molting, bits of exo, and all that. Sometimes, indeed, a crab will go down and not come back up, and to be honest, when that happens, I wait for an extra month, and then go digging. Having a dead decomposing crab in the substrate is not so good. I agree that probably, changing out chunks is going to be kind of stressful. I am trying to find a way around that. It is possible that the top layer changes will be sufficient, assuming that you also change out substrate around whee crabs have molted or died. Still working on that :-) Once I have my vivarium to the point where I'm ready to put crabs in (after it's cycled. 3 more weeks and counting!!!), I'll have to experiment

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Post by BAB » Mon Jan 29, 2007 1:08 pm

JediMasterThrash wrote: 1. Invent "Crabdar" which can tell you where your crabs are in the substrate.
Hahahah! Do you know it took me awhile to figure out what a "crabdar" would be? Hehe... I think that's our best route. So who's gonna make it? :)

I'm very interested in seeing how these "Water Table" tanks go. Sounds interesting!
**Crabbing since July 2005*~*100+ successful molts**
I have a total of 2 PP's

Note:My information on crab care is NOT the only way to do things. Please research your topics.


Topic author
Guest

Post by Guest » Sat Feb 10, 2007 10:55 pm

OK-- I feel that I am fairly new at this and feel that I have the day to day down...but really what is the 'bottom line' with deep cleans?? I was planning to do one tomorrow. I have read these passages over and over and can't find the clear conclusion.

I will only take out part of the sand. But what about cleaning the coco huts, plants, extra shells and climbing things??? And won't taking part of the sand collapse the tunnels??

I know that I don't have any molters right now because I have seen everyone these past few days. That is why I want to do this tomorrow!! Can I have some help?? Thanks a bunch!!

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HERMEZ
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Post by HERMEZ » Sun Feb 11, 2007 6:43 am

teacherlk its really going to be your own descion :D I do not support not doing deep cleans and I always will do mine but read it all and decide for yourself--thats a great thing about sharing ideas and such like this on a forum!
CrAbBy aNd PrOuD
2 PP's~2 Violas~1 Blueberry~2 Indos~1 Ruggie
crabbin since 2005.


Topic author
Guest

Post by Guest » Sun Feb 11, 2007 8:44 am

You have to have your tank set up like Cisnegra to not do deep cleans. You should still do deep cleans.

You are fine to clean all of their stuff.

Yes taking out half of the sand will likely collapse some tunnels... but as long as they are not in them molting it'll be ok because they will just dig more.


Topic author
Guest

Post by Guest » Sun Feb 11, 2007 10:21 am

Yup, definitely, do a deep clean!!!! Especially all the toys and such. I clean all of those, at least a few every week. You have to have a vivarium setup to avoid the deep cleans. That involves effectively, managing two nano-aquariums, a small organic garden, and the regular crabby maitenance, so really, it's as much if not more work than deep cleans.


Topic author
Guest

Post by Guest » Sun Feb 11, 2007 10:27 am

So when you say 'deep clean' you mean to take out all of the sand?? As well as clean all of the 'toys' and such?? But only clean with water?? Do I bake the coco huts??

I am really sorry to sound so clueless :oops: --but my little guys really seem happy and healthy and are thriving in the set up that I have made. I really want to get this right!! And because everyone is up--I want to do it now!!! :lol:

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Post by BAB » Sun Feb 11, 2007 12:00 pm

I'm the oddball in the bunch... I do not take all the sand out for a deep clean and I do not bake sand really (unless it's new and has issues/REALLY cold and needs heated up).

I scoop off the top most layer of sand, stir it all up and then replace with new sand. Oh and before replacing I "fluff" all the other sand in the tank.

I do clean toys, coco huts, plastic plants and levels each time though. Only with dechlor water or sea salt water.

The moss is the stuff that I hate messing with. I hate cleaning/picking through that stuff. ergh... :?
**Crabbing since July 2005*~*100+ successful molts**
I have a total of 2 PP's

Note:My information on crab care is NOT the only way to do things. Please research your topics.


Topic author
Guest

Post by Guest » Sun Feb 11, 2007 1:05 pm

I have to confess, I'm bad about that. For all that I prefer the "no deep cleans, don't remove things unless necessary" approach, I just take out mucky moss and replace it. I can't stand picking through that stuff.......


Topic author
Guest

Post by Guest » Mon Feb 12, 2007 2:11 am

Wow... thanks for this. Not only is this more convenient, but it makes a lot of sense, in that it's more beneficial to the crabs. In the wild, there is no such thing as a sterile environment. Hermit crabs are exposed to all kinds of bacteria, and as such, taking away the environment they've adapted to and introducing a different one can be harmful and stressful on their systems if they have to completely re-adapt.


Topic author
Guest

Post by Guest » Mon Feb 12, 2007 6:26 am

Im lucky, I live on the coastline in eastern Australia so I just go to the huge clean white beaches to grab a big bag of sand which generally lasts for 6 months with top ups and iso sand changes. Must be tough having to bake it and buy it all the time! :shock:

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