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I'm new, and kinda obsessed :-)

Discussion in 'The Welcome Rock' started by DecAbbersMama, Oct 23, 2009.

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  1. DecAbbersMama

    DecAbbersMama "Preparing For First Molt"

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    Morning everyone :)

    I have a pretty average newbie, my 3 year old got a hermie as a gift from a woman who gave me a great start on them (glass only aquarium, sand substrate, feed them fruits and veggies, sodium free table scraps, don't bother with the store food, don't use tap water, and the temp they needed to be kept at.)

    We currently have 4. (I don't know what they all are, but I know Jaws is a small PP) Seacil was our first, then Jaws (who is currently sick :-( ) Wasabi and Sushi. They are in a 10 gallon with a wire top, tons of shells, huts, climbing toys and the like. The room they are in keeps them around 76 or so degrees depending on the days. I do have a couple questions though -

    I mist them everyday, and dip them before I go to bed. What way should I use to add humidity to the tank? (I heard using sponges full of water breeds bacteria, so I haven't done that)

    Should I get a night glo light for them? If so, what wattage for a 10 gallon?

    Anyone have any other pointers I should know about? The more I am learning about them, the more I love caring for them!

    Jay
     
  2. emmac350

    emmac350 "Fourth Molt In Progress"

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    If you cover the mesh top of the tank with a piece of plexiglass (available at hardware stores like Lowe's) to keep some of the humidity in (you can move it if it's too high of humidity to uncover some of the screen, or cover it more if the humidity is low), you shouldn't have to mist daily.

    Make sure you offer meat (or egg) daily - they love variety, and generally won't eat the same thing unless a week has passed since they last had it. No seasonings at all - it's easy to just cut off a piece before you season (or a few small pieces and freeze the rest for days where you're having pizza or some other unsafe food) and microwave it to cook it before offering it. Also, calcium is a must - if you make hardboiled eggs, save the eggshells and offer those, and cuttlebones sold for birds are great too. I buy a ton of stuff at the Hermit Crab Addiction Store, and try to feed a fruit, cellulose (oak/maple leaves, dandelion leaves, mangrove pieces, strawberry/raspberry leaves, etc.), algae or seaweed, veggie, calcium, nut or grain (unsalted baking nuts are great; mine really love walnuts and pecans and cooked rice and oats), flower petal, and 2 proteins (one that's what we're having, like beef or chicken, and one that's a dried insect or 'sea insect' like shrimp, krill, and plankton that I buy in jars in the fish food section of pet stores). I'm up to 20 molts in a year with 8 crabs (only 2 of whom I've had for a year; 4 I've had for 10 months, and 2 I've had for 5 months), and everybody is getting nice new coloring on their diet, much darker and awesome coloring!

    If you want to get a night glow bulb for them (not necessary given your temps, but if the room gets down to the lower 70s at night, might be a good idea), you shouldn't need more than a 25 watt moon glow bulb. I have a 25 watt that I use in my 30g, but it isn't so much to maintain temperature as I have a separate lamp for heating as well.
     
  3. lovelylivelycrabs

    lovelylivelycrabs "Preparing For First Molt"

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    I'm not sure I'd dip them, especially since they should have a water dish deep enough to submerge themselves. You should consider getting a plexiglass top for your tank (they'll cut one to your specifications at lowes) to keep humidity up. Personally, I don't like sponges, because the one I had in my tank started to mold very quickly. Maybe try a bubbler? (Get an air pump, aquarium tubing, and an airstone, hook the airstone and the pump together with the tubing, and submerge the airstone a little bit under the surface of the water.) I've heard they work really well to keep up humidity... I haven't tried one yet, but am going to when I upgrade my tank. Hermies need a humidity of (I think) 75-80%.

    Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but night-glo bulbs are only necessary when you need heat at night, as it gives off a mild heat but does not disturb their day-night sleep cycle.

    Be very careful with table scraps, their food cannot have any spices or seasoning as that is dangerous for crabs. Try when you're cooking your meal to save a little raw meat (chicken or beef) and microwave it with no seasonings to cook it. I think you'll find they like it a lot more.

    Make sure you have salt water available. Don't make it with table salt, because the iodine could kill them, but try Instant Ocean or Oceanic marine salt. I have instant ocean and my crabs love to just sit in the dish. You're supposed to have a salt water and a fresh water dish where they can submerge themselves (up to their eyestalks) so they can get the proper hydration and salinity in their shells.

    Just to make sure, you're not using painted shells, are you? Painted shells are very bad for the crab because the paint will chip off (especially with sand as the substrate) and they will eat it and they might die. Even if the painted shells say nontoxic, they're nontoxic to humans, not crabs. Make sure you boil all your shells in saltwater before you put them in your tank.

    Look around on the forums and I'm sure you'll gather some great information here. Welcome to HCRU!
    :)
     
  4. lovelylivelycrabs

    lovelylivelycrabs "Preparing For First Molt"

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    Oh hi emma, didn't mean to step all over your toes there! You posted while I was still writing my post haha ;)
     
  5. DecAbbersMama

    DecAbbersMama "Preparing For First Molt"

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    I do know they need calcium (for the time being I have a calcium block and egg shells in there.

    Right now, they are in painted shells because that is how they came to me. I have put unpainted shells in the tank, and am hoping they will change out soon.

    I have to go to lowe's today, so I will have to check into the plexi-glass.
     
  6. lovelylivelycrabs

    lovelylivelycrabs "Preparing For First Molt"

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    My crabs really love their cuttlebone. I know what you mean about the painted shells, none of mine came that way, but I had a choice and I thought the ones in natural shells would be less stressed since they didn't get forced into those shells.
     
  7. cloie74

    cloie74 "Second Molt, A Success"

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    If you cant get plexiglass right away try plastic wrap around the screen.
    Humidit is imperative to healthy crabs, they have modified gills that need to be kept moist or they will slowly suffocate and die.
    Humidity needs to be kept at a constant 75-80% So you will need a humidity gauge to track it.

    Is the sand wet?
    Crabs need it damp so they can dig properly and it also aids in humidity, you can use salt water (A good marine mix like Oceanic Natural sea salt) and mix the sand up in it really good, it should be sand castle consistency but not drippy if you squeeze a handful.
    I agree you should not dip your crabs everyday, I personally only dip my new crabs once as soon as I get them home in luke warm salt water, this helps get the smell of their old home and any bugs they might be carrying, off them.
    Other than that i have 2 bowls of water 1 fresh, one salt (Usin the same mix as for the sand) they should be deep enough so your largest crab can submerge up to its eyes and have things in there so smaller crabs can climb out or they will drown.

    When you get new crabs, even if it is from someone who was taking care of them properly, you should not touch them for 4-6 weeks, let them get used to their new surroundings and sounds and such. I know it is tough with a 3 year old, I have a 4 year old that keeps asking why he cant hold the crabs lol holding them and bothering them will cause stress which in turn will make them start dropping legs, which usually results in death.
    you said you had a sick crab? How is he sick?
     
  8. Hermies4Ever

    Hermies4Ever (Large Crab)

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    Welcome to Hermit Crabs ~R~ Us!!!
     
  9. DecAbbersMama

    DecAbbersMama "Preparing For First Molt"

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    Well, I have had Jaws for 2 months (abouts). He has always been healthy, happy and active. Yesterday morning he dropped a leg and has since been lethargic and not himself. I have him in ISO and tonight was the first time I saw him come out of his shell to eat. He has no balance and it seems almost every time he comes out on an even surface he tips over.
     
  10. emmac350

    emmac350 "Fourth Molt In Progress"

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    It takes crabs that lose legs a little while to learn how to walk and such. They have to learn to walk in a different way, and it does take some time. What's funny is after they learn how to get around without it, they have to re-learn how to walk once they molt and regenerate the leg.
     
  11. Hermies4Ever

    Hermies4Ever (Large Crab)

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    What's Lowe's???;););)

     
  12. cococrisp

    cococrisp "PM Jason For Custom Title"

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    You should also pick up a humidity guage. The humidity should be around 70-80% but the average household is around 50%. In the winter it can get even lower causing Their gills to dry out and it basically suffocates them. You can mist around their tank with declorinated water and that will bring up the humidity.
     
  13. Hermies4Ever

    Hermies4Ever (Large Crab)

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    But too much humidity can cause substrate/objects to mold!!!
     
  14. cococrisp

    cococrisp "PM Jason For Custom Title"

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    And is just as harmful.
     
  15. Hermies4Ever

    Hermies4Ever (Large Crab)

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    EE, (Eco Earth) I have to admit (even though I use it, and it is awesome) molds the fastest. . .
     
  16. cococrisp

    cococrisp "PM Jason For Custom Title"

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    I've never had it mold on me. I've had playsand mold in an ISO w/ molter. NOT FUN! but never EE.
     
  17. Hermies4Ever

    Hermies4Ever (Large Crab)

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    It's never molded on me, either, but I have heard people admit that it molds faster than any other substrate.
     
  18. cloie74

    cloie74 "Second Molt, A Success"

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    EE won't mold if it is mixed with a high concentration salt water before use, and if you mist your tank you use salt water instead of fresh, When you are mixing salt water to prepare things for the tank like soaking them you should double the salt, that is what prevents the mold.
     
  19. Hermies4Ever

    Hermies4Ever (Large Crab)

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    How long have you been crabbing? Have you ever had hermit crabs before?
     
  20. lovelylivelycrabs

    lovelylivelycrabs "Preparing For First Molt"

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    Lowes is like Home Depot, it's a big home improvement store.:)
     
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