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Is he dead?

Discussion in 'Emergency Care - 911.' started by Nan05, Apr 3, 2008.

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  1. Nan05

    Nan05 Hi, I'm New Here!

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    I am a new crab owner. My first crab, a straw, died about a week ago, during his molt, and now I think my second crab is dead (don't know what kind he is). He left his shell a couple days ago and shed his exo. He hung around near the exo and shells for a day, then spent the next 24 hours in his salt water dish. I lifted him out of the water with a shell that he was partly in and kept a sponge next to him. In the morning he had gone over to another part of the substrate and was starting to look weak. I've kept him warm and dark. I went out for a couple of hours and when I got back my humidity had gotten low (65%). He looks lifeless now and no longer soft. I've never made it through a molt, so I don't know if this rigidity is death or a new exo forming, though I know that 65% humidity was a bad thing. Here are the details from the template.

    How long have you had the crab(s) in question? About 3 weeks

    Do you know what species they are? No

    Did you/Do you isolate new crabs? Yes

    Tank Size: 10 G

    Lid Type: Mesh mostly covered with books

    Placement of tank in your home: On dresser along interior wall

    Substrate Used (moist or dry & depth): 1 1/2 inches of playsand covered by 1 inch or EE on UTH side. 2-3 inches of EE on non-UTH side.

    Type of Gauges: Strip/Analog/Digital: Analog

    Did you test your humidity gauge for accuracy? Yes

    Placement of Gauges: Near bottom, center

    Temperature and Humidity levels in your tank: 72 Degrees, usually 70-80%
    Heating Source (if UTH how much of the tank does it cover and how much substrate is over it): Zoo med UTH, covers about 4X6, about 2 1/2 inches of substrate over

    Lighting Source (type bulbs & wattage): 15W incandescent moonglow (just started using because thought tank was too cool before)

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

    Is there any metal in your tank? no

    What types of climbing things/toys do you have in your tank? climbing background, cork and choya wood

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

    If you use dechlorinating drops-which kind? Stress coat with aloe (I just found out that's wrong to use for drinking)

    Do your provide fresh and salt water? If yes, what type of salt mix do you use? Yes, Instant Ocean (I changed from API about 4 days ago after I learned that it was the wrong kind of salt)

    Do you provide dishes for water or just sponges? Usually both, sometimes no sponge when humidity is high

    How many extra shells do you have for each crab? 4

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

    Do you bathe your crabs? If yes, how often and what do you use to bathe them in? Very rarely, and I used dechlorinated tap water

    Do you only handle your crabs with clean hands? Yes

    How often do you handle them? Very rarely recently, every couple of days when they were healthy

    Have they been exposed to toxins such as chemical/cleaning fumes, perfume, spray deodorant, etc? No

    Do you allow your crabs to exercise outside the tank? Yes, but not recently because of stressed behavior and molting

    What types of foods do you feed? Variety of fruits (no citrus) and vegetables, meat, poultry, fish, nuts

    What do you use as a calcium supplement? boiled eggshell, cuttlebone, honey
     
  2. Nan05

    Nan05 Hi, I'm New Here!

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    Sorry, I forgot to mention that I do feed commercial food also, mostly FMR land hermit crab food, T-Rex crab island hermit crab food and HBH crab and lobster bites.
     
  3. alli'smommy

    alli'smommy "Preparing For Third Molt"

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    Okay, I don't know if your crab is dead or hardening. Does he smell like dead fish? If/when he dies, he'll smell very bad!
    I think Instant Ocean is bad. I use API salt. It's not "the best", but it is okay. Don't ever use a dechlorinator with any kind of stress coat or anything added to it. Just a straight dechlorinator! Commercial food is a "no-no" also! I get my food from Vckums' online store. She's very reasonable and generous! However, you can pretty much feed your crabs whatever you eat-with no seasonings, of course! Check out the safe and non-safe food lists. Other than that, I can't think of anything else that should be changed or done differently! I wish I could explain why you are having trouble. I'm sure others will have some insight into your problem! Good luck and keep us posted!
     
  4. Hildegarde

    Hildegarde "Preparing For Third Molt"

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    Gotta get to work, but one thing I did notice. If I'm understanding you right, your substrate is about 2 1/2" deep. Substrate should be at least twice as deep than the height (includes shell) of your largest crab. But although my largest crab in one of the tanks is about 1 1/2", my substrate is graded from 4" on one side up to up to 7" on the other. Not having deep enough substrate can make it difficult for your crabs to moult properly.


    I and many other experience crabbers, do use Instant Ocean. Although I find it doesn't dissolve is the water as much as I would like, it's all my pet store carries and the difference to me between Instant Ocean and other brands isn't great enough for
    the added expense of ordering it online.

    As for food, most crabbers are shying away from commercial foods because they often contain preservatives that crabbers believe aren't good for the long-term health of their crabs. Although commercial food producers have recently starting to modify the ingredients in some of their formulas. There are a number of reputable online sellers, all of whom are also members of various sites. These are a few of the reputable sources which all sell excellent products:

    The Happy Hermit
    Elsshells
    The Crabbage Patch
    And the Epicurean food site has an extensive list (4 pages long!) of safe foods along with a number of recipes.

    And to still be on the safe side, I would match their ingredients to the ones on the Epicurean site to ensure their products don't contain anything that's not on the Epicurean list.

    Good Luck!
     
  5. HERMEZ

    HERMEZ Moderator

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    Your loss of crab(s) may have been to stress or the mistakes in your set-up- its ok we have all been there- just get the tank right like Alli and Hilde said and your on your way- we will all experience unexplained deaths at some point- part of the hobby-

    I do not endorse Instant Ocean- I answered your other post on that :)
     
  6. krackersmom2

    krackersmom2 (Large Crab)

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    South TX (near the beach)
    Check out the Hermit Crab Addiction store as well....
     
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