My hermit crab is handicapped! HELP

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Austin’s_crabs
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Sep 12, 2019 9:28 am
Location: Texas

My hermit crab is handicapped! HELP

Post by Austin’s_crabs » Fri Sep 13, 2019 9:25 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?
zoo-med repti soil about 3 inches

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?
I have a digital guage used to measure their warm part of the cage and their humid spot. They usually read 70-75 degrees and 70% humidity. In the summer the humidity stays almost constant and I almost never need to mist.

3. Is a heat source used in the tank? If so, what?
2 zoo-med stickey heat panels on the outside and on the wall. They love these and will swarm them.

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 types of water. I use zoo-med hermit crab water declorinator and salt water mix.

5. What kinds of food do you feed and how often is it replaced?
I feed cashews and almond slices. They love these. I've tried giving them other foods but they seem to like the cashews

6. How long have you had the crab and what species is it, if known?
2 years now and he is a purple pincher.

7. Has your crab molted, and how long ago did it happen?
Crab in question is mid molt. The other crabs are frequent molters.

8. What type of housing are the crabs kept in, what size is it and what kind of lid is on the housing?
Exoterra (12"-high 18"-deep 24"-wide) lid is like a mesh net, but made out of metal.

9. How many crabs are in the tank and about how large are they?
6 crabs. Various sizes. 2 are dime sized. 3 are the size of a quarter. The biggest is just slightly bigger than the others.

10. How many extra shells are usually kept in the tank, if any?
About 20 of various sizes.

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

12. How often do you clean the tank and how?
Moved the first 5 one year ago into a new cage.

13. Are sponges used in the water dish? If so, how are they cleaned?
no

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

16. Please describe the emergency situation in detail.
For clarification it happened yesterday of me writing this. I have used the crab street journal care sheet to care for him so far, but I want some extra help, tips or tricks.

One week ago, one of my crabs decided to do a surface molt. By this point many of them have done surface molts and I didn't put cups over them or move them in the past. They have all been fine so far. So I thought it would be no different. I checked on him every morning and yesterday I found a ghastly sight. There was my crab sitting in the empty water dish (that's where he decided to molt) outside his shell with no limbs, and a smaller shell left in its place. The only limb he has left is his little pincher (besides his little legs for inside his shell). I immediately put him in the iso tank and left him to de-stress. Today I got him to move into a new shell and put water in his new shell to keep him moist. He has food and a bottle cap filled with water and is in a hut filled with moss. unfortunately his exo skeleton is soaked (because he molted in the water dish) and is unusable to grind into a paste. Plus I have nothing to even grind it with. Below I will provide pictures.

Image
Image
Image

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purplepincher
Posts: 783
Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2019 6:07 pm
Location: Topeka, Kansas

Re: My hermit crab is handicapped! HELP

Post by purplepincher » Fri Sep 13, 2019 9:39 am

make sure to keep it humid. mash up some bananas for him to eat.
I love my little Acorn! #besthermitcrabever
I also Love Jesus! My favorite food is doughnuts, my favorite drink is orange soda,
and my favorite color is gold! (I like shiny things)

I am also a Die hard Lego fan!

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purplepincher
Posts: 783
Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2019 6:07 pm
Location: Topeka, Kansas

Re: My hermit crab is handicapped! HELP

Post by purplepincher » Fri Sep 13, 2019 9:40 am

another cab got to him, that is what happened.
I love my little Acorn! #besthermitcrabever
I also Love Jesus! My favorite food is doughnuts, my favorite drink is orange soda,
and my favorite color is gold! (I like shiny things)

I am also a Die hard Lego fan!

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Hermiesguardian
Posts: 2519
Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2017 10:41 pm

Re: My hermit crab is handicapped! HELP

Post by Hermiesguardian » Fri Sep 13, 2019 10:31 am

Austin’s_crabs wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 9:25 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?
zoo-med repti soil about 3 inches

HG - substrate must be a minimum of 6 inches deep or 3 times the height of your largest crab. Whichever is deeper. Most of us use a mix of ee and playsand. And must be sandcastle consistancy. Otherwise when they molt this happens. You've been lucky so far.

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?
I have a digital guage used to measure their warm part of the cage and their humid spot. They usually read 70-75 degrees and 70% humidity. In the summer the humidity stays almost constant and I almost never need to mist.

HG - humidity must be a minimum of 80%. They have modified gills and need that to breathe.

3. Is a heat source used in the tank? If so, what?
2 zoo-med stickey heat panels on the outside and on the wall. They love these and will swarm them.

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 types of water. I use zoo-med hermit crab water declorinator and salt water mix.

HG- many items marketed for hermit crabs are not good for them. Most recommended dechl is Prime. And Instant Ocean for the saltwater.

5. What kinds of food do you feed and how often is it replaced?
I feed cashews and almond slices. They love these. I've tried giving them other foods but they seem to like the cashews

HG- is tgis their only diet? They need protein, including animal protein, and calcium daily. Read through the safe/unsafe food lists and the food pyramid.

6. How long have you had the crab and what species is it, if known?
2 years now and he is a purple pincher.

7. Has your crab molted, and how long ago did it happen?
Crab in question is mid molt. The other crabs are frequent molters.

8. What type of housing are the crabs kept in, what size is it and what kind of lid is on the housing?
Exoterra (12"-high 18"-deep 24"-wide) lid is like a mesh net, but made out of metal.

HG- I can't tell how big this is. Maybe about a 20gal? It may be too small for 6 crabs. Is the lid sealed? If not you can seal it with saran wrap taped down. That will keep in the humidity.

9. How many crabs are in the tank and about how large are they?
6 crabs. Various sizes. 2 are dime sized. 3 are the size of a quarter. The biggest is just slightly bigger than the others.

10. How many extra shells are usually kept in the tank, if any?
About 20 of various sizes.

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

12. How often do you clean the tank and how?
Moved the first 5 one year ago into a new cage.

13. Are sponges used in the water dish? If so, how are they cleaned?
no

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

16. Please describe the emergency situation in detail.
For clarification it happened yesterday of me writing this. I have used the crab street journal care sheet to care for him so far, but I want some extra help, tips or tricks.

One week ago, one of my crabs decided to do a surface molt. By this point many of them have done surface molts and I didn't put cups over them or move them in the past. They have all been fine so far. So I thought it would be no different. I checked on him every morning and yesterday I found a ghastly sight. There was my crab sitting in the empty water dish (that's where he decided to molt) outside his shell with no limbs, and a smaller shell left in its place. The only limb he has left is his little pincher (besides his little legs for inside his shell). I immediately put him in the iso tank and left him to de-stress. Today I got him to move into a new shell and put water in his new shell to keep him moist. He has food and a bottle cap filled with water and is in a hut filled with moss. unfortunately his exo skeleton is soaked (because he molted in the water dish) and is unusable to grind into a paste. Plus I have nothing to even grind it with. Below I will provide pictures.

Image
Image
Image
HG - i have fortunately never had this experience but others on here have. Motorocrab for sure. Check out this link. http://www.hermitcrabassociation.com/ph ... 3#p1076602
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

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curlysister
Posts: 1312
Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2010 3:54 pm
Location: Manitoba, Canada

Re: My hermit crab is handicapped! HELP

Post by curlysister » Fri Sep 13, 2019 12:39 pm

HG has given you some great advice. Crabs should never molt on the surface - the fact that yours have done so frequently, means that things are not right in their environment. You have a number of things that need to be improved, in order for your crabs to be healthy.
Be sure to read through the care sheets - all the information you need to have a proper set up is found there.
I am not sure why PurplePincher recommended mashed up banana - your crab needs healing foods, which Motorcrab details in the thread that is linked above. You may need to hand feed this crab. And be prepared that he may not make it.
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." -Will Rogers

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soilentgringa
Posts: 4387
Joined: Sun Jul 20, 2014 5:18 pm
Location: Dallas, TX

Re: My hermit crab is handicapped! HELP

Post by soilentgringa » Fri Sep 13, 2019 1:16 pm

Surface molts are not normal and there shouldn't be multiple experiences with that in one crabitat.

Also, they need a varied diet of protein and plant matter, as well as calcium and chitin sources.

The care guides linked will be very helpful in providing good care and adequate nutrition for your crabs.


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JoeHermits
Posts: 561
Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2018 9:26 pm

Re: My hermit crab is handicapped! HELP

Post by JoeHermits » Fri Sep 13, 2019 2:59 pm

Hermit crabs need to dig to molt. For that reason the substrate must be six inches deep or greater.

Adequate saltwater is necessary for proper salts and minerals. Zoo Med hermit crab salt does not replicate ocean water and thus will not help them nutritionally. Any product made for marine fish will do it better for a lower price.

Always offer a variety of fruits, vegetables, grains, meats, and calcium sources. Hermit crabs are omnivores and require a variety of nutrients. Protein and calcium (think cuttlebone or egg shells) are especially important for molting properly.

As the others have stated, surface molts are no good. A hermit crab’s ability to molt is tied to receptors in its eyestalks. When those receptors detect light, a hormone is released that prevents the crab from molting. This is why they molt underground; it’s an adaptation to make sure they only molt when it’s safe to do so.

Releasing the anti-molting hormone for too long puts a lot of strain on the crab. In this case it may force itself to molt before the strain of not molting kills it. We call this a surface molt.

The fact that multiple crabs are surface molting means we need to crack down on what’s affecting their health and/or preventing proper molting procedures. Hermit crabs are anecdotally unlikely to survive multiple surface molts.


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