Help please :)

Questions about tank size and isolation tanks.
CrabbyMamma
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Re: Help please :)

Post by CrabbyMamma »

A little bit of an update, our crabs are now a bit happier (well, I can only assume they are, they don't look happy per se), I have sorted out their humidity and temp, so they are now at 27 degrees with 80% humidity. They have a hidey hole and a branch thing to climb on, and the next job is changing their substrate and giving them something yummo to eat (I got home too late to do this last night), which I will do in a couple of hours when my toddler has his sleep.

Thanks again for your help :)
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ladybug15057
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Re: Help please :)

Post by ladybug15057 »

Welcome to HCP and happy to hear the little ones crabitat is starting to make them happy!
For food usually what you eat can also be fed to the hermies. Here are a couple of links that maybe of some help with their food:

http://crabstreetjournal.com/xoops/modu ... storyid=25

http://crabbywiki.com/tiki-index.php?pa ... tion+Table+

http://www.hermitcrabcuisine.com/

Wai has started a thread to help Aussie crabbers. It would be great if you could help by adding to the thread what you have been able to find where for your hermies to help other Aussie crabbers:

viewtopic.php?f=41&t=3587
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Wai
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Re: Help please :)

Post by Wai »

The importance of substrate is often overlooked by pet store workers and vets. They seem to think it's just the material that hermit crabs sit on, rather than something that determines whether a hermit crab will survive a moult in it or not. I don't think Ms Shell Grit has even had hermit crabs before... or maybe she used to have them when she was six years old.
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CrabbyJo
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Re: Help please :)

Post by CrabbyJo »

Hi Crabbymama!
You're doing awesome with all the research! Pretty soon you'll be giving advice to newbies lol. :)

It sounds like you've got some good direction going now with all the help from Ladybug (Marie), Wai and Emma. I just want to interject, as I have seen salt mentioned a couple times. I'm kind of the "salt water police" when I read about people with their new crabs, because it so often happens that people think they are using a good salt water conditioner/mix.
Just make sure the salt water your crabs have is made from a mix meant for salt water aquariums. That hermit crab salt they sell is complete rubbish. It does not register any salinity at all when measured with a hydrometer. The ocean salts contain enzymes/electrolytes/ other nutrients vital to hermit crab survival.
That's just my piece, you are doing fantastic!
6 hermit crabs - 3 PPs and 3 Equadorians
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ladybug15057
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Re: Help please :)

Post by ladybug15057 »

Little note too, whereas running a magnet through play sand may catch some of the metal within it, not all impurities can be washed or baked out of play sand.

http://crabbywiki.com/tiki-browse_categ ... =off&type=
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CrabbyJo
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Re: Help please :)

Post by CrabbyJo »

Another thing about playsand,
I believe the idea of running a magnet through it is not to remove the metal filings per say, but to illustrate just how many metal filings there are in it that could potentially be harmful to the crabs. I don't think you could clean all the metal out of playsand!

This does bring up a thought tho - are we worried about metal filings for the right reason?
I know that the reason we are not to put metal into the crabitat is because of rust, which the hermies are sensitive to. But in my experience, I've not ever noticed rust in actual soil from metal filings. Is it truly a hazard for them? After all, it does occur naturally, just go run a magnet through the dirt in your yard...

Just a thought. I would not use anything other than the cocofiber and aragonite sand I now use.
6 hermit crabs - 3 PPs and 3 Equadorians
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Please feel free to share information from this website, but please be sure to give credit and a link back to the information. Failure to give credit is plagiarism. Don't take credit for someone else's information.
CrabbyMamma
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Re: Help please :)

Post by CrabbyMamma »

Thanks everyone :)

I put the playsand in yesterday, and it is really obvious to me even that they prefer it, there has been a lot more activity since then. I did run a fairly large magnet through it, and it didn't pick up anything? Jo, I would much prefer coco fibre I think, but so far I haven't been able to find it here. Or any better alternative. I still haven't got their proper tank (should be here tomorrow) so I am open to suggestions.

I also gave them some real food last night - fish, prawns, bananas and strawberries, and this morning there was sand all through the food dish, this never happened with the commercial stuff, so I can only assume they were happy with my offerings.

Now my most immediate worry is about the smallest crab. For a start, I am almost certain that he is way too big for his shell. At the moment I don't have any spares at all (except for one painted one which I am sure is too big for him anyway - it is no longer in the tank, btw). So I will be heading out today to see what I can find for him, but if I can't find any, my next option is to buy online which I imagine even once I have found some it will take a week or so to get them.

The other thing is that he has dug himself down under the sand over night. Perhaps not surprising, but frustrating that he couldn't wait until they had a proper home. Do they always stay down there for long periods or could it just be for a daytime nap? I am assuming once I set up the new tank that if he is still down there that I shouldn't disturb him? He has also dug right under their salt water bowl, and he is shallow enough that if I pick up the bowl to change the water that I will be exposing him - what do I do? The sand is deep enough that he could have gone deeper, but for whatever reason, he hasn't. I think the largest one is also trying to dig under too, and I haven't put enough sand in there for him to do it - I thought I had (I tried for just more than double the height of the largest crab), but it appears not. Should I top it up now (and in that case, is it ok to put extra sand on the one that is already under?), or wait until they are in their new tank?

Thanks Jo for the tip about the salt - the one I have is the 'hermit crab' type, so I will replace it. The one I have also doesn't have directions, so I have been guessing how much to use.

I don't have anything to add to Wai's thread for supplies yet as I haven't found anywhere that has had much to help me, but I am heading off now to check out a pet super store type place, so I shall report back. Fingers cross they have spare shells.

Oh, and I know painted shells are bad. But if that is all I can find until I can buy some online and I think the little guy REALLY needs a bigger shell (he can't even withdraw all the way into the one he has, his legs stick out), is it better to have painted shells available until I can get natural ones and hope he changes quickly? Or best to leave him in the too small shell for up to another week?
CrabbyMamma
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Re: Help please :)

Post by CrabbyMamma »

Another update (without waiting for a reply!) - I just went off to another store, not the pet super store I was going to go to, but I found a local aquarium and reptile place. They seemed really good. They sell hermit crabs there also, and from my limited knowledge, they seemed to have a really good set up for them. I told the guy that I got mine from a pet shop and he rolled his eyes, which I took as a good start... straight away he started talking to me about humidity, temp, etc. So it is a handy place to have local, I shall put the details in the other thread a bit later.

He did have some shells, I bought quite a few but I am worried they are too large for the smallest crab still. How would one be able to accurately gauge this?

The good news is that the littlest crab has resurfaced (he tunneled all the way under the water dish and out the other side), so I don't need to worry about that any more.

The other thing was, the guy in the store did disagree with you Jo about the 'hermit crab' salt. He explained why, and it kind of went over my head a bit, but he talked about how in the wild that they bathe in pools that have all different levels of dilution and saltiness, so said it wasn't that important that the tank water was the same as the sea water. His suggestion was to use up the jar I have, and then when it runs out buy proper aquarium salt. Not sure what to make of that? He did seem on the money with all of his other advice?

Anyhoo, they sell just about everything I need, so that will be helpful :)
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emmac350
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Re: Help please :)

Post by emmac350 »

His argument about the salt mix you have has one major flaw, and that is the chemical makeup of salts. Ocean water doesn't just have 'salt' as we know it - Sodium chloride, or NaCl. Ocean water is made up of a whole bunch of other salts, which dissolve into trace minerals such as Calcium, Manganese, Bromine, etc. The "hermit crab salt" mixes only have NaCl and sometimes calcium thrown in for good measure. It only has those two elements, none of the other things that are usually found in ocean water. Crabs offered that kind of salt water don't seem to realize that it is salt water. I adopted 2 crabs that were given that kind of salt water and had it available every day. When I gave them an ocean water mix (that was meant for salt water aquariums and has all of the various elements that make up the salty part of saltwater), they literally ran to the bowl and hopped in. Keep in mind that these poor crabs had been in cars for 4 hours and moved into a new home - my hand was still in the tank when they were in the water!

It is thought that crabs don't recognize the hermit crab salt water as saltwater because of the missing parts of it. Crabs can survive for surprising periods without salt water - they recycle their urine into their shell water to get the right amount of dissolved elements that they would otherwise get from mixing fresh and salt water together. However, this is hardly ideal, and it's kind of gross, in all honesty.

They are your crabs, but that hermit crab salt is not what your crabs are needing. :)
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CrabbyMamma
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Re: Help please :)

Post by CrabbyMamma »

Thanks Emma - I am happy just to buy the proper salt then. His argument just seemed convincing because he seemed to know what he was talking about, and the crabs in his shop seemed really well set up, so I assumed he had a clue. He probably uses proper aquarium salt anyway (being an aquarium shop and all). I will just get the proper salt.
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