I'm now Officially hit BOILING POINT! (Graphic Pics)

Vent about how a pet store mistreats hermit crabs.
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aussieJJDude
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I'm now Officially hit BOILING POINT! (Graphic Pics)

Post by aussieJJDude »

Today was a much funfilled day at Melbourne Aquarium... Except for one thing, their (supposedly) land hermit crabitat! Quickly whipping out my phone I stared - in disgust - at their apparent hermit crab exhibit. Why Melbourne Aquarium? You have marine biologists that work closely with your animals not to mention; fingertip's away from any scientific report! (Not to mention, internet just to do some basic research before adding the animals).
Basically these following smiles summarize me (in a nut shell): :headshake: :covereyes: :crybaby: :pissed: :pull_hair:: :evil:
Of course I going to do a heavy writeup; but first I want to pick everyone's brain for some info on the situation.
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Let me highlight something in the last pic (if you don't get it):
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YEP, a dead de-shelled crab on display - and it didn't look new either, it looked completely dry like it's been sitting there for a while. *Insert MA language here*
So of course without jumping in there and finding all the crabs I could find and rescue them; I had to walk away... (OK, to be honest my mum dragged me away from there and made it very clear that I wouldn't cause a fuss there... Well she didn't say anything about being a keyboard warrior.)
'veI had a intensive look through this topic seeing if it could shed some light for me (which it did); but would love some of your options before I being writing my essay. Hopefully I can get them to improve their conditions; as I know how much a zoo/aquarium can influence any kid/adult to go all animal lover like that *snap finger*.
246L/65G - 'Tidal Jungle' (Crabs) | 246L/65g - 'Backwater Pool' (Fish/Snails) | 96L/25G - ''Twisted Minds" (Fish/Snails/Shrimp) | 300L/90G Fancy Pond (Goldfish)

I've never had any problems with 'Impulse Buying'. They're just animals that I forgot I had planned to get.
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appps
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Re: I'm now Officially hit BOILING POINT! (Graphic Pics)

Post by appps »

It's a bit hard to tell what their setup is from the photos.

Has it got a roof to keep humidity in? Or is it like a petting zoo type setup?

It didn't look too bad though why an aquarium hasn't bothered to give them a decent pool to swim in confounds me.

Other than the dead crab what did you see that was wrong so the pics make more sense to us.

Maybe also share your draft letter so we can help you tweak it for maximum impact ;-)
Annette
Carer of 5 Australian Land Hermit Crabs
Fili & Voldemort since 12/07/2011
Turbo since 29/09/2011
Frederickson & Kai 12/02/2012
and our new addition Stripey Ninja 25/10/2014

Our Crab tank setup & Journal -http://crabbycreatures.wordpress.com
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Wai
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Re: I'm now Officially hit BOILING POINT! (Graphic Pics)

Post by Wai »

Oh really, Melbourne Aquarium has land hermit crabs now too? Too bad it's not showing a good example of a setup. I heard they got a Japanese spider crab recently too.
Wai
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ladybug15057
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Re: I'm now Officially hit BOILING POINT! (Graphic Pics)

Post by ladybug15057 »

I'm sorta with appps on this. Do they have gauges for humidity or temp?
Marie (aka ladybug15057)

If you are contacted privately (via pm or e-mail) and enticed to join another forum, please contact a Crab Crew member. This is an unethical practice.
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aussieJJDude
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Re: I'm now Officially hit BOILING POINT! (Graphic Pics)

Post by aussieJJDude »

Has it got a roof to keep humidity in? Or is it like a petting zoo type setup?
It's more the fact that the way that the way that they were displayed, in a small quiet corner kind of like they were a add on. OK, to be fair the quiet corner is good as hermies can be a bit shy at times. But it just pained me to see that the enclosure had no roof (of any sort) so their was no way that any humidity was present and the only amount of heat would of came from the bulb. Thinking back, I do recall a draft of air so I think a air conditioner was close by.
For me it was the lack of care; looking at all the other amazing exhibits I shows that it was put together with a bit of love, but frankly this looked worse than a hermit crab setup at a LFS.
For me the "boiling point" was seeing the dead crab, it is a heavy indicator that:
a) Staff don't care
b) The animals don't receive the proper care they need
c) It wasn't a dead crab, but a streaking dead crab. We all know that a hermit crab that streaks normally is a very good sign that something is wrong

Honestly as a "zoo" they there to help educate the public about animals can how "we must fight and protect their habitats". This setup for me is singing a completely different tune, which I am sure you guys would agree.
Japanese spider crab recently too.
Yep, two! In a really sparse tank but I can totally see what they were trying to replicate; the deep sea floor.

Don't worry guys, will share my (multiple) drafts once done! :)
246L/65G - 'Tidal Jungle' (Crabs) | 246L/65g - 'Backwater Pool' (Fish/Snails) | 96L/25G - ''Twisted Minds" (Fish/Snails/Shrimp) | 300L/90G Fancy Pond (Goldfish)

I've never had any problems with 'Impulse Buying'. They're just animals that I forgot I had planned to get.
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appps
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Re: I'm now Officially hit BOILING POINT! (Graphic Pics)

Post by appps »

That makes more sense.

It's often those we expect to know best that seem to know least. I remember my mum telling me about an episode of better homes and gardens where dr Harry told these kids their crabs were dying cause they weren't cleaning the critter carrier out with bleach often enough. Things that make you go hmmmm
Annette
Carer of 5 Australian Land Hermit Crabs
Fili & Voldemort since 12/07/2011
Turbo since 29/09/2011
Frederickson & Kai 12/02/2012
and our new addition Stripey Ninja 25/10/2014

Our Crab tank setup & Journal -http://crabbycreatures.wordpress.com
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aussieJJDude
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Re: I'm now Officially hit BOILING POINT! (Graphic Pics)

Post by aussieJJDude »

appps wrote:That makes more sense.

It's often those we expect to know best that seem to know least. I remember my mum telling me about an episode of better homes and gardens where dr Harry told these kids their crabs were dying cause they weren't cleaning the critter carrier out with bleach often enough. Things that make you go hmmmm
I remember that, and writing a email too! :) For some reason, he never responded? ;)
246L/65G - 'Tidal Jungle' (Crabs) | 246L/65g - 'Backwater Pool' (Fish/Snails) | 96L/25G - ''Twisted Minds" (Fish/Snails/Shrimp) | 300L/90G Fancy Pond (Goldfish)

I've never had any problems with 'Impulse Buying'. They're just animals that I forgot I had planned to get.
User avatar
aussieJJDude
Zoea V
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Re: I'm now Officially hit BOILING POINT! (Graphic Pics)

Post by aussieJJDude »

To whom it may concern,
While visiting the Aquarium I was amazed by the wonderful exhibits that displayed exotic and interesting animals from around the world. Even though most tanks (and I do have to admit; I had a total tank envy!) where amazing; I write this email in concern for one particular species that was under you care; the land hermit crabs.
The enclosure did not show these wonderful species playful and clumsy antiques; instead showed there struggle. Obviously I not blaming you for these simple mistakes that I will draw to you attention later on; there’s a lot of myths and misconceptions that surround these ancient animals.
First and for most; I want to bring attention that these animals and are cold blooded. I saw the heat lamp beaming down on the cage; however while standing rather close to it, I noticed the lack of warmth. Hermit crabs do best when kept in a temperature around 27 – 31 degrees Celsius; becoming quite active – even during the day time. Even though the heat lamp would have warmed the “crabitat”; the open top would allow most of the heat to escape.
A common mistake that many hermit crab owners make around the world is they ‘fail’ to take in account were they live naturally in the wild; near the beach. These crabs have modified gills but still require a humid environment. After all, they begin their life in the ocean as ‘zoea’ before moulting through many stages into the land hermit crabs that we acknowledge. In the ‘crabbing community’ many go along the idea of 80 – 85% relative humidity. The tank would have had little humidity inside; due to the open top. The best way to go in a “fish tank” with a lid; it keeps in the humidity.
While visiting, I couldn’t help noticing how dry the sand was. Hermit crabs require around 15 – 20cm (or more; my little crabby clan love a deep substrate) of sand that’s a “sand castle consistency”. Basically; you want the substrate moist – but not dripping wet! – And able to make sand castles with it. A deep and moist substrate will hold up their tunnels as they dig for moulting purposes or just to have fun! Sand when in a ‘sand castle consistency’ also helps to buffer the humidity too! A good product to use to help buffer the humidity, is light and airy and gives a tropical jungle feel “coconut fiber”; unfertilized fiber is a great choice, especially when mixed with sand!
A common misconception is that hermit crabs need a shallow water source; if it is deep they will drown. Well; hermit crabs benefit from a deep pool source; enjoy swimming. By providing deep water pools – the minimum depth many believe is the shell opening - as hermit crabs enjoy washing out their shells and balancing the salt levels inside their shells. For me, adding a filter or at least a “stream” of water really gets them exploring in a deep pool of de-chlorinated salt or fresh water.
My last concern stems from the ‘lack’ of creativity in the display; looking at it there’s very little that makes it interesting. Adding rocks, driftwood, shells and plants makes a great playground to explore and hide throughout; these little critters enjoy a dense ‘network’ of décor to run around in. Not to mention, they feel quite safe in dense foliage and likely to come out more. Including things like platforms - which really gets them thinking – is a great way of increasing the surface area. With these platforms; you could free up the substrate by doing some of the following: “Shell shop”; “Moss pit” and “food area”. Basically it’s a platform dedicated to one particular item; the moss pit (filled with sphagnum moss) also provides an alternative place to eat, hide and once again, adds to the humidity once wet. Including things like dried up oak leaves with the moss really gets these little guys going, my crabs absolutely enjoy snacking on oak!
In a proper environment, they become quite active… To the point where they can be somewhat destructive! These interesting ‘living fossils’ are frozen time capsules; as it’s not unheard of a hermit crab living up to 10 years or more in the wild! (In captivity; the longest lived crab in captivity for 30 + years by a person called “Carol of Crabworx”. That does come in account the crab living before being purchased!) A crab that doesn’t have basic need; will be highly stressed often streak… Once streaked, it has the chance to die. A crab in you enclosure was found dead and was streaked; with I can say with certainty that died due to the misinformation of the low heat/humidity ranges.
Post note: By now you’re thinking, how can I make this exhibit interesting? There’s a tonne of images at your fingertips (just typing the words “crabitat” “land crab tank” “hermit crabitat” or “natural hermit crabitat” into google images gets the creative juices flowing)! I will link you to a blog showcasing wonderful crabitat(s); which the crabs absolutely agree with! After all, the owner successfully managed to raise babies into captivity! however, the blog mentioned in German based, but offers a wealth of knowledge once translated.
http://curlz-crabs.blogspot.de/


With many thanks,
Jarryd


What ya think? Sorry I took so long, currently in New Caledonia enjoying the sun! :D
246L/65G - 'Tidal Jungle' (Crabs) | 246L/65g - 'Backwater Pool' (Fish/Snails) | 96L/25G - ''Twisted Minds" (Fish/Snails/Shrimp) | 300L/90G Fancy Pond (Goldfish)

I've never had any problems with 'Impulse Buying'. They're just animals that I forgot I had planned to get.
User avatar
appps
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Re: I'm now Officially hit BOILING POINT! (Graphic Pics)

Post by appps »

Watch your spell checker. You've got a lot of words it's obviously changed to something similar but wrong.

In think it's great but you have to remember your audience is probably not that interested in reading so I would keep it more to the points. Perhaps even number them in order of what needed changing most. I think if you keep it to the point more they are more likely to keep reading.

I've forgotten if you said this was supposed to be a petting zoo type exhibit? Thus the open top.

I would mention that they need a habitat closer to reptiles or amphibians with Heat and humidity needs but without the basking lamps. If they can relate it to something they already know it may make more sense to them to change.
Annette
Carer of 5 Australian Land Hermit Crabs
Fili & Voldemort since 12/07/2011
Turbo since 29/09/2011
Frederickson & Kai 12/02/2012
and our new addition Stripey Ninja 25/10/2014

Our Crab tank setup & Journal -http://crabbycreatures.wordpress.com
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