My crab keeps getting naked, running around and then going into a new shell

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FinalxFantasy
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My crab keeps getting naked, running around and then going into a new shell

Post by FinalxFantasy » Tue Jun 18, 2019 11:31 pm

So my crab had shed about a week ago so I quarantined him with his skin since he was weak and put him back after his exoskeleton was mostly back. A day or two later he was naked and trying to retreat to a hideout he was comfortable in so I caught and quarantined him again with the shell he left along with some slightly bigger/smaller ones after cleaning and he got in a different shell, but went back to his original. (I sprayed water inside of all shells after cleaning) Now he’s back in the tank and tried to wear a shell that was for miniature crabs despite him being a medium, but I just came back to edit this and say he’s back in his original shell AGAIN. I am in complete confusion. At least he’s active and running everywhere, especially when I’m trying to chase him down because he’s naked
Last edited by FinalxFantasy on Tue Jun 18, 2019 11:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.
I always get bad grades at school, because A is for awful, B is for bad, and F is for FANTASTIC!

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Re: My crab keeps getting naked, running around and then going into a new shell

Post by FinalxFantasy » Tue Jun 18, 2019 11:34 pm

I just feel so bad isolating him in that small critter keeper for so long it barely has space for the small water bowls and water bottle caps with food and calcium I need to buy a bigger one
I always get bad grades at school, because A is for awful, B is for bad, and F is for FANTASTIC!

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Re: My crab keeps getting naked, running around and then going into a new shell

Post by GotButterflies » Wed Jun 19, 2019 1:20 am

Please fill this out so that we can help you better. You would copy and paste it: https://www.hermitcrabassociation.com/p ... 27&t=46102
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Re: My crab keeps getting naked, running around and then going into a new shell

Post by curlysister » Wed Jun 19, 2019 10:27 am

A naked crab means something is not right. Had he surface molted? If so, it is still too early for him to be back in the main tank a week later.
As GB said, please fill in the emergency template so we can help you trouble shoot.
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Re: My crab keeps getting naked, running around and then going into a new shell

Post by FinalxFantasy » Wed Jun 19, 2019 2:11 pm

1. What kind of substrate is used in your tank and how deep is it?
I have coconut fiber even though I need to get all purpose sand too, I just couldn’t afford it after getting the coconut dirt. It’s 2 inches deep the biggest crab is a medium

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?
They’re high up where the crabs can’t reach them and the temperatures usually 70-80 and the humidity’s usually 50-90 and I mist the tank when it’s at 50

3. Is a heat source used in the tank? If so, what?
I don’t use heat for the tank bc the thermometer usually shows that it’s higher than 69 and lower than 90

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)?
I have fresh and saltwater separately and I use either tap water (there’s a filter on the water that takes out all chemicals), zephyrhills or purified bottled water. I put two teaspoons of “hermit crab salt water conditioner” in a 2 cup container to store.

5. What kinds of food do you feed and how often is it replaced?
I feed them food from hermit crab patch but until i have more I’m stuck with jurassidiet. I replace food/water every day.

6. How long have you had the crab and what species is it, if known?
I’ve had him about 1-3 years and it’s a purple pincher

7. Has your crab molted, and how long ago did it happen?
It did a surface molt a week and a half ago

8. What type of housing are the crabs kept in, what size is it and what kind of lid is on the housing?
A 50 gal exo terrarium with a highly secured lid, 4 hideouts, one of them being a large cave, and climbing sticks

9. How many crabs are in the tank and about how large are they?
8: 6 mediums 2 smalls

10. How many extra shells are usually kept in the tank, if any?
I don’t keep track but I put at least more than 5

11. Have there been any fumes or chemicals near the crabitat recently?
No

12. How often do you clean the tank and how?
I clean the tank every few months by taking everything out and replacing the substrate

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 got 2 small crabs yesterday

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.
He seems mostly fine now but the other days he was either running around naked or trying on shells
I always get bad grades at school, because A is for awful, B is for bad, and F is for FANTASTIC!

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curlysister
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Re: My crab keeps getting naked, running around and then going into a new shell

Post by curlysister » Wed Jun 19, 2019 4:58 pm

You have a number of things that need to be corrected in order to have healthy crabs. See my replies below.

Be sure to read through the care sheets, they have all the information that you need:

http://www.hermitcrabassociation.com/ph ... .php?f=120


1. What kind of substrate is used in your tank and how deep is it?
I have coconut fiber even though I need to get all purpose sand too, I just couldn’t afford it after getting the coconut dirt. It’s 2 inches deep the biggest crab is a medium
Curly - Your substrate is not deep enough. It need to be at least 6 inches or three times as deep as your largest crab, whichever is deeper. It needs to be moist enough to hold it's shape (sand castle consistency) but not so wet that water pools.

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?
They’re high up where the crabs can’t reach them and the temperatures usually 70-80 and the humidity’s usually 50-90 and I mist the tank when it’s at 50
Curly - It would be good to see what the temp is at the level where the crabs are. Humidity of 50% is not high enough to allow crabs to breathe properly. You need to find a way to get the humidity more consistent, over 75%. Proper substrate can help. Is the lid sealed? Have you calibrated your hygrometer? Is it digital or analog?

3. Is a heat source used in the tank? If so, what?
I don’t use heat for the tank bc the thermometer usually shows that it’s higher than 69 and lower than 90

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)?
I have fresh and saltwater separately and I use either tap water (there’s a filter on the water that takes out all chemicals), zephyrhills or purified bottled water. I put two teaspoons of “hermit crab salt water conditioner” in a 2 cup container to store.
Curly - You need to use a dechlorinator such as Prime, I would not trust the filter. Bottled water also needs to be treated. I don't believe that is a proper salt for hermit crabs, even though it is marketed as such. It needs to be a marine salt such as Instant Ocean.

5. What kinds of food do you feed and how often is it replaced?
I feed them food from hermit crab patch but until i have more I’m stuck with jurassidiet. I replace food/water every day.

6. How long have you had the crab and what species is it, if known?
I’ve had him about 1-3 years and it’s a purple pincher

7. Has your crab molted, and how long ago did it happen?
It did a surface molt a week and a half ago
Curly - Surface molting is a sign that something is very wrong, it is not normal for crabs to molt on the surface. Your crab is in a weakened state now, and needs to be kep isolated from the other crabs. Crabs go naked when they do not have enough energy to carry a shell. I am afraid to have to say, but your crab is in serious danger, which may be irreversable.

8. What type of housing are the crabs kept in, what size is it and what kind of lid is on the housing?
A 50 gal exo terrarium with a highly secured lid, 4 hideouts, one of them being a large cave, and climbing sticks

9. How many crabs are in the tank and about how large are they?
8: 6 mediums 2 smalls

10. How many extra shells are usually kept in the tank, if any?
I don’t keep track but I put at least more than 5
Curly - HCA recommends at least 3-5 extra shells per crab. That would be 24-40 extra shells. Check the care sheets for info about proper shells.

11. Have there been any fumes or chemicals near the crabitat recently?
No

12. How often do you clean the tank and how?
I clean the tank every few months by taking everything out and replacing the substrate
Curly - When you have proper substrate, you do not need to ever replace all of it.

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 got 2 small crabs yesterday

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.
He seems mostly fine now but the other days he was either running around naked or trying on shells
Curly - A naked crab will die. He needs to be re-shelled asap. You need more shells so he can find one he likes and that feels good to him.
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." -Will Rogers

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FinalxFantasy
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Re: My crab keeps getting naked, running around and then going into a new shell

Post by FinalxFantasy » Mon Jun 24, 2019 8:09 pm

Sorry for my absence. I will buy more substrate and shells. He's been in a shell but an uncomfortable one. I just don't understand why he doesn't like the other shells. There's a variety of heavy shells, light shells, big shells, bigger shells, small shells and smaller shells. He's strong again though
I always get bad grades at school, because A is for awful, B is for bad, and F is for FANTASTIC!

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curlysister
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Re: My crab keeps getting naked, running around and then going into a new shell

Post by curlysister » Mon Jun 24, 2019 10:47 pm

You just don't have enough for him to choose from, they can be picky.
Is he still isolated from the other crabs?
Play sand is cheap, like a big 50 pound bag for $7 here in Canada, and cheaper in the US!
You also need to invest in proper water conditioner and marine salt.
I hope this little dude makes it!
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." -Will Rogers

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Re: My crab keeps getting naked, running around and then going into a new shell

Post by FinalxFantasy » Tue Jun 25, 2019 8:54 pm

curlysister wrote:
Mon Jun 24, 2019 10:47 pm
You just don't have enough for him to choose from, they can be picky.
Is he still isolated from the other crabs?
Play sand is cheap, like a big 50 pound bag for $7 here in Canada, and cheaper in the US!
You also need to invest in proper water conditioner and marine salt.
I hope this little dude makes it!
He's still isolated but you have no idea how much I hate doing that to him. I just can't afford a bigger isolation tank at the moment : ( I would've never guessed I was using the wrong sea salt after all these years. Where do you find the right salt? Also should you mix play sand with coconut fiber and should u clean the tank sometimes if you do? sorry for all the questions
I always get bad grades at school, because A is for awful, B is for bad, and F is for FANTASTIC!

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Re: My crab keeps getting naked, running around and then going into a new shell

Post by GotButterflies » Tue Jun 25, 2019 9:21 pm

I'm going to add to what Curlysister has posted. I typed GB for GotButterflies
curlysister wrote:
Wed Jun 19, 2019 4:58 pm
You have a number of things that need to be corrected in order to have healthy crabs. See my replies below.
Be sure to read through the care sheets, they have all the information that you need:
http://www.hermitcrabassociation.com/ph ... .php?f=120

1. What kind of substrate is used in your tank and how deep is it?
I have coconut fiber even though I need to get all purpose sand too, I just couldn’t afford it after getting the coconut dirt. It’s 2 inches deep the biggest crab is a medium
Curly - Your substrate is not deep enough. It need to be at least 6 inches or three times as deep as your largest crab, whichever is deeper. It needs to be moist enough to hold it's shape (sand castle consistency) but not so wet that water pools.

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?
They’re high up where the crabs can’t reach them and the temperatures usually 70-80 and the humidity’s usually 50-90 and I mist the tank when it’s at 50
Curly - It would be good to see what the temp is at the level where the crabs are. Humidity of 50% is not high enough to allow crabs to breathe properly. You need to find a way to get the humidity more consistent, over 75%. Proper substrate can help. Is the lid sealed? Have you calibrated your hygrometer? Is it digital or analog?

GB: Oh goodness. IMO, minimum heat and humidity should be 80/80. Hermit crabs have modified gills and need the humidity to breathe. By letting the humidity drop to 50% you can cause extreme damage to their gills. Misting can also lead to flooding of the tank.

3. Is a heat source used in the tank? If so, what?
I don’t use heat for the tank bc the thermometer usually shows that it’s higher than 69 and lower than 90

GB: See above. I personally don't allow my tanks to get above 85, and the lowest I allow mine to go is 78. The 78 is at night. Hermit crabs are tropical creatures. They need heat.

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)?
I have fresh and saltwater separately and I use either tap water (there’s a filter on the water that takes out all chemicals), zephyrhills or purified bottled water. I put two teaspoons of “hermit crab salt water conditioner” in a 2 cup container to store.
Curly - You need to use a dechlorinator such as Prime, I would not trust the filter. Bottled water also needs to be treated. I don't believe that is a proper salt for hermit crabs, even though it is marketed as such. It needs to be a marine salt such as Instant Ocean.

GB: 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. You can get instant ocean off of Amazon, or at most pet stores.

5. What kinds of food do you feed and how often is it replaced?
I feed them food from hermit crab patch but until i have more I’m stuck with jurassidiet. I replace food/water every day.

GB: 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


6. How long have you had the crab and what species is it, if known?
I’ve had him about 1-3 years and it’s a purple pincher

7. Has your crab molted, and how long ago did it happen?
It did a surface molt a week and a half ago
Curly - Surface molting is a sign that something is very wrong, it is not normal for crabs to molt on the surface. Your crab is in a weakened state now, and needs to be kep isolated from the other crabs. Crabs go naked when they do not have enough energy to carry a shell. I am afraid to have to say, but your crab is in serious danger, which may be irreversable.

8. What type of housing are the crabs kept in, what size is it and what kind of lid is on the housing?
A 50 gal exo terrarium with a highly secured lid, 4 hideouts, one of them being a large cave, and climbing sticks

9. How many crabs are in the tank and about how large are they?
8: 6 mediums 2 smalls

10. How many extra shells are usually kept in the tank, if any?
I don’t keep track but I put at least more than 5
Curly - HCA recommends at least 3-5 extra shells per crab. That would be 24-40 extra shells. Check the care sheets for info about proper shells.

GB: Agree with Curly. Here is the shell guide: viewtopic.php?f=24&t=92552

11. Have there been any fumes or chemicals near the crabitat recently?
No

12. How often do you clean the tank and how?
I clean the tank every few months by taking everything out and replacing the substrate
Curly - When you have proper substrate, you do not need to ever replace all of it.

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 got 2 small crabs yesterday

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.
He seems mostly fine now but the other days he was either running around naked or trying on shells
Curly - A naked crab will die. He needs to be re-shelled asap. You need more shells so he can find one he likes and that feels good to him.
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

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curlysister
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Re: My crab keeps getting naked, running around and then going into a new shell

Post by curlysister » Tue Jun 25, 2019 11:15 pm

Thanks for adding those things, GB!
Isolating a crab isn't being mean - it's protecting him from the other crabs when he's in a weakened state. An iso doesn't need to be big or fancy. I have only ever used a plastic container and a 2 liter pop bottle inside my main tank when I have iso'd a crab.
Most of us mix the playsand and EE together, with enough dechlor fresh or salt water to moisten it. In the almost 9 years I have had my crabs, I have upgraded from 10 to 20 and then to my current 55 gallon. I have never thrown out any substrate, I have just added to it to make it deeper, and 'spot' cleaned as needed (some people scoop out poop, but I just mix it in). If both crabs are above ground, I will 'fluff' it up every now and then, just to dig up anything they have buried, and make sure it's proper consistency right to the bottom.
I purchase Instant Ocean from Hermit Crab Patch, and live in Canada, so can't tell you where to get it in person in the US. But I think most big name pet stores in the US should have it? I think that's also where you can get the declorinator Prime.
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." -Will Rogers

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Re: My crab keeps getting naked, running around and then going into a new shell

Post by FinalxFantasy » Tue Jul 30, 2019 2:23 pm

Sorry I haven't gotten back in so long. I tried more shells, coral calcium, honey calcium, and oyster shell supplements while it was isolated but nothing worked. My crab didn't make it and I was really upset about that
I always get bad grades at school, because A is for awful, B is for bad, and F is for FANTASTIC!

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curlysister
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Re: My crab keeps getting naked, running around and then going into a new shell

Post by curlysister » Tue Jul 30, 2019 2:53 pm

I am sorry to hear that.
Have you been able to make the corrections in your tank conditions?
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." -Will Rogers

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