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Critters in salt water dish

Discussion in 'Emergency Care - 911.' started by imported_Donna M, Dec 8, 2010.

  1. imported_Donna M

    imported_Donna M (Micro Crab)

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    Last week, while cleaning my crabbies' salt water dish, I saw what appeared to be little grains of sand in the dish. They were settled on the bottom of the dish, and also many floating on top of the water.  Since I don't know of any sand that floats (LOL!), and since the specks were not moving, I was perplexed but not alarmed.

    This week, I pick up the salt water dish and the specks are there again!  I get a magnifying glass, let the dish sit still for a minute, and these specks then start moving!!  (apparently jostling the water dish made them stop moving, which is why they faked me out).  Okay, now I'm grossed out.  They're all white or cream colored. 

    Strange thing is, I didn't see any in the fresh water dish.  Do you guys think these are booklice?  I have one crab molting right now, and won't be able to do a deep clean for weeks yet.  I can clean the area around the water dishes, as that area is a thin layer of gravel.

    Do you think the crabs will be okay until I can clean the entire tank?

    Thanks!!
    Donna M
     
  2. HERMEZ

    HERMEZ Moderator

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    I get gray eggs hatching in my water dishes (more the salt) and it must be a mosquito or something. I know people have had bugs in the water dish. MAKE sure they are not in the sand- scoop some and take it somewhere you can look good. And keep an eye on your woods etc etc---there are so many bugs around so it may take a minute to see if there are any anywhere else.
    A half deep clean (if your not due) and vinegaring and salting all the things you possibly can with maybe baking etc might help!! Good luck
     
  3. imported_Donna M

    imported_Donna M (Micro Crab)

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    You're right......I do see some white dots on some wood.  I'm going to do what I can to clean up that one area, until that one crab finishes his molt.  I don't like these creepy critters at all.

    Thanks, Hermez!!

    Donna M
     
  4. imported_Donna M

    imported_Donna M (Micro Crab)

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    Help! The water dish critters are back! (see previous posts below). Anyone have any idea what these things are and how they get into the tank? (Hermez, I haven't seen any mosquitos, so I guess they're not mosquito larvae). I cannot see anything crawling in the tank.  All I can see is what appears to be grains of sand or salt floating in the water dishes. I can't see movement in the water until I use a magnifying glass. They're so small, I can't even see if they have legs.

    I bought a new tank anyway, so tomorrow the crabbies will be moving to their new home with brand new substrate. (I use coconut bark, and use small rounded pebbles in the food/water dish area).  Could these critters be coming from the moss in the moss pit?  Or the pebbles?  I don't get it.

    I just finished cleaning their water dishes with vinegar and now I feel all itchy!  I'm sure it's my imagination, but what are these things??

    Signed,
    Despondent

    (Donna M.)
     
  5. scoobdoo

    scoobdoo "PM Jason For Custom Title"

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    you might also give the crabs a salt bath to before you put them in their new tank, I just got done with a critter problem to! Mine was either from fruit flies getting in and laying eggs or from the barks not getting baked and bugs not getting killed, I had little flying, jumping black things that went wild! I stripped my tank! washed everything & tossed all my plants & got new sand. There is no wood or bark in my tank right now. Good luck with your tank!
     
  6. imported_Donna M

    imported_Donna M (Micro Crab)

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    Ewwww....flying & jumping critters would be even worse than what I have!  Yes, I will definitely be bathing them several times.  I hate to do it, though, because they sure don't like it and I know I'm scaring them.  But how do you tell crabs that it's for their own good??  LOL
     
  7. imported_Donna M

    imported_Donna M (Micro Crab)

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    I'm going to try a different brand of moss. I add new moss to the moss pit every once in awhile, and the bag the moss is packaged in has ventilating holes in it. This leads me to believe that it was not entirely dried when it was packaged. So maybe little insect critters are surviving in that package, who knows.  Like I said, they can't be seen with the naked eye (unless they're in water). 

    I may never find the source.  I just hope I don't get them in the new tank!
     
  8. CrabAddict

    CrabAddict Moderator

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    We established you have not added any newbies to your tank,
    http://thehermitcrabaddiction.net/forum/index.php?topic=7755.msg60527;topicseen#new

    How are you preparing your moss? I nuke mine and add salt. If any eggs are in the moss they aren't after this.

    Give your wood a good bake before adding it to your new tank. Congrats on the new tank!
     
  9. imported_Donna M

    imported_Donna M (Micro Crab)

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    Prepare the moss?  I didn't know that moss had to be prepared!  I have just been breaking off a hunk, soaking it in dechlor to moisten it, and adding the new to the existing. (and eventually replacing all of it).  I guess I assumed the moss was "prepared" at the manufacturing plant (rinsed, etc).  Guess I was wrong.

    May I ask you how long moss should be nuked and how do I "add salt"?  Do I nuke it wet or dry? 

    Thank you!
     
  10. scoobdoo

    scoobdoo "PM Jason For Custom Title"

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    after never being able to remember what type of moss is safe or not when I go shopping and only seeing spanish moss or floral moss I gave up on moss. I figure it's money saved, & I can use what I save on shells or food I will need my caddy holds the cuttle bone so it doesn't get gunky, they hang out in it anyway.
     
  11. CrabAddict

    CrabAddict Moderator

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    This is how I prepare moss:
    Place moss in a microwave safe bowl/container.
    Fill with saltwater you use for your hermies to drink.
    Microwave for 2 minutes, remove and let cool.
    Drain liquid and add to your tank.

    Any natural products (moss, wood) you add to your tank may contain unwanted visitors. Boiling baking and microwaving can prevent it.
     
  12. Mckenny

    Mckenny "PM Jason For Custom Title"

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    Here's a guideline for Moss.


    HARMFUL for Hermit Crabs


    Spanish Moss can harbor bugs and is treated
    with pesticides. It is not a true moss but an air plant
    that absorbs calcium and moisture from the air.

    Cypress is a conifer with wood/needles that are
    toxic to crabs when ingested.
    Depending on the species of cypress,
    some have toxic properties, among them arsenic.

    Beaked Moss provides a Realistic Setting for Reptiles and Amphibians
    Completely Natural (no dyes or chemicals)
    But, it is harvested from coniferous rain forests of
    Oregon which is toxic to hermit crabs.

    Sphagnum PEAT Moss
    "Don't confuse sphagnum moss with sphagnum peat moss. Sphagnum moss and sphagnum peat moss are not the same product. Sphagnum moss is used in the floral industry to line wire baskets and make wreaths. It is the LIVING moss that grows on top of a sphagnum bog. Sphagnum peat moss is used as a soil conditioner by gardeners. It is the dead material that accumulates in the lower levels of a sphagnum bog. Harvesters of the horticultural peat moss remove the top few inches of the live sphagnum moss before harvesting the peat from the lower levels of the bog.



    SAFE to use for Hermies


    Hiawatha moss

    Sphagnum moss (NOT sphagnum PEAT moss)

    Frog moss

    Walmart Moss
     
  13. imported_Donna M

    imported_Donna M (Micro Crab)

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    Thank you all for all the info! (LOL).  I use the "Floral Moss" sold in Walmart, since I've seen others mention it on this site.  Now that I know how to nuke it properly, I'll start doing that.  My crabbies are in their new tank, and it's SO nice to not see anything critters floating on the top of their water dishes!  I sure hope it stays this way.

    The crabs HATED being bathed, though.  I felt terrible doing it, but it had to be done.  You would think I was dipping them in turpentine the way they were freaking out!  It was awful.  The salted water was warm (not hot) and I let their legs get wet first, to give them a heads up of what was coming.  It didn't help. 

    Thanks again, you guys.

    Donna M.
     
  14. Mckenny

    Mckenny "PM Jason For Custom Title"

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    :flower: :flower:
     
  15. scoobdoo

    scoobdoo "PM Jason For Custom Title"

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    :whaaaat: I had the wal mart moss it said floral I thought someone said it was a no no so i threw it away!
     
  16. CrabAddict

    CrabAddict Moderator

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    We'd love to see some pics of the new tank! Happy you have no sightings of the bugs!
     
  17. imported_Donna M

    imported_Donna M (Micro Crab)

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    Scoobdo.....so sorry you threw away your moss!!  I've been using the Walmart floral moss for over a year now, so it had better be safe! My crabs seem to like it a lot, and have suffered no ill effects from it, so it appears to be fine.  If you hear any different, please let us know!
     
  18. Mckenny

    Mckenny "PM Jason For Custom Title"

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    That's the type I use too with no ill effects for the past four years or so.  :flower:
     
  19. timebandit

    timebandit (Large Crab)

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    It is safe to use. I have used it for 3yrs. now and the info I got on it came from one of the big shots on here HERMEZ so if she says it's ok then I take her word for it.
     

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