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Pearlscaleperfect

Crabitat!

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Crabitat- a habitat for crabs.

I recently redid my crabitat and thought I'd share some pics! I currently have 3 Ecuadorian hermit crabs and 4 Caribbeans living in a 20 gallon tank.

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The tanks has a UTH attached to the side to keep it toasty warm and I finally got a mister I am pleased with (exoterra monsoon RS400) I read both good and bad things about it online but the hermit crabs don’t care as long as it mists the cage and it seems to be working fine. I know there are higher quality alternatives like Mistking, but this is fine for now. If it kicks the bucket I’ll replace it with something better lol. I added more sand and made a shelf/hiding place with two log hides and a piece of slate tile. So far everyone is quite happy. Next task is building a net hammock on the right side and filling it with shells (that i have to order). So far the mister is fantastic, it is very quiet (it runs at night without waking me) and it mists them every 2 hours for 8 seconds. Can you spot the difference between the two species? :)

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Wow looks like crab heaven! :D

Quick question. I heard today that it is bad to paint hermit crab's shells even if it was with safe paint. Is this true? I noticed yours don't have paint on them. Although by your tank set up it looks like you enjoy a more natural look :)

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Very pretty!

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Very pretty!

Thank you!

Wow looks like crab heaven! :D

Quick question. I heard today that it is bad to paint hermit crab's shells even if it was with safe paint. Is this true? I noticed yours don't have paint on them. Although by your tank set up it looks like you enjoy a more natural look :)

It is very bad for crabs to live in or be around painted shells. They are known to try and eat anything and even something that may not kill them can certainly cause issues. Not to mention they need to have access to both salt and fresh water for bathing and this will wear down paint quite fast. It's not so much that I enjoy a natural look, but their needs require certain natural aspects. They need a substrate mix of sand and ecoearth (things like gravel or stones are unacceptable) and they need to have places to hide and climb. Not to mention all hermit crabs are wild caught so I feel like it is a bit sad to put them in a environment that is not at least somewhat natural.

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Very pretty!

Thank you!

Wow looks like crab heaven! :D

Quick question. I heard today that it is bad to paint hermit crab's shells even if it was with safe paint. Is this true? I noticed yours don't have paint on them. Although by your tank set up it looks like you enjoy a more natural look :)

It is very bad for crabs to live in or be around painted shells. They are known to try and eat anything and even something that may not kill them can certainly cause issues. Not to mention they need to have access to both salt and fresh water for bathing and this will wear down paint quite fast. It's not so much that I enjoy a natural look, but their needs require certain natural aspects. They need a substrate mix of sand and ecoearth (things like gravel or stones are unacceptable) and they need to have places to hide and climb. Not to mention all hermit crabs are wild caught so I feel like it is a bit sad to put them in a environment that is not at least somewhat natural.

Interesting! I'll pass the word to my friends as well! I didn't know they needed both types of water! How cool... I'd love to have some some day :) Maybe I'll get a 10 gal for hospital and use my 20 gal for some new friends someday :D

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That's a great habitat! It's great that you're sharing information about their care! :D

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I love your setup :) and your crabs look so happy :) is the difference hairy legs ;) lol

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Awesome crabitat :thumbs: I'm sorry to say I can't tell the difference between the 2 types :hmm I'll keep looking.

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Those crabs are adorable! I love their spiky shells. :)

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That looks great. Interesting lil creatures, aren't they? :D

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How neat. I've never seen such a thing. Very cute!

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk

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Wow!!! That's an awesome set up MK!! :nana such happy Hermies!

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LOVE your crabitat <--- BTW BEST name EVAR. I got a seriously good chuckle from this :D

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Looks very nice. I like the natural look as well as your second level. The only problem I see, which could just be the angle of the pic, is it doesn't look deep enough. It should be 6in or 3 times the height of the largest crab, which ever is deeper. Oh and I have both the green bowl and the bowl in the front right. I usually always have that green one filled with worm castings, which crabs love btw.

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I didn't even realize this was over a month old Haley until I read your post. I missed it also.

Your crabs home looks awesome. I can't tell the difference from the two either. ?? Do tell.

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Looks very nice. I like the natural look as well as your second level. The only problem I see, which could just be the angle of the pic, is it doesn't look deep enough. It should be 6in or 3 times the height of the largest crab, which ever is deeper. Oh and I have both the green bowl and the bowl in the front right. I usually always have that green one filled with worm castings, which crabs love btw.

The angle is a bit odd but I do admittedly need more substrate. It's around 4in in the front and more like 6-7 in the back. I'm waiting until spring to add more because I want to toss all of this substrate and start fresh. Hopefully by the end of next month it should be warm enough to lug the tank outside and rinse everything out really well. Nearly all my crabs have had good molts with me (I have 1E that still has to molt and 1PP). My smallest PP had two successful back to back molts and came up only to be attacked :/ He's in a hospital tank right now and should be alright but it's a shame he grew back one leg to have the other torn off. I feed my crabs snake shed from time to time and they love that, as well as nori to produce good molts (the iodine in it really helps which I learned from keeping crayfish). My crabs favorite food funnily enough is New Life Spectrum pellets, normally mine are all quite shy but they will sprint to the bowl when they catch wind of it, it is hilarious.

I didn't even realize this was over a month old Haley until I read your post. I missed it also.

Your crabs home looks awesome. I can't tell the difference from the two either. ?? Do tell.

It's pretty easy to tell actually! Eccies most noticeably have larger eyes where Caribbeans have beady eyes. Caribbeans also have the characteristic purple pincer, which Eccies do not. I love my Eccies man, they're SO active and zoomy. My one has discovered that they can climb up one side of the tank and then scurry across the lid to the other side, he spends a decent amount of time like this:

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I have had my tank set up for jeez maybe 5 years or so now and I have never thrown out the substrate. I add more and add water to re moisten and mix it up real good but just like fish tanks bacteria grows and helps with the poo and any uneaten food that may get mixed up in the substrate. Believe it or not many people actually add bugs like roly polys to the their tanks to help with that even more. The only time I have read when the substrate needed to be thrown out was because it flooded and mold developed.

I have only ever had purple pinchers but from what I have read Es can sometimes be aggressive and have been known to kill their tank mates, especially those of other species. No one is really sure but they think all species speak differently and they aren't able to communicate with other species as they can with their own which may also come into play. It could have just been because the crab that came up still had that fresh molt smell but it's something to keep an eye out for.

I have never heard about anyone feeding their crabs snake shed. I don't plan on having a snake but it is interesting and something I will keep in mind. As far as pellets go I personally don't feed my crabs any food like that. There are so many preservative and other things that just aren't good for the crabs. Not saying all food like that is, it's just easier for me to not mess with it and feed mine fresh or freeze dried foods.

Btw I love the pic. I have heard Es can be very active and sometimes just down right destructive, lol.

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I have had my tank set up for jeez maybe 5 years or so now and I have never thrown out the substrate. I add more and add water to re moisten and mix it up real good but just like fish tanks bacteria grows and helps with the poo and any uneaten food that may get mixed up in the substrate. Believe it or not many people actually add bugs like roly polys to the their tanks to help with that even more. The only time I have read when the substrate needed to be thrown out was because it flooded and mold developed.

I have only ever had purple pinchers but from what I have read Es can sometimes be aggressive and have been known to kill their tank mates, especially those of other species. No one is really sure but they think all species speak differently and they aren't able to communicate with other species as they can with their own which may also come into play. It could have just been because the crab that came up still had that fresh molt smell but it's something to keep an eye out for.

I have never heard about anyone feeding their crabs snake shed. I don't plan on having a snake but it is interesting and something I will keep in mind. As far as pellets go I personally don't feed my crabs any food like that. There are so many preservative and other things that just aren't good for the crabs. Not saying all food like that is, it's just easier for me to not mess with it and feed mine fresh or freeze dried foods.

Btw I love the pic. I have heard Es can be very active and sometimes just down right destructive, lol.

The reason I want to trash the substrate is because I had 4 Es originally but one didn't make it through the first molt (Shipping stress most likely) and while I took everything out I could I'd rather trash the substrate and start fresh when it warms up. If my tank wasn't in my room I wouldn't care as much but I want to keep the chance of mites and other nasties to a minimum as well as keeping my room smelling appropriately. I'm fairly certain it was a PP that attacked him only because all of my Es were up on the top level resting when it happened. They're way more skilled at climbing than my PPs and spend most of the time resting on the higher level or as far up as they can find. I've never had any aggression issues with them and they will eat and rest with my PPs. They certainly are more vocal however, if another crab is trying to climb over them they'll protest quite loudly. I do feed fresh foods as well but they love the NLS far too much to pull it out of their diet, NLS is also a fantastic food, and I really am not worried about trace preservatives and the like. Perhaps I'm a little old fashioned but these animals have been thriving for millennium and tend to thrive on nearly anything I give them. I wouldn't be feeding it to them if I wouldn't eat it myself! (not that I eat fish food, but I am satisfied with the quality of this food) I want to start feeding them gelfood as well, particularly Repashy Beach Buffet as it wold make a great staple for them. They love the repashy super green I pack with bloodworms and daphnia that I feed the goldfish so I'm sure they'll take to the beach buffet fantastically.

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That looks amazing!!!

The last time I was to Myrte Beach I almost caved in and bought a crab at one of these gift shops, but then decided not to support the animal cruelty there. But ever since I'd love to have a little crabitat, considered I currently have two empty 10g tanks sitting around.

How do they do with live plants? At high humidity I'd love to have some emerged anubias as foliage!

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I understand your reasons for wanting to replace your substrate. If it smells then it isn't healthy substrate and something does need to be done. I'm not sure what type of sand you use but if it's calci sand or other sand marketed for hermit crabs that stuff is known to smell once it gets wet and has a tendency to harden which can be deadly if your crabs get trapped under it. Plain ol play sand from home improvement stores is the cheapest and most commonly used sand.

There are harmful and unharmful mites. The harmful ones usually only get in your tank when you buy a new crab and don't quarantine it first. The unharmful ones may also be brought in from a new crab or ones like food mites could be from leaving food in there too long. So constantly replacing the substrate isn't going to have an effect on either type of mite. Not saying you do replace too often I just don't think it's a good idea unless it needs to be done like yours may need to be. I think of my substrate like a cycled filter you don't want to throw that out and start all over unless it's absolutely necessary.

I have had my own experience with mites. I rescued 2 crabs a year ago. Someone brought them over around midnight and it was freezing out. They were in a kritter keeper with no food or water and the substrate was just about an inch of mostly dry eco earth. Since it was so late and I was already in bed I was just going to put the KK in my tank and deal with them in the morning but I felt bad that they had no food or water so decided to give them some. While I was taking out their empty dishes I noticed some weird looking cluster in the substrate which made me take a closer look at the crabs themselves. The one had TINY little white spots on its eyes. At first I thought it was sand but I couldn't get them to budge. So I throw out everything in their KK and left them in a bare tank until morning when I was more awake and could see better. I noticed they both were covered in mites and I am so glad I didn't put them in my tank. It took a couple months of a sterile environment and daily baths (which I never normally do) and after a while of nothing helping I felt bad keeping them in a tank which no substrate so I added a few inches of sand and replaced it every 2 days. After a month or so of that they finally dug down and molted. After they came up they were completely mite free. I don't know if the baths had killed them but they were still attached until the crabs shed their exo or what but I replaced everything (substrate, bowls and decor) again and moved them into a bigger tank. I still keep them away from my others, just in case, but it's been a year now and no visible mites have returned. I do on occasion see some book lice climbing around on my wood but they are actually helpful since they eat stuff like mold that may grow. I have seen them on and off for years and since they normally are found in houses and don't harm the crabs they are fine.

Have you thought about adding more things for your guys to climb on? I have no knowledge of Es, other then what I read, but I know my PPs love to climb. I have 2 plastic baskets attached to the glass high up with a bridge I made from hemp to attach them to each other along with things like cholla and plants. I use the one basket mainly as a shell pit to keep them some what clean and off the substrate and the other I have as a moss pit. If my guys are up that is usually where they can be found sleeping during the day. It can help with the humidity if you have problems keeping it up around 80, I know I do in the winter months. They also like to eat it.

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That looks amazing!!!

The last time I was to Myrte Beach I almost caved in and bought a crab at one of these gift shops, but then decided not to support the animal cruelty there. But ever since I'd love to have a little crabitat, considered I currently have two empty 10g tanks sitting around.

How do they do with live plants? At high humidity I'd love to have some emerged anubias as foliage!

10 gallon is good for tiny or smalls but once they start growing they will need a bigger tank. Once they reach jumbo size they should really have 12 inches of substrate plus at that size they need a large footprint just to be able to move. Many people convert pieces of furniture like old entertainment centers, or display cases or even make their own since buying large (100+ gallons) can be very expensive. I myself have decided to no longer buy a hermit crab, if the demand for them lowers hopefully they will stop taking so many from the wild. From what I have read the numbers are dropping very low compared to how many there used to be. Some places have actually banned people from taking them or you need a permit and are only allowed to take so many. There is always to option to adopt/ rescue though if after you look into the care needed and still want them. This is a great website if you want to start reading up on their care, http://www.hermitcrabassociation.com/phpBB/index.php

In very large tanks some people use smaller tanks, like 5 gallons and have them as mini aquariums for their water dishes that if you ever decide to get into crabs is always an option if you want emerged plants. Oh and if it's in the tank they will eat it. They may devour it or just nibble but they taste everything they can.

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That looks amazing!!!

The last time I was to Myrte Beach I almost caved in and bought a crab at one of these gift shops, but then decided not to support the animal cruelty there. But ever since I'd love to have a little crabitat, considered I currently have two empty 10g tanks sitting around.

How do they do with live plants? At high humidity I'd love to have some emerged anubias as foliage!

10 gallon is good for tiny or smalls but once they start growing they will need a bigger tank. Once they reach jumbo size they should really have 12 inches of substrate plus at that size they need a large footprint just to be able to move. Many people convert pieces of furniture like old entertainment centers, or display cases or even make their own since buying large (100+ gallons) can be very expensive. I myself have decided to no longer buy a hermit crab, if the demand for them lowers hopefully they will stop taking so many from the wild. From what I have read the numbers are dropping very low compared to how many there used to be. Some places have actually banned people from taking them or you need a permit and are only allowed to take so many. There is always to option to adopt/ rescue though if after you look into the care needed and still want them. This is a great website if you want to start reading up on their care, http://www.hermitcrabassociation.com/phpBB/index.php

In very large tanks some people use smaller tanks, like 5 gallons and have them as mini aquariums for their water dishes that if you ever decide to get into crabs is always an option if you want emerged plants. Oh and if it's in the tank they will eat it. They may devour it or just nibble but they taste everything they can.

Thanks for all the info, much more than I hoped for!

Well, good to know that a 10g won't work forever! Also, I did not know that most of them (or all of them?) are taken from the wild. Now that is something I generally dislike, and I even try to choose my fish by them being captive bred vs wild caught.

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