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New crabber here! (I need your expert tips!)

Discussion in 'The Welcome Rock' started by imported_Eric, Dec 3, 2009.

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what do you think of this...?

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  1. imported_Eric

    imported_Eric (Small Crab)

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    Alright! So this is my first crabitat setup, and I'm really excited. I'm pretty sure i've researched everything there is to know, and my tank is just about ready, there's just a few things i've gotta fine tune, and a couple concerns I have.

    So, first, here's my setup.

    It's a 30 gallon tank, sitting in my room on a desk, glass lid, with a light hood on top of that. Now, my friend and I will be re-doing the light but its what I have for now. Here's a couple pictures.

    Here it is from the top. I've got about half coconut husk and half play sand substrate. (This'll be a test to see what the crabs like better. I'll probably end up going all cocohusk because i like it :p ) And those gauges are being moved around at my whim, i'll be getting a digital one eventually.
    [​IMG]



    Here's the side. I'm hopefully going to be adding some sort of suction cup upper level with a hemp net leading to it, because as you can see, the tank is still relatively bare. I'm aiming to get 3-5 teeny - small crabs to begin with. I'll be making the substrate deeper probably the first time I deep clean it.
    [​IMG]



    As you can see, this side has been condensating a lot, so i shifted the glass lid a bit to open it up for now. I have to find something to do with my lid, because currently its just a sheet of glass laying on top. And yet, with the humidity gauge fairly close to that condensation, it has been reading ~70 with the light on for a few hours, and ~80 with it off.
    [​IMG]



    So, assuming I'm going to be adding some more play things and such, how does it look?

    And here are my concerns:

    1. Left side of tank smells sorta musty. I'm wondering if it's just the moist cocohusk? Because I don't want to have an issue with mold already... And if I did, how could i spot the mold?

    2. I'll probably have to get an undertank heater, and paste it to the side somewhere where the substrate is deeper. I haven't seen any around here in the local pet stores (I live in Ontario, Canada), what should i be looking for? And how powerful should i get it?

    3. I have two water dishes, empty for now, of course, but one looks to me as if it is too small. You can sort of see it in the top right corner of the first picture, do you think that is too small for a "teeny" or "small" crab? I have no problem upgrading the size, but i'd like to know if i could at least use that temporarily.

    4. The light hood has a 25W day glo bulb, and a 25W night glo bulb. Soon I will have these on a 12-hour timer...but the issue is, how should my lid be set up? Any suggestions? Clearly i need a bit more air flow due to condensation, and I dont want the glass to get too hot from the bulbs. Like I said i have to fashion a better hood, but the issue here really is air flow. Any ideas?

    Thanks for reading! Any tips/constructive criticism would be great. I'm so excited to get into crabbing!

    And actually, I'm vacationing to Florida for a few days in a few days, so it will be about a week before I will be getting the crabs (providing the tank is ready)


    And allow me to say that this site is...wicked! I've learned a lot, and I'm glad i found somewhere to contact some crab experts!

    -Eric
     
  2. imported_xAiZaOnigirix

    imported_xAiZaOnigirix (Large Crab)

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    :welcome: , Eric! Well let's see.... the dish is fine, but i say use the shallowest for non-salt water, since they like to use salt water for soaking and the fresh more for drinking. (sea sponge is great to add too, and helps a bit with humididy). Also, with your deeper dish, i suggest you put a rock or shell (i use clam shells) in the dish so they don't drown, especially tinies who tend to be too small to climb out. Your tank looks great, now put some crabs in it, lol!

    I'm not sure about the mold (i just got EE, the crabs love it, but i haven't heard anything about mold) but i DO know that soaking and wetting a cocofiber (or really any substrate) is best done with salt water (good old Instant Ocean!) and i believe that helps prevent mold.

    UTH- i don't live in canada, but check any petstores or any store that sells pets (even try Wal-mart) and check. if there IS one, you'll find them in the reptile section. I'd get a UTH that can cover at least the middle area of your tank, maybe more if it gets really cold where you live. (i mount mine in the middle, where there is the lowest substrate so heat travels. Crabs seem to dig around them, but not above them, interestingly enough)

    That's about all i got... good luck!! :hermzpoo:
     
  3. imported_xAiZaOnigirix

    imported_xAiZaOnigirix (Large Crab)

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    oh, and i suggest another hidie or two. They go nuts over coconut hides, but if you can't find the ones called "Coco Hut", the entrance might be too small when they get bigger (but they're cheap so it might not matter) Terracotta and plastic pots of any size work very nice when tipped over =] also i find things that work perfect as hidies in the rodent section- platic sand-castle-looking hidies, ect. (but stay away from the edible ones around there... you never know what's in 'em =])
     
  4. imported_Eric

    imported_Eric (Small Crab)

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    Well thanks for the advice with the dishes! And i'm definitely going to use my instant ocean to add some soak to my substrate.

    I'll have to go on a search for a UTH...

    and I do have one hidey, its that curved cork bark in the front left, but one more probably would be good :)

    Thanks!
     
  5. imported_Eric

    imported_Eric (Small Crab)

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    Oh, here's anothing thing...

    On the curved piece of cork bark, there's some spots of white fuzziness that stick out away from it, and the other cork bark doesn't have this. Could this be mold? :\ the hygrometer says 70%, how could mold be so quick to grow! I hope it isn't mold :\
     
  6. imported_Eric

    imported_Eric (Small Crab)

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    *FRUSTRATED*

    So... to boil / bake all of my substrate / toys i used this conditioner that i'm just now reading and it says this:

    "COATS to protect and heal"

    "Aqua Plus also coats scales and fins to protect against scrapes and cuts."

    Now... it doesn't actually say SLIME coat, but... is this game over for me? :\

    sigh :(
     
  7. timebandit

    timebandit (Large Crab)

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    I had white on my cork bark and it's not mold. As for the condensation the only way I got rid of mine was getting a reptile tank that has vents on the bottom and the top. More air flo and higher humidity. You need a plexiglass lid so holes could be drilled into it. But then you couldn't have your hood.You would need a clamp light.I'd like a little more greenery in the tank.
     
  8. cloie74

    cloie74 "Second Molt, A Success"

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    Sounds like you used stress coat to condition your water,
    It wont hurt anything.
    You shouldnt really use it for the drinking water though.
    API sells a good water conditioner without stress coat.

    For mold. I dont think it could grow that fast but you never know.
    Boil that stuff in some high concentrate instant ocean water.
    If you used salt water to soak everything you will have very little problems with mold.

    Have you calibrated that humidity gauge?? It is VERY IMPORTANT! there is a thread on it around here somewhere but here is the quick version.
    Take a soda bottle cap fill it with table salt.
    Sprinkle water on it so the salt gets damp but not soupy.
    Put your gauge and the cap of wet salt in a plastic ziploc baggie.
    Leave it in there for at least 3-4 hours. After that time the gauge should read at exactly 75 degrees. If it does not then your gauge is off and you need to compensate for it. some of the gauges you can turn a screw to fix it others you just have to remember how much it is off by.
    you can avoid all this by going to walmart and get the Springfield dual digital guage for $6 lol.
    I think that your gauge is probably off and part of your humidity and condensation problem.

    look on Ebay for a UTH zoomed makes a decent one so maybe try their site direct. If you have a 30 gal tank and you are using heat bulbs I suggest only getting a 20-30 gallon tank UTH if you dont use heat lights then you should use one rated for double your tank size.

    Also a bit of advise is to visit the addiction store for food before you bring your crabbies home! Vicki has some great stuff in there!
    You dont want to feed your crabs any commercial food, fresh human food is best for them and the better the variety the better they will eat!
    Good luck with your new crabs and welcome to the forum!!!
     
  9. imported_Eric

    imported_Eric (Small Crab)

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    Thanks Cloie!

    I haven't made any drinking water yet ;p.

    I'll check that gauge, but i'll probably end up getting a digital one.

    And of course I won't use commercial food! I was hoping to order some of Vicky's stuff and just use the fresh organic stuff i have laying around my house while i waited :p

    Thanks guys!
     
  10. OneOnion

    OneOnion "Preparing For Third Molt"

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    I'd top up the substrate a bit more... seems a bit small even for teeny hermit crabs. 4" is the minimum for me at least in one corner.
     
  11. imported_Eric

    imported_Eric (Small Crab)

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    Alright I'll do that. I have another brick of coconut husk that i'll probably use soon. I like that stuff :) Hopefully my hermies do too!
     
  12. emmac350

    emmac350 "Fourth Molt In Progress"

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    My crabs definitely love the coconut fiber. So no worries there - shouldn't be a problem with them.

    With the issue of possible mold, you'll have to look really closely. If it's fuzzy like the soft side of velcro, it is mold. But be careful - if you wet your tank down with salt water, it will dry into crystals on tank ornaments, leading to white hard stuff that looks very similar to mold, minus the fuzz.
     
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