How Do I Make My Crabs More Active?

Questions about very inactive hermit crabs on the surface.

How Do I Make My Crabs More Active?

Postby xXxEmilixXx on 21 May 2009, 06:34 pm

I have 6 hermit crabs and the substrate I use to use was shell grit. They loved it and they were really active, climbing all the time and everything! :)
But now since I swapped to sand thinking it was much better for them, all they have done is buried themselves and haven't returned to the surface, only at night because they have to eat and drink. It has been like this for ages and I don't know how to make it better.
One of my idea's was to make a special "Molting Corner" for them with deep sand and the rest of the tank can be shell grit. I will just make sure that the sand and shell grit won't combine so I will separate it using an ice-cream container or something...
Does anyone have any idea's why this is happening or what can I do about it to get them active again? I would really appreciate it :D
**Emili**

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Re: How Do I Make My Crabs More Active?

Postby emmac350 on 21 May 2009, 11:57 pm

I can sympathize with you on this one - sometimes, my crabs just bury themselves. I think that your assessment of their feelings about the shell grit, though, are a little bit off. Typically, when you get new hermit crabs, they need to destress - and the easiest way to do this is to bury themselves and calm down, essentially, then come back up. A lot of hermit crabs also need to molt, which oftentimes also involves burying themselves. While you say that your crabs loved the shell grit and were active when you had it, I am not sure this is the case. I think that they were so active because they were trying to find a place to go to bury themselves, destress, and molt if possible. I think they were frantically looking for somewhere to chill out for a little while.

Now that you've switched to sand and they're buried, leave it this way - if your crabs have buried to destress, this is HIGHLY beneficial to them - it will help them to live longer and happier lives. While they are buried now, they will most likely come out in the future - I have a crab that I've had since September that I've actually been able to play with just this month because he was always buried. He's since had two molts, has grown quite a bit, and finally loves to play.

There are quite a few reasons that crabs bury themselves. The first is that something in the tank isn't right - it's too hot, too cold, they're exposed to something that irritates them (perfumes, scented candles, scented lotions, pine wood, etc.), they're bored, they're destressing, they're going to molt, or they just enjoy digging. Without getting a full description of your tank, I can't say for sure which it is, but I can say this - if your crab is burying, it is most likely because he or she needs to. By choosing hermit crabs as a pet, we are accepting that they make the decisions. They aren't really trainable like a dog, and sometimes they just want to dig and there's nothing we can do about it without the risk of killing them.

I also can't speak as to the safety of "shell grit" as a substrate - I've never heard of it. Do you have a link to the product? Also, if you have six crabs, a single ice cream container most likely won't be enough room if all six decide to molt simultaneously (quite a few people have seen mass molts like that occur) or even just want to dig. Of my six crabs, I only see two daily - I see the other ones on occasion. Then again, I just switched them to a new tank a month ago with a new kind of sand, so they need time to destress and just get used to the new stuff. I think if you make that "molting corner" you will most likely be disappointed as most or all of your crabs will most likely end up digging in it. My advice is to give them a few months (my smallest crabs molt in around a month, but they destressed for two before that) and see if they aren't more active. It isn't fun when they're not active, but it's really for the best. Be patient, and look forward to when they come up, not stressed, and can be played with.
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Re: How Do I Make My Crabs More Active?

Postby CrabbyJo on 22 May 2009, 10:34 am

Another point here, Emili, is that you are having some issues with crabs coming out of their shells - with more than one doing it, there is a very good chance that there is something wrong in their environment. Please do read the other threads you started that have been replied to, we would love to help you figure out the problem.
Also, I think you posted in another thread that you have had "many deaths"? I understand that it may be circumstances beyond your control, but with the issues with your crabs leaving their shells and one dying, I think you should take a close look at what's going on in their habitat.

You seem to want help with figuring the problem out, so please do reply to the questions and we can get on the road to helping you help your little crabs. :)
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Re: How Do I Make My Crabs More Active?

Postby xXxEmilixXx on 08 Jun 2009, 01:17 pm

My hermies are doing fine now, I have fixed it all up :)
**Emili**

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Re: How Do I Make My Crabs More Active?

Postby CrabbyJo on 09 Jun 2009, 10:02 am

I'm so glad to hear it! What did you figure out you had to do?
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My First Experience of Losing a Limb, Please Help!

Postby xXxEmilixXx on 06 Jul 2009, 01:36 pm

I let my hermit crab Eddie out of the tank for a while, everything seemed normal until he got his big claw and extended it all the way out. I thought he was just trying to pinch me, but then he started sort of "snipping" his smaller claw. No, it didn't come off.
I took him over to the table to play with him, he was in my hand until all of a sudden his front leg just randomly dropped off!Of course, I screamed.
I have no idea what is wrong with him, so I checked the temp of the tank and the humidity. The temperature was around 26-27 degrees, but the humidity was too low, it was only 51%. It is usually way higher, it's just we have a rock pool to keep it up, but the noticed that the bowl leaks, so now we only have this tiny blue bowl. That could be the reason why he dropped a leg.
Or stress? We have recently bought 6 more crabs, and maybe the idea of that freaked him out a little, because he was use to being by himself. :(
Now, I have put him back in his tank but he seems to be rubbing his claws and legs together, like he is trying to get more off. It is a struggle for him to walk around by just looking at him, because he is using his back leg instead of his front leg to help him walk. Should I isolate him? Not only because of other crabs, because it might be difficult for him to get in the water, food etc. Please help me ASAP :( :(
This has never happened to me before!
**Emili**

R.I.P to my beloved hermies who are no longer with us> Pinchy***Harold Zoid***Zoidberg 1***Zoidberg 2***Joe***Edna The Original***Boris***Popcorn***
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Re: How Do I Make My Crabs More Active?

Postby ladybug15057 on 06 Jul 2009, 01:49 pm

Doing a search for your postings
search.php?author_id=1550&sr=posts

It appears you have been having some complications with your hermies.

viewtopic.php?f=91&t=2801&p=23469#p23469

viewtopic.php?f=62&t=2802&p=23320#p23320

Within this thread, you were asked some questions and we do need to know the answers to be able to help you. You mentioned the beginning of June (in one of the links above) that all your hermies had died. So I am assuming this is a newbie hermie who has lost the leg? Has he been permitted to be left totally alone per the PPS article and to adjust?
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