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Hermit Crab Help


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  • Regular Member

I think you're right about it being a dog! Maybe a dalmation. That is important to figure out here. :P

Yes, your rheostat is perfect! Mine doesn't have exact temps either, I just adjusted it based on what the thermometer said. I keep mine on one of the lower settings (in the blue if that helps!).

I'm going to try and find pics of my water dishes so you can see what I mean. It actually looks kind of stupid but hey, it works and the crabs seem happy.

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OK get ready... I'm going to post some pics of my crabitat. These are from a couple years ago but it still pretty much looks the same. I took a piece of black mesh craft plastic (for doing that thing where you weave yarn through it and make decorations) and folded it in the bottom of the Gladware so it kind of bends at a curve. Then the rocks hold it in place.

Hopefully the pics will explain better than i can!

100_2656.jpg

pool4.jpg

pool1.jpg

pool2.jpg

And I'm posting this, just cause it's one of my favorite pictures ever!!!

crabapple.jpg

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Ohhhh you make me sooooo jealous.. I just love it. Everything is soo natural and just incredible.. WOW..

Yep the pictures make PERFECT sense!! I can get some of that stuff when I go to Michaels for the shells!!! And funny enough, I pictured smaller rocks and now that I see your pictures I have a completely different image..

I just thought of something.. I had this big piece of rock shaped like coral that Trinket advised me to take OUT of my fish tank because she feared it was damaging the fish.. It was $20 and I hated wasting the money but took it out and thought "maybe someday there will be a use for it"... I could use it in the crabitat I bet!!

I am sooo excited to get things set up. And get more crabs. Jenny, thanks for all of your help.. I'm really glad you're helping me get things set up right.. : )

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Just got back from the store. I purchased:

Deep Six Hydrometer... I'm still kinda confused about this thing, cause it says to submerge the thing below 6 inches of water, and I won't NEED that much water but I am assuming I can just mix the salt in a bucket and pour a sample in or something?

I also bought Oceanic Natural Sea Salt Mix. It was in the marine section. Seems to be the one you are talking about. It's in a bag that says "makes 5 gallons".

How often do I need to change the water for the hermit pools? And if I mix up a batch of a gallon of water with sea salt, can I save the leftover in a jug and refill as needed or will it "go bad".

I gotta be honest. I've been doing crazy fish research and I have been slacking on the hermit research. It's still in my plans, but I have been BUSY around here with pets and kid, and issues with Shane's sister and things have just been nuts! I have been taking the easy way out and asking you most of my questions, I hope you don't mind.

I've got the packages with me for the rheostat and heater too. I got ZooMed Repti Temp Rheostat and Zoo Med Repti Therm Under Tank Heater for 10-20 Gallon Terrarium Size.

Still need to buy the easy stuff: sand, eco-earth, climbing materials. And the stuff to make the pools. For now Pee Wee is still doing good in his temporary home though. More shopping tomorrow for me.

I had an idea. It's kinda strange but.. it's a compromise when it comes to handling the crabs. My daughter LOVES to let the crab crawl on her from hand to hand. (And yes I do too..) But I do understand your point about leaving them be.. I thought we could get a few more crabs, that we leave alone. Don't bother at all. And since Pee Wee has already been handled and is cleary a non frightened non pinching happy crab, he could be our "play" crab.

And finally I forgot to mention because I posted my last post while running out the door. I LOVE that last picture. It's so cool.. I see why it's one of your favorites. I love seeing pics of your set up. And I don't think the pools look stupid at all!! I saw a pool in the reptile section that was nice, but it was $20!!!!!! Gladware works for me! LOL

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Sounds like you are doing well! And pics always seem to explain more than just words can.

With the hydrometer, yes, you can use it in the bucket. Hermit water isn't as exact as it would need to be for a reef tank so a little leeway is OK. Just keep it within the range that is marked on there and you'll be fine. With a little evaporation the salt content does become higher so you'll need to top it off with fresh water every couple days. And I change mine completely every couple weeks but do partial changes in between. Just treat it like a small fish tank, except I do like to do complete cleans on them. After all, it's the only water they have. And I keep my premixed batches in jugs. I don't think they'll go bad.

As for handling, use your own judgement. If the crab seems comfortable then you should be okay. Some of the tiny babies seem more comfortable with it. I don't have any right now that seem comfortable with being handled, so I let them all be. The larger ones seem panicked when I pick them up. I used to have a batch I would take out and set up play areas for on the ground and they seemed to enjoy that. With such low humidity here though I don't feel right doing that anymore.

:)

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That makes a lot of sense.. Pee Wee seems really comfortable with being held.... I am on my way out to the last few stores and I am hoping to get things set up tonight maybe!!! Right now Pee Wee is checking out the empty shell!!!!! He's inspecting it and I am thinking he may switch!! That would be great... I'm so excited having a hermit crab again.. Once I get things set up I'll post lots and lots of pictures..

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I am SO EXCITED!!! It's almost ready....

First of all, I found the Eco Earth and mixed it up about an hour ago.. Yes I am a nerd, but it is sooo FUN!. I love how it starts expanding and gets all squishy! LOL I was looking at the brick like "really?this is gonna be enough?" I love it!!!

I've got EVERYTHING set up.. I've got the tank with pebbles on the bottom. Sand on half, Eco-Eart on the other half. Even the sand is about 2 inches deep, the Eco-Earth side is closer to around 5. I will measure it.

I've got a heat lamp, and heater connected to the rheostat. WHICH IS SO AWESOME! I love how if you connect the heat lamp to it it actually dims the light it depending on how you set it... I got a really big thing for them to climb on, and another thing that a piece of wood to climb on WITH fake plants. I have two water dishes. While I was out I found two water dishes on sale that have the little built in step like things for them to climb in and out.. They are deep enough for the biggest crab to be fully sumberged.

I also got a food dish and..... 3 more crabs!!!!!They are all little crabs. About the size of pee wee. A tad bigger but they are all sold as "small". Is 4 a good number for my size tank?! They are all in painted shells but once they "move out" of them I will remove the painted shells.

The heater says you CAN put it undertank, but it is recommened on the SIDE. So thats what I did. I put it on the opposite side of the heat lamp? Is that good? I could move it if need be, or put in underneath. Even though I do not have the heater underneath I still did a think layer of pebbles.. THat way it would be there if I changed the heater's position.

Everything is good, the crabs are reading to move in. They are really cool crabs.. All very active. They climb like CRAZY!

Pictures soon. Tonight or tommorrow. I've spent a good 4 hours doing pet stuff today so let's see how long SHane let's me get away with more of it hahahahha

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LOL It's so great to see other people become addicted, too. Soon you'll be adopting and rescuing them and we'll read about you setting up a 50 gallon you found at a yard sale. Don't laugh, it'll happen!! :P

It seems silly but if you are looking for more crabs, check Petfinder. People do get rid of them on there. I tried to adopt some in LA one time but they never got back to me. I've driven several hours to pick up adoptees and drop them off to adopters. Who else will speak for the crabs? :)

Anyway sounds like it is coming along nicely! For some reason, anytime you put new crabs in the tank, it whips EVERYONE into a frenzy and they go crazy for a couple days. But then don't be surprised if they all burrow down and disappear for awhile. Just means they are making themselves at home and are destressing.

Also be sure and read up on molting. Since you have little ones you'll be dealing with it a lot. The little ones can molt every month or two. I've had some do it many times within a year and it can always be really nerve wracking. I've been keeping them for half my life and freaked out awhile back when I found what I thought was one of my oldest crabs dead next to his empty shell. I picked up the shell and saw some tiny, translucent legs retract inside. He had molted on the surface! I iso'ed him and he healed just fine.

It's random but I'll post pics so you can see how different they can look during molting!

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Okay I've got some pictures!! Shane has some even better ones on his camera but those aren't copied to my computer yet.

The first three are pics of the crabs in the temporary home. They stayed in there one night while i was getting their new home set up:

Hermits.jpg

Hermits2.jpg

Hermits3.jpg

And these last three are their new crabitat and then closer ones showing them in it..

Crabitat.jpg

Crabitat2.jpg

Crabitat3.jpg

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  • Regular Member

Great pictures!! They look like they're really enjoying the new home!

The one in the light blue fish shell has beautiful coloration. Looks almost like a mature Ecuadorian hermit crab.

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Does everything look set up properly? I want to come close as possible to doing everything right.

I'll try to get more pics soon, so you can help me figure out what all the crabs seem to be.. They all seem very happy. I love it! : )

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Everything is looking great!! One thing I do, and it's just one of my weird things, is sink the water dishes down in the sand so they're level and easier for the crabs to get to. :)

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I thought about that the other day actually. I was comparing pics of your set up and noticed that!! Right now the salt water one is like that on one side. It's level but then slopes down. It's hard to tell in the picture though.

I went to Michaels. Mine did not have individual shells, but they had variety bags of shells in small medium and large!!! They were 1.99 a bag, and there were four bags. So I got em..all. There's some that look just like the ones you suggested! Now they should move out of those painted shells really fast.

So far none of them have hidden away.. They all move around alot. But they do take turns hiding in the coconut hut. lol. They LOVE to climb that piece of wood and sit up there. The other day there were three of them up there together! I haven't handled them all that much, but when I have they really do seem okay with it. I've tried a huge variety of foods. I just keep finding suggestions off the boards/websites and try it.. I've for SURE seen then eat grapes, pineapple, crackers, shrimp. (I bought a little pack of cooked shrimp. It's so expensive but I really wanted some so I used the crabs as an excuse! lol They have picked at other things, but those are a few that I have seen them actually sit at for long periods of time. More pics to come..

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  • 2 months later...
Guest Megan Steele

Hey! I enjoyed reading about your hermit carb experience! Before I had fish I had 3 hermit crabs in my old 10 gallon. They were a blast! I think you are doing jut about everything right. Just make sure that you keep it good and humidified in there because they need the humidity. Looks like your crab is going live a very happy life with you!! :D

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