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I just bought new crabs what do I do now?

Discussion in 'General questions about care.' started by HERMEZ, Aug 23, 2008.

  1. HERMEZ

    HERMEZ Moderator

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    Supplies:
    --Get the biggest tank that space allows - this is a serious addiction :) - then get a glass lid to fit it
    --food dish (I collect these, a mini addiction within the addiction)
    --2 water dishes big enough for your biggest hermie to submerge in (one for dechlor salt and one for dechlor fresh)
    --sand or compressed coconut bedding (do NOT use Bed-a-Beast) hermie needs enough sand to be 2x his height (I like to go even higher) and it should be moist to build a cave (but leave that to them)
    --hermies love to climb so get some fishing net , ladders and choya logs or whatever you can imagine. Keep metal and painted items out of your tank as its not good for hermie.
    --Hermies love to hide and they will want to hide for awhile when you first get them so they need huts or logs (no pine) to scurry under. You are a big scary predator until they get to know you.
    --Gauges you need a temp and humidity gauge about 2in above your sand level
    --extra shells that "fit" hermie so you will need to measure their BP (big pincher) to get an idea of size- generally have 3 per crab but when you have 50+ that gets crazy (oops not that many right away LOL)
    Extras that hermies like and you can add anytime are nets/hammocks-coral-air bubbler--trays-turtle docks--vines etc

    Lighting is essential crabs need day/night cycles 12/12- reptile hoods that carry uvb/uva rays are very helpful. Flukers hood is my very favorite but there are many more types out there. Clamp ons can work but to me have to be monitored more and can slip off sometimes but are great in a pinch (pun not intended--but works!) Lights should be a 5.0 (long bulbs) and up for best results - the night bulbs are called moon glos or something similar they do not disturb the nocturnal process of the crab....and provide warmth. Day glo etc is the name for day ones in smaller hoods. Lights are expensive BUT you can get them much cheaper at places like petguys.com// petdiscounters etc so shop around!

    Foods: AH let your mind go wild but NOT in the commercial food section of the pet store!! They carry preservatives that are not good for hermie so you can do your own thing by buying organic and or watching labels.
    Vicki (vckums) and Jedi-Sena have foods available- there are other hermie kitchens that sell their products too so look around and ask! But they need proteins (hard boiled eggs-shrimps-meat with no salt/seasonings-crickets-mealworms etc)
    Fruit they love a rotted/stinky piece of fruit but so do bugs so feed and remove next day right away- join this site Welcome To Epicurean Hermit! - Index and you have access to the safe food list which took years and trials to complie and is a wonderful place to share receipes!
    Fiber well its good for you and its good for them--all kinds of flowers/barks/woods hermie likes to eat...the list goes on

    still working here........

    ****************************************************************
    You should always have on hand 2x salt water---when you get a new crab you should rinse the crab off with dechlor water to get the sand/ee off. Then you submerge the crab fully upside down in the 2x salt water.........they will either freeze up and hardly move or they will flip over and scramble to get out- you want to make sure the water gets way back in their shell and that they stay covered. When they are in the upside down position and they come out the water rushes to the back of the shell.........sometimes I will keep flipping them over as one time does not always work. Now some crabs may never come out- this can be a problem. You need to maybe do multiple baths or try the next day.
    I cant stress enough how important it is to check for mites. They will be so very very sneaky :mad: - I have had a crab bathed several times and still have mites - the more you listen to this advice the better off you and crabby will be.

    When the crab is now done the 5 minutes submerge you take him and put in him some fresh dechlor water- on the inital rinse bath I will sometimes add stress coat I usually wait to rinse the crab until I see what I find in the salty bath-

    Very carefully watch the water (try to look at the top where you can see it like a mirror). Make the water get very still........get a flashlight if you can. The mites will either be swimming around or may even be dead. If alive carefully stick a toothpick in the water near them-they will hop on trying to save themselves. Hold up to a light and study what they look like then smash the heck out of the varmit :D. Mites come in all colors- white-grey-red-black-brown etc. They will have 8 legs- now my eyes are bad being an old person here but even the best eyes can sometimes have trouble seeing them. When in doubt you can do another bath, The salt "generally" makes them release from the crab- you can get a stubborn mite- I now will give repeated salt baths if I find mites in the first bath- so I will start fresh all over again until I see no more- THEN you take some fresh dechlor water and if you saw mites add some stress coat. The stress coat will smother any mites that may be left on and or the eggs. This is the only time you can use stress coat.

    Now you have to wait 3-5 days and ISO the new crab. Then repeat the process, mite eggs take that long to hatch. If you feel good about the baths at this point you can offer clean substrate (if mites were found I only offer an inch of sand as it will need to be discarded) with a fresh clean tank and offer good foods etc for a week or two before adding to your main tank. I even give another bath at this point to be sure or if crab is not acting right I have been surprised at this stage ALSO!!!

    If the 2nd batch (3-5 days later) of baths show mites you have to repeat everything again.

    By doing this even though its a pain you will definately achieve a mite free crab and not harm your established colony. Some crabs may be so hurt by the mites they may not make it.

    The baths can be stressful but a mite infested crab will become very sick and cranky.

    People that just add new crabs after a quick dip in water are setting themselves up for a real headache someday. Nobody can ever be lucky enough to not meet up with a mite or two in crab keeping.

    ISO gives the crab a chance to de-stress - gain strength and will give YOU a chance to see if the crab has bugs/viruses and observe their behaviour- make sure they are in a quiet place with proper day-night cycles.

    As a matter of personal choice some people believe to gradually increase temps/humidity- I only do that with very bad cases.....I really dont have too many issues.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2008
  2. WizKidsMom

    WizKidsMom "Preparing For Third Molt"

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    It should be added that your hermies may not have mites or other 'bugs'. The only way to find out is to give the Mite Check Bath. :D
     
  3. Frogs_n_Flowers

    Frogs_n_Flowers "Preparing For First Molt"

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    Hey now I know that isn't all the info you can provide:D I myself would like a list of necessary foods to feed them while in ISO, (the ones they need since in most cases they are fed commercial foods) I'm sure it's listed somewhere here, but it is hard to find reading through all of these posts. (I've tried looking) Thanks I'm not trying to be a pain, I'm sure many more would like that useful info also....:)
     
  4. HERMEZ

    HERMEZ Moderator

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    The whole point was to check new crabs for mites and how to handle if they have them......

    Foods good point Frogs-I had typed this all out and was timed out so I was not a happy camper :eek: when I had to re-do it

    I will add to it later was also thinking of a check point for supplies too. I will add that also- Thanks
     
  5. Frogs_n_Flowers

    Frogs_n_Flowers "Preparing For First Molt"

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    Awesome, this will be a great starting point for everyone who needs to learn about and how to care for new crabbies. Hermez your the best! Sorry you timed out that can be aggravating. Thanks again, it is much appreciated as I really don't enjoy searching for hours for all the info I am looking for. :)
     
  6. Maddy

    Maddy "Never Molted"

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    This is great info! :D
     
  7. Frogs_n_Flowers

    Frogs_n_Flowers "Preparing For First Molt"

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    I so am printing this to hang on my wall...LOL!! Thanks Hermez!
     
  8. HERMEZ

    HERMEZ Moderator

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    I was still working on it- I am having a brain lapse- what else do you want in here? help me :)
     
  9. Frogs_n_Flowers

    Frogs_n_Flowers "Preparing For First Molt"

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    uh....um....thinking...um...I tell ya what when I think of something I will surely let you know, as of now I think his pretty much covers it. Can anybody else chime in here? :)
     
  10. keligirl

    keligirl Hi, I'm New Here!

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    thanks so much for this~!
     
  11. shell.shocked

    shell.shocked Hi, I'm New Here!

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    just what i needed!! so let me get this straight: TWO LARGE DISHES in the crabitat. one for drinking, one salt water for occasional dips? what if he drinks the salt watered one though! and is it really necessary to have both??
     
  12. HERMEZ

    HERMEZ Moderator

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    They need both - they wont just drink salt water- please provide them- you only have to be as large as your largest crab needs to get fully in the dish :)
     
  13. shell.shocked

    shell.shocked Hi, I'm New Here!

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    ohh okay HERMEZ. and about the salt water bath.. how often should i do that? & is that the same is misting? or should i just leave the salt baths up to them bekuz of the dish in the crabitat?
    Thanks HERMEZ !!
     
  14. HERMEZ

    HERMEZ Moderator

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    No salt baths only for mites (read again the sticky) its very important but you need to do it the first time you get them and then check and take it accordingly to the instructions :)
    My post doesnt talk about misting does it? I dont mist
     
  15. calvin cox

    calvin cox Hi, I'm New Here!

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    thanks for this info, it will help Alot!!
     
  16. HERMEZ

    HERMEZ Moderator

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    your welcome! :D
     
  17. Laughs O Lot

    Laughs O Lot (JUMBO CRAB)

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    Thanks! :D This thread is really helpful!
     
  18. cococrisp

    cococrisp "PM Jason For Custom Title"

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    Oh My Gosh! You are sooo right on the tank thing and I have over 10 food dishes sitting around. I don't know what to do with them all. I guess wen I get my new tank I'll put many different places that they can eat. Like, I can have one veggie and another fruit...
     
  19. Laughs O Lot

    Laughs O Lot (JUMBO CRAB)

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    Wow, ten! :O That's a good idea! With an 120 gallon tank it's not unlikely your hermit crabs will get lost looking for the food! :p
     
  20. cococrisp

    cococrisp "PM Jason For Custom Title"

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    I always think of this skinny little tank that's 30 feet long and 3 inches deep and on one side I put the food and the other I put the water and how the little crabs would race back and forth... Poor guy. And then my mom said that they would really race if I fed them chilli peppers.:( :eek: :eek: It all came out of the idea to ask a person on craigslist the dimensions of their tank before we bought it... just in case.:D
     

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