Crabs streaking in substrate

Please post here if you are having a crab care emergency! Use a real subject and not just "HELP!"
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VenturaHermit
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Location: Ventura, Ca

Crabs streaking in substrate

Post by VenturaHermit » Fri Jul 03, 2020 10:51 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? [9 inches mix of 1/2 sterilized beach sand and 1/2 eco earth]


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, they are located suction cupped to the inside front glass near the lid. 79° and 89%]


3. Is a heat source used in the tank? If so, what? [/yes, two UTHs on the back of the tank and a 60watt blue light on top at night.color]


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 fresh and salt in double stacked Tupperware with the craft grid ladders for entry. First treated with Prime by the gallon (2 drops per gallon), then adding instant ocean for the salt. (3 tsp per 2cups)]


5. What kinds of food do you feed and how often is it replaced? [dried shrimp, dried minnows, earthworm castings, dried bug mix, variety of dried veggies and fruits, changed every two or three days, always access to millet, eggshell, cuttlefish, oyster shell, sprouted millet, cork, Cattappa leaves- occasional raw beef/chicken, honey, yogurt]


6. How long have you had the crab and what species is it, if known? [PPs, 6 months- 2 years]


7. Has your crab molted, and how long ago did it happen? They have all molted but I’m not sure how long ago]


8. What type of housing are the crabs kept in, what size is it and what kind of lid is on the housing? [40 gallon tank, mesh lid with plastic cover ]


9. How many crabs are in the tank and about how large are they? [7 (previously 8 before recent death of one crab, 5 medium, 2 large, 1 possibly extra large)]


10. How many extra shells are usually kept in the tank, if any? [25 of varying sizes]


[color=#A9A9A9]11. Have there been any fumes or chemicals near the crabitat recently? [/not that I’m aware ofcolor]


[color=#A9A9A9]12. How often do you clean the tank and how? [every few days surface cleanup of poop and scattered food]


[color=#A9A9A9]13. Are sponges used in the water dish? If so, how are they cleaned? [/no spongescolor]


[color=#A9A9A9]14. Has anything new been added to your crabitat recently? [no]


[color=#A9A9A9]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 don’t handle my crabs except in emergency. I try to rotate out hides and shells for interest]


[color=#A9A9A9]16. Please describe the emergency situation in detail. [last month I found an empty shell in the substrate burning under the food dish. I researched what to do and dug a little and found a streaking crab buried and I followed the directions for reshelling. He was alive but had lost a leg and his large claw was cracked in several places, barely responsive and did not take a shell. I sat him in the shell in iso for two days but he did not recover. I had also heard chirping for a few nights leading up to this. I had not heard chirping before that and did not know it could be a sign of stress or aggression. It was coming from underground. The day after the crab died I boiled his old shell and put in the tank and my biggest crab traded out for that shell the next day or two (that shell was smaller than the one he was in) but then traded back into his old shell a couple days after that. So I thought there might be a lack of shells appropriate for the big guys size, so I ordered more shells for him. Two days ago I heard chirping and saw two of my smaller crabs on top of each other so I seperated them to different parts of the tank.
Today I found a crab streaking under the substrate. He’s was coming out of a hole that another crab had just tunnel out of. He was very active and I picked him up and followed the reshelling procedure. He put on a new shell in about 5 minutes. I kept him in iso for a couple of hours and then put him back in the tank.
So, that’s the situation. The first streaking incident/fight was so upsetting. I was just so distressed at the thought that I have failed these creatures. We inherited them from a preschool and other local rescues over the last two years and I have upgraded the tank several times to provide room as they grow. I’ve really tried my best to give them optimal conditions and I’m just gutted that things are suddenly going wrong. Any advice you have is greatly appreciated. ]



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GotButterflies
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Re: Crabs streaking in substrate

Post by GotButterflies » Fri Jul 03, 2020 11:31 pm

I answered your questions with GB for GotButterflies :)
VenturaHermit wrote:
Fri Jul 03, 2020 10:51 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? [9 inches mix of 1/2 sterilized beach sand and 1/2 eco earth]

GB: 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? [yes, they are located suction cupped to the inside front glass near the lid. 79° and 89%]

GB: Are you gauges analog or digital? I personally keep my heat from 78 (low at night) to 85 (high during the day). I personally recommend digital, here is the one I use: https://smile.amazon.com/AcuRite-00325- ... 184&sr=8-2


3. Is a heat source used in the tank? If so, what? [/yes, two UTHs on the back of the tank and a 60watt blue light on top at night.color]


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 fresh and salt in double stacked Tupperware with the craft grid ladders for entry. First treated with Prime by the gallon (2 drops per gallon), then adding instant ocean for the salt. (3 tsp per 2cups)]


5. What kinds of food do you feed and how often is it replaced? [dried shrimp, dried minnows, earthworm castings, dried bug mix, variety of dried veggies and fruits, changed every two or three days, always access to millet, eggshell, cuttlefish, oyster shell, sprouted millet, cork, Cattappa leaves- occasional raw beef/chicken, honey, yogurt]

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 all times. 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? [PPs, 6 months- 2 years]


7. Has your crab molted, and how long ago did it happen? They have all molted but I’m not sure how long ago]


8. What type of housing are the crabs kept in, what size is it and what kind of lid is on the housing? [40 gallon tank, mesh lid with plastic cover ]

GB: With mesh lids you can always cover them with Press-N-Seal, or tape Ziploc bags on them to help keep the humidty in. I personally love glass tops. Please note that with glass tops you cannot set heat lamps on them – it will cause the glass to crack.

9. How many crabs are in the tank and about how large are they? [7 (previously 8 before recent death of one crab, 5 medium, 2 large, 1 possibly extra large)]


10. How many extra shells are usually kept in the tank, if any? [25 of varying sizes]

GB: The HCA recommends 3-5 shells per hermit crab. I personally recommend more. It never hurts to have more :) There are incorrect shells to buy. Here is the shell guide: http://hermitcrabassociation.com/phpBB/ ... hp?f=24&t=

[color=#A9A9A9]11. Have there been any fumes or chemicals near the crabitat recently? [/not that I’m aware ofcolor]


[color=#A9A9A9]12. How often do you clean the tank and how? [every few days surface cleanup of poop and scattered food]


[color=#A9A9A9]13. Are sponges used in the water dish? If so, how are they cleaned? [/no spongescolor]


[color=#A9A9A9]14. Has anything new been added to your crabitat recently? [no]


[color=#A9A9A9]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 don’t handle my crabs except in emergency. I try to rotate out hides and shells for interest]


[color=#A9A9A9]16. Please describe the emergency situation in detail. [last month I found an empty shell in the substrate burning under the food dish. I researched what to do and dug a little and found a streaking crab buried and I followed the directions for reshelling. He was alive but had lost a leg and his large claw was cracked in several places, barely responsive and did not take a shell. I sat him in the shell in iso for two days but he did not recover. I had also heard chirping for a few nights leading up to this. I had not heard chirping before that and did not know it could be a sign of stress or aggression. It was coming from underground. The day after the crab died I boiled his old shell and put in the tank and my biggest crab traded out for that shell the next day or two (that shell was smaller than the one he was in) but then traded back into his old shell a couple days after that. So I thought there might be a lack of shells appropriate for the big guys size, so I ordered more shells for him. Two days ago I heard chirping and saw two of my smaller crabs on top of each other so I seperated them to different parts of the tank.
Today I found a crab streaking under the substrate. He’s was coming out of a hole that another crab had just tunnel out of. He was very active and I picked him up and followed the reshelling procedure. He put on a new shell in about 5 minutes. I kept him in iso for a couple of hours and then put him back in the tank.
So, that’s the situation. The first streaking incident/fight was so upsetting. I was just so distressed at the thought that I have failed these creatures. We inherited them from a preschool and other local rescues over the last two years and I have upgraded the tank several times to provide room as they grow. I’ve really tried my best to give them optimal conditions and I’m just gutted that things are suddenly going wrong. Any advice you have is greatly appreciated. ]


It sounds to me like a shell issue. Perhaps one of them is getting ready to molt and needs a bigger shell. That would explain the cracked claw and loss of leg. When preparing for a molt, hermit crabs grow a molt sac near their abdomen inside their shell. A lot of hermit crabs want to change into larger shells during this time so that it is more comfortable to them. After molting, they will want to change back into their old shell. A lot of times hermits won't know if a shell fits them until they get to try it on. This is why it is imperative to have shells that are larger than what your hermit crabs are wearing. There are correct and incorrect shells to purchase. Please see the shell guide. You can purchase shells on Etsy, Ebay and online shell stores. In the meantime, you might have to separate your hermits in critter keepers inside your tank so their temperature and humidity are kept correct. The ones that have lost limbs - provide honey, calcium and protein. If shell - less, please see the re-shelling guide that we have. Please let us know if you need anymore help! Good luck!

.
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
VenturaHermit
Posts: 18
Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2019 6:45 pm
Location: Ventura, Ca

Re: Crabs streaking in substrate

Post by VenturaHermit » Fri Jul 03, 2020 11:41 pm

Thank you for your response!
I have the same suspicion, so I’ve just placed an order for more shells. The sizing in so tricky! I have gradually moved to all turbo and magpie shells. I thought I had a good selection, but maybe some were just too big. Im adding more for the medium size guys.
Last edited by VenturaHermit on Sat Jul 04, 2020 12:03 am, edited 1 time in total.

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GotButterflies
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Re: Crabs streaking in substrate

Post by GotButterflies » Fri Jul 03, 2020 11:44 pm

Yw! My pleasure! It's very unlikely that you will have crabs take the magpie shells. Crabs love them in the wild, but captive crabs become spoiled with the turbo shells - they are much lighter in weight and more roomier. :) You will have the occasional crab that does love them though! :)
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
VenturaHermit
Posts: 18
Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2019 6:45 pm
Location: Ventura, Ca

Re: Crabs streaking in substrate

Post by VenturaHermit » Sat Jul 04, 2020 12:05 am

Oh interesting! My large guy came to me in a magpie, so that was the kind I got for replacements originally. I’ll be sure to get turbos for him.

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