New member, crabitat?

Good friends in a pinch! Forums Chewin’ the Choya New member, crabitat?

This topic contains 8 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Stacy 4 years, 9 months ago.

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  • #457

    Bunny
    Participant

    So, I got my two crabs (Bubbles and Cooper) on Christmas Eve and they are VERY cute! They have perfect shells, no health problems, and are VERY friendly (Bubbles opened that evening, while Cooper opened early Christmas day). I live in Florida, where there is a very high humidity, and I do not own a temperature or humidity gauge. The crabitat is in front of a window, but the blinds are shut and there’s a heavy bush in front of the window. Their crabitat is the biggest in the store for crabs, and it is a circular cage type that has metal wire instead of glass. It also has moist mulch instead of sand, and I am really concerned about the crabitat. The temperature is around 70 degrees, in the summer and winter. It’s around a foot diameter, and around a foot and a half tall. Anything I need to change? I also have 3 cats, but they are not messing with it, and I am keeping the door shut. Please respond, this is my first crabbing experience (We also might get a third, so I have no idea if the tank is too small, I need different substrate, etc.) I only have a hermie hut, palm tree with shell feeder-things, a pool of water (fresh, dechlorinated), a sponge, and a toilet-paper roll toy with 6 holes in it. So, will Bubbles, Cooper, and the new crab be fine, or do we need a bigger tank? I’m seriously worried about the hermie’s health. Respond!

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    #459

    Bunny
    Participant

    P.S. They are both small crabs, smaller than my thumb.

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    #463

    Beth
    Member

    Hello and welcome!  In answer to your questions, yes, you do need a bigger tank.  A glass tank, as crabs are sensitive to metal.  They need salt water as well.  I use Oceanic Instant Sea Salt. (Not table salt)  I don’t use a sponge with mine, too much bacteria on them.  Be careful of the food you have, most food sold in stores for crabs have copper sulfate, and other chemicals that are harmful to crabs.  I buy all of my food from The Hermit Crab Patch, please look them up!  Do you have a calcium sorce such as a cuttlebone?  Your crabs will need to molt.  The substrate needs to be such that they can bury themselves, 3-4 inches deeper than your biggest crab.  I use Calci sand oolitic sugar grain size.  I moisten it with salt water to sand castle consistency.  That way, they can build a molting cave underground.  Fresh fruits and veggies (organic) and plain chicken, fish, dry cereal, mine love Kashi!  See the safe food list on this website.  Extra shells, places to climb and hide.  I have a 40 gallon tank, one small crab and a large crab live in there, a new little tiny guy in a 20 gallon, just waiting for my molting crabs to come up so they can get used to each other.  Pine wood is not safe for hermit crabs, try mopani wood, cholla, and cork bark.  They actually eat it, (for Tannin)  its good for them.  They love shrimp too!  No seasonings, just plain.  Best of luck, they are sooo cute!

    #464

    Beth
    Member

    I’m sorry, I meant to say CaribSea Aragonite Sand, oolitic- sugar grain size.  30 lbs. for $14.99 at Petsmart.

    #467

    Bunny
    Participant

    Oh. I need a LOT more than I thought. The metal is bad for them? Hm… I’m going to have to go on a shopping spree tomorrow!

    #468

    Bunny
    Participant

    The tag said that the metal cage was made specifically for hermit crabs. Is it okay? And I viewed the ingredients in the crab food. It said nothing of copper sulfate.

    #470

    Bunny
    Participant

    I’m also very worried about the humidity.  I am not at home for around 6-7 hours a day, so the sponge must get dried out and I cannot refill it. What do I do? Do I also need a hrydrogemeter? Help! I feel like they will die if there is close to no humidity! I live in Florida, so it is humid naturally, but I don’t know!! HELP!!

    #471

    Beth
    Member

    Of course the tag says the metal is ok, and made specifically for crabs!  They want you to buy it!  I have had issues with petsmart about the way they (don’t) care for their crabs.  I have even called corporate on them.  It worked, they do take better care of them now.  Yes, you need a hygrometer, you also need to calibrate the meter, to be sure it is correct.  Take a small water bottle lid, fill it with regular table salt.  Add just a few drops of water to make it a sludge consistency.  Put that lid, along with the hygrometer in a ziplock back.  I always wait 24 hours and get a reading.  It should read 75 % humidity.  If it doesn’t (mine never does) you have to add, or subtract to get the real reading to know the exact humidity level.  If it reads 72%, then you would subtract from the reading you get in the tank.  For instance, once placed in the tank, the gauge reads 77%, you would subtract 3% because the gauge is off by 3%, reading at 72 instead of 75 when you calibrated it.  Yes, its confusing.  No metal should be used around the crabs, ever.  What is the humidity now?  You have no way of containing the humidity in metal cage, you need a glass tank with a plexiglass lid.  If you can’t get one with that type of lid, you can wrap saran wrap around the mesh lid to keep in humidity, leaving a area unwrapped for fresh air. I sometimes spray once or twice to keep humidity up. Yes, the set up for hermit crabs is much more than a little wire cage, but, if you do it the right way, the crabs will live a very long and happy life. Hermit crabs breathe through modified gills, that must be kept moist for them to breathe. Hermit crabs are a potentially long lived pet.  A woman in  your state has had the same crab(s) for 36 years!  Sadly, one of them passed last year.  You have come to the right website!  Read the tags on the right side of the page!  Best of luck!

    #474

    Stacy
    Keymaster

    You need a real tank, preferably glass, with a lid and minimum 10 gallon size.
    You need a thermometer and a hygrometer.
    You need a suitable substrate.

    We have several caresheets and articles to get you pointed in the right direction.
    http://crabstreetjournal.org/blog/tag/checklist/
    http://crabstreetjournal.org/blog/2012/09/25/substrates-for-hermit-crabs/
    http://crabstreetjournal.org/blog/tag/humidity/

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