Adding Sub with buried crabs

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Adding Sub with buried crabs

Post by MauiMama » Mon Jun 22, 2020 9:48 pm

Hey crabbers,

I have 2 crabs I've had a few weeks now. I vastly underestimated how much substrate I needed, so I currently only have about 4" in my 10gal tank. I want to get it to a minimum of 8", especially since my large crab Clef looks like he wants to molt. I want to make sure he has the right depth and consistency to molt successfully.

The problem is, my tiny hermit Treble dug down about a week ago, and I presume he is either molting or de-stressing (I haven't seen any signs of him day or night in the last 7ish days). So I'm afraid to add more sub because I dont want to collapse his tunnels. I've heard that I can add an inch a day, but is that really safe? What's the best way to do it?

My other issue is that I have two platforms connected by a bridge for a second level, and the legs of the platforms are submerged about an inch or two into the sand. In order to add more substrate, I would have to remove those platforms - which also compromises Treble's tunnels.

What do I do? Do I wait out Treble's resurface before adding more, knowing that Clef might dig down with intentions to molt and it won't be deep enough? (What if he never resurfaces? PPS?) Do I take the risk of removing partially buried decor? If not, how can I add the substrate carefully enough to keep buried Treble safe, with these platforms in the way?

I have the extra sub already, using a mix of coco fiber and the Flukers Hermit Beach sand.

Please advise! Thank you!

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Re: Adding Sub with buried crabs

Post by Hermiesguardian » Mon Jun 22, 2020 10:49 pm

You can add an inch every 24hrs, just don't pat it down. But you can't really pull out buried decor.
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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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Re: Adding Sub with buried crabs

Post by aussieJJDude » Tue Jun 23, 2020 1:44 am

Cohld you just add what you can, and push it underneath the platforms? Otherwise, I'd just add what I can in the areas thats easily accessible if you're worried about cravs being under.


(The issue is that you dont want to pat it down, hence whhy many reccomend a shallow inch per day layer.)

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Re: Adding Sub with buried crabs

Post by DUDE » Tue Jun 23, 2020 6:50 pm

is it possible to just move your bigger crab to another iso tank to molt?

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Re: Adding Sub with buried crabs

Post by curlysister » Tue Jun 23, 2020 10:08 pm

Dude, the HCA does not recommend moving crabs to a separate iso tank to molt. It is better to provide adequate space in the main tank.
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Re: Adding Sub with buried crabs

Post by JoeHermits » Wed Jun 24, 2020 9:55 am

He means move the crab so decor can be moved around freely.

Personally, I wouldn’t bother. It’s easier to just wait for it to resurface.


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Re: Adding Sub with buried crabs

Post by MauiMama » Wed Jun 24, 2020 6:38 pm


JoeHermits wrote:Personally, I wouldn’t bother. It’s easier to just wait for it to resurface.
Even though they currently have significantly less substrate than they should?


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Re: Adding Sub with buried crabs

Post by MauiMama » Wed Jun 24, 2020 6:53 pm


aussieJJDude wrote:Cohld you just add what you can, and push it underneath the platforms? Otherwise, I'd just add what I can in the areas thats easily accessible if you're worried about cravs being under.


(The issue is that you dont want to pat it down, hence whhy many reccomend a shallow inch per day layer.)
I don't know why I didn't consider just pushing the sub under the platforms, it seems obvious now that you've said it. I guess its because I'm just so worried about potentially collapsing Treble's tunnels, especially since hes so tiny. On the other hand, my current sub depth is NOT adequate for my big hermit, who is slowly digging a hole that I'm pretty sure he intends to settle down for a molt in. It feels like a win-lose situation.

So it's truly safe to add an inch a day, as long as I don't pat it down or remove buried decor? I'm needing to add a minimum of 4 more inches, and that seems like a lot of weight to add. Has anyone done this and had crabs come up fine?


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Re: Adding Sub with buried crabs

Post by JoeHermits » Wed Jun 24, 2020 7:07 pm

MauiMama wrote: Even though they currently have significantly less substrate than they should?


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Whoops! Sorry, I forgot what we were talking about for a second.

JJ’s advice is sound, though.


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Re: Adding Sub with buried crabs

Post by aussieJJDude » Thu Jun 25, 2020 2:46 am


MauiMama wrote:
So it's truly safe to add an inch a day, as long as I don't pat it down or remove buried decor? I'm needing to add a minimum of 4 more inches, and that seems like a lot of weight to add. Has anyone done this and had crabs come up fine?
Yep, its fine. All you want to do is not pat it down or dump it in, hence why we reccomend an inch a day. It's to help reduce people from dumping it all in - want to sprinkle it ontop really - and patting it down.

I've done it way in the past, and can vouch that others have done the same without issues. More than fine and safe. Keep it light and dont pat it down, dont move decor (often burried crabs but up against something to form their caves, thats why people double up their water bowls and why I use large coral fragments) and they'll be fine. :)


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Re: Adding Sub with buried crabs

Post by MauiMama » Fri Jun 26, 2020 7:27 pm

Thank you so much for your reassurance! Owning crabs is already a stressful hobby, so dealing with unusual situations makes it even scarier.

Thanks for the advice everyone! I'll get started tonight!

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Re: Adding Sub with buried crabs

Post by MauiMama » Fri Jun 26, 2020 11:43 pm

All done adding the first inch. I was able to remove most of the decor, since most of it just rests on the surface.

I was so anxious putting the water dishes back in (since they're heavy), and I'm worried about the amount of pressure I used to push the sub under the platforms. I was as gentle as possible. I just hope it was enough!

Here's hoping little guy makes an appearance soon, just to ease my nerves!

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Re: Adding Sub with buried crabs

Post by aussieJJDude » Sat Jun 27, 2020 1:29 am

Sounds like it all went well. Im sure you'll see the little one pop of whenever they decide to come up.

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Crabs || Fish || Shrimp || Snails || Plants || Insects

25G Nano Freshwater || 64G Freshwater Community || 90G Fancy Goldie Pond || 64G Crabitat
I've never had any problems with 'Impulse Buying'... They're just things I forgot I had planned to get || Self Designated 'HCA Pic Fan' 2012+

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