Rescued a molted hermit crab from a pet store. Help!

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BlazeTheWeirdo
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Rescued a molted hermit crab from a pet store. Help!

Post by BlazeTheWeirdo » Sun Jun 30, 2019 6:48 pm

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?
I used a 5 to 1 mixture of play sand and coconut fiber. I'm currently using a critter keeper as an isolation tank. The critter carrier is 7 inches. I filled it with 3 1/2 inches of substrate. The crab's shell is a little over an inch in size. The crab itself is really small for its shell though.

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?
I have an analog heat/humidty gauge in the critter carrier. Not ideal but enough to give me a decent reading for now. It's located in the back left corner of the tank. The heat is 75 degrees Fahrenheit. The humidity is 70%.

3. Is a heat source used in the tank? If so, what?
My room is really warm. Above 75 degrees Fahrenheit at all times. If I used a heater I'd roast them.

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)?
There are dishes with fresh water and salt water. Both are treated with zoo med drinking water conditioner, and zoo med salt water conditioner. I use the ratio specified in the directions.

5. What kinds of food do you feed and how often is it replaced?
These are the foods I'm using, and I replace them every night:
https://www.hermitcrabpatch.com/THCP-Ba ... /ft460.htm

https://www.hermitcrabpatch.com/THCP-Re ... /ft456.htm

https://www.hermitcrabpatch.com/Surf-n- ... /ft010.htm

6. How long have you had the crab and what species is it, if known?
I believe it is a purple pincer. It is a fresh molt, so he's still very pale. It's incredibly difficult to tell.
I just got him today.

7. Has your crab molted, and how long ago did it happen?
He molted VERY recently! Possibly a day, maybe 2 days ago.

8. What type of housing are the crabs kept in, what size is it and what kind of lid is on the housing?
I'm using a plastic critter carrier as an isolation tank to keep him from my other crabs. I'm using the lid it came with, with a folded plastic bag covering half of the lid to maintain humidity.

9. How many crabs are in the tank and about how large are they?
1 crab. Again, the shell is about an inch but the crab inside is way smaller.

10. How many extra shells are usually kept in the tank, if any?
I'm keeping 2 spare shells in the tank just in case. He's really small for his shell.

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

12. How often do you clean the tank and how?
I just set it up today. I scrubbed the whole thing spotless before I set it up.

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

14. Has anything new been added to your crabitat recently?
It's new in itself

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.)?
N/A

16. Please describe the emergency situation in detail.

I recently went to the pet store to replace a dead crab that was sold to me. When I got there I saw a crab hidden under the water dish that had freshly molted! The other crabs were trying to steal the exoskeleton. I told the pet store worker that they need to isolate him, but he told me that they weren't allowed. They had a certain set of rules for the crab habitats and they weren't allowed to interfere with them. That scared the heck out of me. After pacing around the store for a bit I caved and decided to take him home. I asked them to give me the exoskeleton and everything. I've never been more scared to death over the moving process. He's in an isolation tank right now with his exoskeleton. Will he be alright or was all this too much for him. Is it even possible for him to survive this given the circumstance? I'm really worried. What should I do?Is there something I need to improve in his environment? I just want him to be okay. I couldn't leave him there. Here is my set up currently.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/ckx2ng2j8ro2y ... 7.JPG?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/6jm3o71dwv2a8 ... 8.JPG?dl=0

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The Crab Maid
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Re: Rescued a molted hermit crab from a pet store. Help!

Post by The Crab Maid » Sun Jun 30, 2019 7:39 pm

I would increase humidity to 80+ and add more shells, up to 5 or more for him to chose from. Other than that, not much you can do since he already molted and will need a couple weeks to get his strength back and have his new exo harden.
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JoeHermits
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Re: Rescued a molted hermit crab from a pet store. Help!

Post by JoeHermits » Sun Jun 30, 2019 7:57 pm

Place him in a hide for darkness and leave him there. There’s not much you can do but hope for the best.

Also, Zoo Med saltwater doesn’t have the right minerals. You’ll want something marketed towards marine fish.


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Re: Rescued a molted hermit crab from a pet store. Help!

Post by BlazeTheWeirdo » Sun Jun 30, 2019 9:17 pm

JoeHermits wrote:
Sun Jun 30, 2019 7:57 pm
Place him in a hide for darkness and leave him there. There’s not much you can do but hope for the best.

Also, Zoo Med saltwater doesn’t have the right minerals. You’ll want something marketed towards marine fish.


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Okay thank you. I just placed him in the hide. I'm going to have to order some instant ocean or something then. They don't have anything like that in our town. >.> Thank you so much though.

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Re: Rescued a molted hermit crab from a pet store. Help!

Post by curlysister » Sun Jun 30, 2019 10:59 pm

Be sure to get a dechlorinator such as Prime.
I agree with what has been said.
Also, cover the whole top with plastic - there's no such thing as 'too humid'.
If you are feeding dried food, you don't need to replace it every night, it lasts a couple of days at least before going moldy,
"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: Rescued a molted hermit crab from a pet store. Help!

Post by BlazeTheWeirdo » Mon Jul 01, 2019 11:13 am

I want to thank you all so much for all the advice! Jigsaw (that's his name) ate parts of his exoskeleton yesterday which gives me a lot of hope for him. ^w^ I'll keep you guys updated if anything changes. Again thank you all!

[Update]:
He came out of his shell and he's eating rn. He's so tiny and pink and precious! 0w0
I'm leaving him alone from here on out. I just wanted to share this with you guys. I've never been more proud as a crab mom.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/3ob9tt7jjl9r6 ... 4.JPG?dl=0

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JoeHermits
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Re: Rescued a molted hermit crab from a pet store. Help!

Post by JoeHermits » Mon Jul 01, 2019 12:45 pm

Sounds like Jigsaw’s on the road to recovery. I’m happy for you both.


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Re: Rescued a molted hermit crab from a pet store. Help!

Post by BlazeTheWeirdo » Sun Jul 07, 2019 5:07 pm

[UPDATE! HELP NEEDED! BIG CLAW FELL OFF]

This is day 8 of his molt. I noticed he was rubbing his limbs and claws together this morning.
When I cam home to spritz the iso tank I peeked inside the coconut hut and found that his big claw was drooping way too low. He would normally retreat back in his shell at the slightest touch of the critter keeper but he didn't! He's limp! His big claw fell off! The real one not the exoskeleton one. Is he going to be okay? Did I do something wrong. He's not showing any reaction. He was moving this morning but not anymore. What needs to happen now? I didn't touch him in all this time. I left him inside the coconut hut and he seemed to be doing really well until today.
I'm scared now. He's never been this lethargic. What happened? What needs to happen now?

I heard sometimes it's a humidity issue? I try to mist the tank regularly but I wasn't home for most of the day today. The humidity gauge showed it was about 73% but maybe that wasn't enough.

This was my molt journal entry today:
Jigsaw 7/07 (Day 8 ):
-Eating sideways?
-Rubbing his limbs together (preening)
-Not as shy as before.
-Attempt to eat food???

-4:00 PM: Jigsaw’s big claw fell off… panic?!
-EXTREMELY lethargic and limp
-No reaction to me taking the lid off the tank.

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Re: Rescued a molted hermit crab from a pet store. Help!

Post by BlazeTheWeirdo » Sun Jul 07, 2019 6:17 pm

He is completely limp. Is he dead or can stress cause them to go fully limp?

Here's the entire molt journal if it helps at all.
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1IPv ... sp=sharing

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Re: Rescued a molted hermit crab from a pet store. Help!

Post by curlysister » Sun Jul 07, 2019 10:39 pm

Unfortunately, only time will tell if he's dead or not. He may have been too weak to survive this. Wait and see if he starts to smell.
"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: Rescued a molted hermit crab from a pet store. Help!

Post by BlazeTheWeirdo » Sun Jul 07, 2019 10:53 pm

curlysister wrote:
Sun Jul 07, 2019 10:39 pm
Unfortunately, only time will tell if he's dead or not. He may have been too weak to survive this. Wait and see if he starts to smell.
That's.... what I'm scared of. He was doing so well this week, I really had high hopes... Now I wait. :cry:

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Re: Rescued a molted hermit crab from a pet store. Help!

Post by BlazeTheWeirdo » Mon Jul 08, 2019 12:19 pm

So I'm trying something different here and want to know what you guys think.

Jigsaw 7/08 (Day 9 ):
-Completely limp, no movement at all
-No reaction
-No death smell
-Will move food closer
-Food: THCP Basic diet(contains bee pollen, honey, and protein) mixed with finely crushed eggshells. (eggs are completely organic from my chickens).
-Will cover the enclosure with a scarf to ensure more privacy
https://www.dropbox.com/s/gxow3lwi57mpb ... 2.JPG?dl=0
-Misting the moss balls and leaving him alone until further notice.
-Possibly give him a salt bath in a few days if no smell arises???

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Re: Rescued a molted hermit crab from a pet store. Help!

Post by BlazeTheWeirdo » Mon Jul 08, 2019 9:03 pm

Just checked on him. Still not a single sign of movement or anything. I'm.... not feeling good about this. >.>

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Re: Rescued a molted hermit crab from a pet store. Help!

Post by Hermiesguardian » Mon Jul 08, 2019 10:26 pm

BlazeTheWeirdo wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 9:03 pm
Just checked on him. Still not a single sign of movement or anything. I'm.... not feeling good about this. >.>
:(
raising son's dog, Dante. Husky/hound.
Raising daughter's hermit crabs, Shelder, Paras and Derek. Added 2 more of my own (of course) Pete and Stryper. Former mommy to 2 guinea pigs and beloved cat, Nissi

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Re: Rescued a molted hermit crab from a pet store. Help!

Post by BlazeTheWeirdo » Tue Jul 09, 2019 1:03 am

So... there's still no death smell and it's the second day. So I tried something. I grabbed a small plastic spoon and tried to gently lift one of his legs to see if there was a reflex. I could be wrong, but I thought I saw the tiniest twitch of retreat. One of the exoskeleton legs is also in a place I don't remember placing it in. So there may be the absolute tiniest chance of hope. I'm keeping the scarf on the ISO for maximum darkness and privacy and not disturbing him until further notice. The only time the tank will be opened is to check the humidity and mist the substrate from here on out. I have my fingers crossed. I'll hope for the best. Please be okay Jigsaw, I got really attached to you this week! >.<

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