Flooding Issue

Please post here if you are having a crab care emergency! Use a real subject and not just "HELP!"
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Milj
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Flooding Issue

Post by Milj » Fri May 31, 2019 7:18 pm

So, long story short, I got a hermit crab a little more than a month ago. I've been making a lot of changes to the tank since then and doing more research than before, and most things I have covered. The main thing that's been an issue ever since I got heat bulbs is keeping the humidity up. I have an analog therm/hygro but I've ordered a digital one which should be here this upcoming week. I did want to try doing a calibration but I'm worried about leaving it out for 6-8 hours and not knowing the conditions of the tank in that time period. I've also got sphagnum moss but it doesn't seem to be doing much according to the hygrometer. To make sure it stays above 70% I've been misting a lot, but today, ngl I wasn't very shocked, the eco-earth substrate was flooded at the bottom with at least an inch of water. I knew it was gonna happen from misting a lot but thats the only way I have to keep humidity up.

I looked up bubblers and airstones but the combination of the bubbler + tubes + air pump was too expensive, so I'm gonna try to do a make shift humidifier, which I'm not entirely positive will keep from flooding as well, but I just need time to perfect it I suppose. I got most of the water out with a measuring cup but the substrate is still very wet. My crab is currently molting so I can't just dig it all up just yet. I'm hoping maybe using play sand/all purpose sand will help, especially cause it's cheaper than the eco-earth, but I don't know what to do regarding his molting. It's been 4 weeks since he went down, and I know thats the average time for a crab his size but I'm still worried the flooding could've drowned him, and I've been sort of obsessively checking the tank for rotting smells everyday.

My question is, what should I do immediately to help with the flooding? Should I just leave it for now until he finishes molting, or should I try to incorporate some sand in to soak in the water, or something else entirely? Also, would play sand be better than eco-earth dealing with flooding in general, or some other substrate?

P.S. Sorry if this is the wrong place to put this, I've been reading through all the topics as much as I can to look for solutions but I figured I should just make an account and say my exact problem here.

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Xenocrab
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Re: Flooding Issues

Post by Xenocrab » Fri May 31, 2019 7:20 pm

Can you post a pic of your crabitat? Need more info. Also post this on the emergency section of the HCA. We've all had this problem. My husband lost one crab due to a bacterial bloom from flooding and so have I. This is common, but there's many solutions

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Cococrabgirl!
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Re: Flooding Issues

Post by Cococrabgirl! » Fri May 31, 2019 7:26 pm

I am not quite sure what to say but personally I think you should post in emergency. And in the emergency part there questions which it is best you answer them. You can add some sand it will soak up water but I don't know if that will be enough. Usually when a tank floods you are supposed to put a dry brick of eco earth in the tank and that will soak up all the water. I am sorry if I wasn't very helpful. Thankfully I have never had to deal with a flood. I hope someone who knows moe than me will come help soon. I will be praying for your crabby.

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Milj
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Flooding Issues

Post by Milj » Fri May 31, 2019 7:30 pm

This is the higher side of the substrate (with moss on top), it was originally 4 inches(approx 10 cm) vs lower side 2.5 inches(approx 6 cm)
Image

This is the lower side where the analog says humidity is lowest, and where the major flooding was
Image

This is the current top I have, I wanted to use plastic wrap where the lamp is but I was afraid it would melt
Image

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Xenocrab
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Re: Flooding Issues

Post by Xenocrab » Fri May 31, 2019 7:31 pm

Sand is small rock. It doesn't absorb. EE holds moisture, hence bacterial blooms. Post this in emergency. Personally, I'd say, of it's a flood, make an ISO, dig up your crab and redo your tank. Everyone had their own solutions for this. Get more feed back on the emergency link. There are some well experienced and educated people here. Prayers don't help. Action does.

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Milj
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Flooding Issues

Post by Milj » Fri May 31, 2019 7:49 pm

1. What kind of substrate is used in your tank and how deep is it? Zoo med eco-earth, highest is 4 inches and the lowest side is 2.5 inches


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? The gauge is towards the right, closer to the middle


3. Is a heat source used in the tank? If so, what? During the day I use the fluker's 60w hermit crab daylight bulb, usually gets it to 78-80 degrees. At night I use zoo med nightlight red 40w reptile bulb, usually gets it to 73-75 degrees. I also have an UTH on the bottom 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)? I use the bottled hermit crab saltwater from walmart, and we have a fresh water filter which I use for fresh + misting


5. What kinds of food do you feed and how often is it replaced? Right now I've got all living things hermit crab pellet food, I checked the ingredients on the back and didn't see any of the bad ones mentioned on the commerical foods thread, but I have ordered new ones and will try to give egg shells and honey when I can. I haven't been replacing it since it'd be a waste because my crab is molting


6. How long have you had the crab and what species is it, if known? I've had him since April 27, and I'm 80% sure hes a purple pincher


7. Has your crab molted, and how long ago did it happen? He's currently molting, and went down on May 3


8. What type of housing are the crabs kept in, what size is it and what kind of lid is on the housing? The tank is a 10 gallon, with a screen lid, covered in plastic wrap and aluminum foil where the dome lamp is


9. How many crabs are in the tank and about how large are they? Currently 1 crab, about an inch and a half. I've been planning on getting another one but I wanted to get the tank in order first


10. How many extra shells are usually kept in the tank, if any? 4


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


12. How often do you clean the tank and how? I haven't done a full deep clean just yet


13. Are sponges used in the water dish? If so, how are they cleaned? I use one sponge in the fresh water bowl, cleaned by rinsing it with fresh water


14. Has anything new been added to your crabitat recently? A small piece of bark for climbing and sphagnum moss


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.)? I've changed his tank from a 5 gal to 10 gal and I figured that might cause more stress to him


16. Please describe the emergency situation in detail. So, long story short, I got a hermit crab a little more than a month ago. I've been making a lot of changes to the tank since then and doing more research than before, and most things I have covered. The main thing that's been an issue ever since I got heat bulbs is keeping the humidity up. I have an analog therm/hygro but I've ordered a digital one which should be here this upcoming week. I did want to try doing a calibration but I'm worried about leaving it out for 6-8 hours and not knowing the conditions of the tank in that time period. I've also got sphagnum moss but it doesn't seem to be doing much according to the hygrometer. To make sure it stays above 70% I've been misting a lot, but today, ngl I wasn't very shocked, the eco-earth substrate was flooded at the bottom with at least an inch of water. I knew it was gonna happen from misting a lot but thats the only way I have to keep humidity up.

I looked up bubblers and airstones but the combination of the bubbler + tubes + air pump was too expensive, so I'm gonna try to do a make shift humidifier, which I'm not entirely positive will keep from flooding as well, but I just need time to perfect it I suppose. I got most of the water out with a measuring cup but the substrate is still very wet. My crab is currently molting so I can't just dig it all up just yet. I'm hoping maybe using play sand/all purpose sand will help, especially cause it's cheaper than the eco-earth, but I don't know what to do regarding his molting. It's been 4 weeks since he went down, and I know thats the average time for a crab his size but I'm still worried the flooding could've drowned him, and I've been sort of obsessively checking the tank for rotting smells everyday.

My question is, what should I do immediately to help with the flooding? Should I just leave it for now until he finishes molting, or should I try to incorporate some sand in to soak in the water, or something else entirely? Also, would play sand be better than eco-earth dealing with flooding in general, or some other substrate?




.

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curlysister
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Re: Flooding Issues

Post by curlysister » Fri May 31, 2019 8:25 pm

A flood is one of the emergencies in which you need to dig up your crab. If he is still alive, you will need to put him in proper conditions depending on where he is at in his molt. If there was another crab in the tank, we would say to isolate the dug-up one from the other one.
I will answer the improvements that you can make, in another comment.
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curlysister
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Re: Flooding Issues

Post by curlysister » Fri May 31, 2019 8:32 pm

1. What kind of substrate is used in your tank and how deep is it? Zoo med eco-earth, highest is 4 inches and the lowest side is 2.5 inches
Curly - Substrate should be at least 6 inches, or 3 times as deep as your largest crab, whichever is deeper.

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? The gauge is towards the right, closer to the middle
Curly - What are your temp and humidity readings?

3. Is a heat source used in the tank? If so, what? During the day I use the fluker's 60w hermit crab daylight bulb, usually gets it to 78-80 degrees. At night I use zoo med nightlight red 40w reptile bulb, usually gets it to 73-75 degrees. I also have an UTH on the bottom of the tank
Curly - The UTH heater must be mounted on the back of the tank, above the substrate level. Lamps/ lights dry out the substrate and kill the humidity. Personally, I have multiple UTH's - two on the back and one on each side, then I can plug and unplug as needed to keep the temp correct.

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)? I use the bottled hermit crab saltwater from walmart, and we have a fresh water filter which I use for fresh + misting
Curly - These are not proper waters for crabs. You need to use a dechlorinator such as Prime, it can be used with plain tap water. Then you need a marine salt such as Instant Ocean to make the salt water.

5. What kinds of food do you feed and how often is it replaced? Right now I've got all living things hermit crab pellet food, I checked the ingredients on the back and didn't see any of the bad ones mentioned on the commerical foods thread, but I have ordered new ones and will try to give egg shells and honey when I can. I haven't been replacing it since it'd be a waste because my crab is molting
Curly - Crabs need a varied diet, including protein and calcium daily. Read through the food section for more info.

6. How long have you had the crab and what species is it, if known? I've had him since April 27, and I'm 80% sure hes a purple pincher


7. Has your crab molted, and how long ago did it happen? He's currently molting, and went down on May 3


8. What type of housing are the crabs kept in, what size is it and what kind of lid is on the housing? The tank is a 10 gallon, with a screen lid, covered in plastic wrap and aluminum foil where the dome lamp is


9. How many crabs are in the tank and about how large are they? Currently 1 crab, about an inch and a half. I've been planning on getting another one but I wanted to get the tank in order first


10. How many extra shells are usually kept in the tank, if any? 4


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


12. How often do you clean the tank and how? I haven't done a full deep clean just yet
Curly - Once you have proper substrate, you won't need to do a deep clean unless there is something like a flood or bacterial bloom.

13. Are sponges used in the water dish? If so, how are they cleaned? I use one sponge in the fresh water bowl, cleaned by rinsing it with fresh water
Curly - Sponges are not needed, and just harbor bacteria.

14. Has anything new been added to your crabitat recently? A small piece of bark for climbing and sphagnum moss


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.)? I've changed his tank from a 5 gal to 10 gal and I figured that might cause more stress to him


16. Please describe the emergency situation in detail. So, long story short, I got a hermit crab a little more than a month ago. I've been making a lot of changes to the tank since then and doing more research than before, and most things I have covered. The main thing that's been an issue ever since I got heat bulbs is keeping the humidity up. I have an analog therm/hygro but I've ordered a digital one which should be here this upcoming week. I did want to try doing a calibration but I'm worried about leaving it out for 6-8 hours and not knowing the conditions of the tank in that time period. I've also got sphagnum moss but it doesn't seem to be doing much according to the hygrometer. To make sure it stays above 70% I've been misting a lot, but today, ngl I wasn't very shocked, the eco-earth substrate was flooded at the bottom with at least an inch of water. I knew it was gonna happen from misting a lot but thats the only way I have to keep humidity up.

I looked up bubblers and airstones but the combination of the bubbler + tubes + air pump was too expensive, so I'm gonna try to do a make shift humidifier, which I'm not entirely positive will keep from flooding as well, but I just need time to perfect it I suppose. I got most of the water out with a measuring cup but the substrate is still very wet. My crab is currently molting so I can't just dig it all up just yet. I'm hoping maybe using play sand/all purpose sand will help, especially cause it's cheaper than the eco-earth, but I don't know what to do regarding his molting. It's been 4 weeks since he went down, and I know thats the average time for a crab his size but I'm still worried the flooding could've drowned him, and I've been sort of obsessively checking the tank for rotting smells everyday.

My question is, what should I do immediately to help with the flooding? Should I just leave it for now until he finishes molting, or should I try to incorporate some sand in to soak in the water, or something else entirely? Also, would play sand be better than eco-earth dealing with flooding in general, or some other substrate?
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." -Will Rogers

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Milj
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Joined: Fri May 31, 2019 6:39 pm

Re: Flooding Issues

Post by Milj » Fri May 31, 2019 8:51 pm

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? The gauge is towards the right, closer to the middle
Curly - What are your temp and humidity readings?
Sorry I forgot to say, it's usually 73-80 degrees, and 70-90% humidity, but of course it goes down fast
3. Is a heat source used in the tank? If so, what? During the day I use the fluker's 60w hermit crab daylight bulb, usually gets it to 78-80 degrees. At night I use zoo med nightlight red 40w reptile bulb, usually gets it to 73-75 degrees. I also have an UTH on the bottom of the tank
Curly - The UTH heater must be mounted on the back of the tank, above the substrate level. Lamps/ lights dry out the substrate and kill the humidity. Personally, I have multiple UTH's - two on the back and one on each side, then I can plug and unplug as needed to keep the temp correct.
What UTHs do you use?

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C_fiesta
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Re: Flooding Issues

Post by C_fiesta » Fri May 31, 2019 10:20 pm

Hey there! Thank you for coming here and trying to so the best thing for your crabby!

You should gently start digging for your crab and replace the substrate immediately!

The most common substrate is a mix of play sand (very cheap, $2 or so for a bag, you'll need 1 bag for a 10 gal tank and cocofiber (you'll need 1 brick). This should be mixed with declorinated tap water (I use "Prime" water conditioner, you use very little in a jug of your tap water. It's MUCH cheaper than buying water over and over) to a "sand castle consistency". Aka, could you make a sand castle with it? With the right consistency the first time, you won't need to keep spraying. I mist my tank 3 or 4 times A YEAR.

How big is your water dishes? Bigger dishes can help foster better humidity. Heat + water = humidity. They should be big enough for your crab to fully submerge or "go swimming" in. You can use Tupperware or other plastic or glass dishes.

Use "Instant Ocean" water conditioner for salt water (after you conditioned it with "Prime").

Heat lamps will zap your humidity. That's why we say to use a UTH. and contrary to it's name, it should be on the BACK SIDE of the tank, not the true bottom. Crabs dig to get cool (among other reasons, obviously) When you put it on the bottom, it dries out the sand. I use the UTH from "Reptile Basics" website. Get the biggest one that will fit on your tank. Then you can use aluminum foil on the back over the UTH to insulate it (if needed).

Get rid of the sponge. They don't need it - at all. And it harbors bacteria.

Also, invest in a glass lid, it will keep in the humidity in better than the plastic wrap.

There's lots of good crab food mixes on Etsy if you want something prepared to give him.

Let me know if you have any other questions! :)

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Milj
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Re: Flooding Issues

Post by Milj » Fri May 31, 2019 10:30 pm

C_fiesta wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 10:20 pm
The most common substrate is a mix of play sand (very cheap, $2 or so for a bag, you'll need 1 bag for a 10 gal tank and cocofiber (you'll need 1 brick). This should be mixed with declorinated tap water (I use "Prime" water conditioner, you use very little in a jug of your tap water. It's MUCH cheaper than buying water over and over) to a "sand castle consistency". Aka, could you make a sand castle with it? With the right consistency the first time, you won't need to keep spraying. I mist my tank 3 or 4 times A YEAR.

How big is your water dishes? Bigger dishes can help foster better humidity. Heat + water = humidity. They should be big enough for your crab to fully submerge or "go swimming" in. You can use Tupperware or other plastic or glass dishes.

Use "Instant Ocean" water conditioner for salt water (after you conditioned it with "Prime").
My water dishes are almost the size of a cocohut, I posted a picture of my tank currently on another thread with the same name if you want to see

Is there any cheaper alternative to instant ocean you know of?

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C_fiesta
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Re: Flooding Issues

Post by C_fiesta » Fri May 31, 2019 10:31 pm

Nope, it is worth it. Get the smallest box and it will last you forever. :)

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C_fiesta
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Re: Flooding Issues

Post by C_fiesta » Fri May 31, 2019 10:53 pm

I looked at your pics. Deepening the substrate to a proper depth 6- 8 inches will help a ton! Also, could not see any water dishes at all.

Here's the steps I would take to fix the tank:
1. Gently dig for the crab. Place him in a tupperware or plastic shoe box tote temporarily.
2. Remove substrate.
3. Mix new substrate (sand & cocofiber as I mentioned before). Add to tank until you have AT LEAST 6 inches, perferbably more. You're having trouble keeping a steady humidity in part because the substrate is so little. Also, the gradual hill effect will flatten out with time, just fyi.
4. Move UTH to side of tank. Remove heat lamps. Sell heat lamps to get some money to spend on other things.
5. Add water dishes, 1-2 cups in size should work fine. To prevent flooding I suggest putting a tray or a larger dish underneath them to catch drips or overflow when your crabs decide to do cannon balls.
5. Add a glass top.

The humidity will be fixed and should be steady.

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curlysister
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Re: Flooding Issues

Post by curlysister » Fri May 31, 2019 11:11 pm

Did you dig him up yet?
How does he look? What did you find?
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curlysister
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Re: Flooding Issues

Post by curlysister » Fri May 31, 2019 11:12 pm

I have two Ultra Therms (you can insulate over them) and two Zoo Med (Can not be insulated over).
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." -Will Rogers

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