Lighting/Humidity PPS Coenobita Article

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

Lighting/Humidity PPS Coenobita Article

Post by Guest » Wed Jul 18, 2007 6:52 pm

Hi Everyone!

Featherscrabs referred me to this article regarding an approach to reduce PPS death after my Oscar died.

http://coenobita.org/xoops/modules/arti ... .php?id=14


I've just brought home 5 new PPs, and am using this approach. I am maintaining humidity fine at the first recommended level of 68-72%. However, the first recommended level of temp is 70-72 or up to 75 degrees with the light on. The article also recommends a 12 hour light cycle. My temp is 78-80 right now. I am only using a 15 watt Day-glo bulb on a 25 gallon (20 inches tall) with a plexiglass lid vented about 1 inch. We do not have air conditioning, and the temp inside the house is about 76-78 right now.

The hermies were purchased from a pet store using a glass tat with clamp light and mesh lid. I expect the temp was pretty stable, but the humidity was low. So, I think I should be okay with higher starting temps because they are coming from decent temps, but I should try to stick to the ranges for humidity levels. Does that seem like a valid conclusion?

The only thing I can do is turn off the light, and I think they need that for the proper metabolic cycle. :smt120


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Guest

Post by Guest » Wed Jul 18, 2007 7:53 pm

honestly you could probably bump up the humidity to closer to 75%. As for the lighting maybe see about getting another light fixture with night glo bulbs to provide heat over night. You'll notice a HUGE change in activity of your crabs when you provide a day/night cycle. If you're keeping the newbies in the same tank as the other crabs you don't want to stress your established crabs by suddently dropping their humidity for the new ones. You can turn the light off for part of the night (or all of it if the temperature remains acceptable) afterall the sun DOES set in the wild :)


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Guest

Post by Guest » Thu Jul 19, 2007 7:55 am

Thank you Thalia! The article suggests using the day glo for a 12 hour cycle only. I also have a 15 watt moon glow bulb on their tank that I used it for about 5 hours last night. The temp stablized after turning off the day glow, but the humidity was 78% this morning when I got up. It's the usual issue I normally have trying to balance the two. They were pretty active when I checked on them at 2 AM.

I left the 15 watt day glow on for the day today, and cover cracked about an inch. I'll see what it is when I get home.

These are all new crabs in this tank. The existing crabs are in my other tank.

Thanks for the input!


Topic author
Guest

Post by Guest » Thu Jul 19, 2007 11:29 am

The tempature doesn't seem to be as important as the humidity so do what you need to do there within the normal acceptable range to keep the humidity where you need it at...


and for you humidity ... I am assuming you didn't know what it was at the petstore .... so you probably started it out about 65%?

The gage as to if you are raising the humidity to fast (other than the gage :) ) is how your hermit are reacting .... if you notice that at 75% everyone starts to dig down then you need to back off a little but if they are all up and active then you are ok.

Hope this makes some sense. If not please feel free to ask me to explain it better. :D


Topic author
Guest

Post by Guest » Thu Jul 19, 2007 11:59 am

Thank you Featherscrabs! I appreciate your help!

I started at humidity of 70-72%. I just brought them home last night from the pet store. At 2 AM I turned off the night glow and, went to complete dark, and this morning the temp was 72 degrees and humidity 78%. They were all down in their shells under plants and such, so I know that was too high.

Tonight I will leave the cover open more to try to keep the humidity down. It should be fine during the day with the day glow bulb on.


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Guest

Post by Guest » Thu Jul 19, 2007 12:26 pm

I'm glad to have helped. I would also follow feathers' advice, she's more experienced than me especially with PPS, I honestly just pop my crabs from the pet store into the bath then into my tank that's 80/80 steady and have only ever had 1 PPS death (Tart), so I'm not the one to ask about gradually intro'ing them :)

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Post by JediMasterThrash » Thu Jul 19, 2007 6:33 pm

I don't think that 68% is a good range to start out at, especially since the crabs were likely around 50% humidity in an open-air tank.

Also, while the article correctly describe the process, and the 5-7% adjustments, the 3 stages only show 2% adjustments in humidity.

I suggest starting closer to the open-air tank humdity of 50%, and making larger adjustments up to main-tank level.

I have a PPS prevention article in the Caresheets link on the right -->
It's simple to follow, though it might cut a few corners for practicality sake.

Keeping humidity at a perfect stable level is difficult. Even at my most stablest, probably +-2% was achieved. So 2% adjustements are in the range of natural fluctuation, and are just "noise".

Lately, I've allowed much greater fluctuations, up to +-8%. In the wild, the humidity will change from 60% to 90% over the course of a day. But it's very dependent on the rest of the environment that they are able to cope with that.

All you need is a 10g, a glass lid, and sand, and you've got a perfect ISO that will last forever. And it's all around 20$.
JMT.

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


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Guest

Post by Guest » Fri Jul 20, 2007 11:42 am

Thank you JMT! I just received your article yesterday from Featherscrabs, and have it now for reference.

So I probably should decrease humidity even more? They've been at 72% for the past two days, and about 78% at night as I still didn't have it vented enough last night. :? Tonight I will start to vent the tat even more, to try to keep the humidity lower for them, then use the 5-7% increase method.

They were active and eating again last night for the nighttime check. Only Carmen seems to be hiding more than the others.

I have a 10 gallon which will be my ISO, but it currently has two molting crabs in it. Of course they decided to molt when I was ready to move them to a new tat. :wink: My 25 gallon is my new tank and will be the main tat. For now I put the new crabs in it for this process, and will move the two molters into it when I get the newbies up to the proper levels. Then finally the 10 gallon will be available as the ISO.

Do you mind sharing how many newbies you've used this process with?

Thanks again!


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Guest

Post by Guest » Fri Jul 20, 2007 3:41 pm

Just reading this, and I don't have anything helpful to add, but Thalia, I'm the same as you. Bath them and chuck them in (so to speak). I've only lost my crabs due to molts or fights (that happened twice). I find my crabs stay up for anywhere between 3-10 days, eating and drinking lots of salt water, then they go and hide for a bit, usually up to a month, then they come up and they're extremely active. I just had my newest two (and last) crabs come up from destressing, and they're all over the tank. I don't know if it's luck on my part, but I've never had a problem. I'm just wondering if we as crabbers take too much credit away from the crabs for what they can handle. I sometimes think they're much hardier than what we assume. Obviously some do die, but is it just a matter of pure statistics based on the large amount of crabs that are taken from the wild? I don't know, this is just what I have had personal experience with. Anyone have an opinion on this who has more experience?


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Post by Guest » Fri Jul 20, 2007 6:15 pm

lol coosiver I chalked it up to pure luck. Tart the one I had die from PPS was a rescue, she was in a WAY too small shell, lethargic etc etc and died in 4 days. I had tried isoing her, the tank she was in had mites at the store, she was iso'd for 2 days then in the tank for 2 on the 2nd day all her legs fell off and I popped her in the freezer to help her pass in peace. The petstore that I get my crabs from are also quite good, they have them in the reptile section where the heat and humidity are controlled and except the one time they had mites I've never had a problem with them, so maybe the petstore just has good conditions similar to my tank? Who knows. I personally agree that they are hardier than we think they are, but I'll not try to tell someone not to try their very best to make their crab's life easier ;)

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Post by JediMasterThrash » Fri Jul 20, 2007 7:10 pm

It all depends on where the crab came from.

If I get crabs from my local petco which has good conditions (70% humidity and 80o temp and moist eco-earth), there's nothing to graduate. So you could just pop them in the main tat [*].

But if I get a crab from the mall kiosk, well, those are the worst of the worst. Not only is it open-air conditioned mall air, and cool air temps from the air conditioning, but the crabs are constantly being harassed. About every 10 minutes the owners will dunk them all back into the water bowl to make them come out and walk around so that customer are more likely to buy them. And the constant stream of prodding fingers. They are so stressed out, they definitely benefit the most from a good long ISO.

If I get a crab from a pet store, and the store isn't good conditions, but the crabs themselves seem to be very strong and active (can possibly be a factor of how long they've had to destress already since their harvesting/distribution trip, and how stressful their distribution/harvesting was, and what quality of food they've had access too), they can often survive without an ISO, just if they're hardy enough. But it's not a given. To be save, always iso.

[*] Even if you get a crab from perfect conditions, it might still be wisest to ISO for a month anyway. For one, it helps you to check for disease or mites before introduction. And two, temp/humidity aren't the only factors influencing environmental stress. There's also social interactions, substrate, and surroundings. In an ISO, they aren't harassed by other crabs, or forced immediately to adjust to new pecking orders, etc.
JMT.

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


Topic author
Guest

Post by Guest » Mon Jul 23, 2007 3:08 pm

I've only ever bought my crabs from the Petsmart near my house. I wouldn't call them the most ideal conditions, but they are in a humid environment and I think they're somewhat warm. I only recently have finally gotten my temp and humidity to go above 75 for both, and in one area the humidity drops to about 60% during the day, so maybe my tank conditions were comparable to the store's? I always buy my crabs in pairs now. I find they adjust better when they have someone they know and can just tell the other crabs to bugger off and go sit in a corner by themselves. I have bought one that I bought alone, but he was a rescue and didn't make it through his first molt - he was in a shell that was broken in half, that was WAY too small to begin with anyway, and he was being picked on in the tank at the petstore because of it. He had cracks in his exo - the thorax part from being beaten up. I tried my best, but I guess it was just too much for him. At the time he was the largest in the tank and the other two were down molting so he had time to adjust w/o any disruption.

*knock on wood* I haven't lost a crab since I've bought them in pairs. That's not to say I don't have a bully in the tank that likes to disrupt my crabs, sometimes when they're molting. He's only done it once that I know of, and I was so afraid I would lose the crab that he attacked - they're of the same size and I think he wanted to establish dominance, because I give them lots of shells and lots of calcium and protein so they aren't short. By the attacked crab has made it through back-to-back molts with a regrowth of a couple of limbs. [smilie=yippee.gif] He tends to hide now, but he was up the other day and I came close to screaming my head off with excitement. But I don't intend on buying anymore crabs. 6 is enough for me, and I want my tank to last longer than 6 months before I have to buy a bigger one to accommodate the crabs.

It just seems that everyone has so many different ways to do things, you pretty much have to combine methods until you find something that works for you. Sometimes it just is a little confusing.

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