New Australian crabber

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CraftieK
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New Australian crabber

Post by CraftieK »

Hi everyone, I am new here, and new to hermit crabs. My son (10yo) got 3 hermit crabs for Christmas from his grandma, about 5 days ago. My son loves learning, so the first thing he asked was if he could do some research on the internet about keeping his hermit crabs. He was immediately panicked about all the things that he was doing wrong (too small tank, not deep enough substrate, not right food or salt, one came in a painted shell, not enough spare shells, etc) so we have gone about fixing up our ill ways.

We now have a large tank (96cm x 36cm x 46cm, which I think is 42 gallons), with cleaned play sand, appropriate hides, a swimming pool stolen from the tupperware drawer, and lots of misting to keep the humidity up. It is summer here in Melbourne so the temperature in the room they are in is warm enough without needing a heater but we will get one before winter. We have ordered shells on ebay for them, are planning a visit to an aquarium store Tuesday to get proper salt. We are trying our hardest.

The 3 hermies have gone through a very active phase when they were first put in their new tank (lots of noise and movement), then lots of digging, but now 2 are pretty motionless and one has buried himself and we dont know where he is. I think they are just de-stressing but my son is worried about them. We have given them honey and peanut butter, and add some fresh fruit, meat, seeds as well.

So I thought I would say hi because I am sure we will need help. It is a confusing world out there for new hermit crab owners. My son has owned spiney leaf insects, which have very little conflicting information out there. He is finding the transition to poorly understood animals difficult and feels so responsible for them.

Thanks for the great forum. We have already learnt so much.
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Wai
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Re: New Australian crabber

Post by Wai »

I just want to point out that your hermit crabs are very fortunate that you went to research online for information in such a short period of time. I didn't think to look online until the first of my two hermit crabs died eleven months later back in 2004.

Aussie crabs seem to love pheasant shells a lot, see if you can get your hands on them, but Gardenworld along Springvale Road doesn't have them anymore (I checked two days ago). Gardenworld does sell sphagnum moss though, which is very useful for keeping the humidity up.
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CraftieK
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Re: New Australian crabber

Post by CraftieK »

Thanks for that :) I just googled what pheasant shells look like and two of them are in those shells already, so I will make sure to get some more for them. Springvale is a long way from us, we are inner North suburbs of Melbourne. I will look for some sphagnum moss closer to home - is there any trick with that one? Preservatives or fertiliser or the like that I need to look out for?

The burrowed hermie (Max) popped up today and we watched him eat peanut butter and oats. The other two (shrimpy and Golddigger) are wandering around again so my son has relaxed.

We are off to buy some plants and climbing things tomorrow to help the tank feel more comfortable for them. We have plans to make a second story - a great little building project for us.
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Wai
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Re: New Australian crabber

Post by Wai »

Generally you can't go wrong with preservative-free. Wet the moss with the salt water you use for the crabs to help reduce mould.
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aussieJJDude
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Re: New Australian crabber

Post by aussieJJDude »

Bunnings is another good place to get the moss, my crabs have loved sphagnum moss from bunnings.
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.
CraftieK
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Re: New Australian crabber

Post by CraftieK »

Hi everyone, I just thought I would pop back and say a massive thank you.

We now have four hermit crabs. All of them have molted (I was so nervous that they had died each time -particularly for the first one and for the biggest who disappeared for 6 weeks), and all of them except the one in the painted shell have swapped shells. Golddigger (in the painted shell) just doesnt seem interested in changing shells. He has heaps of natural ones to choose from so I am sure one day he will swap shells and we can throw away the painted one.

My son has had a great time making the enclosure more fun and enjoys moving things around every once and a while. This is our current tank
https://photos.app.goo.gl/AVJAosyrYBVbivdi1
(there is a freshwater pool behind the salt water pool on the left, as well as the sponge up on the right). The crabs have surprised us with how much they like climbing!

Now that the weather is changing we are off to look for a heater tomorrow so I am researching what we need and how to put it on the tank using your great forum.
charcoal44
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Re: New Australian crabber

Post by charcoal44 »

Wow!, great enclosure. I have put a small self adhesive mat heater on the outside of my enclosure, and the weather has turned colder, would one be sufficient? or do i need two?
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aussieJJDude
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Re: New Australian crabber

Post by aussieJJDude »

charcoal44 wrote: Sun Apr 15, 2018 6:53 pm Wow!, great enclosure. I have put a small self adhesive mat heater on the outside of my enclosure, and the weather has turned colder, would one be sufficient? or do i need two?
It really depends on room temp, and also the temp you want to get the heat to. You may find that one is enough, you may also find that you need more... Id just observe, and if you notice it getting cooler than you like, consider purchasing another or insulating the tank, :)
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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