Naked crab continues to get naked.

Questions about hermit crabs that abandoned their shell.
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allygator
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Naked crab continues to get naked.

Post by allygator »

I woke up this morning to a very active naked crab.
I tried to scare him into a few shells and finally found one he seems to be staying in, despite the fast that its huge and really heavy.
I used the cup method and tapped on his noggin to get him to go in to it, and he has been in it for about 10 minutes now.
As long as he is in a shell should I put him back in his house, or should I leave him in the glass container until I can be sure he's not going to go naked again?
The temperature and humidity are both good in his house and the other crab he lives with is doing very well and is active.
I am only worried he will continue to streak, and that the shell he is in is just too big for him.
He molted 2-3 weeks ago if that makes any difference.
So basically my only questions really are, if he is in a shell should I put him back in his house?
Will it matter if his shell is 3x the size of the one he went naked from?
Anything else that could be helpful to know?
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emmac350
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Re: Naked crab continues to get naked.

Post by emmac350 »

Allygator, seems you've got yourself into quite a pickle! Let's see...I'm curious as to the reason your little guy is streaking. What are you feeding him and how do you treat your water? What kind of substrate are you using? What types of ornaments are in the tank with him?

As for your question about putting him back into the tank, I wouldn't. If you have a reasonably sized ISO (5 gallons will work in a pinch, but 10 is really better), keep him in there until he keeps his shell on. Don't try to scare him into a shell (I know that's what several sites recommend, but it doesn't address the reason the crab is streaking, it just solves a temporary symptom), but instead give him LOTS of choices. Different sizes, thicknesses, opening shapes (obviously, no painted shells allowed!), and let him choose. Leave him alone in the room to see if that helps.

One reason newly molted crabs streak is that they are short on energy to carry around their shell, so if he moved into a much bigger shell, I don't think that solves your problem at all. He'll drop it when it becomes too cumbersome to move in.

Another common reason is a bad substrate or bad ornaments in the tank. If there's any pine, cedar, cypress, eucalyptus, or metal things in the tank, they're much more likely to streak. The woods I mentioned have insecticidal properties, which irritate the crabs' soft abdomen and causes them to drop their shell (they think the irritation is from the shell) and die. If they're exposed to any smoke, perfume, scented candles, scented lotions, scented laundry detergent or floor cleaner or whatever, they can also drop their shells due to irritated soft parts.

So please give us a rundown of everything in your tank and we'll try to pinpoint the reason he's streaking, not just force him into a shell that isn't solving the problem!
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ladybug15057
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Re: Naked crab continues to get naked.

Post by ladybug15057 »

Please do not try to scare him into a shell, this is only stressing him more. Many times the more we fuss the more it stresses them and the longer they are out of their shells.
You mention the humidity is within range, is this at substrate level in the middle of the tank for a more central reading where they spend most of their time? When did you calibrate/test the gauge last?
You mention the temp is good, what are the air temps of your cools side of the tank and the warmer side of the tank? What is the substrate temps of the warm side and cooler side to your tank?
What brand of ocean water do your offer?
What brand of dechlorinator do you use?
Have you tried boiling the shell, let it cool, shake it out and offering it back to him in case something is lodged within it?
Where you currently have him, is it also a controlled environment? (regulated temp and humidity %)
Have there been any air fresheners, candles, cleaners, perfumes any forms of 'odors' used in your home or around the tank?
Marie (aka ladybug15057)

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allygator
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Joined: Sat Sep 05, 2009 5:28 am
Gender: Female
Hermit crabs: 2
Total gallons: 10
Total tanks: 2

Re: Naked crab continues to get naked.

Post by allygator »

In his house are two coconut huts, one plastic rock dish that contains his salt water, one dish that is not plastic (im not sure what it is made of), a few small stones, and a volcanic rock with a plastic fern in it.
I feed him hermit crab pellets you buy from the store and offer him fruit every 2-3 days. (never eats it but I continue to insist)
There is sand in his house that holds moisture well, as well as coconut fiber bedding on top of the sand on the half of the aquarium. I also have an under tank heater.
I do not have any irritants that could be bothering him such as perfumes or anything odd like that, everything I use is natural and green, nothing weird.
Oh also I use a de-chlorinator in my water and let it sit for at least 48 hours before I put it near my crabs.
I had one crab die on me a few years ago from streaking. I regret not at least trying to coax him into his shell.
Since Ive gone out and came back home he streaked yet again, and was feeling another shell. When he is in the shell he is very lethargic, but when he is out of it hes running around like the little crazy man he is.
I have an iso tank but I cant control the humidity and temperature in it very well, so im trying to think of some other solutions that may work a bit better than that.
Anyway right now ive been feeling the best just keeping an eye on him and its been 12 hours and hes still kickin, so I hope he can make it through the night.
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emmac350
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Re: Naked crab continues to get naked.

Post by emmac350 »

After reading your responses to ladybug's questions, I have a few more questions for you! I'm glad you're trying to help out your little guy...streaking can be stressful!

What brand of salt water mix are you using, and what kind of dechlorinator?

How deep are your water bowls?

What kind of sand is in your tank? Playsand, calci-sand, hermit crab sand, aquarium sand, etc.

Crabs need much more nutrition than is offered in commercial pellets. These pellets don't contain all the nutrients crabs need, and on top of that they contain preservatives and pesticides that can kill them. I recommend you check out Epicurean Hermit and Hermit Crab Cuisine for gobs of information about your crabs' nutritional needs. Also, if you aren't a 'eat lots of organic fresh foods' person (organic isn't required, but is much better for crabs if you can afford it) you can go to the Addiction Store and buy some high quality dried natural hermit crab foods for him. I recommend throwing away those pellets immediately and start giving him fresh food - he'll really thank you for it!

Try to keep your humidity a little higher right now so his backside doesn't dry out while he's shell-less. Good luck!
Follow the daily lives of my crabs at thedailyhermit.tumblr.com

Mommy to:
Rack, 23 Sep 08; Benny, 23 Sep 08; Slightly, 3 Jan 09; Nibs, 3 Jan 09; Curly, 3 Jan 09; Spaz, 5 Jul 09

If you are contacted privately and enticed to join another forum, please inform a moderator. This is an unethical practice.
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