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Hi I am a newbie...some questions.

Discussion in 'The Welcome Rock' started by LSHermies, Jan 1, 2008.

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  1. LSHermies

    LSHermies (Micro Crab)

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    We have what I believe to be 6 PP. Some are lighter than the others but have blueish/purple to their pincher.
    I cared for a hermit crab while I worked at a daycare for over a year 16 years ago. We cared for him while his mom lived at her parents and did not have room. Poor guy only had his tank, sand and cotton and dried shrimp. I do not know how he lived now that I have done some research.

    We started with crabs on Dec 8th. We had 4 die on us with in a day or so. We were able to return them and our crabbies seem to be doing well. 4 have changed from their awful painted shells.

    I have one that changed several times a day for 2 weeks. He was making me crazy. I feared he might die. Our crabs are all about the same size, we have about 10 shells for them. I think they all have decided to stay in the shells now. One that has not changed keeps checking the shells out but I he is pretty small and in one of those oblong type openings. I can not find one here small enough for him. I purchased some on-line yesterday. I hope I got the right size.

    My kids are loving them. I am quite addicted...lol So far I know 3 are males..the ones I have seen switch. Everyone gets along great.
    I have sand in my tank. I had eco and sand mix but it smelt musty and got rid of it. I prefer the sand. I did put a container with the eco earth and they are not interested. I might use that as a pool for them instead.

    I feed them fresh fruits and veggies, honey and baby foods...and a home made food. My home made food consists of oats, rice, shrimp, krill, spirulina, cuttlebone, and sea salt all blended in my husbands coffee grinder...lol
    They seem to be spoiled and only eat things that are soft or ground into a powder.
    What can I give them to bring out their color? Some are so strawberry red and others are so pale almost look like E's.
    I know I have one ready to molt (the constant shell changer) he had the molting sacks full...not sure what they are called. Should I isolate him. He has not buried down.
    Sorry that got kind of long...
     
  2. Yadokari

    Yadokari (Small Crab)

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    Aside from feeding your crabs healthy foods, which you already are, colors should come out. It won't be instant and will take a lot of time and many molts. I've heard many people saying their crab's color changes after molting. Usually in a brighter and more vibrant tint to it. I don't pay attention when my crabs molt, they just do it whenever they want to in their tank and surface whenever they're done so I don't really notice any obvious color changes. However, I've had some small crabs (their shell's size is about a half dollar) whom don't show very vibrant colorings. I've had him for over a year now so I'm sure he has molted at least once. It's kind of just pale pink... The hind leg on the right seems to be a very nice orange though. Yours is probably the same? In any case, I don't think there's a "100% guaranteed" procedure/feeds you can give your crab to improve its color. The most you can do is feed it lots of fresh fruits/veggies/meats and the rest is up to the crabs. You can try feeding them carrots. I hear that's what many strawberry hermit crab owners feed their straws to keep their color. Whether or not that's true, I can't say for sure. Worth a shot though!

    Next, ISO or not? It depends on the crab and the owner. What size is your tank? Does it have enough substrate in the tank to bury in it? Are there any aggressive crabs living with him/her? If your crab looks fine and his roomies are peaceful, then you don't have to remove him from the tank. He can molt in there and be out with no problem. Just make sure you have plenty of extra shells available. Why? Because if your molting crab has a shell other crabs want, once it pops out of its molt, your other crabs may attack it and WILL kill your molter for the shell. After molting, a crab's exo won't be hard enough to defend itself just yet so it will still be kind of soft, therefore, making it vulnerable to attacks. Molting can also be stressful to a crab, so try not to bother it. This may be why many crab keepers ISO their hermies; to avoid conflict/unnecessary stress.
    Personally, I don't ISO my crabs. I have the tank and stuff to make an ISO tank but I don't really bother doing it. I just make sure there's plenty of room and shells for everyone, that's the key in my experience. Also, I just don't feel it's necessary with my crabs and so far, I've had no problems with it. A lot of people say it's just "luck", I don't really think so though;)

    Extras!

    By the way, where in CA are you? I live in CA too! And painted shells are so awful looking. I don't understand why sellers don't just use nice looking natural shells. It's not that expensive and I think it looks better. Who the hell wants Spiderman or Tommy from Rugrats on their hermit crab's shell? Really now...
    I hate how they target impulse buyers and children :(
     
  3. LSHermies

    LSHermies (Micro Crab)

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    Funny you mention carrots. I fed them carrots the other day and I swear my pale guy is now a light salmon color..lol Or he is just getting some color. I have noticed they are getting a lot of color all of a sudden. Some are getting a black color to them. They also look huge!

    I actually found some appropriate shells for my one at Walmart but he shows no interest. After what I have read and what I saw on one of my painted crabbies shells I want my 2 out. My one crabs shell looked like the paint was eating at the shell. It was so thin and just ew..

    Well my one crab that I think needs to molt dug down yesterday and another crab went over and dug him up. I put him in another tank but he seemed very upset to be alone in there. He did not dig down he just sat. My son freaked out too. I put him back with his friends and he is doing ok...went in ate and climbed around. He has not dug under again.

    Is it ok to change the tank around often? I keep adding to the tank and changing things up a bit. I think I am finally happy with my tank. I might add a plant but I have not found one I like yet.

    My substrate is pretty deep now...about one third of the 10 gal. I found that when I scoop it out we loose a bit so I kind of over filled...I figure it will not last that long over full...lol My guys poop a lot! I can not believe it.

    I have noticed that since one of my crabs changed shells he is the boss. He has picked a spot that no one is allowed to be in...just where the one crab burried himself. The crabs seem to like this spot. Right where the cord is to the heat rock.

    Here is a pic of my crabitat. It has changed a lot in the past few weeks...lol
     

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  4. LSHermies

    LSHermies (Micro Crab)

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    Oh ya I am in Orange County. There is not a whole lot of places to buy around here. We went to PetCo. Had 4 die on us right away. Our group is doing well now. The closest reptile shop is about an hour away. It use to be right near us but it moved to Chino. We do have a great shell shop around the beach here.
     
  5. HermitPaws

    HermitPaws "Fourth Molt, A Success"

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    Heat rock!!!! you suoldn't have a heat rock in the tank!!! they could get burned or worse.
     
  6. LSHermies

    LSHermies (Micro Crab)

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    heating pad thing...how to you keep your tank warm? I have a rock too but it is actually a pad. What am I suppose to have? Help. Tanks stays at 80, sand feels luke warm.
     
  7. LSHermies

    LSHermies (Micro Crab)

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    :rolleyes:Oh well no response.
    I am not one for someone to say that I am doing something wrong and then not to suggest what they use. Does not seem friendly to a newbie.
    I have been reading here for a while and thought this place to be helpful.

    These are my thoughts.... A light is out of the question because my son likes to lift the lid and view the crabs. He is 4. The low watt bulbs are covered by a plastic device, I use florescent blubs that are not really hot...so to have a light bulb that is special for heating would be dangerous.
    I do not want a danger to my crabs...the pad was not heating very well under the tank so I put it in. It has been in the tank for weeks and the tank seems fine. If I put a larger one under the tank do you think it will work? I have yet to find one that has a thermostat to control the temperature. Anyone know where I can purchase one? Or what they use for a 10 gallon to heat their tanks?
    Thanks
    Joyce
     
  8. keris hermies

    keris hermies "Third Molt In Progress"

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    Welcome! I think what Hermitpaws was trying to telling you is that you should'nt have a heat rock in there b/c it will hurt your hermies,if you want your tank to be warm you should buy this... Zoo Med Hermit Crab Heater at PETCO put it underneath the tank would prolly be the best but,not on the inside of the tank. If you do go out & buy that heater make sure your hermies don't stay on the side were you put the heater and that they are active on both sides of your tank. It could possibly burn/hurt them but,since you have all that sand Idt you would have to worry about that too much. :D Btw,your tank set up is cute!
    Hope it helps!
     
  9. LSHermies

    LSHermies (Micro Crab)

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    Thank you I will go check that one out. :)
     
  10. Yadokari

    Yadokari (Small Crab)

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    Constantly changing your tank is NOT okay if if you have new crabs trying to settle in. Also, if you have molters in the tank, then I don't suggest you do much changing. Just try not to knock them around too much or at all, if possible, when you change the tank. It may stress them out.
     
  11. LSHermies

    LSHermies (Micro Crab)

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    I figured as much. I am done changing things. Just got the crabs before the proper set up. I am hoping the new heater works. I do not think I have any ready to molt. They all have clear eyes. Not in V form. THe one does have bags, that I saw when he changed shells. That is why I think he is preparing and I wanted to get the proper set up.
     
  12. Hildegarde

    Hildegarde "Preparing For Third Molt"

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    You can also put the UTH (Under Tank Heater) on the side of the tank. It's safer than underneath but doesn't warm the tank as much.

    If you put the heater under the tank you should raise the tank around 1/4' to 1/2" for circulation. You should also monitor the temp of the substrate. You can do this with the type of probe you use for a roast. I like to keep mine @ 80* to 82*. I use a rheostat to adjust the temperature.
     
  13. vckums

    vckums Moderator

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    That's a nice looking 10g! When I had a 10g I didnt need reptile lights, the reg auarium bulbs heated it perfectly. So you are ok with those. The problem with UTH's are that if its off, and a crab dug under to molt and the UTH was turned on there's a chance he could get burned.

    Keep us updated on the crabs! Nice to have you on HCRU
     
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