Hermit Crab Missing Claw (Not Molting)

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CrazedLlamaz
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Hermit Crab Missing Claw (Not Molting)

Post by CrazedLlamaz » Tue Jan 15, 2019 11:12 am

For about a week, Tamatoa, our newest PP, has been unmoving in the corner of the habitat between the coconut hut, and some fiber used as a climbing ladder. It's a dark, cooler part of the terrarium. Since he was hunkered down, I figured he was destressing, and did not want to bother him. For the last two days, I noticed he had moved position, with the opening of his shell being against the coconut hut, as if to keep anyone from getting to him. I was concerned and picked him up. There was no resistance as he was not holding on to the hut, just leaning against it. When I observed him I saw that his big claw was missing. I found it close to where he had been located in the terrarium. I put him back where he was. I am not sure if the limb fell off from stress, or if this may have been from a fight. Bob (our first PP) and Tamatoa did not appear to like each other at first when he was introduced, but after some time they appeared to tolerate each other. Bob is roughly the same size as Tamatoa.

What do you think may have occurred, and how can I help Tamatoa?

Terrarium Questionnaire completed below.

1. What kind of substrate is used in your tank and how deep is it? 6 inches of Eco Earth Coconut Fiber (play sand unavailable locally, waiting on shipment)

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? Analog gauges roughly an inch above the substrate against the glass. Humidity ranges from >75% to <95%. Temperature ranges from roughly 78 - 82.

3. Is a heat source used in the tank? If so, what? Two. Heat lamps and a UTH. UTH is a store bot mini heater (Ultratherm should be in this week). To compensate, daylight and nightlight heating bulbs (25W) are used. from 7AM to 6PM is the daylight bulb, rest is nightlight.

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)? Salt and Fresh water bowls treated with all living things salt water and fresh water treatments. Only distilled water is used in their water. (deeper pools are available in new tank, but has not been finished yet)

5. What kinds of food do you feed and how often is it replaced? Eggshells and egg bits, dried fruit, and carrots. Transitioning away from store bought (all living things) hermit crab food that they were previously eating. Changed each morning.

6. How long have you had the crab and what species is it, if known? PP has only been with us for a month. Noticed agressive behavior between Bob (our first crab) and Tamatoa (missing claw).

7. Has your crab molted, and how long ago did it happen? Has not occurred with us yet, but the crab is not burrowing either, as others have normally done.

8. What type of housing are the crabs kept in, what size is it and what kind of lid is on the housing? Temporarily housed in a 12x12x24 terrarium while the replacement is being put together. An accident caused a crack in the old terrarium. Screen cover.

9. How many crabs are in the tank and about how large are they? 3 crabs of small to medium size. Again, only housed in smaller tank due to damaged old tank.

10. How many extra shells are usually kept in the tank, if any? Due to size restrictions, 3 in current tank. New tank has 9, not including those three.

11. Have there been any fumes or chemicals near the crabitat recently? Wife sprayed scented air freshener in the room, with close proximity. Asked that she avoid that in the future, and cover them first if she does.

12. How often do you clean the tank and how? Spot cleaning daily, all items removed form the surface ever few days (3-4) to remove any waste from the surface.

13. Are sponges used in the water dish? If so, how are they cleaned? 1 sponge in the larger temporary dish, cleaned with each water replacement (3 day rotation)

14. Has anything new been added to your crabitat recently? No.

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.)?

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GotButterflies
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Re: Hermit Crab Missing Claw (Not Molting)

Post by GotButterflies » Tue Jan 15, 2019 11:34 am

Hello :)

Substrate should be 6 inches or 3 times the height of your largest crab (whichever is deeper). It should also be mixed with dechlorinated marine saltwater or dechlorinated freshwater to make the substrate sandcastle consistency.

I don't recommend distilled water. Hermit crabs need minerals from tap water. If you have a salt dechlorinator combo I'm going to take a guess and think that it is for hermit crabs. Unfortunately most products marketed for hermit crabs are not safe. You need a dechlorinator that removes chlorine, and chloramine as well as neutralizes ammonia and heavy metals. A lot of us use a product called Prime. As far as salt, you need marine salt, to mimic the ocean. A lot of us use a product called Instant Ocean which is what aquarium hobbyists use to make saltwater aquariums. It has the essential trace elements that hermit crabs need. :) You have to use the dechlorinator for both freshwater and marine saltwater. Both pools should be deep enough for them to fully submerge in and safe enough for them to get out of.

Make sure you cover all aspects of food pyramid :) Foods should be organic when possible. Hermit crabs are sensitive to pesticides and fertilizers.
Safe food list: viewtopic.php?f=25&t=92557
Unsafe food list: viewtopic.php?f=25&t=92556
Food pyramid: viewtopic.php?f=25&t=92554

Provide calcium too - cuttlebone, eggshells, coral, oyster shell, exoskeleton

The HCA recommends 3-5 shells per hermit crab. I personally recommend more. It never hurts to have more :) There are incorrect shells to buy. Here is the shell guide: viewtopic.php?f=24&t=92552

Sponges are an old practice. Toss them. Also, crabs should be given pools deep enough for them to fully submerge in on their own, and safely get out of. A lot of us use Tupperware container like Glad/Ziploc and line them with craft mesh or aquarium décor. They need a freshwater and marine saltwater pool.

Edit: More than likely what is going on is due to PPS (Post Purchase Syndrome) Nothing to do with you. Hermits are taken from the wild, and then they go through a lot before they find homes. Leave the hermit alone, and just do your best to make conditions right for him/her. Hopefully he can pull through. Once again - be hands off - just leave him/her alone - that is the only thing you can do at this point. Good luck.
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
CrazedLlamaz
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Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2019 2:15 pm

Re: Hermit Crab Missing Claw (Not Molting)

Post by CrazedLlamaz » Tue Jan 15, 2019 2:25 pm

I will look into the dechlorinator and treatment products you mentioned and see what I can find locally, if not i'll have to hunt on Amazon. The distilled water will still be used, but only for their fogger, not for their pools. Hard water / tap water will cause problems for the fogger.

So this is just a stress thing. I will do my best to leave Tamatoa be.

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PinchersAndShells
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Re: Hermit Crab Missing Claw (Not Molting)

Post by PinchersAndShells » Wed Jan 16, 2019 7:13 pm

I did want to add in to make sure you give them protein - bits of meat (raw or cooked plain), dried insects, and even things like shrimp or krill work great! The latter on the list can be found in the reptile or fish isles at pet stores or online. Just make sure you check the ingredients and make sure they don't contain a lot of additives - big ones to avoid are copper sulfate and ethoxyquin.
5 PPs + 1 E = Dusty, Edd, Momo, Merle, Dottie, & Elvis
3 Captive Bred Babies = Randy, Roxie, Marco
37 + 10 Gallon Crabitats | Crabbing Since 8.11.2015
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Topic author
CrazedLlamaz
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2019 2:15 pm

Re: Hermit Crab Missing Claw (Not Molting)

Post by CrazedLlamaz » Fri Jan 25, 2019 12:58 pm

Tamatoa did not make it.

The other crabs are doing well, and they are in their new home. I have posted more details in my post regarding their new setup, viewtopic.php?t=119108

They have new water dishes that they can fully submerge in, using Prime and Instant Ocean to condition the water. Their diet has changed to fresh food, this week being chicken, carrots, and oranges.

There are other changes that have been made as well, detailed in the topic linked above.

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