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Yet another sand question + cleaning query, etc.

Discussion in 'General questions about care.' started by KOphelia, Aug 25, 2007.

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  1. KOphelia

    KOphelia Hi, I'm New Here!

    Aug 25, 2007
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    Lots of questions actually but first some info:

    My PP crab (not small not medium) is currently on a pitiful inch and a half of pink calcisand (not my idea, but the idea of the very small little girl who owns the tank and the other PP crab). She has owned her crab (small) for just over a week and I have had mine for about 4 days now (lack of sleep lately has caused the days to blend together).

    I have been trying hard to decide on a better substrate for them (and to switch tanks because mine is a little too obsessed with a leftover velcro strip from when the tank was a fish aquarium with a coral reef backdrop, he even went as far as knocking over the heavy ornament I placed in front of it to keep him from chewing on it..it took him all afternoon but he finally got to it...I didn't realise what he was up to until he got it either).

    I did a search for sand and read through a couple of the topics, I found 2 that sort of matched what I was going to ask but just to be absolutely sure I'm not making a horrible mistake:

    I heard reptile sand is okay for crabs, so I ended up coming home from Petsmart with a bag of this stuff: PetSmart - T-Rex Sand Naturals

    I've had misgivings since I got back because I heard some reptile sand isn't good for crabs, and I just want to check if anyone knows anything about this particular sand and if it's okay. I've read quite a few sites about various types of substrates and sand just feels the most natural to me (I was lucky enough to live with a beach for my backyard for a few years when I was much younger), plus I need to placate both a little girl and a mother in law neither of whom will likely appreciate 'yucky dirt' substrates; sand is just visually more pleasant.

    So is this sand okay? I'm still working on getting up an ISO tank and I'm planning to get some Playsand later today.

    If this sand is okay can I mix it with some playsand, just so it won't go to waste?

    If it's not okay, is there anythign special I need to do with the playsand before I go and put it in the 'new' 10gallon tank? Besides baking it...my husband gave me a very worried look when I brought that up and in a completely unrelated conversation my mother-in-law would like everyone to stop using the oven for the next 3 months.

    Either way, is it okay if I put a thin (maybe up to half an inch?) layer of the calcisand on top of it?

    The 'new' tank has been sitting in the garage for X?! ammount of months with some big pebbles left in there from when it still had fish in it. I'll be removing the pebbles, is there anything else I have to do to prepare the tank before i even put the sand in? I know chemicals are bad for crabs so I'm not sure how to go about cleaning the tank.

    Now to the food and salt: I have unfortunately purchased HBH Hermit Crab Variety Bites, and HBH Hermit Crab salt, and from what I've seen, a lot of crab owners shy away from this brand (though both the crabs have nibbled at the food, and mine seemed to like the saltwater I mixed for it). Is there any food I can buy at a petstore which is approved by experienced owners that I can buy or will I have to further alienate myself from my in-laws by mixing my own crabfood? : P

    I've read about certain recommended salt mixes, but what to folks here use?

    Does the ISO tank NEED to be a 10gallon glass tank?Can it be a smaller (maybe 5gallon if I can find one?)

    What exactly are the drawbacks of using a kritter carrier as an ISO?

    Where/What is the best way to store an ISO when it is and isn't in use?(can't really keep it on the dining room table with the main tank, definately don't want to put it in the garage)

    Money is REALLY tight right now and I've really stretched it over the last few days trying to get supplies for the crabs (only to find half of it isn't even recommended). I think I'm okay for some of the other supplies. I have:
    Temp and Humidity Gauge x2 (one for the eventual ISO tank) After using the saran wrap trick both gauges now read 'optimal'.
    Tap Water Dechlorinator
    Stress coat (should I ever find a reason to bathe the crabs)
    Toys (my crab has climbed over everything and seems to want more but I'm trying to keep some space in there.. I think he's the type who'll give me a run for my money trying to escape. Like the obsession with velcro hasn't got me worried enough!)
    Shells (and planning to get a few more since i misjudged the sizes... i put them in there anyway, just in case... I cleaned them first)
    Fresh and Saltwater dishes (which they both can climb in and out of easily)
    2 shells for the food (one for the HBH and one for the fresh food)
    Sponge in the fresh water (are there any rules for sponges?)
    Mister with crab friendly water (seems redundant now since the Saran Wrap trick seems to be doing the job now that I've tried it)

    I can't think of any other questions right now, and sorry for asking so many in one go.
    Most of my pets in the past have usually had fur or at the very least feathers and hermit crabs were never ever on the "get one day" list! Still... the crabs smell better than a gerbil so I'm not complaining. : )
    At any rate, I hope to have my crab... (and possibly the other one since I'm thinking...and hoping a little... the the original owner will get bored and look for something else to play with, but if she still wants it to herself she's going to have to get her own tank, heh! And I would definately get another one... I'm already tempted but first I'd like to get the conditions as close to ideal as possible for these two first so I probably won't get another one for at least a month)... for a very long time.

    Er...anyway thanks for any help and sorry again for the long post.

    PS: I'm trying not to handle them too much right now, with all the adding new toys, the lack of substrate and the upcoming move to a new tank, I can only imagine the state they're in.. I'm surprised none of them have dropped any limbs yet!

    HERMEZ Moderator

    Dec 22, 2005
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    ok I havent had my coffee yet lets see how good I can do...............

    Sand just buy toy r us sand or some people use Lowes PLAYsand--I dont like that anymore it smells and has "stuff" in it but I did use it for the first year--I dont know about the sand you bought- sounds like a glorified calci sand. Calci sand when wet gets clumpy and smelly--but yes you can sprinkle on top or offer it in a dish.

    Salt has been mentioned here many times the recommended brands are Oceanic-Red Sea-Catalina...Instant Ocean has alot of metal content in it.

    Please ditch the HBH food its bad,..............Vicki has an unblievable store chock full of cheap-nutricious foods and has excellent service!

    See if you can take back the stuff you bought in error- we have all been there and the shells too take awhile to get the hang of. :D

    As to where you can store the ISO well............I have tank stands alot of people can tuck them under there. I have a whole room dedicated to the crabs so I got tanks stuffed in all kinds of corners! :p a closet would work--make sure you get glass lids- the big chains charge too much for them- go to a mom n pop store

    clean the tank with vinegar/salt

    I too use KK as ISO only if they are small crabs and or a molt getting hard.

    Were here to help your off to a great start!
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