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Guide to moving with hermit crabs

Discussion in 'General questions about care.' started by JediMasterThrash, Apr 16, 2008.

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  1. I know, I've been absent for a while. Been pretty busy since we moved last year. In reference to my move, here's my article on how I moved my crabs to my new house. The crabs ended up living in their temporary move crabitat for about a month until I finally had a free weekend to setup the new crabarium. I'm of course happy to announce that all the crabs survived the move, so hopefully others can make good use of this info.

    Wow, we moved last week. Of course of utmost concern was the hermitses.

    The great house swap happened on Wednesday, starting at 2pm.

    My plan was to take Tuesday off of work, perform a deep clean in the morning to clean out the 92g corner tank (no way we could lift that and 150lbs of sand), and then setup a temporary crabitat to house them during the move, and at the new house until the 92g could be setup again.

    I'll have a "lessons learned from a deep clean post" later after the new crabitat is setup. But basically, the deep clean went down as usual. It took a couple of hours to clear everything out, and to once again remove 150lbs of sand and eco-earth by hand (so I can check for crabs and shells). I saved one grocery bag full of the topsoil to save as the "reseeding" sand for the next iteration. I had my mom help clean everything I took out of the tank so I didn't have to multitask and save time.

    Once the old tank and supplies were clean, I packed them and took to setting up the new tank (the crabs were in a plastic tub in the meantime).

    I had three tanks in the garage: a 10g, a 30g, and a 55g. All had UTHs attached, but I only had glass lids for the 10g and 55g. The 10g was too small for 30+ crabs, and the 30g didn't have a lid, so that pretty much left the 55g. And you'll see in the pictures that it was about perfect sized, and two people can carry it easily.

    Since this is a temporary crabitat, I didn't want crabs to bury, so I only laid down about 1 inch of substrate. I used the "saved" substrate, so it would all be familiar substrate material. I put in two big water bowls, which take up about 1/3rd of the tank. Then I put in hiding shelters: the bonzai tree, two caves, and a coco-log. Since the crabs would be under stress, but couldn't bury, I wanted to make sure they had sufficient hiding ground. To ensure that even more, I layerd the whole side of the tank with lots of plastic foilage.

    Then for heat/light, I ended up not using the UTH. I took my 50w moonglo fixture and the flourescent repti-sun 5.0 fixture and put them on the two sides of the 55g.

    Ok, now the bad news. My moonglo fixture has been running the same original moonglo bulbs since November 2003 - 32760 hours of straight running time. That has to be some world record. But turning them off and on manually a couple of times on the new fixture caused them both to blow out one time when I turned them on ::sigh::. So luckilly I had another fixture with two daybulbs in it I'd found at a thrift store a while back and forgot about, so I'm now using that instead. I just turn both lights on during the day, and turn them both off at night.

    The water situation is pretty bad. I forgot how good I'd made it with the filtered pools and the raised water bowls preventing substrate from getting in. Now that I have normal flush water bowls, the eco-earth/sand/moss mix gets in the water bowls and they're just always mucky, so I constantly have the clean them. But this shouldn't have to last long. Also, they keep filling the food bowls with substrate every day as they try to dig.

    On moving day, my mother in law took the crabs in the truck to their shop to keep them during our closings. I made sure to bring two pieces of large cardboard with to cover the tank, incase they were in direct sunlight. The tank can't stand being in direct sunlight, because it creates a greenhouse inside. It's only propped open a little bit with chopsticks for some circuilation and venting.

    Then after closing we went and picked it up in the car and took it to the new home and placed it on the floor in the family room, covering up a nearby vent to prevent unexpected cold airflow.

    As for the crabs, they're taking the move quite well! They've been very active. And they love the dayglo lights. All the time at least 10 crabs are piled up ontop of the bonsai as close to the lights as they can. And they're constantly climbing around and making a general ruckuss.

    And here's the pictures (click for full-size):
    [img width=300 height=200]http://jedimasterthrash.boldlygoingnowhere.org/cornertank/movetank/front.jpg[/img]
    [img width=300 height=200]http://jedimasterthrash.boldlygoingnowhere.org/cornertank/movetank/upperfront.jpg[/img]
    [img width=300 height=200]http://jedimasterthrash.boldlygoingnowhere.org/cornertank/movetank/top.jpg[/img]
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