My crab keeps digging up a molter.

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FJrocks003
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My crab keeps digging up a molter.

Post by FJrocks003 » Sun Mar 01, 2020 8:49 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?
I have a mixture of coconut fiber and sand.

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?
The temperature is 86 and the humidity is 74.

3. Is a heat source used in the tank? If so, what?
I have to heat lamps, one just heat and one light and heat.

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)?
I have fresh and salt water, both are made with zoomeds brand dechlorinator.

5. What kinds of food do you feed and how often is it replaced?
I give them fresh fruits and veges, blood worms, mixed raw nuts and seeds, and live pill bugs.

6. How long have you had the crab and what species is it, if known?
I got the molting crab about a year ago and the one trying to dig it up about 2 months later. They are Caribbean crabs/Purple pinchers.

7. Has your crab molted, and how long ago did it happen?
One of them in molting and the other hasn't for a few months (he is over do for a molt).

8. What type of housing are the crabs kept in, what size is it and what kind of lid is on the housing?
They have a 10 gallon tank with a glass lid.

9. How many crabs are in the tank and about how large are they?
There are 3 crabs. The smallest is the size of a quarter (He is the one molting) the other 2 are about twice the size of him.

10. How many extra shells are usually kept in the tank, if any?
I usually have about 5 shells at a time, but I change them out regularly.

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


12. How often do you clean the tank and how?
Twice a month I remove everything an clean it.

13. Are sponges used in the water dish? If so, how are they cleaned?
I have a sponge in each dish and I clean them once a week by drying them then microwaving them for 30 seconds.

14. Has anything new been added to your crabitat recently?
I adopted a new crab about a week ago, she has settled in fine and I am not worried about her.

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.
One of my crabs (Dilly, the smallest crab) went down for a molt and about a week in my largest crab (Fleck) has been trying to dig him up. Fleck is very stubborn so whenever I move her she goes right back to dig Dilly up again. Dilly is in Fleck's favorite spot to molt so I worried that Fleck (now overdue for a molt) is trying to do a molt in the same spot as Dilly. My other crab, Flame, is terrified of people so I don't want to do anything that would scare him. PLEASE HELP! DILLY GETS REALLY STRESSED DURING NORMAL MOLTS AND I AM REALLY WORRIED THAT THE STRESS OF THIS COULD KILL HIM!!!

.
My 5 crabs: Dilly (purple pincher, medium-small), Flame (purple pincher, medium), Fleck (purple pincher, medium), Bubbles (blueberry, medium-large), Indigo (blueberry, large-extra large).

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Re: My crab keeps digging up a molter.

Post by Motörcrab » Sun Mar 01, 2020 10:09 am

I will try to assist you with the molting issue.
I have a few more questions about your set up that will help us determine a possible solution.

How deep is your substrate?
What is the consistency of the substrate?
If your substrate is only two or three inches deep a molting crab won't have enough of a barrier between them and the surface. When crabs molt they release a smell that other crabs find appealing. That draws other crabs to the molter's for a tasty snack. The HCA recommends 6 inches of substrate to allow plenty of room for a molter to bury in.

Your humidity is at the low side of the safe area for purple pinchers. Adding some plastic wrap under the lid can help raise the humidity. Be sure it isn't near your heat lamp where it can melt. A lower humidity can also be due to your substrate being too dry. It should be mixed to a sand castle consistency where it will clump together when squeezed together.

Sponges are no longer recommended for in water dishes. Most of us use plastic containers that are deep enough for the crabs to fully submerge. We also line the containers with crafting mesh to give them easy access in and out of the water.
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Re: My crab keeps digging up a molter.

Post by FJrocks003 » Sun Mar 01, 2020 10:25 am

Thank you for the advise with the water dishes. For the lid I have a glass lid that I am planning on using once I get a heat lamp that will fit it. The substrate is 3 parts play sand, 1 part coconut fiber. It is at a slope with the lower side 4 1/2 inches deep an the higher side 6 1/2. The molting crab is at the back corner of the higher part. Fleck fully dug him up this morning, for now I reburied him and moved Fleck to the other end of the tank.
My 5 crabs: Dilly (purple pincher, medium-small), Flame (purple pincher, medium), Fleck (purple pincher, medium), Bubbles (blueberry, medium-large), Indigo (blueberry, large-extra large).

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Re: My crab keeps digging up a molter.

Post by FJrocks003 » Sun Mar 01, 2020 10:46 am

Also just in case this helps i forgot to mention that on the lower side I have a huge mossy hut that the crabs can climb and hide inside. I also have some plants growing in the tank that the crabs like to snack on (spider plants, sesame plants, and baby fennel plants). I found all of these on the safe foods list. I am really worried about Dilly because he gets stressed out very easily and has had problems with molting before (I rescued him from a beach shop while he was trying to do a land molt).
My 5 crabs: Dilly (purple pincher, medium-small), Flame (purple pincher, medium), Fleck (purple pincher, medium), Bubbles (blueberry, medium-large), Indigo (blueberry, large-extra large).

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Re: My crab keeps digging up a molter.

Post by Motörcrab » Sun Mar 01, 2020 10:57 am

You should never rebury a dug up crab. They need to be able to make their own molting caves themselves.

Your best bet if the one is molting or ready to molt is to place him in an small isolation container. A small plastic container with a tight fitting lid, with air holes will work. Add a thin layer of substrate in the container with a cap full of both waters and some foods along with a makeshift hide to keep a dark area for him to feel protected. That will allow him to be protected while molting. You can do food and water changes as needed. If you do see him shedding his exo you will not have to change change food and waters until he is finished eating his exo. Once you see the exo has been eaten you can offer more waters and foods again. Once you notice movement they can be placed back into the tank.
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Re: My crab keeps digging up a molter.

Post by FJrocks003 » Sun Mar 01, 2020 11:05 am

Okay, thank you so much for responding so quickly. I have a few more questions before I get started. For the molting crab, should I leave him buried now or dig him up again? For the other crab, can I use the old mesh thing that I was given at a beach shop if I put plastic wrap around the walls to humidify it? Also, does this mean that I would be forcing a land molt?
My 5 crabs: Dilly (purple pincher, medium-small), Flame (purple pincher, medium), Fleck (purple pincher, medium), Bubbles (blueberry, medium-large), Indigo (blueberry, large-extra large).

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Re: My crab keeps digging up a molter.

Post by Motörcrab » Sun Mar 01, 2020 11:51 am

Did the molting crab appear to be very pink or light in color compared to normal? If he is normal in color he probably didn't start molting yet. It is usually not recommended to dig up or rebury molting crabs. Sometimes they will just hang out underground for days or weeks before starting to molt. He may have even dug away from where you placed him and started his own tunnel and cave. At that point I would consider him safe and no need to dig him up. Let me see if I can get another Mod or Admin with a little more experience to recommend the best procedure for your reburied crab.

The wire cage would work as an isolation container. I would just add a lid of some sort on the top to keep crabs from climbing in. You could keep that inside your regular crabitat to keep the heat and humidity normal. Depending on the condition of your current molter you can either isolate the attacking crab in this or put the molting crab inside to isolate him.
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Re: My crab keeps digging up a molter.

Post by Hermiesguardian » Sun Mar 01, 2020 12:26 pm

In the meantime, you can add an inch of substrate every 24hrs to the lower side. Just don't pat it down. And the HCA recommends 3-5 shells per crab. They also need calcium daily.
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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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Re: My crab keeps digging up a molter.

Post by Motörcrab » Sun Mar 01, 2020 1:29 pm

If you are willing to set up an isolation area as described above it will be best to dig up your molting crab. Here is some more information to assist you further. Keep us updated and we can try to give you more advice as needed.

Here is our guide for normal molting. Your molter is different because he was dug up and reburied.
viewtopic.php?f=23&t=92527

I would treat your crab as being attack. You DO NOT need to rinse the crab and shell. Just place inside the ISO tote away from other crabs.
viewtopic.php?f=27&t=92528
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Re: My crab keeps digging up a molter.

Post by FJrocks003 » Sun Mar 01, 2020 8:05 pm

I was checking the crabs this afternoon when I saw that one of my crabs (not sure if it was the molting one or one of the other two) had dug up the molter and left a giant hole in the soil on that side. I looked around and saw that all the crabs were hiding in their mossy hut. I think this is a good sign because the molter was able the move himself there. He didn't seem paler then usual but he did seem brighter. Hopefully all the crabs will be fine now but I still am worried that they will fight over that molting spot. For now they are all in the main tank, but I did set up an isolation area just in case they still both want that spot or the molter needs it.
My 5 crabs: Dilly (purple pincher, medium-small), Flame (purple pincher, medium), Fleck (purple pincher, medium), Bubbles (blueberry, medium-large), Indigo (blueberry, large-extra large).

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Re: My crab keeps digging up a molter.

Post by Hermiesguardian » Sun Mar 01, 2020 9:01 pm

FJrocks003 wrote:
Sun Mar 01, 2020 8:05 pm
I was checking the crabs this afternoon when I saw that one of my crabs (not sure if it was the molting one or one of the other two) had dug up the molter and left a giant hole in the soil on that side. I looked around and saw that all the crabs were hiding in their mossy hut. I think this is a good sign because the molter was able the move himself there. He didn't seem paler then usual but he did seem brighter. Hopefully all the crabs will be fine now but I still am worried that they will fight over that molting spot. For now they are all in the main tank, but I did set up an isolation area just in case they still both want that spot or the molter needs it.
As long as your substrate is deep enough, there's not just one molting spot. Crabs like to tunnel all over.
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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Re: My crab keeps digging up a molter.

Post by FJrocks003 » Mon Mar 02, 2020 6:41 am

Sorry if I was unclear when I said "the molting spot", what I meant was Dilly was in Fleck's favorite spot to molt (she always does her molts there) so when Fleck (now overdue for a molt) started digging there I thought she wanted to do a molt in the same spot Dilly was in.
My 5 crabs: Dilly (purple pincher, medium-small), Flame (purple pincher, medium), Fleck (purple pincher, medium), Bubbles (blueberry, medium-large), Indigo (blueberry, large-extra large).

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Re: My crab keeps digging up a molter.

Post by FJrocks003 » Mon Mar 02, 2020 6:48 am

I am now happy announce that this morning Dilly went back into his hole to start his molt over again and I have moved Fleck to the isolation area to begin her molt. I will still be keeping a close eye on both of them, but for now I am happy to announce that so far all has gone well. Thank you all for your help.
My 5 crabs: Dilly (purple pincher, medium-small), Flame (purple pincher, medium), Fleck (purple pincher, medium), Bubbles (blueberry, medium-large), Indigo (blueberry, large-extra large).


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Re: My crab keeps digging up a molter.

Post by Crabalicious » Mon Mar 02, 2020 9:58 am

Yay!

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Re: My crab keeps digging up a molter.

Post by purplepincher » Wed Mar 04, 2020 1:40 pm

goodgoodgoodgoodgood

undyed coral works good for calcium, as does cuttlebone.
both are cheap and can be found at most pet stores. also, make sure to have at least 2 hides

good luck!
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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