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Hello! I'm a crab newb. Any tips?

Discussion in 'The Welcome Rock' started by mrcrabs, Jan 20, 2011.

  1. mrcrabs

    mrcrabs Hi, I'm New Here!

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    Hi everyone.  My name is mrcrabs and I'm a crabaholic!

    My daughter came home with her classroom hermies several weeks ago.  She was very excited and so was her little brother.  In a "last resort" effort of trying to get them to behave one day  :)  I told them that they could get their very own hermit crabs.  Off to the pet store we go.  We came home with a guaranteed death sentence for the two crabs:  a plastic critter carrier kit.  I had no idea and the fine folks at Petco must not have either.  That or they didn't care.  Unfortunately, one of the crabs died about a week later. 

    I started doing my research and quickly discovered they never had a chance with the kit the store sold me.  I was about to purchase a 10 gallon tank when it dawned on me that I had a 38 gallon in my attic!  I have spent the last week cleaning that tank, ordering supplies, visiting just about every pet store in town, searching Lowes and Home Depot for the best sand, a couple of trips to Michaels craft store (I've been there more in the past week than my wife as been in a couple years), drying wet eco earth, etc.    :madhouse:

    The tank is all set... mix of sand and eco earth, salt and fresh water bowls, heat, humidity, etc.  So, I go to a different pet store to pick up some new friends for the lone PP who is now living in style.  I found a store that carries what I think are Es and I picked 5 that didn't seem too shy.  When I put them in the tank, about three of them went crazy and two dug down. After some time, I put the PP in the tank with them.  One of the Es started to harass the PP.  I thought at first that it could have been a problem with species mixing.  I've since learned that it could be due to a number of reasons.  In any case, I had several new shells on the way in the mail so I isolated the PP for the night. 

    The next day the shells arrive.  I clean them and add them to the tank.  The aggressive E pays little attention to the new shells and still goes after the PP.  They are roughly the same size.  So, I decide to isolate the PP again, this time with several of the new shells.  That was good because the PP changed from his painted shell that same night.  Whew.  I tossed the painted shell and though that would be the end of it.  That evening when I got home from work, I put the newly-shelled PP back in the big tank.  By this time, the aggressive E had disappeared.  Unfortunately, one of the other similarly-sized Es goes straight up to the PP and the cycle starts all over!  :BangHead: 

    So, I placed the PP back into isolation and that's where it will stay until I figure out my next step.  I do have even more shells in the mail along with some food from the Hermit Crab Patch.  The food should have protein and I will also offer them eggs to make sure lack of protein isn't causing the aggressive behavior.  If that is the problem, I don't understand why the Es wouldn't attack each other.  That's not happening.  Only the PP seems to draw the negative attention. 

    Should I add a second, larger PP at the same time I put the bullied one back in?  Should I take the PP along with the Es and give them all a bath in a bowl at the same time?  Should I make sure they all have a few days with a good protein source in their tanks before putting the PP back in?  I'd like to avoid buying another PP if having a single one shouldn't be a problem.  I prefer the level of activity I'm seeing by the Es. 

    Any advice you can offer will be greatly appreciated!  I'll try to take a few pics of the setup tonight!
     
  2. Ameliasaur

    Ameliasaur "Never Molted"

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    Hi! I'm new here as well so I don't have an answer for you, unfortunately. Interesting story though.
    I just wanted to say welcome! :)
    And that I can't wait to see a picture of your tank, as well as an answer to why your poor PP is being harassed! :(
     
  3. timebandit

    timebandit (Large Crab)

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    They are all establishing their dominance in the clan so you will just have to put him back in the tank and let them do their thing. I would do it when you have time to keep an eye on them. It will keep happening until they have decided who is dominant. Once it has been established they will except him into the group.He might be attacked and they will grab onto the shell and rock it back and forth with a hole lot of chirping. Do not let it get out of hand . Get the water bottle out and spray the crab. I know it seems cruel to the poor crab being attacked but they know what they are doing.

    :welcome: :hug2:
     
  4. mrcrabs

    mrcrabs Hi, I'm New Here!

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    Thanks for the welcome!

    Should I leave him in when I'm not watching?  They were kind of snapping at each other.  Being new to this, I'm not sure when they are getting to the point of causing real harm.  Or should I just let them fight it out and hope for the best?
     
  5. timebandit

    timebandit (Large Crab)

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    If they are having feeler fights and lifting their claws trying to look bigger. maybe given one a good wack with a leg than that really isnt a fight. When one really latches on to the others shell to the point where you cant pull it off (you would pull off its legs) and rocks back and forth then thats a fight. The one doing the rocking is trying to stress the other one out of its shell.Then thats when you get the water bottle out and still you will have a hard time getting it off the other. He will stop and walk away eventually. If they are not doing this then you are fine to leave them alone.
     
  6. scoobdoo

    scoobdoo "PM Jason For Custom Title"

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    you could try giving everyone a gentle bath in their salted water, so that everyone smells the same. This is what I did I do before I put my new crabs in the tank, also helps to rinse any little bugs away they "mite" have! give them all natural peanut butter, honey, cuttle bone, crushed up walnuts is a yummy nut my crabs love!
     
  7. mrcrabs

    mrcrabs Hi, I'm New Here!

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    Thanks scoobdoo!  I'll give the bath a try tonight.  I kept them separated last night.  :(
     

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