Is my crab destressing or dead?

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Topic author
Tmomma
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon May 18, 2020 10:52 pm

Is my crab destressing or dead?

Post by Tmomma » Tue May 19, 2020 7:20 am

So I've owned hermit crabs now for about 3 months. Never saw myself as a crab owner but it's a long story. None the less, I want to take good care of them so I have been doing a ton of research on this forum and many others. However, I can't find a clear answer to my question. I apologize in advance if this has already been asked.

I believe my tank conditions are good..temp is averaged at 76-79 and humidity is typically 73-80 for my 4 PPs. When I originally got them (only 3 months ago) they were in a 10 gallon but now in a 40B tank. Eco earth as substarte with some sand mixed in but mostly eco. Good depth and two bubbler pools with salt and fresh. Plenty of things to climb on and food blends are good along with fresh food. I've had two successful crab molts with no parts missing and nobody eating one another.

So here's my question, my first crab to molt was Herman. He molted and came up on his own in the 10 gallon tank. He was down for about 4-5 weeks. After he came up, about 1-2 weeks later is when I had switched to the 40B tank. I combined some of the original eco with the new eco so they had some original scent in the new tank. Since one of my crabs was still molting in the 10 gallon I didn't add him to the big tank until he finished his molt.

So origianally, 3 of my crabs Rocky, Skipper, and Herman went into the 40b tank together. Herman and Rocky get along ok and skipper tends to be the "mediator" because he is the biggest and not very agressive. Skipper went down about two weeks ago to begin to molt. The problem started when he went down. Herman was trying to fight rocky all the time..probably for his shell. I have plenty of shells in the tank and more magpies ordered but I think he was just being a stinker and wanted dominance. About 1 week ago Herman dissapeared and I have not seen him surface. I have a camera that I check throughout the night since I have trouble sleeping. I never see him. I do see all the other crabs though. We added 1 more crab about a week ago so there is 5. 3 currently on top, skipper molting, and herman dead?

It seems way too close for him to molt again. It's only been like 4 weeks since he came up from a molt. I would think after moltign he would have felt comfortable but I guess no? Any ideas? Is it normal for a crab to bury himself for an extended time after he has already had an esablished molt? I don't want to dig too much in the tank because Skipper is molting and I have no idea where. I don't smell anything bad in the few spots I have tried to poke around. I also don't want to scare the new little guy. Is it bad just to leave it alone for a while even if he is dead? Will that expose disease in the tank? Sorry for the length of post but I wanted to provide details. Everything I find just talks about crabs being down for molting and only destressing for a few days at a time. Herman has been down a whole week with no sightings and he was a pretty active crab. Please advise.


22pony22
Posts: 212
Joined: Mon Jul 01, 2019 4:41 pm
Location: Southern Ontario

Re: Is my crab destressing or dead?

Post by 22pony22 » Tue May 19, 2020 7:24 am

If he’s dead he will smell bad. If he’s buried and dead I’d wait till the other crabs are up before you go looking for him


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22pony22
Current pets: Happy, Crabcake, Blue and Becca.
RIP: Peaches, Fred, Fishy, Goldie, Buddy, Hero, Nemo, Star, Aqua, Indy, King T. Hermy, Frogi, Grog, Yggorf, #4, Dude, Shelli and Bashful.


Topic author
Tmomma
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon May 18, 2020 10:52 pm

Re: Is my crab destressing or dead?

Post by Tmomma » Tue May 19, 2020 7:40 am

Ok thank you. That's what I was thinking but didn't want to infect my tank or anything.


22pony22
Posts: 212
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Location: Southern Ontario

Re: Is my crab destressing or dead?

Post by 22pony22 » Tue May 19, 2020 7:54 am

People were always telling me that if a crab dies it stinks. When my first crab died. It didn’t smell. So I had no idea- the crab (Hermy) literally had to break a part completely for me to know it was dead. (Cause of death was PPS cause it never molted) that was Christmas/ Boxing Day. I waited till March and bought Happy and Bashful- both crabs did molt underground. Happy molted completely and even picked a new shell to live in. Bashful was just not very active. Last Friday he dropped his shell. Tried to get him back in. Thought I succeeded. Unfortunately, he got out again and again and eventually died. Again, I wasn’t sure- it wasn’t until I smelled my other crab and bashful and compared them that I realized Bashful was dead. His body really smelled...bad. I was talking to Tammy at hermit crab patch and she told me exactly why Bashful died. When molt he didn’t shed completely the skin on his leg. Instead of dropping it he abandoned the shell he was carrying. Caused by not having ocean salt water in dish. I was using just a salt water conditioner. I’ve switched to instant ocean and prime and got the pellets out of their diet.

Good luck with your crabs.

Also, it might be helpful to use the emergency template- answer all questions fully!!


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22pony22
Current pets: Happy, Crabcake, Blue and Becca.
RIP: Peaches, Fred, Fishy, Goldie, Buddy, Hero, Nemo, Star, Aqua, Indy, King T. Hermy, Frogi, Grog, Yggorf, #4, Dude, Shelli and Bashful.


Topic author
Tmomma
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Joined: Mon May 18, 2020 10:52 pm

Re: Is my crab destressing or dead?

Post by Tmomma » Tue May 19, 2020 8:34 am

Sorry you lost your crab on Christmas. 😪 I might try emergency template. He went down with his shell from what I can tell..not sure if he is out of it now since he's underground. I use instant ocean and have a small tupperware bowl with a bubbler so he had access to salt water and same for fresh. It just seems weird that he molted and was up for a few weeks and then decided to kick it. I'm wondering if the tank move was too stressful for him. Makes me feel bad. If I had maybe waited to move them would he have been ok..you know? I haven't had a crab die yet..still new..so from what I see on many posts I expect him to smell really stinky. From what you are saying though, once I find Herman, I should pick him up and atually smell him? eeek...


22pony22
Posts: 212
Joined: Mon Jul 01, 2019 4:41 pm
Location: Southern Ontario

Re: Is my crab destressing or dead?

Post by 22pony22 » Tue May 19, 2020 9:07 am

Careful about picking up too much (I have to try hard to remind my self not to) cause it is stressful for them.

I had just gotten a new tank (my 10 gallon) and it was when I was putting him in after setting it up on Boxing Day- he dropped his big claw, next day he dropped a leg.

Though, I’d recommend you use the emergency template in the emergency section of the website. Make sure answer all questions completely and provide lots of details and information. The more information you’d provide means that other members that have been successfully keeping hermit cabs for years could help you way more. Cause I’m still fairly new and just started keeping them last August and that crab only lasted till December. Just started them in March and one of those crabs died last week. Going to get a new crab today for the one I have left from March.


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22pony22
Current pets: Happy, Crabcake, Blue and Becca.
RIP: Peaches, Fred, Fishy, Goldie, Buddy, Hero, Nemo, Star, Aqua, Indy, King T. Hermy, Frogi, Grog, Yggorf, #4, Dude, Shelli and Bashful.


Kimberly
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Re: Is my crab destressing or dead?

Post by Kimberly » Tue May 19, 2020 9:12 am

One of my crabbies has been down for about 3 mos I’ve moved the other 3 into a larger tank but Adam is still in the old tank. I still add fresh food and water I’ve been doing that this whole time. It doesn’t smell either. I feel like I should look for him but I’m waiting it out a little longer . It’s possible your crabby I think Herman I’m not sure lol sorry but he might just be one that likes to go under a bit , maybe distressing , I’ve had one to go under for a couple weeks come back up and real active then do it again for a couple more days. What I’ve learned on this site is they are going to do what crabbies do which is some play some fight some hang out on the hammock lol and some dig more. As long as we do what we can they are going to be crabs and do what they do. That’s not probably worded right but I know it has helped to me relax some knowing I’m doing what I can. I think your little guy is fine just let him to his crabby thing.


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curlysister
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Re: Is my crab destressing or dead?

Post by curlysister » Tue May 19, 2020 9:29 am

I agree with the wait and see approach. If he's dead, you gain nothing by digging for him. If he's not dead, you put both him and other crabs who are down at risk of injury or death by digging. Sometimes crabs do a 'back to back' molt, so it is not unheard of for him to go down to molt again so soon.
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." -Will Rogers


Topic author
Tmomma
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Joined: Mon May 18, 2020 10:52 pm

Re: Is my crab destressing or dead?

Post by Tmomma » Tue May 19, 2020 9:50 am

Thanks everyone! I never heard of a back to back molt but knowing my luck I wouldn't be surpsied lol! I am going to wait. I don't want to risk hurting Skipper. If he did die..maybe the other crabs will get etra protein....morbid I know but I'm a circle of life fan. I also wonder if Skipper molting stressed Herman out becuase they were better friends than Rocky and Skipper. So maybe his friend going under made him grumpy. Oh to be in the mind of our little hermies...

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