New crabber with a 20yo crabbie!

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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wenwillwego
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New crabber with a 20yo crabbie!

Post by wenwillwego » Tue Dec 25, 2018 3:44 pm

Hello everyone!

My name is Mary, and despite keeping many other species of large inverts this is my first Hermit Crab. He (I don't know it's a he, but that's what they've been calling him so that's what I've been calling him) was given to me by one of my student's parents last week, his story is that he was purchased at a pet store 20yrs ago, has had 3 owners since then, with the family I got him from having had him for the past 2yrs. The mum felt like the daughter wasn't paying enough attention to his care for it to be right to keep him, and I'm known in the school as a Keeper of Big Bugs, so he was given to me.

Moving him from the 5g he came in to his new 10g is the only time I've picked him up since I've been trying to not stress him, but I'm pretty sure he's a Caribbean/Purple Pincher, maybe someone can confirm that from these pics (new unpainted shells have already been ordered!).
Heeeeere's Spooky!
Image

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The 5g setup that's been his digs for the past 20yrs!
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Here is his new setup, I know it's not perfect but this is what I could throw together with what I had on hand. Not obvious in the picture, but on the right is a hidey cave, and behind that is a loose moss pit.
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Checking out the fresh water pool, I was super excited when he was doing this, I thought he was going to get in! I am very happy with how active he's been since I put him in the new tank. In the 5g he just hid in the corner under the sponge they had in there with him.
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Now that I have all of the stuff in the 10g and him it looks too small! I have an old 30g in the garage I'm going to have to check the condition of and possibly move him into that. Since he'll be one of my classroom pets he'll have to move between school and home, and I've already figured out damp coconut fiber and sand is heavy, I'm almost thinking of having the 10g set up at school and the 30g set up at home, so during breaks and summer I can just transport him in a critter carrier instead of trying to move big, set-up tanks around. Any thoughts on this?

Also, as far as I know he's always lived alone, which of course after research I understand that is far less than ideal. I'm messaging with someone who lives near me that I found on the Adoptions pages who has one PP (its buddy died) who she is looking to re-home. That one will of course be quarantined if/when he comes home, but when it is introduced is there anything particular I should worry about, or just kind of let them do their thing?

Other upgrades/plans for the next few weeks-
I'm going to put together one of the "buddy" type diy humidifiers, I couldn't believe it but I must have given away all of my air pumps so couldn't put one together last night!
A few more inches of substrate, either when I move this tank to the school or set a second one up at the school.
On order are shells, a digital hydro/temp meter, plastic crating, and air pump and hose for the humidifier.

Eventually I would love to have something like the "in ground" saltwater pools I've seen in some member's tanks and multi-level climbing areas with those cute nets and everything! That's probably on hold until summer break though. :o

So I think the only question that I didn't already ask, is should I worry about him getting stuck places in the tank? His current shell isn't super streamlined so I've been a little worried about that in the new tank.


Anyways, I'm pleased to be here and look forward to learning more as I go!
Spooky- PP, Medium/Large, ~20yo, since 12/20/18
Ginny- PP, Medium, ~3yo, since 1/3/19

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soilentgringa
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Re: New crabber with a 20yo crabbie!

Post by soilentgringa » Tue Dec 25, 2018 10:30 pm

I don't know how large your hands are but if this crab is a jumbo, it really needs a tank that is 18" wide so that it can move around freely with plenty of space. I think 75g are the smallest at that width.

I'm surprised this guy has survived for so long in such small enclosures, but every once in a while we do come across an exceptionally sturdy crab. It's not the norm for sure.

I'm glad that the previous owners recognized you as someone with the "crab-pacity" to give this older guy what he needs.

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Re: New crabber with a 20yo crabbie!

Post by wenwillwego » Tue Dec 25, 2018 11:38 pm

soilentgringa wrote:I don't know how large your hands are but if this crab is a jumbo, it really needs a tank that is 18" wide so that it can move around freely with plenty of space. I think 75g are the smallest at that width.

I'm surprised this guy has survived for so long in such small enclosures, but every once in a while we do come across an exceptionally sturdy crab. It's not the norm for sure.

I'm glad that the previous owners recognized you as someone with the "crab-pacity" to give this older guy what he needs.

Sent from my LGMS550 using Tapatalk
There is some forced perspective going on in the pictures, and I *do* have very thin wrists, but I don't know if he's a "jumbo" or not. I couldn't find anything online about the different sizes of crabs, do you know of a site that would have this info?

And yea, as far as his survival, at first I was impressed with his previous owners' care, but once I started learning about hermits, I became more impressed with him!
Spooky- PP, Medium/Large, ~20yo, since 12/20/18
Ginny- PP, Medium, ~3yo, since 1/3/19

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Hermiesguardian
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Re: New crabber with a 20yo crabbie!

Post by Hermiesguardian » Wed Dec 26, 2018 12:31 am

wenwillwego wrote:
soilentgringa wrote:I don't know how large your hands are but if this crab is a jumbo, it really needs a tank that is 18" wide so that it can move around freely with plenty of space. I think 75g are the smallest at that width.

I'm surprised this guy has survived for so long in such small enclosures, but every once in a while we do come across an exceptionally sturdy crab. It's not the norm for sure.

I'm glad that the previous owners recognized you as someone with the "crab-pacity" to give this older guy what he needs.

Sent from my LGMS550 using Tapatalk
There is some forced perspective going on in the pictures, and I *do* have very thin wrists, but I don't know if he's a "jumbo" or not. I couldn't find anything online about the different sizes of crabs, do you know of a site that would have this info?

And yea, as far as his survival, at first I was impressed with his previous owners' care, but once I started learning about hermits, I became more impressed with him!
Here's the link to sizing.
https://www.hermitcrabassociation.com/p ... 26&t=92541
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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Re: New crabber with a 20yo crabbie!

Post by curlysister » Wed Dec 26, 2018 7:32 pm

Wow! If he really is that old, that's awesome! You will literally find all the information you need about crab care on this site. I have had my two crabs for 8+ years, and this is the only site I have ever gotten information from. Read through the Care Sheets for lots of really good information.
You will need your substrate at least 3x as deep as your crab. Most of us use a mixture of 5 parts play sand to 1 part of Eco Earth, wet enough to hold it's shape which also helps with humidity. Don't be surprised if your guy digs down underneath once he has enough substrate to do so. Don't dig him up if he does, crabs should only be dug up under very extreme circumstances such as a bacterial bloom or flood. If you have a crab that is buried, you won't be able to dig it up and take it home/ back to school; so you would need to be able to get back to the school a couple of times a week during the breaks, in order to see when they come up so you can give food and water etc. When you introduce a new crab, most crabbers recommend dipping the newbie in dechlorinated fresh water. I did notice that your dishes should be deeper - the crabs need to be able to fully submerge themselves, but also have a way to climb out (rocks or plastic mesh works well).
Oh, also to mention, most products that are marketed for hermit crabs are actually not safe for them. Like salt, sand, food, etc. Much better to read through this forum, or to ask if you are unsure, before spending any money on things.
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Re: New crabber with a 20yo crabbie!

Post by Motörcrab » Wed Dec 26, 2018 11:40 pm

Wow! He's impressive! Like curlysister said the care sheets page is great reading and full of lots of great information to get started. As she already stated once they dig to molt you can't disturb them. If he is a Jumbo and goes down to molt in August he may be down the entire school year, possibly longer. I have had Large crabs not resurface for 6-8 weeks! It's pretty much a sit and wait game.

The "in ground" pools are super easy. You just need to use plastic food containers. Almost everyone on here use two per pool. That way when you pull the container out the second one holds the shape of the hole. It also doesn't disturb a crab that may have dug under or next to it. We also purchase craft mesh and zip tie that to the bowls to make ramps in and out. The last thing you want is a crab not being able to crawl out of a pool.
Help Improve Our Resources Section (weblinks)
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Re: New crabber with a 20yo crabbie!

Post by wenwillwego » Thu Dec 27, 2018 2:19 pm

Hermiesguardian wrote: Here's the link to sizing.
https://www.hermitcrabassociation.com/p ... 26&t=92541

Thanks for that! Based on this he's between "medium" and "large."

So since I've put him in the new 10g he was at first super active with lots of climbing, now he's just been hanging out in the hidey cave for the past two days and I'm worried that I've changed his environment too drastically. :(
Spooky- PP, Medium/Large, ~20yo, since 12/20/18
Ginny- PP, Medium, ~3yo, since 1/3/19

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wenwillwego
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Re: New crabber with a 20yo crabbie!

Post by wenwillwego » Thu Dec 27, 2018 2:33 pm

curlysister wrote:Wow! If he really is that old, that's awesome
Thanks! lol, it actually did occur to me though that at some point over the last 20yrs that the "original" Spooky had died and some parents told a "it's the same goldfish, I swear" type of lie to their kid!

And as I've said, I realize this setup isn't perfect, but it is what I had on hand. ;)
Having been a member of many of these type of forums for other creatures, I lurked and read everything for about a week before signing up and posting. :lol:

An interesting bit of info and I think another testament to this crab's sturdiness, he molted in the 5g with the inch of dry coconut fiber in it about two months before he came to me! The previous owner did let him finish eating his exoskeleton before re-homing though.
Spooky- PP, Medium/Large, ~20yo, since 12/20/18
Ginny- PP, Medium, ~3yo, since 1/3/19

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wenwillwego
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Re: New crabber with a 20yo crabbie!

Post by wenwillwego » Thu Dec 27, 2018 2:38 pm

Motörcrab wrote:Wow! He's impressive! Like curlysister said the care sheets page is great reading and full of lots of great information to get started. As she already stated once they dig to molt you can't disturb them. If he is a Jumbo and goes down to molt in August he may be down the entire school year, possibly longer. I have had Large crabs not resurface for 6-8 weeks! It's pretty much a sit and wait game.

The "in ground" pools are super easy. You just need to use plastic food containers. Almost everyone on here use two per pool. That way when you pull the container out the second one holds the shape of the hole. It also doesn't disturb a crab that may have dug under or next to it. We also purchase craft mesh and zip tie that to the bowls to make ramps in and out. The last thing you want is a crab not being able to crawl out of a pool.

Thanks! Yea, I think he's pretty cool too. 8)

And thanks for the tip on the in ground pools! I was kind of casually crunching around in my brain how to make critter carriers work since I have a ton of those laying around, all different sizes though. Plastic food containers doubled up sounds awesome!
Spooky- PP, Medium/Large, ~20yo, since 12/20/18
Ginny- PP, Medium, ~3yo, since 1/3/19

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Re: New crabber with a 20yo crabbie!

Post by Motörcrab » Thu Dec 27, 2018 2:55 pm

That's normal for a crab to explore then hide. I know from my experiences with rescues they seem to be in shock once they get into a proper habitat, I guess it is a bit overwhelming when they can dig, climb, swim, and do all sorts of things they haven't done in a long time. just give him time and he will come around.

None of us had the best set ups when we first started either. You are already giving him better care and show you want to give him more already by finding the HCA. Everyone on here is super helpful with being able to help in anyway with your set up.
Help Improve Our Resources Section (weblinks)
http://www.hermitcrabassociation.com/ph ... 2&t=119315

Once we get more links the directors will update the resources in a few weeks. Thanks!

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Re: New crabber with a 20yo crabbie!

Post by wenwillwego » Thu Dec 27, 2018 4:36 pm

Motörcrab wrote:That's normal for a crab to explore then hide. I know from my experiences with rescues they seem to be in shock once they get into a proper habitat, I guess it is a bit overwhelming when they can dig, climb, swim, and do all sorts of things they haven't done in a long time. just give him time and he will come around.

None of us had the best set ups when we first started either. You are already giving him better care and show you want to give him more already by finding the HCA. Everyone on here is super helpful with being able to help in anyway with your set up.

Ahh thanks for the info about new ones hiding at first, and the encouraging words. :D
Spooky- PP, Medium/Large, ~20yo, since 12/20/18
Ginny- PP, Medium, ~3yo, since 1/3/19

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Re: New crabber with a 20yo crabbie!

Post by wenwillwego » Fri Jan 04, 2019 9:39 pm

And now I have a new-new crabbie to keep this guy company! Yesterday I met up with a member from here who was looking to re-home their single crab, who is another PP, so it seemed like a good match! When we got home I dipped new-new crab (Ginny) in some fresh water from the crabitat and dropped her in.

She hid for a bit, but pretty shortly found Spooky in his cave, and they oogled each other with their feelers for like 10min, and then both went into the cave and felt around on each other. It was really sweet and kind of emotional, knowing Spooky has lived years if not decades without a crab friend. I tried to take a pic, but without flash it's just a bunch of blurry shells in the dark. :lol:

Overnight Ginny already changed shells (Spooky also changed shells a few days ago!), and this morning dug herself down into the substrate on the deep end. From what I've read she could either be de-stressing or molting, I suppose only time will tell?


So, two questions I'm hoping to have answered!

First, as I'd mentioned before these two are intended to be classroom pets during the school year, and school starts back up on Monday. Am I correct in assuming that if Ginny is down I shouldn't try to transport the tank to school?

Second, I couldn't find a place for this on the forum, but of course I'm still figuring out navigating around, but is there a section for like... tank diaries? Where you could have a single thread and post updates and happenings in your crabitat?
Spooky- PP, Medium/Large, ~20yo, since 12/20/18
Ginny- PP, Medium, ~3yo, since 1/3/19

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Re: New crabber with a 20yo crabbie!

Post by Hermiesguardian » Sat Jan 05, 2019 1:16 am

wenwillwego wrote:And now I have a new-new crabbie to keep this guy company! Yesterday I met up with a member from here who was looking to re-home their single crab, who is another PP, so it seemed like a good match! When we got home I dipped new-new crab (Ginny) in some fresh water from the crabitat and dropped her in.

She hid for a bit, but pretty shortly found Spooky in his cave, and they oogled each other with their feelers for like 10min, and then both went into the cave and felt around on each other. It was really sweet and kind of emotional, knowing Spooky has lived years if not decades without a crab friend. I tried to take a pic, but without flash it's just a bunch of blurry shells in the dark. :lol:

Overnight Ginny already changed shells (Spooky also changed shells a few days ago!), and this morning dug herself down into the substrate on the deep end. From what I've read she could either be de-stressing or molting, I suppose only time will tell?


So, two questions I'm hoping to have answered!

First, as I'd mentioned before these two are intended to be classroom pets during the school year, and school starts back up on Monday. Am I correct in assuming that if Ginny is down I shouldn't try to transport the tank to school?

Second, I couldn't find a place for this on the forum, but of course I'm still figuring out navigating around, but is there a section for like... tank diaries? Where you could have a single thread and post updates and happenings in your crabitat?
Congrats on the new crabbie! The problem with moving a tank is that if anyone is under, which many usually are during the day, is that tunnels and caves can collapse and suffocate the crabs.
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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Re: New crabber with a 20yo crabbie!

Post by Motörcrab » Sat Jan 05, 2019 10:24 am

That's great, adopting is the best option for adding to your crabby family! We have had much better luck with them than store bought ones!

It's always amazing watching them interact. I wonder what they say to each other. "Where did you come come from?", "The food is alright here but I'm really craving some ________!"

Most people post diaries and progress in the pictures section.

I'm not sure about having them in the class room. I think they would be fine just moving their tank there. I would be concerned about transporting the tank if they are molting. The bumps and vibrations from transporting them can collapse their burrows potentially killing them.
Help Improve Our Resources Section (weblinks)
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Re: New crabber with a 20yo crabbie!

Post by GotButterflies » Thu Jan 10, 2019 7:56 pm

I just wanted to say Hello! Welcome to the addicting world of crabbing!!! :) Looks like most of your questions have been answered!! :) We are here for you!! :)
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

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