Is this a molt sac?

Questions about hermit crabs that abandoned their shell.
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emmac350
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Re: Is this a molt sac?

Post by emmac350 »

Well, Toodles answered my question for me. Last night through when I got home from work this afternoon, she dug. Everywhere. There are craters and sand piles and she knocked stuff over and just...yeah. She's made a mess, but if she's digging, maybe she'll molt? At least I know she's healthy now...good thing to know. I don't know if she stayed down in a hole, but she made a complete mess of everything in the tank.
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Rack, 23 Sep 08; Benny, 23 Sep 08; Slightly, 3 Jan 09; Nibs, 3 Jan 09; Curly, 3 Jan 09; Spaz, 5 Jul 09

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emmac350
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Re: Is this a molt sac?

Post by emmac350 »

Great news!!!! Haha, sorry...I'm just really excited.

This weekend while doing my weekly crab maintenance, I heard little digging type sounds occasionally from Toodles' tank. I couldn't be sure, though, because they were really quiet. Then today I came home to find the turkey bone with marrow I'd put in her food shell on the sand, and, on further inspection, there was a little window under the sand in the front corner! She moved when I got close (was re-wetting the moss to give the humidity a bit of a boost as it's been lower than I'd like) so she's alive. :) Her coloring looks different too but I won't declare a molt until I get a chance to get a better look at her.

Finally, it's over. I think. :)
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Rack, 23 Sep 08; Benny, 23 Sep 08; Slightly, 3 Jan 09; Nibs, 3 Jan 09; Curly, 3 Jan 09; Spaz, 5 Jul 09

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Re: Is this a molt sac?

Post by CrabbyJo »

Gongrats! She took about 4 weeks then, didn't she. :) Good job crabby mommy!

I'm going to say that even though you aren't letting yourself believe the silly crab FINALLY took care of business! lol.

Congrats!
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emmac350
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Re: Is this a molt sac?

Post by emmac350 »

Okay...so Toodles has molted. I have confirmed it - she's become a nicer lavender colored body with orange claws. Very striking.

My question now is how long should she continue to be ISOed? I have been watching her and she's still changing shells like it's her job and sitting in them a bit...funny. I picked her up one time to check her out and she didn't retract into the shell at all. I was quite taken aback, she just kind of hung there in between my fingers. That said, I fed her just a few minutes ago and she's in the food bowl chowing down. At what point do I say she's good enough to go into the main tank again? It's a bit annoying managing two tanks, but I'm used to it at this point so whatever.
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ladybug15057
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Re: Is this a molt sac?

Post by ladybug15057 »

If it were me and she is getting about without any weakness and appears to be eating well... tomorrow. If it is not bath day (or you do not bath your hermies) make sure to give her a dip in the fresh water pond before you change the water and keep an eye out for a couple hours to make sure there are no confrontations. (there shouldn't be)
Congratulations on her molt... she had ya going huh?
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emmac350
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Re: Is this a molt sac?

Post by emmac350 »

Let's see...since I last posted...

On a hunch, I put bigger shells into the ISO with Toodles and she changed into a shell in which she could act like a 'normal crab.' Pulling into the shell and not just sitting there sticking out of the shell without being able to move in. So I moved her to the main tank.

She's been doing fairly well in there, I've caught her climbing around and such, but she'll occasionally change into a too-small shell (usually Nibs' old orange one) and stubbornly stick with it for a day or so before changing out of it. I've given up on keeping up with how many shell changes she's had, as work's been taking up a lot of time and I come home to just figure out what she's wearing next. It's a good thing she has such unique coloring...she is truly a beautiful lavender color with a bright orange/red splotch on the top edge of her BP and a bit of orange all over the tops of the rest of her legs. Stunning...I'll see if I can't get a picture to share on the CSJ flickr site.
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emmac350
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Re: Is this a molt sac?

Post by emmac350 »

Toodles surfaced today after almost a month underground. Upon closer inspection, her color was much darker and she was eating and hairy - looks like she molted! I was excited, until I came home after work time #1.

I came home to discover that she was in the salt water bowl, shell-less. Again. I started getting the ISO ready again and she went into a hidey, which I took to be a good sign as she was trying to live. Got the ISO set up and gently scooped her into a plastic serving spoon and put her in the ISO. She immediately immersed herself in the salt water again. I then had to leave to go to work again...and just got home. She's still alive, but is moving much more slowly. She appears to have been going back and forth (still shell-less) from one water bowl to the other.

Some items to note about this time:

1. She's completely submerged herself twice in the salt water bowl - perhaps something is irritating her abdomen? Her shell was abandoned up in one of the upper levels, so that seems to rule out violence as it wasn't taken by anyone else.

2. On closer inspection, there appears to be a long fiber of the EE stuck in one of her legs. I tried (gently) to remove it, but it moved her leg with it. If it is, as I suspect, embedded in her exo, it would be annoying, a bit hard for her to move around, and maybe even might have caused an infection?

3. Last time she was streaking, her abdomen was so swollen that it wouldn't fit into a shell (it couldn't curve far enough to actually get into the shell). This time, her abdomen is yellow and appears shriveled. There also is something that is sticking out of the tip of her abdomen that is black. I've seen it move, so I think it's a part of her, but, again, I'm trying desperately to leave her alone so that she can do what she needs to do.

4. I have no clue why she's doing this. She hasn't been exposed to anything that any of the other crabs haven't. They've been in the same tank the whole time (well, for the last few months). If it was something toxic in my tank (food, an ornament, etc.), all the crabs would have been exposed, and should have displayed the same symptoms. She also has had two completely different reasons to streak...it isn't the same thing causing her to do it.

I know I've done all the right steps (setting up ISO, etc.)...but I still feel like something's wrong. Like there's something more I should be doing. I could use some reassurance...
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Re: Is this a molt sac?

Post by Wai »

I really wish I could help, but I don't know what to suggest besides what you've done already. I hope Toodles will recover! :(
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emmac350
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Re: Is this a molt sac?

Post by emmac350 »

Toodles hasn't moved since last night, and her abdomen is completely shrunken. She's passed.
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Rack, 23 Sep 08; Benny, 23 Sep 08; Slightly, 3 Jan 09; Nibs, 3 Jan 09; Curly, 3 Jan 09; Spaz, 5 Jul 09

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Re: Is this a molt sac?

Post by Wai »

I'm so sorry to hear that. RIP, Toodles.

To be honest, I didn't have my hopes high. From reading past experiences of other crabbers, death usually wasn't far away for any hermit crab once it started streaking after a moult. I wish we knew what to do to help them fully recover. :(
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