Crab out of its shell

Please post here if you are having a crab care emergency! Use a real subject and not just "HELP!"
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Topic author
maycutie513
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Jan 05, 2019 3:06 pm

Crab out of its shell

Post by maycutie513 » Mon Jan 07, 2019 12:12 pm

1. What kind of substrate is used in your tank and how deep is it?
-Eco earth, 4 inches
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?
- No but my gauges should arrive tomorrow via Amazon.
3. Is a heat source used in the tank? If so, what?
- No, but the UTH should arrive tomorrow as well.
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)?
- Distilled water pool and saltwater pool. Saltwater is from a bottle that says "Hydrate": Saltwater solution for hermit crabs (from walmart)
5. What kinds of food do you feed and how often is it replaced?
- cucumber, banana, spinach, egg shells, FMR hermit crab food
6. How long have you had the crab and what species is it, if known?
-A week, two Ecuadorians
7. Has your crab molted, and how long ago did it happen?
-One is molting, but the other is not (the naked one)
8. What type of housing are the crabs kept in, what size is it and what kind of lid is on the housing?
-10-gallon tank. Right now until i get the funds for a screen lid, I have a large piece of cardboard covering and a towel. Small hole for air exchange.
9. How many crabs are in the tank and about how large are they?
- two. I would say medium(?) the shell they have is about an inch opening.
10. How many extra shells are usually kept in the tank, if any?
- This is my problem. The shells I got from where I adopted the crabs had but a few slightly bigger shells than they are in right now. Plus they are painted and once I did more research I didn't want to give them those. I have ordered some shark eye shells off Etsy since I read Ecuadorians prefer those, but I have no clue when they could come in. I have checked local stores (PetSmart, Walmart, and hobby lobby) and none of those have adequate shells for them.
11. Have there been any fumes or chemicals near the crabitat recently?
-No
12. How often do you clean the tank and how?
- I haven't since I set up the tank days ago.
13. Are sponges used in the water dish? If so, how are they cleaned?
-No
14. Has anything new been added to your crabitat recently?
-I added a freshwater pool.
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.)?
-No
16. Please describe the emergency situation in detail.
-I woke up this morning to see my crab outside of its shell. There was also dirt and some leftover calcium sand in the saltwater pool that wasn't there before I went to bed. I removed all the calcium sand yesterday after reading about it. He had a little bit on his abdomen so thinking it might have been irritating him, I followed instructions online to resterilize the shell and make sure no sand was in it. I carefully dipped him into the freshwater(distilled) water to get the rest of the sand off and then put him in a cup sideways with a little water in it and his old shell. I have made sure it is dark in the tank. Please let me know if there is anything else I can do.

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Hermiesguardian
Posts: 2509
Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2017 10:41 pm

Re: Crab out of its shell

Post by Hermiesguardian » Mon Jan 07, 2019 12:54 pm

maycutie513 wrote:1. What kind of substrate is used in your tank and how deep is it?
-Eco earth, 4 inches

most of us use a mix of playsand/ee. 5:1. It has to be a minimum of 6inches or 3x the height of your largest crab. Whichever is deeper. But for E's it's recommended that it be even deeper. Maybe 10inches. And it needs to be mixed with dechlor water to sandcastle consistancy, so it can hold its shape.

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?
- No but my gauges should arrive tomorrow via Amazon.
3. Is a heat source used in the tank? If so, what?
- No, but the UTH should arrive tomorrow as well.
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)?
- Distilled water pool and saltwater pool. Saltwater is from a bottle that says "Hydrate": Saltwater solution for hermit crabs (from walmart)

most things marketed for hermit crabs aren't good at all for them. Most recommend Prime to dechlorinate the water. And Instant Ocean to be added to dechlor water to make saltwater.

5. What kinds of food do you feed and how often is it replaced?
- cucumber, banana, spinach, egg shells, FMR hermit crab food

they need protein every day. Especially E's.
And calcium. You can get a cuttlebone from the bird section. Check out the safe/unsafe food guide on here under the care section.

6. How long have you had the crab and what species is it, if known?
-A week, two Ecuadorians
7. Has your crab molted, and how long ago did it happen?
-One is molting, but the other is not (the naked one)
8. What type of housing are the crabs kept in, what size is it and what kind of lid is on the housing?
-10-gallon tank. Right now until i get the funds for a screen lid, I have a large piece of cardboard covering and a towel. Small hole for air exchange.

a 10 gallon is too small for E's. It's recommended 10gal per 1 E. Cardboard will just absorb moisture. Better to seal with saran wrap and tape it down. No need to leave an open section. They will get air when you feed them.

9. How many crabs are in the tank and about how large are they?
- two. I would say medium(?) the shell they have is about an inch opening.
10. How many extra shells are usually kept in the tank, if any?
- This is my problem. The shells I got from where I adopted the crabs had but a few slightly bigger shells than they are in right now. Plus they are painted and once I did more research I didn't want to give them those. I have ordered some shark eye shells off Etsy since I read Ecuadorians prefer those, but I have no clue when they could come in. I have checked local stores (PetSmart, Walmart, and hobby lobby) and none of those have adequate shells for them.
11. Have there been any fumes or chemicals near the crabitat recently?
-No
12. How often do you clean the tank and how?
- I haven't since I set up the tank days ago.

only spot cleaning is necessary

13. Are sponges used in the water dish? If so, how are they cleaned?
-No
14. Has anything new been added to your crabitat recently?
-I added a freshwater pool.
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.)?
-No
16. Please describe the emergency situation in detail.
-I woke up this morning to see my crab outside of its shell. There was also dirt and some leftover calcium sand in the saltwater pool that wasn't there before I went to bed. I removed all the calcium sand yesterday after reading about it. He had a little bit on his abdomen so thinking it might have been irritating him, I followed instructions online to resterilize the shell and make sure no sand was in it. I carefully dipped him into the freshwater(distilled) water to get the rest of the sand off and then put him in a cup sideways with a little water in it and his old shell. I have made sure it is dark in the tank. Please let me know if there is anything else I can do.
He needs to be reshelled immediately. Try and gently back him into a shell.
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


Topic author
maycutie513
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Jan 05, 2019 3:06 pm

Re: Crab out of its shell

Post by maycutie513 » Mon Jan 07, 2019 1:09 pm

I tried to edge him towards his old shell and even brought out a slightly larger one but he just kept moving around the shell and is now sitting on his old one and doesn't want to move.

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Hermiesguardian
Posts: 2509
Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2017 10:41 pm

Re: Crab out of its shell

Post by Hermiesguardian » Mon Jan 07, 2019 3:04 pm

maycutie513 wrote:I tried to edge him towards his old shell and even brought out a slightly larger one but he just kept moving around the shell and is now sitting on his old one and doesn't want to move.
I copied this from a post on here:
Ensure that the water in the iso container isnt too deep, a couple of mm at most is needed to keep him moist.

As for reshelling a crab, many have had mixed success with placing the crab inside, while tapping on their head (or claws) until they are all the way in the shell, and eventually they will get into position and stay in there.

Once reshelled, continue to iso and ensure the iso container is filled with cuttlefish bone, as well as foods like honey (vit rich, and full of essential minerals) to help the crab regain their strength.
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


Topic author
maycutie513
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Jan 05, 2019 3:06 pm

Re: Crab out of its shell

Post by maycutie513 » Mon Jan 07, 2019 6:40 pm

I am afraid that he has passed. :( He hasn't moved at all now and stays exactly how he is when moving him. I feel horrible.

User avatar

Hermiesguardian
Posts: 2509
Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2017 10:41 pm

Re: Crab out of its shell

Post by Hermiesguardian » Mon Jan 07, 2019 9:06 pm

maycutie513 wrote:I am afraid that he has passed. :( He hasn't moved at all now and stays exactly how he is when moving him. I feel horrible.
I'm so sorry. Even with the best care they sometimes cannot make it. Work on improving the conditions in the tank.
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


Crabby Fritos
Posts: 20
Joined: Sun Dec 16, 2018 8:47 pm

Re: Crab out of its shell

Post by Crabby Fritos » Tue Jan 08, 2019 11:00 pm

Hermiesguardian wrote:
maycutie513 wrote:1. What kind of substrate is used in your tank and how deep is it?
-Eco earth, 4 inches

most of us use a mix of playsand/ee. 5:1. It has to be a minimum of 6inches or 3x the height of your largest crab. Whichever is deeper. But for E's it's recommended that it be even deeper. Maybe 10inches. And it needs to be mixed with dechlor water to sandcastle consistancy, so it can hold its shape.

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?
- No but my gauges should arrive tomorrow via Amazon.
3. Is a heat source used in the tank? If so, what?
- No, but the UTH should arrive tomorrow as well.
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)?
- Distilled water pool and saltwater pool. Saltwater is from a bottle that says "Hydrate": Saltwater solution for hermit crabs (from walmart)

most things marketed for hermit crabs aren't good at all for them. Most recommend Prime to dechlorinate the water. And Instant Ocean to be added to dechlor water to make saltwater.

5. What kinds of food do you feed and how often is it replaced?
- cucumber, banana, spinach, egg shells, FMR hermit crab food

they need protein every day. Especially E's.
And calcium. You can get a cuttlebone from the bird section. Check out the safe/unsafe food guide on here under the care section.

6. How long have you had the crab and what species is it, if known?
-A week, two Ecuadorians
7. Has your crab molted, and how long ago did it happen?
-One is molting, but the other is not (the naked one)
8. What type of housing are the crabs kept in, what size is it and what kind of lid is on the housing?
-10-gallon tank. Right now until i get the funds for a screen lid, I have a large piece of cardboard covering and a towel. Small hole for air exchange.

a 10 gallon is too small for E's. It's recommended 10gal per 1 E. Cardboard will just absorb moisture. Better to seal with saran wrap and tape it down. No need to leave an open section. They will get air when you feed them.

9. How many crabs are in the tank and about how large are they?
- two. I would say medium(?) the shell they have is about an inch opening.
10. How many extra shells are usually kept in the tank, if any?
- This is my problem. The shells I got from where I adopted the crabs had but a few slightly bigger shells than they are in right now. Plus they are painted and once I did more research I didn't want to give them those. I have ordered some shark eye shells off Etsy since I read Ecuadorians prefer those, but I have no clue when they could come in. I have checked local stores (PetSmart, Walmart, and hobby lobby) and none of those have adequate shells for them.
11. Have there been any fumes or chemicals near the crabitat recently?
-No
12. How often do you clean the tank and how?
- I haven't since I set up the tank days ago.

only spot cleaning is necessary

13. Are sponges used in the water dish? If so, how are they cleaned?
-No
14. Has anything new been added to your crabitat recently?
-I added a freshwater pool.
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.)?
-No
16. Please describe the emergency situation in detail.
-I woke up this morning to see my crab outside of its shell. There was also dirt and some leftover calcium sand in the saltwater pool that wasn't there before I went to bed. I removed all the calcium sand yesterday after reading about it. He had a little bit on his abdomen so thinking it might have been irritating him, I followed instructions online to resterilize the shell and make sure no sand was in it. I carefully dipped him into the freshwater(distilled) water to get the rest of the sand off and then put him in a cup sideways with a little water in it and his old shell. I have made sure it is dark in the tank. Please let me know if there is anything else I can do.
He needs to be reshelled immediately. Try and gently back him into a shell.

I would also upgrade from a UTH to some sort of lamp fixture. I am not sure what the temp for an Equidorian is but most crabs need a min. 10 Gallon tank, lots of good food, about 80-degree temperature and the highest humidity you can. I have a 10-gallon glass tank with a heat lamp I got at PetSmart and I jerry-rigged Cyran rap over my screen top.

User avatar

Hermiesguardian
Posts: 2509
Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2017 10:41 pm

Re: Crab out of its shell

Post by Hermiesguardian » Tue Jan 08, 2019 11:29 pm

Crabby Fritos wrote:
Hermiesguardian wrote:
maycutie513 wrote:1. What kind of substrate is used in your tank and how deep is it?
-Eco earth, 4 inches

most of us use a mix of playsand/ee. 5:1. It has to be a minimum of 6inches or 3x the height of your largest crab. Whichever is deeper. But for E's it's recommended that it be even deeper. Maybe 10inches. And it needs to be mixed with dechlor water to sandcastle consistancy, so it can hold its shape.

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?
- No but my gauges should arrive tomorrow via Amazon.
3. Is a heat source used in the tank? If so, what?
- No, but the UTH should arrive tomorrow as well.
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)?
- Distilled water pool and saltwater pool. Saltwater is from a bottle that says "Hydrate": Saltwater solution for hermit crabs (from walmart)

most things marketed for hermit crabs aren't good at all for them. Most recommend Prime to dechlorinate the water. And Instant Ocean to be added to dechlor water to make saltwater.

5. What kinds of food do you feed and how often is it replaced?
- cucumber, banana, spinach, egg shells, FMR hermit crab food

they need protein every day. Especially E's.
And calcium. You can get a cuttlebone from the bird section. Check out the safe/unsafe food guide on here under the care section.

6. How long have you had the crab and what species is it, if known?
-A week, two Ecuadorians
7. Has your crab molted, and how long ago did it happen?
-One is molting, but the other is not (the naked one)
8. What type of housing are the crabs kept in, what size is it and what kind of lid is on the housing?
-10-gallon tank. Right now until i get the funds for a screen lid, I have a large piece of cardboard covering and a towel. Small hole for air exchange.

a 10 gallon is too small for E's. It's recommended 10gal per 1 E. Cardboard will just absorb moisture. Better to seal with saran wrap and tape it down. No need to leave an open section. They will get air when you feed them.

9. How many crabs are in the tank and about how large are they?
- two. I would say medium(?) the shell they have is about an inch opening.
10. How many extra shells are usually kept in the tank, if any?
- This is my problem. The shells I got from where I adopted the crabs had but a few slightly bigger shells than they are in right now. Plus they are painted and once I did more research I didn't want to give them those. I have ordered some shark eye shells off Etsy since I read Ecuadorians prefer those, but I have no clue when they could come in. I have checked local stores (PetSmart, Walmart, and hobby lobby) and none of those have adequate shells for them.
11. Have there been any fumes or chemicals near the crabitat recently?
-No
12. How often do you clean the tank and how?
- I haven't since I set up the tank days ago.

only spot cleaning is necessary

13. Are sponges used in the water dish? If so, how are they cleaned?
-No
14. Has anything new been added to your crabitat recently?
-I added a freshwater pool.
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.)?
-No
16. Please describe the emergency situation in detail.
-I woke up this morning to see my crab outside of its shell. There was also dirt and some leftover calcium sand in the saltwater pool that wasn't there before I went to bed. I removed all the calcium sand yesterday after reading about it. He had a little bit on his abdomen so thinking it might have been irritating him, I followed instructions online to resterilize the shell and make sure no sand was in it. I carefully dipped him into the freshwater(distilled) water to get the rest of the sand off and then put him in a cup sideways with a little water in it and his old shell. I have made sure it is dark in the tank. Please let me know if there is anything else I can do.
He needs to be reshelled immediately. Try and gently back him into a shell.

I would also upgrade from a UTH to some sort of lamp fixture. I am not sure what the temp for an Equidorian is but most crabs need a min. 10 Gallon tank, lots of good food, about 80-degree temperature and the highest humidity you can. I have a 10-gallon glass tank with a heat lamp I got at PetSmart and I jerry-rigged Cyran rap over my screen top.
Heat lamps dry up the humidity.
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

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curlysister
Posts: 1306
Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2010 3:54 pm
Location: Manitoba, Canada

Re: Crab out of its shell

Post by curlysister » Wed Jan 09, 2019 12:30 pm

Agree that you do not need to upgrade from a UTH to a heat lamp. Most of us use UTH's (mounted on the side or back) with good results. As hermiesguardian said, a ten gallon is probably too small for two E's, and at least 10 inches of substrate.
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." -Will Rogers

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