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Aiming for a 65 gallon

Discussion in 'HCRU Crabitat's - Biography's Of Our Crabitats' started by lovelylivelycrabs, Oct 19, 2009.

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  1. lovelylivelycrabs

    lovelylivelycrabs "Preparing For First Molt"

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    Everyone says it's ridiculous that I want a 65 gallon tank for my hermies, but I feel like if I really want it and I save up the money for it then it's none of their darn business! So basically, this tank, with hinged lid and shipping, is going to be about $268. I have a really good spot for it, under my window (actually the only feasible place for it, it's like 4 ft long!)

    The tank is acrylic, and I was hoping someone knew about any differences or changes I'd have to make in heating/lighting. I'm pretty sure it wouldn't be good to have a UTH, but correct me if I'm wrong. I think it would melt the acrylic, right? And lighting/heating... I think, logically, it would make sense to have a heat lamp if there's no UTH, but I don't know how to do that with an acrylic lid. It has to be possible, because it doesn't make sense to not be able to heat an acrylic tank. Animals still need to live in them!

    Also, does anyone know if I should go with 100% EE, like I have now, or 50% EE and 50% Playsand/aquarium sand (whichever I feel more comfortable with putting in with the crabs). How much substrate do you think I'd need for a 65 gallon if I have 2 bigger crabs and one littler one? Right now the deepest my substrate gets is 3 inches. They're definitely like 2.5 inches, so I have a feeling I'll need about 2 blocks of EE per 10 gallons. Wow. That's a LOT of coconut fiber. That's like 13 blocks. Do you think that's about the amount I'd need though?

    What do you guys with big tanks use for lighting? I've heard about Moonglow bulbs, but I don't exactly know what they do. And what are your views on humidity and temperature gauges? I got one of each that I thought were from a reputable brand, but soon thereafter, I noticed water drops INSIDE the humidity gauge AND the temp gauge. Is analog really the best way to go, or do you think digital is more accurate? Do you need more than one of each if you have a tank as big as a 65 gal? I would think so, because there could be variations within the tank. Is there a brand that's better than the rest, or are they all just kind of crummy?

    Another thing, I currently have a mesh lid to my 10 gal and I covered it in plastic and it's rusting. I don't know how to deal with this because I know metal hurts them and I don't want the rust dripping all the way to the ground.

    Oh, and I've been wondering this for a while, should the saltwater dish be bigger, smaller, or the same size as the freshwater dish? Where do you get cholla wood? I have been searching and searching but I can only find it on ebay in lots of 20 sticks. Does the 3m adhesive work inside the tank to hold up a soap dish/shower caddy instead of suction cups? Does anyone know where to get good, cheap hemp yarn? I've called all the yarn places in town and none have any. There's some online but they're either really expensive, or the shipping cost is double what I would pay for the actual item. And does anyone know where to get suction cups with plastic hooks? neither craft store in my town has them.

    Has anyone heard of "Zoo Med Hydroballs lightweight expanded clay terrarium substrate"? Apparently you put a layer of this stuff down, then a layer of plastic mesh, THEN a layer of EE. It's little balls that look kind of like cocoa puffs (I'm fairly certain they wouldn't taste as good, though ;). It lets you make a waterfall in the tank with a small pump behind a cork wall and it supposedly makes it so you don't need a reservoir at the bottom of the waterfall, the water just soaks through the substrate and into the bottom of the tank where the hydroballs are to recirculate. It sounds strange, but in a fit of kindness, my mother bought them for me (they were on sale haha) THe bag also says that you can use it to create an underground water table for a "naturalistic terrarium" or use them to make an aquifer to increase the humidity. I don't know, but the bag makes it sound pretty cool. I just want to know if it's safe for my crabbies.


    Okay, I think I've exhausted my questions. Sorry if the length of my post intimidates any potential answerers, I just have a lot I want to know and I want to make sure I'm doing the best I can for my lil' hermits.:p

    :)
     
  2. deedeeiam

    deedeeiam "First Molt, A Success"

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    Hemp and cholla wood can be gathered at Michaels or any other arts/crafts stores.

    I couldn't imagine affording enough EE to fill my 65 gallon tank, but I bet the equivalent amount of sand breaks the acrylic.

    Lowes will cut you plexiglass down to size for lids.

    That's about all I can add...I've never used acrylic to house any critters.
     
  3. emmac350

    emmac350 "Fourth Molt In Progress"

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    Acrylic tanks will 'melt' and the sides will bow out and possibly release toxic fumes if heated with either a UTH or a heat lamp (heat lamps have very warm beams of light; I can feel mine through my entire tank (i.e. stand on the opposite side of the tank from the heat lamp and I can still feel it)). I am not sure if there is a way to heat the tank that IS safe for the tank...sorry. :( I think acrylic tanks are meant for fish more than crabs/reptiles, and fish tanks (I don't have one, so someone correct me if I'm wrong) are heated by a heater in the water as opposed to an outside heat source, which (when combined with water, whose specific heat keeps it from heating up/cooling down quickly) prevents the acrylic from bowing.

    Aquarium sand will be VERY expensive to do in massive quantities. It's around $20 for a 25 pound bag here, and that bag, remember, is half the size of a bag of playsand. It is much higher quality sand, though. I'd probably go with EE (I'm switching in a few weeks here), and maybe have it high on the sides and really shallow in the middle or something like that so you don't need as much.

    Moon glow bulbs are coated with rare earth phosphorous, which stops UV rays from coming out of the bulb, allowing it to heat the tank and give off a purplish light that has the same light makeup as moon beams. I have one, but I got a low watt one because of how hot it gets down here in the south in the summer and I wanted it to be able to run every night. I have a no-light ceramic heater bulb for my thermostat to warm the tank with so no day/night cycles get disrupted, and a fluorescent Life-Glo bulb for daylight.

    The only temp/humidity gauges I have that work basically at all are digital ones. I have a reptile humidity gauge I found at Petco back when I bought my 4 Es (it was 2 hours away from home and I wanted to ensure they could breathe on the car ride back) and a temp/humidity gauge I got at Walmart for like...10 bucks? It takes 2 temp readings (it has a wire thingie with an additional sensor on it) and one humidity reading. I inherited one of those dual temp/humidity ones that comes in hermit crab kits but the humidity is always wrong (by varying amounts, too - one time when I calibrated it, it was way high, and one time it was way low) and the good range of temps for crabs is so tiny on the thermometer it's impossible to read.

    I had the same problem with my old tank lid, but I just solved it by not completely covering it with plastic. If there's some air flow under it, it will stop rusting and you can scrape the rust that's on there off with steel wool or something like that. Use plexiglass instead of plastic wrap - it should work much better.

    Eventually, I'm going to use 2 small critter keepers for water bowls (it's my goal to have a tank at least that big), but until then I try to fill my saltwater bowl deeper as it's always used more. If you're considering doing different sized bowls, the salt bowl should be at least as big as, if not bigger than, the fresh.

    I got my cholla at the addiction store; I also got the grapevine/driftwood things from the pet store. They make big enough ones to hide crabs, maybe you could use it if you can't find cholla?

    3M is my best friend in my tank. I have it holding up hooks for my climbing mat and my one suspended upper level thing. The strips will hold up soap dishes as long as the mounting surface of the dish (or temp gauge - this works really well!) is flat and can go flush with the wall of the tank. I wish I could use it on my shower caddy, but the top edge of the caddy is bent over some, and the sides won't go flat against the tank. 3M also makes a soap dish - that's what I use when I need to set up the ISO.

    I got my hemp at Walmart, and I knitted it myself. :) Yes, I am proud, and yes, it looks awesome. Soak the hemp stuff in salt water after making it for at least a day, then let it dry out. If the water has color in it, change out the water until there's no visible color (that's the dye in the hemp coming out; better in water than your tank!).

    I have no clue on the clay thingies, I'd think if they're blocked off so the crabs can't get to them, they shouldn't pose that big of a problem, but that's a complete and utter guess.
     
  4. cloie74

    cloie74 "Second Molt, A Success"

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    I have a 30 gallon and 3 bricks of EE was too much so figure about 6 bricks, my petco sells them in 3 packs for 5 bucks ;) I agree sand will be too heavy for acrylic. Maybe start surfing Craigslist and your local freecycle.org you would be surprised of the things people give away for free or close o free ;) I think glass is really the way to go because of the heating needs.
     
  5. lovelylivelycrabs

    lovelylivelycrabs "Preparing For First Molt"

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    I emailed the maker of the tanks and he said, "Customers use acrylic tanks all the time.
    Acrylic melts at 350 degrees - far past any animals housing temperature." And it's an aquarium, so I would HOPE it could hold sand... If it can't hold 4-5 inches of sand, how could it possibly hold 65 gallons of water?

    I think I'll stick with acrylic, especially now that I emailed the company, and because if I wanted glass from the company, it can't be shipped, and has to be picked up at delivery points (I think the nearest one is in Pennsylania... and I live in Virginia)

    I'm still unsure about the "hydroballs", I think I'll ask around the forums here and see what people have to say.

    @emmac350: Was that hemp yarn? Or just the regular macrame hemp? I'll have to check walmart! :) Critter Keepers for water dishes? aren't those way too deep? You'd probably have them buried up to the lip, right? I'm guessing you'd need rocks or something to make it not so deep.

    @cloie74: Haha, I used freecycle to try to get a 20 gallon aquarium, and this woman said she had one, so I went to go pick it up, and it's definitely a 10 gallon. So now I have an extra 10 gallon, but I got a hug from an adorable little girl and got to pet a really cute miniature schnauzer... it was worth it haha. How deep is your EE in your 30 gallon? I have two rather large hermit crabs, so I'd need it deeper.

    My hermies haven't touched their food since Franklin died. I even gave them a shrimp, but no takers. I thought they might be cold, but the temp reads 75 Degrees, and my humidity gauge is completely unreliable... but I can't afford another right now.:(

    Does anyone know how to make one of those bubble pits? I've been dying to figure it out. :)


    Thanks for your tips, guys. I really appreciate you taking the time to read my rambling.
     
  6. emmac350

    emmac350 "Fourth Molt In Progress"

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    It wasn't yarn, it was sold as hemp...it was more of a crochet thread thickness, if you know what that is. It worked fine for knitting, although it has no stretch and was a bit tricky to get the loops from the one needle to the other.

    As for critter keepers, there's a lady over at the Addiction forum who uses them for water bowls. She leaves them as deep as they are naturally, and uses the no-slip drawer liner stuff (it's a funky rubbery feeling stuff, I actually use it for placemats) for them to climb out the side. Her guys live to drop in and walk around in the water for sometimes hours (exotics especially like actually being able to swim and stay underwater and move around for hours), then climb out and do their thing.

    Bubblers = small aquarium pump + aquarium tubing + tubing connectors (if you want to put bubbles into more than one water bowl from the same air pump) + airstones. It's fairly simple, really. My pump cost about $13 at Petsmart, the tubing pack was maybe $8, the connectors $5, and the airstones were $2 for a pack of 4. So you should be able to get it completely set up for around $30 or so.
     
  7. lovelylivelycrabs

    lovelylivelycrabs "Preparing For First Molt"

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    YAYYYYY!! I was talking with the guy from glasscages.com and he said that there's a pickup point not far from my town, meaning I can get a glass tank! What's more, they're less expensive, so I can get a 90 gallon terrarium for the LESS than the 65 gallon acrylic! He said the glass on the terrarium will be able to hold 4-6" of sand, or any other substrate, and it costs less, so YAY!

    The hemp needs to be organic, right? And you say it was just the macrame-type hemp? Nice! :)

    And I'm guessing I'll need MUCH more substrate haha.

    Oh goodness I'm so excited!!

    I kind of need someone to explain to me how to figure out a scale if I'm doing a scale drawing... My room is 114"x134" and the poster is 22"x28"... I'm trying to figure out how this thing's going to fit. :)
     
  8. Hermies4Ever

    Hermies4Ever (Large Crab)

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    It's not ridiculous at all!!! I have a 30-gallon glass aquarium for my THREE hermies!!!
     
  9. lovelylivelycrabs

    lovelylivelycrabs "Preparing For First Molt"

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    Haha, I'll soon have a 90 gallon for three- that's 30 gallons per crab haha... Think that's enough?;)
     
  10. lovelylivelycrabs

    lovelylivelycrabs "Preparing For First Molt"

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    I put in my jute climbing thing but I didn't have any way to hang it, so I just put it on top of their hidey pot... I woke up this morning to see Mike perched on top :) He was the one who tried to climb the pot before but kept falling off (I kept hearing clinking in the middle of the night and I got down from my bed and he had climbed the pot... haha he loves to climb!). I'm quite pleased, and I can't wait to get some hooks so he can climb to a second level instead of just to the top of the pot. :) Success!!! :)
     
  11. willow555

    willow555 (Large Crab)

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    I'm afraid i can't help but good luck!!!
     
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