New crab owner...HELP! 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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Crabbyfun
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Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2018 10:27 pm

New crab owner...HELP! advice

Post by Crabbyfun » Tue Jan 01, 2019 9:50 pm

 My son was given two PP for his birthday a couple weeks ago. Like many new crab owners we were ill-prepared and headed to the local pet store where we were given a lot of inaccurate information. I am so grateful I found this website and have started making conditions better for our new crabs, Luck and Skywalker. Our crabs are in a 10 gallon tank. The crabs shells are approx 2 in with openings 1 in. We now have 5:1 playsand to EE substrate 5" deep (I plan to add to make it 6" deep). We have a gauge that is reading 79 degrees and 80% humidity. It took some work to get there. I added saran wrap to screen lid with a towel on top and a 2nd level moss pit for humidity. I have a Mopani branch for climbing to second level. After buying the teeny UTH we were advised by the petstore and finding it was not near enough, I bought a much larger UTH for back side of tank and that made a significant difference. We currently have zoomed conditioned freshwater and Imagitarium premixed saltwater in tank. I have ordered instant ocean and prime, new deeper bowls and craft mesh (which should be coming tomorrow). I read the post about safe foods and food pyramid. I've fed them freeze dried shrimp, romaine, carrots, red peppers, peas, honey, coconut, and almonds so far. I change out food every week. I have shells in the tank but from what I read on this website, I dont think they are preferred by PP. I ordered 6 different turbo shells which should arrive soon.

Ok, now that you know our new crab situation...

Is there anything I am missing?

Are there any concerns with tank being covered completely, should it be vented?

How often should I change the substrate? Should I mix it periodically to bring fresh substrate to surface?

One of my crabs disappeared. I have read mixed info about molting. Do they actually have to be separated if/when one molts?

One of the crabs is in a painted shell, anything I can do to encourage changing shells?

How much do crabs actually eat a day? Besides the honey, and seeing Skywalker eat moss and peas, their food appears untouched.

Thanks!

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Hermiesguardian
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Re: New crab owner...HELP! advice

Post by Hermiesguardian » Tue Jan 01, 2019 10:20 pm

Welcome! You're doing great! Take a deep breath. You can cover the lid completely. They will get air when you feed them. Which should be every 2-3 days. They like variety and get bored of the same thing. They eat very tiny bits and you probably won't notice that they ate. As long as they're alive, they're eating. Feed them very small portions. Many of us never change the substrate. Just spot clean. As the substrate settles over time you can add more. If the crabs are down just add an inch every 24hrs, but don't pat it down. And the crabs do all the mixing. No need to seperate when they molt. As long as you're substrate is deep enough and you're feeding them calcium and protein daily, they should be fine. As long as you provide enough of the right shells, and you can never have enough, they'll change when they're ready.
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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Motörcrab
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Re: New crab owner...HELP! advice

Post by Motörcrab » Wed Jan 02, 2019 12:19 am

Welcome. As Hermiesguardian stated you are doing great so far. She covered pretty much everything.
We just set up a 10 gallon for two rescue crabs we received on Friday. 10 gallon tanks are a bit of a challenge to to get everything they need without using up all the floor space. They are really only good for 2 crabs due to the lack of space.

We have an 11 X 17 zoo meds heater on the back of the tank and one side of the tank insulated with 5/8 thick Poly Pro board insulation. Temperature has been holding steady between 79-82.

We also use a hinged glass top with a towel doubled up over the top to help hold in a little more heat. I found the screen top and saran wrap to be a pain dealing with everytime you go into the tank. I think it's good as a temporary solution but it's so much easier to pop a glass top off and on. The glass helps hold in more heat and humidity because it's a lot thicker than the saran wrap.

We usually use plastic food containers for water pools. We will use 4 for 2 pools. When you double them up the lower one stays in the tank and keeps the hole from collapsing when you change the water. Plus it helps from disturbing crabs that may be molting under or next to the pools.

I like to soak my shells in the salt water before adding them to the tank. I think it really helps to entice them to them. We did that with the two rescue crabs we received and one changed within an hour of being placed in the tank. The other changed shells 3 times since then! That was after an hour car ride too!

In the care sheet section there is also a topics about safe and unsafe foods you will want to check out. It's amazing how much stuff they can actually eat. Just try and feed organic when possible. There are also several members on here that sell hermit crab food on Etsy.

It is easy to "overfeed" and waste food. For two crabs you have. 1/8 of a teaspoon of a few things is probably more than enough. 2 crickets, 4-5 shrimp, baby carrot, 2-3 peas, a half of almond chopped up would be more than enough for a day or two. When they really like something you will know because it will be gone overnight. Usually if I eat a pear or an apple I will give them the core and leave it in the tank for a day or two. Mine love picking at them!

You can also give them crushed eggshells and cuttlebone for calcium. I usually take a whole cuttlebone and stick it in the substrate so it looks like a tombstone.

You can also browse the DIY and picture sections for decoration ideas. There are a lot of cool ideas on here. You will be investing in a lot of zip ties and command hooks for attaching things like cholla wood and fish net. Crabs can be like little hurricanes knocking things out of place!
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!


Topic author
Crabbyfun
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2018 10:27 pm

Re: New crab owner...HELP! advice

Post by Crabbyfun » Wed Jan 02, 2019 8:14 am

I have been changing the food every day. Just noticed the error in my post. Thanks for your replies! I will look into getting a glass top. It is annoying having to reattach saran wrap everytime. After posting last night, I saw both my crabs climb into moss pit for first time. So exciting :) Thanks for the information on food. I think they are eating it's just so little that I don't notice a difference.

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