New crab mom!

Please post here if you are a new crab owner and someone will be along shortly to welcome you to the HCA! This is also the place to welcome new crabbies to your clan!

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BatmanPrincessBaby
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New crab mom!

Post by BatmanPrincessBaby » Fri Sep 06, 2019 9:31 pm

Hi all! My son is obsessed with animals so we got him a hermit crab this morning and after a lot of reading and 3 trips to the pet store, we ended up with three hermit crabs, a 10 gallon tank, not enough substrate (I’m going back tomorrow ASAP), the Water dishes and feeding dish, heater placed on the side, and a humidifier due to arrive on Sunday. I have a few questions for the group: 1. my hermit crabs came in painted shells, what can I do about that? 2. the climbing stalk from the kit is painted to be glow in the dark, is that safe? 3. The tank I got has a mesh lid, how can I help keep the humidity up? Is there a diy trick? Any advice or help would be greatly Appreciated. I am already very attached to these guys and I want to give them a good life!

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Xenocrab
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Re: New crab mom!

Post by Xenocrab » Fri Sep 06, 2019 9:58 pm

Read the care guides. They cover all the information you need.

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5 store bought, 6 rescues and 7 adopted.

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Badmouse
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Re: New crab mom!

Post by Badmouse » Fri Sep 06, 2019 10:06 pm

Welcome BatmanPrincessBaby!

Well I'm a new crab mom myself its been a little over a month and I'm really surprised how much I love them and how much I could care about a little crabby. I hope you have the same experience! I bet you were as surprised as I was when you realized how much they actually require ( they were advertised as a low maintenance pet at a shore store in RI, I had a vacation adult beverage thought they were cute and the rest is history).

1. So we can't pull them out of their shells or force them to change shells ever (not that you'd ever try to of course), a hermit crab will let you rip their little soft abdomens in half before they forcibly vacate a shell (that's what I've read at least) so- you buy new unpainted shells for them I couldn't find any at my local pet stores and am real ticked off at PetCo and PetSmart since I spoke to an employee about the poor crabitat situations and they said corporate knows but makes them do it the wrong way ... but anyways I went on amazon and found a bunch, I think I googled turbo shells, you can buy hermit crab size packs. I figured out what type of land hermit crab mine was (he's a purple pincher) and read that they prefer a circular opening as opposed to oval or D shaped openings and tried to purchase ones like that. I'll follow up and send you the link so you can check it out. Funny thing- both of my purple pincher crabs are in D shaped opening snail shells. But anyways, purchase new unpainted shells (they can be polished as far as I understand) 3-5 shells per crab in your tank, boil them in treated salt water (seachem treated water then add the instant ocean mix to it) and then dry and put them in the tank and the crabs will move in on their own when they're ready. Mine tried on way bigger ones too it was cute. Took a good while though, I think the move was too much and he didn't want extra change lol


2. From what I've read its best to use all natural products that aren't treated or painted if possible. Seems that the same idea of the painted shells being bad goes for anything else in the tank that they might pinch at or nibble? I think you want to stay away from the glow in the dark climbing stalk, is it Cholla wood? I have a link for that on amazon too from a recent purchase (or you can look it up too its like the stalk of a cactus isn't that interesting?) It's not easy! And how should we know before we really know right? It's all advertised as "hermit crab sand, hermit crab log, hermit crab food" when its just an expensive hermit crab headache (and waste of money lol ).

3. You can use cling wrap to cover the mesh lid. I don't know that anyone else would cosign the second thing I'll mention but I used dish towels and drying matts and put that onto of the cling wrap too to help keep my heat and humidity in. I personally had a really hard time initially getting my tank to the comfortable temp of 80 and humidity of 80 (there's a range I'm not exactly sure what it is but I see people say 80/80 a lot on here) but yeah I used the zoomed heaters from petco, tried a smaller one, didn't do the trick, then got an even bigger one, still wasn't warm enough then I got this fancy shmancy thing cause we have the AC on in the house and I know that works against the tanks temp. Also- fill a spray bottle with sea cream treated instant ocean water and spray the tank when you notice the humidity is down.


I hope that was helpful! If I can be helpful with anything else let me know! (although again I'm just reiterating things I've read about and I dont have much experience lol) :crabbigsmile:
Joked about being a crazy cat lady..
Turns out it’s crazy crab AND cat lady
2 PPs Captain Lee (the stud of the sea) & New Adoptee "Kyle" to be renamed
In the process of adopting 4 more
3 cat babies
RIP Unamed PP😔
Fell deep into this hermit crab hole and I’m not coming back

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curlysister
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Re: New crab mom!

Post by curlysister » Fri Sep 06, 2019 10:11 pm

Definitely read through all the care sheets.

When given a selection of natural shells, they will leave the painted ones and opt for the natural. Then remove the painted from the tank.

I would not use anything painted, in case the pain chips off. Crabs are notorious for picking things apart, and paint can be harmful if ingested.

My first two tanks didn't have lids, I just used saran wrap over top. You can seal the whole thing, they will get enough air exchange when you are in and out changing food and water.
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." -Will Rogers

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Badmouse
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Re: New crab mom!

Post by Badmouse » Fri Sep 06, 2019 10:30 pm

Hey again just wanted to share the links in case you wanted to use them for reference

Cholla or Choya wood https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DD ... UTF8&psc=1

I didn't mention this but I got this for my crabs its a good source of calcium I believe? Bone of a fish I think? again I'm new and cant remember everything I've learned in such a short amount of time but this is good and they like it they much on it and walk on it haha https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0002 ... UTF8&psc=1

I bought all these shells and really liked them I have a medium crab and idk a big big crab now (as of yesterday) I'll be ordering him more shells but these were great for my medium crab and sized down and up good variety!

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07FN ... UTF8&psc=1
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07M7 ... UTF8&psc=1
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01N3 ... UTF8&psc=1
Joked about being a crazy cat lady..
Turns out it’s crazy crab AND cat lady
2 PPs Captain Lee (the stud of the sea) & New Adoptee "Kyle" to be renamed
In the process of adopting 4 more
3 cat babies
RIP Unamed PP😔
Fell deep into this hermit crab hole and I’m not coming back


Kydra
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Re: New crab mom!

Post by Kydra » Sat Sep 07, 2019 5:31 pm

Badmouse wrote:
Fri Sep 06, 2019 10:06 pm
Welcome BatmanPrincessBaby!

Well I'm a new crab mom myself its been a little over a month and I'm really surprised how much I love them and how much I could care about a little crabby. I hope you have the same experience! I bet you were as surprised as I was when you realized how much they actually require ( they were advertised as a low maintenance pet at a shore store in RI, I had a vacation adult beverage thought they were cute and the rest is history).

1. So we can't pull them out of their shells or force them to change shells ever (not that you'd ever try to of course), a hermit crab will let you rip their little soft abdomens in half before they forcibly vacate a shell (that's what I've read at least) so- you buy new unpainted shells for them I couldn't find any at my local pet stores and am real ticked off at PetCo and PetSmart since I spoke to an employee about the poor crabitat situations and they said corporate knows but makes them do it the wrong way ... but anyways I went on amazon and found a bunch, I think I googled turbo shells, you can buy hermit crab size packs. I figured out what type of land hermit crab mine was (he's a purple pincher) and read that they prefer a circular opening as opposed to oval or D shaped openings and tried to purchase ones like that. I'll follow up and send you the link so you can check it out. Funny thing- both of my purple pincher crabs are in D shaped opening snail shells. But anyways, purchase new unpainted shells (they can be polished as far as I understand) 3-5 shells per crab in your tank, boil them in treated salt water (seachem treated water then add the instant ocean mix to it) and then dry and put them in the tank and the crabs will move in on their own when they're ready. Mine tried on way bigger ones too it was cute. Took a good while though, I think the move was too much and he didn't want extra change lol


2. From what I've read its best to use all natural products that aren't treated or painted if possible. Seems that the same idea of the painted shells being bad goes for anything else in the tank that they might pinch at or nibble? I think you want to stay away from the glow in the dark climbing stalk, is it Cholla wood? I have a link for that on amazon too from a recent purchase (or you can look it up too its like the stalk of a cactus isn't that interesting?) It's not easy! And how should we know before we really know right? It's all advertised as "hermit crab sand, hermit crab log, hermit crab food" when its just an expensive hermit crab headache (and waste of money lol ).

3. You can use cling wrap to cover the mesh lid. I don't know that anyone else would cosign the second thing I'll mention but I used dish towels and drying matts and put that onto of the cling wrap too to help keep my heat and humidity in. I personally had a really hard time initially getting my tank to the comfortable temp of 80 and humidity of 80 (there's a range I'm not exactly sure what it is but I see people say 80/80 a lot on here) but yeah I used the zoomed heaters from petco, tried a smaller one, didn't do the trick, then got an even bigger one, still wasn't warm enough then I got this fancy shmancy thing cause we have the AC on in the house and I know that works against the tanks temp. Also- fill a spray bottle with sea cream treated instant ocean water and spray the tank when you notice the humidity is down.


I hope that was helpful! If I can be helpful with anything else let me know! (although again I'm just reiterating things I've read about and I dont have much experience lol) :crabbigsmile:
Welcome to the OP. I am fairly new here as well with the usual story of a few drinks on vacation and a few hermit crabs with a wired cage/sponge/pellets (all a waste of money). This is kinda off topic, but you are a new hermit crab mom... I've seen many of these... Where are the hermit crab dad's at??? 😂

@Badmouse I quoted your post as I saw your recommendation of a water/spray bottle using dechlor saltwater if I'm reading correctly. I will spray as well every few days, but when the water evaporates from spraying, all of the salt and minerals will remain and slowly buildup. May have just been an oversight on your post as lots of good info, but I would recommend using treated/dechlor freshwater for a spray bottle. Just my thoughts. I am relatively new as noted so may be wrong on this. Feel free to correct me if so otherwise good advice!

Just a mention on shells; I first ordered a pack of turbos off Amazon then ordered the variety pack from Naples and happy with both. Mine moved out of his painted shell within a few days of appropriate shells boiled in treated marine saltwater then left to cool before placing in tank.

On Petco... I recently visited my local Petco they had both fresh and saltwater albeit the wrong saltwater and the substrate was about an inch or two. When I was looking at the crabs I had said to the employee (I did not know at the time she cared for the crabs) that there aren't many in there huh. She said oh they must have buried and I have to keep digging them up throughout the day. Turns out she has her own pet hermit crabs with appropriate conditions and substrate and knows to never dig and so on. She had said that Petco makes her dig throughout the day and in the morning to discourage molting otherwise wouldn't get a sale. We had a lengthy conversation about all of this and she has to follow her orders or not have a job, but the care in these pet stores are terrible let alone the boardwalks. Just thought I'd share.

Good luck with your crabs!


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BatmanPrincessBaby
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Re: New crab mom!

Post by BatmanPrincessBaby » Sat Sep 07, 2019 9:11 pm

Thank you all so much for all the great advice. I have just upgraded to a 29 gallon tank with a stand. I moisten the substrate with freshwater dechlorinated. I’ve got the humidity and temperature in the right ranges and I think my crabs are happy. I have shells on the way from Richards. And while my hermie crabs do have my husband and children ( Who I originally bought the first one for, then proceeded to buy two more after learning how social they were ). I only call myself there mama because I have grown very attached to them in the short period I’ve had them lol! My son is super attached to them too so I want to give them a good life for many reasons .
I have come into a few more questions if you’re all willing to help me some more:
1. How many food dishes should I have? Ive read posts in which some people have dishes just for calcium.
2. I’m having a lot of trouble sizing my crabs for the level of substrate needed, When I pick them up they’ll their legs spread out a lot so do I put them on the bull’s-eye and wait until they calm down? what if they curl up? Because they’re still in the painted shells I don’t want to measure from shell size because they could be in a shell too big or forced into a shell that’s small. When they say the size of an egg and my estimating the size that they would be without their shell? Or the shell itself?
3. Right now I have them in the living room I have to cover the tank around 830 to give them darkness but I am usually up late watching TV or doing other things. Will the light bother them? Should I move them somewhere else for complete darkness?

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Badmouse
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Re: New crab mom!

Post by Badmouse » Sat Sep 07, 2019 9:26 pm

oops?
Last edited by Badmouse on Sat Sep 07, 2019 9:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Joked about being a crazy cat lady..
Turns out it’s crazy crab AND cat lady
2 PPs Captain Lee (the stud of the sea) & New Adoptee "Kyle" to be renamed
In the process of adopting 4 more
3 cat babies
RIP Unamed PP😔
Fell deep into this hermit crab hole and I’m not coming back

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Badmouse
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Re: New crab mom!

Post by Badmouse » Sat Sep 07, 2019 9:27 pm

Kydra wrote:
Sat Sep 07, 2019 5:31 pm
Welcome to the OP. I am fairly new here as well with the usual story of a few drinks on vacation and a few hermit crabs with a wired cage/sponge/pellets (all a waste of money). This is kinda off topic, but you are a new hermit crab mom... I've seen many of these... Where are the hermit crab dad's at??? 😂

@Badmouse I quoted your post as I saw your recommendation of a water/spray bottle using dechlor saltwater if I'm reading correctly. I will spray as well every few days, but when the water evaporates from spraying, all of the salt and minerals will remain and slowly buildup. May have just been an oversight on your post as lots of good info, but I would recommend using treated/dechlor freshwater for a spray bottle. Just my thoughts. I am relatively new as noted so may be wrong on this. Feel free to correct me if so otherwise good advice!

Just a mention on shells; I first ordered a pack of turbos off Amazon then ordered the variety pack from Naples and happy with both. Mine moved out of his painted shell within a few days of appropriate shells boiled in treated marine saltwater then left to cool before placing in tank.

On Petco... I recently visited my local Petco they had both fresh and saltwater albeit the wrong saltwater and the substrate was about an inch or two. When I was looking at the crabs I had said to the employee (I did not know at the time she cared for the crabs) that there aren't many in there huh. She said oh they must have buried and I have to keep digging them up throughout the day. Turns out she has her own pet hermit crabs with appropriate conditions and substrate and knows to never dig and so on. She had said that Petco makes her dig throughout the day and in the morning to discourage molting otherwise wouldn't get a sale. We had a lengthy conversation about all of this and she has to follow her orders or not have a job, but the care in these pet stores are terrible let alone the boardwalks. Just thought I'd share.

Good luck with your crabs!

Hey Kydra!

Thank you for the welcome! Seems like we have a lot in common! :) Where the hermit crab dads at? LOL if you find them let me know hahaha! too funny! Maybe they're all molting?

Yeah you know that does make a lot of sense regarding the saltwater spray bottle having buildup with the minerals for sure. Now, I don't have to spray that frequently I think in part because my tanks have pools with salt and fresh water with bubblers? I could be wrong but I think the bubbling helps? Or it's luck? Also I get condensation in the tank cause its a good deal cooler in the house than in the tank so thats probably a contributing factor. I haven't noticed mineral build up yet, but I did read once while going down the deep deep habit hole that is hermit crab 101.. maybe 102 at this point that everything that goes in the crabitat should be sprayed with salt water. I want to say I read this when I found a VERY in depth detailing of how each material should be cleaned prior to going into the tank. Like plastic items (initially I thought you couldnt have plastic in the crabitat but I'm noticing even the solid crabbers do and I haven't seen much way around that yet) so anyways plastic items get sprayed with vinegar, then rinsed with salt water, where as rope netting should be put in a microwave safe dish (I used a glass cup) covered in salt water, then nuked for 2 minutes then left to sit for 1 minute I think it was? I really want to say that was the article I was reading when it said everything should be sprayed with salt water before going in, I think it had something to do with .... something I cant remember clearly enough to say actually. And this made sense to me because if they're living in areas with salt and fresh water by the oceans then everything sticky with salt so I could see why this would help simulate their nature environment. I don't know that the experienced crabbers feel this is an important sticking point? Maybe its in a thread somewhere?

Let me see if I can find that article and I'll share it with you, supppperrrrr informative my head was exploding haha. that was when I was still on the upward slope of terror as I realized I really didn't know jack about properly taking care of these guys. It's better know I think I'm on the downward slope where its just enjoyable (although I did almost lose my marbles over a crabby incident yesterday but thats neither here nor there right? lol)

Thats the second mention of Naples for shells today- I'll for sure check them out, I did love my amazon ones too. In fact someone just shared a great measuring tool for determining the opening that your crab needs idk if you've seen this already but I literally just read their response and I'm pumped about it so ill share that with you!

On Petco is RIGHT. I HAD THE SAME INTERACTION. And again the girl was really nice, she knew it was wrong and felt horrible and exactly- said they had to have them displayed like that, all of it was mandated. I cried for probably about 4 hours that day over crab injustices that I kept running into. And it made me sick because if I bought them to give the ones there in a cage then it would encourage more stealing of hermit crabs from their homes. So I just had to sit with that. And that was a very heavy thing to process and still is. Makes me want to throw a hermit crab shell on myself and raise bedlam!!!! Contact my NY senator and talk to him about this, not even joking. I adopted a new crab through the crab street journal with their hermit crab adoption (I think they're associated with the HCA too they're all in hermity cahoots as far as I can tell which is cool) and the woman did a very well intentioned job of trying her best. Honestly it looked nice, you could tell she tried, she had a UTH on the side- teeny but it was there, and a few other things right and she gave me his 30 gallon aquarium and other supplies she wouldn't need and in there- "hermit crab salt water" like the sole version in a little water bottle. It does not help AT ALL that there's all fo this advertising for hermit crab this and that- she was trying, it said hermit crab water, then you find out all of the advertised hermit crab stuff in stores is no good. OYE VEY OYE VEY OYE VEY (this has turned out to be my saying of the month I'm channeling a very irritated Jewish grandmother lately and she is a real mood).

In conclusion its a mad world out there for the new Hermie owner isn't it? I'm 30 years old having an existential crisis over hermit crabs (okay not the only thing but you get it)

I'll find those links and share them, good luck with your crabs too! I'm sure they're really glad they wound up with a mom like you! :crabbigsmile:
Joked about being a crazy cat lady..
Turns out it’s crazy crab AND cat lady
2 PPs Captain Lee (the stud of the sea) & New Adoptee "Kyle" to be renamed
In the process of adopting 4 more
3 cat babies
RIP Unamed PP😔
Fell deep into this hermit crab hole and I’m not coming back

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Badmouse
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Re: New crab mom!

Post by Badmouse » Sat Sep 07, 2019 9:31 pm

I copied and pasted this from the other thread I got it from, this lady (woman, girl,) seems very experienced and she's very nice too.

"Those charts are excellent for gauging the overall size of your crab, but for determining shell size requirements more precisely many of us use calipers (this is the one I have: https://www.hermitcrabpatch.com/Shell-O ... /ac004.htm). Online shell shops that cater to hermit crab keepers (HCP, Naples, etc.) will list the shell opening size to assist shoppers, which is fantastic."
Joked about being a crazy cat lady..
Turns out it’s crazy crab AND cat lady
2 PPs Captain Lee (the stud of the sea) & New Adoptee "Kyle" to be renamed
In the process of adopting 4 more
3 cat babies
RIP Unamed PP😔
Fell deep into this hermit crab hole and I’m not coming back

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Badmouse
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Re: New crab mom!

Post by Badmouse » Sat Sep 07, 2019 9:51 pm

I think this was the guidelines I used to learn how to sanitize and clean things

https://crabstreetjournal.org/blog/2015 ... -crabitat/
Joked about being a crazy cat lady..
Turns out it’s crazy crab AND cat lady
2 PPs Captain Lee (the stud of the sea) & New Adoptee "Kyle" to be renamed
In the process of adopting 4 more
3 cat babies
RIP Unamed PP😔
Fell deep into this hermit crab hole and I’m not coming back

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Badmouse
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Re: New crab mom!

Post by Badmouse » Sat Sep 07, 2019 10:00 pm

Okay so someone in this post says using salt water can build up too much and then it can get in the substrate and become dangerous to the crabs? I wonder if thats in regards to the substrate consistency being compromised? Like could it make it like calcium sand that turns into cement like texture that can kill the crabs? Or is this a matter of minerals?

Really want to get to the bottom on this now. no-one on the post confirmed or denied that you should only you fresh water for spraying. I wonder if when I read that everything in the tank should be sprayed with salt water before going in if that meant once before going in and thats it? But I think I've read that some people moisten their sub with salt water before putting it in the tank?

Do they need as much salt as they can get or no? I'm going to try to find out I'll post keep an eye out or ill report back here once the votes are in? Cant find the article that was pro salt I'll have to keep looking I've got so much crab stuff

https://www.hermitcrabassociation.com/p ... 8&t=112236
Joked about being a crazy cat lady..
Turns out it’s crazy crab AND cat lady
2 PPs Captain Lee (the stud of the sea) & New Adoptee "Kyle" to be renamed
In the process of adopting 4 more
3 cat babies
RIP Unamed PP😔
Fell deep into this hermit crab hole and I’m not coming back

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Badmouse
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Re: New crab mom!

Post by Badmouse » Sat Sep 07, 2019 10:15 pm

BatmanPrincessBaby wrote:
Sat Sep 07, 2019 9:11 pm
Thank you all so much for all the great advice. I have just upgraded to a 29 gallon tank with a stand. I moisten the substrate with freshwater dechlorinated. I’ve got the humidity and temperature in the right ranges and I think my crabs are happy. I have shells on the way from Richards. And while my hermie crabs do have my husband and children ( Who I originally bought the first one for, then proceeded to buy two more after learning how social they were ). I only call myself there mama because I have grown very attached to them in the short period I’ve had them lol! My son is super attached to them too so I want to give them a good life for many reasons .
I have come into a few more questions if you’re all willing to help me some more:
1. How many food dishes should I have? Ive read posts in which some people have dishes just for calcium.
2. I’m having a lot of trouble sizing my crabs for the level of substrate needed, When I pick them up they’ll their legs spread out a lot so do I put them on the bull’s-eye and wait until they calm down? what if they curl up? Because they’re still in the painted shells I don’t want to measure from shell size because they could be in a shell too big or forced into a shell that’s small. When they say the size of an egg and my estimating the size that they would be without their shell? Or the shell itself?
3. Right now I have them in the living room I have to cover the tank around 830 to give them darkness but I am usually up late watching TV or doing other things. Will the light bother them? Should I move them somewhere else for complete darkness?
Hi again :)

Sounds like you've made some great improvements in a short time, you go girl! I totally get you wanting to give them a good life, I'm with ya!

1. unfortunately I don't have a good answer from personal experience on that and I don't recall specifics about it. I think though.. that its pretty subjective. I know in the wild they don't have a food bowl at all. I think we use them to kind of try to contain mess? I've seen crabitats just with half an apple or something like that, leaves just in there and the crabs munching away. Didn't know I didn't have to cut up their food for them haha oops! So I don't know exactly I personally have a few oyster shells I put as much food as I'm giving them in there, I try to keep messy things like peanut butter in its own shell not for any good reason that im aware of though. I think you could just use one bowl but- I really do NOT know the right answer for this so id search your topic im sure its come up before.

2. you're ahead of me here, I don't have the sizing matt my purchased crab (before I knew better, feel like ill never let myself live this down, might have to bring it up to my priest from some penance or something lol) but anyways he didn't come with one, neither was it offered. And my adopted crab didn't have one either and I just saw the circular sizing matt yesterday, very cool I'll be getting one. Anyways- this im almost positive of; our crabs aren't going to complain about too much substrate and the more molting surface area they have the better. I've read min 6 inches or 3 times the size of your largest crab whichever comes LAST. So for me, I look at my crabs overall size so like height including shell and width and make sure he's got that plus a little more, this applies now mostly to my big boy crab who's a giant next to my medium crab lol. When they dig their shell goes with them so I figure for this case it should be included in the substrate measurement, and extra wont hurt their feelings but not enough will :(

3. This I don't know, I've got a tank in the family room... and now the dining room oops :D but our tvs aren't in either of those rooms and I just don't know so id search that too but I think its nice that you cover them up.

At least these are topics you can for sure find on here (seem like FAQs to me!)

Crab on!
Joked about being a crazy cat lady..
Turns out it’s crazy crab AND cat lady
2 PPs Captain Lee (the stud of the sea) & New Adoptee "Kyle" to be renamed
In the process of adopting 4 more
3 cat babies
RIP Unamed PP😔
Fell deep into this hermit crab hole and I’m not coming back

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curlysister
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Re: New crab mom!

Post by curlysister » Sat Sep 07, 2019 10:44 pm

I will chime in here with some of my own opinions. I have had my two crabs (Sonny and Cher) for 9 years now. Started with a 10 gallon, then 20 gallon (both with saran wrap lids), and now have a nice 55 gallon that has a plexiglass lid that was given to me. I am pretty casual about some things with my crabs. I don't keep track of what I feed them when, or what they are eating/ drinking/ getting ready to molt, or even what day they disappear under the substrate.
I don't have calipers or a sizing mat - I try to measure the shell openings using a clear plastic ruler. Which can be interesting when they are actually in the shell, LOL. I figure the substrate should be at least 3 times as deep as my biggest crab's height if I look at him from the side. When I am going to add something plastic to the tank, I clean it with a vinegar and water mix, then rinse it with my fresh water (I use Reverse Osmosis water, which is equivalent to dechlor fresh water). If something can be boiled (ie - shells), I boil in the RO water. I have soaked wood items in salt water then baked in the oven (can't remember the exact time or temp, I think I found it on this site somewhere).
When I mixed my substrate (I use the 5 parts play sand to 1 part EE mix), I used the RO water because I didn't know any different. The reason some people use salt water is to decrease the chance of bacteria growing. Same reason to treat things like wood and hemp rope or netting, to prevent mold growth. The surface mold on things like that isn't harmful to the crabs, but some people can be allergic or sensitive to it.
To answer your questions:
1 - Can be one or can be multiple bowls, there is no right or wrong. Sometimes I put leaf litter or calcium in a separate bowl because it lasts longer than the other foods, and I can leave it in longer. Food can be separated or can be mixed together. Raw or cooked. Cut up or whole.
2 - See my estimating method above, LOL. There is more info about sizing in one of the care sheets.
3 - TV etc won't bother them. I have never been really specific with my light and dark times. I do not use a light source at all. My crabs are in my sewing room upstairs, which has a window. They get the number of hours of daylight and night time as per the seasons, so it does vary (I live in central Canada). I sew in the evenings in winter, so they have the room light. I would not recommend over thinking it, LOL.

Hope some of that helps!
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." -Will Rogers


Topic author
BatmanPrincessBaby
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri Sep 06, 2019 8:07 pm
Location: Pa, America

Re: New crab mom!

Post by BatmanPrincessBaby » Sat Sep 07, 2019 11:00 pm

Thanks curlysister! I have been very worried about many things because I came in so inexperienced! I am happy to give them a good home and will try to post pics of my new tank and new buddies soon!

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