Discussion in 'Frequently Asked Questions' started by LolaGranola, Jan 25, 2006.
Hermit Crabs FAQ
My hermit crab is buried in the sand, should I worry?
Hermit crabs dig, burrow, and bury themselves for various reasons, not all of which are bad or should lead to worry. Here are a few reasons why crabs dig, and what, if anything, you should do:
1. Destressing: Newly purchased crabs will often bury themselves to de-stress. They may stay down for as little as a few hours up to a few days or even weeks. You do not need to do anything, and if you dig them up, you may cause even more stress, possibly leading to their death. Aside from newly purchased crabs, crabs that have been in a shell fight, lost outside of the cage, switched into a new cage, etc may also take time to de-stress.
2. Molting: Crabs usually will bury themselves to molt, so they will not be a vulnerable to the environment and other crabs. Depending on the size of the crab, molting may take a week up to a month or even more for large crabs. There are varying opinions on whether crabs should be removed to a separate, isolation tank to molt, but regardless of your opinion, you should NOT dig up a crab that is already dug under and molting. An exception to this is if another crab digs a molter up, you should isolate the molter and try to save as much of the exoskeleton as possible and put that in with your molter. Digging a crab up during molting could cause enough stress to lead to death.
3. Just digging: Some crabs just enjoy digging and will spend much of the day or even a few days at a time dug under.
4. Poor Conditions: If your humidity and/or temperature are either extremely high or low, crabs may burry themselves to avoid the harmful conditions. You should try to return the conditions to the acceptable range as soon as possible.
Digging is a natural habit of hermit crabs and should not cause worry, unless you know something else is wrong. Generally, you should also try to avoid digging them up as much as possible. If you are concerned about whether they are getting up at night to eat and drink, gently smooth out the substrate around where they are buried and/or around the food and water dishes and look for “footprints” in the morning. Often times they are up at night and bury again during the day.
The following is one of Sue's articles (RFCrabs) and will be featured on her website when it's up. (When you get the site up Sue I'll but a button link in here at the bottom)
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