CrabLoverDon had a wealth of information in 1999 for his time. Whereas some things have been expanded on others are outdated. To date, no ill effects have been noted from using Stress Coat, but no ill effects have been noted by not using it either. If one opts to use Stress Coat it should not be used in water that has been dechlorinated or in distilled water. Stress Coat already has a dechlorinator within it.
Below is an email on StressCoat from Crablover Don, Don Drenning, also known as CLD. This is another from an archive of messages Don sent me back in 1999 that I will be sharing with you all. Don was the first person to use StressCoat with hermit crabs and I feel it was a breakthrough in hermit crab health care. I offer it here with Don’s blessing.
“My name is… Crablover Don. Cerissa (CrabMania) shared your letter with me about the salt baths and your interest in my research and interest in using the DECHLORINIZER With the Stress Coat (Aloe Vera) properties. I have around two hundred and forty little guys here at Kritterlandusa… We have PP’s, Reds and about a third of my guys are Ecuadorians. I have been ‘Crabbin’ since February ’97.
The reason for my interest in trying this particular dechlorinizer was because of the new water guidelines put forth from FMR. and the fact that I was unable to stabilize my “E’s” for longer than a month or two… I believe these guys are very similar to the fellas you are accustomed to in Australian. Most water conditions here in the US have so many minerals and chemicals that I have used dechlorinizers for some time to to prevent blisters and other maladies related to using regular tap water… Since FMR believes that water suitable to fish life is suitable to use with hermit crabs, I sought out a way to ‘help’ my little fellas…
Vanessa, to clarify the situation, I have often stated that hermit crabs do not REQUIRE the stress coat formula but it does aid in the healthy maintenance of the gill function necessary for their breathing. It is true that the crabs do not have the exact ‘slime coat’ as fish, but they do have a protectant factor similar to the ‘slime factor’ in fish. This ‘factor’ is necessary to keep the hermit crabs gills moist and functioning well. As noted in the posts…”E’s” require a trace of ‘seasalt’ in their drinking water and the saline is known to ‘strip’ away some of this protectant…. I checked with FMR and other fish and crab experts to verify my thought that aloe vera would not harm my guys. This was verified.
Noting FMR’s statement about water conditioning,( as noted on the care sheet that any water good enough for fish is good for your hermit crabs.) I asked several aquatic experts around here to see what products they used for their fish care. Each used stress coat formulas… only differing by brand names sold by their store! We tried and researched several of these products before I even thought about posting about them! I wanted and needed help in seeing my”E’s” could survive. I personally feel prevention is better than sitting back and doing nothing to help them stay healthier. Before I even started using this formula I discussed it with Kathy at FMR. In fact she posted a follow up on the HWO board concerning it.(It is under Water Questions… around April 3 or 4th…)
Vanessa, I have a personal commitment to myself to never recommend or suggest anything that I really don’t believe in or that I have not researched/used myself. The opinion, of course is mine, but the option is that of anyone who wishes to try its use. From my experiences, the stress coat formula has been very beneficial in seeing my Ecuadorians successfully molt…in the past, my “E’s” (Until my use of the aloe vera base, I never had a successful “E” molt… we now have the 14th guy ready to rumble!) Many of us have have had a history of our larger reds and pp’s not making it through molts…along with myself, several others have used the s.c. and had successful molts of our larger guys.. I have had a jumbo complete a successful molt without incident and to date several other larger guys have molted without problems. I stick by the results that I have had with my own experience.”
1999-2002 CrabLoverDon, dearly departed friend and co-moderator of the Hermies Yahoo!Groups Community
I have been using Stress Coat since CLD sent me a sample back in December 1999 and I have found it to be beneficial to my hermit crabs. My moulting success percentage has risen from 50% to 90% since using it. All you need is a drop of Stress Coat into a Litre(Quart) of lukewarm* water and pour some of this water into the ‘bath’ and allow your hermit crabs to wade around and do some ‘leg kicking’ to dislodge foodstuffs and feces from within their seashells. If the water becomes dirty then tip out the water and refresh with the rest of the mixture. It is a good idea to have a ‘drying off’ area for your hermit crabs to spend some time in while they drip dry. If you place them into a tank where sand or Calcisand is the substrate, you will find that it will stick to their legs and they will spend the next half an hour removing it with great care.
After a Stress Coat bath you can notice the conditioned cuticle of the exoskeleton but it is important not to overdo it. Stress Coat should not be added to the drinking water, but it may be added to the mister bottle on occasion, especially if you have a pre-moulter and they need a ‘helping hand’ to slip out of that exo.