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Dead or molting?

Posted: Sat Aug 10, 2019 10:04 am
by izignego
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?

All coconut fiber, about 4 inches deep, I wanted to put more in, but some of my hermies have been molting.


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, located on one end of my tank, humidity is always between 70 and 80
Temperature is always between 72 and 75


3. Is a heat source used in the tank? If so, what?

Yes, two 5 gallon heat mats are stuck to cover the entire back wall of one side of my tank (one was not heat sufficient enough when I first got my hermies)

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 salt and fresh water dishes treated with all living things.


5. What kinds of food do you feed and how often is it replaced?

Hermit crab food, and I give them fresh veggies or fruit and egg shells regularly. I change the food about every other day or at the most every two days.

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

3 purple pinchers. I have had them for about two months.


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

Unsure. 2 of my crabs are molting underground (they are always out and vanished one day so I assume they r molting.)


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. Mesh lid, but part of it is covered with cling wrap to maintain humidity. Part of it is not so they do not suffocate.


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

I got the smallest sized offered at petco, one is the size if a nickel, the other two are maybe about 2 to 3 inches.


10. How many extra shells are usually kept in the tank, if any?
2 shells bigger than current crab's shell and 3 smaller ones.


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

No


12. How often do you clean the tank and how?

I wash out the water dishes about 3 times a week and change the food. I have all coconut fiber so I hear that will decompose feces naturally. They usually just dump their feces in the food dish tho.


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

No, my crabs are strong enough to grab the edge and climb out themselves.


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

3 new shells last week. I boiled them first.


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 have never bathed my crabs. I thought they clean themselves in their salt and water dishes.


16. Please describe the emergency situation in detail.

I am not sure whether or not my crab is molting or dead. I got him 2 months ago (never had crabs before but did research on their care) with two other crabs. The one in question is kevin. He always buried himself during the day and came out at night and then I stopped seeing him at all for a whole month and assumed he was molting. My other 3 crabs vanished 2 days ago so I assume they are molting since they are usually always out. When they vanished Kevin (the crab in question) came out 3 days ago and stayed out even during the day. He switched into a shell that was clearly too small for him. The next day he was limply hanging out of his shell and looked dead. He has been like this for two days now. His torso is pale white and hairy (which is why I thought he might have molted before this, but not positive) and his claws are bright red. I picked him up and looked at him and tried to figure out whether or not he was dead. (Which was probably a bad idea to touch him) He felt a little cold to my hands even tho the heat in the tank is low 70's and my brother thinks he looks sorta dry. So I put him by the heater to warm him a bit and he has been sitting there for 2 days looking limp. Also, yesterday I saw a tiny tan bug shaped like a very tiny piece of rice run out of his shell and across his torso and then back into his shell. I really hope they are not mites and I am not sure if I should do anything about that right now with his condition and two other crabs molting.


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Re: Dead or molting?

Posted: Sat Aug 10, 2019 10:27 am
by Hermiesguardian
izignego wrote:
Sat Aug 10, 2019 10:04 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?

All coconut fiber, about 4 inches deep, I wanted to put more in, but some of my hermies have been molting.

HG - substrate needs to be a minimum of 6 inches or 3 times the height if your largest crab. Whichever is deeper. You can add an inch every 24hrs, just don't pat it down. Adding playsand helps keep its shape. Add enough dechlorinated water for sandcastle consistancy.

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, located on one end of my tank, humidity is always between 70 and 80
Temperature is always between 72 and 75

HG - humidity needs to be at least 80%. They have modified gills and need this to breathe. Analog thermometers/hygrometers aren't very accurate. Digital is better.

3. Is a heat source used in the tank? If so, what?

Yes, two 5 gallon heat mats are stuck to cover the entire back wall of one side of my tank (one was not heat sufficient enough when I first got my hermies)

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 salt and fresh water dishes treated with all living things.

HG - most things marketed for hermit crabs aren't sufficient for them or good for them. Preferred dechlorinator is Prime and Instant Ocean added for saltwater.

5. What kinds of food do you feed and how often is it replaced?

Hermit crab food, and I give them fresh veggies or fruit and egg shells regularly. I change the food about every other day or at the most every two days.

HG - check out the safe/unsafe food list and food pyramid on here. The store hermit crab food may not be good for them. They need protein and calcium daily. And a wide variety of food

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

3 purple pinchers. I have had them for about two months.


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

Unsure. 2 of my crabs are molting underground (they are always out and vanished one day so I assume they r molting.)


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. Mesh lid, but part of it is covered with cling wrap to maintain humidity. Part of it is not so they do not suffocate.

HG - cover the entire lid to help with humidity. They will get enough air when you change the food every couple of days.


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

I got the smallest sized offered at petco, one is the size if a nickel, the other two are maybe about 2 to 3 inches.


10. How many extra shells are usually kept in the tank, if any?
2 shells bigger than current crab's shell and 3 smaller ones.

HG - the HCA recommends 3-5 extra shells per crab. There are right and wrong shells.

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

No


12. How often do you clean the tank and how?

I wash out the water dishes about 3 times a week and change the food. I have all coconut fiber so I hear that will decompose feces naturally. They usually just dump their feces in the food dish tho.


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

No, my crabs are strong enough to grab the edge and climb out themselves.

HG - the water dishes need to be deep enough so they can fully submerge with a safe way to climb in and out. Not sponges though. Those harbour bacteria.

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

3 new shells last week. I boiled them first.


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 have never bathed my crabs. I thought they clean themselves in their salt and water dishes.


16. Please describe the emergency situation in detail.

I am not sure whether or not my crab is molting or dead. I got him 2 months ago (never had crabs before but did research on their care) with two other crabs. The one in question is kevin. He always buried himself during the day and came out at night and then I stopped seeing him at all for a whole month and assumed he was molting. My other 3 crabs vanished 2 days ago so I assume they are molting since they are usually always out. When they vanished Kevin (the crab in question) came out 3 days ago and stayed out even during the day. He switched into a shell that was clearly too small for him. The next day he was limply hanging out of his shell and looked dead. He has been like this for two days now. His torso is pale white and hairy (which is why I thought he might have molted before this, but not positive) and his claws are bright red. I picked him up and looked at him and tried to figure out whether or not he was dead. (Which was probably a bad idea to touch him) He felt a little cold to my hands even tho the heat in the tank is low 70's and my brother thinks he looks sorta dry. So I put him by the heater to warm him a bit and he has been sitting there for 2 days looking limp. Also, yesterday I saw a tiny tan bug shaped like a very tiny piece of rice run out of his shell and across his torso and then back into his shell. I really hope they are not mites and I am not sure if I should do anything about that right now with his condition and two other crabs molting.

HG - if he was molting and came up he should have been done molting. If he has no smell he may still be alive. Give him healing foods such as organic honey, calcium. Someone with more experience I'm sure will advise you about the bug on him. Sometimes we can do everything right and they still don't make it due to PPS - post purchase syndrome. They go through such horrors before we get them they cannot recover. In the meantime make your conditions as best as possible and hopefully the other 2 will live a long life.
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Re: Dead or molting?

Posted: Sat Aug 10, 2019 12:40 pm
by izignego
Now he smells pretty bad so I think he is dead:( Is it okay to introduce a new hermit crab to my crabitat while the other 2 are molting or should I wait for them to come back up?

Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk


Re: Dead or molting?

Posted: Sat Aug 10, 2019 12:43 pm
by izignego
Now he smells pretty bad so I think he is dead:(
Is it okay to introduce a new hermit crab to my crabitat in a week or so while the other 2 are molting or should I wait for them to come back up?

Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk


Re: Dead or molting?

Posted: Sat Aug 10, 2019 2:33 pm
by Hermiesguardian
izignego wrote:
Sat Aug 10, 2019 12:40 pm
Now he smells pretty bad so I think he is dead:( Is it okay to introduce a new hermit crab to my crabitat while the other 2 are molting or should I wait for them to come back up?

Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
I'm sorry for your loss. First fix the tank conditions then when you introduce a new crab, give him a quick dip in the freshwater pool so he smells like the tank.