1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Isolation/Molting conundrum.

Discussion in 'Isolation (ISO).' started by Kaelink, Mar 5, 2008.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Kaelink

    Kaelink "Never Molted"

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2008
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Murray, KY
    I've been looking for a solution to this problem for the past couple of weeks to no avail.
    Finally, I stumbled on this website and noticed that the forum happened to be very active and seemed to have a good deal of friendly people on it, so I wanted to pose my situation. ^_^

    I own 3 PPs, all purchased from PetSmart.
    I had two housed in an average 10-gallon tank (from Wal-Mart) for almost a year. They're fine. They haven't molted once, and the largest (Comrade) has only changed shells once since I got him. I, at first, thought that I was not taking care of them well enough because they didn't molt/didn't change shells very often, though I took every necessary precaution and fed them very well (They're fond of whole wheat toast). My other PP, bought about the same time as Comrade is Rex (His shell looks a lot like a T-Rex skull).

    About 2 months ago, I bought another PP, the third, Crablagh (Taken from a Futurama episode). Two days after arriving here, Crablagh decided to bury himself. I watched very closely, as I could see him from under the bottom of the tank. He was molting.
    It seemed that everything I read suggested isolating crabs if you suspect that they are about to molt. Crablagh didn't give me any signs. He just kind of molted, I'm assuming from stress as, at the time, PetSmart wasn't taking very good care of their crabs (A letter to corporate seems to have fixed that). So, instead of digging him up, I put Comrade and Rex in the isolation tank. It's small, but large enough for slight walking room/food/two water dishes.
    Crablagh successfully molted and I left him isolated for a couple of weeks as he built up strength and became very active.
    I cleaned the tank exceptionally well, redesigned it, and just overall improved its appearance. The three hermies went into the main tank.

    Here's where my issue comes in.
    Comrade and Crablagh had some issues getting along at first, since Comrade is obviously dominant, I guess... if that makes sense. However, their issues were soon resolved.
    However, two days into the transfer I noticed that Rex was burrowing. I watched him and he eventually went into the hut (much larger than the coconut). This was at about 3AM. At 6AM, I woke up and looked to make sure that everyone was doing fine.
    There was an unusual mound of sand next to the water dish, though it had plenty of water. I had seen this same type of mound with Crablagh and immediately knew to look through the bottom of the tank.
    Rex had buried himself. I immediately removed him (probably a mistake, but I figured that in the 3 hours I was asleep, there was little chance he had actually begun molting) and placed him back in the Isolation tank, which had been cleaned as well. It had food/water/salt water/a hut. There were, of course, shells as well.
    It has been a couple of weeks now and Rex has not even attempted to bury himself in the isolation tank. However, when I put him in the main tank, he immediately finds a corner and begins digging.

    Can someone please shed some light on this and maybe help me out? :x
    I don't think that it is anything serious, but I would definitely like to make sure.

    Sorry for my wordiness, as well.
     
  2. momofboyz

    momofboyz (Micro Crab)

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2008
    Messages:
    103
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    West Virginia
    It kind of sounds to me like your little guy just might be more comfortable in the main tank. Are the conditions in both tanks the same? I'm really new to all of this and have never had to isolate a crab for anything, so your whole problem interests me as well.

    I know that almost everyone on here agrees that you shouldn't dig up a buried crab no matter what. I have three buried right now, and it is killing me not to dig.
     
  3. alli'smommy

    alli'smommy "Preparing For Third Molt"

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2007
    Messages:
    755
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    southern ohio
    You should never dig up a crab as this is very stressful! Also, a crab shouldn't ever need to be ISO'd unless it is an emergency or a newly purchased crab. They will bury and molt, and the others will leave them alone. Crabs also have a hormone that they can release to postpone molting if need be. If Rex was preparing to molt in the main tank, digging him up may have caused him to put if off due to stress. Leave him in the main tank with the others and nature will take over!! Alot of us here believe in the "hands-off" approach to crabbing. That means that we don't handle them unless we have to. We just make their crabitat as close to nature as possible and let them live in happiness!!
    But, I would definately leave them all in the main tank and just let nature do its thing!! Welcome to HCRU by the way, and keep us updated on their conditions!!
     
  4. Kaelink

    Kaelink "Never Molted"

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2008
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Murray, KY
    Yea, I apologize for interfering with Rex's possible molting, I had just read on other sites that sometimes crabs, after molting, will be easily killed by their tankmates. :( (This was the reason I put Rex and Comrade in the iso tank after Crablagh had buried himself)

    I really hope that I didn't do any serious stress damage to Rex, though. I assume not, since he's as happy as ever and just as active as he ever was.

    I'm not really a newbie to crabbing, but molting is something that I've only dealt with once. :p

    I just put Rex in the main tank, hopefully all will work out. I'll keep an eye out for any signs of danger.

    Oh, and momofboyz, yes, the tank conditions are within 2 degrees of each other. (Variation due to placement of tank/size of tank)

    Thanks for the help. :D
     
  5. alli'smommy

    alli'smommy "Preparing For Third Molt"

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2007
    Messages:
    755
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    southern ohio
    You probably didn't hurt him, maybe just stressed him a little. If he's acting fine, then he more than likely is fine!!! Molting is always stressful for me! Like I have to go through it!!! But I always worry. I did have an E. that only half buried to molt. He was dug up and pulled apart. He died within a few weeks. It drug on and on--HORRIBLE!! But that is the only one. Crabs have a "smell" when they molt that attracks other crabs, but if they are buried good, the others can't smell it. They'll resurface when they're ready to take on the "clan" again!! Sometimes they can stay buried for weeks to a couple of months. Just be patient during this time!
     
  6. wachfuleyez

    wachfuleyez "Never Molted"

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2008
    Messages:
    55
    Likes Received:
    0
    I never had this happen as I am new to hermies but my very first crab changed shells the next week after I got him. I know them molting would driving me crazy.....I love to watch them climb and dig it just bothers me when they bury because I do like to see if their active. Alot of nites sent sleeping on the sofa.
     
  7. Kaelink

    Kaelink "Never Molted"

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2008
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Murray, KY
    Within 12 hours after putting Rex into the main tank, he buried himself in the exact same spot as he originally did.
    I'm assuming that it's time for his molt and he just needed "the right environment". :p

    At least, that's what I hope.
     
  8. alli'smommy

    alli'smommy "Preparing For Third Molt"

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2007
    Messages:
    755
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    southern ohio
    Good luck to you and Rex. Keep us posted!!
     
  9. Kaelink

    Kaelink "Never Molted"

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2008
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Murray, KY
    This is going to be weird to explain and I can't really take a picture of my tank setup now but here's what's happened so far:

    Rex buried himself, good.
    The other crabs left the area alone, good.

    Today, however, I decided that I would give my tank a good "look", just a quick view of the surfaces, just to see what was going on with the others/the environment.
    I have a logpiece that keeps a small portion of the tank isolated (by sheer geometry, no real reason), and I made the log deep enough in the sand that a crab would have to dig all the way to the bottom to get under it to the other side.

    At the end of the log, near the side of the tank, there is a huge mound of crab poo, and I find Rex nestled in the sand, though this area is too shallow to cover himself.
    He still has a deformed leg (instead of the tip being pointed it is smooth, has been ever since we got him). This is evidence that he hasn't molted and, as far as I can tell, he hasn't even started to molt. :x

    He seems very lethargic, possibly from being without food/water for so long. He is alive, at least a little, though.

    I've moved the other crabs into isolation and moved the log so that he can move around to get food/water now.

    I'm not sure what's happened/happening, any tips, please?
     
  10. krackersmom2

    krackersmom2 (Large Crab)

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2007
    Messages:
    1,227
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    South TX (near the beach)
    Maybe the next molt is gearing up? I'll keep him in my thoughts! Good luck!
     
  11. Kaelink

    Kaelink "Never Molted"

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2008
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Murray, KY
    Rex hasn't moved for a couple of days and, when I pick him up, I couldn't feel him moving in his shell like usual. (Still can't).
    He was hanging out of his shell, not moving. I thought he was dead.

    I was going to bury him in the garden today, so I picked him up. Much to my surprise, half of a crab fell out of the shell, still fully colored. I looked in the shell to find a very pink purple claw.

    Hopefully he's still alive. :x I feel so horrible, moving him/touching him while he had been molting. I didn't know, since he was moving around and obviously pooing. Argh. Guess I'll have to leave him be and just wait it out for a few more weeks.
     
  12. Hildegarde

    Hildegarde "Preparing For Third Molt"

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2007
    Messages:
    808
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Gainesville, Florida
    Maybe I'm missing something. Why are you isolating your crabs so often? All of mine have moulted in the tank they're in and I've never had a problem and no bad moults.
     
  13. Kaelink

    Kaelink "Never Molted"

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2008
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Murray, KY
    He's somehow managed to create an area where substrate that was once about 3" is now about an inch.
    Being so close to the surface, I didn't want the other two bothering him, so I moved them to the isolation tank.
     
  14. Kaelink

    Kaelink "Never Molted"

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2008
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Murray, KY
    As a final update, Rex is doing fine, finishing off his shed exoskeleton, walking around, pale as heck.
     
  15. Donna M

    Donna M "First Molt, A Success"

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2007
    Messages:
    220
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm no expert (I've only had crabs for about a year) but Rex could be preparing for a molt. I understand that they get lethargic. Did he eat like a piglet just before he buried himself?

    But I hope you realize that some crabs just like to stay buried.......molting or not. As you read more on this site, you'll see posts from many crab owners who hardly ever see some of their crabs! Two of my three crabs are like that, and I hate it. Also one of them is molting now, and has been buried since some time in February! It's almost April and he's still down. I know he's alive because I can see his legs and antennae moving through the side and bottom of the tank. I think he's busy munching on his exoskeleton, then I'm hoping he'll surface.

    Stop worrying. If he's hungry or thirsty, he'll sneak over to the dishes at night while you sleep. Then he'll bury himself again. In the morning, you'll never even know he's been sleepwalking! LOL

    Take care,
    Donna M.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page