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mites?

Discussion in '~HCRU Hard Drive~ - Carved In Stone' started by kittykat, Jan 20, 2005.

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  1. kittykat

    kittykat Hi, I'm New Here!

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    help! i think my babies have mites! i just checked on them, before going to bed, and i saw little bugs running around, next to the water bowl. what do mites look like? how do i get rid of them? what do i do? i haven't been this worried about babies, since i had my first child! lol thanks.
    danielle
     
  2. kuplakrabs

    kuplakrabs "Second Molt, A Success"

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    Some are white-they look like little grains of sand and some are black & red. I will see if I can locate a picture anywhere. BTW, mites are part of the family of arachnids and will have 8 legs as opposed to insects that will have 6.

    There are mites that are parasitic (will harm your crabs) and there are mites that won't-ones that are only interested in your food dish. I am certainly no "bug" expert, but one way to try to get rid of them is to take out everything in the tank and sanitize it. Personally, I would throw out the substrate and replace it with new.
    Boil items for 10 minutes and/or bake them at 250-300 for 30 minutes or if it is wood until dry-KEEP AN EYE ON YOUR OVEN so you don't have a fire start.

    You will also need to bathe your crabs until no mites are visible. The problem with all of this is the fact that there may be eggs or mites themselves still inside the crabs shells that you can't see.
    In a well lighted area, fill a dark container (will help you see them mites better) with room temp or ever so slightly warmer de-chlorinated water. Place one crab at a time in shell opening facing up (The water should be deep enough to fully submerge your largest crab). As your crab emerges watch to see if any mites are flushed out of it's shell. Pour the water off of the top of the container rather than pulling the crab up and out of the water because the mites will jump back onto the crab. Repeat as necessary until they appear to be gone. If the infestation is really bad, I would use half declor fresh and half declor prepared salt water. I also wanted to note that it is a personal preference as to whether or not to add stress coat to the bath water, but I would not recommend it.

    None of the above is a guarantee that they won't return. To prevent attracting them in the first place, make sure you remove the food from your tank each morning. And be sure to always ISO new crabs for at least 3 weeks before you put them into your main tank.

    Before you can really determine the proper course of action, you should try to find out what type of "nasties" you have in your tank. If you are not squeemish about bugs and they aren't harming the crabs you have the option of leaving them...they may help keep your substrate clean [​IMG] Although, not too many people are keen on having uninvited guests in their tanks.

    One thing to make note of...DO NOT use any type of mite treatment that can be found at a pet store. Hermit crabs are closely related to mites and whatever you use to kill mites, will kill your crabs.

    I hope someone else can offer better advice [​IMG]
     
  3. kuplakrabs

    kuplakrabs "Second Molt, A Success"

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    You can always place your crabs in a plastic tote or box with moistened, unprinted paper towels while you are doing all of this cleaning.
     
  4. kittykat

    kittykat Hi, I'm New Here!

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    when i came home from work, i checked my babies, and didn't see any bugs anywhere in the tank. they didn't look like grains of rice though. they kinda looked like gnats, but moved really fast. they were around the water bowl.
    thanks for all the advise.
    danielle
     
  5. Aviate

    Aviate "Never Molted"

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    rice? not rice, she said sand. What color were they? if you see them again, let us know... so we can try to ascertain what they may be.
     
  6. kittykat

    kittykat Hi, I'm New Here!

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    sorry, no they didn't look like sand. they were kinda gray/black, and they moved really fast.
     
  7. Eric

    Eric "First Molt, A Success"

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    KittyKat,

    What part of the globe are you from & what is the daily temperature been around the past few weeks or so? I have had a knat looking bug or two once or twice when it was warmer out.

    Wendy that was excellent advice, you are the Hermit Crab Queen. LOL. When we are done with this thread I will move it to the library.

    Cappa
     
  8. kuplakrabs

    kuplakrabs "Second Molt, A Success"

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    Cappa,
    I spent about 2 hours last night researching insects and arachnids. I'd really like to get a scientific name for the mites that are commonly found on the crabs. I'd also like to be able to identify other bugs that may appear in the tank. Good, clear pictures are very difficult to find.



    Crabs are crustacea and mites are arachnida, both of which are part of the phylum Arthorpoda, that is why they are so closely related.

    Here is a link with some neat pics and a "family tree" that shows what I mean
    http://tolweb.org/tree?group=Arthropoda
     
  9. kittykat

    kittykat Hi, I'm New Here!

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    i am in florida and it has actually been pretty cold for us. about 60 degrees outside.
     
  10. kuplakrabs

    kuplakrabs "Second Molt, A Success"

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  11. kittykat

    kittykat Hi, I'm New Here!

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    no, they didn't look like this at all. they were small, but not as small as sand. i don't know what they there. if i see them again, i will try to somehow get a picture.
    danielle
    thanks for all the help
     
  12. kuplakrabs

    kuplakrabs "Second Molt, A Success"

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    Here is additional information from different threads that has been copied and pasted to keep it all in one place.

    Posted by kuntrygirl261978 August 27, 2005 08:06 PM
    when i took my crab out of the tank..he died..
    a little bug flew out but it looked like a gnat
    or those little bugs that might get on fruit when it starts going bad...



    Posted by Kali_Ma August 27, 2005 09:24 PM
    Mites don't fly.

    Kerie


    Posted by kuplakrabs August 28, 2005 07:18 AM
    Mites are actually in the arachnid family and have 8 legs. Some are parasitic and some are not. The mites I have seen on my crabs were tear drop shaped (the point of the tear drop is where the head would be) with black and red mottled coloring. Size wise, I'd say about the size of a pin head. They were stuck to the gill area and were very difficult to get off. The crab that had these mites did die soon after I got the things off. Bathing coupled with swiping them off with a cotton swab was the only way I could get rid of them. Whether he died because of the mites or the store conditions, or the stress of harvesting is something that I guess will remain a mystery. Too many variables to say for certain.

    The other mites were white (the size of a grain of sand), very fast moving and were crawling all over the crab-in and out of its shell. I was able to get rid of them with a succession of brackish (slightly salty) water baths. These crabs survived and have since molted several times. Coincidence? Could be-since I am no scientist LOL.

    Here is an article on the species of mites found on C.Clypeatus you may find interesting.
    http://hermitcrabsrus.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/8390009072/m/3320018333



    And from yet a different thread


    Posted by <piccaloooo> February 14, 2005 05:24 PM
    ok, i have a problem. MITES. in my main tank. i'm devestated and frustrated. i've unearthed 15 from the main house, and at least 4 if not more are buried and in mid molt. i don't know if they are pre/during/or post molt.

    all that aside, i've pulled out all the toys from the tank and my 15 are currently wandering around in the after bath box. i can't go get new substrate tonight, and the only other options i have are housing them in my two 10 gallon iso's that have at least 4 molters in each.

    i really don't know what to do, considering i have so many in the 29 gallon. it's been in dire need of a substrate change, but it's a bit hard to do that with someone constantly down.

    i feel like a failure!!

    bleh. help?


    Posted by Kali_Ma February 14, 2005 07:11 PM
    I don't have a lot of advice to offer on the mites, but if you are interested in helping the interests of science...

    Dr. Williams at Hofstra University has offered to "lend" me a student and a scanning electron microscope to try to figure out what kind of mites we are dealing with on peoples' pet crabs. He's a marine hermit guy, but is getting interested in the idea of classifying coenobita pests now.

    If these mites are on your crabs, and not just living in the substrate, obviously bothering and preying on the crabs, I really could use some samples from you to get to Dr. Williams.

    Could you PM me and let me know? I'll give you my address and how to preserve them if you're interested in helping.

    I hope you get some help cleaning them up.

    Kerie



    Posted by Redwolf March 03, 2005 06:25 AM
    Kali... should I send u a sample of those white ones i get in my tank.. they made another reappearnce...

    i have quit deep cleaning cause it does not work.. they just keep coming back...so i really would like to know what they are...




    Posted by Kali_Ma March 03, 2005 07:12 AM
    I know Dr. Williams is still interested; I had my alpha straw die, and he wants the whole body.

    Are your mites/bugs on the crabs, or in the substrate or both? If it's a substrate/tank deco problem, I might have a suggestion for their control, but if they're crab mites, I'm still looking into control methods. Very hard to kill mites anyway, but when you can't use miticides because the crabs are vulnerable, you're in some serious trouble!

    Email me at kali.epicureanhermit@gmail.com and I'll tell you more!
     
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