Bonnie hasn't moved in days

Please post here if you are having a crab care emergency! Use a real subject and not just "HELP!"
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Topic author
BonnieAndClyde
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Feb 22, 2021 10:35 pm

Bonnie hasn't moved in days

Post by BonnieAndClyde » Tue Feb 23, 2021 12:19 am

Since you've come to the emergency forum, we know you want a fast answer to your question. In order for us to figure out the problem as quickly as possible, we ask that you answer the following questions as best you can. Some of them may seem odd, but they're all designed to give us the information we need to give you a good solution for your problem. The things in the [ brackets ] are there to make this post easier to read once submitted. Thanks!


1. What kind of substrate is used in your tank and how deep is it?
1:5 EE:playsand


2. Do you have gauges in the tank to measure temperature and humidity? If so, where are they located and what temperature and humidity do they usually read?
Yes - a digital gauge resting on their egg crate "loft" (about 1/3 of the way from the top and back of tank). Usually reads ~78-80F and 75-85% humidity - although I was having trouble keeping the humidity up recently (resolved it by adjusting the fit of the lid)


3. Is a heat source used in the tank? If so, what?
Yes - heat pad on the back

4. What types of water are available (fresh or salt) and how is the water treated (what brands of dechlorinator or salt mix and what ratio is used to mix it)?
Both fresh and salt are treated with API Tap Water Conditioner + a tiny bit of ammonia neutralizer, salt is Instant Ocean


5. What kinds of food do you feed and how often is it replaced?
Standard: freeze-dried shrimp (Fluker's) and seaweed, fresh apples (skin cut off), occasionally plain cheerios, rice, chicken, eggs, shrimp - whatever we were eating
Recently Added (~3 weeks ago): freeze-dried mealworms (Fluker's), organic oats, organic brown rice, organic blueberries, organic green beans, organic carrots, powdered egg shells
All served in shells I found on the beach


6. How long have you had the crab and what species is it, if known?
4-5 months, species unknown


7. Has your crab molted, and how long ago did it happen?
Not sure, but I think so - she would occasionally disappear from view for a few days at a time a couple of months ago, I don't think she's really any bigger but her claws looked extra sharp the last time I handled her (a few weeks ago) but I didn't take note of how sharp/dull they were before that so it's hard to tell


8. What type of housing are the crabs kept in, what size is it and what kind of lid is on the housing?
20gal long, glass lid


9. How many crabs are in the tank and about how large are they?
4 total, largest is ~1-1.25", smallest (crab in question) is <0.75"

10. How many extra shells are usually kept in the tank, if any?
At least 15 that I can see on the surface, plus those they've buried


11. Have there been any fumes or chemicals near the crabitat recently?
No

12. How often do you clean the tank and how?
Change water every 2-3 days, change dry food every 2-3 days, change fresh food every day

13. Are sponges used in the water dish? If so, how are they cleaned?
No

14. Has anything new been added to your crabitat recently?
Yes - new foods

15. Is there any other information you would like to share that might be helpful (anything that is regularly part of your crab care, playtime, bathing, etc.)?


16. Please describe the emergency situation in detail.
Hi! Long time lurker here, I'm a little sad that my first post has to be in the emergency section but I'm worried about my smallest (and feistiest) crab, Bonnie. She's normally very active, and is the only crab I regularly see eating, drinking, and climbing. She hasn't moved in at least a week - in the exact same spot, exact same orientation. She's fully tucked into her shell, with the opening facing downwards (I know she's in there though, I can see the tips of her little claws peeking out). Before this, she was her usual self - eating, drinking, walking around. I introduced some new foods over the last couple of weeks, and she started acting like this right after I saw her munching on a blueberry (organic) for the first time (the very same day - as far as I can tell, she ate some blueberry, took a dip in the freshwater pool, then went to this spot and has been there ever since).

After a few days, I started to get worried and thought she might be doing a surface molt, so I cut the top off of a Gatorade bottle (and part of one side - she's right next to a grapevine log) and put it over her with a couple of shrimp and mealworms inside. I haven't smelled anything fishy yet, but she's such a small crab, I'm not sure how much she would smell if she had passed.

My main questions with this post are:
1. Should I try to change out the shrimp and mealworm under the Gatorade bottle?

2. The Gatorade bottle is clear - should I try to find a way to keep it dark around her?

3. Is there anything else I should be doing?

4. How long should I wait before it's unlikely she has survived?

Thanks in advance!


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crabbycasey
Posts: 554
Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2020 10:23 am
Location: NC

Re: Bonnie hasn't moved in days

Post by crabbycasey » Tue Feb 23, 2021 10:42 am

Hmmm, I’m not sure I would’ve covered/isolated her just yet. How deep is your substrate? They would much prefer to be underground for their molts so if it’s deep enough, she probably wouldn’t surface molt. I do know though that they slow down (w/moving, eating/drinking) quite a bit when they’re about to molt...but again, they like to be underground and it can take weeks-months, depending on size. Sub should be 6” or 3x deeper than largest crab. If it’s deep enough, maybe she’s going to go under and molt soon. If it’s not deep enough, she may be starting a molt. I just wouldn’t cover her until you know for sure...bc if she’s not surface molting, her little iso bottle could stress her out.

While I’ve learned a lot here at the HCA, I am not one of the administrators/experts. I just wanted to give you some food for thought sooner than later, but I’m sure someone will chime in soon and be able to offer more information to help you! I’ll keep your little crabby in my thoughts and send some positive vibes!


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Topic author
BonnieAndClyde
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Feb 22, 2021 10:35 pm

Re: Bonnie hasn't moved in days

Post by BonnieAndClyde » Tue Feb 23, 2021 11:13 am

Thanks for replying! I will admit, the iso bottle was somewhat of a panic-induced decision after I saw one of my other crabs investigating and poking around near her and looking interested - but maybe he was just being friendly/curious? I've never seen the two of them hanging out together before, and she's so much smaller than he is, I didn't want him to stress her out.

My substrate is 6-7" everywhere, and I know my other bigger crabs have successfully molted underground before. It's harder to tell with her - I'm pretty sure she's molted with me before (sharp little claws), but she doesn't look as different in terms of size and color as the others did after their molts. How would I know for sure if she's surface molting or just resting, without disturbing her?

User avatar

crabbycasey
Posts: 554
Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2020 10:23 am
Location: NC

Re: Bonnie hasn't moved in days

Post by crabbycasey » Tue Feb 23, 2021 3:20 pm

This is where I’d rather an expert pick up and help you, haha. I would personally be inclined to gently pick her up and check her out, but if it is the start of a molt, that wouldn’t be good. Good to hear sub is plenty deep. The exoskeleton is something you can always look for in a surface molt and they turn kind of an ashy color. Hopefully since you’ve got plenty of substrate, it would be safe to pick her up and give her a good look over...as I would imagine she would rather go underground to molt. Do what you’re comfortable with until you can get more advice! I hope you get it figured out real soon!


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curlysister
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Re: Bonnie hasn't moved in days

Post by curlysister » Tue Feb 23, 2021 8:58 pm

Better to isolate too soon than too late! You can always take her out of iso if she starts moving around again.
There is nothing that stands out as needing improved in your tank conditions. I would just keep an eye on her in the iso bottle. If she has passed away, you will most likely notice a bad smell.
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." -Will Rogers


Topic author
BonnieAndClyde
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Feb 22, 2021 10:35 pm

Re: Bonnie hasn't moved in days

Post by BonnieAndClyde » Tue Feb 23, 2021 9:11 pm

That's a relief, thank you! I will keep an eye (nose?) out for a bad smell.

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