Death due to shell?

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Death due to shell?

Post by crabby_D » Sun Sep 04, 2016 4:20 pm

Sigh. We've had our first non-PPS death. :cry:
It was my Calypso, who was in a pretty tree snail shell. I have been concerned about her for awhile- about a week ago I had a suspicion she was headed downhill.

So, I have been concerned for awhile now that her shell is a size too small for her. I have even spent considerable money and time trying to coax her into a variety of shells, but she wouldn't give her original shell up. (the rest of my colony change shells regularly). She came up from a molt about 1.5 months ago, and even looked "healthy" limb- wise when I pulled her out dead this morning. She had plenty of hair on her legs, and the pointy tips on her walking legs, all claws intact.

About a month ago she was moving around less. I would find her in a spot, where she would stay for a couple of days, then move to a new spot for a couple of days, stopping to snack in between moves.

About a day and a half ago she had wedged herself behind a water dish and wouldn't come out. she didn't look good, but was still in her shell, and I felt she could get to the water if she needed to. I pulled her out this morning- she had come out of her shell and was at the beginning of her "death smell."

I was relieved the other crabs had left her (and her shell) alone. One of my larges (shes a small/med) even came over to the spot where she died after I pulled her out.


Just looking for possible causes of death, although I realize perhaps I'll never know.

Thanks for listening. She will be missed!!!

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Re: Death due to shell?

Post by bbcraft22 » Sun Sep 04, 2016 4:23 pm

I am sorry for your loss. You can also write a story on how she died in the memorial topic.
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Re: Death due to shell?

Post by soilentgringa » Sun Sep 04, 2016 5:26 pm

Fill these out to give us an idea of your conditions: ... hp?t=46102

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Re: Death due to shell?

Post by isadoraisacat » Sun Sep 04, 2016 5:27 pm

Sorry for you loss :(

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Re: Death due to shell?

Post by MadiCrab » Mon Sep 05, 2016 7:58 am

I'm sorry.

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Re: Death due to shell?

Post by Nikolai » Mon Sep 05, 2016 8:07 am

Very sorry for your loss

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Re: Death due to shell?

Post by crabby_D » Mon Sep 05, 2016 9:55 am

soilentgringa wrote:Fill these out to give us an idea of your conditions: ... hp?t=46102

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What kind of substrate is used in your tank and how deep is it? Mix of play sand and cocofiber. 6.5" depth in most spots, except where they've been active digging, etc.

2. Do you have gauges in the tank to measure temperature and humidity? If so, where are they located and what temperature and humidity do they usually read? Temp/humidity gauges are affixed to a popsickle stick (so that I can move it) at nearly sub-level, and it moves around the tank. Consistently 75% humidity and 85 degrees F in most spots.

3. Is a heat source used in the tank? If so, what? I have two UTHs attached to the back, with approximately 1.5" of each mat below sub level. I have one small ZooMed, and 1 medium sized.

4. What types of water are available (fresh or salt) and how is the water treated (what brands of dechlorinator or salt mix and what ratio is used to mix it)? I have both salt and fresh water, Salt is mixed with Instant ocean and stored in a gallon jug in a room temp area not exposed to natural light. The fresh is dechlorinated with Prime dechlor and stored the same way. I change their water an average of 2-3x per week.

5. What kinds of food do you feed and how often is it replaced? Fed on an as needed basis (roughly every other day?), a mix of fresh produce, unseasoned, cooked chicken, and dry krill/shrimp "Turtle treats" from the pet store. I also mix a cuttlebone powder into their dry food.

6. How long have you had the crab and what species is it, if known? PP, I've had her about 13 months. She has occupied her shell that she came with ever since, despite being offered a variety of size-appropriate shells.

7. Has your crab molted, and how long ago did it happen? She has molted at least once, but I believe twice. She came up from her most recent molt at the end of June.

8. What type of housing are the crabs kept in, what size is it and what kind of lid is on the housing? they live in a 20 gallon long, with a pet store hinged glass/plexi lid. It is taped in the back (outside) with masking tape to prevent escapes near the air tube.

9. How many crabs are in the tank and about how large are they? I have 5 in there (now 4 :cry: ) Two smalls, two larges, and she was a medium.

10. How many extra shells are usually kept in the tank, if any? Too many! With the size variety I have in there, I have several of each size shell that are kept in a moss pit. (Not that they stay in there....) Mostly turbo shells.

11. Have there been any fumes or chemicals near the crabitat recently? Not that I am aware of. I am now worried about the masking tape on the back, although it's been on there for months.

12. How often do you clean the tank and how? I only really spot clean on an as-needed basis

13. Are sponges used in the water dish? If so, how are they cleaned? No sponges. I have a large, natural sponge in there that I picked up on a beach in the Bahamas (boiled and dried before I put it in there), but I keep it dry. It does not go in the water dish, it won't even fit. I notice they snack on it sometimes. They also drag it around the tank.

14. Has anything new been added to your crabitat recently? Nothing new within the past 6 months.

15. Is there any other information you would like to share that might be helpful (anything that is regularly part of your crab care, playtime, bathing, etc.)? I don't bathe them, and I rarely take them out. We watch them a lot thorough the glass, but try to leave them alone as much as possible. We have noticed tiny white mites in that tank within the past month. They do not seem to reside on the actual crab bodies, but I do notice the mites moving on their shells.

16. Please describe the emergency situation in detail.
Unexpected death, preceded by noticeable decrease in activity. All other crabs seem to behaving normally.

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Re: Death due to shell?

Post by robinwhiskers » Mon Sep 05, 2016 12:36 pm

I'm so sorry about the death of your hermit crab. Unfortunately I'm not aware of what could have happened.
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Re: Death due to shell?

Post by Rawrgeous » Tue Sep 06, 2016 9:40 am

I'm very sorry to hear about your loss. Honestly your tank specs sound good, though crowded by HCA standards if they truly are larges- (sub needs to be at least 3 times the depth of your largest crab.) But it doesn't sound like that type of death at all to me. I'm honestly not sure on causation. I'm sure if anything stands out to anyone else they will chime in. Best wishes. :(

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