New crabber in the Flint, MI area

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eldorf.dragonsbane
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New crabber in the Flint, MI area

Post by eldorf.dragonsbane » Thu Aug 27, 2020 9:24 pm

Hello, Bonjour, Hola, Salve, Guten Tag, Zdravstvuyte, Kon’nichiwa

I am Doug, aka Eldorf.Dragonsbane, a new crabber from the Flint, MI area.

Currently have 2 PP's both bought at the same time up in East Tawas Michigan from Mooney's Ben Franklin last Friday, Mr. J (from Batman, the name that Harley Quinn uses to refer to the Joker) that is technically my moms, and Tawas (figured name him after where I got him). Mr. Jay was hanging on the side of the screen tank they were displayed in while Tawas was active and roaming around the bottom of the tank and climbing up and down the sides when I got them. Tawas has a natural shell, where as Mr. J. has a painted one :( that is painted black with a skeleton on it.

Granted they are both currently in small (approximately a gallon) travel tanks (separate tanks) with Eco-Earth as the substrate (replaced the gravel substrate that came in the Hermit Crab tanks that I bought when I got them), though this is being remedied, have a 20 Gallon aquarium and glass lid ordered that I will be picking up either tomorrow or Saturday from one of the local Pet Supply Plus stores. In addition to the tank I will be picking up some all purpose sand from Home Depot or Menards to mix with the EE. Have two gallon jugs of Spring Water with Drinking Water declorinator already mixed in one and Salt water conditioner in the other that I have been using to give the Hermies their water. Immediately replaced the food/water shells that came with the kits since they were painted and the paint actually started rubbing off of one when I picked it up, and replaced them with a single large scallop shell bought at Michael's Craft store ($1.47 for two on clearance at one of the local Michael's Stores, *DISCLAIMER* I do work at a Michael's Craft Stores as one of the Shift Managers). I also picked up the small craft fishing net we sell (net is approx 200sq in. of recycled {reclaimed} fishing net). Both the Net and the scallop shells were boiled in another gallon of spring water and then rinsed with more spring water multiple times then air dried for the nets over night and paper towel dried for the scallop shells.

Once I get the 20 gallon tank set up, I plan on picking up a pack of Chollo Wood for the Hermies to climb on and chew on.

As for the personalities, Tawas seems to be a lot calmer then Mr. J. who has already tore up 2 sea sponges and has moved most the EE in his small tank to bury his water dish (he has done this multiple times) so that theres very little EE in the Coconut Hut that he hides in, he seems to not want to burrow in it as much as get it out from where he is sleeping. Tawas on the other hand has dug a pit in the EE in the Coconut Hut in his tank to sleep in and during the day will have the entrance of the hut blocked.coming out at night pushing the excess EE he used to block the opening of the hut back into the hut as he goes around his tank. Both Hermies have been given some fresh from the garden (no pesticides or other chemicals used on the plants, just water so they will grow) cherry tomatoes, Tawas dug right in to the pieces he was given, while Mr. J. tasted some then let it be for a while finally going back to eat it after eating the crab food that came with the tanks (which will be getting replaced with a different food as is contains Copper Sulfate, the food is manufactured/distributed by a company called Shell Shanty in Ship Bottom, NJ).

Once the larger tank is set up I was already informed by my mom that I will need to get a couple more Hermies as playmates for Mr. J and Tawas. Hopefully as I get the larger tank set up and a wider selection of shells for the Hermies, Mr. J. will pick a better non painted shell to move into. I will try to get pics of the Hermies to share when I am able to.
Currently keeping 6 PP's- Tawas, Mr. J, Highwire, Mimzi, Carter and Taggert in a 29g aquarium

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Re: New crabber in the Flint, MI area

Post by GotButterflies » Fri Aug 28, 2020 1:20 pm

Welcome to the HCA and the wonderful addicting world of crabbing! :)

Please check out our care guides, and if you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask!
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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eldorf.dragonsbane
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Re: New crabber in the Flint, MI area

Post by eldorf.dragonsbane » Fri Aug 28, 2020 11:11 pm

Used to have Hermies years ago as a teenager, so have some experience already, though longest I recal having one survive back them was just over a year and a half.

Update:

Didnt get the 20gallon tank after all. Ended up with a 29gallon tank as neither Pet Supply Plus I stopped into before work had the glass lid to fit it (or even a screen mesh reptile lid, only the lighted aquarium hoods that have the open back for the filters and what not, that cost more them the 29 gallon tank itself), advantage is though larger tank for only $9 more (not counting cost of lid). Since the Michael's store I work at is next door to a Petco ended up going in to pick up a cuttlebone and walked out with two more PP's. The one is very active and is a climber for sure, the other is started roaming around the temporary tank I bought to hold them while I am at work when I was at work earlier. No names for these two yet, leanign towards Highwire for the one that was doing nothing but climbing and a Pirate Sounding name for the other as I didnt notice he was missing part of his one eye, though I know after a molt or two it will be regrown.

Also picked up a Thermometer and Humidity gauge to put into the 29 gallon tank once I have the Crabitat set up. Going to be using the All Purpose sand I bought at Menards (two 70lb "tubes" of sand for about $4 each before tax) today and EE mix for the substrate. Have the 2 water dishes that came with the two initial crab tanks bought when I got Mr. J and Tawas, along with a large Flukers corner dish and a smaller ramped dish. I also picked up a Lion's Paw Scallop shell and an Irish Deep Scallop shell to use as additional water dishes along with an additional two sets of the $1.47/2 clearance scallop shell from the Michael's store that I work at. The smaller scallop shells that I picked up at the other Michael's and the one I work at will be used as food dishes.

I also have two plastic soap caddies from Dollar Tree to use as moss pits with the fishing net I bought the other day as the ladder up to them

Got home and gave all four hermies a freshwater bath (picked up Stress Coat earlier also and used it to mix make the bath water) then introduced the new guys to Tawas and Mr. J. Mr. J. seemed to want to show his dominance towards the one new Hermie, standing up to make himself bigger and pushing him back, though the new Hermie did this too. Right now they are all in the 29 gallon tank with only a shallow layer of EE in there until I can mix the Sand and EE substrate together (by the time I got home tonight it was too late in the day to do this). I did order the Assorted Turbos small package along with a couple of additional single turbo shells from Naples so that I can give the Hermies hopefully a selection of new homes. Also decided to place and order to the HCP for their Sample Variety pack with both the Fruit Treat and Basic Diet samples added on, along with an order of the Berrylicious Popcorn.

Hoping to get the substrate mixed tomorrow, though have to work all day so may see if my brother will do it, if it isn't storming all day tomorrow, for me since he has a better idea then any other family member as he had a couple Russian Hingeback tortoises, two bearded dragons and a number of other reptiles before his house was broken into. If he does I will have him mix up at least 1/2 of one of the 70lb bags of sand one the EE that I have (have the 8liter back of it I bought for the small tanks and 3 blocks of the compressed EE) in a 55 quart plastic storage container that has a lid.
Currently keeping 6 PP's- Tawas, Mr. J, Highwire, Mimzi, Carter and Taggert in a 29g aquarium

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xambackwards
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Re: New crabber in the Flint, MI area

Post by xambackwards » Fri Aug 28, 2020 11:35 pm

sounds like your little guys are gonna have a sweet setup!


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eldorf.dragonsbane
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Re: New crabber in the Flint, MI area

Post by eldorf.dragonsbane » Sun Aug 30, 2020 10:33 pm

Finally got the Crabitat set up tonight. Currently a little sparse on decorations and what not, but set it up more for utility at the moment, decorating will come later of the next couple weeks or so.

Image20200830_213330 The current setup, have additional shells and some Chollo wood on order. Big dish is currently Salt Water (spring water with instant ocean added), the two smaller neon dishes are fresh water (spring water conditioner added). All water was 1 gallon jugs of spring water bought at Kroger, ended up buying 8 gallons to have for the Hermies, used a couple mixed up with instant ocean for the substrate. Lid is a glass lid that I currently have coverd with birch plywood so that if the one cat we have jumps on top of the tank it wont cause the lid to collapse.

Image20200830_213307 Tawas is the Hermie in the back corner, Highwire is the one in the middle close to Tawas, the one in the spotted shell in front is currently unnamed

Image20200830_213317 Fianally Mr. J who was hiding in the Coco Hut.

The unnamed on immediately after I snapped the pics started digging down in that front corner of the tank.

The shower caddy has EE in it right now , so far no one has tried to climb the net, though Highwire and Tawas were climbing a piece in the smaller tank they were in. Mr. J did make rounds of the tank after the pic exploring it. Will be using scalding hot water on the plastic piranha to clean it and then put it in the tank partially buried for the crabs to climb on.
Currently keeping 6 PP's- Tawas, Mr. J, Highwire, Mimzi, Carter and Taggert in a 29g aquarium

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xambackwards
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Re: New crabber in the Flint, MI area

Post by xambackwards » Sun Aug 30, 2020 11:49 pm

looks good! i would try and move the uth above the sub so you don’t burn your crabs aswell as allow for more heat in the tank : ) and for some more stuff you could add some foliage and stuff for them to climb / hide in.


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eldorf.dragonsbane
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Re: New crabber in the Flint, MI area

Post by eldorf.dragonsbane » Tue Sep 01, 2020 6:11 pm

Heater has been moved to above the substrate, into the middle of the rear of the tank. Haven't seen the unnamed crab since the first night, it burrowed down into the substrate. Mr. J has been burrowing during the day, luckily he is burrowing in the front of the tank against the glass so I know where he is, then coming up in the evening. Tawas and Highwire like the coco huts and have dug a shallow pit in one of them where they hide, though Tawas is also active throughout the day.

Humidity is holding at just above 80%, temp though is slightly below optimal, holding right now at roughly 75 Degrees. Hoping to get a combo dome light, one side a bulb for the day and the other side the "moonlight" heat bulb. next week when I get paid, just need to figure out how I will keep the one cat off the glass top, as the lights wont really work with the plywood cover over the glass. I also am planning on getting one of the Digital Zilla Reptile Habitat Lighting & Terrarium Heat Power Center that has the two daytime timed outlets and 2 night time times outlets and 4 continuous powered outlets for use with the combo dome light and UTH, especially since I know I will need the heat come winter as the room the crabs are housed in does get cooler in the winter then the rest of the house due to the windows (crabs are at the furthest point possible from all windows).

Looks like the Shells from Naples and the food from HCP are both set to arrive by Friday, though I am thinking the shells may be here as early as tomorrow since at 10am today they were leaving the USPS Indianapolis sorting facility. Already have given instructions that when they do arrive if I am at work to boil them in a some prepared salt water (Instant Ocean), then rinsing them off with some fresh water (one of the gallons of spring water I bought for the crabs).

Just wondering how does everyone else store their HCP (so similarly packaged) food? Do you keep it in the baggies it comes in or do you store it in say clean jars such as "mason" jars used for home canning?
Currently keeping 6 PP's- Tawas, Mr. J, Highwire, Mimzi, Carter and Taggert in a 29g aquarium


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eldorf.dragonsbane
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Re: New crabber in the Flint, MI area

Post by eldorf.dragonsbane » Wed Sep 02, 2020 9:53 pm

Well my Naples order arrived this morning, immediately pulled out a gallon of spring water that was treated then added Instant ocean to is for boiling. Boiled the shells including the Irish Deep Scallop and Lions Paw Scallop shells. Once tehy were boiled and then cooled off put them in the tank, the shell shop is the Lions Paw Scallop at the moment. As I was heading out the door Tawas was starting to try out the new shells, and ended up picking a silver turbo shell. After I got home from work caught Mr. J coming up from one of his tunnels he has been digging and put him in the shell shop. He immediately went to the Pearl Banded Jade Turbo shell that was there and got to sit there watching him check it out then switch into it. He has since been wandering around in it. Hesitant right now to remove the old painted shell he was in until I know for certain he will stay in the new one.

Did get a couple pics of Mr J trying out the new shell, Tawas is currently hiding so no pics of him. The black shell is the old painted shell which will be getting removed as soon as I know Mr. J is content with the new shell.

Image20200902_221450

Image20200902_221421
Currently keeping 6 PP's- Tawas, Mr. J, Highwire, Mimzi, Carter and Taggert in a 29g aquarium

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Re: New crabber in the Flint, MI area

Post by Hermiesguardian » Thu Sep 03, 2020 12:32 am

Welcome! Go ahead and remove the painted shells. You don't want them going back into them. Bulbs tend to zap humidity. You really want to cover the entire back of the tank, from top of substrate, with a heater. A good brand is Ultratherm which can also be insulated if you have to. The analog therm/hygro tend to be really unreliable. A digital one from walmart is abput $10. The water dishes need to be deep enough for them to fully submerge but with a safe way in and out. They need calcium and protein daily.
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


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Re: New crabber in the Flint, MI area

Post by eldorf.dragonsbane » Fri Sep 11, 2020 3:41 pm

Well its official I have a problem, I am addicted to Hermit Crabs and after repeatedly telling myself not to get more ended up getting two more from Petco. Also have an Acurite Thermometer/Hygometer coming from Amazon along with a mortar and pestle and the digital Zilla power strip that has 2 timed ports for day time, 2 for night time and 4 continuous powered ports to plug in the light and UTH. Picked up a Zoo Med Tropical Lighting set (2 dome with day bulb and night bulb) on clearance from one of the local Petsmart today for $23, then picked up the reptile moss for the moss pit and a 12in piece Cholla wood for climbing. The light init will be more for use in the next coming months it gets colder out, to help regulate the heat. Have 2 dimmer units also on order that will go between the power strip and the lights to help control the amount of heat they are putting out.

Have more food on order from HCP too along with more shells.
Currently keeping 6 PP's- Tawas, Mr. J, Highwire, Mimzi, Carter and Taggert in a 29g aquarium

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Re: New crabber in the Flint, MI area

Post by GotButterflies » Sun Sep 13, 2020 1:12 am

Ha Ha!! Hermit crabs are very addicting!!! :)

Is all of your substrate mixed with dechlorinated marine saltwater to make it sandcastle consistency? The reason I ask is because it looks really wet under the water dish, but dry everywhere else.
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 crabber in the Flint, MI area

Post by eldorf.dragonsbane » Sun Sep 13, 2020 7:53 am

GotButterflies wrote:
Sun Sep 13, 2020 1:12 am
Ha Ha!! Hermit crabs are very addicting!!! :)

Is all of your substrate mixed with dechlorinated marine saltwater to make it sandcastle consistency? The reason I ask is because it looks really wet under the water dish, but dry everywhere else.
Yes it is, I used spring water treated with API Stress Coat+ and Instant Ocean. The wet look if you look closer is the shadow from the plastic piranha skeleton when the phones flash went off.

Have the Flukers Bamboo tension bars that are currently waiting to be wrapped in jute, and my Acurite meter that I am waiting to make a plastic canvas case for to go into the tank. Added some of the Zoomed Terrarium/Frog Moss last night to the two soap caddy dishes i have in the tank right now. When I looked the humidity on the analog meter was reading about 90% at 2am when I looked in on the way to the bathroom, which is up from the approx 75-80% it was reading. Temp seems to be holding fairly steady at about 78 or so. Again these numbers are going off the Zoomed analog thermometer and hygrometer in the tank and not the accurite that arrived yesterday from amazon
Currently keeping 6 PP's- Tawas, Mr. J, Highwire, Mimzi, Carter and Taggert in a 29g aquarium

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Re: New crabber in the Flint, MI area

Post by GotButterflies » Sun Sep 13, 2020 4:55 pm

eldorf.dragonsbane wrote:
Sun Sep 13, 2020 7:53 am
Yes it is, I used spring water treated with API Stress Coat+ and Instant Ocean. The wet look if you look closer is the shadow from the plastic piranha skeleton when the phones flash went off.

Have the Flukers Bamboo tension bars that are currently waiting to be wrapped in jute, and my Acurite meter that I am waiting to make a plastic canvas case for to go into the tank. Added some of the Zoomed Terrarium/Frog Moss last night to the two soap caddy dishes i have in the tank right now. When I looked the humidity on the analog meter was reading about 90% at 2am when I looked in on the way to the bathroom, which is up from the approx 75-80% it was reading. Temp seems to be holding fairly steady at about 78 or so. Again these numbers are going off the Zoomed analog thermometer and hygrometer in the tank and not the accurite that arrived yesterday from amazon
Ah! The shadow makes sense! I was on REALLY late last night.

If you aren't able to make the plastic canvas case, Motörcrab & Xeno's store sells cases for the Acurite digital gauges :)
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 crabber in the Flint, MI area

Post by eldorf.dragonsbane » Sun Sep 13, 2020 10:29 pm

Picked up about a dozen or so sheets of plastic canvas yesterday, iirc 2 green, 2 red, 2 light blue (only color blue available at the time), 2 white, 2 "clear", and 2 black, one of the advantages of working in at a Michaels Craft Store, and a pack of small zip ties from Dollar Tree. Made the Acurite holder today, and a curiosity cube yesterday. The Flukers "Bamboo" that I also picked up Friday are in the process of being wrapped in Jute/twine, have one done the second one is about to be started on wrapping. Already have my mother willing to crochet a net from the jute (bought a 500ft roll of it from work yesterday).

Have to laugh at Tawas, he keeps changing shells every could days, currently he is in the shell Taggart (one of the newest crabs the other is Carter, both were named after characters from the Syfy Channel TV series Eureka, Jack Carter played by Colin Ferguson and Jim Taggart played by Matt Frewer) was using (wasnt a shell jacking, Taggart changed into a different shell then burrowed under the sand before Tawas decided to wear his old shell), though he does keep going back to one of the silver turbo shells.


Slowly getting the tank decorated some more, though part of what I want to do will have to wait until all the crabs are above ground as I need to dig into the substrate to partially bury the fish skeleton and work on the second level where I will have either a moss pit or the shell shop located. When I get paid again next week will be picking up some of the fake greenery we sell at work to create a couple of possible hiding/climbing areas. May also put a live spider plant or a small chia "field" in for them to demolish at their convenience.
Currently keeping 6 PP's- Tawas, Mr. J, Highwire, Mimzi, Carter and Taggert in a 29g aquarium

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Re: New crabber in the Flint, MI area

Post by GotButterflies » Thu Sep 17, 2020 3:07 pm

I was re-reading your posts, and something I noticed is that you are using the hermit crab saltwater conditioner. That is not actually the saltwater that they need. TBH, most products marketed for hermit crabs are crap. It's really a shame. Hermit crabs need real saltwater. You need a product called Instant Ocean. It is salt used to make marine saltwater fish tanks. :) It has all of the essential minerals hermit crabs need. :) You would use a dechlorinator with the water as well.
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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