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92g Crabazonian Jungle Crabarium! (Pics)

Discussion in 'Say Cheese' started by JediMasterThrash, Nov 9, 2006.

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  1. Here's page full gallery of 40 pics of the latest incarnation of my 92g crabarium:

    http://www.jedimasterthrash.com/cornertank/jungle2

    A couple samples:
    [img width=300 height=199]http://jedimasterthrash.boldlygoingnowhere.org/cornertank/jungle2/images/topview.jpg[/img]
    [img width=300 height=199]http://jedimasterthrash.boldlygoingnowhere.org/cornertank/jungle2/images/frontview.jpg[/img]

    I used 3 bags of playsand (150lbs). I also decided to try half-n-half with coco-fiber. I used 3 bricks of coco-fiber, and placed them in the front of the tank, so that you get an even black front. I put 1 inch of sand under the coco-fiber because sand is a better insulator for the bottom of the tank. And then the whole back 3/4 of the tank is sand.

    I made the mistake of using the directions on the coco-fiber box. It had been a while since I last used it. It says it only takes 20minutes of soaking in water. Yeah right. I should have left it for about 4 hours. Even 1 hour wasn’t enough. I ended up breaking it in slices by hand to get more surface area to soften. I probably could have used 5 bricks to actually fill up 1/2 of the tank. 3 bricks only covered about 1/4.

    I was tired of crabs digging under the water pools, causing them to lean to a side or corner. Then you can’t fill them all the way anymore, and end up overfilling and it pours over the side. So this time I got cheap matching mugs from the GoodWill for 49c each and placed them upside-down under the pool corners to act as legs. So the crabs are still free to dig under the pools, but they won’t be affecting their levelness anymore. It will also make it easier for taking the pools out to clean them, since I don’t have to re-level the sand. They’ll just set right on top of the mugs.

    I also again wanted to have the edge of the water pool above the substrate again, so that substrate doesn’t get piled into them. But the smaller crabs have trouble climbing up into the pools. And then I need lots of sponges so they can get back out. Last time I put cholla alongside the pools to climb into them, but they devoured one of my cholla, so I didn’t want to lose any more. Also, I’d like to get rid of the sponges, because cleaning them is just one extra thing to do each week, and they sponges tend to get sucked up against the filter in-flow, which blocks its ability to filter junk from the water. The sponges aren’t necessary for humidity in my tank.

    So, I created the special climbing walls for the water pools you see in the pictures. I took some green plastic mesh that I found in the clearance section of Jo-Ann, and cut it to size, and attached some sections by sowing them together with fishing-line. It works great, and looks cool. Now the little crabs can climb in and out without problem. To keep the mesh down in the pools, I added some river stones to the bottom. It actually makes it look cool.

    I also again have the fountain/waterfall, which I’ve modified with a larger basin, and two Duetto 50 3-stage filters.

    My crabariums seem to have been getting sparser and sparser. My last one had a lot of open floor space. I was going down that route because I wanted more walking room for jumbos, and I wanted to make sure the crabs had access to substrate to dig into. However, I’ve come to the realization that crabs can climb and dig they’re way around obstacles pretty easy, so I shouldn’t be worried about making sure there’s girth for every crab. Also, the crabs will dig under things to get access to substrate, and actually they prefer burying this way anyway. Also, my crabs seemed to be buried or hiding too much my last iteration. I theorized that it was because they didn’t have enough surface hiding places. So this time I made it a bit more crowded on the substrate level. It looks nice, and also the crabs have many more places to hide on the surface, so they’ll be more likely to stay on the surface, and feel more secure so they’ll come out more often. So far, it seems to be true, as I can see lots of crabs out and about now compared with before.

    In a previous thread on LHC, I’d thought that having beds of moss might help strawberries (or other crabs that have difficulty molting) burying or hide to molt. So I bought a big bag of real moss (not to be confused with shredded pine wood they call Spanish moss or decorative moss), and spread it around the two back sides of the tank. It smells kinda funky, but it puffs up nice, giving a good 2 inches of moss bedding to play/hide in.

    I did the same thing for the second level as last time, using cubes to create a level second floor. This time, I didn’t run it all the way across though; I split it into two sections against the back walls, and placed one wicker basket on each. This gave me room to place the bonsai between them, letting me economize the floor-space better. I used the large round dish basked from before, plus a cool officy basket with 5 compartments for crabs to crawl into and hide. Also, this time, I made sure there were cholla-ladders going up to the second levels from the main floor, to make sure the crabs had easy access. Hopefully this will improve second-level usage.

    With only one bowl-basket for empty shells, I reduced the number of shells I had out a little bit. But I think it’s still plenty. I still have about 3-6 of each size, and I have them split into about 8-10 size categories.

    I also decided that there wasn’t quite enough fawna in my previous iteration, so I added two more plastic plants (walfart 3$) to what I had from before. Now it looks really jungly! I really like the spider plants hanging their stuff from the top. I also did the vine around the back waterfall like I had in my 2nd iteration, and the crabs enjoy climbing on it.

    I have three light fixtures. Two with two 25-watt night-glo bulbs each, for a total of 100 watts, and a 15watt Repti-Glo 5.0. I’ve decided that I want more variation in temperature and humidity during the day, so I’ve placed one of the night-glo fixtures on the same day/night timer as the repti-glo. So they’ll get 65watts of additional heat during the day, which should evaporate more water. And then let it get a bit cooler at night.

    Oh, and my original Exo-Terra night-glos from Nov. 2003 are still on! 26,000 hours of continuous use! They were only rated for like 2000.

    Finally, I still have the two TropicAire humidifiers providing fresh humid air inflow to the tank. I usually have the lid propped open about 3 inches to keep the humidity from going too high, and to provide adequate air-flow to keep the air fresh.

    I now have 51 crabs in the tank, thanks to two summer adoptions and a couple of trips to the pet stores. I’ve got some pictures of them enjoying their new home in the above link.

    Here's all of my crabarium archives from the last 6 deep cleans:
    http://www.jedimasterthrash.com/cornertank/jungle2
    http://www.jedimasterthrash.com/cornertank/cornertank5.htm
    http://www.jedimasterthrash.com/cornertank/cornertank4.htm
    http://www.jedimasterthrash.com/cornertank/cornertank3.htm
    http://www.jedimasterthrash.com/cornertank/cornertank2.htm
    http://www.jedimasterthrash.com/cornertank/cornertank.htm
     
  2. Crabby1

    Crabby1 "Third Molt, A Success"

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    :clever66: :partyhat4:
    WOW!! That is great!
     
  3. Joey Oh

    Joey Oh Guest

    WOW! I'm not sure I understood a whole lot of what you wrote... I'm still pretty new-ish :cheesygrin:

    But your pics are AMAZING! I am such an amature in comparison to you! Someday I hope to have a cabitat as well thought out as yours!

    Thanks so much for sharing all those pics.... I now have some ideas for my tank! :duck:

    :thanks:
     
  4. KirbysMom

    KirbysMom Guest

    Your tank is AMAZING!!!! How long have you been crabbing? Someday I want to have a huge tank! I will probably use it for littles and keep the 20g long for Kirby alone, with atleast one friend of course!

    GORGEOUS TANK! :cheesygrin:
     
  5. KirbysMom

    KirbysMom Guest

    Never mind about how long..Just read since '92! That's awesome!
     
  6. AliceInABox.

    AliceInABox. Guest

    One word: WOW. I can't believe how awesome that looks! How long did it take you to set it up? And how much did you spend?!? It's so gorgeous, I bet your hermmies are going crazy in there! :giverose:
     
  7. It usually takes 2 days to do a deep clean, though It could get done in one if I actually started right away when I woke up in the morning. Usually one day (5-7 hours) to take down, and one day (5-7 hours) to set up.

    I usually add about one additional 50$ worth of items each deep clean, so (well, besides the cost of the 92g and stand itself), it never really cost too much at one time.

    Sand is of course "dirt" cheap. Coco-fiber is 3 bricks for 10$. I find the wicker baskets at thrift stores for 2$. The fake plants are the walmart special for 3$. The large pools are garage sale finds. The bonsai was my first big purchase, 24$ at petsmart. But all of the half-logs/fake caves, etc were either thrift store finds, or stuff I got with some adoptions. The mini-cubes (for creating the 2nd and 3rd level structures) are from bed bath and beyond, and I always get 5$ off coupons in the mail, and they were clearanced at 7$ a box anyway. The fountain cost 50$, but I think in the last year, that model is now discounted to 25 in many stores (the fountain was a one-time deep clean addition). The duetto 50s cost about 20$ each (filtering was another one-time deep-clean addition). The tropicair I got for like 7$ each at petsmart (strange since they cost 20$ at petco), and the air pump was 15 (tropicair was another 1-time deep clean addition). The flukers digital gauge cost 20$, but it's infinitely better than the kritterz analog gauges. Night-glos cost about 6$ each, and the reptisun 5.0 about 18$. But the light fixtures I all found at the thrift store for 2$. Even the green mesh I used for the pools I found on clearance at jo-ann for like 35cents.

    It's all about being the thrifty crabber. And each deep clean (about once every 6-months), scape up 25$ and add one new addition to your crabarium. Maybe add humidifiers one time. Then add a fountain the next. Then filters the next time. Maybe a fancy 2nd level the time after that. Etc.

    Also check for cheap tanks. Before the 92g I had a 55g. Guess where that came from? 5$ at a garage sale! But pet stores will often sell cracked, used fish tanks for cheap.

    I've probably easily spent more on the crabs themselves than all the stuff in their tank.
     
  8. kathleen

    kathleen Guest

    That is one beautiful tank. Makes me feel like a slacker. I am going to have to remodel.
     
  9. AliceInABox.

    AliceInABox. Guest

    Same here. I think I'm going to go fix the tank now.... :dancebear:
     
  10. bpmc75

    bpmc75 Guest

    :cheesygrin: that has to be some of the coolest *#@! i've ever seen! killer job. i'm about to start the setup of my new 55 gal. you gave me many ideas. curious though, the cubicles you're using, are they metal? if so, are they coated with something? i would like to use plastic ones of some sort. thanks for taking the time to post all those pics. trust me everyone appreciates it.
     
  11. The cubes are metal wire coated in plastic. Iron is safe for crabs though.
     
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