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New crabs? To ISO or not to ISO, how long before main, etc...

Discussion in '~HCRU Hard Drive~ - Carved In Stone' started by lbanimals, Mar 4, 2005.

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  1. lbanimals

    lbanimals Hi, I'm New Here!

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    I was just curious as to whether or not people ISO their new crabs or not. If you do ISO, how long do you keep them in ISO before moving them over to a main tank?

    Those of you that don't ISO, do you bathe them prior to putting them in with your crabs...do you bathe them all (including current crabs), etc...

    I recently got into the crab world and now have 8 crabs in a 40 gallon and recently bought 5 that I am keeping in the 10 gallon (1 of the new crabs already died of PPS 2 days after I rescued him from the nasty place).

    Does your new crab rules depend on the conditions the store had? Or whether or not it was the same store as the last purchase, same shipment of crabs, etc. Originally I bought two sets of 4 crabs from the same store, within the same shipment, within 2 days. So I put them all together immediately. But the newer crabs are from a nasty little pet store, bad conditions, and were bought about a week later.

    The crabs thank you for any info!
     
  2. kuplakrabs

    kuplakrabs "Second Molt, A Success"

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    Hi lb, I don't think I have welcomed you to HCRU yet, so I'd like to say hello and thank you for joining our crabby family [​IMG]

    This is an excellent question, btw. There are definitely "conditions" to my ISO'ing new crabs. In general, I strongly advocate ISO'ing all new crabs for at least 3-4 weeks before adding them to your established colony in the main tank. The reason is because if any of the new crabs are carrying pathogens it is possible the sickness could quickly spread to your healthy crabs (especially if any have a weakend immune system or are vulneralbe because of an impending molt). It may take a few weeks for the sickness to spread-much like the incubation period for illnesses in humans-it takes a while for symptoms to start rearing their ugly heads.

    Now, if I go to pet store A (with fairly decent conditions) and purchase some crabs and then go back a few days later and purchase a few more from the same shipment, they would all go into the same ISO tank. If a few days later I go to pet store B and purchase crabs, I would most likely put them in the same ISO, unlesss pet store B's conditions were absolutely horrible-ie; dead crabs and limbs all over the place, then I would consider a seperate ISO. Also, and I know this sounds horrible, I consider the quantity too. If I purchased 10 crabs at pet store A, I would not put the new crabs from pet store B in with them-because it is pretty expensive to chance losing 10 crabs. But if I only purchase 2-4, I would weigh the odd and most likely put the crabs from pet store B in the same ISO. Hope that made sense LOL without sounding too crude.

    In addition, if any of the crabs have mites, that crab or group gets bathed and goes in their own ISO-other than that, I do not bathe my crabs at all. Not newbies, not post molters, etc... I have not done so for 6 months and they have been doing wonderfully. I do provide deep enough dishes for them to self bathe if necessary and I have recently purchased a nice, small, personal humidifier that emits an ultra fine mist that I use in the tank. The crabs, especially my straws, flock to the "foggy" area when I turn it on so I have deduced that they enjoy it [​IMG]
     
  3. Ringo

    Ringo Hi, I'm New Here!

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    And now for another opinion...[​IMG]

    I personally have nver ISO'd new crabs! What I do is set up the playpen I got for them (originally for hamsters) and I put their 'bathtub' in there, which is just a tupperware container. I then put all my crabs, current and new, in the bath at the same time, let them run around a bit, then take them all out and let them roam in the playpen for a while. To me, I think its better for them to all get to know each other from the start, so it could possibly prevent any fights later on. (Of course, thats not always the case though) So far, I've had no problems with my method, and I've been crabbing for about 2 years now. Hope I helped as well [​IMG]
     
  4. lbanimals

    lbanimals Hi, I'm New Here!

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    This is exactly the info that I was looking for. I know I had read somewhere else on this site that if they were from the same place around the same time they could easily go together.

    My own situation is that I bought 4 crabs from Petco (all PPs) on a Saturday night. Monday afternoon I went back and bought 4 more crabs (3 PPS and 1 E). There was not a new shipment of crabs until a few days after I had bought mine. The 8 total that I bought there had been in the store for at least a couple weeks as I had been in and out checking them out and there had not been in any new shipments in the preceding time. So they had all been in the same shipment or at least kept together for weeks prior, in relatively good conditions; good humidity, large tank, EE as substrate, fresh food and water, etc.

    A week after those 8 were purchased, I went to a nasty little petstore that kept all of their crabs in a medium sized KK with a small bowl of food and a sponge for water. A few had broken shells and they just all looked pathetic. I couldn't help myself. I had just set up a 40 gallon for the new crabs and had the old 10 gallon empty, heated and humid and ready to go....so I bought 5 (2 medium, 1 small/medium, 2 small/tiny) crabs there...I believe all E's. I put them in my old 10 gallon for ISO as I wasn't sure whether they should go together or not.

    It has since been a week. One of the new 5 E's (one of the tiny/small ones) died the day or two after I bought them. Found him naked in a plant, dead when I got home from work. He had not been bothered or picked apart, his shell was empty and laying beneath the plant. He was mostly shriveled up and definitely dead. His shell was INCREDIBLY too small but he had refused to change.

    The other small/tiny one that I got is still hanging in there....I had thought originally that he was sick because everytime I saw him he was half hanging out of his shell and all hunched down. Turns out the shell was so small he couldn't tuck in..AT ALL. So he would hunch down on the ground to try to hide when I went up to the tank. He has since changed into a new shell that is approx 3 times the size of the old one. He is actually not that small of a crab now that he is in a properly fitting shell. He seems to be doing okay.

    So, anyways...those are the ones currently being ISOed. THe original 8 in the 40 gallon are ALL BURIED except the sole E in there...and have been so for days. Destressing? I hope. I hesitate to put the new ones in there since the PPs are all buried. The sole E in that aquarium has gotten VERY QUIET. Doesn't bury like the others, but just tucks in his shell on the surface. I think he is lonely.

    I had considered getting the rest of the small/tiny ones from that nasty petstore (there were only a few left last time), just as an attempt to save them. But I don't know if I should put them in with the others from that same store in the 10 gallon (it has been only a week since I bought those ones) or separately. All I have left to put them in otherwise is a decent sized KK (one of those short ones meant for reptiles) approx 14x8 and about 5-6 inches tall.

    I am relatively new to the crabbing world but have done a lot of online research. I feel bad for the crabs at the nasty petstore. The Petcos around here are all have good conditions, good humidity and a nice large tank. The Petsmarts don't have the best conditions but by far not the worst and never have any crabs in their tanks anyways, just a few empty shells. I went small pet store shopping to check things out and found this nasty place (as well as a few nicer places).

    I feel so bad for the crabs in the nasty pet store. I've heard that E's in particular NEED saltwater and these have nothing but a wet sponge (probably with only fresh water in the sponge). It is also incredibly sad that I live relatively near the ocean, this store especially is maybe 5 minutes from the water at the most. So the crabs must be able to small the saltwater but can't get any. I find that so sad.

    Sorry for the length. Get me started and I RAMBLE. Thanks for the all the help.
     
  5. kuplakrabs

    kuplakrabs "Second Molt, A Success"

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    Nelly,
    You're tugging at my heart strings here [​IMG] If it were me, in all honesty, I would probably go back and get the rest of the poor things at the bad pet store and put them in the 10g with the others. I know, I know, its sending the wrong message to the pet store and they will likely just order more, but I couldn't leave them there either. Perhaps take a care sheet to them in the hope that they will improve their conditions. If you aren't the kind of person who can hand them one personally, you could always mail it to them. [​IMG]

    Ringo,
    I'm glad someone else offered another opinion. I do think that if I had a 10-20g with 4 or 5 crabs and a limited budget to boot, I may be tempted to just put a new crab or two in with the first crabs right away. Lets face it, not everyone can afford to have an extra 10g lying around with gauges, a lid, dishes, etc to ISO new crabs. It is all a matter of looking at the big picture (including your finances) and making a decision based on the information you have gathered.
     
  6. lbanimals

    lbanimals Hi, I'm New Here!

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    Thank you Wendy and Ringo for your your help.

    A good portion of the crabbies in the bigger tank are buried and destressing so I don't want to dig them up for an introduction ;-)

    However! Because I feel so darn sorry for the crabs in the crappy store, I am going to zip over there tomorrow and buy..."a few" more....and those will go into the 10 gallon along with the ones already in there. Which is the ISO sort of. I'm not going to ISO the new ones in a separate ISO.

    So, it is a combination of both of your methods ;-)

    Wendy, I am definitely not the type of person to hand them a care sheet or give them a lecture in the middle of the store....however mailing one never crossed my mind and would work fine. Good idea.
     
  7. moire_eel

    moire_eel "Second Molt, A Success"

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    Nelly,
    I understand how you feel about not wanting to make a fuss in the store. I am the same. I have found that a less conrontational approach works out for me -- what I usually say is "Hi, I'm worried about your hermit crabs." It's not accusatory, and I am careful not to place blame on the store by saying that I know it is hard to find good information on the proper care of hermit crabs. (I actually think it is the store's job to find out this information, but it serves no purpose to tell them that.) Rather than bringing caresheets, I write them out on th e spot, and include my contact information if they have any questions. One store did take my instructions and type them up as a care sheet they post by their (much improved!) tank and hand out to customers. But at some stores ... if I can get them to put a water dish in the tank I consider that at least a small victory.
     
  8. kittykat

    kittykat Hi, I'm New Here!

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    i have an iso tank, but i refuse to use it now. i put a molting crab in iso after i found him naked in the main tank, he molted, then died in iso. i bought a new tiny crab, put him in iso, and he died the next day. my iso and main tank are both kept the same way, so i don't think there is a problem there. i have had two succesfull molts in the main tank, so i am sticking with the main tank. i do not iso newbies, and i haven't had a problem yet. i usually only get one or two crabs at a time though. i actually just got one from petsupermarket today, i wasn't wanting one todya, but when i saw this big guy in a broken shell, i had to take him. he is addicted to the salt water! i have seen him go in at least five times in the few hours i have had him home. poor baby. he probably forgot what salt water was.
    danielle
     
  9. lbanimals

    lbanimals Hi, I'm New Here!

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    Thought I would post an update to this.

    I went back to the crappy store and ended up buying 6 tiny/small crabs. Turned out to be, I believe, 4 PPs and 2 Es. Cute little guys. Added them directly to the tank with ones from the same store.

    Conditions in the store were the same as before and I also found out that they don't offer any sort of guarantee on the crabs. Was somewhat disgusted by the time I paid and left.

    Turns out a coworker knows the owners so I complained to him directly and will see if he follows up with the owners for me. A bowl of water never killed anyone, ya know? I figure they'll listen to a friend before a disgruntled customer.

    So, I rescued 11 total from there (1 died within a day or two) but am somewhat disheartened by their attitude and am going to stay away from the place for a while now. Once I can get everyone out of the ISO, I may go back to save more of the little bitty ones. They are so cute and cheap and badly need to change shells.

    I am somewhat overwhelmed by the two larger E's I got from there. I think I will stay with the little guys from now on.
     
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