Newbie (but not) and figuring things out.

Please post here if you are a new crab owner and someone will be along shortly to welcome you to the HCA! This is also the place to welcome new crabbies to your clan!
Post Reply

Topic author
justqltin
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2018 10:47 am

Newbie (but not) and figuring things out.

Post by justqltin » Mon Oct 29, 2018 12:07 pm

I am a 51 year old mom who grew up in S. FL. I had a tank full of hermit crabs for YEARS when I was young and few issues. BUT I had access to clean beach sand, driftwood and lived in a home that predated central air so no humidity/ temp issues.

This past summer in Daytona I gave in and let my daughter get one on vacay. I got one also so there would be two. I made her keep them on the balcony cause I knew the dry room air would be bad in the open wire cage even tho I made her wait till the last day to get them. We grabbed a big bucket of sand to bring home also. They are both micro to tiny in size and housed in a 10 gal aquarium with a hood and incandescent lights for heat. One has successfully molted, the other may have...It may have just been hiding for a week or two.

I've a learning curve here tho....We live in TN. No ocean, no mangroves, Central heat and air, low humidity and cooler than 75 most times. I need to find out how to keep them healthy long term in what I know are less than ideal conditions. That was my main argument against her getting them but she insisted that we were "rescuing" them because we'd actually make sure we took good care of them......They were both happily eating this morning when I splashed some water in on my way out...she gave them a smorgasbord last night of apple, grape, chicken, brussel sprout and tilapia!

OH and I noticed that Rosemary is on the DO NOT Feed list? Anyone know why? is it toxic or just not "preferred". I was thinking it would make a good small climbing plant in the cage and it's hardy.

User avatar

Hermiesguardian
Posts: 2102
Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2017 10:41 pm

Re: Newbie (but not) and figuring things out.

Post by Hermiesguardian » Mon Oct 29, 2018 12:55 pm

Welcome! There are great links of information on here. If rosemary is on the unsafe list, for whatever reason, better to be safe than sorry. But to the basics...did you bake the sand before putting it in the tank? That will kill off any bugs that might have been in it. Are you using dechlorinated freshwater and dechlor saltwater? The best dechlor is Prime found in most petstores. And Instant Ocean for the saltwater. Can your substrate hold its' shape? Sandcastle consistancy. Any foods you feed them has to be seasoning free. Can be raw or cooked. Best to feed organic when possible. Do you have a temp/humidity guage? They need a temp of 80° and humidity of 80% minimum. So the lid has to be sealed. They need minimum 6" of substrate. If you use lights for heat it tends to dry out the tank. The best choice for heat is a uth put on outside back of tank. They need fresh water and salt water pools deep enough to fully submerge with a safe way to climb out. Misting too much or "splashing water" in there can lead to flooding. I know it sounds overwhelming. But once the basics are met it gets much easier going foward. And just curious...where in TN are you? I live just south of Knoxville.
raising son's dog, Dante. Husky/hound.
Raising daughter's hermit crabs, Shelder, Paras and Derek. Added 2 more of my own (of course) Pete and Stryper. Former mommy to 2 guinea pigs and beloved cat, Nissi

User avatar

aussieJJDude
Administrator
Administrator
Posts: 3969
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2012 8:12 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Newbie (but not) and figuring things out.

Post by aussieJJDude » Mon Oct 29, 2018 6:21 pm

What you need is a container with sides, something like an aquarium which can trap in humidity (and heat). Totes also work well, or glass reptile cages - with some modifications for the crabs.

You also want to heat the enclosure as well, for heat. Most on here choose to use under the tank heater (UTH) mounted on the side, and many speak highly of ultratherms - which can be sourced online.

Rosmany itself isn't poisonous, rather the oils that it contains may be an issue if the crabs ingest enough - which due to their small size, isn't a lot! They are known to effect the nervous system and cause stomach upset in mammals, and may have a similar effect on the crabs.

Sent from my SM-G935F using Tapatalk
Crabs || Fish || Shrimp || Snails || Plants || Insects

25G Nano Freshwater || 64G Freshwater Community || 90G Fancy Goldie Pond || 64G Crabitat
I've never had any problems with 'Impulse Buying'... They're just things I forgot I had planned to get || Self Designated 'HCA Pic Fan' 2012+

User avatar

Hermiesguardian
Posts: 2102
Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2017 10:41 pm

Re: Newbie (but not) and figuring things out.

Post by Hermiesguardian » Mon Oct 29, 2018 8:29 pm

aussieJJDude wrote:What you need is a container with sides, something like an aquarium which can trap in humidity (and heat). Totes also work well, or glass reptile cages - with some modifications for the crabs.

You also want to heat the enclosure as well, for heat. Most on here choose to use under the tank heater (UTH) mounted on the side, and many speak highly of ultratherms - which can be sourced online.

Rosmany itself isn't poisonous, rather the oils that it contains may be an issue if the crabs ingest enough - which due to their small size, isn't a lot! They are known to effect the nervous system and cause stomach upset in mammals, and may have a similar effect on the crabs.

Sent from my SM-G935F using Tapatalk
She said they are in a 10 gal aquarium.
raising son's dog, Dante. Husky/hound.
Raising daughter's hermit crabs, Shelder, Paras and Derek. Added 2 more of my own (of course) Pete and Stryper. Former mommy to 2 guinea pigs and beloved cat, Nissi

User avatar

aussieJJDude
Administrator
Administrator
Posts: 3969
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2012 8:12 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Newbie (but not) and figuring things out.

Post by aussieJJDude » Tue Oct 30, 2018 12:56 am

Hermiesguardian wrote:
aussieJJDude wrote:What you need is a container with sides, something like an aquarium which can trap in humidity (and heat). Totes also work well, or glass reptile cages - with some modifications for the crabs.

You also want to heat the enclosure as well, for heat. Most on here choose to use under the tank heater (UTH) mounted on the side, and many speak highly of ultratherms - which can be sourced online.

Rosmany itself isn't poisonous, rather the oils that it contains may be an issue if the crabs ingest enough - which due to their small size, isn't a lot! They are known to effect the nervous system and cause stomach upset in mammals, and may have a similar effect on the crabs.

Sent from my SM-G935F using Tapatalk
She said they are in a 10 gal aquarium.
I must of missed that! Thanks for that, the OP mentioned they were having trouble with heat/,humidity, and thought they were still in the cage.

Sent from my SM-G935F using Tapatalk
Crabs || Fish || Shrimp || Snails || Plants || Insects

25G Nano Freshwater || 64G Freshwater Community || 90G Fancy Goldie Pond || 64G Crabitat
I've never had any problems with 'Impulse Buying'... They're just things I forgot I had planned to get || Self Designated 'HCA Pic Fan' 2012+


Topic author
justqltin
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2018 10:47 am

Re: Newbie (but not) and figuring things out.

Post by justqltin » Tue Oct 30, 2018 10:07 am

Hermiesguardian wrote:Welcome! There are great links of information on here. If rosemary is on the unsafe list, for whatever reason, better to be safe than sorry. But to the basics...did you bake the sand before putting it in the tank? That will kill off any bugs that might have been in it. Are you using dechlorinated freshwater and dechlor saltwater? The best dechlor is Prime found in most petstores. And Instant Ocean for the saltwater. Can your substrate hold its' shape? Sandcastle consistancy. Any foods you feed them has to be seasoning free. Can be raw or cooked. Best to feed organic when possible. Do you have a temp/humidity guage? They need a temp of 80° and humidity of 80% minimum. So the lid has to be sealed. They need minimum 6" of substrate. If you use lights for heat it tends to dry out the tank. The best choice for heat is a uth put on outside back of tank. They need fresh water and salt water pools deep enough to fully submerge with a safe way to climb out. Misting too much or "splashing water" in there can lead to flooding. I know it sounds overwhelming. But once the basics are met it gets much easier going foward. And just curious...where in TN are you? I live just south of Knoxville.
Hi Hermiesgaurdian,

We are in Murfreesboro, with my in laws in Kingsport and a "redneck condo" (ie Camper) on Douglas lake.

I'm gonna get a heat mat of some kind so that they aren't dependent on the bulbs. I guess I need to go get another water dish and provide salt water also, I never did that in the past but they always lived in Salt sand from the shore. Right now they have a large scallop shell holding water with a sponge in the deepest part. I'm gonna need to buy some substrate to add to what I have tho. They only have a scant 3". Granted they are both really small yet. I also need a temp/humidity gauge and I want to get them some climbing nets and hopefully a live plant or two. I've ordered a few more shells, most of the ones I have are too big. The sand is moist enough to mold, Daytona had a nice little cave hollowed out when my daughter disturbed her. And I buy gallon jugs of spring water to use for their cage so no chlorinated tap water. And yes I showed my Daughter how to bake or boil anything new before it went in the cage as we set up when we got home. It took 24 hours to scrub the old aquarium and let it dry in the sun before we set it up but it was summer here and we were able to keep them on the porch for a day since it was warm and humid enough here at that point. She's loving watching them and it brings back fond memories for me. They were a lot less fuss when I lived an a place that they actually lived in the wild....

User avatar

fandt94
Posts: 622
Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2018 11:57 pm
Location: NW Indiana

Re: Newbie (but not) and figuring things out.

Post by fandt94 » Tue Oct 30, 2018 10:59 am

Welcome!

Just a couple things I noticed, even though you are using jugs of spring water you need to use a dechlorinator such as Prime for both fresh and salt water pools. Also, no sponges are needed in the dishes. A good hygrometer many of us is a digital one made by Acurite..it’s only about $8 at Walmart. (I got mine from Amazon)

I’m still learning myself but wanted to say that getting the correct set up takes some tweaking but once you have it stable it’s really not a lot of work at all! :wink:
Mom to 3 human boys, 2 dogs - Hemi & Athena, 2 cats - Fat a$$ (realname Spark Plug) & Batman & 5 PP’s - Monstro, Pinkie aka Little Bit, Shellie, other 2 unnamed

User avatar

Hermiesguardian
Posts: 2102
Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2017 10:41 pm

Re: Newbie (but not) and figuring things out.

Post by Hermiesguardian » Tue Oct 30, 2018 11:28 am

I agree with fandt94 about the dechlorinator. You need one that removes chlorine, chloramine, heavy metals and neutralizes ammonia. And sponges tend to harbour bacteria. They drink the salt water and keep a mix if fresh and salt water in their shells. That's why they need to be able to submerge. So salt sand as you mentioned wouldn't have been enough anyway. And never dig them up. If you accidentally do, never rebury them. They could suffocate.
raising son's dog, Dante. Husky/hound.
Raising daughter's hermit crabs, Shelder, Paras and Derek. Added 2 more of my own (of course) Pete and Stryper. Former mommy to 2 guinea pigs and beloved cat, Nissi

User avatar

ciaraalston
Posts: 1107
Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2018 3:33 am
Location: Louisiana

Re: Newbie (but not) and figuring things out.

Post by ciaraalston » Sat Nov 03, 2018 1:33 am

Welcome to the HCA!! Congrats on your new crab babies!!

Did you say they're in a wire mesh cage or a 10 gallon aquarium? The 10 gallon would be best, or even a tote if you cant get a tank right now. If your tank doesn't have a lid, you can use many things! the easiest is seran wrap across the top to keep in humidity, also a mesh lid (with seran wrap over it to keep humidity in) and i've even used egg crate light diffusers (with seran wrap). it's actually what i'm using now. Whatever you use, make sure it's secure..... crabs can be quite the escape artists!! (i've had a fair share of escapees! haha)
The UTH they're speaking of, i think aussie mentioned, would go on the side of the aquarium... I have mine across the back. Some great ultratherms to get are reptilebasics.com. i've also seen people say beanfarm is great too!
For water bowls, most of us just use plastic tupperware bowls. it's the cheapest and easiest way to get a good deep pool for both fresh and salt water.
I think a couple of people mentioned this already, but you'll want to treat your water with Prime. additionally, you'll want to treat the salt water with instant ocean as well. i mix a gallon of fresh and salt and just fill the bowls as needed.
for their substrate, you can use play sand or eco earth... i mix both into sandcastle consistency. i'm not sure how big (or little) your crabs are, how deep is your substrate? a good place to start is 6 inches deep.
if you're having trouble getting humidity to a stable point, there's a thread about adding bubblers to your pools. it costs about $15 for everything, and it will make misting obsolete! (in my case it did) let me know if you'd like the link, i'll find the thread :)
it's hard to find organic food where i am, so i order everything online. my absolute favorite store is TheHealthyHermit on etsy :) I also like thehermitcrabpatch and Hermies kitchen. All are great, and truly organic food at great prices!

I know it's a lot of information, but like they said earlier, once basics are met, the rest is easy!
Good luck!!!!! :clap:
4 purple pinchers & 2 ecuadorians living a life of luxury in south west Louisiana.
Follow my hermit crab learning journey on instagram! @hermitcrabs_in_the_boot

Post Reply