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New crab fighting

Discussion in 'Emergency Care - 911.' started by llmercll, Aug 22, 2009.

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  1. llmercll

    llmercll Hi, I'm New Here!

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    let me try and summarize this is shortly as possible. heres the full link to my page on another forum, though. Hermit Crab Paradise Forums View topic - Bullying?

    I got 2 new crabs from petco yesterday, one medium and one large. I already had one crab at home, sized somewhere between the medium and large I just bought. I didn't ISO the new crabs, which I'm learning was a mistake.

    I checked on the crabs last night and found the original crab and the new large one in my hermy home sitting alongside each other, but the original crab had his big claw around the new large crabs leg. Not good. I separated them, and the new crab went to burrow, while my original crab was very active, moreso than I've ever seen him. That night I put in a new shell..

    next day I find that my original crab has changed shells into the new one, which I thought was good, because maybe the new crab wanted my first crabs shell. so later on, the new crab played around with my original crabs first shell, went in it and tried it out, and went back to HIS original shell. Then I took both the crab and put them in a salt water pool. My original crab backed away with speed I've never seen on a hermit crab, he was scared of the new one.

    After a few minutes though, original crab was walking around and actually walked over the new crab to get to the other side of the tank...wierd

    I tried the salt bath again and this time they both stayed in there and had their little antenna play, i was getting so happy, but little by little my original crab started to back away and the new crab was moving forward. they kept it up until the new crab had his legs around my orig crabs shell and looked like he was shaking it around. I separated them again and decided this was serious.

    Now here's the messed up part...the two new crabs (the aggressive one and the smaller friendly one) get along fine and actually took over my original crabs log home. I felt really bad, but then i saw my orig crab walk right in...hes been in there for about 20 minutes now and there's been no fighting. the new big crab is lying in his shell not interacting much, the new smaller crab is playing antenna a little bit with my orig crab, and my orig crab is just kind of standing there, and for a little while was climbing on the new big crabs shell...without the big crab doing anything.

    Whats that crab thinking?! does he have a death sentence? or does he know the new crab isn't going to seriously hurt it? so its trying to be friendly?

    If they become friendly should I still ISO the new crabs? how can I ISO them without a second tank?

    big thanks to anyone who read all this, thank you =)
     
  2. WizKidsMom

    WizKidsMom "Preparing For Third Molt"

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    The bigger new crab was showing that he was Alpha. Some hermie colonies do have what we would call the head of the group. I think what happened is after the salt water bath, the alpha has settled down.
    I have noticed that this rarely happens when you put all in a salt water bath at the same time to introduce them to each other.

    Now you do need a second tank for an ISO. A small 5 or 10 gallon will do. Mine is set up similar to the main tank. Any new guys you get should go into ISO before putting them in the main tank. First, so they can destress without stress, and second, to watch for any bugs like mites.
    And in cases like this, an ISO for the bully for a day or two will quiet him down. Or to place a sick hermie.
    Right now I have a hermie in my ISO. He was disturbed by a fellow hermie while starting to molt. He is comfortable now and hopefully will continue his molt.
     
  3. CoolDoggy10

    CoolDoggy10 (Large Crab)

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    Put one in the ISO with food,water,shelter, and a whole lot of shells for at least 4-6 days. It sounds to me that the new one was probally the Alpha Crab at PetCo before you got him.
    Hope it Helps!
     
  4. MissHaze

    MissHaze "Never Molted"

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    I had a similar problem with Taz when I brought them home and introduced them to the new habitat. I found out later all she wanted was BJ's shell, which was crazy since when BJ changed out and Taz got the shell it only lasted for a few hours as BJ's shell was extremely to small for Taz. As for ISO tanks I have two...one for sick crabs and one for new arrivals. I didn't want my new arrival tank to get anything yucky in it...I know, I am weird...LOL. Good luck!
     
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