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crab out of shell - should I worry?

Discussion in 'Emergency Care - 911.' started by astrait, Apr 22, 2007.

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  1. astrait

    astrait Hi, I'm New Here!

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    My crab "Cloud" is out of his/her/it's shell and wandering around the aquarium. Should I be worried? I thought he/she/it was going to molt as it was buried under a piece of drift wood this morning (the shell is still under the wood) but is now out and about.

    How long have you had the crab(s) in question? approx. 4 weeks

    Do you know what species they are? pet store said calico's, but someone here said they were E's

    Did you/Do you isolate new crabs? this was the first crab i owned

    Tank Size: 10 gallon

    Lid Type: mesh top lid from petstore covered partially with a pan to keep the heat and humidity in.

    Placement of tank in your home: on dining room table

    Substrate Used (moist or dry & depth): combo of play sand and aquarium sand, dry, approx. 2" deep

    Type of Gauges: Strip/Analog/Digital analog

    Did you test your humidity gauge for accuracy? yes

    Placement of Gauges: approx. 1 inch above sand in middle of tank

    Temperature and Humidity levels in your tank: 74 Degrees, 66% humidity

    Heating Source (if UTH how much of the tank does it cover and how much substrate is over it):none

    Lighting Source (type bulbs & wattage): none - just natural sunlight

    Do you have at least one area for each crab to hide? yes

    Is there any metal in your tank? no

    What types of climbing things/toys do you have in your tank? drift wood (2 pieces), choa wood, plastic vine from pet store

    What type of water do you use (dechlorinated tap/spring water)? tap water

    If you use dechlorinating drops-which kind? none

    Do your provide fresh and salt water? If yes, what type of salt mix do you use? just fresh

    Do you provide dishes for water or just sponges? 2 water dishes and 1 sponge (approx. 3" cube)

    How many extra shells do you have for each crab? 5 extra shells for 4 crabs

    Did you boil the shells prior to putting them in the tank? yes

    Do you bathe your crabs? If yes, how often and what do you use to bathe them in? bathe 1x per week, in a plastic rubbermaid dish

    Do you only handle your crabs with clean hands? yes

    How often do you handle them? every couple of days - trying to let them adjust during the post-purchase period

    Have they been exposed to toxins such as chemical/cleaning fumes, perfume, spray deodorant, etc? no

    Do you allow your crabs to exercise outside the tank? no

    What types of foods do you feed? Gardner's Hermit Crab Food as well as some fresh food such as applesauce, peanut butter, banana, broccoli and unseasoned chicken.

    What do you use as a calcium supplement? just what is in their food as well as the shells i feed them from
     
  2. justine

    justine "Never Molted"

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    I would suggest raising the humidity in the tank to above 70% at the very least. I keep mine around 80%, but I have Strawberries, and they tend to need higher humidity.

    About the water, the chlorine and metals in tap water can damage a crab's gills. You should get some dechlorinator drops that don't contain stress coat. (Wardley's or API). Or you can purchase gallons of purified (reverse osmosis) or distilled water.

    Your E also needs salt water. (Don't use table salt) It is pretty easy to mix a gallon jug of Instant Ocean, and it lasts awhile.

    You should provide a bowls of fresh and salt water deep enough for the crabs to get in and get water in their shells.

    I am not sure where you live, but eventually you will probably need some sort of heat source.

    I hope this helps. I have not had a naked crab yet, so I am not sure what to tell you about getting him back in a shell.

    Good luck :)

    Justine
     
  3. astrait

    astrait Hi, I'm New Here!

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    UPDATE: Well, I went to the pet store late yesterday afternoon for some advice after Cloud dropped another limb and showed no interest in moving into a new shell. At their suggestion, I gave Cloud a saltwater bath and gave him some shells (freshly boiled) to choose some; I also prepared an ISO tank for him/her to go into after the bath. He/She seemed happy in the bath but was only interested in sitting in teh water, not in the shells. After hanging out in a shallow bath for quite a while I moved Cloud and the shells to the ISO. This morning when I checked on him/her, there is no movement in teh tank at all. I can see that there was some movement overnight, but now he/she isn't moving (I gently touched him/her to see if that would generate any movement but it didn't). I am afraid Cloud died. How long do I need to wait to be sure??
     
  4. msdiamonddawg

    msdiamonddawg "Third Molt In Progress"

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    If a crab dies, you will smell it. It is an unmistakable, really bad fishy smell. Dropping limbs can be a sign of stress too. I would wait until you smell anything before getting rid of Cloud. Good luck with everything.
     
  5. Crabbybeach

    Crabbybeach (Medium Crab)

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    I am not trying to tell you to worry,but this is not good. He could get his abdomen hurt. You probably need a bigger shell for him
     
  6. Numbhangle

    Numbhangle "Never Molted"

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    any update?
     
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