Is my crab dead? Cannibalism? Molting?

Please post here if you are having a crab care emergency! Use a real subject and not just "HELP!"
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w h a l e b o n e
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Is my crab dead? Cannibalism? Molting?

Post by w h a l e b o n e » Tue May 05, 2020 1:40 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? 1:5 EE and sand, 6 in ???


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? yes, digital, corner, usually temp 71/77, lately a little warmer, humidity 89-99%


3. Is a heat source used in the tank? If so, what? yes, UTH on back


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, ratio as recommended, instant ocean + seachem prime


5. What kinds of food do you feed and how often is it replaced? try to mix it up, I will admit, I'm horrible about remembering to feed, so usually 2x per week or whenever it starts to mold... mix of various grains, fresh foods, probably could do meat more often


6. How long have you had the crab and what species is it, if known? all are PPs, had it for 6 months


7. Has your crab molted, and how long ago did it happen? molted late december, may have possibly molted again


8. What type of housing are the crabs kept in, what size is it and what kind of lid is on the housing? 10g, screen lid w/ plastic wrap


9. How many crabs are in the tank and about how large are they? 3, 2 small, 1 medium


10. How many extra shells are usually kept in the tank, if any? 5? 6? I need to get more


11. Have there been any fumes or chemicals near the crabitat recently? not that I'm aware of


12. How often do you clean the tank and how? not really ever, just kind of some spot cleaning as I notice, clean out the water when it starts to look bad


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, except for 2 crabs a couple months ago


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. So I just got 2 new crabs a few months ago. and I just dug through some sand because it looked like there might be a potential cave in, and then I noticed that despite the air being humid, the sand was not moist and was really dry in some spots. I dug around to make sure no one was buried alive, and then found my original crab, or what was left of her. All I found was a shell with some exoskeleton... Is she dead? Or is it possible she's in another shell somewhere? I'm guessing what I feared happened and my other crabs found her and ate her. I'm honestly horrified. It smelled weird, but not like dead, rotting crabI think. Also there was a lot of dry sand around her and I think there may have been a cave in. But if she died of that wouldn't her body have been there? Also I hadn't seen her since like February.


.

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JoeHermits
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Re: Is my crab dead? Cannibalism? Molting?

Post by JoeHermits » Tue May 05, 2020 4:20 pm

Are you sure she’s not deep inside the shell?

Additionally, what parts of the exo you found matter. The ends of legs and claws get scattered and lost all the time. It’s if you find larger pieces, especially whole legs and the main body, that there is concern.


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Topic author
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Re: Is my crab dead? Cannibalism? Molting?

Post by w h a l e b o n e » Wed May 06, 2020 7:14 pm

JoeHermits wrote:
Tue May 05, 2020 4:20 pm
Are you sure she’s not deep inside the shell?

Additionally, what parts of the exo you found matter. The ends of legs and claws get scattered and lost all the time. It’s if you find larger pieces, especially whole legs and the main body, that there is concern.


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I'm positive she isn't in the shell. I washed it out (with dechlorinated water of course) and found just exo. I think there was definitely the whole main part of the big claw and an eye and some little ring segments that looked like leg parts where it connected to the body. Also, I know how big she is and I'm pretty sure she couldn't go any deeper in that shell. Also, I'm pretty sure there's no missing shells as far as I can tell, but I 'll check again. But thank you, this helped a lot, especially for the future.

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Re: Is my crab dead? Cannibalism? Molting?

Post by JoeHermits » Wed May 06, 2020 7:27 pm

If every shell is unoccupied and you have reason to believe she may be underground naked, then you may dig, since her soft abdomen is prone to get scraped up by the substrate, but only if you don’t have anyone else underground. Digging up every crab is going to be more pain than it’s worth.


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Re: Is my crab dead? Cannibalism? Molting?

Post by w h a l e b o n e » Thu May 07, 2020 12:37 pm

JoeHermits wrote:
Wed May 06, 2020 7:27 pm
If every shell is unoccupied and you have reason to believe she may be underground naked, then you may dig, since her soft abdomen is prone to get scraped up by the substrate, but only if you don’t have anyone else underground. Digging up every crab is going to be more pain than it’s worth.


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I did that and found no crab. I've checked every shell and dug all around as I added those extra 2 inches last night, and no crab. I think it's safe to say she's dead. I dug pretty thoroughly.
However, I did move the tank down to my desk as it was up on a dresser and I'm hoping it'll help me remember they exist more as I have ADD and a tendency to forget about things when I don't see them in an obvious place.
I honestly feel so bad because I was afraid this would happen when I bought my other 2 crabs and they started to dig around. She was in a spot under a cholla branch that was leaning and buried a little bit underground and the substrate was kinda dry there and she was buried just under the surface. It's very possible the other crabs found her and maybe there was a collapse I didn't see. I was already pretty worried as I hadn't seen her for months. She was honestly a great crab and she deserved a lot better care that I just couldn't give her yet being so inexperienced. Think I'll save the rest for the memorial page.
Also, I'm definitely going to order shells soon for the other 2 as I don't think any of them fit that well.

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Re: Is my crab dead? Cannibalism? Molting?

Post by Crabby7Crabber » Thu May 07, 2020 8:44 pm

w h a l e b o n e wrote:
Thu May 07, 2020 12:37 pm
I did that and found no crab. I've checked every shell and dug all around as I added those extra 2 inches last night, and no crab. I think it's safe to say she's dead. I dug pretty thoroughly.
However, I did move the tank down to my desk as it was up on a dresser and I'm hoping it'll help me remember they exist more as I have ADD and a tendency to forget about things when I don't see them in an obvious place.
I honestly feel so bad because I was afraid this would happen when I bought my other 2 crabs and they started to dig around. She was in a spot under a cholla branch that was leaning and buried a little bit underground and the substrate was kinda dry there and she was buried just under the surface. It's very possible the other crabs found her and maybe there was a collapse I didn't see. I was already pretty worried as I hadn't seen her for months. She was honestly a great crab and she deserved a lot better care that I just couldn't give her yet being so inexperienced. Think I'll save the rest for the memorial page.
Also, I'm definitely going to order shells soon for the other 2 as I don't think any of them fit that well.
So sorry, whalebone. Like I said in the chat, your memorial post was so sweet. I hope you feel better soon :love::
Three PPs (Hoodini, Aaron Burr, and Jubali)
R.I.P George Washington, Zero, Domino, Billy, Eduardo, Shelly, and Cosmo the dog

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