Molting crab in 3" EE with possible mites?

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Topic author
Kydra
Posts: 112
Joined: Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:35 pm
Location: NJ

Molting crab in 3" EE with possible mites?

Post by Kydra » Tue Aug 27, 2019 3:20 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?

3" of all EE which was originally mixed with aquafina bottled water before I could get what I needed.

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?

Far side away from UTH (digital) with high 70's temp/around 80 humidity.

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

A small UTH placed above the substrate.

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)?

Have two small containers with dechlor freshwater and IO saltwater.

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

Just dry food while crab is under replaced every few days.

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

Based off memory, I am pretty sure an E. Purchased on boardwalk about 3 weeks ago.

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

Had two crabs in a wired cage with all they need (a wet sponge and pellets). Or so I was told. Upgraded everything from wired cage to a temp tank until I got home from vacation, but the E decided to dig down and molt in 3" of all EE prior to upgrading/fixing everything. He's been down for two weeks today with an air pocket around him at bottom of EE.

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

As mentioned, this was temporary until I could sort everything out when I got home so it's about a 5 gallon with a snap on lid with seran wrap to keep the humidity up.

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

Just the E. He started molting after soaking in saltwater for at least an hour then ate and buried. I since removed mostly everything besides food water x 2 and some extra shells. They are both small with the molter being smaller. The other is in a real crabitat at 10 gallons.

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

There are 3 extra still in this one with about 15 in the upgrade where the PP is.

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

Nope.

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

Haven't cleaned anything in it since he buried to molt two weeks ago with nothing disturbed. I do change out food and water every few days still.

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?

No; more removed than added.

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.)?

Purchased two crabs on boardwalk and after researching was appalled by the conditions so ran out to pet store to get basics to at least hold them over until I could get home.

Have since upgraded to a 10 gallon with the PP removed and the E left molting. The 10 gallon has everything they need. At least 6" of about 3:1 playsand to EE, conditioned freshwater and marine saltwater, digital temp/hygrometer, cholla wood, hiding/climbing spots, a larger UTH above sub on the side of the tank, etc.

Was a longer journey than it should have been from the wired cage to the largest critter carrier to the properly setup 10 gallon.

16. Please describe the emergency situation in detail.

The hermit crab that I believe is an E (going off memory) has been buried at the bottom of 3" EE molting for two weeks now with a small cave around him.

Late last night/early morning I decided to take a peak under the tank as I have been misting this one to keep humidity up. I recently changed to foods from the hermit crab patch and I'm guessing from the misting and sitting in there for a few days I smelled an odor prior to work yesterday.

Still an odor there when I got home so decided to take a peak under the "temp tank" and swore I saw a small brown dot (possible mite) move underneath where the crab is. I set it back down, thought about it and lifted it gently again and definitely saw multiple tan colored 'dots' moving around with the crab still.

At this point I'm not too happy to say the least so again I take a look, but this time the crab moved slightly rotating his shell (doubt that a few small bugs moved the shell). So I posted all of this in my intro thread in the new crab and care section, but thought I'd post here for any advice as it's been about 12 hours now and other than changing food (no more dead fish odor), I have not touched anything.

I am well aware this setup is not ideal so wasn't really sure how to fill out the template, but went with where the molter is for that. The new crabitat is A+ with no noticeable issues. I also moved the temp/now iso tank away from the main one trying not to spread mites around if this is what they are (not sure this will help, but something).

I am more concerned RE the molter. Based on size I guestimated around 2-3 weeks, but why would there be critters in there around him if still alive and what to do now? The 10 gallon substrate was mixed with saltwater this time so maybe that will help with the main tank.

Thank you all. Without the HCA my hermit crabs would have both been dead in time regardless. Appreciate any advice!

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gunstreet.girl
Posts: 137
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Location: Hull, Quebec, Canada

Re: Molting crab in 3" EE with possible mites?

Post by gunstreet.girl » Wed Aug 28, 2019 6:22 pm

Hi there! It sounds like you’re doing all the right things for your crabs, the first moult in your care can be pretty unnerving! You’re not the only one to panic.

I wouldn’t be worried about the little guy moulting in shallow sub since you have him alone in the temp tank, and from what I gather once he finishes his moult and moves into your permanent tank he’ll have deeper sub (though you did mention this little guy is an E - if you haven’t read up on their special care requirements (extra space, extra sub depth) you can find a great deal of info in the forums.

As for the bugs you’re seeing - insects are really common in crabitats, as many species love the high heat and humidity and constant source of food. The mites could be good mites, or booklice. Maybe take a quick look at this post and see if what you’re seeing matches anything listed: http://www.hermitcrabassociation.com/ph ... hp?t=30282

If I could make one suggestion - you mention that your thermometer is located at the opposite side of your tank from your UTH, and reading 70. Most people try to get their temp to around 80, and while everyone has their own preference, placing your thermometer closer to the middle of the tank will help you get a better read of the average temp in a small tank, and then you can adjust from there as needed.


Topic author
Kydra
Posts: 112
Joined: Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:35 pm
Location: NJ

Re: Molting crab in 3" EE with possible mites?

Post by Kydra » Wed Aug 28, 2019 7:40 pm

gunstreet.girl wrote:
Wed Aug 28, 2019 6:22 pm
Hi there! It sounds like you’re doing all the right things for your crabs, the first moult in your care can be pretty unnerving! You’re not the only one to panic.

I wouldn’t be worried about the little guy moulting in shallow sub since you have him alone in the temp tank, and from what I gather once he finishes his moult and moves into your permanent tank he’ll have deeper sub (though you did mention this little guy is an E - if you haven’t read up on their special care requirements (extra space, extra sub depth) you can find a great deal of info in the forums.

As for the bugs you’re seeing - insects are really common in crabitats, as many species love the high heat and humidity and constant source of food. The mites could be good mites, or booklice. Maybe take a quick look at this post and see if what you’re seeing matches anything listed: http://www.hermitcrabassociation.com/ph ... hp?t=30282

If I could make one suggestion - you mention that your thermometer is located at the opposite side of your tank from your UTH, and reading 70. Most people try to get their temp to around 80, and while everyone has their own preference, placing your thermometer closer to the middle of the tank will help you get a better read of the average temp in a small tank, and then you can adjust from there as needed.
Thanks! I've read so much and made the best out of the 10 gallon turned crabitat which I got for 10 bucks via Petco dollar gallon sale (luck with that). Already planning on upgrading to a 20 long or 29 when they do this sale again in a few months or so, but that's another topic (don't think a 20 long would work for an E with so much substrate needed).

From reading, the crabs aren't really safe safe (post-PPS) until after a successful first molt. I've worried about everything from this guy not getting proper care/nutrients to survive the first molt and so on.

I believe he is an E based on memory here (why didn't I take a few pics of him? lol). Will find out for sure if this molt is successful. While waiting I decided to just not disturb him until today... took a peak and nothing moving around (bugs/critters) around him that I could see. I saw a few pieces of white around though which I just hoped was part of his exo, but wasn't sure and wasn't going to post that question in another topic. Would the exo appear kinda white? No death smell so just gently sat the iso down heading into a long work stretch so will not be disturbed further.

Thank you for the link... read that what seems like ages ago, but could have been mites or booklice maybe since both can be tan looking like a piece of sand moving. I will have to look back regarding temperature as it's typically around 80/80 with the lowest temp I've seen around 76/77 so sorry for the confusion there. I may have just been rushing to post.

And yeah the first molt is for sure stressful and tests your patience like nothing else!!! I'm going to just let him be and wait out another week before even thinking of peeking again/possibly disturbing him. The main tank is good to go, but will take your advice RE moving the temp/hygrometer to get a feel for any different temp gradiants.

Appreciate the help and it is reassuring however this turns out. Thanks again!

User avatar

gunstreet.girl
Posts: 137
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 11:10 am
Location: Hull, Quebec, Canada

Re: Molting crab in 3" EE with possible mites?

Post by gunstreet.girl » Wed Aug 28, 2019 7:59 pm

Kydra wrote:
Wed Aug 28, 2019 7:40 pm
From reading, the crabs aren't really safe safe (post-PPS) until after a successful first molt. I've worried about everything from this guy not getting proper care/nutrients to survive the first molt and so on.

I believe he is an E based on memory here (why didn't I take a few pics of him? lol). Will find out for sure if this molt is successful. While waiting I decided to just not disturb him until today... took a peak and nothing moving around (bugs/critters) around him that I could see. I saw a few pieces of white around though which I just hoped was part of his exo, but wasn't sure and wasn't going to post that question in another topic. Would the exo appear kinda white? No death smell so just gently sat the iso down heading into a long work stretch so will not be disturbed further.

Thank you for the link... read that what seems like ages ago, but could have been mites or booklice maybe since both can be tan looking like a piece of sand moving. I will have to look back regarding temperature as it's typically around 80/80 with the lowest temp I've seen around 76/77 so sorry for the confusion there. I may have just been rushing to post.

And yeah the first molt is for sure stressful and tests your patience like nothing else!!! I'm going to just let him be and wait out another week before even thinking of peeking again/possibly disturbing him. The main tank is good to go, but will take your advice RE moving the temp/hygrometer to get a feel for any different temp gradiants.

Appreciate the help and it is reassuring however this turns out. Thanks again!
I hear you about the worry.. everyone in my colony is either a rescue or surrender and they all came from absolutely appalling conditions, but against all odds and with good care they all pulled through. I don’t say that to brag, or to act like there isn’t a real risk, or to pretend that I didn’t on occasion wrong my hands and pace near their tank, but: they’re tough little guys, and coupled with you doing your best to make sure the ones in your care have what they need to succeed, they have a fighting chance. Right now, the best thing you can do is leave him be (I know that’s hard advice to follow when you’re worried and want to check up on him every few minutes), make sure he’s warm and safe, and make sure he has plenty of good food available for when he comes back up from his moult. You’ve obviously been doing your due diligence and reading all the right things. You’ve got this. Just give him darkness and quiet and privacy.

The exo could definitely be kinda white :)

Good luck to you and your new little dudes!


Topic author
Kydra
Posts: 112
Joined: Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:35 pm
Location: NJ

Re: Molting crab in 3" EE with possible mites?

Post by Kydra » Wed Aug 28, 2019 9:13 pm

gunstreet.girl wrote:
Wed Aug 28, 2019 7:59 pm
I hear you about the worry.. everyone in my colony is either a rescue or surrender and they all came from absolutely appalling conditions, but against all odds and with good care they all pulled through. I don’t say that to brag, or to act like there isn’t a real risk, or to pretend that I didn’t on occasion wrong my hands and pace near their tank, but: they’re tough little guys, and coupled with you doing your best to make sure the ones in your care have what they need to succeed, they have a fighting chance. Right now, the best thing you can do is leave him be (I know that’s hard advice to follow when you’re worried and want to check up on him every few minutes), make sure he’s warm and safe, and make sure he has plenty of good food available for when he comes back up from his moult. You’ve obviously been doing your due diligence and reading all the right things. You’ve got this. Just give him darkness and quiet and privacy.

The exo could definitely be kinda white :)

Good luck to you and your new little dudes!
Yeah; feel bad for them at the boardwalk conditions and just WOW at the care pamphlet I was given. Such a joke! Good to know that you've had luck with your guys. If he can pull through, he'll have a good setup with freshwater/saltwater/good food and so on.

I've read way too much and kinda settled at a 50/50 first molt survival rate. Could be the pessimistic side of me or preparing for the not so good. Do appreciate the reassurance though. I'm going to let him be (which is a struggle lol).

Everything he needs will be available for him after molting. Have protein/calcium waiting for him in iso and so on. That's great that all of yours pulled through. Fingers crossed and waiting game on. Hopefully he'll make it to the upgrade... then the next one in a few months!

Thank you again. I'll have to come back and read this again when my patience where's thin. If successful, I will post species/size and date buried and date up that might help others as well. 👍👍


Topic author
Kydra
Posts: 112
Joined: Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:35 pm
Location: NJ

Re: Molting crab in 3" EE with possible mites?

Post by Kydra » Thu Sep 12, 2019 8:29 pm

Ahh... My molter came up. He's in basically a large critter carrier and has been buried for 4+ weeks alone in 3" or so of all EE. Well he's surfaced a few minutes ago and looks great. I have a 10 gallon, but just adopted another crab last night.

I'm going to be purchasing a 20 long tomorrow. Should I leave him where he is or move to new tank after I get it all set up tomorrow by tomorrow night? The 20 long is basically going to be identical to the 10 as in the way it is set up. Just more room for all of the shells (everything really).

I currently have the other crab purchased with him (small PP), a smaller PP I purchased and now the adopted medium crab from last night. Should I wait until I set up the 20 and leave him with just food and water or move to 10 gallon now then 20 once set up tomorrow night?

Sorry for being repetitive not sure what to do. I'm thrilled he had a successful molt though considering the circumstances... All EE with Dasani water ehh. Advice please! Would greatly appreciate it!!!


Hungrytree
Posts: 25
Joined: Tue Jul 23, 2019 5:40 pm

Re: Molting crab in 3" EE with possible mites?

Post by Hungrytree » Fri Sep 13, 2019 5:17 am

It might be better for a more expert person to weigh in. I’m a pretty new crabber but I wanted you to have a response. If it is only going to be a day or so, I would wait and move as few times as possible. As long as he has food and both waters in the temporary tat where he molted, I think fewer moves would be less stressful.
Congrats on a successful molt!


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Topic author
Kydra
Posts: 112
Joined: Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:35 pm
Location: NJ

Re: Molting crab in 3

Post by Kydra » Fri Sep 13, 2019 8:01 am

Hungrytree wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 5:17 am
It might be better for a more expert person to weigh in. I’m a pretty new crabber but I wanted you to have a response. If it is only going to be a day or so, I would wait and move as few times as possible. As long as he has food and both waters in the temporary tat where he molted, I think fewer moves would be less stressful.
Congrats on a successful molt!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Thank you! First molt and after a month I was losing hope on this one. Received the same advice from the "chat" option. Thanks for the help. Heading out in a few to upgrade again lol.

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