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not sure if crabs are dead

Discussion in 'Emergency Care - 911.' started by bowtiebomber2, Jun 12, 2008.

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  1. bowtiebomber2

    bowtiebomber2 Hi, I'm New Here!

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    we bought 6 hermits in panama city Florida 6 golf ball size ones and 2 jumbo ones, there are two separate crabitats , they are in 10 gallon reptile tanks with a single under substrate heater , the substrate itself is just beach sand that was screened and baked. there are two separate levels of the substrate, one 6 inch and on 3 inch with a reptile log between the two, there are plenty of things for them to climb on suck as a climbing wood and coconut mat on the back wall and other things, we keep food in one dish and water in another, we do use the distiled drinking water for all their waterings and misting, we are trying to do everything we can but we are beginner crabbers and have now lost two crabs or so we think, yesterday one crab was very slow moving igf moving at all, no antenna movement, this morning she (pearl) was dead, i figured she was because she wouldn't move at all and just kinda drooped out of her shell, not all the way but wasn't holding on, so we buried her in the yard, we want to prevent any future crab deaths s could someone please help us out,:confused:

    Any suggestions on crabs that keep dying , please hep, tell us if there is something we are doing is wrong

    How long have you had the crab(s) in question? 1 month to 1 1/2 months

    Do you know what species they are? land hermits

    Did you/Do you isolate new crabs? no

    Tank Size: 10 gallon

    Lid Type: sliding screen

    Placement of tank in your home: sisters bedroom on dresser

    Substrate Used (moist or dry & depth): moist beach sand baked and filtered 3-6 inches

    Type of Gauges: Strip/Analog/Digital thermo anologe

    Did you test your humidity gauge for accuracy?no dont have one

    Placement of Gauges: on top of crabitat

    Temperature and Humidity levels in your tank: Degrees % 70 - 80 degrees

    Heating Source (if UTH how much of the tank does it cover and how much substrate is over it): under sand heater, abrok 1/4

    Lighting Source (type bulbs & wattage): outside room lamp

    Do you have at least one area for each crab to hide? no but have large hiding places

    Is there any metal in your tank? no

    What types of climbing things/toys do you have in your tank? coconut back wall , climbing log, log lean2, log level separator,

    What type of water do you use (dechlorinated tap/spring water)?
    dechlorinated drinking water from botle

    If you use dechlorination drops-which kind? no

    Do your provide fresh and salt water? If yes, what type of salt mix do you use? only fresh drinking water, but every other day dip in salt water

    Do you provide dishes for water or just sponges? dishes

    How many extra shells do you have for each crab? 1

    Did you boil the shells prior to putting them in the tank? no but just did

    Do you bathe your crabs? If yes, how often and what do you use to bathe them in? daily, fresh and or salt water

    Do you only handle your crabs with clean hands? sometimes

    How often do you handle them?daily

    Have they been exposed to toxins such as chemical/cleaning fumes, perfume, spray deodorant, etc? not that i know of?

    Do you allow your crabs to exercise outside the tank? yes

    What types of foods do you feed? crab chow, banana, papaya, apple, cheesits,

    What do you use as a calcium supplement? cuttle bone shaved with cheese grater.
     
  2. HERMEZ

    HERMEZ Moderator

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    Well keep in mind that molting crabs often resemble dead crabs- the exo will be hollow. Dead crabs smell bad so you will know when that happens. The size tanks you have are really too small for the crabs to thrive well. I don't know where you live but you may not need a heater and the sand should be moist. Have you read all the caresheets etc here? You need salt water (Oceanic - Red sea etc etc) and a fresh food diet. Vckums sells all kinds of foods- stay away from commercial foods- do you have gauges- that will measure your temps/humidity
     
  3. Hermie's rule

    Hermie's rule "Second Molt In Progress"

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    Don't try to bathe them everyday. I never bathe mine unless we've mites or something. It stresses them out. Please do some reading up on crab care. All I can think of is that the crab could've been molting. When a crab looks like he's dead don't throw him out right away but give him some time. Maybe they'll surprise you with a molt.!! ;)
     
  4. krackersmom2

    krackersmom2 (Large Crab)

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    I noted in your run down that you do not have a humidity gauge and the temp. gauge is outside the crabitat. The placement of the gauges should be inside the tank, both themp. and humidity. The screen lid you have on the tank needs to be replaced with glass or wrapped in plastic wrap to retain humidity. Without the proper humidity, they will suffocate and die. Their modified gills require it to help them breathe. I'm sure your climate in FL is similar to mine in S. TX....since you are on the Gulf Coast. I do not use a UTH (under tank heater) and my temps. are fine with the exception when the temp. gets really cold outside. If you have an actual heater IN the sand, I would remove it. Is it like a reptile rock? Those can get too hot and burn the crabs. A UTH goes on the underside of the glass.
    For Jumbo crabs your substrate needs to be at least 7 or more inches deep....depending on the size of the crab.
    All crabs need a dish of fresh and salt water....made from aquarium salt. The dishes should be deep enough for your largest crab to fully submerge, but have a way for smaller crabs to get out...like a vine or piece of sponge. I would skip the bath/dip. They don't like it and don't need it. Some people give their new crabs an intital salt bath to help them "smell" familiar to the existing crabs and to check for mites. The reason for salt water is that they store it up and it helps them burst open their exo during molting.
    Make some adjustments and see if it helps. I also agree that you need bigger tanks. In my 29 gallon, I have 6 crabs ranging from medium to 1 jumbo. In my 10 gallon I have 6 smalls.
     
  5. krackersmom2

    krackersmom2 (Large Crab)

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    I noted in your run down that you do not have a humidity gauge and the temp. gauge is outside the crabitat. The placement of the gauges should be inside the tank, both themp. and humidity. The screen lid you have on the tank needs to be replaced with glass or wrapped in plastic wrap to retain humidity. Without the proper humidity, they will suffocate and die. Their modified gills require it to help them breathe. I'm sure your climate in FL is similar to mine in S. TX....since you are on the Gulf Coast. I do not use a UTH (under tank heater) and my temps. are fine with the exception when the temp. gets really cold outside. If you have an actual heater IN the sand, I would remove it. Is it like a reptile rock? Those can get too hot and burn the crabs. A UTH goes on the underside of the glass.
    For Jumbo crabs your substrate needs to be at least 7 or more inches deep....depending on the size of the crab.
    All crabs need a dish of fresh and salt water....made from aquarium salt. The dishes should be deep enough for your largest crab to fully submerge, but have a way for smaller crabs to get out...like a vine or piece of sponge. I would skip the bath/dip. They don't like it and don't need it. Some people give their new crabs an intital salt bath to help them "smell" familiar to the existing crabs and to check for mites. The reason for salt water is that they store it up and it helps them burst open their exo during molting.
    Make some adjustments and see if it helps. I also agree that you need bigger tanks. In my 29 gallon, I have 6 crabs ranging from medium to 1 jumbo. In my 10 gallon I have 6 smalls.
     
  6. bowtiebomber2

    bowtiebomber2 Hi, I'm New Here!

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    Well the one crab was truly dead, he had a rotten meat smell to him so he is buried outside with our other pets. :(. as far as our gages we will be getting some digital ones that will go inside the tank, i do not live in Florida we were just on vacation, i actually live in ohio and the heater is under the bottom glass. we keep the sand moist and do misting about every other day. as far as food goes we have them on a variety of fresh foods such as apples, bananas, papaya, cheesits and crab food. i can say that they didn't like the papaya as much. oh and every now and then peanut butter:D. larger tanks is not really an option but we planned on a tank top light. any suggestions? we figured this would help improve and retain some of the humidity.
     
  7. silver616

    silver616 "Preparing For Second Molt"

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    Welcome, Congrats, and Enjoy!!!!

    It sounds like your basic set-up is pretty good!!! I can understand why some would say you need bigger tanks, but in the past I had success with keeping a similar number of small crabs in a 10 gallon tank (don't know about the "jumbo's" b/c I don't have any, but 2 in a 10 gallon tank sounds reasonable). I have since "up-graded" to a larger tank b/c I am a "crab addict" and wanted to get more crabs! Anyway, for now, I wouldn't worry too much about the size of your tank!

    I agree with others who have said "no" to bathing crabs!! I do not do it (other than when I first get them home from the pet store) b/c I believe it does stress them out more than is necessary. Instead, I make sure to have salt and fresh water dishes deep enough for them to submerge themselves in if they so desire!

    A humidity guage is a MUST!! I personally believe keeping the right humidity level (I aim for 75%) is one of the most important aspects of crab care!

    The other thing I would encourage you to do to is not to use any commercial "crab" foods due to the nasty preservatives that could harm the crabs! The only commercial foods I use are Hikari Bio-Pure freeze dried products (no "bad" preservatives). Also, I noticed you mentioned "cheez-its" and I assume you mean the "people-food" crackers! If so, I would definitely stop giving them those RIGHT AWAY!!! They have "people" salt on them which is VERY DANGEROUS for your crabs!!!!!!!! In fact, it could kill them!!!!!! I can't stress enough...do not give them any table salt (aka "people" salt, iodized salt, etc)!!!!! When giving them "people food" make sure salt is NOT one of the ingredients listed!!!!!!!

    Sorry about your recent crab losses!!

    Good luck!!!!
     
  8. krackersmom2

    krackersmom2 (Large Crab)

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    I will reinerate and I'm sure others with jumbo crabs will agree that a ten gallon tank is not big enough to get the depth of sand that a jumbo needs to dig and molt. You also need enough space for two water dishes large enough to acommodate your jumbo crab, a hidey for your jumbo, and a food dish, plus climby things. If you did get it deep enough, there wouldn't be sufficient area between the substrate and the top of the tank. Feel free to take a look at my previous postings and locate Zeus. I have a picture of him on a sizing chart and on my hand.
    Ten gallons is big enough for a little colony of smalls, but your larger crabs will thrive better in a larger tank. I recommend 29 gallons or larger with a sand depth of 8-10 inches.
    As far as hidies for jumbo crabs, I found a huge half log at Petco in the reptile area. It is perfect for Zeus. When I first got him, I didn't think I would find anything large enough for him. I have a picture of my 29 gallon set-up in my previous postings as well.
     
  9. Hildegarde

    Hildegarde "Preparing For Third Molt"

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    I've never had a jumbo, but I do have some knowledge about size and amount of room they need by size. Each jumbo needs 5 gallons of space; and the medium need 4 gallons each. But these directions assume that you have at least a 30g tank. Then you could fit your 2 jumbos and maybe some of your large ones.

    What you really need to do is determine is how many crabs can comfortably live in the size of the tank(s) you have. Another hint as to how many can fit in a tank is to see how many crabs would have enough room in the substrate to moult, if they were all down at the same time.

    Hope this helps.
     
  10. HermitPaws

    HermitPaws "Fourth Molt, A Success"

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    i Own 2 jumbos an find that a 20 gallon long is too small for 2 water dishs and enough room for both to bury. i recommend a 29 gal and up for jumbos.
     
  11. bowtiebomber2

    bowtiebomber2 Hi, I'm New Here!

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    thanks for allthe help, althoguh .... patrick the big jumbo from the same tank as all of the other crabs has died, no it was not a surface molt. he fell out of his shell when picked up.:(. we think it could be something in the tank killing them so we removed all of the living crabs into my tank which have been doing quite well. we will stiop wit hthe cheesits the crabs never liked it really anywyas, what about peanut butter? larger tanks is not really a plausable option and i will hopefully post pictures soon on the tanks and crabbs. temps vary between 75-85 all day and night and humidity between 75- 99 % all day and night. i want the poor crabs to live and now am goign to thouroughly clean the tank of the dead crabs, but in that tank there ar 2 molters one about 7 week and one only a few days, is there a way to carfully transport them and their exo to a ''molting tank''?
     
  12. WizKidsMom

    WizKidsMom "Preparing For Third Molt"

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    Natural organic peanut butter is good. So is unsalted - no butter popcorn.

    It sounds like your crabs suffered from PPS (Post purchase syndrome). You want your temperature and humidity to stay constant. Humidity that jumps from 75 - 99 is not good.

    The rule of crabs - never move a molter if you can help it. Wait until they are up before you do a deep clean. If you must move them - use a spoon to pick them up and place them on top of the substrate of the other tank. You can make an indent in the substrate before the move. Then place a hut over it. They like it dark when they molt.
    Make sure you have salt water, plain water and food for them.

    Did you at least turn off the under sand heater?
     
  13. bowtiebomber2

    bowtiebomber2 Hi, I'm New Here!

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    no we havent turned off the heater, it only heats a small portion of the tank s owe didnt think it was nesecary, the only reason the humidity would jump is right after we would mist the tank so it would be like a rain humidityt kind of thing, im going to wrok on taking and posting pictures of the tanks and crabs today, we were actualy giving them jiff smooth peanutbutter but im now guessing that is bad aswell because it is people food.
     
  14. bowtiebomber2

    bowtiebomber2 Hi, I'm New Here!

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    here are a few pictures of the tank setup. it is prett ycrowded right now due t oextra crabs temporarily moved in . buuba is pictured. he is my jesus sized crab. the tank i nwhich the crabs died is verry su=immilar if not exactly the same except it is right next to a bull frog tank. could this be a problem?

    [​IMG]

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  15. bowtiebomber2

    bowtiebomber2 Hi, I'm New Here!

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  16. WizKidsMom

    WizKidsMom "Preparing For Third Molt"

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    Turn off that heater. While it may be in one section, it is not for hermies. When they dig, they will get overheated near it - or burned.

    Is that hygrometer inside the tank? It is hard to tell in your picture.

    Hermies like to climb - how about use suction cups to string netting or vines from one end to the other to give them more climbing area.
     
  17. bowtiebomber2

    bowtiebomber2 Hi, I'm New Here!

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    ok will turn off the heater. the meter is inside the tank. all crabs seem to be doing fine for now and another one of the ''tic-tacs'' ( nickle sized crabs) went into molting i beleive, or hiding somewere. i like the neting idea althoguht the crabs climb around on the celing. as far as tha tfrog cage goes, when it is cleaned sometimes water gets ''splashed'' everywere, d oyou think anything from that water could hurt the crabs? we were possibly going to move the frog all together.
     
  18. WizKidsMom

    WizKidsMom "Preparing For Third Molt"

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    What kind of water do you use for the frog? Yeah - thinking about it, the dirty water from the frog tank may have bacteria that is not good for the crabs. Moving the tank would be in the best interest to the crabs.

    As long as you are keeping the tank at a constant temp & humidity and feeding them non commercial foods the hermies should be fine.
     
  19. bowtiebomber2

    bowtiebomber2 Hi, I'm New Here!

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    the frog has been moved and temp normaly stays the same but to maintain the humidity we have to mist about twice a day . we deep cleaned the other tank and the crabs seem to be doing fine. as far as the molter goes she seems to be doing fine and was placed back at the bottom wit hall of her remaining shell. so far a sucess =]
     
  20. WizKidsMom

    WizKidsMom "Preparing For Third Molt"

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    So far so good. :)
    I use a bubbler in my tank to keep the humidity up. It is just an air stone connected to an air pump with small tubing. I cover the air stone with small stones so the hermies don't trash it. The bubbles can be adjusted using one of those air adjusters in the tubing line.
     
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