Serial swapper?

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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Joined: Tue Feb 25, 2020 8:44 am
Location: Pennsylvania

Serial swapper?

Post by Crabsncritters » Tue Feb 25, 2020 9:02 am

Hey all! New crab momma here :D we brought our crabbies home on Sunday. They're still pretty shy, which is expected, but I noticed the smallest one, Pinchetta, seems to have swapped shells twice. It went from a shell that seemed too large (they head to retreat very deep into the shell to fully close it) to one that was the same shape and style that was maybe 2/3 the size. I thought it was pretty cool they found a nicer fit and were making themselves more at home. Today though i see the smaller shell is empty, as is the old shell. Not sure which new shell they chose as all 3 are burrowed under the substrate. Is it common for them to swap so frequently? I was concerned about a possible shell jacking as Sunday we did hear a chirp and the largest crab (Clawington) was very close to the Pinchetta. They weren't acting aggressive so I thought maybe Pinchetta was just in defense mode from the move.
Should I be worried? Will they bully one another if the size difference is too great? I have an extra tank and can set Pinchetta up on her own if it'll keep her safe but i don't want to isolate her if it's not necessary.
Any thoughts and feedback are appreciated, as I want to give them the best experience possible.
Thank you! :crabbigsmile:

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Joined: Tue Feb 11, 2020 5:50 am
Location: Australia

Re: Serial swapper?

Post by Meg'sAussieCrabitat » Fri Mar 06, 2020 1:30 am

I have had crabs change shells a few times a day, it is completely normal :D I think you should try to keep an eye on them, otherwise, just leave them be.

3rd year of crabbing with my 3 Aussies; Lily, Cocoa, Mr Pistachio in a 65-gallon crabitat.
3 beautiful Sussex chickens; Adelaide, Geoff and Marshmallow

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Re: Serial swapper?

Post by Crabalicious » Fri Mar 06, 2020 8:41 am

Big and small crabs get along fine. You sound like me when I was new, well still just crab mom since august....I got worried easily. We adopted a big girl and we were afraid she was going to hurt a smaller one that was molting, I mean she looked like crabzilla compared to the others! so we panicked and put her in her own tank. Well she ended up molting and was down a couple of months so I had 2 tanks going. When we moved her back, everyone was fine and happy. The moderators told my daughter you just have to let crabs be crabs. That became our mantra anytime we were nervous.

Very often I take out any shells rinse and boil in prime, cool, then rinse with salt water to get any old smells out and to sanitize shells. I make sure they are empty first!
It's like they are getting brand new shells and they are happy to check them all out again.

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