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surface molt vs deceased

Discussion in 'Molting.' started by ampatchett, Sep 2, 2006.

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  1. ampatchett

    ampatchett Hi, I'm New Here!

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    Crab is on the surface. No movement. Misting crab almost daily. keeping coconut cave over crab to provide some darkness. At 2 to 2 1/2 weeks after not moving I took some pics. Not seeing any sign of exoskeleton molting. No fish odor but this is a small crab. Crab did switch shell 2-3x, and was 1/2 burying in eco brick. But with 1-2 mists would readily resurface.

    Can you tell by pic if crab is dead or not?
    How do I post pic?
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2006
  2. Jason

    Jason Moderator

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    I am not sure People would be able to tell from a photo. Has he moved in the last couple of days? or worse yet, does the tank smell?
     
  3. ampatchett

    ampatchett Hi, I'm New Here!

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    Has not moved in 2+ weeks. But other sources indicated that it can take more than 1 month to molt. No significant odor. Other resources indicated to monitor for fishy odor. I have not noticed this.

    Initially thought the shell swapping and then burying 1/2 way was a good sign,
    but
    I'm not so sure the not moving and differentiating surface molt vs. dead.
     
  4. Jason

    Jason Moderator

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    Without the smell of death, it is a good sign. When you say he has not moved in 2+ weeks, do you mean that he is sitting on the surface? When you say 1/2 way, is the shell poking out of the substrate, or is part of the crab out as well?

    Jason
     
  5. ampatchett

    ampatchett Hi, I'm New Here!

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    now 3-4 wks ago buried 2x times so shell was just on surface and prior to that switched shells 2x. about 3-4 weeks ago misted crab. Crab came completely to surface, then when I came back from work crab was not moving at all and was still completely on the surface, not buried in the least. Crab has not moved since then.
     
  6. ampatchett

    ampatchett Hi, I'm New Here!

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    :( Tommorow is definitley 4 weeks of not moving and siting on surface. do I continue to hold out hope of molt vs. deceased? or how long should I continue to mist and maitain temp & humidity?

    Thank you.
     
  7. Hermitz101

    Hermitz101 (Micro Crab)

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    Even if it is a small hermit crab, it will still smell fishy, when it dies. Another sign if it dies is that if it is on something hard, like the crab(with its own shell) is in a larger shell, when it dies, a brown liquid will be in the bottom. I really hope your hermie is just going through a molt, and is okay. Please keep us informed
     
  8. Jason

    Jason Moderator

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    I hope I never encounter either. Hope your guy is doing well.

    Jason
     
  9. ampatchett

    ampatchett Hi, I'm New Here!

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    so is there a magical # of weeks to wait?:confused: (note crab & shell would easily set on a quarter--just to give you an idea of size)

    "like the crab(with its own shell) is in a larger shell, when it dies, a brown liquid will be in the bottom."
    this crab is in its own shell sitting on top of eco brick. So if you are saying that the brown ooze will be in the shell that is not on the crabs abdomen, then I will probably not be able to use this as clue.

    Thank You,:)
     
  10. reader101

    reader101 Banned

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    There is one pretty sure way of telling if your crab is deceased or molting. Try gently spritzing his shell and surrounding area with bottled or distilled water, warmed to about 78 F. Immediately be prepared to watch for any sign of a shell wiggle; he's alive, and just keep him warm and moist! I would think if he were deceased, you would know by now...if you've ever made the mistake of mixing chlorine with ammonia, you'd know the death smell within 24 hrs. Very distinct from the molting smells.
    Best of luck, and keep us posted.
     
  11. ThreeDaisy

    ThreeDaisy (Micro Crab)

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    How is your little guy? I don't think there is a number of magical weeks. I have had some take 6-8 weeks and one that only took 2 weeks.
    This little guy didn't bury all the way under the substrate? Mine always have buried. I hope he's ok. I had a very small one die once and it definately smells way fishy. So I would leave it alone if it doesn't smell bad. Good Luck.
     
  12. ampatchett

    ampatchett Hi, I'm New Here!

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    No this crab did not bury at all.
    Tried pouring some 78F water (used digital cooking water to eval. temp) over the crab. No response.
    No fish odor. If crab is small enough will you still get a fish odor?
    If I reach 8 weeks do I give up?
     
  13. ampatchett

    ampatchett Hi, I'm New Here!

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    It is now 8wks of crab not moving at all, just sitting on top of eco brick mulch stuff, with the coconut hut I placed over him. :confused: Tried the warm water 78degree trick 2x. No activity.

    Any thing else I should try?

    Thanks,

    PS so far no obvious fishy odor.
     
  14. ampatchett

    ampatchett Hi, I'm New Here!

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    :confused: any futher feed back? Thanks.:)
     
  15. ampatchett

    ampatchett Hi, I'm New Here!

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    :confused: :confused: :confused:
    Now 10 weeks of absolute no movement, but no fishy odor. Still remaining on surface in same spot s/he stopped moving 10 weeks ago.

    Anything else I should try?
    Thank You.
     
  16. reader101

    reader101 Banned

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    There isn't an icon to show it, but I do think you've done absolutely everything possible in the way of patience and care. I feel for you with not having gotten the feedback you needed, and apologize on my behalf. I've had my own weakened health state (moulting?) for a couple weeks. Whatever other opinions may be, my inclination would be to finally pick up the baby, with a finger covering the shell opening to avoid fall-out of shell, and quietly look for any signs of life whatsoever. A flashlight and nose are helpful, and follow your instinct. If you have any thought of possible life (and I've tried another method of simply cupping the shell in a warm palm for up to 1/2 hr. before examining - if the hermie is at all alive in the shell, you will feel some sort of movement from the heat of your hand). If so...replace carefully and quietly immediately. Otherwise - you did your best.
    I currently have 2 in a precarious, similar situation. Sometimes I have to grab my hand to avoid reaching in and digging up so I finally know.
    Keep me posted.
    reader101
    p.s. - do believe miracles can happen.
     
  17. ampatchett

    ampatchett Hi, I'm New Here!

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    "with a finger covering the shell opening to avoid fall-out of shell, and quietly look for any signs of life whatsoever. "

    crab is 1/2 out: legs and 1/2 to 3/4 of thorax; So there is really no shell opening to cover, crabs head and thorax sitting out of opening.

    So do I just try to tilt the shell with the opening toward the sky to hold the crab? or does this chane your recommendation regarding trying to palm warm for 30min? or would you place crab in plastic container then place container in bowl with 80 degree water to warm up (kinda like a double boil for melting chocolate only a much cooler water temp)?

    perhaps placing cloth over crabs container to help hold the warmth in?

    or would you use a ceramic mug (conducts heat better than plastic?)

    Thanks.
     
  18. reader101

    reader101 Banned

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    WOW! This is a long one, but I hope it helps. Need to break it down into two answers:

    Re picking up:
    Your hermie sounds very similar to my gentle giant, who is 2/3 out of shell as well, needs to swap & molt, but won't or can't. I pick him up several times a week to help with feeding until his strength builds for molt the following way: ps - my hermies are used to proper handling, & quite comfortable - just make sure they are secure in footing:
    with thumb and middle finger, gently wrap around hermie's legs and extremities with one hand, and other palm for support (use both hands - fingers of one and palm of other until you are used to it). As long as legs are contained, they will not fall out of shell if deceased nor pinch if alive . Keep horizontal, as a hermie will be stressed on it's back, and place immediately in palm, loosely held by cupping fingers for support. If you have cold hands, as I do, gently blow warm air into palm without moving. You will either feel movement or not. Decision time.
    A separate topic is shell-reintroduction.
    Regarding shell-reintroduction;
    a hermie out of shell is bound to have delicate abdomen and membranes abraded by sand. I choose to cleanse 2-3 shells (including original), and immerse these in a recyclable bowl of distilled water, mic'd to 78 F with a fraction of natural herb oil and place the naked hermie in the bath to remove sand. While still underwater, (where most shell swaps take place), I gently guide the curl into a naturally lubricated shell. If rejected immediately try another shell. It seldom takes two tries, and I have even witnessed the hermie when replaced, backing the shell into the side of the tank to help finish the job of pushing his bottom in. 75% successful.
    Hope it helps now that you know my secrets, and maybe others will help with the rest!

    To the best of my knowledge, the reason hermies go naked under normal, healthy conditions has yet to be explained.
    We hope this helps.
    Whew!
     
  19. ampatchett

    ampatchett Hi, I'm New Here!

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    :( alas crab was deceased. pick up, warmed in hands, no movement.
    placed in bag. leg bumped bag on way in. Leg fell off. Crab completely dried out. (Probably explains the lack of fishy odor). But I think s/he never really smelled all that fishy due to small size.
    :) Have 2 new crabs. At least these two bury themselves. But leave evidence of dirt/eco brick and calci sand in there water dished. I think they choose to come out when I'm asleep.
    I think I stick to 2 for now. If I get a successful molt, then I'll think about adding 1-2 more.

    Thanks for the input.
     
  20. jengstro

    jengstro (Micro Crab)

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    I realize this is an old post but for future reference to anyone else my personal experience: I had a small hermie , shell size about the same as a quarter, and it definately smelled after he/she passed away. Within 24 hours it smelled, at first I thought the food pellets got wet (I also don't feed my hermies the pellets anymore, as they had perservatives in them) but on day 2 it was a definate death smell, very, very strong fishy odor.
     
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