Guide to making a 10g Crabitat/ISO

This is where you discuss the conditions of your crabitat -- temperature, humidity, substrate, decorating, etc.
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JediMasterThrash
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Guide to making a 10g Crabitat/ISO

Post by JediMasterThrash » Sun Aug 01, 2010 9:41 am

Here are detailed pictures and descriptions of my 10g isolation tank. This could serve as either an ISO tank to complement your larger main tank, or as a stand alone beginner/budget crabitat.

The purpose of this is to demonstrate how to achieve "professional" quality results in an affordable 10g setup.

Image

Basic ingredients shown:
$10.00 - 10g glass tank
$ 3.00 - A bag of playsand
$ 3.00 - Two hamster bowls (check thrift stores for cheaper)
$ 3.00 - Food dish (thrift too)
$ 7.00 - Plastic cave shelter
$ 3.00 - Fake plants (walmart is cheapest)
$ 4.00 - Four sponges (craft stores are cheapest)

The tank is filled with sand twice as deep as your largest crab.

The hamster dishes are good because they are deep so they hold more water and run out slower, and are heavier so they resist toppling by small and medium sized crabs. Be aware that sand bridges into the bowls will still wick the water out. Because they are deep, sponges are used so that tiny crabs don't drown. Also, the sponges prevent easy submerging. You want to prevent weak or PPS crabs from submerging until they are healthier. One dish is for fresh, the other salt. Do not place them in corners, because crabs tend to dig into corners, which will result in more toppled water dishes.

Some kind of shelter is needed for the crabs, and the foilage does the rest of the job of creating a "safe, secure" crabitat for the crabs. They will feel more secure being out on the surface with more hiding spots. You can save 10$ by making your own shelter or food dish out of household items.

If you don't have large/jumbo crabs, a cholla to climb up higher on is also recommended. With large crabs though, they can get too close to the top where they could escape, especially since the sand will need to be much deeper then. I do not recommend having large or jumbo crabs in a 10g at all if being used as a main tank. Only place them there for ISOing, in which case it doesn't matter if they can't climb for a few weeks.

Sand is cleaner than compressed cocofiber, so the water won't stay disgusting all the time. I replenish the water regularly, and clean the bowls and swap sponges once a week. Keep the sand around the bowls moist, so that you can take them out for cleaning and put them back in the same spot, and the sand-walls will remain intact.

Image

Environmental control ingredients shown:
$10.00 - Under tank heater (UTH)
$ 0.00 - DIY wooden stand to keep the airflow under the tank
$10.00 - Glass lid, with broken chopstick for "propping"
$ 3.00 - Incandescent fixture (gotta go thrift store here)
$ 6.00 - 25w moon-glow bulb
$12.00 - Humidity and temperature gauge
-10.00 - Account for not really needing both UTH and lights

Humidity is maintained not by sponges or misting, but by my corner-hole method.

Image

Finger a hole into each corner, and dump 1/4 cup dechlor water into each hole. The water will seep into the lower-substrate and provide consistent humidity for a couple weeks at a time.

Regulate the humidity on a fine degree by increasing or decreasing the amount the lid is propped open. Keeping it more-propped will have lower humidity and lower temp with better airflow, and keeping it less-propped will have higher humidity and higher temp with less airflow. You can save 10$ by using seran wrap, plexiglass, or some other non-porous cover instead of a glass hinged lid.

Adding a bubbler or DIY humidifier will help maintain airflow while keeping humidity high.

Temperature is maintained either with a UTH or lights. A UTH is sufficient for the 10g, and much cheaper, unless you can find a light fixture used somewhere.

Final ingredients:
$ 3.00 - Water conditioner
$10.00 - Sea salt
$ 5.00 - Preservative-free food
$ 1.00 - Two gallon water jugs
$ 5.00 - Shells

Whatever brands you want. The water conditioner must remove chlorine and chloramines and heavy metals. Crab Island food is a commercial food that's free of the worst preservatives. There are several members that vend homemade natural foods as well.

Don't forget extra shells for your hermits. Check thrift stores and garage sales, and craft stores. There's also some good websites.

Total cost: ~$85

And in the end, you have this:

Image

The upfront cost is real. These aren't throwaway pets. And considering that many "kits" or "starter sets" from kiosks will run 30-50$, for around the same price you can do it right.

In the long run, maintenance costs are low. The only items you need to replenish are:

Food every few months
and
Water conditioner, sand, sea salt, new fake plants every year or so.

The rest will last forever, and much of it can even be used if you upgrade to a larger tank.

And the bonus question: Can anyone guess what's wrong with my ISO?
Last edited by JediMasterThrash on Sat Aug 28, 2010 10:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
JMT.

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


Hotaruzuki
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Post by Hotaruzuki » Fri Aug 06, 2010 5:23 pm

This is great, too bad I'm getting rid of my 10gal soon...

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TheCrabbyTabby
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Post by TheCrabbyTabby » Sat Aug 07, 2010 7:27 am

I'd sticky this if I were a mod!
Please don't breed or buy while shelter pets die! Opt to Adopt!!
I know an awful lot about hamsters, betta fish and many other animals so don't hesitate to ask me if you have an animal related question!!!

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wingedmonster
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Post by wingedmonster » Sat Aug 07, 2010 8:11 am

This is good!! Next time i go to walmart (and actually have money LOL) I'm checking their fake plants-- that's cheap! Lol all I have is wood in mine :oops:
I have two purple pinchers!


Hotaruzuki
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Post by Hotaruzuki » Sat Aug 07, 2010 8:45 pm

I took some of your advice! Lookit my new Crabitat! They are soo happy now!

viewtopic.php?t=76309

:lol: Even 10gal can look pretty nice :)

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Kilimanjaro
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!

Post by Kilimanjaro » Sat Aug 07, 2010 8:55 pm

*chanting*

Sticky, sticky, sticky, sticky. :D

This is the exact kind of thing newbies would be looking for. :) A simple, easy-to-use guide. After they have started small, they can expand larger if they want. :wink:

Great job! [smilie=thumbsup.gif]

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CallaLily
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Re: Guide to making a 10g Crabitat/ISO

Post by CallaLily » Sat Aug 07, 2010 9:42 pm

JediMasterThrash wrote: And the bonus question: Can anyone guess what's wrong with my ISO?
hhmmm. I'm probably overlooking what it is you have in mind but in my opinion:

1)your sponges take up too much of your water dishes
2)substrate- is it deep enough? It doesn't look very deep but it could just be the angle of the photos.
3)I'm a little concerned that your "corner-hole method" could lead to too moist substrate if not careful.
4)I thought having the UTH on the bottom was a bad idea?
5)probably just a matter of opinion but I would place the thermometer and hygrometer a bit lower.
6)I don't see any extra shells.

:) [smilie=bouquet.gif]

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Mogney
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Post by Mogney » Sun Aug 08, 2010 7:51 am

What is the purpose of the fake plants?
Is there any particular type or style of fake plants one should look for or avoid?

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tlivs
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Post by tlivs » Sun Aug 08, 2010 3:14 pm

the purpose, to me is threefold: makes your tank look a lot nicer and fuller, the crabs can hide behind them and it makes them feel just a bit closer to home

try to find some without wiring that the crabs could get too as well as ones that are scented
arthur, charlie, ralph, hunter and oliver
rip. benjamin


shamp10

try the dollar store!

Post by shamp10 » Thu Sep 23, 2010 3:08 pm

Your local One Dollar Stores (Dollar Tree, Yankee Dollar, etc) are way better for finding foliage, and if you are lucky, like I was last week, you can find bags of shells. :)

Also, for one of my crab's hidey-holes, I bought an "Edible Logz" in the pet section at Wal-Mart. I use these for our gerbil, and thought, why not? They come in various sizes to fit whatever size tank you've got and are pretty cheap. You can get a good-sized one for less than $5. So far, it has held up well under the damp conditions, and my crabbies like to crawl on it and hang from it. :)

link to edible logz: http://www.walmart.com/ip/8In1-Pet-Prod ... z/10318464

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Alma
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Post by Alma » Thu Oct 28, 2010 12:48 am

WOW this is great. U did a great job of showing us how to make a quality tank on a budget. Trust me you just made things a lot easier to me. I've recently started crabbing and don't have any plants. :/ I had no idea they were so cheap. I already know where to look.

my crabs won't be as shy with the fake plants I will get them. :D
:crabblush:

:cheers: I am so excited

I am already saving by using something i have at home as a water dish.

Oh and thanks for the tip for wetting the corners. It's going to really help my humidity issue. :wootjump:


shamp10

update on edible logz

Post by shamp10 » Sat Oct 30, 2010 10:18 pm

the edible log began to mold from the moisture, so i had to remove it.
i take back my recommendation.
:)

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Big MaC
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Post by Big MaC » Sat Oct 30, 2010 10:46 pm

Edible Logs also have Pine in them wich Crabs are allergic to.

A few things that I would check out and i second:

1)your sponges take up too much of your water dishes AND CAN CARRY BACTERIA HARMFUL TO LAND HERMIT CRABS IF THEY ARE NOT CLEANED REGULARLY

2)substrate- is it deep enough? It doesn't look very deep but it could just be the angle of the photos. (I SECOND THIS (ALL ISO TANKS SHOULD HAVE AT LEAST 5" OF SAND)

3)I'm a little concerned that your "corner-hole method" could lead to too moist substrate if not careful. (AND IT COULD EASILY CAUSE' FLOODING IF YOU DON'T WATCH IT)

4)I thought having the UTH on the bottom was a bad idea? (IT CAN BE AND I PREFER SIDE MOUNT BUT OK...)

5)probably just a matter of opinion but I would place the thermometer and hygrometer a bit lower. (AND IN THE MIDDLE)

6)I don't see any extra shells. (THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT!!)

7) NO LID.... YOU NEED A LID TO KEEP HUMIDITY IN.
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Guest

Post by Guest » Sun Oct 31, 2010 12:02 am

Thanks for this! And I think you're missing the crabs.

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Alma
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Post by Alma » Wed Dec 01, 2010 1:48 pm

So what is wrong with your iso tank? Is it the food?

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