Friday, May 16, 2008

Molting? - Crab Experiences

I redid Shell Beach for the hermit crabs (Not Sure, Rita, Frito, and Upgrayedd). I think I'm better utilizing the space. They sure like to climb! Upgrayedd, being the largest and most active, is often around the edges of the top. Crazy escape artist.

Here's some pictures of the newly redone tank. Upon the advice of some people at the Forum, I readded the wet sand I'd removed - thinking it would mold - and being told that they need the wetter sand to dig down into, that the soft sand isn't good enough to dig into as it collapses in on them. /facepalm. Of course. Okay, so now the sand is much thicker too as I had taken several cups out before to dry and added it back in. Now I won't worry about the sand getting wet. I was always overfilling the bubbler, especially. For now, I have removed the bubbler as last night at 3am it vibrated itself off the stand and behind the stand making a horrible racket. In the pitch dark, I unplugged it and moved the stands, banging my back on the tv stand. Fun at 3am! Ah well. I'll put the bubbler in the freshwater bowl on the left if its not too noisy and after I think of a way to keep the bubbler pump from moving around. I'm thinking of using Velcro circles.
Above, fresh water with a sea sponge and shells in it. Most of these shells are too large, I think. The shells on the sand here are very small. The container is a GladWare sandwich container.
This container is the same type but has salt water and shells that I think are a better fit. No one has changed shells yet, but its only been a day. I'll be so excited to see them in pretty shells, but they seems to enjoy their mud-fashion they're all sporting. I had to overlap the hidey log (they don't use it anyhow) with the container as the smaller ones seemed to have a hard time getting out of the container on their own.

Do you think they'll be able to use the two sources of water appropriately even with shells in them? And will they shell change in the water?
See two of them in the back corner of the basket?But I'm wondering if Upgrayedd is molting? I came home today and did a head count. Two in the back corner of the basket. And...two missing? I found Upgrayedd in the back corner by turning the tank around as you see here.
(Picture immediately above is sideways, turn your head left.) You can see there he's active, red legs out and all. And there's loads of sand, even the dry line is visible. I tried to mix the moist and dry and the front is all mixed, but I didn't even think about the back under the basket. There is quite a bit of sand there for him. I'm just concerned to keep him healthy.

I cannot find the other one. What should I do?

Help. I'm worried for my crabs and don't know the proper care of them during a molting - if that's what this is. Do they just like to burrow sometimes?


Anonymous said...

all crabs have different personalities. Some will come out and be brave all the time, and others will stay hidden under hideys or dig underground all day.

Depending on how long you've had them, and especially since this is the first time you've had substrate of the right consistency for them to dig, they'll dig to destress and to acclimate themselves to the conditions.

If they do Molt, the only time you have to worry about it is if they molt topside. Otherwise they should be fine. And about the shells in the water, they shouldn't have a problem changing shells in water and if they do they'll probably just drag the shell out.

FreedomFirst said...

Well, I know I just now commented an older post, but I thought I'd mention that the best information I've found online was It has almost all the information you could want about these guys. Our crabs have dug and hidden several times even when they weren't molting. I tested them by smoothing out the sand to see if they came up again when I wasn't looking. When they didn't, I knew they were molting. Hope this helps...