Found a claw - please help!

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EmmieLuna
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Found a claw - please help!

Post by EmmieLuna » Sun Nov 04, 2018 12:37 pm

We found a claw (not empty claw from molting, but the large claw from a PP with something in it, and has a smell). 4 PPs in 30 gal tank, 4-5 inches substrate (mixed sand and coconut fiber). We have 1 med and 3 large PP. 3 of them are under molting for past several weeks. One of the large PPs is up, digging a lot, and she is fine, has all claws. In one of her digging pits, just found the claw, just sitting there. Tank conditions good, have dechlor water (salt and fresh, changed often, with sponges), good heat and humidity, lots of places to climb and hide, good food variety, eggshell available, etc. Have had the 4 crabs for about a year, and all have molted successfully at least once. What should we do? We know not to dig around, but we're worried and wondering if they are ok down there? Do they ever lose a claw while molting and still come up ok? (We have seen empty claws around after prior molts; this is not that, sadly). No other smell in tank, just the claw we found smells bad. We've read that we should isolate an injured crab, but 3 of the 4 are underground.... Thanks for any advice. We are wanting to be hopeful, but also are somewhat worried here. Signed, an 11 year old and her mom.

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aussieJJDude
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Re: Found a claw - please help!

Post by aussieJJDude » Sun Nov 04, 2018 6:48 pm

Tricky question. To dig or not to dig is certainly a person preference, and there's pros and cons to both sides. I personally reccomend going with your gut instincts (both you and your mum) in your choice to dig or not.

Since the claw has the meat, either it dropped it (may of been damaged, or it is stressed) or was attacked...

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Re: Found a claw - please help!

Post by wodesorel » Sun Nov 04, 2018 8:13 pm

I just wanted to add that I agree with JJ. In cases like this where there are clear signs of a potential attack, there is no right or wrong answer. I've gone digging and managed to save crabs in time, and I've also had cases where it was too late to do anything so there was no point in disturbing the other crabs. With other molters down, randomly digging becomes more dangerous, but it can be done with minor risks.

I wish we had a clear answer for you, but they are your pets and you have to be the one to choose what you're comfortable with. We're here to help no matter what you decide!
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EmmieLuna
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Re: Found a claw - please help!

Post by EmmieLuna » Sun Nov 04, 2018 8:57 pm

Thank you for your help and thoughtful advice. We did look for her, and sadly, she is gone. We think maybe a molting accident. It looked like it happened a while ago. She was a good crab and we miss her.
We thought it would be bad to look, but after you said maybe to look, we found her, right under where we found the claw. So, thank you for that. It's good to have the support of community.

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Re: Found a claw - please help!

Post by RiNiKy506 » Sun Nov 04, 2018 9:02 pm

I’m so sorry for your loss, sending love and prayers. <3


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Re: Found a claw - please help!

Post by curlysister » Sun Nov 04, 2018 10:00 pm

I too am sorry for your loss. Part of the problem may be that your substrate is not deep enough for the size of crabs. The minimum recommended by HCA is 6 inches or 3x as deep as your largest crab. A large crab will need more than your 4-5 inches. I also wonder if the tank is getting a bit crowded with that number of large crabs. Here's the link to the HCA page on tank and crab sizes:

http://www.hermitcrabassociation.com/ph ... 26&t=92541
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