Brand new to hermies, emotionally attached, and trying really hard!

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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Topic author
Zanthalia
Posts: 30
Joined: Sun Sep 15, 2019 8:36 am
Location: Ohio

Brand new to hermies, emotionally attached, and trying really hard!

Post by Zanthalia » Sun Sep 15, 2019 12:04 pm

Hi, all! I accidentally found your forum a few days ago and I must say that you are a really impressive and kind bunch of people! I spent hours reading and learning and decided to join up!

We went to the fair on August 12 of this year. You know this story. lol We came home with Hermit Jeff.

Poor Jeff spent the night in an empty spare 6.5 gallon aquarium with the chinese food container he came home in.

I stayed up late reading. The next day we had substrate, play sand from Home Depot, two water bowls, a hydrometer, food, salt water mix, everything that Petland had to offer. (Petland... I know... Choices here are limited.) And Cute Face and Tamatoa, because we didn't want Jeff to be sad and lonely.

Success! Jeff, Cute Face, and Tamatoa appear to be friendly with one another. Sand and coconut substrate mixed with dechlorinated water to "castle" consistency. Dechlorinated water in bowl on left, salt water in bowl on right. Caverns under bowls for hiding. I took the sponges out, because apparently they're not needed and harbor bacteria. There is sand tracked into the water again and no drowned hermies, so apparently it's fine?

I found a piece of coral in our old fish tank supplies, so I boiled it and it went in too. Because if I had tiny pointy feet, I'd want something with tiny holes to walk on. I project. It's a thing.

They liked it! But they were really bad at not falling off, and I read that falling can kill them, so I buried it down pretty deep. Now they don't fall as far and I can stop helicopter hermie-mom'ing.

The humidity stays pretty good at 70% - 80% during the day. It gets higher at night but it drops pretty quick when I open the tank to change their food in the morning. When it looks low I spray dechlorinated water on the sand. I don't understand how land animals can have gills or how high humidity substitutes for being underwater, but I'm trying to work with it. They are in the hottest room in the house with an air temp of around mid-70's. These little dudes are super active! They scuttle all over the place and wave their little antennae and do what I assume is crabby things!

They can eat people food?! THIS IS SO COOL!!!! They love scrambled eggs and apples. They do not love bell peppers, raisins, or spinach. Grilled chicken seems to be approved. We'll try tuna next time we eat it. THEY ARE SO FUN TO FEED!

They also get powdered commercial hermit crab food because I don't think I'm feeding them right and they need to eat a balanced diet. They don't seem to like it much, but I'm stubborn and will keep putting it in with their other food.

I switched from the tupperware lid to boiled egg shell pieces as their food bowls, since they can eat it for calcium and I can throw it away and just give them a new one every day. Fewer dishes for the win!

They're way over-crowded. So we swapped the kiddo's fish out of the 10-gallon and now I can use that tank for the hermies! Not much of an upgrade, but an upgrade. Money is tight, big tanks are expensive, setting up what we have was no joke. We'll get there eventually.

Except now I can only find one. Cute Face and Jeff are just gone. Shell and all. Just... Gone.

There is no way they got out. I didn't get so far as getting anything for them to climb, and the tank is smooth plastic. The lid is tight enough to keep the humidity super high. Also, I'm terrified they'll fall and die since they do not seem to be particularly graceful creatures, so their setup is pretty flat.

The only place they could go is down, into the substrate. They aren't very big, and it's a lot of sand. I didn't measure, but it is plenty deep enough for them to have disappeared down there.

They've been there a really long time, like two or three weeks. Tamatoa is still up and moving most days, but even he disappears sometimes. I stalk them late at night, since they're nocturnal.Tamatoa is the only one who comes out. He eats and makes a mess of getting sand in the water bowls so I know he uses them both.

I desperately want to change them into a bigger tank with more room and an under-tank heater since it's starting to get cooler at night, but I'm scared to do anything right now. I spray the sand in the entire enclosure with dechlorinated water once a day or so when I take the water bowls out, but I'm afraid to do anything else. Tamatoa seems fine, but I thought the other two were fine too.

I know we need shells for them. I'm working on it. Apparently we also need a plastic hamster wheel? I have to be honest and say that I don't understand that at all.

Can someone, please, tell me that I didn't kill our brand new babies and that I'm over-reacting? I really did try to do everything I could to make them happy. We only had them like a week or two, so from what I read I'm assuming it's a two-crab molt but it feels way too early for that.

For what it's worth, I use a plastic spoon to very gently clean up whatever looks like waste from the top of the sand and the tank smells surprisingly pleasant. Not really like the beach, but sort of humid and happy and like whatever I fed them the night before.

I'm sorry for the long post, but look at their tiny trusting faces! I got emotionally attached really fast and I worry for the missing babies. :(ImageImageImageImage

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JoeHermits
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Re: Brand new to hermies, emotionally attached, and trying really hard!

Post by JoeHermits » Sun Sep 15, 2019 4:56 pm

Welcome to the forum!

You’re doing just fine. Hermit crab husbandry is a continual learning process. Just take everything in baby steps and you’ll be a proud parent before you know it.


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RiNiKy506
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Re: Brand new to hermies, emotionally attached, and trying really hard!

Post by RiNiKy506 » Sun Sep 15, 2019 5:13 pm

Welcome! I don’t have too much time to post but I saw you posted and read it quick so I just wanted to add, bc I had an awful flood and it was terrible, be careful misting everyday bc you can add too much and cause the sand at the bottom of your tank to become too wet. Your other guys are probably molting and it is very boring when they go to molt and make you go crazy wondering if they’re ok. Image You sound like your off to a great start with your shelled babies except for the pellet food. A lot of the pellet foods have ingredients that are toxic to them. Keep checking the safe food list and feed them the fresh stuff your feeding them, the egg shell food dishes is a great idea! Here is a link to all the care guides you need
http://hermitcrabassociation.com/phpBB ... .php?f=120
This place is amazing and really has had everything I’ve needed for my crabby crew to really thrive, everyone is amazing and will have a lot more advice for you. Image The hamster wheel is great bc they walk a lot in the wild and no matter how big our tanks are, they’ll never get to do all the walking they would in the wild. Having the wheel gives them the opportunity to do that when they figure it out and they’ll all climb on and have fun playing on it. Your little one is so cute!

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Hermiesguardian
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Re: Brand new to hermies, emotionally attached, and trying really hard!

Post by Hermiesguardian » Sun Sep 15, 2019 9:00 pm

Welcome! Just one more thing. They are also called tree climbers. They need things to climb on. Don't worry about them falling. They fall out of trees sometimes too. That's what the shell is for.
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
Zanthalia
Posts: 30
Joined: Sun Sep 15, 2019 8:36 am
Location: Ohio

Re: Brand new to hermies, emotionally attached, and trying really hard!

Post by Zanthalia » Mon Sep 16, 2019 6:00 am

Thank you so much for your kind words of encouragement!

I did go out and pick up a hamster wheel, much to my husband's confusion. It's plastic and rotates from the center, so no metal bars to catch little crabby legs. It'll go in once I can redecorate. Along with some stuff to climb on, although I think it'll make me nervy to watch them fall for a minute.

We also got a bag of decorative shells from a craft store and boiled them to add in before bed last night. Tamatoa seemed like he was having a blast last night, flipping them around and trying them on. I've never seen that happen before! It's so fast! He tried on at least two before we had to go to bed. My daughter and I watched him for a while on our night vision camera and she said he looked like he was trying on prom dresses. His old shell is definitely empty this morning. I can't wait to see what he settled on!

I'll be more conservative with the spraying, and more patient with the missing ones. I feel better now that someone else said it sounds like a molt.

Thank you for making me not feel quite as neurotic!


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DevilNDisguise
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Re: Brand new to hermies, emotionally attached, and trying really hard!

Post by DevilNDisguise » Mon Sep 30, 2019 6:32 pm

A bit late, but I absolutely love this post. Gave me a good chuckle. I especially enjoyed "helicopter hermie-mom'ing", and can relate to most of these worries. I just started doing this myself a little over a year ago, so I've learned quite a lot along the way, but am far from being an expert or hermit crab veteran. You really learn something new all the time with them!

Even to this day, I still worry about every little thing having to do with them and their setup. But you look and sound like you're doing great with yours! Their little eyes and faces are just the cutest. <3
1 Bearded Dragon, 1 Guinea Pig, 1 Rabbit, 1 Lovebird, 2 Cockatiels, 3 Hamsters, 3 Rats, and Many Hermit Crab Babies!


Topic author
Zanthalia
Posts: 30
Joined: Sun Sep 15, 2019 8:36 am
Location: Ohio

Re: Brand new to hermies, emotionally attached, and trying really hard!

Post by Zanthalia » Mon Sep 30, 2019 7:09 pm

DevilNDisguise wrote:A bit late, but I absolutely love this post. Gave me a good chuckle. I especially enjoyed "helicopter hermie-mom'ing", and can relate to most of these worries. I just started doing this myself a little over a year ago, so I've learned quite a lot along the way, but am far from being an expert or hermit crab veteran. You really learn something new all the time with them!

Even to this day, I still worry about every little thing having to do with them and their setup. But you look and sound like you're doing great with yours! Their little eyes and faces are just the cutest. <3
Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed. It was fun to write and the responses made me feel a lot better. I'm still convinced I'm a little batty, but at last I'm not alone! Image

Jeff came out a couple nights ago! I felt so much better when he did that. We're still waiting for Cute Face, but if Jeff can do it then I just know she can do it!

We got a bigger tank set up and I feel like they'll survive now and actually have a chance at being happy. Poor things, to end up with such a clueless Mommy. But you're right, I'll just keep learning and figure it out as we go.

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DevilNDisguise
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Location: New England

Re: Brand new to hermies, emotionally attached, and trying really hard!

Post by DevilNDisguise » Mon Sep 30, 2019 9:51 pm

Zanthalia wrote:
Mon Sep 30, 2019 7:09 pm
Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed. It was fun to write and the responses made me feel a lot better. I'm still convinced I'm a little batty, but at last I'm not alone! Image

Jeff came out a couple nights ago! I felt so much better when he did that. We're still waiting for Cute Face, but if Jeff can do it then I just know she can do it!

We got a bigger tank set up and I feel like they'll survive now and actually have a chance at being happy. Poor things, to end up with such a clueless Mommy. But you're right, I'll just keep learning and figure it out as we go.

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That's wonderful! I'm so glad he came up. I remember being terrified when my first three girls went under. I didn't see them for months. The biggest one took the longest.

It's a major learning process, full of plenty of trial and error. As long as we all keep up on our research, the crabbies will be living their best little lives. :)
1 Bearded Dragon, 1 Guinea Pig, 1 Rabbit, 1 Lovebird, 2 Cockatiels, 3 Hamsters, 3 Rats, and Many Hermit Crab Babies!

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