MOLTING ISSUE?!?

Please post here if you are having a crab care emergency! Use a real subject and not just "HELP!"
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nasghari
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MOLTING ISSUE?!?

Post by nasghari » Tue Jun 23, 2020 8:40 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? 4-5 inches. Loose coconut fiber and sand mixture.


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? No, it broke a week ago - but its usually 70-80 degrees and around 50-80% humidity (depending on time of day and when I spray it down)


3. Is a heat source used in the tank? If so, what? yes, I use heat pads on one side of my tank


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. I use all living things water conditioner.


5. What kinds of food do you feed and how often is it replaced? replaced every couple days. They get a good plate of nutrition (proteins - like dried krill, dried shrimp, mealworms; fruits & veggies- like apples, carrots, blueberries, spinach; calcium - like eggshells or crushed oyster shells; other - like hemp seeds, chia seeds, safe flowers)


6. How long have you had the crab and what species is it, if known? Had it for about a year. I'm not sure what species it is.


7. Has your crab molted, and how long ago did it happen? Not yet- this would be its first molt.


8. What type of housing are the crabs kept in, what size is it and what kind of lid is on the housing? I have four crabs, and they're in a 50 gallon EXO TERRA tank with a mesh lid.


9. How many crabs are in the tank and about how large are they? 4. One large, three medium.


10. How many extra shells are usually kept in the tank, if any? about 13 shells


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


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


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


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.)? this crab I will be talking about below is my shy crab. He comes out to eat when no one else is out eating. He's like an introvert basically.


16. Please describe the emergency situation in detail. One of my medium sized crabs decided to molt above the substrate (it's his first molt since I've had him - I picked him up at a beach side store last year). Because there are three other crabs in the tank, I covered the molting crab with a 2L bottletop to keep others from harming him. The crab seems to be about 1 week into the molt, and he has shed a good majority of his exoskeleton. However, during the molt, he seems to have completely taken off his large claw and another leg. On top of this, he 'woke up' in the middle of the molt and attempted to find an escape from the bottle's boundaries - clearly he wasn't expecting to be surrounded by a bottle upon waking up. He still has some exoskeleton that hasn't come off a couple of his legs and are just attached to him. I decided to move him and the remaining exoskeleton that was in the substrate into an isolation tank. He is currently in the ISO tank, BUT I just want to know if 1) this is normal during a molt? This has never happened with my other crabs - they have all molted under substrate. 2) will he continue to molt in this ISO tank? (and ideally shed the rest of the exoskeleton that is stuck onto his legs) 3) Will he grow back the legs he took off? (and did he take them off because of the stress of the above-substrate molt?) 4) did I disrupt his molt by moving him?
PLEASE give me any advice or info. I am so worried.


.

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curlysister
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Re: MOLTING ISSUE?!?

Post by curlysister » Tue Jun 23, 2020 10:35 pm

1. What kind of substrate is used in your tank and how deep is it? 4-5 inches. Loose coconut fiber and sand mixture.
Curly - Is it moistened to sand castle 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? No, it broke a week ago - but its usually 70-80 degrees and around 50-80% humidity (depending on time of day and when I spray it down)
Curly - 50% is far too low. Crabs have modified gills and need the humidity over 75% to be able to breathe. You need to replace the hygrometer/ thermometer as soon as possible. Do you have a lid on your tank? That can help keep humidity in. If you don't have a lid, you can put Saran wrap (plastic wrap) over the top.

3. Is a heat source used in the tank? If so, what? yes, I use heat pads on one side of my tank


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. I use all living things water conditioner.
Curly - What brand do you use for salt water?

5. What kinds of food do you feed and how often is it replaced? replaced every couple days. They get a good plate of nutrition (proteins - like dried krill, dried shrimp, mealworms; fruits & veggies- like apples, carrots, blueberries, spinach; calcium - like eggshells or crushed oyster shells; other - like hemp seeds, chia seeds, safe flowers)


6. How long have you had the crab and what species is it, if known? Had it for about a year. I'm not sure what species it is.


7. Has your crab molted, and how long ago did it happen? Not yet- this would be its first molt.
Curly - It is unusual that he has not molted in an entire year.

8. What type of housing are the crabs kept in, what size is it and what kind of lid is on the housing? I have four crabs, and they're in a 50 gallon EXO TERRA tank with a mesh lid.
Curly - You should definitely cover the top of your tank with plastic to hold in the humidity.

9. How many crabs are in the tank and about how large are they? 4. One large, three medium.
Curly - If your crab is a large size, you probably need deeper sub than you have. It should be three times as deep as your largest crab.

10. How many extra shells are usually kept in the tank, if any? about 13 shells
Curly - HCA recommends 2-5 extra shells per crab, so you have a good number. There are proper and improper shells to buy, check out the shell guide 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? every six months
Curly - With proper sub, you don't need to do a full change out that often. Just do spot cleaning. A full change out is needed 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? no


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.)? this crab I will be talking about below is my shy crab. He comes out to eat when no one else is out eating. He's like an introvert basically.


16. Please describe the emergency situation in detail. One of my medium sized crabs decided to molt above the substrate (it's his first molt since I've had him - I picked him up at a beach side store last year). Because there are three other crabs in the tank, I covered the molting crab with a 2L bottletop to keep others from harming him. The crab seems to be about 1 week into the molt, and he has shed a good majority of his exoskeleton. However, during the molt, he seems to have completely taken off his large claw and another leg. On top of this, he 'woke up' in the middle of the molt and attempted to find an escape from the bottle's boundaries - clearly he wasn't expecting to be surrounded by a bottle upon waking up. He still has some exoskeleton that hasn't come off a couple of his legs and are just attached to him. I decided to move him and the remaining exoskeleton that was in the substrate into an isolation tank. He is currently in the ISO tank, BUT I just want to know if 1) this is normal during a molt? This has never happened with my other crabs - they have all molted under substrate. 2) will he continue to molt in this ISO tank? (and ideally shed the rest of the exoskeleton that is stuck onto his legs) 3) Will he grow back the legs he took off? (and did he take them off because of the stress of the above-substrate molt?) 4) did I disrupt his molt by moving him?
PLEASE give me any advice or info. I am so worried.
Curly - It is not normal to molt on the surface, or to have gone a whole year without molting. The loss of limbs could be from the stress of a surface molt, or could be from whatever caused the stress that caused him to surface molt. Your humidity is the biggest thing that needs to be consistently improved, as far as I can tell. You will need to get a thermometer/ hygrometer for the iso tank also. The crab does need to be isolated from the other crabs. Crabs do have the ability to re-grow limbs during the next molt. I have never dealt with a crab who surface molted and who did not shed all his exo. I'm hoping one of the other mods will jump in to help with that.
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." -Will Rogers


Topic author
nasghari
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Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2020 7:27 pm
Location: Centreville

Re: MOLTING ISSUE?!?

Post by nasghari » Wed Jun 24, 2020 6:11 pm

Thank you for your quick response! I do moisten the substrate to sand castle consistency, but because the humidity isn't consistent, it dries up pretty fast. For my salt water brand, its also all things living.

I will try to get a thermometer/hygrometer asap.


Kydra
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Re: MOLTING ISSUE?!?

Post by Kydra » Thu Jun 25, 2020 11:57 pm

Have mostly been lurking, but the saltwater used is important for molting; specifically in shedding old exo.

I do not believe that the saltwater you are using is correct (marine saltwater). Most here, including myself, use 'Instant Ocean' brand.

When I initially purchased my first 2 crabs from a boardwalk shop on vacation, 1 crab had held off on molting (thankfully) until I added a bowl of MSW.

After soaking for a long time in the saltwater, this crab went down to molt that night and came up perfectly fine a little more than a month later.

Also agree to try to get the humidity to at least 80% that way if you have a drop for some reason you have some room for error. Just taping a layer of plastic wrap over the mesh works well and isn't an aesthetic nightmare if done correctly.

Just some initial thoughts.

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FJrocks003
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Re: MOLTING ISSUE?!?

Post by FJrocks003 » Fri Jun 26, 2020 4:55 pm

He might not had have enough room to molt in substrate. Make sure it is at least 6 inches deep!
Proud owner of two snakes, one dog, too many fish, and 3 hermit crabs.


Topic author
nasghari
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Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2020 7:27 pm
Location: Centreville

Re: UPDATE ON MOLTING ISSUE

Post by nasghari » Fri Jul 17, 2020 6:48 pm

Just to UPDATE on the molting crab:

He is in the ISO tank now, I have the proper tank set up.

He is still molting above ground, and is currently out of a shell. However I am noticing that he only has 3 out of his 6 main legs (two legs on each side plus his eating claw).

He's just ripping his legs off I guess???? I'm so confused at his molting. I haven't experienced this with my other crabs. Is he just super stressed? Does he not know how to molt properly?

He also does not seem interested in eating his already shed skin.....
Last edited by nasghari on Fri Jul 17, 2020 6:52 pm, edited 2 times in total.


Topic author
nasghari
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2020 7:27 pm
Location: Centreville

Re: MOLTING ISSUE?!?

Post by nasghari » Fri Jul 17, 2020 6:49 pm

Kydra wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 11:57 pm
Have mostly been lurking, but the saltwater used is important for molting; specifically in shedding old exo.

I do not believe that the saltwater you are using is correct (marine saltwater). Most here, including myself, use 'Instant Ocean' brand.

When I initially purchased my first 2 crabs from a boardwalk shop on vacation, 1 crab had held off on molting (thankfully) until I added a bowl of MSW.

After soaking for a long time in the saltwater, this crab went down to molt that night and came up perfectly fine a little more than a month later.

Also agree to try to get the humidity to at least 80% that way if you have a drop for some reason you have some room for error. Just taping a layer of plastic wrap over the mesh works well and isn't an aesthetic nightmare if done correctly.

Just some initial thoughts.
Thank you!!!

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curlysister
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Re: MOLTING ISSUE?!?

Post by curlysister » Fri Jul 17, 2020 7:30 pm

A crab drops it's shell when it is too weak to carry it. A crab without a shell will not survive. Crabs also drop limbs when they are stressed and weak. I hate to say it but it does not sound good for your crab.
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." -Will Rogers

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