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intro and questions

Discussion in 'The Welcome Rock' started by karjo, Dec 6, 2011.

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  1. karjo

    karjo Hi, I'm New Here!

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    Hi! I'm new here and don't actually have any crabs yet. I've been lurking and reading for a while. A friend recently gave me a 55-gallon tank, and I've been planning to set it up with land hermit crabs. My boys are excited about doing this but they're 6 and almost 8 so I plan on being the main caretaker. I was hoping to work on the habitat and then maybe pick out crabs with them over their holiday break from school.

    There is tons of info on this site! It is great!

    I was wondering if anyone could give some ideas about how to go about setting up my habitat. I guess what I am wondering mostly is sequence. I read somewhere on here that you should bathe new crabs for mites and only offer an inch of substrate (I think?) if you find mites. I had originally planned on just getting a 10-gallon tank but was then given this 55-gallon, so this is my only tank. So, I guess what I am asking is, would it be adequate to put an inch of substrate in, get the temps and humidity gauges and everything up and running, and then get the crabs, check for mites, and then add to the substrate if they are clean? Should I only offer hideys that are easily sterilized? How many crabs should we get at one time? I'd be glad for any advice.

    I also wondered about the lighting. The tank is nice and clean but was previously used for fish so came with a hood and lights for that. How should I modify that for crabs? Thanks in advance for your advice!
     
  2. scoobdoo

    scoobdoo "PM Jason For Custom Title"

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    you should get a cheap or freebie 5 or 10 gallon for an isolation tank, and you need play sand not cali sand that they sell in the pet store or eco earth. have this all set up before you bring them home. you need to put them iso first and yes i would look at the crabs really well to before you buy them to, look for ones that come out at you like i will pinch your nose off and when you set them down they want to take off, look at them real close do you see anything on them? [mites] i bathed my crabs in their salt water when i got them home. my thinking is why put your crabs in a 55 gallon tank if you don't know if they have mites or not, if they do you'll end up having to clean out the whole thing! i have a 55 gal tank i had infestion of ants and bugs/ fruit flys all in 4 months times and had to clean it all out 2 times, it was a pain! you're going to need it the iso anyway for when you get more crabs later or get a sick one or a molter comes up and the others are picking on him. hope i helped ya we all do hands off method to, just feed and water them for a month no play or handle them they need to destress.
     
  3. karjo

    karjo Hi, I'm New Here!

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    Thanks for the info and help! I will definitely look at doing that...would save a lot of time and trouble in the long run! I really appreciate all the help!
     
  4. timebandit

    timebandit (Large Crab)

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    Scoobdoo is correct. You also need the sand in the iso deep enough for them to molt if they need to. Many times when someone gets a new crab the first thing they want to do is bury for molting or just to destress. It needs to be deep enough for them to feel comfortable. Sand is cheep and 10 gal iso tank is small so it wont be hard to have 3 in. or so of sand.
     
  5. karjo

    karjo Hi, I'm New Here!

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    Thanks! I will do that! Have another question...how many crabs would you recommend getting at a time then? Since they will need to first spend time in the smaller iso tank but then will be able to move to the 55-gallon. I guess I'm looking at how many we should get on the first trip, and then how many we could ultimately have in there. I know it depends on size so am looking for ballpark guidelines. My kids are busy negotiating numbers and making plans, and I want to make sure that what I agree to is actually doable and good for the crabs. :twirl:
     
  6. scoobdoo

    scoobdoo "PM Jason For Custom Title"

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    depends on the size of the crabs you plan on getting, if you are getting smalls like nickle to quarter size you could prob fit 4or 5 in a 10 gal tank, i wouldn't go anymore, they need room to roam and dig around, larger the crab the fewer you want in a small tank, being over crowded can stress them to. then wait a month put them in the big tank if they are fine then go get some more but remember they do grow! eventually you will have to split them up into 2 tanks if you have too many crabs in one tank and they start getting to big. my 55 gal i have 3 in it but its cause a few died. i have one large and 2 med / large. don't plan on getting any more, they have lots of floor room and things to climb.
     
  7. timebandit

    timebandit (Large Crab)

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    If it was me I'd say no more than four at a time and can go to 8. I would'nt put 8 crabs in a 10gal iso tank so I would buy 4 at a time.
     
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