Worried that crabs might be attacking each other under substrate

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abesze
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Worried that crabs might be attacking each other under substrate

Post by abesze » Mon Oct 07, 2019 5:56 pm

One of my crabs dug down earlier this week, and my other crab dug down this morning. I'm hearing a lot of chirping noises and looked under the tank and saw one of the crabs at the very bottom moving around a lot. How likely is is that they would attack each other under the substrate? Is there anything I should do? I recently upgraded to a ten gallon with approx 5-6 inches of substrate and approximately a 4:1 ratio of play sand and EE


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abesze
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Re: Worried that crabs might be attacking each other under substrate

Post by abesze » Mon Oct 07, 2019 5:57 pm

I'm sorry if this doesn't qualify as an emergency I'm just worried that one of them might get hurt


Moe2076
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Re: Worried that crabs might be attacking each other under substrate

Post by Moe2076 » Mon Oct 07, 2019 6:37 pm

That definitely sounds emergency to me! I'm pretty new so I don't know what to advise. If the other one just went down than it may just be looking for it's right spot to molt and the second one might have gotten too close for comfort and that might be why the chirping occurred. From everything that I have read chirping is usually a sign of aggression (but I have not experienced it yet). I can tell you the more experienced crabbers might be asking about crab size how many crabs you have or other conditions listed in the emergency questionnaire:

https://www.hermitcrabassociation.com/p ... 27&t=46102

I encourage you to fill that out. From what I have seen and experienced most people are here to help not judge or criticize if it's posted in the wrong place or something isn't exactly right with your crabbies and their conditions, that's part of why we all are here, to give them the best care we can. Just the fact that they both decided to dig and possibly molt is a sign that your conditions are good enough for your crabs to feel comfortable to do so, which is better than the conditions many of them come out of. How long have you had them?
7 PP: 1 small Gumbo; 1 small/med shell diva; 3 med: Evil Kenival 2 med/large
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abesze
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Re: Worried that crabs might be attacking each other under substrate

Post by abesze » Mon Oct 07, 2019 7:11 pm

Thank you :) I've had them for about a week and a half. I've heard them chirping before when one was on the surface and the other was under the substrate, so I know they weren't attacking each other then. These chirps seemed a bit different than those though. But now I'm wondering that maybe the one who I saw at the bottom of the tank has a collapsed tunnel? If they aren't molting are they still likely to suffocate? And yeah I'll go fill out the emergency questionnaire :)


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abesze
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Re: Worried that crabs might be attacking each other under substrate

Post by abesze » Mon Oct 07, 2019 7:27 pm

1. 4:1 play sand to EE approx 5-6 inches deep
2. Temperature gauge usually reads 70- 75°f and humidity is 70-80% they are both located in the upper right hand corner of the tank
3. I have two tank heaters on the side of the tank(not under) on the left side, but I usually only use one
4. Fresh water is distilled water and the salt water is treated with instant ocean ( I couldn't find oceanic brand anywhere)
5. I feed fresh food (mainly apples bananas and nuts)
6. I've had the crabs for about a week and a half and I think they are purple pincers
7. Crabs haven't molted yet
8. 10 gallon glass tank with screen lid
9. 2 medium sized crabs
10. 3-4 shells
11. No fumes or chemicals
12. Just got the new 10 gal so about 4 days ago
13. No sponges in water dish
14. New habitat altogether
15. None
16. See above post

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wodesorel
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Re: Worried that crabs might be attacking each other under substrate

Post by wodesorel » Mon Oct 07, 2019 8:45 pm

I once has 6 crabs molting in a 10 gallon and they talked to each other every single night for almost two months. They all came up okay and within 48 hours of each other, I think they were planning it!

Yours should be okay. It's never going to be risk free with another crab in the tank, but it sounds like yours have a good bit of space and should be fine. It's very normal for crabs who are going to molt to dig around for a while to find the perfect place, too.


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abesze
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Re: Worried that crabs might be attacking each other under substrate

Post by abesze » Mon Oct 07, 2019 9:01 pm

That's so cute! Thanks that puts my mind at ease :)

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curlysister
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Re: Worried that crabs might be attacking each other under substrate

Post by curlysister » Mon Oct 07, 2019 11:02 pm

A few suggestions below, from me.

1. 4:1 play sand to EE approx 5-6 inches deep
Curly - Sub should be at least 6 inches or 3 times as deep as your largest crab. It should be moist enough that it holds shape but not so wet that water pools. As they grow, you will need to upgrade the tank size and the sub depth.

2. Temperature gauge usually reads 70- 75°f and humidity is 70-80% they are both located in the upper right hand corner of the tank
Curly - Your temp and humidity could be a bit higher. Many recommend around 80 degrees (75-85) and at least 80% humidity. 70% is too low for humidity.

3. I have two tank heaters on the side of the tank(not under) on the left side, but I usually only use one
4. Fresh water is distilled water and the salt water is treated with instant ocean ( I couldn't find oceanic brand anywhere)
Curly - Instant Ocean is one of the recommended brands, you are good.

5. I feed fresh food (mainly apples bananas and nuts)
Curly -Hermit crabs need a variety of foods. They need protein and calcium daily. Check out the food care sheets for more info:
http://www.hermitcrabassociation.com/ph ... 25&t=92554


6. I've had the crabs for about a week and a half and I think they are purple pincers
7. Crabs haven't molted yet
8. 10 gallon glass tank with screen lid
Curly - You can cover the screen with plastic wrap to hold in the humidity.

9. 2 medium sized crabs
Curly - Here is the guide to crab sizes and how many can be in what size of tank safely:
http://www.hermitcrabassociation.com/ph ... 26&t=92541


10. 3-4 shells
Curly - HCA recommends 3-5 extra shells PER crab. There are correct and incorrect shells to buy, see the shells care sheet for more info:
http://www.hermitcrabassociation.com/ph ... 24&t=92552

11. No fumes or chemicals
12. Just got the new 10 gal so about 4 days ago
13. No sponges in water dish
14. New habitat altogether
15. None
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." -Will Rogers

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Re: Worried that crabs might be attacking each other under substrate

Post by GotButterflies » Tue Oct 08, 2019 6:32 pm

And then there were a few suggestions from me to add to Curlysister's! GB for GotButterflies :)


2. Temperature gauge usually reads 70- 75°f and humidity is 70-80% they are both located in the upper right hand corner of the tank
GB: I personally recommend digital gauges if you don't have one. You can buy an Acurite guage from Amazon if you are interested ;) They are $8, digital, run on batteries, and tell you temp and humidity currently as well as low and high for last 24 hours. I also personally recommend a minimum of 80/80 for heat and humidity.

4. Fresh water is distilled water and the salt water is treated with instant ocean ( I couldn't find oceanic brand anywhere)
GB: You need a dechlorinator that removes chlorine, and chloramine as well as neutralizes ammonia and heavy metals. A lot of us use a product called Prime. Both pools should be deep enough for them to fully submerge in and safe enough for them to get out of.

5. I feed fresh food (mainly apples bananas and nuts)
GB: Make sure you cover all aspects of food pyramid :) Foods should be organic when possible. Hermit crabs are sensitive to pesticides and fertilizers.
Safe food list: viewtopic.php?f=25&t=92557
Unsafe food list: viewtopic.php?f=25&t=92556
Food pyramid: viewtopic.php?f=25&t=92554
Truly blessed to have incredible creatures, wonderful friends and my amazing family in my life!! I'm very thankful & grateful for all of them! www.thehealthyhermit.com


Topic author
abesze
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Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2019 11:31 am

Re: Worried that crabs might be attacking each other under substrate

Post by abesze » Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:53 pm

Thanks for the suggestions! The acurite gauge sounds great! I have a digital humidity gauge but now I might upgrade to an acurite :) I just have a question about the side tank heaters, the reason I usually only use one is because one is right above the other, and one of my crabs likes to hang out right next to the bottom one. The heaters don't get too hot but I was worried that he could get burned. I'm assuming he would move away if it gets too hot right?


Topic author
abesze
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Re: Worried that crabs might be attacking each other under substrate

Post by abesze » Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:58 pm

curlysister wrote:
Mon Oct 07, 2019 11:02 pm
A few suggestions below, from me.

1. 4:1 play sand to EE approx 5-6 inches deep
Curly - Sub should be at least 6 inches or 3 times as deep as your largest crab. It should be moist enough that it holds shape but not so wet that water pools. As they grow, you will need to upgrade the tank size and the sub depth.

2. Temperature gauge usually reads 70- 75°f and humidity is 70-80% they are both located in the upper right hand corner of the tank
Curly - Your temp and humidity could be a bit higher. Many recommend around 80 degrees (75-85) and at least 80% humidity. 70% is too low for humidity.

3. I have two tank heaters on the side of the tank(not under) on the left side, but I usually only use one
4. Fresh water is distilled water and the salt water is treated with instant ocean ( I couldn't find oceanic brand anywhere)
Curly - Instant Ocean is one of the recommended brands, you are good.

5. I feed fresh food (mainly apples bananas and nuts)
Curly -Hermit crabs need a variety of foods. They need protein and calcium daily. Check out the food care sheets for more info:
http://www.hermitcrabassociation.com/ph ... 25&t=92554


6. I've had the crabs for about a week and a half and I think they are purple pincers
7. Crabs haven't molted yet
8. 10 gallon glass tank with screen lid
Curly - You can cover the screen with plastic wrap to hold in the humidity.

9. 2 medium sized crabs
Curly - Here is the guide to crab sizes and how many can be in what size of tank safely:
http://www.hermitcrabassociation.com/ph ... 26&t=92541


10. 3-4 shells
Curly - HCA recommends 3-5 extra shells PER crab. There are correct and incorrect shells to buy, see the shells care sheet for more info:
http://www.hermitcrabassociation.com/ph ... 24&t=92552

11. No fumes or chemicals
12. Just got the new 10 gal so about 4 days ago
13. No sponges in water dish
14. New habitat altogether
15. None
Thanks! I'm going to try to come up with an efficient feeding system because I've had trouble varying their diet. The have access to cuttlebone 24/7, but I've had trouble finding sources of protein ( I've been giving them bloodworms) I've also wondered about honey, is any honey ok? Or are there types of honey from certain flowers that I should avoid?

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gunstreet.girl
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Re: Worried that crabs might be attacking each other under substrate

Post by gunstreet.girl » Thu Oct 10, 2019 7:12 am

abesze wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:58 pm
Thanks! I'm going to try to come up with an efficient feeding system because I've had trouble varying their diet. The have access to cuttlebone 24/7, but I've had trouble finding sources of protein ( I've been giving them bloodworms) I've also wondered about honey, is any honey ok? Or are there types of honey from certain flowers that I should avoid?
Bloodworms are great - my crabs love bloodworms. If you’re an omnivore, you can feed them the same fresh proteins that you eat (unseasoned, of course), raw or cooked. You can also find many varieties of freeze-dried protein sources online or at a well-stocked local pet store. Freeze dried organic chicken, beef, wild-caught fish, etc are generally sold as dog and cat treats (I buy them and pulverize them in a hermie-food-only coffee grinder and store in jars in the freezer to avoid rancidity), and in the reptile section you can find freeze dried crickets, grasshoppers, shrimp, krill, worms, etc. (I’m vegan so I rely pretty heavily on freeze-dried proteins, the selection out there is pretty amazing). There are also some excellent shops online which sell pre-made dried food mixes for hermit crabs, if you want to take some of the guessing-game out of hermies meal planning. Not sure where you’re located, but The Hermit Crab Patch (US) and Canadian Chubby Crab (you guessed it - Canada) are two of my go-to sources — i’m sure other HCA members will be happy to chime in with their suggestions.

As for honey, i’ve not read anything that would indicate that pollen source is a concern when choosing honeys for hermit crabs, but raw, unpasteurized honey is ideal if you can find it (local health food shop or from your local apiarist). Bee pollen is also fantastic and much loved by crabs, and is available at health food shops. I normally ask one of my apiarist friends for their raw, coarse-filtered honey, which contains bee pollen and pieces of honeycomb. The crabs seem to love it.


Topic author
abesze
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Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2019 11:31 am

Re: Worried that crabs might be attacking each other under substrate

Post by abesze » Thu Oct 10, 2019 12:37 pm

Thank you so much! That's really helpful, I'll look into some freeze dried protein, and try honey too :)

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