New Crab Owner!

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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erickfvelasquez
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New Crab Owner!

Post by erickfvelasquez » Fri Jul 03, 2020 1:06 pm

Hey Everyone!

I am a new hermit crab owner (1 1/2 months) and I found this forum/community pretty helpful when setting up my crabitat! I have some questions about feeding/getting your crabs to trust you.

I have five crabs in a 20 gallon (I know eventually I will have to upgrade to a bigger tank). I keep my tank in the day at around 82 with a blue lamp and then at around 78-80 at night with a night heat lamp. Humidity is between 70 -80 with an automatic humidifier inside the tank. I tried eco-earth and sand with more than 6 inches of substrate on the eco-earth side. I have both freshwater and saltwater dishes (the saltwater is a little bigger), I tried out sponges but everyday I would wake up and there would be no water in both dishes.I also keep lots of new shells around, two of them have changed into new shells you can see them in the picture the white one and the green one below. I am trying to encourage the newest member to the tank who has a painted blue shell to change into some of the other shells but not sure what I can do to encourage him more?

I try to feed them a variety of stuff (rivershrimp, carrots, letuce, coconut, and pet store food). They love coconut!!! I was wondering how long I should keep the rivershrimp after opening the can (https://www.amazon.com/Flukers-Canned-R ... e35d7258cc) Right now I feed them small amounts and change it everyday and keep the rest on the can in the fridge, I was wondering if people have had any experiences with this brand/if crabs like them?

Also my biggest crab (~1.5 inches) went into molting! he dug himself up since about a month ago and hasn't come up! I accidentally found him under the food dish and since then have stayed away!

Also I was wondering what I can do to get my crabs to trust me a little more, poor things I think have been traumatized at the pet store because everyday when I go in to change out their food they hide in their shell/run into the coconut for hiding. Any tips on what you all do to get more trust would really help!

Thank you all!!
-E

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JoeHermits
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Re: New Crab Owner!

Post by JoeHermits » Fri Jul 03, 2020 10:30 pm

You can try dipping new shells in saltwater. That seems to make them more enticing.

Does the can have an expiration date on it? Food usually does.

As for trust, that will take time, and it varies based on personality. Some of my crabs ignore me and some are stilled scared after over a decade of exposure.

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GotButterflies
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Re: New Crab Owner!

Post by GotButterflies » Fri Jul 03, 2020 11:52 pm

Hi! Welcome to the HCA! :)

I just wanted to mention a few things:

IMO, for purple pinchers substrate should be 6 inches or 3 times the height of your largest crab (whichever is deeper). If you have Es substrate should be at least 10-12”. Substrate should be mixed with dechlorinated marine saltwater or dechlorinated freshwater to make the substrate sandcastle consistency. I personally mix mine with dechlorinated marine saltwater. This recommended height should be for the entire tank.

Hermit crabs have modified gills, and need humidity to breathe. IMO Humidity should not dip below 80. IMO heat lamps are terrible at making the humidity evaporate, so I personally do not like them. A vast majority of crabbers use the ultratherms to heat the air instead of heat lamps. I personally prefer glass tops, however with glass tops you cannot set heat lamps on top of them. Heat lamps can crack glass lids. With mesh lids you can cover them in Press-N-Seal, or cut open gallon sized Ziploc bags and tape them to the outside with packaging tape to help keep the humidity in the tank.
Humidity boosters: Bubblers definitely do help boost the humidity. Double dish bubblers: http://hermitcrabassociation.com/phpBB/ ... r#p1030806 You can also add moss pits to help. You would use organic moss (as well as moss that is on the safe list), and moisten it with dechlorinated fresh water. Then, put the moss in a shower caddy or a glass vase laying on it's side so the hermits can walk in and out of it. Glass tops also help keep humidity in.

Regarding water, a lot of us use a product called Instant Ocean which is what aquarium hobbyists use to make saltwater aquariums. It has the essential trace elements that hermit crabs need. :) You need a dechlorinator that removes chlorine, and chloramine as well as neutralizes ammonia and heavy metals. A lot of us use a product called Prime. As far as salt, you need marine salt, to mimic the ocean. You have to use the dechlorinator for both freshwater and marine saltwater. Both pools should be deep enough for them to fully submerge in and safe enough for them to get out of.

Hermit crabs can eat a lot of the same things that we eat. Just check to make sure the item is on the safe list. Foods should be organic when possible. Hermit crabs are sensitive to pesticides and fertilizers.
You also want to provide one or more calcium sources at all times. Examples would be Cuttlebone, Organic Eggshell, Oyster Shell, Lobster Exo, Shrimp Exo.
Make sure you cover all aspects of food pyramid :)
Safe food list: http://hermitcrabassociation.com/phpBB/ ... 25&t=92557
Unsafe food list: http://hermitcrabassociation.com/phpBB/ ... 25&t=92556
Food pyramid: http://hermitcrabassociation.com/phpBB/ ... 25&t=92554

The HCA recommends 3-5 shells per hermit crab. I personally recommend more. It never hurts to have more :) There are incorrect shells to buy. Here is the shell guide: http://hermitcrabassociation.com/phpBB/ ... 24&t=92552
Truly blessed to have incredible creatures, wonderful friends and my amazing family in my life!! I'm very thankful & grateful for all of them! www.thehealthyhermit.com

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Re: New Crab Owner!

Post by erickfvelasquez » Sat Jul 04, 2020 5:10 pm

Thank you for all the help! :) Specially @GotButterflies for the detailed advice!!

I got more of the substrate to even it up and I mixing it with saltwater! Also I think I have some ultratherms that I'm thinking about putting on the sides of the tank once I get a glass top. Just wondering what do you do in terms of lighting for the tank? Would an LED light be ok?

Also got some organic moss from a local grower so I know it doesn't have pesticides and hopefully that gets my humidity up!

Also I'm definitely going to invest on Instant Ocean and Prime, right now I have been using the pet store dechlorinators/salt water conditioners but If you all have had better experiences with these two products I'm definitely going to invest! :)

I also got some Cuttlebone to diversify their diet, I'm thinking about shaving it on top of the food since that seems to be what people are doing, but if you all have any other recommendations please let me know!

I also have a small update the newest member which I got from the pet shop with a painted shell (his name is boo), changed shells overnight into a green turbo shell which I placed in saltwater! Thank you @joehermits for the advice! I also took away the blue shell so no one changes into that.

Thank you all for all your help!!! I really appreciate the advice as a new member!
-E

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Re: New Crab Owner!

Post by JoeHermits » Sat Jul 04, 2020 7:16 pm

An LED will do just fine for lighting.

As for the cuttlebone, what you do is a personal preference. I’m lazy so I just drop the cuttlebone in for them to pick at when they please.

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Re: New Crab Owner!

Post by GotButterflies » Sat Jul 04, 2020 11:33 pm

Yw, my pleasure .

I personally use UVB lights, but lots of people use LED.

I stick my cuttlebones upright into the substrate so they look like surfboards


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Re: New Crab Owner!

Post by erickfvelasquez » Thu Jul 09, 2020 5:42 pm

Hahaha thank you both for the posts and the advice! I am learning so much already :)

Here is a picture of boo in his new shell and my other hermis sleeping together in the morning!

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GotButterflies
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Re: New Crab Owner!

Post by GotButterflies » Thu Jul 09, 2020 10:25 pm

Those are great!


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