Okay, I am a little sad, but more disturbed by what is happening here. I am going to apologize for the lengthiness of this post ahead of time. I don't necessarily want to bore all of you with my entire crabbing history, but I don't think my survival rate is "normal". I need help to find out if there is anything I am doing wrong or maybe there is something I am not doing... I don't want to be killing hermies here. I have put a stop to buying new hermies till I get things under control and we go a couple of months without a death. Is that unreasonable? My son got his first hermie in May 2004. We knew enough to get a tank, calci sand, water and food dish, temp gauge hidey hut, climbing toy, and that was about it. Luckily he was a pp, so salt water wasn't a necessity. I reseached hermies online after that and realized they needed humidity and friends in addition to what we had, so we added a top, a humidity guage, and two more pp's. We still have the original hermie and one of his friends. When I realized there were different species I knew I needed my own hermies and tank so we got a 20 Long and salt water dishes for both tanks, even though we only had pp's. Slowly we added more hermies, every 3 weeks or so, not realizing that a quarantine period was a good idea (in some peoples opinion anyway). I lost one of my original 3 pp's within 10 days. After that I lost an indo within 12 days of purchase that was in the end of July, I lost a jumbo that I rescued (his shell was full of huge holes and he certainly would have died at the pet store, instead he lasted 11 days at my house, that was in August. I ordered 2 strawberries to be shipped to me and one died after about 4 weeks, that was in the end of August or maybe the beginning of Sept. About a week after Ann the strawberry died, her companion a little cavipe we got in the middle of August (one of 10 hermies we got 8-22-04 and iso'd for 2 weeks after purchase) died. About 3 weeks later one of the Es I got on 8-22-04 died. Then about 3 to 4 weeks ago one of my son's ruggies we got on 8-22-04 died under the water fountain in his tank. A few days later I found Storm, one of the original 3 crabs dead after what might have been a shell fight since he had one leg ripped off and his pinchers were open and he was shell up when I found him. Last week a large pp died. We got him and another pp his size about 4 weeks ago or maybe 5, and iso'd them for about 18-20 days. Then just a couple days ago I found the other little cavipe we got on 8-22-04 naked and dead in the tank, and one of the Indos we got about 2-3 weeks ago dead too. In the effort to get the combination of hermies we want we have been adding hermies every 3-6 weeks, not necessarily by a plan, but when we find some hermies like we have been talking about getting, we buy them. We iso hermies 2-3 weeks in their own tank after purchase. We have upgraded tanks along the way, we started out with a 10 gal, added a 20 gal long, then the 46 gal bowfront, then the 40 gal acrylic. I have kks I use for isos in the 10 gal and also in the main tank if it is appropriate. The 20 long serves as the newbie tank for now since it has lots of room. The 10 gal is strictly for molting crabs it seems. We have playsand mixed with calci sand in the 10 gal iso, we have calci sand and repti sand in the 20 gal long, we have aragonite and beach sand in the 40 gal, and we have beach sand in the 46 gal. I sifted, rinsed and baked the beach sand, so I know it is clean - it took me forever! We have added decor along the way too, we use glass dishes or repti rocks or shells for waters, and shells for food, plastic or or fake silk plants in the crabitat with suction cups as adhesion. Coco huts, cork structures for hiding in, terra cotta flower pots for hiding in, oak branches from our tree in our back yard, coral, an aquarium decoration climby hut thing, a natural grapevine wreath, a haba tree on a stone, a plastic palm tree, we have used fish nets at times for climbing on. I know enough to bake or boil everything before putting it in the crabitat, and I do. I sift the sand of poop regularly, and clean or replace the sand every few months. We have used gladware dishes of Forest Bedding at times burying the dish so the terrain is level. The crabs seemed to like it. I boil extra shells every couple of months so they are always clean. I use Crystal Geyser bottled water for the hermies or dechlor water from my hubbys work (he is the water distribution guy there so he knows there is nothing bad in the water) I was using zoomed food that had ethoxyquin, and switched to crab island food about a month ago. I feed plan popcorn, dried coconut, kaytee healthy toppings, cuttlebone, as well as fresh fruit like apples, grapes, and bananas and fresh veggies like romaine lettuce and carrots to the hermies occasionally in addition to the crab island food (not in the same dish or shell). I have had humidity and temperature gauges the whole time and have checked their accuracy regularly. Our humidity and temp don't fluxuate much during the day, but as the weather changes so does the temp and humidity but I make sure it never dips below 65 degrees but it did get up to about 85-86 degrees in the summer and the humidity is usually in the 70-80% range. I don't have too much trouble keeping humidity since we have good plexiglass lids with just the right number of holes drilled in them for air flow. If for some reason (like if I just replaced the sand) the humidity is low, I spritz the entire tank to make it "rain" in there to give the humidity a boost. I don't mist the individual hermies. We bathe hermies every week or two, but not any more often than that. I haven't had a problem with mold in months (since I figured out one of the gauges was about 20% off). I did have ants in the tank a couple of weeks ago, we moved everyone into tanks upstairs and did a deep clean in the crabitat and sprayed a bit downstairs to keep the ants away. I saran wrapped the tank to keep the fumes from getting in there, then I aired out the room for a week with the tank wrapped, then I unwrapped the tank for about 5 days and let it air out before putting the hermies back in. We haven't had any ants since. I use UTHs when necessary. I try to iso for molts, but some little crabs have snuck molts in the main tank successfully. I don't know what else to add. If anyone can offer any suggestions or insight to what might be happening I would be ever so greatful. I just feel like I am losing too many hermies here and I want it to stop and I need to figure this out. 11 hermies dead between mid July and mid October, it can't all be pps can it?