Crab passed during molt, cause of death?

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FJrocks003
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Crab passed during molt, cause of death?

Post by FJrocks003 » Sun Apr 04, 2021 10:08 am

I just had a crab pass during a molt (RIP Bubbles) and someone recommended I made a post here to see if we can find the cause of her death. This crab was a large female blueberry of around 15 years old (estimated age, has been in captivity for around 10 years). I found her under the sub maybe a month later, I'm pretty certain none of the other crabs had gotten at her. I'll fill out the emergency template so you can get an idea of the care the crabs are given.

1. What kind of substrate is used in your tank and how deep is it?
Play sand and ee mix, 5-1 ratio, ~7 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?
There are two gauges, one is higher up, hanging from a climbing net, closer to the heat lamps. The other is down by the ground, near the water dishes. The first currently reads 84 temp and 80 humidity and the second reads 77 temperature and 92 humidity (it's right next to the water bowls so the humidity is always high on that one)

3. Is a heat source used in the tank? If so, what?
Two heat lamps (a daylight bulb with gives heat and uvb during the day and a infrared bulb that gives more heat at night) and a heat mat mounted on the back of the tank.

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 both fresh and salt in 2 gallon pools each. I use stress coat+ to dechlorinate both waters then either api aquarium salt or instant ocean for the salt water

5. What kinds of food do you feed and how often is it replaced?
Their main diet consists of either freeze dried or fresh fruits and veggies, bloodworms, brine shrimp, various dried bugs (crickets, mealworms, and grasshoppers mostly), and calcium powder. They also get whatever we eat for dinner as long as it's all natural and free of pesticides, preservatives, and dyes. There is also both cuttlebone and "bird sticks" (a treat for birds that is basically a plastic stick with either peanut butter or honey sticking some nuts and seeds to it)

6. How long have you had the crab and what species is it, if known?
I had this crab about a year, but adopted it from someone who had it for almost a decade before. She was a blueberry, one of the last few imported to the us I believe.

7. Has your crab molted, and how long ago did it happen?
She died during a molt, by the time I found her it looked like she had been dead for almost a month.

8. What type of housing are the crabs kept in, what size is it and what kind of lid is on the housing?
75 gallon with topper, although they recently moved out of a 29 gallon. The lid is mesh with plastic wrap.

9. How many crabs are in the tank and about how large are they?
5 crabs currently, Bubbles was the 6th. All the crabs range from medium to large.

10. How many extra shells are usually kept in the tank, if any?
Probably around 15-20, the crabs like to bury them so I'm not sure on the exact number.

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

12. How often do you clean the tank and how?
Spot clean here and there, deep clean once a year (if no one's molting) to be on the safe side. I also have a large colony of isopods that clean up most waste.

13. Are sponges used in the water dish? If so, how are they cleaned?
No, I use mesh ladders.

14. Has anything new been added to your crabitat recently?
The majority of items in the tank are new since it was only set up a couple months ago, but most of these things were added after the crab died (other than a hamster wheel disk and some hanging cork bark).

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.)?
The crabs are acasonaly taken out and let roam the house or yard (yard only in the summer when conditions are right for no more than 20 minutes and they are given a bath in salt water after to kill anything that could have gotten on their claws, house for no more than 10 minutes because of humidity issues). This isn't very often, only once a month or so as a treat.
Indigo, Fleck, Flame, Dilly, and our newest addition: Thunder
RIP: Bubbles (my only blueberry, passed on Wednesday March 31)

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DragonsFly
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Re: Crab passed during molt, cause of death?

Post by DragonsFly » Sun Apr 04, 2021 2:32 pm

I'm not clear about the time line. I thought you said the crab had been down molting for 5 months, but you just moved them to the new 75g when?
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Resident PP's:"Major Tom" & "Billie Jean"

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JoeHermits
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Re: Crab passed during molt, cause of death?

Post by JoeHermits » Sun Apr 04, 2021 9:30 pm

Nothing is standing out to me. Sadly between ten and twenty years is a respectable age for captive crabs and is typically when they finally pass away during their last molt.


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FJrocks003
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Re: Crab passed during molt, cause of death?

Post by FJrocks003 » Mon Apr 05, 2021 7:12 am

DragonsFly wrote:
Sun Apr 04, 2021 2:32 pm
I'm not clear about the time line. I thought you said the crab had been down molting for 5 months, but you just moved them to the new 75g when?
They were moved into the new tank almost exactly 5 months ago and went down immediately after being moved in, sorry if my wording was a bit confusing.
Indigo, Fleck, Flame, Dilly, and our newest addition: Thunder
RIP: Bubbles (my only blueberry, passed on Wednesday March 31)

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crabbycasey
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Re: Crab passed during molt, cause of death?

Post by crabbycasey » Tue Apr 06, 2021 4:55 pm

I wouldn’t be able to offer any insight on this particular situation, but I wanted to say I’m sorry for your loss .


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Re: Crab passed during molt, cause of death?

Post by DragonsFly » Tue Apr 06, 2021 7:07 pm

I have no experience with Blueberries--does anyone know how long an approximately 15 year old Blueberry would generally take to molt?

It may be that she was in bad shape from chronic inadequate conditions before she got to you. It sounds like she may have gone down for a few months first--perhaps not a full molt, just "de-stressing/recovering," then this time went down and tried to molt, but may not have been strong enough to survive the process. Or perhaps she did try to do two molts in quick succession--which again may mean something was wrong that she was trying to fix, and again just couldn't make it.

I am sorry she did not pull through.
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Resident PP's:"Major Tom" & "Billie Jean"

“An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered.”
― G.K. Chesterton

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Re: Crab passed during molt, cause of death?

Post by JoeHermits » Wed Apr 07, 2021 7:07 pm

DragonsFly wrote:I have no experience with Blueberries--does anyone know how long an approximately 15 year old Blueberry would generally take to molt?
About three months.


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Re: Crab passed during molt, cause of death?

Post by DragonsFly » Thu Apr 08, 2021 7:47 am

JoeHermits wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 7:07 pm
About three months.


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Really? They are a lot quicker than my PP's, then. Major Tom took 18 months to molt last time, a couple of years ago. (He's been in captivity since 2011.) He has been down now for over a year again.
--{}: Dragons Fly Farm --{}:
Resident PP's:"Major Tom" & "Billie Jean"

“An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered.”
― G.K. Chesterton

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