Lost leg and Claw

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Topic author
Jill86
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Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2020 7:26 am
Location: NC

Lost leg and Claw

Post by Jill86 » Thu Jun 18, 2020 8:16 am

I have a crab that lost a leg and purple claw! He was buried under the salt water bowl in what’s I think calcium sand. I saw the leg and claw, when I was resdistributing the substrate so that I could put the water bowl back without spillage. I could see the top of the crabs shell so I touched it and he moved. I put the water bowl back so as not to disturb him. I have four crabs and the other 3 seem fine, I always see them from time to time but not him. I can tell that when I wake up someone has dug out from under the water bowl I’m just not sure if it’s him or maybe someone else. I have read that calcium sand is not good for crabs (after the fact) but I don’t want to remove it if he’s molting. It doesn’t seem to negatively effect the others.Do I need to be concerned about this limb loss? Do I need to uncover him and see if he’s ok? This has been going on for like 3wks


1. What kind of substrate is used in your tank and how deep is it?
Coconut fiber on one side (3in.) Sand on the other also 3in, I think it’s the calcium sand from the pet store. I have read that this is not great and I’ve tried to remove some of it And replace it with coconut fiber substrate but there were at least three shells buried in it (with two crabs) and I did not want to disturb them.



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 do, it’s in right upper corner it usually reads between 60-90%



3. Is a heat source used in the tank? If so, what?
Two ZooMed heaters. I have two because my house stays very cool in the winter I turn one off in the summer the tank is usually between 70-85F



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)?

One salt water bowl one fresh water.
Zoo med dechlorinator 2-3 drops per cup of water, Thrive hermit crab soaking salt 1 teaspoon per cup.



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

Thrive hermit crab food medley, peaches, lettuce/spinach. Carrots,Bananas, honey. I replace food daily if it’s fruit and things, if it’s dry food or lettuce I might leave it two days or three tops.



6. How long have you had the crab and what species is it, if known? I think they all are PP the one who lost its pincher definitely is


7. Has your crab molted, and how long ago did it happen? They have all molted, and changed shells frequently. I kind of lose track of who is who because of this. I thought this guy was currently molting which is why I did not want to disturb him, but the lost claw has me concerned.


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 10 gallon tank with a screen lid but I cover half of it too keep the humidity and heat in



9. How many crabs are in the tank and about how large are they? 4 one is very small the other three have 3/4in shells maybe 1in? I bought a variety of non painted shell sizes


10. How many extra shells are usually kept in the tank, if any? 8 right now on top but there are probably two more inadvertently buried


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

I don’t think so?



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

I have had these crabs about a year I cleaned the cage once six months ago when all four were above ground. I took out all the substrate out, wipeD the tank out and replaced it with fresh stuff.I dipped the crabs to check for bugs. I was trying to do it again but there was always someone buried. So last week I clean off some of the substrate, tried to get some sand out and replaced it all with coco fiber substrate doing my best not to disturb those underneath.



13. Are sponges used in the water dish? If so, how are they cleaned?
Yes every so often I microwave them to kill bacteria.



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

I few months ago I added a fake tree log structure but the crabs seem to love it.



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.

I have a crab that lost a leg and purple claw! He was buried under the salt water bowl in what’s I think calcium sand. I saw the leg and claw, when I was resdistributing the substrate so that I could put the water bowl back without spillage. I could see the top of the crabs shell so I touched it and he moved. I put the water bowl back so as not to disturb him. I have four crabs and the other 3 seem fine, I always see them from time to time but not him. I can tell that when I wake up someone has dug out from under the water bowl I’m just not sure if it’s him or maybe someone else. I have read that calcium sand is not good for crabs (after the fact) but I don’t want to remove it if he’s molting. It doesn’t seem to negatively effect the others.Do I need to be concerned about this limb loss? Do I need to uncover him and see if he’s ok? This has been going on for like 3wks



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JoeHermits
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Re: Lost leg and Claw

Post by JoeHermits » Thu Jun 18, 2020 1:52 pm

If he’s been sitting under the dish for three weeks it would be helpful to see if the parts are indeed dropped limbs or just molt fragments. If there’s tissue inside of them they’re dropped, hollow they’re molt fragments.

Additionally, isolation would help protect him and make monitoring easier, especially if you can’t tell if he’s molting or not. If you can’t set up a spare tank a half water or soda bottle pressed into the substrate around him will work.

A few other notes:

Substrate height should be about triple the crab’s height. If the dish is the only thing separating him from the surface while buried you’ll need deeper substrate.

Humidity should be above 70% to prevent gill damage. 60% is touted as “tropical” but it’s lower than the hermies’ natural habitat.

Ocean water has over seventy different elements, many of which Thrive lack. A marine salt made for fish would provide a better salt source.


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Topic author
Jill86
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2020 7:26 am
Location: NC

Re: Lost leg and Claw

Post by Jill86 » Thu Jun 18, 2020 5:59 pm

Ohhhh I think the claw was hollow! I don’t have it anymore, should have saved it. I didn’t think they lost the claw during molting, I’m not sure why.
Usually my substrate is a bit deeper but after occasionally cleaning up it had become less, I have just added more on top so that he is completely covered. Do you think I should still isolate him? I don’t know if moving him if he is molting would stress him. I could do the bottle thing.

I usually have the humidity above 70% but occasionally it gets lower especially with dry heat in the winter.

I will definitely switch my salts!!!!
Thanks

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JoeHermits
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Re: Lost leg and Claw

Post by JoeHermits » Thu Jun 18, 2020 8:04 pm

Yes, isolating him would be good. The actual process has passed but his exoskeleton hasn’t fully hardened yet.

There is a brief period for a few days after a molt where they are too soft to handle safely, but if a few weeks have passed moving him won’t harm him. A bottle would work, as well, if you’re more comfortable with that.


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