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Allo, I'm new, as you can see~

Discussion in 'The Welcome Rock' started by VonGod, Oct 5, 2009.

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  1. VonGod

    VonGod Hi, I'm New Here!

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    Hey, I'm new here, and just scared as heck for my hermit crabs.
    I constantly don't know if things are ok for them or not.
    You know, you read some things online and think everything is alright, until you read something else [like someone's hermit crab died randomly and they have no clue what to do] and panic again.

    I'd just like to say that I have 5 hermit crabs living together, three are mine [Eli, Takatsuki, and Tsuite] and two are my friends [Andrea and Doozer]. They seem to live alright with eachother, and I'm never sure if they're living alright or not.

    I think they're active, but I see two whom hang out in a corner in the shade a lot.

    Really all I need is some help. I could get pictures, and advice on what to change ASAP, etc.
    New + Living breathing creature that has a life = Anti-Good

    Thanks for reading. Any other information, just ask? xD
     
  2. cloie74

    cloie74 "Second Molt, A Success"

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    First off WELCOME!
    Can you tell us what your set up is like? Are you using a glass tank? how big is it?, what are you using for substrate (Sand Ect.) what do you use for a heat source, light? What do you feed them and do you offer fresh AND Salt water?
    If so is it tap water , treated or bottled? What kind of salt mix are you using?
    how long have you had them?
    The more info and pics you can provide the more we can help :)

    First things first read this VERY helpful post about new crabbers : http://www.hermitcrabsrus.com/forum...t-care/3913-i-just-bought-new-crabs-what.html
     
  3. VonGod

    VonGod Hi, I'm New Here!

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    Well, I use a glass tank, not sure on the size. And within the take I have sand on one side, it's Calci-Sand [Not enough money at the moment to afford more or different kinds. D;] I've heard that that's not good for molting, though. That's about 1/3 thyough. The rest is mostly rocks around a pool of water, which is salt, might I add.

    I don't know how humid a hermit crab can take. And I don't know if my hydrometer is working, if so I think I might be worried. Aswell, I don't know if they're warm or cold, noting as I don't have a thermometer.

    I have a lid that houses lightbulbs, and I use a 13 watt. I have a dish of fresh water.

    I think I've had them for over a week, and they seem fine right now. But, I guess I can't tell how hermit crabs usually are. Mine get pretty active during the night, and two fight over food a lot. Though there is plenty of food. Andrea and Tsuite were fighting over a banana piece last night.
    But, I wasn't able to find this site until now, as you now now. xD

    So, I hope I haven't done /too/ much damage.
     
  4. cloie74

    cloie74 "Second Molt, A Success"

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    **The most important thing to crab health is Heat and Humidity. It should be 75-80 degrees F constantly and same for humidity.
    Im not sure how big the tank is but unless it is a 5 gallon a 13 watt bulb isnt going to heat it to 80 degrees, you need to turn that light off at night too they need 12/12 hour light cycle so another heat source will be needed for night time like an under the tank heater or a night glow heat light.
    You can calibrate your humidity gauge read here: http://www.hermitcrabsrus.com/forum...e/3134-how-calibrate-your-humidity-gauge.html
    So once you get the temphumidity fixed you may notice them being more active.
    **You need better substrate, Hermit Crabs dig ALOT to destress and also to molt. Play sand or EE (Eco Earth) are good inexpensive substrates, it needs to be a little deeper then your biggest crab. (This will help with humidity because they should be kept damp.)
    **Do you have extra shells? You need about 4 shells per crab so they can "shell shop" and find ones they like.
    **You need hidey places, especially while crabs destress you need Coco Huts or Moss huts for them to go into and hide.
    During the destressing process you shouldnt touch them, just leave them be for at least 4 weeks only offering food and water every day
    What kind of salt water are you using? Crabs also need fresh water.
    You cant use tap water because of the metals and Chlorine in it unless you get a good treatment for it. I use bottled purified water for fresh and i use Oceanic Natural Marine salt for the salt water, the dish needs to be deep enough for them to completely submerge BUT also be able to climb out to safety. Don't worry about doing everything wrong, I think everyone here has been in that boat at one point in time but that is why this site is so great!
     
  5. emmac350

    emmac350 "Fourth Molt In Progress"

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    Calci-sand is a bad substrate. If it gets wet, it will dry into a rock-hard conglomerate. If your crabs decide to dig into it to molt, by the time they finish hardening from their molt, it will have entombed them and they won't be able to get out. Additionally, it smells absolutely awful when it's wet. Calci-sand is okay to be used as a supplement in their food bowl, but not as a substrate. Playsand, aquarium sand (more expensive), and Eco Earth are all great substrates. If you can't find Eco Earth brand coconut fiber, you can use other brands as long as there is nothing mixed in (cypress, vermiculite, etc.). I'd recommend you not do the rocks thing either...they can get lodged into shells and hurt the crabs' abdomens. Do you offer fresh water as well? How do you treat the salt water? Do you dechlorinate the water? What kind of salt?

    Crabs need to be between 70-80% humidity - they have gills, and they breathe the humidity in the air. You can get a fairly inexpensive thermometer/humidity gauge combo at home improvement stores in the outdoor section. That's my favorite type. They're much more accurate than the dial ones from pet stores. If you're worried about the accuracy of your gauge, there is a thread on here about how to find out how accurate it is. Look up 'how to calibrate your humidity gauge.' Additionally, they need to be between 70 (at the very lowest, but this will cause them to be really inactive in my experience) and 83 F, but the range I've found helps my guys the most is 75-83.

    Is that a lightbulb for a lamp, or a lightbulb meant for heating reptiles or fish? You shouldn't use a light if you can't measure the temperature in the tank - it could be much higher than you suspect, and you could overheat and kill your crabs very easily. Is your house warm or cold right now? If it's cold, then chances are that you need the warmth from the light, but without knowing the tank's temperature you are running a pretty high risk of overheating the crabs.

    What are you feeding them? What sorts of foods do they get on an average night?
     
  6. VonGod

    VonGod Hi, I'm New Here!

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    I went to Pet Smart and got a hermit crab expert to help me with information. They told me all kinds of things, and how I could fix up the habitat. It'd cost around 50 - 60 bucks. So, I really just need to save up for all that.

    I had Calcisand for substrate, but I bought better substrate, I'll lay it in tomorrow or the day after. I wish I wasn't so busy, and the other person who I have who's taking care of the hermit crabs understood how to set the habitat up, etc, more. D;

    She doesn't really know what to do when you're setting up their place.

    First thing on my list to get is a Thermometer [a good one] and an under the tank heater. I was told that they should be fine for now and that the set up is pretty good, other than the pool of water. I'm going to get rid of the pool, take out the calci-sand, put in the new substrate [which is coco fibre or something like that... All I know is that is started out as a small brick when I got it, and now it's in two huge containers. o _o;]

    Once I change the tank up, I'll take new pictures and send them to this thread.

    I have old pictures, but they won't matter soon anyway.


    As well, what are some things that I might have around that I could feed them that would be safe?

    All I really have right now is the banana chip things for hermit crabs, and the powder stuff I got when I first got the hermit crabs.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2009
  7. cloie74

    cloie74 "Second Molt, A Success"

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    Pet smart is probably one of the WORST places to go for hermit crab advise, their employees RARELY know anything about the pets that they sell other than what they put on the care sheets which isn't nearly enough.
    If you want to know what you will need, read this thread:
    http://www.hermitcrabsrus.com/forum...t-care/3913-i-just-bought-new-crabs-what.html
    Also some of us can tell you how to do some of the things cheaply or with items you already have in your home.
    Like water dishes can be small tupperware containers filled with a few rocks...
    The substrate can be play sand you can buy a 50 lb bag from a hardware store for about $4
    The salt water mix you need is in the pet store for $4 also it is called Oceanic natural marine salt big bag for about $5
    Don't listen to the pet store guy, he is there to sell to you. so he is going to recommend the most expensive stuff that you probably shouldn't even be using, there are TONS of hermit crab products on the market that are actually HARMFUL to your crabs.
    Lucky for you you have people her who have learned from their own mistakes and from others before them.
    If you have a question about something you think you need ASK. It will probably save you lots of $$$ :)
    Here is a list of things you need right away
    Play Sand: $4
    2 Bowls for fresh and salt water (Use ziploc containers) $2 at walmart
    Salt Mix $5
    It is hard to know what you are going to need for heat because I dont know what size tank you have. but say $20 for a pad or bulbs.
    Temp/humidity guages $3 each at petco. Or $6 for a combo digital gauge at Walmart
    Food...feed them the healthy stuff you eat, unseasoned chicken, beef and pork, hard boiled eggs and fresh fruits and veggies are all good things you can feed your crabs and because you are already eating them it is like free food to them.
     
  8. emmac350

    emmac350 "Fourth Molt In Progress"

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    Cloie - playsand is not needed; he bought coconut fiber.

    As for what to feed crabs, try to offer at a minimum a source of calcium (great use of the calci-sand, plus eggshells left over from hard-boiling an egg), a protein (if you can do 2, one being a 'normal' meat and one being a dried shrimp or something; you can buy dried insects and sea critters in the fish food section at pet stores; just make sure the ingredients list says 100% _________ only with the blank being what's advertised in the jar), a fruit, and a veggie (they can't have onions or garlic but love peppers). If you can do more, I'd recommend you look at the Hermit Crab Addiction store and get some algae/seaweed products to offer daily, flowers, and barks/roots/etc. for cellulose. Beyond that, don't offer them the same thing day after day...they're programmed biologically to not eat the same thing over and over. So if you buy fresh foods to feed them, cut off the piece you'll be feeding them immediately and freeze the rest for later. I have a gallon sized bag in my freezer stuffed full of food for the crabs. I cut it up before I freeze it so I can just dump out an already cut piece with no work required. If you have produce that's starting to go bad, cut it up and save it for crabs. This works great because they get new foods and we haven't wasted money on food that went bad before we could eat it. If it's moldy, cut off all the moldy spots and wash it very well before you freeze it or else you could have a mold outbreak in your tank.

    One other thing: my crabs absolutely LOVE the worm castings Vicki sells, and they come in at least one of her Can I Have a Taste packs. Those packs are great because you get a bunch of different stuff for a low price and the baggies last longer than you'd think...I've still got some of it a year later. It helps you understand what your crabs like so you can buy things tailored to their preferences later. Even if your crabs don't seem to like what you're offering, keep trying - sometimes they won't eat something until the third time you offer it, and then it's all gone and you're left wondering why they didn't like it the first two times.
     
  9. cloie74

    cloie74 "Second Molt, A Success"

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    I recommended what I recommended because he had said earlier that he didn't have any money...
     
  10. VonGod

    VonGod Hi, I'm New Here!

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    I didn't really get to reading the rest of the post. But I did read the PetSmart part.
    I just want to say that the person I was talking to has hermit crabs of their own, and was pretty much telling me the same stuff you guys were. /nod
    She was trying to get me to buy the cheapest stuff they had, and recomended me to other places for stuff aswell.
    But I was there at the time, and bought the soils stuffs for 5 bucks.

    I shall read the rest of the posts now. xD
    -----

    I get money every now and again from my mum, but it's not too often.

    I'll get working on all that stuff after I change the tank, and make sure temp and humidity is alright for them.
    Don't want them to die on me. D;

    It makes sense not to trust Store peoples, so I asked specific questions for items you guys gave me.


    Do you guys think they'll be alright with the 13watt I have in there? And then good when it's not on, just with room temp? D;
    Posting picture links in next post.
     
  11. VonGod

    VonGod Hi, I'm New Here!

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  12. emmac350

    emmac350 "Fourth Molt In Progress"

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    Lightbulbs for people aren't generally good for heating for crabs. You can get heating bulbs used for reptile heating for not too much money (I get mine for about $10 at my Petsmart) , and they provide the proper spectrum of UV rays and heating. If you do get a heat bulb, I'd recommend looking into either a moon glow bulb (not a black light, but a moon glow) or a ceramic heater (won't put off any light so it won't mess up the crabs' day night cycle if you have to heat at night).

    Do look for more shells also - in the pictures, the empty shells look to be much bigger than the crabs I saw. You also (since I saw at least one PP) might want to get some shells with an O shaped opening - PPs tend to prefer them. You can find bags of turbo shells (good shells for PPs) at craft stores for only a few dollars. That will probably be your best bet - it's about the cheapest way to get them. Alternatively, you can order lots of 75+ shells (not all of which are good crab shells but quite a few are) on ebay for $10 or less.
     
  13. Hermies4Ever

    Hermies4Ever (Large Crab)

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    How many gallons is your crabitat, VonGod??? And what size are your hermies??? Five small hermit crabs would be perfect in a 10-gallon, and three medium hermit crabs can fit in a 10-gallon. . .
     
  14. emmac350

    emmac350 "Fourth Molt In Progress"

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    I don't know about putting 3 medium crabs in a 10g...I had 2 mediums in a 10g and it sounded like they were having mortal combat every night what with the shells banging glass and things falling over. I honestly would say that you'd need at least a 15 to have 2 mediums, and more if you wanted more crabs. There isn't nearly enough floor space for mediums in a 10g, and even with the three upper levels I had in my 10g with the 2 ISOed mediums, there's no way I would've put another similarly sized crab in there. I had 1 hidey, 1 soap dish, 1 hemp net with bridge, 1 food bowl, 2 water bowls, and I really didn't have any floor space left for appropriately sized shells. The shells ended up on the hemp net and moss on the soap dish, but the poor crabs had no room for themselves with all of the needed items.
     
  15. cloie74

    cloie74 "Second Molt, A Success"

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    That tank is a bit of a mess lol
    There is not enough sand in it, and unless you are going to have a filter like from a fish tank, doing half water like that is not going to work, stagnant water in high humidity is going to breed bacteria (besides it isnt deep enough). You are better off using bowls that you can remove and wash and put fresh water in.
    You have far too many rocks in there while they may make things look nice the more places crabs have to dig the better. That little plastic thing with water in it is not big enough for them to submerge in either.

    Looks like you have the right idea about what they need but right now I think you should concentrate on getting the basics set up and worry about how it "looks" later ;)
     
  16. VonGod

    VonGod Hi, I'm New Here!

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    Those are old pictures, I changed it up already. I'll take new pictures and see what you guys say. xD
    Two of my crabs have already switched shells. Takatsuki took the old shell from Doozer, and Doozer took one of the new shells I got before I left for the weekend.

    My friend said she was trying to do everything that she could, only forgot to take out the fruit, so I did that right away.

    Also, Takatsuki burrowed to the bottom on the tank, and Doozer's old burrow hole is being taken up by Adrea.

    I'll read the posts now that I've updated. xD

    ---

    Oh, I don't really care how it looks, as long as it's right. The rocks were set up for them to climb on, but like I said I changed the tank before I left.
    The lightbulb, I know... I want to change that aswell.

    As for the dish, should I change both the salt water and fresh water everynight?
    And there's another dish in there with salt water in it, I think they can submerge. Need another one for the other dish.

    I don't know the size of the tank, or the size of the crabs. They seem to beable to move everywhere they want without half crashing everything. o _o
    They go wherever. xD

    Shells, I got some different shells before I left aswell, dunno if I should get more. It's pretty cluttered in there. xD
    But, they seem to be doing fine now. Mist, feed, 12 hours, etc.


    My whole problem right now is that I have no income, I'm pretty much bumming myself in a room at a friend's house away from my mum's by quite a distance. So, I get money every now and then. The reason why i have no money is 'cause of the stuff I've gotten for the hermit crabs already. C:

    So, just a few more thigns and I hope they're fine.
     
  17. VonGod

    VonGod Hi, I'm New Here!

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    Also, is there a list anywhere on the site of foods?
    Aswell, is there a list of terminologies?

    These would both be useful, rather than asking and looking through posts. /nod
     
  18. emmac350

    emmac350 "Fourth Molt In Progress"

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    There is a safe list of food on this site, as well as an unsafe list.

    So describe your current setup - what it looks like, what is in it (type of substrate, how you treat your water before offering it to them, etc.)...all that stuff so we can offer any more advice as you need it. :) Glad to hear you're making so much progress with the tank!
     
  19. manolo578

    manolo578 (Micro Crab)

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    Your tank looks pretty nice with all the plants minus the rocks and caci sand. I'd take all of those plants :)
     
  20. VonGod

    VonGod Hi, I'm New Here!

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