Advice on Australian crabs

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carolinej
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Advice on Australian crabs

Post by carolinej » Mon Jul 22, 2019 4:34 am

Hello.

We are looking to get some hermit crabs. We are in Australia. I've been reading the care sheets. These are great, and thank-you for making these available. I have a few questions and appreciate any advice or feedback.

1. Are the recommendations for space, temperature and humidity applicable for Australian species?
2. I'm looking at two tanks - 61 x 30 x 36cm (65L) or 92 x 46 x 46cm (195L). Obviously the larger tank will hold more crabs and options for enrichment. We were originally thinking the smaller tank with two crabs, but is two crabs enough to satisfy social behaviours with this species?
3. The larger tank isn't any more expensive to purchase than the smaller tank. How much more challenging will it be to heat the larger tank and maintain humidity for novice crab-keepers?
3. Any recommendations for heating sources available in Australia? I see that some types of UTH cannot be insulated.
4. Are substrate types and depth recommendations similar for Australian species? Where should I purchase the coconut fibre?
5. Is the moss sold in Bunnings suitable? https://www.bunnings.com.au/brunnings-1 ... k_p3010215
6. Are the nutrition recommendations applicable for Aussie species?
7. Is there an group for crab adoption in Perth? Though junior wants to 'rescue' some crabs he saw in the pet shop.

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The Crab Maid
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Re: Advice on Australian crabs

Post by The Crab Maid » Mon Jul 22, 2019 8:15 am

1.) The vast majority are going to have the same recommendations. From what I've read there is only one legal species in Australia (I'm US so I can't confirm, just reading on the internet). And reading up on it the recommendations are the same.

2.) It's a minimum of two crabs, but the more the merrier.

3.) The answer to this one depends on multiple factors - how hot is your home in Australia? How humid is it? Australia seems like a place in which the heat/humidity situation may actually be easier to do. Once I had enough UTH for a 50g I really had no problems maintaining heat and humidity, mine stays at 78-80F and 80-90% humidity (nights get lower, day is higher). I'm not really sure about UTHs in Australia, any that have a peel sticker and can stick to the side should work.

4.) Yes, same substrate. Avoid gravel, use play sand, often easily found at hardware stores. Avoid anything with silica warnings on it. Coconut fibre is often found in reptile sections at pet stores, I bought mine at amazon.com. 6 inches of sand castle consistency, or 3 times the size of your largest crab in depth.

5.) Reading through the moss, it's not chemically treated, it looks completely fine to use. Pet stores also sell pet safe mosses, but the Bunnings looks suitable to me.

6.) Pretty much all decapods (crabs) are scavengers. They're part of nature's garbage disposal. But yes, the list for nutrition is the same. Avoid foods with preservatives and additives, make sure they get plenty of calcium and protein.

7.) I'm not sure since I'm not in or from Australia. You can post on this topic with your info so people that may be from your area can see you're interested in adopting though: https://hermitcrabassociation.com/phpBB ... 13&t=14161 And also keep an eye out here for any adoptions in your area: https://hermitcrabassociation.com/phpBB ... .php?f=112

I know in the US we have sites like Craigslist and Petfinder which sometimes have hermit crabs listed on them, I'm not sure if Australia has anything similar that would help you adopt.
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Re: Advice on Australian crabs

Post by soilentgringa » Mon Jul 22, 2019 9:58 am

@AussieJJDude is our Australian admin! Straws and aussies are the most common crabs in Australia, and aussies tend to need sandier substrate so more sand to coconut fiber ratio.

Pretty much everything else is similar or the same as far as care goes.




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Re: Advice on Australian crabs

Post by aussieJJDude » Mon Jul 22, 2019 6:20 pm


carolinej wrote:Hello.

We are looking to get some hermit crabs. We are in Australia. I've been reading the care sheets. These are great, and thank-you for making these available. I have a few questions and appreciate any advice or feedback.

1. Are the recommendations for space, temperature and humidity applicable for Australian species?
2. I'm looking at two tanks - 61 x 30 x 36cm (65L) or 92 x 46 x 46cm (195L). Obviously the larger tank will hold more crabs and options for enrichment. We were originally thinking the smaller tank with two crabs, but is two crabs enough to satisfy social behaviours with this species?
3. The larger tank isn't any more expensive to purchase than the smaller tank. How much more challenging will it be to heat the larger tank and maintain humidity for novice crab-keepers?
3. Any recommendations for heating sources available in Australia? I see that some types of UTH cannot be insulated.
4. Are substrate types and depth recommendations similar for Australian species? Where should I purchase the coconut fibre?
5. Is the moss sold in Bunnings suitable? https://www.bunnings.com.au/brunnings-1 ... k_p3010215
6. Are the nutrition recommendations applicable for Aussie species?
7. Is there an group for crab adoption in Perth? Though junior wants to 'rescue' some crabs he saw in the pet shop.
Hey! Welcome.

1. The space/heat/humidity is applicable to aussies (Australian hermit crabs). However, I've noticed my aussies do better with a bit more floorspace in comparison to tank volume. I'd encourage around a a square foot per crab to be comfortable. But, others have success with around 5-10g of space per crab (many aussie owners tend to err on the side off too much rather than not enough)


As for heat, aussies do enjoy heat. I've kept my tanks at 26-34C, and honestly my crabs always prefer the warmer temps whenever possible, and bask in the heat.

2. The smaller tank is fine for 2 crabs. And yes, 2 crabs should be enough.

3. I actually find larger tanks easier to manage, and tend to be more stable than smaller aquariums. While it does take a little more power to get the temp up (and more money initially for more substrate ect) swings tend to take longer to happen/not so rapid.

As for heating sources, I reccomend going to ebay and getting a bulk of your supplies off there. I have an Ebay heat mat that worked amazing, cheap and rather easy to use.

4. Substrate type and depth is the same for all species. I agree with SoilentGringra (SG) in that aussies do better on a sandifer substrate, where many crabbing groups reccomend a 8:1 ratio of sand:coconut fibre for whatever reason. (I personally dont care about ratios! So feel free to use whatever ratio works for you.

As for sourcing coconut fibre (EE), that can be a tough one. Many pet stores dont sell it, or if they do it's extremely expensive. And in most cases, online isnt any better. The best place that many aussies go to is in fact the local bunnings and source their EE from there (you want coconutfibre with no added chemicals, should be near the potting mix additives).

5. And yes. Moss sold by bunnings is fine, as is the sand. (You honestly could by most of the supplies from bunnings save the food, tank and heating element!)

6. Nutrition is applicable to aussies. I find mine dont really care for fruits/veggies like they do meat, but try to ensure they are getting a variety!

7. Theres an aussie group (nation wide) on facebook, it honestly the best place to adopt is through gumtree, and making your own listing to adopt unwanted hermit crabs.



SG is also right in that there is only two species of crab available, aussies and straws. However, straws are extremely expensive (usually retailing at a base of $99), is a seasonally found in petstores and only found at a select few (only seen two stores nation wide sell them, or advertise them. One in Melbourne, other in NSW (think it was outer Sydney suburbs)) dunno if they are offered in WA due to the importation laws that you guys have!


At least Perth is a little warmer than hear in Melbourne, so it makes it slightly easier to heat your tank. A few crabbers even turn off their heaters for their tanks over summer, and keeping it at 'room temp' (aka 25C+). But winters, is highly reccomended in turning the heater back on!

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carolinej
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Re: Advice on Australian crabs

Post by carolinej » Mon Jul 22, 2019 10:47 pm

Thank-you! This is brilliant. The plan is we are going to look at the 50 gallon tank today.

I'm on e-Bay looking at heat mats. Are there any styles or specifications to look for that would indicate they can or can't be used with insulation? There's a lot of sellers offering the same style with note that "Low wattage, power saving and security, waterproof (surface waterproof, can not be immersed in water and moist environments) no electricity leakage, low temperature operation" I'd like to avoid burning the house down!

Is it worthwhile investing in a separate thermostat?

I think other than heat pads, most of our questions are answered. Thank-you!

Substrate will be play sand and peat, erring on the sandier side. We'll add a couple of moss pits and hopefully can use these to manage humidity levels.
Last edited by carolinej on Mon Jul 22, 2019 11:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Advice on Australian crabs

Post by aussieJJDude » Mon Jul 22, 2019 11:11 pm

Sorry also forgot to include helpful links so you can comfortably shop around without worries in bunnings:

http://www.brunnings.com.au/view-our-pr ... g-mix.html
https://www.bunnings.com.au/brunnings-9 ... k_p3023170
https://www.bunnings.com.au/brunnings-1 ... k_p3010215
(Can also get the sphagnum in a loose 5L bag, as well as larger brick sizes)



As for heat mat, I cant remember what seller I purchased mine from (was all the way back in 2012...) but it is basically the same design as this:
https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Reptile-Hea ... Swyi9aAQb7

I safely insulated mine with tinfoil over the top, and used a peice of cardboard to get to the required temperature.

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Topic author
carolinej
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Re: Advice on Australian crabs

Post by carolinej » Mon Jul 22, 2019 11:18 pm

That's terrific. We posted at the same time and you answered my question! I'll order a couple of heat pads 20 watt pads for along the back and go from there.


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carolinej
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Re: Advice on Australian crabs

Post by carolinej » Mon Jul 22, 2019 11:20 pm

Looking forward to a good Brunnings shop at Bunnings, and hopefully a sausage sizzle.

Thanks for the links!

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Re: Advice on Australian crabs

Post by aussieJJDude » Tue Jul 23, 2019 3:22 am

All good.

Haha, of course you need to go and get a snag as well. It's on the verge of being un-Australian if you dont. ;)

A lot of interesting crabby items can work as well. For example, terra cottage pots for hiding places, terra cottages saucers for food dish (honestly, it sounds like a good idea I may just go and get myself some for my crabs/fish...), small plastic units to make levels (or make your own out of PVC piping, fake plants as decor (honestly cheaper to go to a $2 shop and get some there, stay away from dyed/painted materials, and ones with added glitters), shells, rocks ect.

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carolinej
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Re: Advice on Australian crabs

Post by carolinej » Wed Jul 24, 2019 4:04 pm

Thanks! I’ve done the first Bunnings run for sand, peat, moss, gutter guard mesh, cable ties. The links were helpful. Next on the list is shower caddies, shell basket, shells and plants.

Also ordered a UTH from eBay. Hopefully it arrives undamaged from NSW. I’m not sure how they ship at that price without bending it.

More questions have arisen...

Is a thermostat likely to be helpful?
Any good online shell shops in Australia? Can you order from overseas sites or do they get pulled up by quarantine?
What is the name of the Aussie Facebook group? I’ve joined one that came up on search but it is mostly North American.

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Re: Advice on Australian crabs

Post by aussieJJDude » Wed Jul 24, 2019 7:52 pm


carolinej wrote:Thanks! I’ve done the first Bunnings run for sand, peat, moss, gutter guard mesh, cable ties. The links were helpful. Next on the list is shower caddies, shell basket, shells and plants.

Also ordered a UTH from eBay. Hopefully it arrives undamaged from NSW. I’m not sure how they ship at that price without bending it.

More questions have arisen...

Is a thermostat likely to be helpful?
Any good online shell shops in Australia? Can you order from overseas sites or do they get pulled up by quarantine?
What is the name of the Aussie Facebook group? I’ve joined one that came up on search but it is mostly North American.
Sounds like a good haul.
When mine was shipped to me I pretty sure it was loosely rolled up in one of those cardboard tubes. Was a little worried about that, but after taking it out it quickly sprung back into shape and has not been a problem for me over the last couple of years.

I personally didn't use a thermostat on my UTH (on my other heaters, I do... since they are stronger) but some crabbers do enjoy having the heater on a thermostat. Really up to you, but it's good for summer in case your home doesn't have a good AC and your house gets warm quickly.

For online shell places (bunnings sell a mix bag of shells btw, which my crabs dont mind...) the two places that I have had good service with are ebay (this one in particular https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Clearance-s ... 4248374790

And https://simplyshells.com.au/. Customer service is amazing. If you live in a touristy area, shells can also be purchased there. And yes, you can buy shells overseas as long as they are throughly cleaned. But shipping is very expensive, so I only buy shells overseas when I'm holidaying there....

There's more online shell sites, but these two are the ones I regularly buy from.

Edit: for the aussie crab group, I believe it's called Australian Hermit Crab Owners or Australian Hermit crab group. I dunno, since I haven't joined since I've found everyone on there a little crazy. It's very much 'only one right way to do things, no shopping around. Only use these products ect... and I find that a little too much and restrictive)
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carolinej
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Re: Advice on Australian crabs

Post by carolinej » Wed Jul 24, 2019 11:04 pm

A little crazy? Surely not!

We will be assembling over the weekend, and I suspect making return trips to Red Dot and K-Mart for kitchen storage supplies.

Now I’m researching exercise wheels. Safe to say, this is out of control.

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Re: Advice on Australian crabs

Post by aussieJJDude » Thu Jul 25, 2019 7:07 pm

Haha, that's crabbing for you! For some reason, I found it pretty hard to find exercise wheels in Australia, so hopefully you have better luck than me.

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