HELP: My hermit crab molted weeks ago and still hasn’t moved

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Kaitiebug123
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Aug 23, 2019 12:38 pm

HELP: My hermit crab molted weeks ago and still hasn’t moved

Post by Kaitiebug123 » Fri Aug 23, 2019 12:48 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? calcium sand; 4 inches deep


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?
No

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 and salt. I purchase already mixed hermit crab salt water and I use Ozarka bottled spring water for my fresh water.

5. What kinds of food do you feed and how often is it replaced?
JurassiDiet hermit crab formula; every other day

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

7. Has your crab molted, and how long ago did it happen?
Yes; 2 weeks ago

8. What type of housing are the crabs kept in, what size is it and what kind of lid is on the housing?
A glass aquarium 5.5 gallons

9. How many crabs are in the tank and about how large are they? 1 small (1.5” diameter)


10. How many extra shells are usually kept in the tank, if any?
3

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

12. How often do you clean the tank and how?
I spot clean regularly but deep clean and replace sand every few months

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

14. Has anything new been added to your crabitat recently?
No

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.)?
No

16. Please describe the emergency situation in detail.
My crab molted and was buried in the sand and I left him alone for a while and just misted the top of him with water to keep from drying out. But it’s been 2 weeks and I went to check on him and since he’s molted he almost smells like cooked seafood but nothing horrible. And I haven’t really noticed any decomposition of him. But I did do a full enclosure cleaning and replaced the sand today and just set him atop it underneath a shaded portion of the enclosure. I’m just trying to figure out what’s going on and if it’s normal for them to not be mobile 2 weeks after molting.

.

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Hermiesguardian
Posts: 2516
Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2017 10:41 pm

Re: HELP: My hermit crab molted weeks ago and still hasn’t moved

Post by Hermiesguardian » Fri Aug 23, 2019 2:55 pm

Unfortunately calcium sand is very bad for them. When wet it hardens like cement. Most recommended substrate is playsand mixed with eco earth. Minimum 6 inches or 3 times the height of your largest crab, whichever is deeper. They need heat of around 80 degrees and humidity of minimum 80%. That's why gauges are so important. Ditch the sponges. They harbour bacteria. Your tank is pretty small. He should be in at least a 10 gallon. They also need protein and calcium daily.
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


Scarletfire
Posts: 202
Joined: Sat Apr 27, 2019 10:44 am
Location: ON

Re: HELP: My hermit crab molted weeks ago and still hasn’t moved

Post by Scarletfire » Fri Aug 23, 2019 3:32 pm

You should stop replacing the sand (unless it's to replace the calcium). It disturbs them a lot.

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curlysister
Posts: 1310
Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2010 3:54 pm
Location: Manitoba, Canada

Re: HELP: My hermit crab molted weeks ago and still hasn’t moved

Post by curlysister » Fri Aug 23, 2019 4:51 pm

Hermiesguardian gave you good advice. I will add mine below.

1. What kind of substrate is used in your tank and how deep is it? calcium sand; 4 inches deep
Curly - see HG's advice. The Calcium sand HAS to go.

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 - These are absolutely essential for crab care. Digital are more accurate than analog.

3. Is a heat source used in the tank? If so, what?
No
Curly - Once you have your thermometer, you will know what you need for heating.

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 and salt. I purchase already mixed hermit crab salt water and I use Ozarka bottled spring water for my fresh water.
Curly - Pre-mixed hermit crab salt water is NOT safe. Even bottled water needs to be dechlorinated. Your best bet is to use your tap water, and treat with a dechlorinator such as Prime. Then you need a marine salt such as Instant Ocean to make the salt water. Pools need to be deep enough that the crabs can fully submerge, but also have a way to climb out. See the 'water' care sheet for more info.

5. What kinds of food do you feed and how often is it replaced?
JurassiDiet hermit crab formula; every other day
Curly - Commercial food is not considered safe for hermit crabs, even though it is marketed for them. See the 'food' care sheet for info about proper diet, the food pyramid, and safe/unsafe foods.

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

7. Has your crab molted, and how long ago did it happen?
Yes; 2 weeks ago

8. What type of housing are the crabs kept in, what size is it and what kind of lid is on the housing?
A glass aquarium 5.5 gallons
Curly - Is there a lid on the tank?

9. How many crabs are in the tank and about how large are they? 1 small (1.5” diameter)


10. How many extra shells are usually kept in the tank, if any?
3
Curly - Be sure to check out the 'shell' guide - there are correct and incorrect shells to buy.

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

12. How often do you clean the tank and how?
I spot clean regularly but deep clean and replace sand every few months
Curly - Once you have proper substrate (see HG's advice) ,you never need to deep clean, only spot clean.

13. Are sponges used in the water dish? If so, how are they cleaned?
Yes, hot water
Curly - As HG said, throw them out.

14. Has anything new been added to your crabitat recently?
No

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.)?
No

16. Please describe the emergency situation in detail.
My crab molted and was buried in the sand and I left him alone for a while and just misted the top of him with water to keep from drying out. But it’s been 2 weeks and I went to check on him and since he’s molted he almost smells like cooked seafood but nothing horrible. And I haven’t really noticed any decomposition of him. But I did do a full enclosure cleaning and replaced the sand today and just set him atop it underneath a shaded portion of the enclosure. I’m just trying to figure out what’s going on and if it’s normal for them to not be mobile 2 weeks after molting.
Curly - Your crab's conditions have a number of things that need improved if he is going to live. It's hard to say whether he can recover or not. Be sure to read through the care sheets for all the info you need, and ask questions if you have them.
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." -Will Rogers

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DragonsFly
Posts: 646
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2012 7:27 pm
Location: Jonesboro, AR

Re: HELP: My hermit crab molted weeks ago and still hasn’t moved

Post by DragonsFly » Thu Sep 05, 2019 6:07 pm

When crabs molt, they need to be left undisturbed for as long as it takes them to come up on their own. Disturbing them can harm them.

As for whether two weeks is normal, I'd say that is a pretty short time for a full molt. The little ones do complete the process faster than the bigger ones, but I've had some stay down for months that were not very big; I expect it has more to do with whether it is a straightforward molt or if they have a lot of damage to repair.

As they get bigger, they will take longer and longer--a couple of years ago, I thought that Major Tom had probably died during molting, as he did not come back up at all one summer after spending all winter underground with the others. He came up the NEXT summer--a full 18 months after he was last seen! Crab keeping is definitely an exercise in patience! :)
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Resident PP's:"Major Tom" "Billie Jean" & "Mr. Jones"
MT and BJ jumbos now. Everybody excited to move somewhere warm and beachy.

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