Newbie crab advice

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!
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SLEPTAS
Posts: 52
Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2018 11:36 pm

Newbie crab advice

Post by SLEPTAS » Sun Nov 25, 2018 2:35 pm

So I recently rescued 3 hermit crabs who had been stuck in their original tank with rocks and painted water and food bowl. The person who last had them forgot the existed so they hadn't been fed or watered or over a month. I recently changed them to a new 10gal tank with coconut fiber and sand for substrate and the second I put them in the new tank my medium size one (Dwebble) burried himself and I've only seen him ones since then but he didnt look like he needed to molt or anything. Is it normal for him to be borrowed so long. All three are purple pinchers. My biggest one likes to climb and my smallest one hides in his shell most of them time. I'm working on buying more things to keep the temperature and humidity up. Does anyone have any suggestions on what I can do? I live in Nebraska and it just started snowing so heat is my priority right now. I just have a space heater near their tank at the moment.Image

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Hermiesguardian
Posts: 2030
Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2017 10:41 pm

Re: Newbie crab advice

Post by Hermiesguardian » Sun Nov 25, 2018 3:16 pm

Welcome! You didn't say how long he was buried. They bury to molt, destress or just because. And they can stay buried for months. Rule #1..never dig them up except for an emergency, such as a flood or bacterial bloom. Does your substrate hold its shape? Sandcastle consistancy? Do you have a fresh water and salt water pool? They both have to be dechlorinated water. Most recommended product is Prime. And Instant Ocean for the salt. The pools need to be deep enough for them to totally submerge with a safe way to get in and out. Do you have a temp and hygrometer gauge? Digital is more accurate than the dial ones. What kind of lid do you have? It's important that it's sealed to maintain humidity of at least 80%. The most recommended heaters are the Ultratherm. Can be purchased from beanfarm.com, reptilebasics.com or amazon. Get a size that covers the entire back of the tank from the top of the substrate to top of tank. They are the only heaters that can be insulated. If you have a Zoomed heater or other, you can insulate around it. Temp ideally should be 80°-84°. Check out the safe and unsafe food list under the care section. Most items marketed for hermit crabs aren't safe for them. They need protein and calcium every day. Calcium can be eggshells, crushed oyster shells or a cuttlebone found in the bird section of a petstore. It is recommended providing them with 3-5 shells per crab. They should be about the same size or slightly larger. You can find shells at hobby stores but in a bag of shells you may only find 1 or 2 suitable shells. You can check out the shopping resource on here for shells. PP's prefer turbos. Those have round openings. I know it sounds like a lot but once you have the basics down it gets much easier.
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


Topic author
SLEPTAS
Posts: 52
Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2018 11:36 pm

Re: Newbie crab advice

Post by SLEPTAS » Sun Nov 25, 2018 3:34 pm

Ive only had the tank for 2 days so hes been buried for two days. And they can stay buried for months.
Does your substrate hold its shape? Sandcastle consistancy?
The sand not so much but most of my substrate is coco fibers and it holds pretty well.
Do you have a fresh water and salt water pool?
I have water bottles from the pet store of saltwater solution (brand- all living things) fresh water is a part I'm stuck at. Should I use water bottles from the store? Or I have colligan water and they dont put chlorine in it can I use that? Im not sure where to get freshwater truthfully.
My pools can really submerge them they cover their legs and that's it. Any suggestion on what I can make a deeper pool out of would be very helpful. The dish I have came with the tank.

Do you have a temp and hygrometer gauge?
I have a gauge that tells both from zoomed.

What kind of lid do you have?
I also need help with my lid. Right now it's the mesh lid that came with the tank and I put some plastic cover over half of it to try and seal it off but I'm not sure where to get a lid that matches my tank. Qnd since doing more research I'm going to try and move them into my 60gal but I need to find a place to out it first.
The shells I have right now were from a pack at hobby lobby. I needed something my med pp could change into since he was in a painted shell too small for him. I just bought some more shells from Naples though and I'm hoping to get the other 2 out of their painted shells.

I really feel bad for my hermit crabs or any hermit crabs in general being taken from their homeImage
I want to give them a good life and keep them alive. This is my first time with hermit crabs and I'm really hoping I can keep them alive and happy.

I just order some hiding spaces and a hammock thing to start a second level but it's all starting the crowd the tank.

Theres a picture of my largest before he changed shells and got a new tank.Image

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Hermiesguardian
Posts: 2030
Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2017 10:41 pm

Re: Newbie crab advice

Post by Hermiesguardian » Sun Nov 25, 2018 7:18 pm

It's a learning process. For freshwater you can use a product called Prime. It removes chlorine, chloramines, heavy metals and neutralizes ammonia. A small bottle will last a very ling time. You only use a drop per gallon. Then for salt water you add Instant Ocean to the dechlorinated water. For pools many of us use tupperware containers. Doubled up so when taking them out to clean it doesn't disturb any molting crabs underneath. Sand holds its shape better than ee. But it has to be mixed with dechlor water. Enough to hold its shape. If it drips when squeezed it's too wet. If the zoomed guage is a dial it's very inacurate. You can get an Accurite guage on amazon for about $8-10. And you can seal the entire lid with saran wrap and tape it down. They won't suffocate. A 60 gallon would be awesome. As you can see everything they need takes up room.
Just keep asking questions on here and reading the posts.
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

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