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Thread: Hermit Crabs

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Near Morinville, Alberta
    Posts
    2,473

    Default Re: Hermit Crabs

    Quote Originally Posted by Ackis View Post
    How do they survive hiding for months at a time?

    Generally we get the smallest crabs that the store sells so we can watch them grow up.

    Also regarding the shells, we have about 50 more and we rotate them in and out, gives the crabbies something to do.
    Just like bears hybernating for months at a time. They typically eat and drink as much as they can prior to digging themselves under. Or, sometimes they'll just dig without reserves, which typically points to stress-induced hiding. When they are underground, they are not actively moving or utilizing much of their nutrient stores. I imagine they slow down their metabolism as well.

    I've had some crabs that have stayed down for half a year and come up just fine. A little more hungry than usual, but fine.

    Crabs also love to climb. They will typically climb and do the strangest things as 'entertainment' for themselves. Changing shells isn't something they really 'enjoy' doing. It's just something they'll do as part of growing. Climbing and exploring... Now that's where the entertainment is at.

    In the wild, hermit crabs are often found in the tops of palm trees and climbing on various other 'plants' in the area that can support their weight. If you're looking for entertainment, definitely look in to adding some types of branches or climbing things for them. Cholla wood they love, but it can mold quickly in a high humidity environment. But most hard woods (like Malasyian Driftwood) do wonderfully and can be found at some of the specialty aquarium or some chain pet stores too :-)! (Avoid Grapevine. It will last like 3-4 days before molding, haha)
    - Danielle
    "Snakes are just tails with faces."
    1.0 Crested Gecko, 1.0 Leopard gecko, 0.1 Gargoyle Gecko, 0.1 Leachie Gecko, 0.1 Albino BP, 1.0 Pied BP, 0.1 Desert Pinstripe BP, 0.2 Cats, 0.1 Dog

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Hermit Crabs

    Another question... what's the best way to redo the substrate if we have those two crabbies molting/hiding?

    It's getting pretty dry and we'd like to redo it (with a bag of play sand like you suggested).

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Near Morinville, Alberta
    Posts
    2,473

    Default Re: Hermit Crabs

    Quote Originally Posted by Ackis View Post
    Another question... what's the best way to redo the substrate if we have those two crabbies molting/hiding?

    It's getting pretty dry and we'd like to redo it (with a bag of play sand like you suggested).
    If it's getting dry, then your crabs could be at risk. Do you happen to know how long they've been down for?

    It's going to be a 50/50 shot. They could be down and not molting, or they could be down and molting. Dry substrate could trigger a collapse of their molting cave, so changing the substrate would be a good idea.

    Best way to do it is prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Set up a temporary Isolation tank for them in case they are molting (one for each crab that might be molting). You can use even a large plastic kritter keeper with a moist sand mix, some moss for humidity and a place to hide (a cocohut works well).

    Best way to dig up your crabs is go slow, and start from one side of the tank and go to the other. Little scoops, and use your hands. You're more likely to 'feel' a crab with your hands than using tools.

    Once you find your crab, slowly dig away the surrounding dirt and check on your crab. If it's a normal color, with no exoskeleton lying around it, it's probably just dug down to de-stress or it's getting ready to molt. In which case, it's okay to remove this crab to a normal enclosure (as long as it's actively retracting and not limp. If it is, it has already begun the molting process).

    If you do find a molting crab, you'll want to be very gentle. Dig away the surrounding dirt, then try to scoop up the crab from underneath (scooping up dirt as you do this). A molting crab will be bright pink or at least very lightly colored. There will be exoskeleton in the dirt surrounding it, or at least bits and pieces left over. Transfer this crab to it's own enclosure, very humid (put cling wrap over the enclosure if it's got a grated lid) and give it a good hiding spot. Put the crab in a dark, quiet place and leave it be for a time. Keep food and water in there with it, however.

    Then just go about changing your substrate over.

    Very glad to hear you're switching to a sand mix. Your crabs will love it. And it'll be safer for them when they're digging too!

    We'd love to see pictures when you're done. I'm currently re-doing my hermit crab tank too... Ugh. I have to remove 150lbs of substrate, haha. That's half the fun, I suppose!

    Keep us posted for sure :-)

    If you have any problems, feel free to text me anytime. The number is in my signature. It's kind of my 'crab emergency' line, haha.
    - Danielle
    "Snakes are just tails with faces."
    1.0 Crested Gecko, 1.0 Leopard gecko, 0.1 Gargoyle Gecko, 0.1 Leachie Gecko, 0.1 Albino BP, 1.0 Pied BP, 0.1 Desert Pinstripe BP, 0.2 Cats, 0.1 Dog

  4. #14
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: Hermit Crabs

    Hi!

    I am living over in Sask now, but I am from Alberta.
    I have had my C.C. for 1.5 years now.

    Just wanted to let you know another place to go to for Hermit Crab info: http://sachscrabpage.proboards.com/index.cgi
    The lady that operates this place is a huge HC lover. She has food charts, tips, substrate help, etc.

    As far a feeding our HC - he gets whatever we have for supper. Still don't know what he likes cause his food dish is usually upside down and food is spread around by morning.

    He usually disappears for around 60 days at a time - for anyone that wonders about how long they go down for. He is in bad need of changing shells - but he is either picky about his shell or he does not like the ones I have in there for him.

    I am seeking a home for him, and will try and post in the for sale postings.

    Long long journey learning about HC care. But once you do, they are easy to care for.

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