New owner - crabs hate new hide?

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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Hungrytree
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Joined: Tue Jul 23, 2019 5:40 pm

New owner - crabs hate new hide?

Post by Hungrytree » Thu Jul 25, 2019 11:35 am

Good morning,
This is my first post :) I've been reading and researching for a few days but I apologize if this is in the wrong place. I'm going to try and keep this brief.
We are new hermit crab owners, actually they are our first pets. Three PPs as near as I can tell that we adopted from my daughter's friend (They had too many pets). I did not know what we were getting into but have quickly done some research. As best I can tell, they have been living on pellet food, with tiny fresh water dish, on less than an inch of sand in an open lid container for three years. I think it is a 10 gallon tank? I don't think they have molted at all? Maybe one surface molt, but I think they through the exoskeleton away.

I've been reading the crab care sheets obsessively...
In the week and a half that we have had them, we have changed a lot.
-6 inches of sand mixed with coconut fiber disk thingies to sandcastle consistency
-UTH on side of tank backed with cardboard for insulation. Saran wrap over top of tank with opening for air. Temp 78 F, Humidity 80% (hygrometer calibrated yesterday)
-New kinds of dried food from trusted etsy sellers listed in food section of this site, plus some supplements from my mom's organic garden, plus cuttlebone in tank
-salt and freshwater pools - bigger than what they had, I'm not sure they are quite big enough yet but I'm working on it. I have been using distilled water from Walmart in gallon jugs and Brita water because I was told these were safe. I know now I need to fix this. I have Betta Bowl essentials and instant Ocean arriving tomorrow.
-new turbo shells for everybody. So far the only one who swapped permanently was my biggest guy, Sam. I don't know how to measure them but he is probably 2.5 inches as best I can tell measuring distance between his outside legs.

I'm having trouble getting them a hide they like. Their old one was really smelly so I got rid of it. I tried one made of grass for small rodents and they loved it but I was worried that it was going to take moisture out of the air and rot quickly. So yesterday was kind of a big day. I put in a reptile safe faux wood cone, added a lot more (reptile safe) moss for humidity, and added the Saran Wrap at the top. The first time we put them in the deeper sand, they ran around kind of panicky but soon settled down and hid in their old hide. Yesterday they panicked as well. So far they seem to hate the new hide and will not go inside voluntarily. Batman, still in his painted shell from the store, has made a cave in the sand under the moss I brought in yesterday and I'm of course nervous but excited. He's the first one to try any digging at all and he didn't look gray or have a molt sac so I hope he is going to be okay. I just lifted the moss a tiny bit to peak and put it right back down!

So I'm wondering if I have changed too much too soon. I should probably chill on the changes for a few weeks, huh?
Should I take the new hide out? Can I give them the grass one back?
Thanks for any help you might have. I know it can be annoying to constantly be teaching newbies and I appreciate the effort!


Topic author
Hungrytree
Posts: 25
Joined: Tue Jul 23, 2019 5:40 pm

Re: New owner - crabs hate new hide?

Post by Hungrytree » Thu Jul 25, 2019 12:10 pm

Forgot to mention: They have all been having periods where they are active and resting. No one seemed unreasonably scared or shy or manic.

Things I still want to change/add

I'm already looking for a bigger tank and a bigger water dishes that fit my tank. The ones we have are about an inch maybe an inch and a half deep. Better than they had but not ideal.
I'd like to add some safe plants and more food variety.
More stuff to climb on

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Xenocrab
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Re: New owner - crabs hate new hide?

Post by Xenocrab » Thu Jul 25, 2019 1:06 pm

You don't have to buy distilled water. Use Prime dechlorinator with tap water. Do the same for the salt water too.

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5 store bought, 6 rescues and 7 adopted.

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Hermiesguardian
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Re: New owner - crabs hate new hide?

Post by Hermiesguardian » Thu Jul 25, 2019 2:16 pm

Welcome!!! You are doing so great. Don't stress about a hide. They will bury to hide. Most of mine dig down to sleep. Is the tank in a high traffic area? If it is maybe you can cover the outside if the tank with paper or something so they are less disturbed. As long as the can still get daylight.
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
Hungrytree
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Re: New owner - crabs hate new hide?

Post by Hungrytree » Thu Jul 25, 2019 2:46 pm

Hermiesguardian wrote:Welcome!!! You are doing so great. Don't stress about a hide. They will bury to hide. Most of mine dig down to sleep. Is the tank in a high traffic area? If it is maybe you can cover the outside if the tank with paper or something so they are less disturbed. As long as the can still get daylight.
Oh thanks for the advice! I might take that hide out and let them have more floor space.


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Topic author
Hungrytree
Posts: 25
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Re: New owner - crabs hate new hide?

Post by Hungrytree » Thu Jul 25, 2019 2:47 pm

Xenocrab wrote:You don't have to buy distilled water. Use Prime dechlorinator with tap water. Do the same for the salt water too.

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Yes! Thank you for the advice. I started with distilled but am getting the dechlorinator shortly.


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Xenocrab
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Re: New owner - crabs hate new hide?

Post by Xenocrab » Thu Jul 25, 2019 3:38 pm

They need a hide. That's important. Crabbies can be a lot of work. It takes time. Read the care guides, look thru the pictures on this site. Ask questions! We are all here to help you be the best crabby parent possible so you can keep the claw babies healthy and happy!

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5 store bought, 6 rescues and 7 adopted.


Topic author
Hungrytree
Posts: 25
Joined: Tue Jul 23, 2019 5:40 pm

Re: New owner - crabs hate new hide?

Post by Hungrytree » Thu Jul 25, 2019 4:51 pm

Xenocrab wrote:They need a hide. That's important. Crabbies can be a lot of work. It takes time. Read the care guides, look thru the pictures on this site. Ask questions! We are all here to help you be the best crabby parent possible so you can keep the claw babies healthy and happy!

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I will definitely keep reading! Thank you for the clarification. I am having trouble finding a good hide for the size tank I have. I’ll keep looking:)


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aussieJJDude
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Re: New owner - crabs hate new hide?

Post by aussieJJDude » Thu Jul 25, 2019 7:04 pm

Sometimes crabs take a little while to warm up to new things. I personally wouldnt worry, and just focus on enjoying watching them regarding all the positive changes you have made!


Another things that's worth mentioning, plastic plants and wood peices can also function as a hide, climbing and decorative item (highly stimulating) for them, so a fee plastic plant vines found in the dollar store along with some driftwood peices from the store could be useful alternatives.


I try to encourage to have more than one 'hiding place' so crabs have choice.

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Topic author
Hungrytree
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Joined: Tue Jul 23, 2019 5:40 pm

Re: New owner - crabs hate new hide?

Post by Hungrytree » Thu Jul 25, 2019 7:18 pm

aussieJJDude wrote:Sometimes crabs take a little while to warm up to new things. I personally wouldnt worry, and just focus on enjoying watching them regarding all the positive changes you have made!


Another things that's worth mentioning, plastic plants and wood peices can also function as a hide, climbing and decorative item (highly stimulating) for them, so a fee plastic plant vines found in the dollar store along with some driftwood peices from the store could be useful alternatives.


I try to encourage to have more than one 'hiding place' so crabs have choice.

Sent from my SM-G935F using Tapatalk
That sounds great! I ordered some air plants today for that very reason. Can’t wait till they get here.

Thanks for the encouragement! I did get a bit worried we had gone overboard too fast


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