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Very concerned about my hermie

Discussion in 'Emergency Care - 911.' started by Stephen2342, Oct 12, 2009.

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  1. Stephen2342

    Stephen2342 "Preparing For First Molt"

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    Hi.
    I have four hermit crabs. One of them, named Kauai, had a surface molt (I think that's what you call it when they don't go under the sand but still shed their exoskeleton) a few days ago. For the next two or three days he was sitting right on top of the sponge in the regular water bowl pretty much 24/7. Then today when I came upstairs I saw him completely outside of his shell and all of the other shells, including the one he was previously in, on the other side of the tank! He was just crawling over a piece of wood like he would any day. I freaked out, reached in the tank and put the shell he had been in right next to him. Within a minute he crawled inside the shell an has been in there since. Right after that he went over to the salt water bowl and walked along the edge of it. This happened about 30 mins ago. He' still in his shell just sitting around as usual....but I'm so concerned.

    Why was he sitting on the sponge for so long?
    Why did he come out of his shell completely?
    What can I do to help him?
    I do have a cuttlebone in there for calcium, just so you know ...

    Thanks for any help!

    Stephen
     
  2. strawberryskittle

    strawberryskittle (Small Crab)

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    This has never happened to me, but if I had, I think this might be my thought process:

    Surface molt is bad. Do I have enough moist, deep substrate? Are there areas in the tank that stay generally dark all the time?

    Despite the surface molt, did he eat his exo? Does he look like he's hardened? A long time on the sponge could be while he was waiting for his new pink exo to harden.

    Some crabs molt out of their shell. Maybe after he was done, he was crawling along looking for his shell, which is why he took to the one you gave him so quickly.

    If he doesn't look active/strong enough, would it seem like common sense to divide him from other crabs? (not iso)

    Just some thoughts I would think.

    I think the fact that he's moving around and got back in his shell, that these are good signs. Keep an eye on him for a while and try not to disturb him too much.
     
  3. cloie74

    cloie74 "Second Molt, A Success"

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    Did he eat any of his shed Exo? What are the Temp/humidity levels like in your tank?
    Are your other crabs messing with him? What kind or water treatments/salt water mix do you use?
     
  4. manolo578

    manolo578 (Micro Crab)

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    Hmmm this seems serious. Mabye he is just destressing from the molt. IF you can, ISO him or put him in his own area. Rememer, everything on this site is a suggestion because everyone cant hear the crabs talk and say what is wrong. So follow the advice that is given.
     
  5. Stephen2342

    Stephen2342 "Preparing For First Molt"

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    Thanks everyone for the help.

    Strawberryskittle- The substrate is definitely deep enough, it's baout 2-3 inches deep and he's a very small hermie. It looks like he ate moast of his exo but not all of it...though it could have been another hermie who ate it. What would cause a hermie to do a surface molt and why is it bad?

    Cloie- The temperature has been between 68 and 76 for the past few days. I know it shouldn't get below 72 but I've been covering the tank with towels to help with that. Humidity is like 87%. I don't think the other hermies are messing with him and I use HBH hermit crab salt. I've heard that the only ingredient is salt, and that, unlike most other HBH products, it's actually very good.

    Manolo- Okay, maybe I'll see if I can put him in one of my other tanks...

    UPDATE: Yesterday, pretty much right after I posted on this forum I noticed that Kauai was missing his big purple pincer and I found it lying in the tank... I know horrible when hermies lose their limbs, but I have no idea why this is happeneing! One of my other hermies, Tiki, is currently under the sand going through a molt. So why would one of my hermies do a surface molt while the other does a regular molt? Does it have to do with what I'm feeding them?
    What can I do to help him? When I made their food last night I crushed it up into mush so he could eat it. :\ I'm so sad...
     
  6. Stephen2342

    Stephen2342 "Preparing For First Molt"

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    And he's still sitting on the sponge...
     
  7. cloie74

    cloie74 "Second Molt, A Success"

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    how do you heat your tank? it is WAY too cold with the humidity way too high.
    Do you have a cover on your tank?
    Lights? heat pad? are they in the warmest possible room in the house?
    temp should be closer to 80 and humidity 75-80.

    What size is your tank?
    You need to raise the temp and drop the humidity ASAP to do that I suggest a low wattage heat lamp, it will GRADUALLY raise your heat and dry out your tank a bit. Get a moon bulb so you can leave it on all day and night without disrupting their 12 hrs of dark cycle.
    If you dont have access to a heat bulb wra a blanket around your tank, in a pinch Aluminum foil will work to raise the tems but be aware that tems can rise quickly so you need to keep an eye on it and not leave it like that overnight.
     
  8. Stephen2342

    Stephen2342 "Preparing For First Molt"

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    Thank you for the help.

    I have a ZooMed under tank heater for 10-20 gallon terrariums. And it's a 10 gallon glass tank. The tank is covered with a folded towel, yes. They're in my room which actually happens to be the warmest room, yes.

    Okay, we used to have a heat lamp but it broke so I guess we'll have to get a new one...I guess I should wrap the tank with a towel, though the cover of the tank is covered with a towel already.

    Ugh, I've had them all for over a year ... I don't know what I'm doing wrong!! Shouldn't the heater keep the tank at a high temperature?
     
  9. cloie74

    cloie74 "Second Molt, A Success"

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    The UTH is not to keep the tank warm really, it is designed to keep the substrate warm but not so warm that it is going to burn whatever your housing. Unless you live in a consistently warm climate it is not going to be enough alone.

    My suggestion is to get a ceramic clamp lamp with a 15 Watt moon glow heat bulb, that way you can keep it on 24/7.
    I am assuming your cover is screen, if so cover the half (that does not have the lamp on it) of the screen with plastic wrap, press and seal works really good.
    That should help control the humidity and add heat.

    You can get the ceramic clamp lamp MUCH cheaper at home depot than a pet store.
     
  10. Stephen2342

    Stephen2342 "Preparing For First Molt"

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    Okay, thank you. I will definitely purchase one of those this weekend. The cover is a screen and the whole thing is covered with plastic wrap...it's been like that pretty much since I got them.

    I'm sad to report, though, that Kauai died today while I was at school. I can't believe it...I feel horrible...

    Rest in peace Kauai
    7/23/08 - 10/14/09
    :(
     
  11. cloie74

    cloie74 "Second Molt, A Success"

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    Awww Sorry about your crab :(
    You need to leave a little of the screen uncovered so air can get in there ;)
    Even just a little corner of it so fresh air can get in that will also help with your high humidity.
     
  12. manolo578

    manolo578 (Micro Crab)

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    I know how you feel. My crab Seahawk died while I was at the hospital. PPS is a vicious killer....
     
  13. d.j.

    d.j. Hi, I'm New Here!

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    sorry about that. my hermit crab died while he was in the middle of the molt. i didnt even see any effects untill he came out of his shell to start molting. i knew i wasnt supposed to move him but another hermit crab moved him.
     
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