Sluggish crab stays in water, half out of shell

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Lizzykaykat
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2019 11:11 am

Sluggish crab stays in water, half out of shell

Post by Lizzykaykat » Mon Jun 08, 2020 10:34 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?

I have a 20H with 6 inches of 80% ecoearth and 20% play 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?

I have heat and humidity gauges, heat ranges from 80-85 and humidity ranges from 70-85


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

A heat mat is attached to the back of the tank, I forget the name but its the kind recommend in the care info, with the copper threading and such.


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 treat my freshwater with reptisafe (as directed on the bottle) and it's about 4c with an aerator. I get Imagitarium (Petco brand) premixed saltwater (purified water from the Pacific they claim) and my salt "bowl" is a gallon (I noticed they really love climbing in it so I got a big one early on) with a small heater (water stays between 70 and 80) and aerator. I top off the evaporated water with treated freshwater and daily. I change the freshwater bowl weekly and the saltwater bowl monthly.


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

I have a variety of premixed foods from The Hermit Crab Patch and Hermies Kitchen (probably a total of 10 premixed recipes) as well we various seed mixes, flower mixes and ordered leaves. I offer calcium at all times and recently ran out of my mineral supplement but they've had it in the tank lately. I try to change the food out every three days or sooner if I notice mold or if the food is gone.


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

I've had crabs for about a year and a half, the crab of concern for about a year. He is very red, so we jokingly call him our Strawberry, but that species is not confirmed.

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

He has had several molts, the most recent within the last two months.


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

They are in a 20 gallon high and has a plastic fish tank lid with light (the LED bulbs with the front half of the lid opening) extra gaps are covered with foil and tape

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

We've only recently seen 4 crabs but we believe we have 6. 2 are about half the size of a baseball and the rest are smaller than the first joint of my thumb.

I believe my tank is too small for 6 crabs, we had 4 as of last week but decided to rescue two a few days ago. We have a 65 gal we are putting together but are waiting to get everything in it to the right conditions before we move anyone over.


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

I rotate around 100, there are currently around 20

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

No, but we moved homes about a month ago, which would have caused some distress, I imagine.


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

I remove all decorations monthly to check for molding food. At this time I change out the moss and wipe down all smooth surfaces with a clean paper towel. I also have isopods to help with the poo.

13. Are sponges used in the water dish? If so, how are they cleaned?

No, I have sand in my salt tank (super naturals brand) and marbles in my fresh tank. I replace the sand yearly, clean everything monthly.

14. Has anything new been added to your crabitat recently?

Two of our small crabs were added two days ago (rescues) but they immediately went down to molt, this guy has been up for at least a month.


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 try not to interact with the babies, understanding my job is more of a conservation effort. They have plenty of climbing/running room but all my babies just like to hang out in their hides... I don't blame them.

16. Please describe the emergency situation in detail.

Our crab, Mahogany, is not typically a very show-y crab. He spends most of his time either in a cave where he can see us but we can't see him, or in the moss corner of the tank, under a piece of driftwood that makes the area cozy and dark. The last few days Mahogany has been almost exclusively sitting on the netting between our salt and fresh water pools. At first we were excited to see him out and about, thought he may be more comfortable or like the "view" in his new location. I noticed today, though, as I moved him to change the water that he was very sluggish. I don't pick him up often (ya know, hermies) but when I do he hides immediately and doesn't come out until several minutes after I've returned him home. Today he not only stayed out of his shell, but didn't retreat until I accidentally touched him, and even then was very sluggish about it. I thought this might have been a one time thing so when I noticed him "hanging out" again I gently reached in and touched the netting next to his claw and then his shell- no reaction. As I pulled my hand away he ducked down a bit, and twitched his little antenna but otherwise no reaction. He spends a lot of time IN the freshwater pool but looking at the salt pool (maybe he likes the bubbles?). While he sits above the pools he comes out of his shell pretty far. I can see all of his thorax and one of his little tiny short arms that they use to grab the shell. He still seems to be able to grasp the netting and climb in and out of pools okay as well as travel for food once every few days.

I've searched previous topics that include a sluggish crab hanging out of his shell/in water, most answers I've found are:
- they're dying, you can't help (they can't molt, old age, too much stress, etc)
- humidity's too low (so they want to be in the pools)
- incurable mystery disease (gill problems, internal parasite, etc)

I don't know how to post pictures in this forum but will post a pic of his state as soon as I do.

Thanks for any and all help.

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JoeHermits
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Re: Sluggish crab stays in water, half out of shell

Post by JoeHermits » Mon Jun 08, 2020 10:50 pm

I don’t see anything wrong with your setup, although do note that the current formula for ReptiSafe doesn’t neutralize heavy metals.

Otherwise I would keep an eye on him for now. There’s not really much that can be done.


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Topic author
Lizzykaykat
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2019 11:11 am

Re: Sluggish crab stays in water, half out of shell

Post by Lizzykaykat » Mon Jun 08, 2020 11:36 pm

Mahogany has now vacated his shell, I don't have an iso tank set up but I have him in a comfortable corner with shells where his surfaced brother probably won't bother him. So sad to see him deteriorating so quickly 🤧

Thank you, moderator, for mentioning that reptisafe does not remove heavy metals. I definitely missed that. I've added a normal aquarium conditioner that does remove heavy metals to both my pools.


Topic author
Lizzykaykat
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Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2019 11:11 am

Re: Sluggish crab stays in water, half out of shell

Post by Lizzykaykat » Tue Jun 09, 2020 8:44 am

Mahogany passed last night. May he rest in peace and find love and care on the shores of his next life ❤️💔🌊

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Hermielover121
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Re: Sluggish crab stays in water, half out of shell

Post by Hermielover121 » Tue Jun 09, 2020 10:58 am

I am so sorry
I guess no one really saw your post. I wish you and your crabbies a great rest of the day and Mahogany a peaceful life up there.


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GotButterflies
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Re: Sluggish crab stays in water, half out of shell

Post by GotButterflies » Tue Jun 09, 2020 1:14 pm

I responded GB for GotButterflies.
Lizzykaykat wrote:
Mon Jun 08, 2020 10:34 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?

I have a 20H with 6 inches of 80% ecoearth and 20% play sand

GB: IMO, for purple pinchers substrate should be 6 inches or 3 times the height of your largest crab (whichever is deeper). If you have Es substrate should be at least 10-12”. Substrate should be mixed with dechlorinated marine saltwater or dechlorinated freshwater to make the substrate sandcastle consistency. I personally mix mine with dechlorinated marine saltwater.


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 heat and humidity gauges, heat ranges from 80-85 and humidity ranges from 70-85

GB: What kind of gauges do you have? IMO analog aren't reliable. IMO, minimum humidity 80. Hermit crabs have modified gills and need the humidity to breathe. If you are interested, You can buy a digital Acurite guage from Amazon, digital, runs on batteries, tells you temp and humidity currently as well as low and high for last 24 hours: https://smile.amazon.com/AcuRite-00325- ... 184&sr=8-2

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

A heat mat is attached to the back of the tank, I forget the name but its the kind recommend in the care info, with the copper threading and such.

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 treat my freshwater with reptisafe (as directed on the bottle) and it's about 4c with an aerator. I get Imagitarium (Petco brand) premixed saltwater (purified water from the Pacific they claim) and my salt "bowl" is a gallon (I noticed they really love climbing in it so I got a big one early on) with a small heater (water stays between 70 and 80) and aerator. I top off the evaporated water with treated freshwater and daily. I change the freshwater bowl weekly and the saltwater bowl monthly.

GB: You need a dechlorinator that removes 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. 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?

I have a variety of premixed foods from The Hermit Crab Patch and Hermies Kitchen (probably a total of 10 premixed recipes) as well we various seed mixes, flower mixes and ordered leaves. I offer calcium at all times and recently ran out of my mineral supplement but they've had it in the tank lately. I try to change the food out every three days or sooner if I notice mold or if the food is gone.

GB: Hermit crabs can eat a lot of the same things that we eat. Just check to make sure the item is on the safe list. Foods should be organic when possible. Hermit crabs are sensitive to pesticides and fertilizers.
You also want to provide one or more calcium sources at a time. Examples would be Cuttlebone, Organic Eggshell, Oyster Shell, Lobster Exo, Shrimp Exo.
Make sure you cover all aspects of food pyramid :)
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?

I've had crabs for about a year and a half, the crab of concern for about a year. He is very red, so we jokingly call him our Strawberry, but that species is not confirmed.

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

He has had several molts, the most recent within the last two months.

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

They are in a 20 gallon high and has a plastic fish tank lid with light (the LED bulbs with the front half of the lid opening) extra gaps are covered with foil and tape

GB: I would cover the openings with press n seal. My guess is you don't have enough humidity in your tank.

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

We've only recently seen 4 crabs but we believe we have 6. 2 are about half the size of a baseball and the rest are smaller than the first joint of my thumb.

I believe my tank is too small for 6 crabs, we had 4 as of last week but decided to rescue two a few days ago. We have a 65 gal we are putting together but are waiting to get everything in it to the right conditions before we move anyone over.


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

I rotate around 100, there are currently around 20

GB: Here is the shell guide: http://hermitcrabassociation.com/phpBB/ ... 24&t=92552


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

No, but we moved homes about a month ago, which would have caused some distress, I imagine.


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

I remove all decorations monthly to check for molding food. At this time I change out the moss and wipe down all smooth surfaces with a clean paper towel. I also have isopods to help with the poo.

13. Are sponges used in the water dish? If so, how are they cleaned?

No, I have sand in my salt tank (super naturals brand) and marbles in my fresh tank. I replace the sand yearly, clean everything monthly.

14. Has anything new been added to your crabitat recently?

Two of our small crabs were added two days ago (rescues) but they immediately went down to molt, this guy has been up for at least a month.


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 try not to interact with the babies, understanding my job is more of a conservation effort. They have plenty of climbing/running room but all my babies just like to hang out in their hides... I don't blame them.

16. Please describe the emergency situation in detail.

Our crab, Mahogany, is not typically a very show-y crab. He spends most of his time either in a cave where he can see us but we can't see him, or in the moss corner of the tank, under a piece of driftwood that makes the area cozy and dark. The last few days Mahogany has been almost exclusively sitting on the netting between our salt and fresh water pools. At first we were excited to see him out and about, thought he may be more comfortable or like the "view" in his new location. I noticed today, though, as I moved him to change the water that he was very sluggish. I don't pick him up often (ya know, hermies) but when I do he hides immediately and doesn't come out until several minutes after I've returned him home. Today he not only stayed out of his shell, but didn't retreat until I accidentally touched him, and even then was very sluggish about it. I thought this might have been a one time thing so when I noticed him "hanging out" again I gently reached in and touched the netting next to his claw and then his shell- no reaction. As I pulled my hand away he ducked down a bit, and twitched his little antenna but otherwise no reaction. He spends a lot of time IN the freshwater pool but looking at the salt pool (maybe he likes the bubbles?). While he sits above the pools he comes out of his shell pretty far. I can see all of his thorax and one of his little tiny short arms that they use to grab the shell. He still seems to be able to grasp the netting and climb in and out of pools okay as well as travel for food once every few days.

I've searched previous topics that include a sluggish crab hanging out of his shell/in water, most answers I've found are:
- they're dying, you can't help (they can't molt, old age, too much stress, etc)
- humidity's too low (so they want to be in the pools)
- incurable mystery disease (gill problems, internal parasite, etc)

I don't know how to post pictures in this forum but will post a pic of his state as soon as I do.

Thanks for any and all help.

GB: My guess is your humidity is too low. Especially with the type of lid you have on your tank.
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

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Re: Sluggish crab stays in water, half out of shell

Post by GotButterflies » Tue Jun 09, 2020 1:15 pm

Lizzykaykat wrote:
Tue Jun 09, 2020 8:44 am
Mahogany passed last night. May he rest in peace and find love and care on the shores of his next life ❤️💔🌊
I'm very sorry that your crabbie passed. I responded to your post so that you can help improve your conditions.
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

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