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CONFUSION ABOUT MOLTING

Discussion in 'Molting.' started by FELICIA, Jul 13, 2006.

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  1. FELICIA

    FELICIA Hi, I'm New Here!

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    I;m a little confused. Is there a differene between molting and changing it's shell. What exactly is the difference and if my crab doesnt change it's shell how do i know if it's because he doesnt like the shells I have or just doesnt want to? Also if it does change shells while I'm not home, wont all the sand that gets in the extra shell bother them? I rinse off the extra shells every day when I change the food & water, but they still get really sandy.
     
  2. crazeecrabber103

    crazeecrabber103 (Small Crab)

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    Yes, there is a big difference between changing shells and molting.
    When they molt, they are shedding their hard, outer skin (exoskeleton). It's a long, stressful process, but must be done so that they can grow.
    When a hermie changes shells, it is leaving the snail shell it is in presently for a more favorable one.
    Some crabs change shells regularly (like hermom's crab, Crazy Legs. [​IMG]) and some crabs hang on to one shell for months, or even years!
    Some crabs are just so cozy in the one that they are wearing that they don't feel like even looking at other shells.
    If you think that your hermies don't like the shells you have, try offering some new ones, and rotating them with a new batch a few times a month.
    Are you boiling your shells before you put them in the tank? If not, dirty shells are not appealing to hermies and most will choose not to change into them.
    Boil them for about 10 minutes in dechlorinated water, then rinse them out with sea salt water(and leave a bit of the salt water in the shell) before putting them in the tank.
    Even if there is a bit of substrate in the shell that a hermie changes into, it can go into the water dishes and clean it out.[​IMG]
    If you're tired of rinsing shells out all the time, you can build a second level and keep them up there so they won't be rolled around in the sand.
     
  3. hermom

    hermom "Never Molted"

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    Not to mention, re. shell swaps, that you may wind up with a new colony of 10 jumbo's - 4 of which swapped shells (I removed the discards) in 10 days, so delighted were they with the new, select real estate! I've even had hermies who purposely shovelled sub. & goodies into a large shell, and do their full moult in there.
    Talk about clever! It never hurts to have all sizes available.
    hermom
     
  4. Pharmoc

    Pharmoc (Micro Crab)

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    I was too very confused about moulting and shell swapping but thankfully everybody on here has cleared that up for me , and along with substrate advice i have had 4 sucessful moults ive posted this pic somewhere else on this forum but thought it might help on here , this is what i found after my first and biggest crab moulted , i also learnt that it is vgery important not to discard the exo -skeleton as the crabs eat it after , somethign i did not know before i joined this forum.
    Im sure any queries that you have will be answered i have gained so much information from this forum and all of the ppl on it .
    [​IMG]

    If it wasnt for the ppl on here telling me about moulting i may have jumped to conclusions and presumed the herm dead here is his exo and below is a pic of him after his moult you can notice the changed in colour he was also very soft and fragile at the time .[​IMG]
     
  5. hermom

    hermom "Never Molted"

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    Don't you just love seeing a new, pink baby? Did he go back to his old shell, or swap after moulting?
    You had a pile of exo there...for what it's worth, I take any left over exo (usually claws and tips of legs) and blend it into my home mix of hermie food. Don't think it can hurt, esp. others who may be PM.
    hermom
    [​IMG]
     
  6. Donna

    Donna Hi, I'm New Here!

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    I too, am somewhat confused about molting. Our "Herbert" we think, is Molting. I have been on many web sites to learn more about molting but get different answers. One says to spray him once a day and then others say not to touch him. Some say he will stay under for about a month and then others say a couple of days. Help!! He isn't buried very far down- we have sand substrate. He became sluggish and then we woke up on Thursday and he would not come out of his shell- it looks like there is something behind the old exoskeleton but I'm so new at this I am unsure. It has been 2 days and I'm already stressed. We had 2 other hermit crabs and thought they were dead- now from reading from this web site forum I'm thinking they were not!! The pet store is no help and the book we received when we got our crab isn 't much either. This is the only web site I found that is destressing me a little.:confused:
    Thanks!
     
  7. crazy4crabs

    crazy4crabs "Second Molt In Progress"

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    Leave hyim alone. I just adjust my humidity in the tank. Normally my humidity is about 72%. When I have molters I spray he whole tank and up the humidity to about 80%. Yeah Petsotres are just about the worst places for useful information about anything other than a dog or cat. Keep perusing this and other hermit crabb sites and find all differnt opinions. I would make sure you watch the temp and humidity closely and keep food and water readily available. if ur that worried smooth out the sand around him and check the next day for any "footprints" in the sand. Keep the sna dmosit enought to build a sandcastle in but not soaking wet. and keep us posted on progress.
     
  8. vckums

    vckums Moderator

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    You're going to get a wide variety of opinions from members. It's all about what you think is best for your crabs.
    I'm a hands off crabber. I let mine molt in the main tank. I do not ISO crabs. I seem to have a better sucess rate with molters since I started this.
    As for humidity and temperature I consulted with Sue at the Coenobita Research Site and she recomends this.
    A humidity gauge to assure the crabitat stays at the recommended 74 - 82% relative humidity.
    The crabitat needs to be between 72 - 84 degrees farenheit temperature.
    I do not spray my crabs, my reasoning is it may add stress to them.
    As for length of time, it can depend on the size of the crab and how stressed they are. Micros can be a few days and softball sized crabs can take months. There's really no set time limit.
     
  9. reader101

    reader101 Banned

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    I think the best advice I can offer, if you're comfortable on this site is not to jump from site to site, but rather read back here on the threads concerning molting, shell swapping, and especially naked/nudie hermie. The reason I say that is that you're bound to encounter that along the way, and it's best to know what to do beforehand.
    Secondly, you will learn a variety of methods, opinions, experiences, etc. by some of the most experienced, and find a method that works for you.
    Substrate, natural foods; whatever, is mostly covered. Just look for a thread in any of the forums that interest you.
    Enjoy, as raising hermies is all about confusion!:D
     
  10. Donna

    Donna Hi, I'm New Here!

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    Thanks everyone, Its been 4 days and boy this is stressful. I will keep you posted.
    :eek:
     
  11. reader101

    reader101 Banned

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    :D
    This is a wonderful pair of pics. I found previously posted.
    Thank you Pharmoc! Unless I hadn't recently experienced it myself, I couldn't have believed it. Mine is still very pink and changing daily, looks good.
     
  12. crazy4crabs

    crazy4crabs "Second Molt In Progress"

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    dont worry... the hermies know exactly what to do. just let him rest and he should be just fine!
     
  13. reader101

    reader101 Banned

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    :rolleyes:
    As I stated, this was an old posting I had re-posted for the purposes of the pictures. Not a new post - the hermie obviously did just fine, as did the owner.
    It was intended for excellent pictorial molt information.
    Did you read the posting by Pharmoc at all?
     
  14. tengo cangrejos ermitaños

    tengo cangrejos ermitaños (Small Crab)

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    vckums, I agree with you. I don't ISO crabs and so far I've had successful molts in my 55 'tat. we'll see what happens when the 29 gets going..
     
  15. vckums

    vckums Moderator

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    Congrats!!! I can't wait to hear about it. Post some pics of it too!
     
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