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Very Stressed Hermit Crab!!!! HELP!!!

Posted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 12:27 pm
by arosenbaum
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?
Mixture of play sand and coconut fiber. ~6 inches at the deep end and 4" at the shallow end.

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. Between 75-85 for both.

3. Is a heat source used in the tank? If so, what?
Yes, under tank heater mounted on the side.

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 fresh and salt. Fresh is Zoo Med "Reptisafe"-2 drops per 1 cup of tap water. Salt water is Zoo Med "Hermit Crab Salt Water Conditioner"-1 tsp per cup of water. When it's finished, I plan to switch to aquarium salts.

5. What kinds of food do you feed and how often is it replaced?
I have been feeding them a combo of fresh food (carrots, spinach, bananas, apples mainly), and some store bought food (Flukers dried river shrimp, Flukers buffet blend, JurassiDiet hermit crab formula, Zilla reptile munchies omnivore mix, and Zoo Med hermit crab food). I've been mixing it up to keep a good variety every meal.

6. How long have you had the crab and what species is it, if known?
Almost 2 weeks...not sure the species.

7. Has your crab molted, and how long ago did it happen?
One has begun molting (has been buried for about a week and a half, no bad smell. The one in question has 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?
I have a 10 gallon aquarium with a glass lid.

9. How many crabs are in the tank and about how large are they?
2, about golf ball size?

10. How many extra shells are usually kept in the tank, if any?
I currently have 6 extra shells in there.

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

12. How often do you clean the tank and how?
Haven't cleaned the tank yet since it's pretty new.

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?

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 coconut hidey started to grow some mold, so I wanted to take it out to boil it in salt water (that's what I read was the best solution-open to more suggestions though). My hermit crab was VERY stressed that I took him out, and I'm afraid he's going to die now. Maybe I'm over stressing, but I'm super nervous and don't want to be known as a hermit crab killer.


Re: Very Stressed Hermit Crab!!!! HELP!!!

Posted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 12:50 pm
by curlysister
What do you mean he was very stressed that you took him out? He was in the hide when you removed it? How is he acting that makes you think something is wrong?

Re: Very Stressed Hermit Crab!!!! HELP!!!

Posted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 12:57 pm
by arosenbaum
I'll try my best to explain. When I took him out, I put him in a container with some dechlorinated water for a minute and he was crawling around like crazy and trying to escape. He also really did not want to come out of the coconut (it's not the half coconuts like most people have-my mistake...planning to fix that-it's a whole coconut with just a hole for an opening and he loves to hide in there). Anyways, he didn't want to come out, so I kind of had to drag him out...that sounds terrible and I feel awful! I should have just waited until he came out tonight like he usually does. So I guess I'm just assuming he's stressed because I dragged him out and the put him in water (he back in his crabitat now and just kind of huddled in a corner...I do have another hidey, but he doesn't seem interested).

Re: Very Stressed Hermit Crab!!!! HELP!!!

Posted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 1:00 pm
by arosenbaum
Now he seems to be digging a hole to bury himself...maybe just to de-stress? Or maybe molt...or DIE???? I'm so freaked out...I don't know what to do!

Re: Very Stressed Hermit Crab!!!! HELP!!!

Posted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 3:08 pm
by Hermiesguardian
Take a deep breath. We have all made mistakes before we knew better. Just leave him be. Maybe feed him some organic honey. Make sure they all have calcium daily. Egg shell, crushed oyster shells, cuttlebone.

Re: Very Stressed Hermit Crab!!!! HELP!!!

Posted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 3:11 pm
by Xenocrab
Leave him alone to do what he needs to do. All the handling probably isn't helping his stress level. They are a hands off pet. Just sit back, watch and wait. We have all been there. I've had a crabby down for 3 months and I don't think he made it thru his molt. I'll wait and see what happens, but I won't under any circumstances dig him up.

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Re: Very Stressed Hermit Crab!!!! HELP!!!

Posted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 11:22 pm
by arosenbaum
Update: now that it's night time, my hermie seems to be doing better. He is out and active as usual, and I no longer see any signs of stress. Thanks to everyone for help and reassurance! Haha I definitely panicked...just a bit ;)