New Hermit Crab owner with questions and concerns

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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tracinowlin
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New Hermit Crab owner with questions and concerns

Post by tracinowlin » Thu Aug 20, 2020 2:03 pm

First, let me say thank you for having created this forum. I have spent days and most likely weeks learning what to provide for these 2 little guys.

Information: my grandson came home with two hermit crabs, small to medium-sized, from a Beach vacation in New Jersey. They were in a small plastic container with gravel and a small shell for their food no water. After assuming that can't be right I did some research and purchased the following:
10 gallon tank
Sand substrate
Water dishes ( regular and salt)
Food dish
Greenery, miss, logs, 5 shells
Top of tank is mesh so I covered with saran and a towel to help with heat/humidity
Some concerns:
I got a 7 watt hermit heating mat which I put in the back of the tank and it may not be enough
My thermometer / humidity gage is placed in the middle of the tank. The heat is around 72 and 73 degrees but I've been keeping the humidity between 85 and this morning it was 91 I'm not sure that's 100% accurate
I spray 3x a day especially the moss, to help with humidity
I failed because I bought the hermit crab food so now I've been putting in vegetables oh, nuts that are safe for the hermit crabs oh, and some fruit.
I changed both the waters and food daily

Concerns
my two hermit crabs were in painted shells. And in the tiny plastic crate for 2 weeks before learning that was horrible. Once I transferred them to the 10 gallon tank on 8/11 with the extra shells, the medium one thankfully changed its shell three times.
the smaller one buried itself immediately, I have not seen it at all with the exception of shedding its blue painted shell and took on another one. I have no idea where that one is at all.
The larger one I have seen buried under the moss. Meaning is I lift the moss I see a tiny piece of the shell. But doesn't seem to have moved at all
My concerns are not seeing them move at all not even sand marks but I'm still learning.

Questions
From all I have read on your posts, this could be stress-related but since I haven't seen either one of them I have no idea if it's molting either

I don't think they've been out for water as it doesn't seem like it has been touched or food as I literally cut and counted the food that I put in and it's still there each day.

There is no harsh smell so I have temporarily ruled out death.

Is there anything more I should be doing to ensure they are properly taken care of? Am I missing anything?

I'm concerned about the heat in the tank so I'm guessing 7 watt isn't enough but yet the humidity seems ok thus far. Should I get a higher watt and if so.. What is safe for a 10 gallon?

Any help, guidance, suggestions are so appreciated. Crazy how invested I am in their well being 😁

Note. I have no idea if they are male or female or the type of crab they are. I have barely seen them since coming home. My grandson said the medium one has a purple and white claw but I thought it was more beigy brown. Anyway that's all for now. Thank you again.


crabs_lex
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Re: New Hermit Crab owner with questions and concerns

Post by crabs_lex » Thu Aug 20, 2020 5:48 pm

they could just be destressing or getting ready to molt i wouldn’t worry because many new crabs will want to molt right away once in the right home with the rig conditions
he also just might need time to get used to it
my crabs and like always buried so i’m just used to it lol
but you should just let him do his thing and all your car it at conditions sound fine to me also since it’s summer i don’t worry much about heating the tank this time of year (but also i wouldn’t keep them in a room with an air conditioner running all the time that would be too cold for them)
but i would just let them go for now and see what happens in a week or so
also many people like to use a 5:1 ratio of sand to eco earth and it turns out to be a of a sandcastle consistency


Topic author
tracinowlin
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Joined: Thu Aug 20, 2020 12:57 pm
Location: CT

Re: New Hermit Crab owner with questions and concerns

Post by tracinowlin » Thu Aug 20, 2020 10:34 pm

Thank you so much for your response.
I just ordered the Eco earth to add for humidity. I also place sponges dipped in salt water in the tank to increase humidity but never in the water. Is that okay to do.

Also, I do spray down the tank and sand twice a day but it seems to saturate the top of the day...is that sufficient?

Well...on my non moving lil ones....I will try to wait patiently for the next week or so and hopefully I see them surface and happy moving around.

Have an great night.


crabs_lex
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Joined: Sun Jul 12, 2020 10:32 am

Re: New Hermit Crab owner with questions and concerns

Post by crabs_lex » Thu Aug 20, 2020 10:40 pm

most people don’t use sponges because they have tons of bacteria that will grow on them
but u can make a moss pit for them and that will help with keeping up the humidity
and with my tank i most the whole tank down a couple times a day including the walls or i also have a small humidifier that i place on top of my tank (i have a screen lid) or i also sometimes place wet paper towels on the screen


Topic author
tracinowlin
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Location: CT

Re: New Hermit Crab owner with questions and concerns

Post by tracinowlin » Mon Aug 24, 2020 6:13 am

Thank you. I will remove the sponges for sure and add additional moss. I love the idea of the wet paper towels. Well starting another week so I'm remaining hopeful.

I did stress yesterday because a family member was intrigued with my tank and started moving the sand to find the hermit crabs. She found my green one and cwss just getting ready to pick it up and I was about to stop her. Good news I saw his claws move. Concerning if he was now more stressed or molting...other hermit...no idea where that one is but I'm okay thanks again


Topic author
tracinowlin
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Joined: Thu Aug 20, 2020 12:57 pm
Location: CT

Re: New Hermit Crab owner with questions and concerns

Post by tracinowlin » Wed Sep 02, 2020 9:52 pm

Hello again.......so...last we chatted....I hadn't seen either hermit crabs. Well, it's now 3weeks today. I smoothed out the sand, no movement at all. I change the food every 2 days and water every day. Salt and dechlorinated. All's I seem to do is throw out food.

Also, no terrible smells at all so thank goodness but I was wondering if I couldn't smell through 5-6 inches of sand.

Heat is arrive 73-75 and humidity is always above 80.

Just needed some expert insight as it's so stressful to me...😔😔

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curlysister
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Re: New Hermit Crab owner with questions and concerns

Post by curlysister » Wed Sep 02, 2020 10:15 pm

That sounds totally normal, don't stress. They will come up when they are ready. Just when I say to my hubby that Cher has been down too long, I'm sure she's dead this time.....up she comes! LOL!
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." -Will Rogers

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Re: New Hermit Crab owner with questions and concerns

Post by Motörcrab » Wed Sep 02, 2020 10:22 pm

Welcome to the HCA! Being new to crabs is always stressful. Trying to figure out what is going on with your crabs.

The best advice I can offer is NOT to go digging and let them be crabs. If the crab is mid molt and you disturb them at the wrong time you can deform or accidentally kill them. If the crab did die there isn't anything you can really do. I just had a crab resurface after being MIA since mid May!

From reading your posts about one crab being partially burried it sounds like your substrate may only be 2-3 inches deep? Having deeper sub gives a molting crab more protection from other crabs.

What are you using for heat? A heat bulb?

If you didn't check out our care sheets that's a great place to get a crash course on everything hermit crab related. They range from beginner to advanced care so don't think you need to learn everything. Starting with setting up a proper crabitat I think will help you out.

viewtopic.php?f=120&t=119273
Coenobita Curiosities offering crabby decor
https://www.etsy.com/shop/CoenobitaCuriosities


Topic author
tracinowlin
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Joined: Thu Aug 20, 2020 12:57 pm
Location: CT

Re: New Hermit Crab owner with questions and concerns

Post by tracinowlin » Wed Sep 02, 2020 10:55 pm

Thank you for such a quick response. Yikes I thought the sand was higher than that. I will surely check and..... Should iimmediately add more? I did just received echo earth as well but haven't added it yet in case they were molting.

Heat. I have a 7watt uth on the backside of the tank which is 10 gallon

I will go to the care sheet now. I do apologize for overlooking that.

Your comments and feedback are greatly appreciated.


Topic author
tracinowlin
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Aug 20, 2020 12:57 pm
Location: CT

Re: New Hermit Crab owner with questions and concerns

Post by tracinowlin » Thu Sep 03, 2020 11:23 am

Update...I read The care sheet and so much more. I am thankful for pointing in that direction which I clearly overlooked.

Update on sand..the left side is 4 inches where the feeding bowls water are. Why I'm not sure. The middle of the tank is 5 and the left side is 6 inches. So I'll even it out and add an inch to be safe.

And..keep reading the care instructions until I am a semi pro.😁

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Re: New Hermit Crab owner with questions and concerns

Post by Motörcrab » Thu Sep 03, 2020 8:12 pm

I'm glad you are reading the care guides! A majority of questions are answered in them. Once you learn the care guides it makes adjusting things to your specific requirements.

As for adding more substrate I think there's a guide for that! :D
You can normally safely add about 1 inch of substrate evenly across your entire crabitat with molting crabs down.

Your situation with having a crab partially visible makes it a little more difficult. I'd still add an inch of substrate, but would avoid adding any around or on top of the crab molting. Leave a 6x6 area around it alone until he is done.
Coenobita Curiosities offering crabby decor
https://www.etsy.com/shop/CoenobitaCuriosities


Topic author
tracinowlin
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Aug 20, 2020 12:57 pm
Location: CT

Re: New Hermit Crab owner with questions and concerns

Post by tracinowlin » Fri Sep 04, 2020 7:29 am

Good morning and thank you. I only read about the care being one inch at a time so I'll go to the molting one and see what I can find out.

My biggest issue is I have no idea where the two of them are. When he was accidentally uncovered by my daughter he was in the middle of the tank in the middle of the tank is 5 in so I'll read up on molting

I know these creatures do this all the time and I noticed everybody asked the same question or comments how they haven't seen them in days weeks months but I look at them as they're a little animal and I want to make sure they're healthy and safe as much as possible have a great long weekend and again thank you guys so much for this form

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