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New pet ideas

Discussion in 'The Sand Castle Lounge' started by MoribundMaverick, Mar 21, 2008.

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  1. MoribundMaverick

    MoribundMaverick (Small Crab)

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    I just lost my last hermit crab a few days ago, and I know that I'm going to want a new pet soon (it gets very lonely here.) I have two ten gallon tanks with nothing living in them. One is fully equipt with all the things you could ever think of for a hermit crab, the other comes with a few aquarium supplies.
    The problem is, is that I'm currently in college and my housing situation doesn't allow for anything that runs around and has fur, and I can't have any tank bigger than a 10 gal (I'm pushing it by having two.)
    I would really like to get a new pet, but I'm just not sure I can take another hermie right now. This last death was really hard on me, and there aren't any stores in the area that you can buy a crab that is really properly taken care of. I was wondering if you guys had any ideas as to what kind of animal I should look in to.
    Seeing how I'm on a college budget, it can't be very expensive, and I would rather not do anything that lives under water, because every time I want to change out the water I have to get the tank down five flights of stairs. Any ideas??
     
  2. krackersmom2

    krackersmom2 (Large Crab)

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    I would like to encourage you to reconsider the hermit crab situation.
    Give yourself some time and then go find the cutest little smalls that you can find. Get PPs since they seem to be the hardiest. You can keep about 5 or 6 smalls comfortably in a 10 gallon tank. Do you think your conditions weren't right? Maybe you can give us some more info on how we might be able to help you .... What size crabs and substrate did you have? I know we would like to be able to help!
     
  3. alli'smommy

    alli'smommy "Preparing For Third Molt"

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    I agree 100% with Krackersmom!! It is hard to lose your babies, but after some healing time you'll feel differently. PP's are easiest to keep, so look for those. And tiny ones are soooo cute!!
    Fill us in on your tank setup and we'll do what we can to help!

    I am very sorry for your losses. I've had a rough time lately too, so I know how you feel. But don't give up yet!
     
  4. MoribundMaverick

    MoribundMaverick (Small Crab)

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    PP's are all that they sell in this area. I once asked to look at the E's in a pet store, and the guy looked at me like I was an idiot and said "There's only one type of hermit crab." ... So it's a good thing that I really liked PP's. =]

    Okay, here's the set-up I have. (I would take pictures, but my old computer just died and I haven't been able to install the picture upload thing to my new comp yet)
    I have Calci-Sand, 3 inches deep on the bottom.
    A temp/humidity gage that's been tested for accuracy, and the temp is usually about 75F, and the humidity is about 74%. There's TONS of shells all over the place, and I have a fresh water bowl on one side of the tank, and a salt water bowl on the other side. One wall is covered with that shredded coconut stuff for the crabs to climb on. There's also a lot of coral, and there's a plastic lid that's been slightly barried and makes a good place for the crabs to hide under. I also have a hut, if they don't want to burry. I have two little food trays with dried teeny tiny shrimp in one and dried fruits in another, but every night I also feed them a bit of what I'm eating (fresh coconut, boiled egg yolk, organic peanut butter, approved greens, unseasoned chicken and shrimp.) I've only ever had teenies and smalls (that's also all they sell around here,) and the three inches of sand always burried them completely. Occasionally I added in compressed dirt with the substrate to add humidity during the winter. I am at a complete loss for what to do. I know some people have WAY better tanks than I have, but being a college student this is really the best I can afford. =[
    I'm going to Petco tomorrow to look at their animals. I'm REALLY in love with hermit crabs, and maybe looking at them will help to change my mind, especially since they're usually in poor conditions and I always want to rescue them...
     
  5. krackersmom2

    krackersmom2 (Large Crab)

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    I would strongly recommend play sand as opposed to calci sand. Calci sand is better offered in small amounts as a dietary supplement rather than substrate. Play sand is easier for the crabs to tunnel and make molt caves. It also holds moisture really well without clumping up. It's even cheaper than the calci sand too. About $3.25 for a huge bag at Lowe's or Home Depot. In my 10 gallon set-up for my smalls, I have a good 5" or more of sand so they can dig down and make a good, solid cave. One bag of sand will provide for a few deep cleaning changes in a 10 gallon tank. It could possibly be enough for an entire year if you only deep clean once every 4-6 months.:D I am also not sure about the compressed dirt? I'm not familiar with it. Is it possible it contains some chemicals? Anyway, play sand mixed with dechlor water to sand castle consistency makes the perfect and most natural substrate.
    It sounds like you are providing the proper diet and water supply....make sure your water dishes are deep enough for your largest crab to submerge....you can buy glass ash trays at Wal Mart really cheap and they make great water/food dishes. I found them on a bottom shelf on the kitchen gadget asile.
     
  6. hermie 5

    hermie 5 "Preparing For First Molt"

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    It sounds to me like you have the right kind of conditons for the crabs. Crabs are social animals, consider getting a few of them from the same store so that they are already friends. They will even sleep piled on top of each other. It is hard to loose a hermit, but sometimes getting a few new hermies will take away the blues. You never you could end up getting a crab with a GREAT personality and the next thing you know you will forget all about your loss.
     
  7. MoribundMaverick

    MoribundMaverick (Small Crab)

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    Yea, I've heard the play sand trick too, but have never actually tried it out. The closest store like that to here is a True Value and it is really gross, so I'm nervous about buying from there. I'm going in to Houston tomorrow, so maybe I'll find something there at their Lowes...
    The compressed dirt I got from Petco in the Hermit crab section. It had a little hermit crab on the cover and it said "Great to keep up humidity!" I used from November through January, basically until the weather warmed back up and the tank was humid enough on its own.
    My water dishes are really cute! I found some giant halfs of clam shells at the pet store and use them. My biggest crab always submerged just fine, and to be sure, I gave them a complete bath (actually filling up an old Isolation Tank with about four inches of water) every other week. I'd put corals etc in there for them to climb on, too. They always seemed to like baths...
     
  8. WizKidsMom

    WizKidsMom "Preparing For Third Molt"

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    By compressed dirt, do you mean forest Bedding or Ecco Earth that comes in a brick form? What did you use to decompress it?
    Fresh water - did you use a de-chlorinator? Use a tap water conditioner that de-chlorinates - then use some of that water to make your salt water. What kind of salt are you adding to the water?
     
  9. MoribundMaverick

    MoribundMaverick (Small Crab)

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    The dirt came in a little circle, and once I unwrapped it I just kind of touched at it and it all came a part.
    I have a dechlorinator that I use on tap water to make it into fresh water, and then I have another dechlorinator that's got salt in it that I also use in tap water to make it salt water...
     
  10. WizKidsMom

    WizKidsMom "Preparing For Third Molt"

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    Does that come in step 1 and step 2? What is the brand name? If it is one of those products that says made just for hermit crabs - it is not salty enough!
    You need ocean salt like for fish aquariums.
     
  11. krackersmom2

    krackersmom2 (Large Crab)

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    I bought some of the API from Wal Mart that several other members use. The only downfall is you have to make a minimum of 1 gallon. I went by the general use directions....the directions for treating fish diseases etc. was a stronger soultion. It does come in a good size carton and you only use 1/2 tsp. at a time.
     
  12. Hildegarde

    Hildegarde "Preparing For Third Molt"

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    You're getting some great advice. Out of the first 6 I got, only one is left. But of the 15 others I've purchased during the last 10 months, all are still with me.

    I hope you don't give up. Crabs really make good pets for dorm rooms and you also already have all the stuff. Good luck!
     
  13. MoribundMaverick

    MoribundMaverick (Small Crab)

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    Really? Aquarium salt??
    Wow, I already have that!
    I used to keep fiddler crabs until my dorm mom made me get rid of them because they kept escaping...
    So I have like a full carton of aquarium salt!
     
  14. Yadokari

    Yadokari (Small Crab)

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    If all you have to work with is an aquarium with hermit crab supplies and some fish supplies, then that's pretty much the only two options you have in terms of a new pet. You can either get A. new hermit crabs or B. an aquatic creature.

    Most of the people here are probably pushing you towards getting a new hermit crab, but you still have other options. Unless you've already bought the crabs.

    I'm wondering why you would need to take down your tank just to change water though. All you need is a small 2-5 gallon bucket and a siphon to change water. Then you dump out the bucket into a toilet or bathtub or even sink. Refill the bucket and dechlorinate it and you're done. You should NEVER do 100% water changes when keeping fish or other aquatic animals (like newts or frogs). Perhaps you have the wrong info on aquarium keeping? I'd gladly help you out if you're interested.

    In any case, I vote that you get something other than a hermit crab this time. Not trying to shoo you away from hermit crabs, but rather see if other pets might interest you.

    For example, when I upgraded my hermit crab tank to a gigantic 60G cube, I was left with a 20G and a 10G aquarium with nothing in it. So I decided to turn it into an aquatic habitat. I now house firebelly newts in my 10G tank and a bunch of fish, snails and colorful shrimp in my 20G. Not to mention really nice aquatic plants :) Going from hermit crab geek to freshwater fish/invertebrates geek is really fun.
    If you're not into amphibians or fish, how about invertebrates? There are many people who do "shrimp tanks". Shrimp tanks are very neat and require little maintenance, depending on the shrimp you pick. A good starter choice would be Red Cherry Shrimp. They're usually pretty expensive to buy in local fish stores (like 5 dollars each for a 1 inch shrimp!) but you can easily order them online for a dollar a pop. They breed really easily and you can actually make money off of their offspring.

    There's so many possibilities! :)
     
  15. Hermie's rule

    Hermie's rule "Second Molt In Progress"

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    In front of the crabitat! :)
    Try getting a snake, turtle or lizard. Or a rat or hamster or mouse!!! :) Sorry all you girls out there!
     
  16. Yadokari

    Yadokari (Small Crab)

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    Reptiles are often quite expensive :-( So I don't know if your budget allows. Although, technically, some hermit crab items CAN be used in a habitat for reptiles. Like heaters and food dishes.
    Rodents make a great pet too! Although they're very sneaky and escapees are quite common :( If you have a lid, that pretty much eliminates the problem though. I would suggest getting a rodent too. Cheap, easy maintenance and super cute. You can't lose! Slacking off on weekly maintenance will stink up the place though, so be careful!

    My brother once neglected to clean his hamster's cage before. It was left alone for a month or more with no bedding changes and we started seeing little sprouts coming out. The hamster's urine watered the seeds (hamster food) under the substrate and the seeds actually started growing into small plantlets! Funny story, but a sad one because the hamster was living in like a month's old bedding.
     
  17. MoribundMaverick

    MoribundMaverick (Small Crab)

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    My aquatic problem is that I'm very messy/clumsy and usually find a way to spill the water. Especially when I'm doing a sand change (my water was brakish, so I had to have sand and change it semi-often)
    My school doesn't allow rodents, and they've gotten really strict on that, ever since last semester when a girl's rat got loose and reproduced (so we think) with another wild rat inside the dormitories.
    Also, the ammount of money that I have is very... nonexistant.

    But when I was younger I used to catch toads from the back yard and keep them as pets, and most of the time they lasted for about a year...
    I think I might try a nice petstore toad and actually look into their requirments, and not just give them sticks I find outside. Maybe they'll last even longer than a year this time. =]
     
  18. Yadokari

    Yadokari (Small Crab)

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    Firebelly toads are good ones to look into, fairly cheap too. (About the same price as a hermit crab). They do require half land and half water environments though.
     
  19. Hermie's rule

    Hermie's rule "Second Molt In Progress"

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    Try getting geckos!! They are quite sweet and friendly! I've always wanted to get one too.
     
  20. krackersmom2

    krackersmom2 (Large Crab)

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    Just remember that some reptiles carry salmonella. We had to get rid of an iguana when my first child was born because of the salmonella risk. When we first got hermit crabs, I wondered if they might carry it too, but was much relieved to learn that they don't.
     
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