Molting in EE Only

Please post here if you are having a crab care emergency! Use a real subject and not just "HELP!"

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RAHermits
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Joined: Sat Aug 24, 2019 5:53 am

Molting in EE Only

Post by RAHermits » Sun Aug 25, 2019 9:40 pm

Since you've come to the emergency forum, we know you want a fast answer to your question. In order for us to figure out the problem as quickly as possible, we ask that you answer the following questions as best you can. Some of them may seem odd, but they're all designed to give us the information we need to give you a good solution for your problem. The things in the [ brackets ] are there to make this post easier to read once submitted. Thanks!


1. What kind of substrate is used in your tank and how deep is it?

EcoEarth, 4 inches deep.

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?

Back wall, 72F and 73% humidity.

3. Is a heat source used in the tank? If so, what?

No

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)?

Fresh and saltwater. Prime. 1/2 cup Instant Ocean with distilled water.

5. What kinds of food do you feed and how often is it replaced?

Just got the crabs. Started with pineapple and green beans so far.

6. How long have you had the crab and what species is it, if known?

Had them in this setup for one night so far. They look to be PP.

7. Has your crab molted, and how long ago did it happen?

See below.

8. What type of housing are the crabs kept in, what size is it and what kind of lid is on the housing?

Temporary tank, 10 gallon. Glass lid.

9. How many crabs are in the tank and about how large are they?

5 small crabs.

10. How many extra shells are usually kept in the tank, if any?

None so far.

11. Have there been any fumes or chemicals near the crabitat recently?

No.

12. How often do you clean the tank and how?

Not cleaned yet.

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?

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.)?

N/A

16. Please describe the emergency situation in detail.

I just set this crabitat up last night and put the crabs in it. I purposely filled it with only a few inches of EE to try and prevent the crabs from wanting to molt, but it appears one is trying anyways. I only see 4 of the crabs at the moment, so one is missing. I had planned on upgrading their tank after I moved, so as not to disturb their tunnels.

My concern is that I've heard only EE isn't great for molting. Some have had success with it, some have not. Are my fears valid? Could he still have a successful molt in only EE? I looked all over the sides and even moved the tank lightly to check the bottom and I see no signs of this little guy.

Thoughts?

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gunstreet.girl
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Location: Hull, Quebec, Canada

Re: Molting in EE Only

Post by gunstreet.girl » Mon Aug 26, 2019 1:21 pm

First off, is there anything specific that’s leading you to believe that the crab is moulting, rather than just digging down to de-stress or explore? It’s very common for crabs to tunnel immediately after being introduced to a new home in order to de-stress, so your little guy may just be doing that unless something specific is happening to make you think it’s moulting.

You mention that you’ll be moving and want to discourage your crabs moulting until then. Not sure how long until you move, and someone else will correct me if i’m wrong, but keeping the substrate insufficiently deep for any significant length of time won’t discourage moulting, necessarily, but will seriously increase the risk of surface or near-surface moulting. Which, obviously, no one wants. I would suggest increasing the sub depth to 6” minimum. Even if your little guy who has dug down is moulting, you can safely add 1/2”-1” a day, gently, without packing it until you reach the desired depth.

You’ll want to increase the heat and humidity a bit - they’re both a bit low on the range. Also, and especially for new crabs, make sure you’re feeding them protein and calcium along with the fruit and veg. If you have (or can get your hands on) some raw honey, coconut, etc those are great for giving the little guys a boost in stressful situations.

Also, I note that you responded “none so far” to the question about extra shells. If you can get your hand on some urgently, I would suggest you do. As you likely know, they need a good selection available at all times.

As for your concerns specifically about moulting in pure EE, I know there are crab keepers who frown on 100% EE sub but, for various reasons, i’ve used 100% EE as sub for the 10+ years i’ve been keeping crabs (all PPs), and never had a moult issue. All my crabs are rescues/surrenders, and all came from appalling conditions, and each crab in my colony has recovered and successfully moulted many, many times without issue. You need to ensure you keep the substrate moist, as you would with sand and/or a sand/EE mix, but i’ve not personally experienced any issues whatsoever with EE and moulting.


Topic author
RAHermits
Posts: 30
Joined: Sat Aug 24, 2019 5:53 am

Re: Molting in EE Only

Post by RAHermits » Mon Aug 26, 2019 1:37 pm

gunstreet.girl wrote:
Mon Aug 26, 2019 1:21 pm
First off, is there anything specific that’s leading you to believe that the crab is moulting, rather than just digging down to de-stress or explore? It’s very common for crabs to tunnel immediately after being introduced to a new home in order to de-stress, so your little guy may just be doing that unless something specific is happening to make you think it’s moulting.

You mention that you’ll be moving and want to discourage your crabs moulting until then. Not sure how long until you move, and someone else will correct me if i’m wrong, but keeping the substrate insufficiently deep for any significant length of time won’t discourage moulting, necessarily, but will seriously increase the risk of surface or near-surface moulting. Which, obviously, no one wants. I would suggest increasing the sub depth to 6” minimum. Even if your little guy who has dug down is moulting, you can safely add 1/2”-1” a day, gently, without packing it until you reach the desired depth.

You’ll want to increase the heat and humidity a bit - they’re both a bit low on the range. Also, and especially for new crabs, make sure you’re feeding them protein and calcium along with the fruit and veg. If you have (or can get your hands on) some raw honey, coconut, etc those are great for giving the little guys a boost in stressful situations.

Also, I note that you responded “none so far” to the question about extra shells. If you can get your hand on some urgently, I would suggest you do. As you likely know, they need a good selection available at all times.

As for your concerns specifically about moulting in pure EE, I know there are crab keepers who frown on 100% EE sub but, for various reasons, i’ve used 100% EE as sub for the 10+ years i’ve been keeping crabs (all PPs), and never had a moult issue. All my crabs are rescues/surrenders, and all came from appalling conditions, and each crab in my colony has recovered and successfully moulted many, many times without issue. You need to ensure you keep the substrate moist, as you would with sand and/or a sand/EE mix, but i’ve not personally experienced any issues whatsoever with EE and moulting.

Thank you for such a great answer!

To be honest he could be just digging down to destress, that's a valid point. I'm not sure.

As to the protein: I'm looking into giving them crickets and mealworms, but I'm not sure if I can give them freeze-dried or not. I believe Flukers sells them freeze-dried.

Do you know of local places I may look that could have shells I can use? I can order them online, but there's no telling when they'll get here...

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gunstreet.girl
Posts: 149
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Location: Hull, Quebec, Canada

Re: Molting in EE Only

Post by gunstreet.girl » Mon Aug 26, 2019 1:53 pm

RAHermits wrote:
Mon Aug 26, 2019 1:37 pm
Thank you for such a great answer!

To be honest he could be just digging down to destress, that's a valid point. I'm not sure.

As to the protein: I'm looking into giving them crickets and mealworms, but I'm not sure if I can give them freeze-dried or not. I believe Flukers sells them freeze-dried.

Do you know of local places I may look that could have shells I can use? I can order them online, but there's no telling when they'll get here...
You’re most welcome!

You can absolutely give them freeze dried crickets and mealworms. Most crabs love them. Freeze dried bloodworms are also a popular choice, as are freeze dried krill, shrimp, etc. You can also get organic pure dried salmon at most pet shops (in the dog treat section) and grind that up in a coffee grinder - a huge hit with my hermies.

As for local places to buy shells - not knowing where you’re located I don’t know what’s local to you :) I know some people have luck searching craft stores and the like (making sure the shells aren’t painted/shellacked/ treated), but I live in Canada and have had very little luck finding shells in shops so I have to order mine online from either Naples or the Hermit Crab Patch.


Topic author
RAHermits
Posts: 30
Joined: Sat Aug 24, 2019 5:53 am

Re: Molting in EE Only

Post by RAHermits » Mon Aug 26, 2019 4:40 pm

I might just end up setting another tank up for the other crabs, and leaving the buried crab in this tank. I feel it's too risky to just add to the EE and bury the already buried crab. I don't want to chance crushing him as I add. I figure I can just set up a new one with the proper mix and move these guys into it.

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gunstreet.girl
Posts: 149
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 11:10 am
Location: Hull, Quebec, Canada

Re: Molting in EE Only

Post by gunstreet.girl » Mon Aug 26, 2019 4:43 pm

Sounds like a good plan. 10G is really small for 5 crabs, even as a temporary solution. Good luck with your new little buddies!


Topic author
RAHermits
Posts: 30
Joined: Sat Aug 24, 2019 5:53 am

Re: Molting in EE Only

Post by RAHermits » Mon Aug 26, 2019 4:45 pm

gunstreet.girl wrote:
Mon Aug 26, 2019 4:43 pm
Sounds like a good plan. 10G is really small for 5 crabs, even as a temporary solution. Good luck with your new little buddies!
Thank you, and I agree! I'm definitely going to upgrade them into a larger setup when I move in a couple of weeks.

Which reminds me of one other thing: I ordered an Ultratherm UTH for the tank, I'm assuming I can just use tape to attach it to the tank?

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gunstreet.girl
Posts: 149
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Location: Hull, Quebec, Canada

Re: Molting in EE Only

Post by gunstreet.girl » Mon Aug 26, 2019 4:47 pm

RAHermits wrote:
Mon Aug 26, 2019 4:45 pm
Thank you, and I agree! I'm definitely going to upgrade them into a larger setup when I move in a couple of weeks.

Which reminds me of one other thing: I ordered an Ultratherm UTH for the tank, I'm assuming I can just use tape to attach it to the tank?
Yep, just duct tape it on the side, and you can insulate the ultratherm UTHs if you need an additional boost.


Topic author
RAHermits
Posts: 30
Joined: Sat Aug 24, 2019 5:53 am

Re: Molting in EE Only

Post by RAHermits » Mon Aug 26, 2019 4:49 pm

gunstreet.girl wrote:
Mon Aug 26, 2019 4:47 pm
Yep, just duct tape it on the side, and you can insulate the ultratherm UTHs if you need an additional boost.
Thank you for your help!

How careful do I need to be when it comes to the freeze-dried food? For example this Flukers product looks like it's only crickets, nothing added, but they were gut loaded with a calcium food beforehand. Is that still safe to use?

https://www.petsmart.com/reptile/food/f ... s-293.html

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gunstreet.girl
Posts: 149
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 11:10 am
Location: Hull, Quebec, Canada

Re: Molting in EE Only

Post by gunstreet.girl » Mon Aug 26, 2019 5:28 pm

RAHermits wrote:
Mon Aug 26, 2019 4:49 pm
How careful do I need to be when it comes to the freeze-dried food? For example this Flukers product looks like it's only crickets, nothing added, but they were gut loaded with a calcium food beforehand. Is that still safe to use?

https://www.petsmart.com/reptile/food/f ... s-293.html
Fluker’s is a reputable brand, i’ve used their products over the years for my geckos, frogs, and hermies. I’ve been feeding their “bearded dragon medley” treats to my hermies for years - if they carry it where you plan to buy I would recommend it; more variety than just the crickets, good source of chitin, and my jumbo seems to get a kick out of pulling the legs off the grasshoppers :)

I remember specifically avoiding using the fluker’s gut load product back when I raised/bred crickets for my late frogs.. it was years ago, though, and for the life of me I can’t remember if it was an ingredient/preservative issue, or if it was just my diy-hard-headedness 🤷🏻‍♀️ you should be able to check the ingredients list for the gutload on the fluker’s website and then compare it against the unsafe/dangerous list and see if there’s any overlap.


Topic author
RAHermits
Posts: 30
Joined: Sat Aug 24, 2019 5:53 am

Re: Molting in EE Only

Post by RAHermits » Mon Aug 26, 2019 5:29 pm

gunstreet.girl wrote:
Mon Aug 26, 2019 5:28 pm
Fluker’s is a reputable brand, i’ve used their products over the years for my geckos, frogs, and hermies. I’ve been feeding their “bearded dragon medley” treats to my hermies for years - if they carry it where you plan to buy I would recommend it; more variety than just the crickets, good source of chitin, and my jumbo seems to get a kick out of pulling the legs off the grasshoppers :)

I remember specifically avoiding using the fluker’s gut load product back when I raised/bred crickets for my late frogs.. it was years ago, though, and for the life of me I can’t remember if it was an ingredient/preservative issue, or if it was just my diy-hard-headedness 🤷🏻‍♀️ you should be able to check the ingredients list for the gutload on the fluker’s website and then compare it against the unsafe/dangerous list and see if there’s any overlap.
I'll definitely pick up some of that medley then, thank you! I'm just probably overly cautious about unnecessary things haha


Topic author
RAHermits
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Joined: Sat Aug 24, 2019 5:53 am

Re: Molting in EE Only

Post by RAHermits » Tue Aug 27, 2019 10:28 am

Good call, the little guy came back up overnight!

I've moved everyone else over to the other tank that's the proper depth, and I'll move this guy over later today. I'm struggling with keeping humidity up in this new tank, it's a lot tougher without wet coconut fiber throughout. I'll try adding some ZooMed sphagnum moss in a dish tonight.

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Hermiesguardian
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Re: Molting in EE Only

Post by Hermiesguardian » Tue Aug 27, 2019 10:47 am

RAHermits wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 10:28 am
Good call, the little guy came back up overnight!

I've moved everyone else over to the other tank that's the proper depth, and I'll move this guy over later today. I'm struggling with keeping humidity up in this new tank, it's a lot tougher without wet coconut fiber throughout. I'll try adding some ZooMed sphagnum moss in a dish tonight.
Maybe you mentioned it before, but why would you not have wet ee throughout?
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
RAHermits
Posts: 30
Joined: Sat Aug 24, 2019 5:53 am

Re: Molting in EE Only

Post by RAHermits » Tue Aug 27, 2019 11:00 am

Hermiesguardian wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 10:47 am
Maybe you mentioned it before, but why would you not have wet ee throughout?
I should clarify. I mixed the EE in with the play sand for this new setup, but the old one was just straight up moist EE. So the old tank didn't have any sand mixed in, and it held humidity better.

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Hermiesguardian
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Re: Molting in EE Only

Post by Hermiesguardian » Tue Aug 27, 2019 11:28 am

RAHermits wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 11:00 am
I should clarify. I mixed the EE in with the play sand for this new setup, but the old one was just straight up moist EE. So the old tank didn't have any sand mixed in, and it held humidity better.
Gotcha.
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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