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Hello! Newbie Who Needs Help!

Discussion in 'The Welcome Rock' started by bonechickchris@aol.com, Oct 4, 2009.

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  1. bonechickchris@aol.com

    bonechickchris@aol.com "Preparing For First Molt"

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    Hello everyone!

    I just joined here and wanted to say hi! My nme is Christy, and our family has 6 hermit crabs; Snoopy, Seaside, Nascar, Herbie, Basketball, and Lets-see ( as in "lets see the crab", my 4 year old's humor!) Actually, he named all of them.

    Basketball is the newest of the bunch. He has only been here for a few days. Yesterday, we woke up to him out of his shell. I thought maybe we caught him in the middle of a shell change. So we left him alone. He did go into another shell.

    Later on, he was naked again, out of the new shell. This time, I put him in an isolation cage, along with 7 suitable shells, with a variety of opening sizes. I then put him in a dark room for him to be more comfortable.

    Not long after, he picked yet another shell. He seemed ok for hours, so I put him back in the main tank.

    Today when I woke up, he was still in the new shell but seems to be dead.

    I know when crabs are out of their shells, that something usually is not right to begin with. We just got him a few days ago, so I don't know if he was sick or what.

    I have gotten hermies from this place before with no problem. Although, usually the ones I got here would all change shells within a week of purchasing them. Probably not a good selection of shells where they were staying I assume.

    So, is Basketball probably dead? Does this type of behavior mean something?
    If he was sick, can his sickness affect my other crabs?

    Thanks so much! I hope it was ok to write so much my first post! I just want to make sure that I do right by them!
    Christy
     
  2. Crabby_Crazy

    Crabby_Crazy "First Molt, A Success"

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    Ehh, its hard to say, if you smell some rotting smell, ya hes dead, but then again he might just be in de-stress mode or something. and no need to feal bad about your long post we love it when people ask questions!!!!
     
  3. Hermies4Ever

    Hermies4Ever (Large Crab)

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    If you smell a fishy smell he's probably dead. Is there no sign of movement? And you had better put him in ISO just in case he is alive, because he would make a tasty treat for one of your other hermies.
     
  4. cloie74

    cloie74 "Second Molt, A Success"

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    Why do you think he is dead? is he hanging out of his shell? Did he drop any legs? Does it smell funky? Crabs start to smell almost immediately after death and there is no mistaking that dead smell! You may want to stick him back in ISO, New crabs should be left in ISO for a few weeks to be sure they dont have any diseases or bugs and things, it also helps them destress from the move before being introduced to your exsisting crabs, during destressing they should not be touched. Sorry that you have a sick crab I hope he isnt dead :(
     
  5. cloie74

    cloie74 "Second Molt, A Success"

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    Also what is your set up like? what do you use for substrate? Sand EE Ect.? Do you offer fresh dechlorinated water as well at tap water, what is the temp and humidity in the tank? do you have gauges?
    How long have you had the other crabs for?
    What do you feed them?
     
  6. Hermies4Ever

    Hermies4Ever (Large Crab)

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    Yes, if you didn't have the right setup, that would explain your hermie's death (if he is dead. . .) Everything counts for happy, healthy hermies. . .
     
  7. bonechickchris@aol.com

    bonechickchris@aol.com "Preparing For First Molt"

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    I have him in the ISO just incase he is still alive. No movement still. I have a cold, so I cannot smell too good.

    As for the main hermit tank, I use half calcium sand and half that forest subtrate. Humidity is good as of now. I also mist them several times a day.
    I also use an under the tank heater pad instead of a heat light which I heard can dehydrate them.
    As for water, I use bottled water all the time. I put regular in there, and also make some salt water for them too.
    For food, I use Sandpit hermit food, which is suppose to be a good mix, and dried fruit made for hermit crabs.

    I have another crab in isolation also (Nascar). He has always been way too big for his shell. He was very active. Actually escaped once by taking the lid off the tank (still have no idea how!).
    Anyway, he was my most active crab. Well, he finally changed shells, nice big one too. Even since his change, he has been a different crab and has not moved at all much. So I put him in ISO thinking he may be ready to molt?
    Are molts usual right after a shell change? I thought maybe now that he is finally in a larger shell, he may be able to molt?
    He is buried right now, but very still, but do not see any signs of molted parts.
    Just funny how he went from my most active crab to now nothing after his shell change.

    Back to Basketball, he is still the same, pretty lifeless and limp.

    Thanks guys for all the help so far! Christy
     
  8. Hermies4Ever

    Hermies4Ever (Large Crab)

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    Do you have a shelter in your tank and three inches of substrate???
     
  9. bonechickchris@aol.com

    bonechickchris@aol.com "Preparing For First Molt"

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    In the main tank, I have an Igloo. Since I have some crabs with big shells, the Igloo has a bigger opening than those coconut huts, but still the same thing, just bigger. On the bedding side, there is 3", but the sand side of the tank is about 1 1/2".

    On the heater I bought, it said to have your substrate at 1 1/2", so that is why I have it that shallow in part of the tank.

    They also have a climbing wall too. Lets-see and Seaside sleep on it every day. Right now, they are both sleeping on the wall, with Seaside on top of Lets-see. IT looks so funny because Lets-see is a big crab, and Seaside is just a little guy!
     
  10. Hermies4Ever

    Hermies4Ever (Large Crab)

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    Okay, your tank sounds pretty good. . . Just one thing: I didn't hear you mention any WATER!!!
     
  11. bonechickchris@aol.com

    bonechickchris@aol.com "Preparing For First Molt"

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    I used only bottled water for them. I put regular in there, and also make some salt water with special hermie salt. Someone told me once I could just use the salt water, but I thought that might not be right, so I give them both.
     
  12. Hermies4Ever

    Hermies4Ever (Large Crab)

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    Oh, sorry. Yes, you did mention water. Didn't see that.
     
  13. cloie74

    cloie74 "Second Molt, A Success"

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    When you say forrest bedding do you mean like wood chips stuff or Eco Earth?
    Hermies cant have any Pine it will kill them, there are alot of that forrest bedding stuff that has pine and other unacceptable woods that can be harmful to crabs.
    Calci sand is not good for crabs either, it has been known to cause terrible problems with molting crabs and becomes brick hard when wet and can trap your crabs that are under for a molt.
    Eco Earth and Playground sand are your best bets.
    Be careful with commercial food, in general they are terrible and full of chemicals and preservatives. Feed your crabs whatever you eat except the unseasoned version, fresh fruit and veggies are always welcome and plain chicken, boiled egg (With shell for calcium)
    Water - The hermit crab salt for the water is not salty enough and most of them dont even realize it is there. If you go to your local pet store and go into aquarium supplies you can buy a small bag of Oceanic Natural sea salt or another product called instant ocean. Salt water is IMPERATIVE to successful molts. Also your heating pad, might work better if it is side mounted just stick it to the end of the tank then you dont have to worry about sand levels, your substrate should be a little higher than your biggest crab.
    You didnt mention how long you have had them. You may want to look up and read about PPS (Post Purchase Stress) It is the most common cause of crab fatality and sadly happens way more often then it should thanks to pet stores misinforming future crab owners.
    Good luck with your little guys! Trust me i know what you are going through our crabs werea gift for my 4 year old 2 months ago, boy were we surprised when we found out we were doing everything wrong! lol
     
  14. bonechickchris@aol.com

    bonechickchris@aol.com "Preparing For First Molt"

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    I only give them bottled water. I also give them salt water too. Someone told me at the store that they just need salt water. I am not sure about that, so I give them both.
     
  15. Hermies4Ever

    Hermies4Ever (Large Crab)

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    You are quite right. Hermit crabs need both salt AND fresh water to stay alive.

    Salt water: They bath in salt water and occaionally drink it.
    Fresh water: They regularly drink this.
     
  16. Hermies4Ever

    Hermies4Ever (Large Crab)

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    The fact IS most pet stores just don't tell the truth about hermit crab needs. Because if they did, you would not want to buy the hermit crab because it and everything else would cost too much altogether.
     
  17. bonechickchris@aol.com

    bonechickchris@aol.com "Preparing For First Molt"

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    I dont know what the last post went twice!

    I use the Eco Earth, no pine chips or such. I will go get regular sand though if it is better. Most of the cage is Eco Earth anyway.
    For salt water, I have actual hermit crab salt made by HBH. It says to use a tsp per cup of water. Is that enough salt?
    For food, the mix food, I read up on it, and they had a whole write up on how a lot of hermit crab foods are garbage, and how some even use chicken feed! They went to go on and explain all of the good things that are in their food and how it covers all of a hermit crabs dietary needs. SO after reading that, it seemed that the poeple who make this food care about what they make out of it.
    They also seem to like fruit which they get every day dried, and fresh fruit and veggies often.
    If there is another type food made by hermit crab folks that is really good, let me know!
    They also have cuttlebones too.
    All the crabs are fairly new. the first guys I got about 3-4 months ago.
    Yes! They started out as a gift for my 4 year old too! I never knew how interesting they actually were until starting to read about them! They really have grown on me now!
    OUt of all my reading, I have not come across PPS, so I will have to read more about it.
    BTW, I thought I got a private message from someone, but I had a pop up blocker block it. I think I unblocked them now, but I did not get to read the message. Sorry! It should work now.
     
  18. cloie74

    cloie74 "Second Molt, A Success"

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    If your tank is mostly EE then a little Calci sand should be OK. I started out using the salt from HBH also and my crabs never went over to the dis at all and then i switched to Oceanic natural sea salt and there was a line at the dish waiting for baths lol
    It just isnt the proper mix and not strong enough Oceanic is more like sea water. if you want good food selections Check out Vicky's store (She is a moderator here) I got one of the sample packs from her store for $4 and i mix it in with oter things I fed them it is all natural and very reasonably priced! The Hermit Crab Addiction
    What I do is once a week I make a big batch of food, I take a cup of rice, water small piece of raw chicken and chunk of raw ground beef, put it all in a bowl and microwave for 5 min. chop up the beef and chicken and store in a sealed container, then with the sample packs I got from the addiction store i sprinkle a little of this and that and heat a little up for them every night.
    Crabs need protein and variety they get bored with the same food everyday.
    Also here is some info on PPS from another forum. IMPORTANT NEWS!
     
  19. bonechickchris@aol.com

    bonechickchris@aol.com "Preparing For First Molt"

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    OMG! That site has so many different foods! I did not even know where to start! I guess the best way to go is the sampler ones?
    Is there anything in particular there that is a must that I should get that will be good for the hermies? Or something that they really like that she has?

    Does she carry the Oceanic salt too?

    I will have to give them some of my chicken tonight!

    Thanks again for all the help!
     
  20. Mckenny

    Mckenny "PM Jason For Custom Title"

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    Hi and Welcome to HCRU. :)
    There is a wealth of info on the site so if you get some free time, check it out. One of the things to read is a post by Hermez, one of the Moderators, and can be found here I just bought new crabs what do I do now? Just go to Forum and click on General Care, and look for the "sticky" at the top of the page.

    Hermez also has the following about types of salt:
    Not all salts are ok- there is a difference in [salt water tank] salt and Marine salt. You need a MARINE based salt........Oceanic-red sea-I dont like Instant Ocean but some use it......Catalina etc are ok

    Marine salts are more desired for hermit crabs as aquarium salts tend to not even be measureable when used according to directions. Hence, your crabs do not get the salinity that they need, and there is nothing in the salts to stabilize the PH as there is in marine salts.

    Just adding my 2 cents to the good advice offered. :D
     
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