Pinchy Palace Journal

This is a forum dedicated to Hermit Crab Association members posting pictures of their crabs and crabitats.

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Scarletfire
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Pinchy Palace Journal

Post by Scarletfire » Mon Sep 16, 2019 4:26 pm

Spring 2019, I embarked on a journey to develop a crabitat and adopt hermit crabs. I thought, 50 gal is much bigger than the 30 gal I had before for shrimp. 50 must be big enough. Little did I know, this is addicting. First 2 crabs, then suddenly 5, then I thought, I can't turn any crabs. Thus my journey did continue.

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I'll just keep updating this thread for my crabitat blog in case anyone cares. It'll partially be for my sanity.

I found a used 90gal on Kijiji, bought 2, 5.5 gal for pools, and a new stand as I couldnt find the others of that size. The 5.5 gal will sit flush against the two sides of the tank. The stand was just fabricated last week, so I finally have it in hand.

This room/den was originally a storage room. I made space for where the 50gal currently sits, after taking a few days to decide whether the right or left side was better. Little did I know, both sides will be taken.

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If you've seen my other threads, yes, I have a 10 gal just in the middle. I'm still waiting on 2 to come up before they're moved to the 50 gal. They've been down since mid/end July. I can't wait to take it apart. I almost trip on the airline/wires every other day.

I'm off to buy another rubber mat before the tank is set in place this weekend!

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Current status:

Egg crate being designed


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Last edited by Scarletfire on Mon Sep 16, 2019 4:26 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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Hermiesguardian
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Re: Crab Room Journal / Blog

Post by Hermiesguardian » Mon Sep 16, 2019 6:48 pm

Love it! Yes, they are addicting and no size tank is ever big enough. Lol
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


Hungrytree
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Re: Crab Room Journal / Blog

Post by Hungrytree » Tue Sep 17, 2019 4:52 am



This is how I do things too! I always tell myself I’m going to take it slow, and before I know it I’m neck deep and loving it!

90 gallon is my dream set up right now. I’m working on learning how to filter and manage the water pools so I feel comfortable when we can upgrade.

Your set up looks amazing. I can’t wait to watch this journey unfold!


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Maddamay32
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Re: Pinchy Palace Journal

Post by Maddamay32 » Mon Sep 23, 2019 10:35 am

I want to see more !
9 crabs at the moment "Tarzan, Kermit, Shy guy, Eduardo, Jimbo, Sharkboy, Rosa, Diesel, UMO"

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GotButterflies
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Re: Pinchy Palace Journal

Post by GotButterflies » Tue Sep 24, 2019 9:13 am

Welcome to the addicting world of crabbing! Can't wait to see the finished product! :)
Truly blessed to have incredible creatures, wonderful friends and my amazing family in my life!! I'm very thankful & grateful for all of them! www.thehealthyhermit.com


Topic author
Scarletfire
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Re: Pinchy Palace Journal

Post by Scarletfire » Tue Sep 24, 2019 5:05 pm

I'm actually still figuring out where the stuff I displaced is going to go haha. I have a bit of a trip hazard outside the Pinchy Palace that I want to address first.

There's a bit more room to walk in now that I moved the ISO a bit more over. I want to move it under the 90 gal tank, so my currently empty 30 gal can slide under the 50. I laid down a heavy duty foam mat to assist with levelling before I put the tank on the stand, and to preserve the floor.
90 gal. That bag of sand was from a funny conversation a work where someone was retiring and asked what my motivation to work was. My reply: "Well, I have crabs now... they need sand for their house, food, water, things to climb...". I proceeded to get a donation of one opened bag of play sand after they commented that the stuff they need is like a kid. Which reminds me... I bought a jar of baby food that's been in my purse for a week. For the crabs. Not a baby like a regular person. I digress.

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I'm debating whether to re-seal the tank. Currently, the top 2" leaks water, and there's a lot of yucky stuff under and on the seal. I scrubbed everywhere with vinegar already, so it will kill any mold issues. However, it aesthetically looks horrible. In addition, the top black rim can pop out anytime now, so it makes me seriously consider just removing it, scrape all the silicone out, and do a complete custom DIY lid on a now rimless that will present an opportunity to add a topper easily. This will be a lot of work that I don't know if it'll be worth it.

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I picked up hornwort from a nearby lake that I was thinking will be good for plant culture. It was extremely green after the anchor dragged a bunch up. I got from rinsing - > bleach dip - > hydrogen peroxide dip - > visual inspection, and still saw a lot of algae growing. That ended up in the compost.

On another note, I picked up a sponge corner filter for the freshwater pool which will be protected by egg crate. Shrimps will be able to access it, but not crabs.

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In consideration of the 5.5 gals, I want to place the pools on a stand so if pinches dig under, it wouldn't collapse under empty space. Not likely to happen, but I don't plan to do a tank rework in at least a few years, more than enough time for the pinches to dig a mile of tunnels. I drew up my dimensions, and sent it to a steel fabricator to quote. Regular steel was going to be a $75 each, which is super expensive for what it is. Went to a few home stores. All kitchen shelves I saw only supported 2 kg at max, and a stool was too lopsided. I'm against any metal or wood under the sand as I can't see the structural condition of it. I'm currently contemplating 1" pvc pipes with a ceramic tile on top. For a total of... $10. The case for using PVC and a tile is that there's a lot of sand still going to be under the tile and in between the pvc; the structure would not need to support 21 kg by itself.

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As for the 50g, here's a picture of the bugger on the lid climbing along the seal. No idea where he's going, but he has a destination. ImageImage

The bromelia had enough of no fertilizers and crabs climbing on it, tracking sand in. It's now fading, but it's been around for a good few months. I'll need to figure out good ferts from Aussie's guide.

Which reminds me: picked up 4 net pots from a local hydroponic store. They're made with lip, so just perfect to sit on a ring for the pots to be easily replaced as needed. Alternatively.. I could use them to grow Kale if my set up fails and I wallow in misery. Image


Topic author
Scarletfire
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Re: Pinchy Palace Journal

Post by Scarletfire » Thu Oct 10, 2019 8:19 pm

All sides minus the back was scraped with vinegar to remove any calcium deposits. I scraped it before outside and flushed with water to get the larger deposits a month ago. This time, it's to do the final touch and greater details. Yes, I need a ladder. It's too darn big to reach in. Image

Now that I'm ready to re-seal, the top goes off. Took the scraper along the edge to attack the Silicone. There's quite a lot of Silicone to deal with and remove.


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One crab decides he's sneaky by hiding under a leaf while watching me deal with the new home.

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It's a break for today. Bottom of the tank is all the silicone removed so far. A lot of stuff under the Silicone was easily scraped off. I'm glad Im doing this. Image

The back and bottom seal still needs to be removed. When the tank is ready, permatex RTV Silicone will be used.


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aussieJJDude
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Re: Pinchy Palace Journal

Post by aussieJJDude » Thu Oct 10, 2019 8:48 pm

Looking real good. Interested to see where it goes!

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Moe2076
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Re: Pinchy Palace Journal

Post by Moe2076 » Thu Oct 10, 2019 9:05 pm

Looking amazing! Please keep posting, it's going to be AWESOME when you are finished. It's good to feel in good company with the tank/crabitat addiction. I just got started a little more than a month ago and I already have a 10, 20 and 40 breeder, and If I had room that 40 would have been a 75. I love watching others in thier build progress and it is great to see goo ideas and how others set things up.
7 PP: 1 small Gumbo; 1 small/med shell diva; 3 med: Evil Kenival 2 med/large
3 dogs: Maltipoo Tosh Pomeranian/Spitz Kaylee: Rotwieler/hound Bear
4 cats: Dottie calico Luna: DSH grey and white Moxie:kitten with spunk Ellis:Big lovey orange tabby


Topic author
Scarletfire
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Re: Pinchy Palace Journal

Post by Scarletfire » Mon Oct 14, 2019 7:02 pm

Resealing is taking much longer than expected, especially the bottom seal, which was much more intact than the sides. I decided to go rimless, which means a lot of scrapping to ensure the top 1" which was gunked up with silicone for the black rim, is secure.

Sealant will end up to be Mono door and window. Local hardware store didn't have GE. For anyone who wants to do this... The main thing is that the Silicone must be pure Silicone, and that no mold inhibitors are added. Meaning, the cheapest caulk is part silicone/part acrylic. The most expensive caulk has mold inhibitors. Your choices are now some basic silicone for doors/windows, and construction sealant,whichever you can get for cheap. As for the amount of Silicone you need, take the length, depth and width of the tank, convert to feet, and multiply by the width of the glass (in mm) . I personally will need (4ftx2 + 2ft x4 + 1.5 ftx2) x (8 mm) = 152 mL of sealant. One squeeze bottle is only 83 mL, where a caulking tube is 290mL. I opted for the tube as it's significantly less expe \nsive based on the quantity I need.

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I purchased corner protectors, originally to add a ledge to hang crabby stuff from Xenocrab's DIYpost. This will end up being the top rim and inside surface to add a smooth sliding surface for the lid. The lid will slide long the corner protectors, and adhesive cabinet door protectors on 4 corners will act as the "guide". More to come closer to the end of the project for this.

For the pools, I bought a pvc pipe and connectors. Anyone else doing this, just make sure your connectors are not threaded.Image


Topic author
Scarletfire
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Re: Pinchy Palace Journal

Post by Scarletfire » Wed Oct 16, 2019 7:33 pm

This being the first time re-sealing, couple of things handy I wish I knew before I started
- it's okay to pick at the sealant. Don't try to scrape everything at one time.
- Using a utility knife does wonders. Use this to get St the sealant if scraping doesn't make it come off. Also super handy to finish the corners and inside edges
- 100% acetone. Nail polish remover professional grade is good to use as a finisher to remove the last of what you can't see.

One corner taped. I ended up re-finishing all the edges again because it didn't look clean enough. The bottom. Bag under the tank is all the edges minus a few pieces on the ground I haven't vaccumed yet.

Every side and corner is now vaccumed, taped and acetone,ready to go for sealing tomorrow. Or tonight if I feel like it.
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Scarletfire
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Re: Pinchy Palace Journal

Post by Scarletfire » Mon Oct 21, 2019 11:20 pm

Before moving the tank back into place... The back heat tape and insulation needs to be installed.

A couple things:
- Check out your small local reptile store if you have one nearby. I ended up picking up some low pieces of wood, which would've been expensive at the small local fish store.
- Also, the reptile store gave me some snake skin for free!
- tape doesn't stick onto only Silicone, as I learned when trying to tape the heat tape to the top of the glass. This would've worked fine with the black plastic rim; going rimless, it's even more imports t than ever to ensure all old Silicone is removed, even from the top edge. I'm glad I didn't try to put the corner protectors on yet. ImageImageImage

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Topic author
Scarletfire
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Re: Pinchy Palace Journal

Post by Scarletfire » Fri Oct 25, 2019 9:41 pm

A saw and 4 hrs later, first stand is made. Turns out that the stand was too high. But hey, better than too low.

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Topic author
Scarletfire
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Re: Pinchy Palace Journal

Post by Scarletfire » Fri Oct 25, 2019 10:27 pm

Two pools will be located on the same side. I did two separate stands just so I don't need to make a new one in case I was to destroy everything and re-scapem

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Topic author
Scarletfire
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Joined: Sat Apr 27, 2019 10:44 am
Location: ON

Re: Pinchy Palace Journal

Post by Scarletfire » Mon Oct 28, 2019 8:40 pm

Insulation is finally on! Next up, back and side egg crate and to iron out the lid. ImageImage

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