Ok to add substrate on top of buried crab?

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Topic author
AUchemE
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Jul 29, 2019 8:16 pm
Location: Tennessee, USA

Ok to add substrate on top of buried crab?

Post by AUchemE » Mon Jul 29, 2019 8:59 pm

Hello, new crab mom here! (Well, I guess technically grandma since the crabs belong to my 3yo son!)

We recently acquired our first hermit crab from a boardwalk kiosk while vacationing at the beach (I know :oops: ). His name is Spikey and he and my 3yo “love each other” :hug: As soon as we returned home, I got to work setting up a more appropriate crabitat. We also bought a second crab locally (“Salty”) when I realized our first guy needed a friend.

Unfortunately we live in a small town and our shopping options are limited, so I’ve bought most of our supplies online. The crabitat is now pretty well outfitted (thank you for all the great info on this site!)... except I underestimated the amount of substrate we would need, and it’s only 2-3” deep.

More substrate arrived today, but Salty (the new crab, a little guy) has been tunneled under the surface most of the time since we got him on Saturday. Is it ok to add a few more inches of substrate while he’s buried, or will that trap him? The pet store people (who seemed infinitely more knowledgeable than the boardwalk kiosk employee!) did not think he was likely to molt any time soon.

In another thread, I read a suggestion to just layer in one new inch per day... but it seems like a bad idea to prolong the disruption? We’ve been trying to leave the crabs alone so they can destress and get used to their new home, so I hate to disturb them multiple days in a row if I could be done with the changes in one fell swoop. (Also need to add a few things to the crabitat that arrived today: a climbing log, thermometer/hydrometer, new hide for Salty since Spikey has been territorial with his, and replace a shallow water dish with a deeper “lagoon”.)

Thank you for any advice!

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curlysister
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Location: Manitoba, Canada

Re: Ok to add substrate on top of buried crab?

Post by curlysister » Mon Jul 29, 2019 10:46 pm

Hello and welcome!
Yes, when you have crabs under the surface, you can add up to an inch a day, as long as you don't pack it down. It won't disturb them. The worry if there isn't enough substrate, is that if the other crab decides to dig down, and the first one is molting, it's vulnerable to injury and worse.
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." -Will Rogers


Topic author
AUchemE
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Jul 29, 2019 8:16 pm
Location: Tennessee, USA

Re: Ok to add substrate on top of buried crab?

Post by AUchemE » Tue Jul 30, 2019 4:59 am

Thank you!!

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