Molted Crab attacked!

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
carflora@gmail.com
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Jul 25, 2019 9:29 am
Location: Perry Hall

Molted Crab attacked!

Post by carflora@gmail.com » Thu Jul 25, 2019 9:38 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? Hermit crab sand


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? No


3. Is a heat source used in the tank? If so, what? . Yes, but only during winter


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)? fresh water.


5. What kinds of food do you feed and how often is it replaced? Hermit crab pellets, calcium tablets and fruit sometimes as a treat.


6. How long have you had the crab and what species is it, if known? about a year


7. Has your crab molted, and how long ago did it happen? . Yes, last night


8. What type of housing are the crabs kept in, what size is it and what kind of lid is on the housing? 10 gallon glass tank.


9. How many crabs are in the tank and about how large are they? 2 both small.


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


11. Have there been any fumes or chemicals near the crabitat recently?


12. How often do you clean the tank and how? 2-3 times a year. Fresh water.


13. Are sponges used in the water dish? If so, how are they cleaned? Yes. Rinsed with water.


14. Has anything new been added to your crabitat recently? Climbing stick from pet store.


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. . My smaller, more shy hermit crab molted last night. We suspected it would happen soon as he's been unusually playful and staying in view as opposed to hiding. My other Hermie was obsessed with getting to him. I put up a cardboard barrier as I had to get the kids to camp and didn't have time to think about quarantine. I came home about an hour later and saw the larger hermie on top of the molted one. He had gotten him out of his shell. He was still alive (barely). I rinsed him and his shell with water, removed the other one and sort of 'nestled' him back into the shell. He was so soft I didn't want to force him. What are his chances of survival? I feel so guilty I saw how aggressive the other one was being I should have known. I know this sounds stupid but I thought they were little hermie friends and he tried to EAT HIM and now i'm crying and so sad for my kids.


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curlysister
Posts: 1322
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Location: Manitoba, Canada

Re: Molted Crab attacked!

Post by curlysister » Thu Jul 25, 2019 11:36 am

1. What kind of substrate is used in your tank and how deep is it? Hermit crab sand
Curly - If this is calcium sand, it is not safe - it will become solid like cement when wet. Subdtrate needs to be at least 6 inches, or 3 times as deep as your largest crab, whichever is deeper. Most of us use a mixture of play sand (cheap in 50lb bags at hardware stores) and Eco Earth (which is coco fiber). It needs to be moist enough to hold shape but not so wet that water pools in the bottom.

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? No
Curly - A thermometer and hygrometer are essential. Crabs have modified gills and need humidity aroun 80% in order to breathe. Temperature should also be around 80 degrees.

3. Is a heat source used in the tank? If so, what? . Yes, but only during winter


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)? fresh water.
Curly - Hermit crabs need both fresh and marine salt water. Water needs to be treated with a dechlorinator such as Prime for both. Marine salt such as Instant Ocean, not table or sea salt. Pools need to be deep enough that the crabs can submerge but also have a way for them to climb out.

5. What kinds of food do you feed and how often is it replaced? Hermit crab pellets, calcium tablets and fruit sometimes as a treat.
Curly - Commercial foods such as pellets are not considered safe. See the care sheets about food, including the food pyramid. Crabs need a varied diet, but can eat many of the same foods as we do, they should be organic. They need calcium and protein sources daily.

6. How long have you had the crab and what species is it, if known? about a year


7. Has your crab molted, and how long ago did it happen? . Yes, last night


8. What type of housing are the crabs kept in, what size is it and what kind of lid is on the housing? 10 gallon glass tank.
Curly - A lid is usually needed to hold in humidity. The hygromter will tell you.

9. How many crabs are in the tank and about how large are they? 2 both small.


10. How many extra shells are usually kept in the tank, if any?
Curly - HCA recommends 3-5 extra shells per crab. See the shell guide for info about proper shells to buy.

11. Have there been any fumes or chemicals near the crabitat recently?


12. How often do you clean the tank and how? 2-3 times a year. Fresh water.
Curly - When you have proper substrate, you don't need to ever replace it, just add more as needed and clean up bits of food and poop.

13. Are sponges used in the water dish? If so, how are they cleaned? Yes. Rinsed with water.
Curly -Sponges are not needed, and only harbor bacteria.

14. Has anything new been added to your crabitat recently? Climbing stick from pet store.


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. . My smaller, more shy hermit crab molted last night. We suspected it would happen soon as he's been unusually playful and staying in view as opposed to hiding. My other Hermie was obsessed with getting to him. I put up a cardboard barrier as I had to get the kids to camp and didn't have time to think about quarantine. I came home about an hour later and saw the larger hermie on top of the molted one. He had gotten him out of his shell. He was still alive (barely). I rinsed him and his shell with water, removed the other one and sort of 'nestled' him back into the shell. He was so soft I didn't want to force him. What are his chances of survival? I feel so guilty I saw how aggressive the other one was being I should have known. I know this sounds stupid but I thought they were little hermie friends and he tried to EAT HIM and now i'm crying and so sad for my kids.
Curly - If your crab molted on the surface, it is because your conditions are not proper. They should bury themselves under the substrate. When they are molting, they are an easy target and source of food for other crabs. A surface molt is dangerous, and he may not survive both a surface molt and being attacked. Your crab needs to be isolated from the other crab immediately, even with a pop bottle cut down or a margarine container with holes cut in in. Put his shed exoskeleton in there with him. Your tank conditions need to be improved ASAP to give him a chance of survival. The care sheets have lots of excellent information, go to that section and have a look around. Let us know if you have any other questions, and we can help.
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." -Will Rogers


Topic author
carflora@gmail.com
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Jul 25, 2019 9:29 am
Location: Perry Hall

Re: Molted Crab attacked!

Post by carflora@gmail.com » Thu Jul 25, 2019 11:42 am

The attacker (ehem) molted several months ago and little Joker (my molter) left him alone completely. I knew about quarantine, etc but they stayed away from each other. I just figured when the reverse happened it would be the same. Lesson learned. Ugh poor guy. I put a towel over the tank for some darkness and peace and crossing fingers. He doesn't appear to be moving :( Will post updates.

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curlysister
Posts: 1322
Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2010 3:54 pm
Location: Manitoba, Canada

Re: Molted Crab attacked!

Post by curlysister » Thu Jul 25, 2019 11:53 am

If conditions are correct, crabs don't need to be put into isolation to molt, they should be left in the tank to dig a cave in the substrate to molt. It's when they are weakened like this guy is now, that they need to be put in iso.
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." -Will Rogers


Topic author
carflora@gmail.com
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Jul 25, 2019 9:29 am
Location: Perry Hall

Re: Molted Crab attacked!

Post by carflora@gmail.com » Fri Jul 26, 2019 7:15 am

So, quick update this morning. I immediately removed the offender and watched over the little guy all day. He was not moving at all. I prepared the kids for the worst. I told them Joker died and we needed to bury him. I picked him up out of the tank and his little legs moved ever so slightly!! We couldn't believe it. This morning I spritzed the tank and he moved a little more! We are so happy.

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curlysister
Posts: 1322
Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2010 3:54 pm
Location: Manitoba, Canada

Re: Molted Crab attacked!

Post by curlysister » Fri Jul 26, 2019 10:10 am

That's great to hear! He should be kept in iso until he is stronger. He needs his exo in there to eat if he has just molted. Then you can start offering high calcium and protein foods, and offering water in small containers that fit in the iso.
I hope that you take my suggestions as to the improvements that are needed for your crabs to have a healthy long life.
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." -Will Rogers

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