College grad with gifted crabs

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Shiwe
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College grad with gifted crabs

Post by Shiwe » Wed May 06, 2020 1:28 pm

Hi! I got hermit crabs as a grad gift (named Congo and Rats...get it?) and already have a million questions and worries.

My set up:
10 gallon with 2 crabs (dont know species, whatever petsmart sells (?)). 6 inches of eco earth and small amount of calci sand mixed in. Fresh water bowl, Salt water bowl, food bowl, and a log hide away. There is a natural sponge in the water bowl and both bowls have rocks to help with the crabs exiting. Zoo med hermit heat pad. Tank is in my basement room.

Things I know I already did wrong:
Calci sand is apparently cement when wet, theres very little mixed in with the soil so im not super worried but know not to buy in future. The hermit heat pad is a piece of garbage, very frustrated with that but im insulating the outside of the tank with tin foil as we speak.

Questions:

1.)This morning I heard scratching noises, decided to see what my hermies are doing and it looked like Congo was trying to flip the buried Rats. Thinking maybe Rats buried himself to molt so Congo was going cannibalistic. Moved Congo and ended up covering them both in more soil (had less than 6in and thought maybe RAts was being attacked because he wasnt deep enough. Was Congo trying to hurt Rats? Is Rats attempting molt or are they both stressed so they're digging and bullying.

2.) Is covering them with soil okay? Like I said I covered Rats and Congo with more to hit the 6in recommendation. On top of that I placed their hide away and dishes in different places, will that confuse and maybe hurt the crabs?

3.) Salt water. I wasnt able to get marine salt mix so for now I got the hermit salt water bottled stuff. I heard that that stuff can be harmful or just null but wanted to ask.

4.) Tin foil. Will insulating with Tin foil actually work or do I need to get a new heat pad

5.) Is plastic okay for the crabs? I know metal is harmful. But the saltwater bowl is plastic.

6.) Food. I bought Thrive pellets but am now seeing those arnt great. Hermits are scavengers correct? So Veggies are okay? I heard peanut butter is a great idea also

7.) LASTLY I got this as water dechlorinator. Does it actually work?

Thanks in advance everyone! Im so excited to be a crab mom

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JoeHermits
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Re: College grad with gifted crabs

Post by JoeHermits » Wed May 06, 2020 1:42 pm

Hi, Shiwe! Welcome to the HCA.

1) It could be either/or, which is why having the deep substrate is important.

2) No, burying them can suffocate them. When they dig they push soil out and around, creating small burrows with air pockets. We can't replicate that by ourselves.

3) Yes, you'll want a salt formulated for marine setups. Most other salts are just sodium chloride with maybe half a dozen minerals sprinkled in. Marine salt has over seventy different substances.

4) It does work but Zoo Med pads are already insulated. Covering them only creates a fire hazard. A heat pad from Fluker's or The Bean Farm would work better and can be insulated safely, but you'll have to supply your own adhesive. Aluminum tape works well.

5) Plastic is okay. Metal isn't all that harmful but I would still avoid brass, copper, or stainless steel.

6) Veggies and peanut butter are fine. Don't forget the proteins and calcium, which are important for molting and new growth. Check out our food and nutrition articles for details.

7) Yes, it does work. You're looking for a dechlorinator that removes chlorine, chloramines, and heavy metals, which that does.

Hope these help!


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Re: College grad with gifted crabs

Post by 22pony22 » Wed May 06, 2020 1:50 pm

Shiwe wrote:Hi! I got hermit crabs as a grad gift (named Congo and Rats...get it?) and already have a million questions and worries.

My set up:
10 gallon with 2 crabs (dont know species, whatever petsmart sells (?)). 6 inches of eco earth and small amount of calci sand mixed in. Fresh water bowl, Salt water bowl, food bowl, and a log hide away. There is a natural sponge in the water bowl and both bowls have rocks to help with the crabs exiting. Zoo med hermit heat pad. Tank is in my basement room.

Things I know I already did wrong:
Calci sand is apparently cement when wet, theres very little mixed in with the soil so im not super worried but know not to buy in future. The hermit heat pad is a piece of garbage, very frustrated with that but im insulating the outside of the tank with tin foil as we speak.

Questions:

1.)This morning I heard scratching noises, decided to see what my hermies are doing and it looked like Congo was trying to flip the buried Rats. Thinking maybe Rats buried himself to molt so Congo was going cannibalistic. Moved Congo and ended up covering them both in more soil (had less than 6in and thought maybe RAts was being attacked because he wasnt deep enough. Was Congo trying to hurt Rats? Is Rats attempting molt or are they both stressed so they're digging and bullying.

2.) Is covering them with soil okay? Like I said I covered Rats and Congo with more to hit the 6in recommendation. On top of that I placed their hide away and dishes in different places, will that confuse and maybe hurt the crabs?

3.) Salt water. I wasnt able to get marine salt mix so for now I got the hermit salt water bottled stuff. I heard that that stuff can be harmful or just null but wanted to ask.

4.) Tin foil. Will insulating with Tin foil actually work or do I need to get a new heat pad

5.) Is plastic okay for the crabs? I know metal is harmful. But the saltwater bowl is plastic.

6.) Food. I bought Thrive pellets but am now seeing those arnt great. Hermits are scavengers correct? So Veggies are okay? I heard peanut butter is a great idea also

7.) LASTLY I got this as water dechlorinator. Does it actually work?

Thanks in advance everyone! Im so excited to be a crab mom
Your hermit crabs are purple pinchers (pp for short) /purple claw- because that is the type that Petsmart seems to always have.

Because there is eco earth that will help make the Calci sand not as dangerous. Eco earth helps with moisture retention. Make sure the log hide is not pine as that is bad for crabs. Get rid of the sponge you don’t need them and they just are problems. Don’t cover them with soil- think it will cause suffocating. Plastic is fine- if they try to eat it remove it. Pellets aren’t the best- I too have thrive pellets but I feed them lots of other things as well. I’ve got the old version of thrive. Peanut butter is great just make sure it’s a safe one. Don’t give them bread though


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Shiwe
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Re: College grad with gifted crabs

Post by Shiwe » Wed May 06, 2020 2:13 pm

JoeHermits wrote:
Wed May 06, 2020 1:42 pm
Hi, Shiwe! Welcome to the HCA.

1) It could be either/or, which is why having the deep substrate is important.

2) No, burying them can suffocate them. When they dig they push soil out and around, creating small burrows with air pockets. We can't replicate that by ourselves.

3) Yes, you'll want a salt formulated for marine setups. Most other salts are just sodium chloride with maybe half a dozen minerals sprinkled in. Marine salt has over seventy different substances.

4) It does work but Zoo Med pads are already insulated. Covering them only creates a fire hazard. A heat pad from Fluker's or The Bean Farm would work better and can be insulated safely, but you'll have to supply your own adhesive. Aluminum tape works well.

5) Plastic is okay. Metal isn't all that harmful but I would still avoid brass, copper, or stainless steel.

6) Veggies and peanut butter are fine. Don't forget the proteins and calcium, which are important for molting and new growth. Check out our food and nutrition articles for details.

7) Yes, it does work. You're looking for a dechlorinator that removes chlorine, chloramines, and heavy metals, which that does.

Hope these help!
Thank you! I just rushed downstairs and uncovered them both but im afraid to actually pull them above ground encase they are molting, Ive read that moving them while they are molting isnt a great idea
22pony22 wrote:
Wed May 06, 2020 1:50 pm

Your hermit crabs are purple pinchers (pp for short) /purple claw- because that is the type that Petsmart seems to always have.

Because there is eco earth that will help make the Calci sand not as dangerous. Eco earth helps with moisture retention. Make sure the log hide is not pine as that is bad for crabs. Get rid of the sponge you don’t need them and they just are problems. Don’t cover them with soil- think it will cause suffocating. Plastic is fine- if they try to eat it remove it. Pellets aren’t the best- I too have thrive pellets but I feed them lots of other things as well. I’ve got the old version of thrive. Peanut butter is great just make sure it’s a safe one. Don’t give them bread though


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Thank you!

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Re: College grad with gifted crabs

Post by JoeHermits » Wed May 06, 2020 2:16 pm

22pony22 wrote: Your hermit crabs are purple pinchers (pp for short) /purple claw- because that is the type that Petsmart seems to always have.

Because there is eco earth that will help make the Calci sand not as dangerous. Eco earth helps with moisture retention. Make sure the log hide is not pine as that is bad for crabs. Get rid of the sponge you don’t need them and they just are problems. Don’t cover them with soil- think it will cause suffocating. Plastic is fine- if they try to eat it remove it. Pellets aren’t the best- I too have thrive pellets but I feed them lots of other things as well. I’ve got the old version of thrive. Peanut butter is great just make sure it’s a safe one. Don’t give them bread though


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The logs sold in pet stores are fir, not pine.

Additionally, pine is not toxic. Fresh pine can give off fumes that cause respiratory distress in vertebrates but the hides in pet stores are dried and aired out.


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Re: College grad with gifted crabs

Post by curlysister » Wed May 06, 2020 2:19 pm

Welcome to crabbing!
Be sure to check out the 'care sheets' section for tons of info:

viewforum.php?f=120
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Re: College grad with gifted crabs

Post by Motörcrab » Wed May 06, 2020 3:00 pm

Welcome to the HCA! Usually I will start a post and by the time I'm done there are several replies already. I answered a few of the questions. A good bit of the information is listed in our basic care guide located here.
viewtopic.php?f=120&t=119273
Shiwe wrote:
Wed May 06, 2020 1:28 pm
Hi! I got hermit crabs as a grad gift (named Congo and Rats...get it?) and already have a million questions and worries.

My set up:
10 gallon with 2 crabs (dont know species, whatever petsmart sells (?)). 6 inches of eco earth and small amount of calci sand mixed in. Fresh water bowl, Salt water bowl, food bowl, and a log hide away. There is a natural sponge in the water bowl and both bowls have rocks to help with the crabs exiting. Zoo med hermit heat pad. Tank is in my basement room.

Things I know I already did wrong:
Calci sand is apparently cement when wet, theres very little mixed in with the soil so im not super worried but know not to buy in future. The hermit heat pad is a piece of garbage, very frustrated with that but im insulating the outside of the tank with tin foil as we speak.

Questions:

1.)This morning I heard scratching noises, decided to see what my hermies are doing and it looked like Congo was trying to flip the buried Rats. Thinking maybe Rats buried himself to molt so Congo was going cannibalistic. Moved Congo and ended up covering them both in more soil (had less than 6in and thought maybe RAts was being attacked because he wasnt deep enough. Was Congo trying to hurt Rats? Is Rats attempting molt or are they both stressed so they're digging and bullying.
He could have been trying to steal the shell or possibly trying to eat the other crab. Be sure to have several correct shells sizes for each crab size. 3-5 shells is recommended per crab. It sounds like you corrected the substrate depth already. A lot of pet stores sell unsuitable shaped or painted shells. Here is our shell guide for hermit crabs. Also why not to use painted shell guide too.
Shell Guide
viewtopic.php?f=24&t=92552

Say No To Painted Shells
viewtopic.php?f=24&t=122358

2.) Is covering them with soil okay? Like I said I covered Rats and Congo with more to hit the 6in recommendation. On top of that I placed their hide away and dishes in different places, will that confuse and maybe hurt the crabs?
You should never bury a hermit crab. They dig specialized tunnels and caves. Changing decorations around should not be an issue. With them being new to the environment I would limit any major changes until they become adjusted to their new living quarters.

3.) Salt water. I wasnt able to get marine salt mix so for now I got the hermit salt water bottled stuff. I heard that that stuff can be harmful or just null but wanted to ask.
A box of Instant Ocean mix is your best best. It works out to around $1 per gallon and is the go to brand for the HCA. It's sold at most pet stores and online.

4.) Tin foil. Will insulating with Tin foil actually work or do I need to get a new heat pad
With a Zoo Meds heater you can't insulate the heater. You can heat around the heater and not over it. Some heaters are able to be insulated safely. Here is Fleabags guide to heating a crabitat. This should give you an idea of how to get the heating correct.

Fleabags Guide
viewtopic.php?f=26&t=119297&hilit=Fleab ... e#p1072369

Heating Guide
viewtopic.php?f=26&t=119297&hilit=Fleab ... e#p1072369

5.) Is plastic okay for the crabs? I know metal is harmful. But the saltwater bowl is plastic.
Plastic is considered safe. Just monitor decorations because the paint can peel or flake off in the humid conditions

6.) Food. I bought Thrive pellets but am now seeing those arnt great. Hermits are scavengers correct? So Veggies are okay? I heard peanut butter is a great idea also
The short answer to being scavengers and veggies is yes. There is a lot of unknowns about what is truly harmful or toxic to hermit crabs. All information is based off of other animals and personal experiences so there is a lot of gray area especially when it comes to unsafe and unpopular foods. We do have a safe food list along with an unsafe and unpopular food list. I tend to be conservative with what I feed, organic fruits, veggies, leaves and herbs, single ingredient proteins, no processed ingredients. That's my personal decision and has worked for me. Peanut Butter is safe be sure it is organic and free of salt. Here are links to our food guides.
Safe Foods
viewtopic.php?f=25&t=92557

Unsafe and Unpopular Foods
viewtopic.php?f=25&t=92556

Store Bought Foods
viewtopic.php?f=25&t=92555

Hermit Crab Nutrition
viewtopic.php?f=25&t=92554

7.) LASTLY I got this as water dechlorinator. Does it actually work?
I am not familiar with that brand. A type such as Seachem Prime is the most used on these forums. That can be used with fresh and saltwater. two drops per gallon so one little bottle goes a long long way.
Guide on Water and Dechlorinators
viewtopic.php?f=127&t=92553

Thanks in advance everyone! Im so excited to be a crab mom
All the links I linked to and more available in the Care Guide section here.
viewforum.php?f=120

There is a lot of information to be learned about hermit crabs. It can be a bit overwhelming trying to do a crash course all at once. Once you get comfortable with the basic guide (very first link I posted above) you can slowly branch off from there as you read. If you have anymore questions feel free to ask away.

Edited for bold text issues.
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Re: College grad with gifted crabs

Post by Xenocrab » Wed May 06, 2020 3:43 pm

You can also get rid of the sponges, they are bad. Make sure they can get in and out of the water bowls and that they are deep enough for the crabs to fully submerge.

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Re: College grad with gifted crabs

Post by wodesorel » Thu May 07, 2020 9:04 am

The saltwater isn't dangerous but it's also not very helpful.

The dechlor is better than nothing, but ideally something that also takes care of ammonia and heavy metals is better.

"Coverts tap water into freshwater". Tap water is freshwater, or it would kill everyone. 🤦‍♀️
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Re: College grad with gifted crabs

Post by JoeHermits » Thu May 07, 2020 9:18 am

wodesorel wrote:The saltwater isn't dangerous but it's also not very helpful.

The dechlor is better than nothing, but ideally something that also takes care of ammonia and heavy metals is better.

"Coverts tap water into freshwater". Tap water is freshwater, or it would kill everyone. Image
Thrive Tropical Hermit Crab Freshwater Conditioner doesn’t bind ammonia but it does detoxify heavy metals.

Image


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Re: College grad with gifted crabs

Post by wodesorel » Thu May 07, 2020 9:25 am


JoeHermits wrote: Thrive Tropical Hermit Crab Freshwater Conditioner doesn’t bind ammonia but it does detoxify heavy metals.
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Re: College grad with gifted crabs

Post by Hermielover121 » Thu May 07, 2020 11:47 am

Do you guys think it’s ok that the way I decloronat my water is by leaving it over night in a open jar?


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Re: College grad with gifted crabs

Post by wodesorel » Thu May 07, 2020 11:51 am

Hermielover121 wrote:
Thu May 07, 2020 11:47 am
Do you guys think it’s ok that the way I decloronat my water is by leaving it over night in a open jar?


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This only works to treat plain chlorine, and it takes 24 hours. Many water treatment plants are using chloramine instead, and that needs a dechlor product.
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College grad with gifted crabs

Post by Hermielover121 » Thu May 07, 2020 11:57 am

Oh thanks for the info can you guys pls give me some links to places you get yours since I can not find any in stalk.
For fresh and salt water pls


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Re: College grad with gifted crabs

Post by wodesorel » Thu May 07, 2020 12:06 pm

Hermielover121 wrote:
Thu May 07, 2020 11:57 am
Oh thanks for the info can you guys pls give me some links to places you get yours since I can not find any in stalk.
For fresh and salt water pls


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Some of the links are broken but there is a list here: http://hermitcrabassociation.com/phpBB/ ... 27&t=92553
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