surface molt

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srwalter
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surface molt

Post by srwalter » Tue Mar 17, 2020 9:54 pm

I have 2 crabs molting right now, one under ground (assuming he’s molting) and another surface molting under a coconut ornament. I don’t know what to do to protect him or why he chose to do this, the humidity is right temperature is also right eco earth is fresh and deep and obviously suitable for my other crab. I have a third crab (my tiniest) not molting and I’ve read about crabs eating other molting crabs so now I’m freaked out. help!!


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srwalter
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surface molt

Post by srwalter » Tue Mar 17, 2020 10:07 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? eco earth 6 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? the temperature is usually around 80 (82 on jumpstart thermostat) and the humidity is also usually 80 read on a gauge near the top of the tank.


3. Is a heat source used in the tank? If so, what? heat mat on side regulated by thermostat.


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 water pre mixed salt water and distilled fresh water

5. What kinds of food do you feed and how often is it replaced?
replaced daily, mealworms spinach river shrimp chicken strawberries chia seeds ect.

6. How long have you had the crab and what species is it, if known?
species unknown, roughly 3 months

7. Has your crab molted, and how long ago did it happen?
not to my knowledge

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

9. How many crabs are in the tank and about how large are they?
3 one small two small to medium

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

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

12. How often do you clean the tank and how?
surface clean as needed complete substrate change when it dries out.

13. Are sponges used in the water dish? If so, how are they cleaned?
yes, they are boiled and replaced completely when needed.

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.)?


16. Please describe the emergency situation in detail.
One of my crabs is molting on the surface under a coconut ornament. Another is buried so I’m assuming he’s molting and the smallest is normal right now. I’ve read that other crabs sometimes eat a surface molter and I don’t know what to do. I’m obviously not touching the molting crab and I don’t have a quarantine tank because I don’t bother my crab so I rarely know in advance of a molt. I would go get a separate tank for the non molting crab but with the corona virus pet stores aren’t open and I have pretty much no space as I have other pets in tanks taking up my whole room. Help !!!

.

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curlysister
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Re: surface molt

Post by curlysister » Tue Mar 17, 2020 10:47 pm

I merged your two threads because they are the same topic. Please see my suggestions below.


1. What kind of substrate is used in your tank and how deep is it? eco earth 6 inches
Curly - Many of us use a mix of 5 parts play sand to 1 part EE. It is easier for a beginner crabber, as it holds moisture well.

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 usually around 80 (82 on jumpstart thermostat) and the humidity is also usually 80 read on a gauge near the top of the tank.


3. Is a heat source used in the tank? If so, what? heat mat on side regulated by thermostat.


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 water pre mixed salt water and distilled fresh water
Curly - Distilled water is good for the fresh. But most pre-mixed hermit crab water is not appropriate. They need marine salt, most of us use the brand Instant Ocean, which comes dry and is mixed into the distilled or dechlorinated water to make the salt water. Dishes/ pools need to be deep enough that the crabs can fully submerge, but also have a way to climb out.

5. What kinds of food do you feed and how often is it replaced?
replaced daily, mealworms spinach river shrimp chicken strawberries chia seeds ect.
Curly - Hermit crabs need a varied diet, including calcium and protein sources daily. Be sure to check the food care sheets for info about nutrition and safe/ unsafe foods.

6. How long have you had the crab and what species is it, if known?
species unknown, roughly 3 months

7. Has your crab molted, and how long ago did it happen?
not to my knowledge

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

9. How many crabs are in the tank and about how large are they?
3 one small two small to medium

10. How many extra shells are usually kept in the tank, if any?
3 extra shells
Curly - HCA recommends 3-5 extra shells per crab. There are correct and incorrect shells to buy - check out the shell care sheet for info.

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

12. How often do you clean the tank and how?
surface clean as needed complete substrate change when it dries out.
Curly - Sub should not dry out. It needs to be kept moist enough to hold it's shape so crabs can make tunnels and caves that do not collapse. And you only need to do a complete change if there is an emergency like a flood or bacterial bloom.

13. Are sponges used in the water dish? If so, how are they cleaned?
yes, they are boiled and replaced completely when needed.
Curly - sponges only harbor bacteria when in water dishes. You can throw them out, or put them in the tank dry for the crabs to much on.

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.)?


16. Please describe the emergency situation in detail.
One of my crabs is molting on the surface under a coconut ornament. Another is buried so I’m assuming he’s molting and the smallest is normal right now. I’ve read that other crabs sometimes eat a surface molter and I don’t know what to do. I’m obviously not touching the molting crab and I don’t have a quarantine tank because I don’t bother my crab so I rarely know in advance of a molt. I would go get a separate tank for the non molting crab but with the corona virus pet stores aren’t open and I have pretty much no space as I have other pets in tanks taking up my whole room. Help !!!
Curly - Leave the buried crab, don't dig it up. The one who is surface molting needs to be isolated from the other crab, but it does not have to be in a separate tank. You can put a small yogurt or margarine container in there, and put the crab and his exo in it (you can gently scoop him into the container without touching him) - punch holes so the tank conditions are the same inside the container. Some people also use the pop bottle method where you cut down a 2L pop bottle and press it into the sub around the crab with the lid off, but you don't want to disturb the crab who is under so I would hesitate to do that. It isn't recommended to isolate a crab to molt - they can safely molt in the tank with the other crabs, as long as they have proper deep enough sub and the tank isn't over crowded with crabs. There are a few things you can improve in your tank, but because you haven't had them that long, the problems may still be from before you got him - see the care/ info sheet about PPS (post purchase syndrome). Once the iso'd crab has eaten his exo, you can give him some dishes (use lids from pop bottles because he will still be in his little iso) of salt and fresh water, and some foods with protein and calcium. Once he's moving around in the iso, he can be reintroduced into the tank. Keep asking questions, we are here to help.
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." -Will Rogers


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srwalter
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Re: surface molt

Post by srwalter » Tue Mar 17, 2020 10:53 pm

It’s also probably important to mention he appears to be out of his shell but greyish in color so I’m assuming it’s a molt. I’m gonna leave him alone tonight and then try the isolation using a container, thank you so much for the help!

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curlysister
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Re: surface molt

Post by curlysister » Tue Mar 17, 2020 11:32 pm

If he is out of his shell, he needs to be re-shelled ASAP. Put the crab and a couple of appropriate shells into a smallish dish, with a mm or two of fresh water in the bottom. Cover the dish (in the tank) and leave it for an hour or so. If he does not go back in the shell on his own, you will need to gently re-shell him manually. A naked crab will die. Crabs do not leave their shell to molt; they leave their shell because they are too weak to carry it.
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." -Will Rogers


Topic author
srwalter
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2019 4:44 pm
Location: NC

Re: surface molt

Post by srwalter » Wed Mar 18, 2020 7:44 am

how do I manually reshell him I’m very scared to touch him


Topic author
srwalter
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2019 4:44 pm
Location: NC

Re: surface molt

Post by srwalter » Wed Mar 18, 2020 8:15 am

Never mind pretty sure he died. Moved him into the water with shells and he didn’t move. I covered him with the container to give it time but I don’t understand why he can seem healthy and die and the internet is useless for finding answers.

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Crabby7Crabber
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Re: surface molt

Post by Crabby7Crabber » Wed Mar 18, 2020 9:00 am

I'm sorry to hear that :( I found this on another post Curly made -- "this is advice LadyJinglyJones gave another crabber who had a naked crab. "Try choosing a light shell with a round opening. If you hold him by the back and tap gently on his head while he's positioned over a shell, he may loosen up a bit." Gently guide him into the shell. After that, make sure to keep an eye on him so he doesn't ditch it again." Hope this helps! Thank Curly if it does!
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Re: surface molt

Post by FJrocks003 » Thu Mar 19, 2020 4:19 pm

I wouldn't assume death quite yet. Follow Curly's instructions and it might still turn out fine (I went through a similar intended a few months ago). Just wanted to add that with the number of crabs you have I would seriously consider moving them to a bigger tank, 20 gallon would be fine but 30 is ideal.
Every Crazy (but cool) Pet I Own: 20(ish) baby grey tree frogs, 4 rosy minnows (Spot, Mortan, Franny, and Splash), 1 checkered garter snake (Ember), 1 eastern garter snake (Clover), 1 ant colony (Queens: Night & Tiny), 1 dog (Rubix), and 3 hermit crabs (Fleck, Dilly, and Flame).

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FJrocks003
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Re: surface molt

Post by FJrocks003 » Thu Mar 19, 2020 4:21 pm

I have the same amount of crabs and they still live in a 10 gallon as well but I'm looking for a bigger option.
Every Crazy (but cool) Pet I Own: 20(ish) baby grey tree frogs, 4 rosy minnows (Spot, Mortan, Franny, and Splash), 1 checkered garter snake (Ember), 1 eastern garter snake (Clover), 1 ant colony (Queens: Night & Tiny), 1 dog (Rubix), and 3 hermit crabs (Fleck, Dilly, and Flame).

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curlysister
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Re: surface molt

Post by curlysister » Thu Mar 19, 2020 7:04 pm

The three crabs won't be too crowded yet, but will likely need an upgrade as they grow.
Here's the HCA guide to crab sizes / numbers / tank size:

viewtopic.php?f=26&t=92541
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." -Will Rogers

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