my crabitat build photo journal!!

For presenting do-it-yourself projects for your crabitat and for discussing and displaying custom built crabitats. Also for questions and reviews on equipment and products. *Stores and their reviews now have their own section in Classifieds*
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curious_kitty
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my crabitat build photo journal!!

Post by curious_kitty » Sat Apr 10, 2010 3:30 pm

so, I have this alcove on my East facing window in dining room that I am turning it into crabitank. It took few months of convincing my DH, and now he's finally given up- after one 55g, 40g, 30g, two 10g tanks, and lots of hermies later. He thinks its far better trade than having so many tanks that he has to help me carry around. I made list of things that i wanted in the tank, with generous help, inputs from many members in this forum, and collected enough materials to start today, FINALLY!
- automated misting system with timer(i found myself misting daily on all of my tanks to keep with 80+%. this is because I leave out large portions open for good air circulation. I notice my crabbies are more active when there is more air flow into the tank. I got my seconds timer, which can mist as short as 1sec. will go something as follow(i modified this typical misting schedule from dart frog tanks, which needs more moisture than hermit crabs):

• 10 second at 8 am to rehydrate tank from the night to wake up the occupants with a refreshing morning mist,
• 5 seconds at 9am, 11:30am, 2:30pm, 4pm to maintain the humidity throughout the day.
• 10 seconds at 5pm for a late afternoon drenching.
• Then 10 seconds at 8:30PM before lights out to keep humidity at night

i will have to see if this schedule turns out to be too much misting, or too little misting as I am going to have on-going ventilation fan at really low speed inside the tank.
- automated light/moon glo lamp. I am stil debating on the light. The location they will be hanging out is really well lit, facing East. Its really bright throughout the day... so maybe I dont need the lights inside the tank, other than maybe UVB lamps.
- deep substrate. I think I want at least 8-10" deep substrate.. but it seems like it will be closer to 8", mostly sand for good drainage. I will also use egg-crate on the bottom.
- Automated heating: this is a bit tricky.. I got heating cables that are waterproof, and can be used underwater, or under the substrate. But since crabs dig for molting, I think I will just allocate heating cables on one side of the wall with thermostat.
- easy access: I hate to lift up my glass lid from the top to get to water dishes, and food bowls. I have lots of vines, and I always have to wiggle around them to get to this. So front access(sliding glass door) would be really helpful
-no waterfalls, and no built-in pools: I want my crabs to have fresh water daily. no need for testing water, or worry about possible leakage from pool. I will instead provide them with larger pool that can be taken out daily, and be cleaned.
- climbing vines, better yet, a miniature tree branches, that crabs can climb and sleep.
- more levels for different types of shells, including jumbos.
- no soil dwelling plants: air plants, and Bromeliads. I love how Bromeliads grow pups off mother plant, which can be fun climbing activity for crabs. It will add attractive visuals to the room as well. with strategic placement away from crabs initially, until it grows larger, which then will allow crabs to get to... maybe it wont work. we will see

enclosure is going to be lined with heavy duty pond liner. Since there is no water feature, the design process will be less stringent, and complicated.

here is the pic:


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I think I will take time to sterilize cork bark(little over 10lbs!), ISO plants(i got about 15 different bromeliad Neos), and spend time to plan out if anything else is missing. For now, back to hand misting all 5 tanks......argh. This will be soo fun!!!
Last edited by curious_kitty on Wed Jan 05, 2011 9:00 pm, edited 4 times in total.
Godmother to two tuxedo cats, PPs and Es, violas, indos, strawberries and ruggies, Wifey to one VERY patient hubby
200g crabitank under construction started on 4/10/2010

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sugarselections
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Post by sugarselections » Sat Apr 10, 2010 3:37 pm

Really amazing! I can't wait to see it all finished.

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curious_kitty
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Post by curious_kitty » Sat Apr 10, 2010 4:47 pm

thank you sugar! Cork bark was inspired by your tank set up! I already broke them into flat pieces(it came in as a tube shape), but i just realized it still doesn't fit into my largest pot for boiling. lol so here I am sitting here in a sneaker trying to step on the cork bark into pieces... but its pretty tough.
so here is the heating cable distribution, but I am not sure if I should try to just wrap half side of the tank, so you can have warm/cool side.. but since it will be thermostat controlled, maybe cover all of it???
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Godmother to two tuxedo cats, PPs and Es, violas, indos, strawberries and ruggies, Wifey to one VERY patient hubby
200g crabitank under construction started on 4/10/2010

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hlhiggs87
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Post by hlhiggs87 » Sat Apr 10, 2010 5:02 pm

This looks like it will turn into a crab heaven:) Please post pics along the way!!
3 Cats- Teddy, Pippa, and baby Maggie
4 Parakeets - Baby, Kate, Jayden, and Jordan
11 PPs- Carly, Mr.Pinch, Henrietta, Lucky, April, Arwen, Hermione, Brian, Nemo, Dasher, and Noel

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sugarselections
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Post by sugarselections » Sat Apr 10, 2010 5:23 pm

You can sterilize the cork bark by baking it in the oven. That's how I do it.

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Mr.Krabs
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Post by Mr.Krabs » Sat Apr 10, 2010 5:40 pm

that looks like its going to be great!!
but as a tip..
maybe you should put in more substrate??
that way if you ever get Jumbos or something if you dont already have them...
you will be ready!

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curious_kitty
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Post by curious_kitty » Sat Apr 10, 2010 5:55 pm

sugarselections wrote:You can sterilize the cork bark by baking it in the oven. That's how I do it.
hi Sugar~ do you know which temperature I bake it at? Also, should i soak the bark before putting into a oven? I gave up trying to break them further.. they are just way too thick for me to break. My dining room is a whole mess and DH is ignoring me as of this moment, pretending nothing is going on here :hlol: :hlol:
Godmother to two tuxedo cats, PPs and Es, violas, indos, strawberries and ruggies, Wifey to one VERY patient hubby
200g crabitank under construction started on 4/10/2010

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curious_kitty
Posts: 148
Joined: Sat Jan 23, 2010 11:25 pm
Location: Boston, MA

Post by curious_kitty » Sat Apr 10, 2010 5:58 pm

Mr.Krabs wrote:that looks like its going to be great!!
but as a tip..
maybe you should put in more substrate??
that way if you ever get Jumbos or something if you dont already have them...
you will be ready!
oo, I already do have the jumbo.. one jumbo PP, and one smaller jumbo PP, and One jumbo E. Hmm. would 9.5" deep substrate would be enough to accommodate jumbos? I am afraid anything higher than 9.5" the crabs would up too tall for us to look at from the table(while sitting) lol

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Godmother to two tuxedo cats, PPs and Es, violas, indos, strawberries and ruggies, Wifey to one VERY patient hubby
200g crabitank under construction started on 4/10/2010

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sugarselections
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Post by sugarselections » Sat Apr 10, 2010 6:01 pm

Generally I soak all wood for a bit in salt water before baking. With cork it's not absolutely necessary to soak it because it won't mold anyway. I usually bake everything at 300-350 for 10 minutes. Since it's wood, keep an eye on it or it might get a bit toasted.

Yes, 9 inches of substrate is fine for a jumbo. Mine molted in 8+ inches with no problem.

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curious_kitty
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Post by curious_kitty » Sat Apr 10, 2010 6:10 pm

hmmm... would it be ok if I put all the barks into a bath tub for soak?? or, if rinsing with water lightly is ok too? Does cork absorb any water? I am thinking, I am going to put barks as a background, and my bromeliad will be pinned into the bark. I always thought it was sooo cool to have air plants :lol:
Godmother to two tuxedo cats, PPs and Es, violas, indos, strawberries and ruggies, Wifey to one VERY patient hubby
200g crabitank under construction started on 4/10/2010

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limeslide
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Post by limeslide » Sun Apr 11, 2010 1:07 pm

I'd give the cork a good distilled water bath before you pin the bromeliads. :D
If all mankind were to disappear, the world would regenerate back to
the rich state of equilibrium that existed ten thousand years ago.
If insects were to vanish, the environment would collapse into Chaos
"
-E.O. Wilson

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aquav
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Post by aquav » Sun Apr 11, 2010 1:12 pm

Wow, that will be an amazing crabitat!!! What an awesome spot for it. Can't wait to see the pics when it's done!!!

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curious_kitty
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ok, soooooo

Post by curious_kitty » Sun Apr 11, 2010 2:11 pm

here is how it looks since yesterday. well,.. let's just say its a BIG MESSSSSSS :D I had to do some drywall cutout for my fan on the other side, and realized that there is a plywood! argh.. I was going soo well, thought fan would be in by end of today.. but guess not. I had to order 6" hole saw to get through the plywood... i ordered it 2nd day, so hopefully this would be cut out by tuesday or wednesday- means, I can start decorating(FUN PART) on the wall!!

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this hole was cut out on the opposite side of the enclosure.. notice the plywood.. ARGH
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i want something like this, but without too many plants- for the sake of simplifying cleaning up the tank.....
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Last edited by curious_kitty on Sun Apr 11, 2010 6:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Godmother to two tuxedo cats, PPs and Es, violas, indos, strawberries and ruggies, Wifey to one VERY patient hubby
200g crabitank under construction started on 4/10/2010

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emberfusion
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Post by emberfusion » Sun Apr 11, 2010 2:49 pm

I am so beyond excited to see how this turns out. :D

For plants, try the dollar store. You can get plastic flowers and what not a lot cheaper at dollar stores.

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tlivs
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Post by tlivs » Sun Apr 11, 2010 3:00 pm

wow this is going to look so nice!
the lfs by by is dedicated to salt water fish and they have tons of aquariums set up all decorated for me to steal ideas from, and there is a couple for reptiles and they look great, they remind me of the picture you posted!
you're so lucky you have the space to do this!!
arthur, charlie, ralph, hunter and oliver
rip. benjamin

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