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HELP please! Molting problem

Discussion in 'Emergency Care - 911.' started by acaciadragon, Sep 9, 2007.

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  1. acaciadragon

    acaciadragon Hi, I'm New Here!

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    I am new to hermit crabs and last night my son was screaming that his hermit crab was out of his shell and just laying there. Well, I just assumed he was dead and we were all terribly sad. I put him outside in the woods. My son was very attached to him and wanted to keep his shell and put it up somewhere so I went to wash the shell out and he was in there!!!!! All white (in color) A HUGE shock to us. It was molt I put out in the woods, not his body as I had thought. I have now read that they are supposed to eat there molt but I can't find it... will he be ok? PLEASE let me know anything I can do.
     
  2. Lightning Yoshi

    Lightning Yoshi (Micro Crab)

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    somtimes ive read that they dont have to eat there shell like the owner finds the skin and throws it out and they are just fine please correct me if im wrong. i think that they dont have to eat it.
     
  3. Mallie

    Mallie "Preparing For First Molt"

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    The reason they eat it is becuase it is an incredible source of neutrients.


    They dont HAVE to eat it, but you need to supply LOTS of calcium to him. Keep him calm and quiet.

    Also, if you could please fill out :

    How long have you had the crab(s) in question?

    Do you know what species they are?

    Did you/Do you isolate new crabs?

    Tank Size:

    Lid Type:

    Placement of tank in your home:

    Substrate Used (moist or dry & depth):

    Type of Gauges: Strip/Analog/Digital

    Did you test your humidity gauge for accuracy?

    Placement of Gauges:

    Temperature and Humidity levels in your tank: Degrees %

    Heating Source (if UTH how much of the tank does it cover and how much substrate is over it):

    Lighting Source (type bulbs & wattage):

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

    Is there any metal in your tank?

    What types of climbing things/toys do you have in your tank?

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

    If you use dechlorinating drops-which kind?

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

    Do you provide dishes for water or just sponges?

    How many extra shells do you have for each crab?

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

    Do you bathe your crabs? If yes, how often and what do you use to bathe them in?

    Do you only handle your crabs with clean hands?

    How often do you handle them?

    Have they been exposed to toxins such as chemical/cleaning fumes, perfume, spray deodorant, etc?

    Do you allow your crabs to exercise outside the tank?

    What types of foods do you feed?

    What do you use as a calcium supplement?


    If you can't answer all of them, answer as many quetions as truthfully as you can so we can get started!
     
  4. acaciadragon

    acaciadragon Hi, I'm New Here!

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    Thank you.. I really hope that you are right. My son is SOOO attached to this crab. I had no idea that the molt would look so much like the crab itself OR that they ate it. I dug a hole in his sand, reburied him (with an air tunnel) and put a bunch of food with a reptile calcium suppliment over it. He still seems fine and appears to be eating the food. I can't actually see him eat but he has been very active with his legs but not going anywhere. My son is more attached to his hermie then he is to any of our other pets by far!
     
  5. Mallie

    Mallie "Preparing For First Molt"

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    If you fill out the above post then we can get a better idea of how to get this crab as healthy as possible, and fast.
     
  6. acaciadragon

    acaciadragon Hi, I'm New Here!

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    Reply to Mallie: We have had him about 3 months, don't know the species (purplish/red color normally), 10g glass tank w/ about 4" of sand and a normal fish aquarium lid w/ light, Don't have a humidity guage yet but we mist the cage 3 times daily, he has 2 reptile bowls filled with water and a sponge in each of them. He has 6 extra shells, a coco hut, a food dish shell, we feed him commercial hermie food, use bottled (spring) water, bath him twice a week, he has not been exposed to any toxins. I don't supply salt water (I didn't read about that until today) and I didn't supply extra calcium until today (powdered reptile calcium) He is probably handled too much.. My son has him out of the cage for at LEAST 3-4 hours a day but he (the crab-Herbie) seems to enjoy it.. he is extremy active.
     
  7. Mallie

    Mallie "Preparing For First Molt"

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    Sounds good. Is he your only hermie? Do you have a temp guage?

    he should be just fine on the surface- maybe put him under a hut or something.

    I'd tell your son to leave him be for a few days. I'm sure it is probably asking alot, but reassure him that it is for the best for your crab.

    He shouldn't get him out to play until he has restored some/most of his color. That is my policy at least, maybe others have some better insight.


    You should get salt water asap and probably buy him a new friend.

    Also, I don't really bathe my crabbies, but if you are going to, it's probably best done in salt water.
     
  8. acaciadragon

    acaciadragon Hi, I'm New Here!

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    Thanks for your help. No, he doesn't have a temp. guage yet either but he is right next to the thermostat in our house. Temperature has been right at 80. I have just ordered a lot more supplies for him (an undertank heater, temp and humidity guages and a few more things) what is the best way to do the salt water? Do I have to get salt from a pet shop or will the grocery store carry the right kind? I don't have a pet shop anywhere around me. Yes, he is our only hermie and I know that is not good. I didn't know that when I bought him on vacation. My sons birthday is next month (he'll be 10) and he wants a pal for Herbie really bad for his birthday so I am going to wait till then. He has been alone for several months now so I'm sure another few weeks won't hurt him. I'm trying to look for a place to order one online or else make a long trip to the pet shop.
    Yes, my son completly understands to leave him alone right now and give him a break. He is ok with that even though he loves to have him out and misses him alot. He is just so happy that he is still alive after thinking he was dead. He sobbed for about an hour until I rinsed the shell out and realized he was alive still. I think that was about the happiest time of his life when he found out Herbie was alive and fine!
     
  9. Mallie

    Mallie "Preparing For First Molt"

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    Well, you might want to take that trip to the pet store.

    Ordering crabbies is really a bad idea, they are angry and stressed and can often be sick.

    I use Instant Ocean. I just bought a gallon of fresh water and mixed it in the jug. I am sure you can buy it in various places around the net.
     
  10. Hildegarde

    Hildegarde "Preparing For Third Molt"

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    Just a few other food suggestions. For calcium crushed oyster shell. You also can grate cuttlebone (bird section of store) and crush up some egg shells-bake them first for a little while.

    Since he doesn't have his exo, you can give him shrimp exo. And some honey would help, Good luck!
     
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