Shell Evacuation and possible lethargy

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SuggestedContent
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Shell Evacuation and possible lethargy

Post by SuggestedContent » Fri May 29, 2020 5:30 pm

Hi Everyone, Thanks so much for reading! I have a crab that evacuated her shell this morning, and while she’s back in now I just wanted to get some further advice! All the details are at the bottom.


1. What kind of substrate is used in your tank and how deep is it?

70:30 Eco earth:play sand. It’s about 4-7inches deep.


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?

Combination analog Temp humidity gauge, hanging an inch above the substrate near the UTHs. It reads pretty steady at 75% humidity, and ranges from 70-80F.

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

Two ZooMed UTHs, one 6x8” and one 4x5”

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)?

Dechlorinated Fresh and Saltwater both available in dishes they can submerge/climb in.

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

They get fresh fruit, fish flakes which they love, occasional raw meat, and frozen brine shrimp.


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

2 purple pinchers, I’ve had them both about 3 months.

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

She went down Mid April, and came up two weeks ago. Overall down for less than a month.


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 aquarium with a glass lid.

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

2, both about the same size somewhere near small. Both crabs fit in a shell with an aperture of less than 1”

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

8, I haven’t been able to find more due to COVID-19.


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

Not to my knowledge.

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

I replace the water once a week, the food about every other day.

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?

I added a moss pit to stabilize the humidity last week.

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.)?

I spray the burlap, moss wall, and moss pit with dechlorinated freshwater to maintain humidity. I only have to do this if the lid is left open for an extended period of time.

16. Please describe the emergency situation in detail.

The crab in question, Kara has been much more lethargic and quiet than my other crab. She very rarely climbs, usually only doing it before we have rain. Normally she snacks on whatever food is out, stretches her legs a bit and chills out. In the last few days, she’s been 100% more active, climbing and exploring and reaching her legs into both water dishes.

Last night she tried on a new shell, but this morning I found she was in her shell but had not moved. A few hours later I found her naked sitting among the empty shells. The other crab seemed suspiciously interested in her, so I isolated her in some warm freshwater and four different shells, including her new and old shells.

In isolation, she seemed very active, alert, and obviously scared as I don’t normally handle them. She got back into her shell after about 15 minutes so I put her back in the tank.

I left them some honey and brine shrimp, which Kara has ignored and the other crab quickly ran to. Since I added her into the tank she’s been sitting by the water dishes. Now I’m questioning whether her slow crawl as compared to Barry my other crab, is a sign of some kind of weakness?

I also found exactly 1 small fast moving beige mite on Kara when I first got her. I haven’t seen any more mites since.

Is there any reason for Kara to have left her shell? Is there anything further I can do or provide for her?

Thanks so much for any help guys!

.

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Hermielover121
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Re: Shell Evacuation and possible lethargy

Post by Hermielover121 » Fri May 29, 2020 6:07 pm

The substrate should be at least 6” everywhere or 3x as much as your biggest crab. I am sorry that I can’t say anything else I am not an expert I am sure someone else will be more help. Wish you and your crabs well


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CrabbyLover77
Posts: 1309
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Re: Shell Evacuation and possible lethargy

Post by CrabbyLover77 » Fri May 29, 2020 8:26 pm

Hi! I'll put my answers under yours. Hopefully it will help.
SuggestedContent wrote:Hi Everyone, Thanks so much for reading! I have a crab that evacuated her shell this morning, and while she’s back in now I just wanted to get some further advice! All the details are at the bottom.


1. What kind of substrate is used in your tank and how deep is it?

70:30 Eco earth:play sand. It’s about 4-7inches deep.

CL77- Like Hermie said, your substrate should be at least 6" deep everywhere, or 3x the height of your largest crabby.


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?

Combination analog Temp humidity gauge, hanging an inch above the substrate near the UTHs. It reads pretty steady at 75% humidity, and ranges from 70-80F.

CL77- 70 degs is a little cold. A more ideal temp range is 75-85 degs. Any colder than this and crabs will become less active/lethargic.

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

Two ZooMed UTHs, one 6x8” and one 4x5”

CL77- I've heard that Zoo Med uth's aren't very efficient. A better choice is an Ultratherm uth. Are the pads located above the substrate line?

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)?

Dechlorinated Fresh and Saltwater both available in dishes they can submerge/climb in.

CL77- What kind of salt do you use for your salt pool?

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

They get fresh fruit, fish flakes which they love, occasional raw meat, and frozen brine shrimp.

CL77- It sounds like you have enough protein in the diet. Do you offer any type of calcium? Calcium should always be available. Cuttlebone, calcium powder, eggshells, and crab exo are good sources of calcium.


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

2 purple pinchers, I’ve had them both about 3 months.

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

She went down Mid April, and came up two weeks ago. Overall down for less than a month.


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 aquarium with a glass lid.

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

2, both about the same size somewhere near small. Both crabs fit in a shell with an aperture of less than 1”

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

8, I haven’t been able to find more due to COVID-19.


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

Not to my knowledge.

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

I replace the water once a week, the food about every other day.

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?

I added a moss pit to stabilize the humidity last week.

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.)?

I spray the burlap, moss wall, and moss pit with dechlorinated freshwater to maintain humidity. I only have to do this if the lid is left open for an extended period of time.

16. Please describe the emergency situation in detail.

The crab in question, Kara has been much more lethargic and quiet than my other crab. She very rarely climbs, usually only doing it before we have rain. Normally she snacks on whatever food is out, stretches her legs a bit and chills out. In the last few days, she’s been 100% more active, climbing and exploring and reaching her legs into both water dishes.

Last night she tried on a new shell, but this morning I found she was in her shell but had not moved. A few hours later I found her naked sitting among the empty shells. The other crab seemed suspiciously interested in her, so I isolated her in some warm freshwater and four different shells, including her new and old shells.

In isolation, she seemed very active, alert, and obviously scared as I don’t normally handle them. She got back into her shell after about 15 minutes so I put her back in the tank.

I left them some honey and brine shrimp, which Kara has ignored and the other crab quickly ran to. Since I added her into the tank she’s been sitting by the water dishes. Now I’m questioning whether her slow crawl as compared to Barry my other crab, is a sign of some kind of weakness?

I also found exactly 1 small fast moving beige mite on Kara when I first got her. I haven’t seen any more mites since.

Is there any reason for Kara to have left her shell? Is there anything further I can do or provide for her?

Thanks so much for any help guys!

CL77- If your temp is getting down to 70, that can cause crabs to be a bit lethargic/less active and maybe stressed. A lack of calcium, especially after molting, can also be an issue. Since she was so eager to hop in a shell when she was isolated, I'm thinking the more likely culprit may have been an attempted shell jacking by the other crab. Did you previously notice any aggressive behavior between your two crabs?

.


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My Pets: 1 Pomeranian, 1 Russian tortoise, fishes/snails(40 gal freshwater aquarium), and 4 hermit crabs.
"Animals are my friends, and I don’t eat my friends".
-George Bernard Shaw


Topic author
SuggestedContent
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Joined: Thu Mar 26, 2020 12:12 am

Re: Shell Evacuation and possible lethargy

Post by SuggestedContent » Sat May 30, 2020 6:32 am

Thanks for the advice! I should have been more specific, the substrate is for the most part 6” deep, but I’ve made a bit of a gradient in a small area to dissuade digging around the water pools. (I use instant ocean for the SW pool btw)

I’ll take a look at replacing the UTHs for a better brand, I was the 70F at night was okay for them.

I do have oyster shells for their calcium, but I could totally add eggshells or cuttlebone for easier access.

I haven’t noticed any overtly aggressive behaviour beyond the occasional antennae battle or leg flicking. For the most part these crabs ignore each other, and give each other a very wide berth. A shell jacking wouldn’t be out of the question but it would surprise me. Especially as Barry has shown no interest in the shells nor Kara. If a shell jacking was the issue, how could I prevent this, past getting more shells?

Kara has been spending most of her time at the water dishes since her little event which worries me. I should also mention, her original shell was lacquered, and post molt she switched into a much smaller shell (actually Barry’s original shell) which is what she wears now.

Thanks again for your help!

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CrabbyLover77
Posts: 1309
Joined: Sun Aug 04, 2019 11:30 pm
Location: PA

Re: Shell Evacuation and possible lethargy

Post by CrabbyLover77 » Sat May 30, 2020 11:38 am


SuggestedContent wrote:Thanks for the advice! I should have been more specific, the substrate is for the most part 6” deep, but I’ve made a bit of a gradient in a small area to dissuade digging around the water pools. (I use instant ocean for the SW pool btw)

I’ll take a look at replacing the UTHs for a better brand, I was the 70F at night was okay for them.

I do have oyster shells for their calcium, but I could totally add eggshells or cuttlebone for easier access.

I haven’t noticed any overtly aggressive behaviour beyond the occasional antennae battle or leg flicking. For the most part these crabs ignore each other, and give each other a very wide berth. A shell jacking wouldn’t be out of the question but it would surprise me. Especially as Barry has shown no interest in the shells nor Kara. If a shell jacking was the issue, how could I prevent this, past getting more shells?

Kara has been spending most of her time at the water dishes since her little event which worries me. I should also mention, her original shell was lacquered, and post molt she switched into a much smaller shell (actually Barry’s original shell) which is what she wears now.

Thanks again for your help!
You're welcome! Your tank conditions sound pretty good, that's why I was thinking it might have been a shell jacking attempt. But you mentioned that her original shell was lacquered. I'm wondering if the coating on the shell was making her uncomfortable, especially since she switched from that shell. Did you remove the lacquered one from the tank? If you haven't and no one's in it, I would get rid of it.
What kind of shells do you have available for them? PPs prefer shells with round openings. The way to avoid a shell jacking, just in case, is to have a good variety of sizes for each crabby (and the appropriate type of shells). I always try to have shells that are a bit smaller, equal size, and a bit bigger, than what each crab is currently in.
As for spending more time at the water dish, maybe she is trying to replenish the water she carries in her shell (since she recently switched). I'm def not sure about this though, it just a thought.

Hope Kara is doing ok today!

Sent from my Moto G (5) Plus using Tapatalk

My Pets: 1 Pomeranian, 1 Russian tortoise, fishes/snails(40 gal freshwater aquarium), and 4 hermit crabs.
"Animals are my friends, and I don’t eat my friends".
-George Bernard Shaw

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GotButterflies
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Re: Shell Evacuation and possible lethargy

Post by GotButterflies » Sat May 30, 2020 4:32 pm

Hello - I responded with GB for GotButterflies
SuggestedContent wrote:
Fri May 29, 2020 5:30 pm
Hi Everyone, Thanks so much for reading! I have a crab that evacuated her shell this morning, and while she’s back in now I just wanted to get some further advice! All the details are at the bottom.


1. What kind of substrate is used in your tank and how deep is it?

70:30 Eco earth:play sand. It’s about 4-7inches deep.

GB: Great! Substrate should be 6 inches or 3 times the height of your largest crab (whichever is deeper). It should also be mixed with dechlorinated marine saltwater or dechlorinated freshwater to make the substrate sandcastle consistency


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?

Combination analog Temp humidity gauge, hanging an inch above the substrate near the UTHs. It reads pretty steady at 75% humidity, and ranges from 70-80F.

GB: I personally recommend a minimum of 80% or higher of humidity. For heat I recommend a minimum of 80 degrees as well. I personally don't allow my tanks to get above 85/86 degrees and below 78 at night.

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

Two ZooMed UTHs, one 6x8” and one 4x5”

GB: Do you have the heat sources on the back or side of the tanks to heat the air?

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)?

Dechlorinated Fresh and Saltwater both available in dishes they can submerge/climb in.

GB: Does your dechlorinator remove chlorine, and chloramine as well as neutralizes ammonia and heavy metals. A lot of us use a product called Prime. As far as salt, you need marine salt, to mimic the ocean. A lot of us use a product called Instant Ocean which is what aquarium hobbyists use to make saltwater aquariums. It has the essential trace elements that hermit crabs need. :) You have to use the dechlorinator for both freshwater and marine saltwater. Both pools should be deep enough for them to fully submerge in and safe enough for them to get out of.

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

They get fresh fruit, fish flakes which they love, occasional raw meat, and frozen brine shrimp.

GB: Make sure you cover all aspects of food pyramid :) Foods should be organic when possible. Hermit crabs are sensitive to pesticides and fertilizers.
Make sure you provide a lot of calcium sources.
Safe food list: http://hermitcrabassociation.com/phpBB/ ... 25&t=92557
Unsafe food list: http://hermitcrabassociation.com/phpBB/ ... 25&t=92556
Food pyramid: http://hermitcrabassociation.com/phpBB/ ... 25&t=92554



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

2 purple pinchers, I’ve had them both about 3 months.

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

She went down Mid April, and came up two weeks ago. Overall down for less than a month.

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 aquarium with a glass lid.

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

2, both about the same size somewhere near small. Both crabs fit in a shell with an aperture of less than 1”

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

8, I haven’t been able to find more due to COVID-19.


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

Not to my knowledge.

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

I replace the water once a week, the food about every other day.

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?

I added a moss pit to stabilize the humidity last week.

GB: Is the moss organic?

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.)?

I spray the burlap, moss wall, and moss pit with dechlorinated freshwater to maintain humidity. I only have to do this if the lid is left open for an extended period of time.

16. Please describe the emergency situation in detail.

The crab in question, Kara has been much more lethargic and quiet than my other crab. She very rarely climbs, usually only doing it before we have rain. Normally she snacks on whatever food is out, stretches her legs a bit and chills out. In the last few days, she’s been 100% more active, climbing and exploring and reaching her legs into both water dishes.

Last night she tried on a new shell, but this morning I found she was in her shell but had not moved. A few hours later I found her naked sitting among the empty shells. The other crab seemed suspiciously interested in her, so I isolated her in some warm freshwater and four different shells, including her new and old shells.

In isolation, she seemed very active, alert, and obviously scared as I don’t normally handle them. She got back into her shell after about 15 minutes so I put her back in the tank.

I left them some honey and brine shrimp, which Kara has ignored and the other crab quickly ran to. Since I added her into the tank she’s been sitting by the water dishes. Now I’m questioning whether her slow crawl as compared to Barry my other crab, is a sign of some kind of weakness?

I also found exactly 1 small fast moving beige mite on Kara when I first got her. I haven’t seen any more mites since.

Is there any reason for Kara to have left her shell? Is there anything further I can do or provide for her?

Thanks so much for any help guys!

.
Truly blessed to have incredible creatures, wonderful friends and my amazing family in my life!! I'm very thankful & grateful for all of them! www.thehealthyhermit.com


Topic author
SuggestedContent
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Mar 26, 2020 12:12 am

Re: Shell Evacuation and possible lethargy

Post by SuggestedContent » Sat May 30, 2020 11:49 pm

Thanks for your advice Butterflies! I’d like to say I’ve been following your crab breeding threads, and I’m so impressed by your efforts!

I think the main issue in the tank at this point is the lack of heat. My UTHs are on the back, but I’m looking into buying a larger replacement for the second smaller UTH.

I’m also curious how you regulate heat below 85 on summer days?

The moss used in the pit is the flukers “live moss” purchased on amazon. I’m not entirely sure if it is organic, I figured it’s safe as it’s marketed toward hermit crabs. (Although I know that can often be quite the opposite!) The fruit I provide is pesticide free and washed.

Unfortunately, Kara did die this morning. I found her limp and falling out of her shell, but I kept her isolated under a bottle just in case, and came back to a very fishy smell this evening. I’m still unsure as to how this happened and any explanations would be welcome!

The death of animal is hard, but I’m in problem solving mode to make sure Barry stays healthy. I’m also curious if I should purchase/rescue another similar sized crab to keep Barry company. However I’m averse to introducing another crab to a potentially precarious situation.

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