Newish crab mommy, surface molts and losing limbs!?

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Jojobeansy
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Newish crab mommy, surface molts and losing limbs!?

Post by Jojobeansy » Tue Sep 27, 2016 5:24 pm

So, as is apparently pretty common, we bought our first Hermie's as an impulse 'souvenir" buy, brought them home in the "large" completely vented "climbing cage" and some "standard supplies" and a "care information sheet" provided by the beach shop. We started with 2 medium purple pinchers, bought mid-July. We lost one about two weeks later, which resulted in an emergency run to the pet store. That is when I learned I had been doing just about everything all wrong! So I bought all the right supplies, thought things were going pretty well, and slowly (2-3 weeks apart) added a third, fourth, and fifth Hermie! I bought our fifth, Peppa, last Friday. And just as I returned home with "her" (not sure she is a girl, but my daughter decided she is, so I call her a she- I assume she doesn't mind!), I found Sparkle hanging limp from her shell right on top of the sand! I thought she'd died (was clueless about molting!), but when I picked her shell up I could see she was inside, all pink! So I did a quick Google, and gently scooped her and the surrounding sub up and moved her to a makeshift ISO tank. I added Eco earth around her, but didn't completely bury her as I was worried she could suffocate. She would let her legs out of her shell occasionally but didn't leave that spot for at least a whole day. The next day she covered herself in the extra sub I'd placed around her, and Sunday I saw her unbury (I assume to eat and drink) and rebury. To my knowledge she hasn't come out since Sunday night. I'm unsure as to whether to leave her be in ISO a bit longer, or to move her back into the main tank?

Now, this morning, our newest crab Peppa was in a similar looking position. After more googling, I decided to attempt to ISO her with a large water bottle (a gallon sized, so very large) since I don't have anywhere else to put her. She was RIGHT up against the glass, so I gently moved her ever so slightly away from the glass so I had room to get the bottle around her. But as I moved her, two of her legs fell off!? I am worried she may not really be molting and is sick/dying!? Is there anything I can or should do for her?

1. What kind of substrate is used in your tank and how deep is it? 5" of approx 60/30 sand/Eco earth, with about 1/2" plain Eco earth on top (having trouble keeping humidity up)

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? Upper back lefthand corner , 80°F and 60-70 humidity, except right after misting, when it goes up a bit.

3. Is a heat source used in the tank? If so, what? I bought a uth but wasn't keeping it warm enough so have been using a heating pad on the back side of the tank

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)?
One salt, one fresh. I have been using a "hermit crab" salt, I forget the brand, but I've read here that instant ocean is better, so will be buying that!
5. What kinds of food do you feed and how often is it replaced? Originally pellets and ground "hermit crab food" but have recently been doing fresh food. Raw almonds, strawberries, and quinoa.

6. How long have you had the crab and what species is it, if known? We've had Sparkle about a month, a small pp, and Peppa, a large pp for 5 days.

7. Has your crab molted, and how long ago did it happen? Sparkle JUST molted 5 days ago, a surface molt. I am unsure if Peppa is molting or sick. The other three have not molted yet.

8. What type of housing are the crabs kept in, what size is it and what kind of lid is on the housing? 10gal (soon to be 20long) with a vented lid, which I keep a thick towel over to trap humidity

9. How many crabs are in the tank and about how large are they? 2 small, claw approx 1/4", 2 med, claw approx 1/2", and 1 claw approx 3/4".

10. How many extra shells are usually kept in the tank, if any? 9, 3 of each size

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

12. How often do you clean the tank and how? Clean food and water daily, haven't cleaned sub at all yet.

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? Eco earth and a crab :)

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. Described above.
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PTCrabs
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Re: Newish crab mommy, surface molts and losing limbs!?

Post by PTCrabs » Tue Sep 27, 2016 8:03 pm

The only thing I can quickly see that may be an issue is humidity...they need it to be about 80 and the sub they say 6 inches is best. Hope your baby pulls through! Your doing a great job getting the tank to "code" :-) it's hard when the pet stores give you the worst stuff and set u up for failure! I lost 2 due to living conditions :-(


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Newish crab mommy, surface molts and losing limbs!?

Post by PTCrabs » Tue Sep 27, 2016 8:06 pm

Oh and your uth...where is it? If it's actually under the tank pls move asap! It will heat the sand and potentially "cook" them...could b why they are surface molting...may be to hot down there ;-)


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Re: Newish crab mommy, surface molts and losing limbs!?

Post by Jojobeansy » Tue Sep 27, 2016 8:55 pm

Thank you for the response!! The uth is on the back right side of the tank, but wasn't getting it anywhere near warm enough! The temp was always reading 72 (we keep our house at 68) so I know it was heating SOME but not enough. So I have temporarily been using the heating pad on the back side of the tank until I can save up for a bigger uth or possibly a heat lamp instead. I am trying so hard to keep humidity up, I have lots of driftwood and a coconut husk climbing thing that I soak down multiple times a day, plus their water bowls, and I mist the whole tank several times throughout the day as well. The wood is actually starting to mold, so I don't get how it's still not humid enough! I found a diy online for making a humidifier system using a fish tank air pump, so I'm going to try that to see if I can get that humidity where it needs to be!

Any thoughts on when it's safe to put Sparkle back in the main tank? She came out again tonight, her big claw is looking pretty purple, with just a hint of pink at the tip! I'm relieved that at least she seems to have made it through the molt! I was worried for her!

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Newish crab mommy, surface molts and losing limbs!?

Post by PTCrabs » Tue Sep 27, 2016 9:05 pm

Oh good! :-) I would not get a heat lamp especially if ur having problems with your humidity already. Have you calibrated your gauge? I did and it was 20 points off! Image so when it read 80 it was really 100...I would start there w your gauge then u can add bubblers to your water but u may not have enough room in the 10g...I have a 20L and I have enough room...you can try a moss pit (I had it on the sub in my 10g), those things have helped me but I still spray 1x a day...I have also done away with the wood items cause they did mold. All my stuff is ceramic and plastic.

I would leave her in ISO for a little longer...not sure how long but my medium crabs full molt time is a month...most of that time is getting strong and hard. I would gauge it by that if I were u but I'm not an expert by no means lol maybe a mod will answer and give you a better answer but I think she needs a little longer. :-) these crabs can cause us so much stress lol


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Re: Newish crab mommy, surface molts and losing limbs!?

Post by Rawrgeous » Wed Sep 28, 2016 7:27 am

As ptc crabs stated, try calibrating your hydrometer. If the crab is moving around freely and climbing they should be hardened up. Give them a quick dunk into the freshwater pool, and they should be good. :) When you do finally decide to spring for a new UTH I suggest an ultratherm the length of the back of your tank. They are more energy efficient, and also insulatable to boost temps. As for humidity many use an aquarium pump with a bubble stone in a water dish as an in tank humidifier. A quick forum search should pull up several threads about them. Good luck! It sounds like you're doing a pretty good job getting it up to par! :)

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Re: Newish crab mommy, surface molts and losing limbs!?

Post by Jojobeansy » Wed Sep 28, 2016 8:19 am

Thank you again! Sadly, Peppa is most certainly dead :( I could smell her before I even got close to the tank! I'm so bummed! Sparkle unburied to eat again last night, so I know she's still doing ok, at least for now!

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Re: Newish crab mommy, surface molts and losing limbs!?

Post by LadyJinglyJones » Wed Sep 28, 2016 8:34 am

Re: mouldy wood.... I bet you won't have that problem if you try soaking the wood briefly in a saltwater mix.

And I was thinking that a towel won't work as well as some plastic wrap at keeping IN the humidity... unless it is a moist towel, perhaps.

Just thoughts. :)
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RIP Vegita :(

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Re: Newish crab mommy, surface molts and losing limbs!?

Post by PTCrabs » Wed Sep 28, 2016 8:58 am

Awe so sorry to hear about peppa :-( unfortunately some crabs are to sick to care for when u get them from the store...they don't have the best conditions so a lot of them do die :-(

So happy for Sparkle! It's hard when they surface molt! Great job at taking care of her!!!


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Re: Newish crab mommy, surface molts and losing limbs!?

Post by PinchersAndShells » Wed Sep 28, 2016 9:16 am

Make sure you feed them lots of calcium, you can use cuttlebone from the bird section, eggshell, crushed oyster shell. It'll help with their exoskeleton, especially since they might have not got any from the pellets.
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Re: Newish crab mommy, surface molts and losing limbs!?

Post by PTCrabs » Wed Sep 28, 2016 9:44 am

I also fed mine honey and peanut butter...they LOVE it! :-) I do the egg shells as well...haven't gotten cuttlebone but now that I know I can get it in the bird section I'm going to get it :-) thx PinchersandShells!


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Re: Newish crab mommy, surface molts and losing limbs!?

Post by Jojobeansy » Wed Sep 28, 2016 10:42 am

Thank you all for the input! I have bought a cuttlebone and some freeze dried shrimp to add to their diet! Do I just put the whole thing in there, or do I need to break it up? The cuttlebone, that is? I also bought a plastic "sponge holder" with suction cups that I will use for a moss pit. Does that sound like it will work? Also on the hunt for a digital hyrdogemeter, hopefully that will work better than what I have, I do not see a way to adjust it at all, but I haven't tested its accuracy either. I would love to find out that it's wrong and its been plenty humid the whole time! Lol


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Re: Newish crab mommy, surface molts and losing limbs!?

Post by mool » Wed Sep 28, 2016 11:44 am

You can't physically adjust the hydrometer, but you can make a mental note of how far it's off and then add/subtract that amount when viewing.

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Re: Newish crab mommy, surface molts and losing limbs!?

Post by PinchersAndShells » Wed Sep 28, 2016 12:09 pm

You can do either, sometimes I like to take a small hammer and put the cuttlebone in a bag and use the hammer on it and use the powder from that, and sometimes I just use chunks of it in the food dish.
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Re: Newish crab mommy, surface molts and losing limbs!?

Post by PTCrabs » Fri Sep 30, 2016 12:29 am

How is sparkle??


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