Shriveled up Abdomen, Likey Dead?

Please post here if you are having a crab care emergency! Use a real subject and not just "HELP!"
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ejayb517
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Joined: Tue Jun 22, 2021 6:36 am
Location: Floral Park

Shriveled up Abdomen, Likey Dead?

Post by ejayb517 » Tue Jun 22, 2021 12:52 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?
I use half coconut and half thermal sand. Approx 2-3 inches currently but was closer to 4 before last tank cleaning.

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?
I have a temperature gauge that i placed too high up on the glass, far from the heat source but it usually reads around 75-80 degrees. No humidity gauge, so I spray them quite frequently.

3. Is a heat source used in the tank? If so, what?
I have two heating pads on the bottom 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 a bowl of fresh and a bowl of salt water. My house water is filtered so I use the tap or water from the Britta when I'm at school (college apartment). Salt water is marine salt and mixed according to instructions on the box.

5. What kinds of food do you feed and how often is it replaced?
Tetrafauna Hermit Crab Meal, replaced every other day.

6. How long have you had the crab and what species is it, if known?
I've had hermit crabs for 9 months, the crab of concern for about 4 months. No clue what species.

7. Has your crab molted, and how long ago did it happen?
He molted shortly after I got him, about 3 months ago.

8. What type of housing are the crabs kept in, what size is it and what kind of lid is on the housing?
20 gallon aquarium tank and plastic lid with screen.

9. How many crabs are in the tank and about how large are they?
There were 2. Crab of concern is gone now, not sure if he died or I killed him by assuming he died. He was medium-large. Other crab is small-medium, about half the size.

10. How many extra shells are usually kept in the tank, if any?
Always 8-10 extra shells of varying sizes, mostly medium-large.

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

12. How often do you clean the tank and how?
I clean it every few months. I totally empty all the substrate, wipe out the tank with warm water, and put in new substrate.

13. Are sponges used in the water dish? If so, how are they cleaned?
One water dish is quite deep so i have a sponge. The other is shallow. I rinse the sponge thoroughly with warm tap water every time I change the water.

14. Has anything new been added to your crabitat recently?
I added a stick I found for climbing and some succulents as a test run. I boiled the stick before putting in it, but I removed it from the tank recently because I saw a tiny bug crawling on it. I removed two of the succulents cause they were drooping and i was concerned about rot, but one is still going strong.

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.)?


16. Please describe the emergency situation in detail.
My larger crab, Morton, displayed some very odd behavior before I buried him in the yard, assuming he was dead. All the research I did had no clear answers. I came back from college a month ago, his second big move since I got him. My other crab, Roy, is a champ and never displayed any issue with this. After we set them up, Morton left his shell. I figured it was stress from the move and left him alone, making sure there was tons of moisture in the tank for his vulnerable body. Weirdly, it was the most active he's ever been. He made so much noise at night and spent most of the day out as well, usually bathing. Roy hid under the soil for most of this time. I kept trying to coax him back into a shell which sometimes worked, but he would crawl right back out the next morning. Over about a week or two, he tried on every shell i had that was close to his size. This was weird cause after his last molt, about 3 months ago, he had been in one shell. Eventually he went back into that shell and i took the opportunity to clean out the tank, adding new substrate and some live plants. The day after that he was back out of the shell, and there was no coaxing him into any. I did my best to keep the tank moist, but one day i found him sprawled out with his abdomen totally shriveled up. I gently poked at his body to see if he would react, and he curled up. I assumed that meant he was alive, so i left him there for a few days. Eventually i picked up his body and moved him to an empty flower pot (the only container i could think of at the time) and let him sit there for another few days. This whole time there was no smell, but no further reaction to touch. Because of his size and the weird behavior, i didn't think he was molting again, especially since his entire lower half was visibly shriveled and dangling off his body. I assumed he was dead and buried him, but it's bugged me since. I'm wondering if something was wrong and if i should worry about Roy as well. Since then, Roy went through a surface molt, so i was totally freaked out, but he seems ok.

.

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curlysister
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Re: Shriveled up Abdomen, Likey Dead?

Post by curlysister » Tue Jun 22, 2021 8:09 pm

1. What kind of substrate is used in your tank and how deep is it?
I use half coconut and half thermal sand. Approx 2-3 inches currently but was closer to 4 before last tank cleaning.
Curly - I have never heard of anyone using thermal sand. Does it hold moisture? Substrate should be at least three times as deep as your largest crab. It must be moist enough to hold shape, but not so wet that water pools in the bottom (ie- sand castle consistency).

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?
I have a temperature gauge that i placed too high up on the glass, far from the heat source but it usually reads around 75-80 degrees. No humidity gauge, so I spray them quite frequently.
Curly - It is imperative that you have a hygrometer to measure humidity. Crabs have modified gills, and need high humidity to breathe. You want the humidity to be at least 75%, which is generally much higher than most climates.
Humidity care sheet: http://www.hermitcrabassociation.com/ph ... 26&t=92544


3. Is a heat source used in the tank? If so, what?
I have two heating pads on the bottom of the tank.
Curly - Heat pads should never be on thoe bottom of the tank for hermit crabs - it is a fire hazard because they are not meant to heat through all the substrate. They should be on the back or side 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 a bowl of fresh and a bowl of salt water. My house water is filtered so I use the tap or water from the Britta when I'm at school (college apartment). Salt water is marine salt and mixed according to instructions on the box.
Curly - Brita doesn't filter out everything that could be harmful to the crabs. It is preferred to use tap water and treat it with a dechlorinator. Check out the 'water' care sheet for info.
http://www.hermitcrabassociation.com/ph ... 27&t=92553


5. What kinds of food do you feed and how often is it replaced?
Tetrafauna Hermit Crab Meal, replaced every other day.
Curly - Many commercial foods, including this one, contain additives and preservatives that can be harmful long term.
COmmercial food care sheet:
http://www.hermitcrabassociation.com/ph ... 25&t=92555

Hermit crabs require a varied diet, which includes protein and calcium daily. Check out the nutrition care sheet:
http://www.hermitcrabassociation.com/ph ... 25&t=92554


6. How long have you had the crab and what species is it, if known?
I've had hermit crabs for 9 months, the crab of concern for about 4 months. No clue what species.

7. Has your crab molted, and how long ago did it happen?
He molted shortly after I got him, about 3 months ago.

8. What type of housing are the crabs kept in, what size is it and what kind of lid is on the housing?
20 gallon aquarium tank and plastic lid with screen.
Curly - Your screen lid will be letting the humidity out. You will need to cover it, at least partially. When you get a hygrometer, you will know how much - many people need to cover the entire lid to get the right humidity level.

9. How many crabs are in the tank and about how large are they?
There were 2. Crab of concern is gone now, not sure if he died or I killed him by assuming he died. He was medium-large. Other crab is small-medium, about half the size.

10. How many extra shells are usually kept in the tank, if any?
Always 8-10 extra shells of varying sizes, mostly medium-large.
Curly - Be sure to check the shells care sheet, as there are appropriate and inappropriate shells:
http://www.hermitcrabassociation.com/ph ... 24&t=92552


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

12. How often do you clean the tank and how?
I clean it every few months. I totally empty all the substrate, wipe out the tank with warm water, and put in new substrate.
Curly - If you have correct substrate, you don't need to change it out. Just scoop out any poop you see, and any bits of food the crabs have dragged around.

13. Are sponges used in the water dish? If so, how are they cleaned?
One water dish is quite deep so i have a sponge. The other is shallow. I rinse the sponge thoroughly with warm tap water every time I change the water.
Curly - Sponges only harbor bacteria, no matter how well you clean them. YOu can put it in dry for the crabs to eat, but not in the pools. The pools should be deep enough for crabs to fully submerge, but also have a way to climb out - many people use rocks, plastic ladders, or craft mesh.

14. Has anything new been added to your crabitat recently?
I added a stick I found for climbing and some succulents as a test run. I boiled the stick before putting in it, but I removed it from the tank recently because I saw a tiny bug crawling on it. I removed two of the succulents cause they were drooping and i was concerned about rot, but one is still going strong.
Curly - SUcculents aren't harmful, but they are from arid conditions and may not do well in a crab tank with proper humidity. There is a care sheet all about live plants:
http://www.hermitcrabassociation.com/ph ... 9&t=120839


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.)?


16. Please describe the emergency situation in detail.
My larger crab, Morton, displayed some very odd behavior before I buried him in the yard, assuming he was dead. All the research I did had no clear answers. I came back from college a month ago, his second big move since I got him. My other crab, Roy, is a champ and never displayed any issue with this. After we set them up, Morton left his shell. I figured it was stress from the move and left him alone, making sure there was tons of moisture in the tank for his vulnerable body. Weirdly, it was the most active he's ever been. He made so much noise at night and spent most of the day out as well, usually bathing. Roy hid under the soil for most of this time. I kept trying to coax him back into a shell which sometimes worked, but he would crawl right back out the next morning. Over about a week or two, he tried on every shell i had that was close to his size. This was weird cause after his last molt, about 3 months ago, he had been in one shell. Eventually he went back into that shell and i took the opportunity to clean out the tank, adding new substrate and some live plants. The day after that he was back out of the shell, and there was no coaxing him into any. I did my best to keep the tank moist, but one day i found him sprawled out with his abdomen totally shriveled up. I gently poked at his body to see if he would react, and he curled up. I assumed that meant he was alive, so i left him there for a few days. Eventually i picked up his body and moved him to an empty flower pot (the only container i could think of at the time) and let him sit there for another few days. This whole time there was no smell, but no further reaction to touch. Because of his size and the weird behavior, i didn't think he was molting again, especially since his entire lower half was visibly shriveled and dangling off his body. I assumed he was dead and buried him, but it's bugged me since. I'm wondering if something was wrong and if i should worry about Roy as well. Since then, Roy went through a surface molt, so i was totally freaked out, but he seems ok.
Curly - A crab will drop it's shell when it is too weak to carry it, in an attempt to conserve energy. A naked crab will die. Have you looked through the care sheet that explains what to do if you have a naked crab? It does unfortunately sound like your crab was dead. You have a few things that you can improve in your tank, in order to give your remaining crab a better chance at long term health and survival.
http://www.hermitcrabassociation.com/ph ... 7&t=122302
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." -Will Rogers

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