surface molt?:o

Questions about hermit crabs moulting and its symptoms.

surface molt?:o

Postby thegatti on 02 Dec 2009, 09:24 am

I have a pale crab half out of his shell. I'm not sure if it is an exo or not. I'm worried cause I had a buried crab die on me a few days ago. This is the first time for my crab to molt on the surface. What should i do????????
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Re: surface molt?:o

Postby Wai on 02 Dec 2009, 12:17 pm

The eyes white or black? If white, then your hermit crab is either moulting or has moulted, otherwise, it might be dead. If moulting, set up a barrier around the hermit crab so that the other hermit crabs cannot get to it, or move it to an isolation tank by scooping the hermit crab and the sand under it with a big spoon.
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Re: surface molt?:o

Postby thegatti on 02 Dec 2009, 03:52 pm

the eyes are white/clear, so it looks like it's not dead then (whew!)
My other crabs r in a separate tank now. This guy is all by himself and I have covered the tank to keep it dark. Anything else I should do? I have never had a surface molt before.
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Re: surface molt?:o

Postby Wai on 02 Dec 2009, 10:41 pm

That's good, it does indeed sound like a surface moult. You do not need to do anything in particular. Just make sure that the humidity and temperature are within ideal range. Do not wet the moulter in any way.
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Re: surface molt?:o

Postby CrabbyJo on 03 Dec 2009, 05:32 am

I agree with Wai, you may be looking at an exoskeleton.
May I suggest you put in a small dish of honey and make sure he has fresh dechlor and ocean salt water, then don't disturb him, even to peek. The honey will help him regain strength if he needs it.

It might be easier for you if you can put a cocohut over him so you can see when he does come out, so you won't have to worry about the temptation to lift the tank cover to peek. :)
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Re: surface molt?:o

Postby ladybug15057 on 03 Dec 2009, 01:51 pm

The eyes are hollow looking like this?
What are you using for a substrate and is it damp or dry? If he has molted, it is relevant that he eats his exo, have fresh and ocean water near him. Where as a hermie who is in premolt and molting does need darkness for their 'molting hormones', once molted it is ok for them to have a night/day cycle if they are surface molters. I would suggest no artificial lighting, but natural lighting unless you heat the tank with lights. Then attempt to make sure he is in a shadowed area. (cocohut or hidey of some sort is good) Place a piece of cardboard on the side of the tank so if one walks by it doesn't create any shadows that may stress the molter.
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Re: surface molt?:o

Postby thegatti on 03 Dec 2009, 09:47 pm

Yes the eyes are hollow. His exo hasn't been eaten yet. He is on a dry sand substrate with a wet sponge next to him. I'm gonna mist the tank walls to keep the humidity up and the temp is nice and warm. The tat has fresh water but I will put some salt water in tomorrow. Do they go and take a salt bath after molting? How long does it usually take crabs to eat the exo?
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Re: surface molt?:o

Postby Wai on 03 Dec 2009, 10:47 pm

You've never had salt water in the tank before!? Salt water should be offerred in the tank at all times. Make sure that it is salt for marine fish, not the dodgy "hermit crab salt". You are using a glass tank, aren't you? Also, a five gallon tank is quite small (it's even smaller than my iso), but don't worry about getting a bigger tank until your hermit crab finishes hardening.

As for the "salt water bath" theory that you often hear from pet stores, that is outdated. We're often told by pet stores that hermit crabs use the fresh water for drinking and the salt water for bathing - ditch that idea. In real fact, pet store workers don't know what they're talking about. Instead, think of it this way. Hermit crabs store water inside their shells. Each hermit crab likes their shell water to be of particular salinity (i.e. some like their shell water more salty than others). Hermit crabs will fill their shells with water from both the fresh water pond and the salt water pond until the shell water is mixed in a way that they feel comfortable. For drinking, I've seen hermit crabs drink from the salt water pond too.
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Re: surface molt?:o

Postby thegatti on 04 Dec 2009, 08:31 am

Update, crab finished molting, not eaten all the exo. He has left his shell and walked towards the water container. He is pink in colour and very still now. I have put two shells for him to get into close to him with salt water in one and fresh in the other. I have honey ready in the food bowl.

No, I am not one to give salt 'baths' but I had salt water bowl in the other tank. I am still learning about hermies like everyone. One lps uses gravel while another uses desert sand. So I switched from gravel to sand.

I have been told 5 gal (20l) is too small. I am getting rid of my fish in a 70l tank and want to set it up nicely for the crabs. Do you think they may spend less time buried-leaving me with an empty looking tank? Is it 5gal per crab or per jumbo crab?
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Re: surface molt?:o

Postby thegatti on 04 Dec 2009, 03:43 pm

how can I make sure the abdomen doesn't get too dry?
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