Crabs constantly stay in hut

Where we discuss the behavior of our hermit crabs, as in fights, pecking orders, shell swaps, etc. Please post all naked-crab posts in the Emergency forum.
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hermitmom2
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Joined: Wed Sep 11, 2019 12:54 am

Crabs constantly stay in hut

Post by hermitmom2 » Wed Sep 11, 2019 1:13 am

Hello,

I recently purchased two hermit crabs from a boardwalk in NJ. I set up a 10 gallon crabitat for them which includes two water bowls (fresh and salt), a food bowl containing the store bough food given to me at the boardwalk, a mixture of nuts, sunflower seeds, and dried fruit, and I also like giving them fresh fruit or vegetables once in a while. They are currently in painted shells however I have purchased two larger unpainted shells for them to grow in to. I am using eco-earth substrate (its only about an inch deep because I have heard stories of crabs digging down into deeper substrate like they were going to molt but eventually ended up dying down there:( ) On the wall of my tank I have a thermometer and hygrometer and levels are good. I also have a net for them to climb on and a small hut for them to hide in.

However, all they seem to do is hang out in that hut all day. They come out to eat about once a night, or every other night but that's it. I eventually decided to experiment and removed the hut and they still seem to be very lazy. They huddle up in the corner of their tank and stay there for the majority of the day.

Is this normal? Should I be doing something differently? This is my first time owning hermit crabs so I don't know what the expect from them.

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DragonsFly
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Re: Crabs constantly stay in hut

Post by DragonsFly » Wed Sep 11, 2019 7:25 am

Hermit crabs are wild animals that have been terribly abused before they get to you. Most of them die before they ever reach the store; many will die within the first few weeks of your keeping them, even if you do everything right. :(

They desperately need to "de-stress," and they are afraid of you (a giant predator) and their new environment. They are hiding in the hut because it is the only place to hide. They need deep enough substrate to dig down completely, because they may very well need to molt in order to repair the damage done in being abused into captivity. Yes, they may die down there--but if they have to do a surface molt, that is even more likely to lead to their death.

What to expect from them? If they survive, be aware that they are nocturnal creatures; generally, they will hide or be underground during the day, and only come out at night. On an irregular basis, they will dig under to molt, during which time you need to keep all conditions good and keep water sources clean and some food in (because you never know when they will come up), but you need to not disturb them. As they grow, this time will extend from days to weeks to over a year. They will be more active during their up times if conditions are excellent (see all the care sheets and keep learning from the various forums to constantly improve), but they will never be interactive "pets" in the sense that a dog or cat or even a rat can be. The fascination of keeping them is in constantly providing better habitat for them, creating more and more elaborate "home zoological exhibits" for them, because, again, these are not domestic pets, but wild animals. Best wishes!
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Hermiesguardian
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Re: Crabs constantly stay in hut

Post by Hermiesguardian » Wed Sep 11, 2019 8:41 am

Welcome! Please read through the basic care sheets, safe food/unsafe food lists, food pyramid. The reason for a minimum of 6 inches of substrate or 3x the height of your largest crab, whichever is deeper, is so they don't get cannibalized by the other crabs. They emit a yummy smell when molting and other crabs will eat them if they come across them. The substrate needs to be sandcastle consistancy to hold its shape for their tunnels and caves.
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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curlysister
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Re: Crabs constantly stay in hut

Post by curlysister » Wed Sep 11, 2019 9:36 am

As HG said, please read through the care sheets. Your sub definately needs to be deeper. Commercial food is not safe, the care sheets explain all about crab nutrition.
You need to buy more shells - HCA recommends 3-5 extra shells per crab. The care sheet about shells explains proper and improper shell types to buy.
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." -Will Rogers


Topic author
hermitmom2
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Sep 11, 2019 12:54 am

Re: Crabs constantly stay in hut

Post by hermitmom2 » Wed Sep 11, 2019 9:47 am

Where can I find these cars sheets?

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Hermiesguardian
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Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2017 10:41 pm

Re: Crabs constantly stay in hut

Post by Hermiesguardian » Wed Sep 11, 2019 10:40 am

hermitmom2 wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 9:47 am
Where can I find these cars sheets?
Click on board index and look for the section with care sheets.
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


Wegotazoo
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Re: Crabs constantly stay in hut

Post by Wegotazoo » Wed Sep 11, 2019 10:42 am

Care Sheet: Basic Hermit Crab Care for All Species
https://r.tapatalk.com/shareLink?share_ ... are_type=t


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curlysister
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Location: Manitoba, Canada

Re: Crabs constantly stay in hut

Post by curlysister » Wed Sep 11, 2019 1:27 pm

Here's the link if you're using a browser:

http://www.hermitcrabassociation.com/ph ... .php?f=120
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." -Will Rogers

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