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by Stacy

Technique for Adjusting PPS Crabs – Method

February 21, 2013 in Biology

 written by Sue Latell March 8, 2006

Definition:

PPS is Death as a result of a crab being deprived of the resources he needs to adapt metabolically to conditional changes in his environment (humidity/temperature). The inability to adapt is influenced by the duration of depravation, on what elements were withheld that the crabs need to adjust to their environment (Mainly proper food, water, and light), and on the environmental conditions themselves. Death of a crab should not be classified as PPS outside of the initial established time frame of adjustment (30 days).

Principals:

PPS does not apply to every crab. However if food deprivation and inhospitable environmental conditions exist from where you purchased/adopted your crab, then you should employ the PPS technique for re-acclimatizing him. Please remember it is up to you to establish what the crabs pre-existing conditions were. In most situations it is likely that at least one, if not both of these conditions exist.

This method revolves around control of the crab’s environment. As such, it is necessary to isolate the PPS inductee. The goal is to provide the ideal conditions for your crab to be able to resume utilizing his physiological processes. Key factors are food, humidity and access to appropriate light. We have previously allowed our crabs to “de-stress” by burying for extended periods of time. With PPS crabs, in varying degrees, allowing this approach within the main tank is what kills them. The variance is what is hardest to measure, so really a method to combat PPS is really a generalized procedure that will work no matter what the degree of PPS is.

Factors:

Set-up:

Set up factors establish what controlled variables you use when setting up the Isolation Tank. Trials have been conducted for the following tank sizes: 2.5 gallon, 10 gallon, 20 gallon. It is recommended at this time to stick with isolation units of this size.

The controlled variable essential for crabs to be able to adjust to their environment is humidity. This will be explained in more detail in the method section of this article. Heat is a minor player in establishing the right conditions at this point. Temperature should be at the minimum range (70 -75) this includes the day/night variance allowed within the stated ranges. Substrate is used as the control mechanism for humidity; again please see the method section for clarification. Food intake is essential, and more importantly foods that fuel metabolic changes are needed. Your new crabs must eat. In order for them to process/store food energy, they also need to have appropriate light. Light is what transforms the food into energy they use to metabolize.

NOTE ABOUT PPS MOLTERS:

Inevitably there will be a time that one of the crabs you acquire may need to molt. If they do, it will be a surface molt. If there is more than one crab in the tank, use the pop bottle method to prevent potential vulnerabilities. DO NOT move him. It is best for you to observe. The highest fatality in molt deaths is now, so there may be little you can do for him anyway. If he had the opportunity to eat just before, great! DO NOT deprive him of the 12hour light cycle either. If needed for some shelter, just drape some sort of plant along the outside of the bottle.

Behavioral:

Behavior plays into this process on several levels. First, as noted earlier, when crabs are in metabolic duress they have a tendency to bury themselves. While this behavior is appropriate within the crab’s natural habitat when dealing with day to day environmental influences (extreme weather change, lack of ground cover during the day), it is not good to allow them to do so when they are suffering PPS. In order to overcome this, we must ensure that the tank we set up will not allow them to bury! This will keep them on the surface to “tank up” on the elements they need that will help their bodies to adjust again. So for most of the adjustment period we will keep the substrate at minimal depth. This behavior is also a tool we can use to monitor the crab’s progression. If he can’t dig and is stressed he will appear sluggish with little movement (on the surface where we can see it). Once he acclimates you will see him moving around freely which will indicate that he has adapted to the current conditions.

Another behavior we need to adhere to is their foraging behavior. At no time during this process should the same food be left in the tank on an overnight basis. If they eat everything in their dish, give them something new, but minimally! They, much better than we, know what they need. All we need do to accommodate them is have all food groups at their disposal! If possible allow for at least a 7 day lapse between feedings of the same foods. (A suggested menu will follow) Untouched food should remain in the tank for only 8 hours and then remove it. You may immediately replace it with new food (they may want it). The sooner your crabs eat, the more likely they will live! During the adjustment period if they do not eat, DO NOT accelerate to the next adjustment level humidity wise. Most energy expended in a crab is for adjustment to environment, it must be fueled by food!

The last behavioral aspect we must consider is topographical. Crabs really prefer to have a range with groundcover. Since we are eliminating the digging element, we can reduce stress by providing plant cover. Use of coconut huts or other hiding structures is really counterproductive in this process, so don’t use them. We want to be able to observe them throughout this process, and plants will accommodate this while still meeting the crab’s behavioral needs.

Materials:

10 gallon glass tank w/ lid
Temperature and Humidity gauges
25 watt full spectrum bulb (clamp style preferred, but tube ok)
UTH (only if necessary to sustain minimum levels of heat range)
Plants for ground cover (silk or plastic) –grasses, vines, driftwood
DRY sand, enough to cover bottom of tank from 1/2 – 1” depth
Un-dyed reptile moss (moistened with ocean salt water mix, squeezed dry)
Fresh and Ocean salt water dishes
Food dishes
Appropriate shells to change into (at least 2 per crab)
Proper diet * see menu suggestions and Epicurean Hermit

Special note: Light must be 12 hours. How you choose to determine that cycle is up to you. If you

Method:

Scientists have calculated that there is the highest successful adjustment in crabs to their environment when environmental changes occur in 5-7% increments. For our purposes a 10% adjustment rate is easier to calculate, and we only have to factor a slightly longer interval before the next change. So for example 3-4 days for medium and small crabs, becomes 4- 5 days, and 5-6 days for larger crabs becomes 6-7 days between adjustments in humidity.

I will describe these as stages…in most cases I have tested or trialed personally, there is generally no more than 4. That said, I have not had the opportunity to try with a Large or Jumbo crab, or a Straw that requires the slightly higher range, so for those of you about to do so, no worries, if an additional stage is required, it will follow the same procedure as outlined here.

Stage 1:

Environment:

Dry sand 3/4 of tank length up to 1” depth (depending on crab size) – use 1/2” with small crabs. Dampened moss, wrung out, not dripping, filling remaining 1/4 of tank to 1” depth (can be slightly more, but watch humidity levels). If your room temp is 72 degrees, no UTH is required. Use UTH as needed to achieve temperature range.

Starting Temp: 70 – 72, as high as 75 when light is on
Starting and sustained humidity for this stage: 68 – 72% (this is about 2% below normal low range)
12 hour light cycle (mine is set 7 am to 7 pm), if humidity is an issue, up to 5 hours of moon-glow (15 watt) is okay to utilize.

Note- if you maintain the depth averages for a 10 gallon tank, these indicated ranges should be achievable. You may have to vent during the night to keep humidity stable. Your room/household RH and temp may affect these ranges. Adjustments to increase should be done by adding a little moss. Gauges should be placed near bottom center of your tank.

General:

Keep the sand as dry as you can. Condensation and wicking from the moss may be a problem, but is usually offset with the12 hour light cycle, so no real adjustment may be necessary as long as you stay narrowly within the humidity range specified for each stage. Moss may also have to be re-dampened, or added. It has been noted by several people that the crabs will tend to eat the moss too…this is good! This stage is most critical as it is the first. Your crab will show that he has the reserves to live if you see activity within the first 48 hours, especially eating. Don’t give up though if he does not appear to spruce up. Maintain this level for 4 -5 days. (6 -7 if larger crabs) If all your crabs have been eating and showing other signs of activity (crawling, climbing, in the water) within this time frame, you are good to go and advance to Stage 2. If for some reason you have at least one crab that has not shown signs of eating/moving, you should leave them all at that level for another day or two. This process should not be rushed…especially at this stage.

Stage 2:

Environment:

Dry sand 2/3 of tank length up to 1” depth (depending on crab size) – use 1/2” with small crabs. Dampened moss, wrung out, not dripping, filling remaining 1/3 of tank to 1” depth (can be slightly more, but watch humidity levels). If your room temp is 72 degrees, no UTH is required. Use UTH as needed to achieve temperature range.

Starting Temp: 70 – 72, as high as 75 when light is on
Starting and sustained humidity for this stage: 70 – 74% (this is just hitting the lower accepted ranges)
12 hour light cycle, if humidity is an issue, up to 5 hours of moon-glow (15 watt) is okay to utilize.

Note: some people in humid belts regionally have experienced an issue with night humidity climbing past the threshold. Use of a moon-glow bulb at night has helped reduce this problem. You may have to play with the amount of moss you have in there. You know of course at any time that it falls below the target range, moss can be added.

General:

Once again you sustain this range for a minimum of 4-5 days. Eating + Activity by all means advance to next level. If one lags, remain on hold, checking progress daily.

Stage 3:

Environment:

Dry sand 2/3 of tank length up to 1” depth (depending on crab size) – use 1/2” with small crabs. Dampened moss, wrung out, not dripping, filling remaining 1/3 of tank to 1” depth (can be slightly more, but watch humidity levels). You can begin to add coconut fiber or allow the sand to dampen up a bit, or add moss to a 2” level. If your room temp is 72 degrees, no UTH is required. Use UTH as needed to achieve temperature range.

Starting Temp: 70 – 72, as high as 75 when light is on
Starting and sustained humidity for this stage: 74 – 78% (this is within normal range)
12 hour light cycle, if humidity is an issue, up to 5 hours of moon-glow (15 watt) is okay to utilize.

Note: some people in humid belts regionally have experienced an issue with night humidity climbing past the threshold. Use of a moon-glow bulb at night has helped reduce this problem. You may have to play with the amount of moss you have in there. You know of course at any time that it falls below the target range, moss can be added.

General:

Once again you sustain this range for a minimum of 4-5 days. Eating + Activity by all means advance to next level. All my trials have used coconut fiber as the additive to dry sand. Only a little need be added. I generally added one cup to a 10 gallon, and 2 cups to the 20 gallon. Again it really depends on how your humidity levels out in your region. I have had to allow the moss remaining in the tank to dry out so that the humidity would stabilize.

Overview:

In total, there really is about a 3 week adjustment frame. My personal view is that I prefer to allow my newer crabs time to beef up out of the mainstream competition of the main tank; leads to healthier crabs in my opinion, so I let them remain in ISO for at least 30 days. Bigger crabs need more time to adjust. All of them need a well balanced diet from day one, on that note…

Dietary requirements:

These are the food groups, and examples of what foods are found within the grouping. Please note that there is overlap in what group these foods represent.

Protein and lipids: this is for energy to grow, forage, reduce competition or minimize cannibalism which more frequently occurs in captivity.

Foods in this class are: meats, fish like silver sides, gold fish, clams, oyster; bone marrow (all meats including poultry), nut meats (many also fall in the omega fats group) salmon skin(including fat). Some vegetation like avocado meat (only) and bamboo stalks. (which also provide Cellulose, high energy)

Carotenoids, Zeaxanthin and cellulose: these foods are necessary to assist the crabs metabolic functions of calcium absorption, processing of minerals, and coloring an individual crab has (darkens pigments). It also improves the crab’s immune system and nervous system functionality.

Foods in this class are: tannin rich leaves, bark, cambium (inner branch skins) of plants like oak, maple, mangrove root, some perennial leaves; fresh fruits and vegetables that are orange, yellow, red or dark green (i.e. squash, sweet potatoes, carrots, natural corn, mango, blue berries, etc); many flower petals (dry), spinach, foliage, bean sprouts, seaweed: spirulina in particular, reptile moss (from pet store) etc.

Carbohydrates: these foods are quick energy foods that will help your crab by immediately fueling them but saving their “stored” reserves necessary for metabolic function.

Foods in this group include: grapes, apple, honey, wheat germ, oatmeal, dried fruit (raisins mostly due to Copper sulfate use in others), banana, pineapple, citrus pulp (inner membrane of skin considered cellulose).

Omega fats: this food group is very important and is totally missed in commercial food formulations unless they are frozen foods! These are necessary for nervous system, exo-skeletal health and processing of carotenoids and other minerals. If there are deficiencies in this group it is typically exhibited by molt death (where you are uncertain), a mildewy appearance to the exoskeleton (they look dehydrated), and they are not active!

Foods in this group overlap protein groups. They include: Coconut, walnut, whole fish (like a dead gold fish), fish skin, animal fat, olive oil, some grass seeds, seeds, peanut butter, etc. There are many of these suitable, some found in fresh flower petals like roses, sunflower, crab apple blossom, etc. Take a look at the edible plants list at Epicurean Hermit!

Calcium: it is considered superior to provide more than one natural form of calcium! Calcium of course is used mainly for growth of the exoskeleton. Calcium without the support of light and carotenoids will not be properly absorbed by the crab! The acceptable form for supplementation outside of natural forms is Calcium carbonate powder ONLY!

Foods containing calcium, will also provide some proteins as well; here are the main foods ideally used: freeze dried brine shrimp, meal worms, blood worms, krill (fresh, frozen or freeze dried), shrimp tails, sand dollars, powdered oyster shell, cuttle bone, broccoli heads, milk.

7 Day Metabolic Menu

Day 1:

(WILL INSERT MENU LATER)

Written by: Susan Latell

Copyright © by Coenobita.org All Right Reserved.
Originally Published on: 2006-03-08 http://coenobita.org

More articles about PPS:
PPS Minimizing the Impact
Comparative Example for PPS Practices
Preventing Death in New Hermit Crabs

Profile photo of Stacy

by Stacy

Comparative Example for PPS Practices

February 21, 2013 in Biology, Caresheets, General

written by Sue Latel March 8, 2006

Little Billy has had 3 hermit crabs since his 12 birthday. He has a 20 gallon tank housing his 3 small PP crabs. One day when he is at the store picking up some ocean salt water for his crabs, he spots a tank containing 2 poor little Ruggies that have no water except for a damp sponge, huge pellets of food that he doubts they have even attempted to eat, and no ground cover to protect them from the 100 watt heat lamp that is shining directly on them from an open tank top. Billy has been a very conscientious crab owner. He explored on-line information on how to care for hermit crabs and has all the bells and whistles to keep his crab people happy. He has proudly seen his crabs molt, grow and prosper for the past year. Billy knows that the little Ruggies will not last long in the current conditions they are in. He consults a clerk, advises her of the poor crabitat conditions, and notes that there will likely be no changes made based on his advice. Billy’s mom is a sweetheart and lets Billy rescue these poor crabs from their sorry condition. Billy finds out from the cashier that those are the last ones from their shipment last month, and now they can order more. (God forbid). Billy provides his new crabs with a dip into his tanks water dish, and then they scurry to hide in the handy cave he has for his crabs. Well, a week later, and Billy has still not seen his new crabs. He doesn’t think they have even been to the food dish. He isn’t too concerned since they are likely de-stressing in the wonderful conditions in his tank. Well a couple of more weeks pass. Billy thinks he seen one of his new guys in the water dish, now there is signs of digging, this crab must be molting. Well another couple of weeks lapse, and it is now high time to do a deep clean. Billy carefully digs around to see if he can locate where his crabs may be down molting so he proceeds cautiously. Billy takes out some of his plants and shells for rinsing, he has found the top of one of his new crab’s shells, he checks to see how the little guy is faring and discovers that it has died. Billy is heart broken. Finally the entire tank is unearthed and Billy discovers that neither one of his new little ruggies made it!! That darn PPS, it is just not fair!

Same example, but now in context of enlightenment of the PPS solution:

Little Billy has had 3 hermit crabs since his 12 birthday. He has a 20 gallon tank housing his 3 small PP crabs. One day when he is at the store picking up some ocean salt water for his crabs, he spots a tank containing 2 poor little Ruggies that have no water except for a damp sponge, huge pellets of food that he doubts they have even attempted to eat, and no ground cover to protect them from the 100watt heat lamp that is shining directly on them from an open tank top. Billy has been a very conscientious crab owner. He explored on-line information on how to care for hermit crabs and has all the bells and whistles to keep his crab people happy. He has proudly seen his crabs molt, grow and prosper for the past year. Billy knows that the little Ruggies will not last long in the current conditions they are in. He consults a clerk, advises her of the poor crabitat conditions, and notes that there will likely be no changes made based on his advice. Billy’s mom is a sweetheart and lets Billy rescue these poor crabs from their sorry condition. Billy finds out from the cashier that those are the last ones from their shipment last month, and now they can order more. (God forbid). Billy goes home and sets up his 5 gallon glass tank to ISO his new crabs. They need help to be able to recover from those horrible store conditions. Billy asks his mom to help check his math. He figured that the crabs were in very hot and dry conditions. He needs to keep the room temperature at 72 and boost the humidity to a bit over 60% for the next couple of days. He puts in a dish of ocean salt water, and a dish of regular dechlorinated water and a big fat chunk of coconut dipped in honey and sprinkled with bloodworm and spirulina. A few days later, he increases the humidity to 70%, he keeps the water filled up and notices there has not been too much food eaten. Oh well, he throws in some fresh apple and sprinkles it with some brine shrimp and hopes for the best. Well a few days later he increases the humidity up to 75%, this in large part by placing some soaked moss into the tank. Ah, they are eating some. Billy opts to keep the humidity at 75% and see if they continue to eat. Billy sees that they are starting to go more to the food dish. He tries them on some avocado and a silverside head. A few days later Billy adjusts the humidity up to 79% (which happens to be the RH midrange for his 20gallon tank), but there just is no crab to be found. So he checks on them a few days later, changes over the food, keeps tabs on their movement. Into the third week, he notices that more food is disappearing! He is glad since he was worried that they may not make it. He is going to let them stay in the ISO for another good week, just to make sure they keep eating well! Well about 5 weeks pass, and Billy wants to see his new crabs enjoy the main tank. Whoa, one of the crabs molted, and he is alive, yahoo!

Ok see the subtle difference?

This is one scenario. There are many others, and this includes crabs who do not suffer from poor conditions. Ultimately it is up to the crab owner how to proceed. The important thing to stress is that the responsibility lies with the consumer (purchaser of the crab(s)) to gather and observe as much information as possible about your pet’s existing living conditions as compared to what you will be providing them at home. This information will be the foundation of how you can implement a strategy to get them through the critical hurdle of PPS.

Once a committee has had the opportunity to hone the procedural aspects, and provided the accepted time interval for defining PPS deaths, we will try to specify more clearly a procedure to follow.

RFcrabs
Sue

Copyright © by Coenobita.org All Right Reserved.
Originally Published on: 2006-03-08 http://coenobita.org

More articles about PPS:
PPS Minimizing the Impact
Technique for Adjusting PPS Crabs
Comparative Example for PPS Practices
Preventing Death in New Hermit Crabs

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by Stacy

My crabbing method – Marie

February 21, 2013 in General

Marie Davis writes about moulting and her crabbing method:

dry food dish for hermit crabs

Dry food dish

On June 17, 2000, we had the privilege of becoming hermie owners.

My daughters received their first ones as souvenirs from somebody who had visited Ocean City, Maryland. My daughters, nor I, had any idea as to how to care for them properly. For this reason,
I had gone to the library for books to read, to research on the internet, and I asked questions at pet stores. There was information on hermit crab care, and yet so much of it varied depending on
which pet store we visited, which web site we were reading, or what author of which book we were reading. We currently have Ecuadorian, (Coenobita Compressus), Carribbean, (Coenobita Clypeatus), Indo, (Coenobita Brevimanus), Rugs, (Coenobita Rugosus),Strawberry’s (Coenobita Perlatus) and their cheliped measurements range from 1/4 inch to 2 inches. The following is the care we have done with our hermies, and to date have had great success in doing so. Daily they have access to Ethoxyquin free foods that are rotated, (which is an insecticide/pesticide). FMR Treat, Tetra Dried Baby Shrimp, Tetra Freeze Dried Bloodworms, Crushed Oyster Shells, a tad of T-Rex Calsi-sand, Ocean Plankton, Hikari Tubifex Worms, Hikari Daphnia, Flukers Mealworms, Julian Sprung’s Sea Veggies, Hikari Sinking Wafers, Hikari Cichlid Gold, ZooMed Leopard Gecko Food, Zoo Med’s Anole Food, Freeze dried crickets. We call this the dry food dish. In another dish, we offer various fresh foods such as fruits, vegetables, non-sugared cereal, Kaytee Healthy Toppings bird food, (such as mixed nuts, coconut, carrots & greens, apple bits, banana chips, mixed berries, carrots & sweet potatoes, Pumpkin seeds & almonds, etc.), bread, etc. We never offer any citrus foods or dairy products. Even though the hermies have access to the dry foods 24/7, the fresh food dish we offer on a nightly basis before going to bed, and remove it promptly in the morning when we awaken. Within all our main tanks and iso tanks, they have access to a choya log and cork bark which they do munch on. Before their bath, our hermit crabs are also offered out side of their tank in a large Tupperware type container honey, silversides, sardines, etc.

For the water ponds in the hermies tanks, I only use distilled bottle water. I use Instant Ocean for the ocean water pond, and I mix it per the package instructions. I mix a smaller amount to be sure it stays fresh. I use 1/2 cup Instant Ocean, per one U.S. gallon of distilled water. Once it is prepared, I do not offer it to the hermies for at least 24 hours, shaking it numerous times within that 24 hours, and testing the salinity with a hydrometer. Each time it is offered to the hermies, the ocean water container is shaken extremely well. By doing this the ocean salt is distributed evenly, instead of when at the end of the container the hermit crabs get an over dose of ocean salt possibly causing permanent damage to their gills, or other complications.

overhead view of Marie's tank

Overhead view of Marie’s tank

Usually on Sunday, we try to bath our hermies in distilled bottle water. On the non-bath nights, we do mist all of our hermies with distilled water with no additives. After their misting/bath, the hermies get a minimum of at least 30 minutes of exercise in a plastic baby pool that has various climbing objects and tunnels to explore. The substrate in our main tanks and iso’s is CaribSea Aragonite Sand, which is an aquarium safe, dye/color free substrate.

We clean our tanks daily with an aquarium fish net for food and waste materials. We keep our substrate as dry as possible, removing any wet sand at this time. If on rare occasions we have a premolter who wants the sand damp, we will put him in the iso tank so he can make the substrate the way he wants it without disturbing him.

In both our main tanks and iso tanks, I keep the humidity at 75 as much as possible, and the temperature of the substrate at 78-80 degrees on the UTH side of the tank. Our iso tanks are set up as mini main tanks with coral, cholla log, cork bark, fuller rock, huts, dry food dish, ocean and fresh water ponds, etc.

If I find a molter in one of our main tanks, I do remove them and put them into an iso tank if they are done molting. I use my hands, supporting the molter in the palm of my hand, and gently place him on top of his exo while talking to him in a gentle voice that he’s use to. I place a hut over him and I place an oyster shell in the fresh water and ocean water dishes extremely close to the molter so he has easy access to the waters if he wants/needs them. Forty eight hours after molting, I remove him from the iso tank, supporting his weak body and shell at all times, and lightly mist the gill area of his body. After lightly misting the gill area, I gently dab the access mist off the shell if there is any, with a clean paper towel. I then carefully put the molter back into the iso tank with his exo at the opening of his shell and the hut back over him. At this time, I then take the water dishes and oyster shells and replace them with sterilized ones, and wash the water dishes out with hot water. I do this daily, and I do speak softly to the molter as I am doing this. Speaking softly to our hermies is something I do throughout the day while they are in the main tanks and iso’s. When the molter has eaten the softer parts of the exo, I then crush the harder parts of the legs and pincher’s as fine as I can and put them in an oyster shell for them to eat. After 24 hours of the molter munching on the drier parts of the exo, I then make another dry food shell to be put next to the molter’s exo shell. This first shell consists of Dried Baby Shrimp, Ocean Plankton, Krill, crushed powdered oyster shells, Calsi Sand, Boiled Egg Shell, Spirulina, and FMR Treat, etc. I put each food into its own little section of the shell instead of all mixed together.

The day after I offer the above food shell, I then offer all the dry foods the hermies get while they’re in the main tank. Where as I do change the dry food in the main tanks every two days, (unless they get wet before hand), I change the dry food in the iso daily at the time I change the water in the water ponds. Our molters seem to be a little fussy, and seem to eat fresh dry food faster than food that has sat for two days. When the molter is eating well, their coloring has darkened, and is scooting about the iso tank without appearing weak, on the next bath day I bathe the molter with his tank mates so they all smell alike. If he is ready prior to bath day to return to the main tank, I will dip them in the large fresh water pond to rinse the molting odor off of him and to help him smell the same as his tank mates. I check several times to make sure not incidents are occurring upon his re-acquaintance with his tank mates. If he is ready by bath night, once all have had their bath, they have time in the play area to become reacquainted under close supervision. If there are no incidents amongst the hermies, all are returned to the main tank.

Diet and exercise are very important with all creatures to maintain good health. I believe that for a hermie to have a successful molt, he must be in overall good health prior to molting. I attribute their care, diet, and exercise our hermies get prior to molting as important as the care they receive once they molt.

Because of a hermie being so fragile once they molt, I believe their gills are even more sensitive than usual. This is why I lightly mist the gill area 48 hours after they molt to keep them moist. Because of our daily handling the hermies with mists or baths, and also handling a few other times during the day, our hermies aren’t threatened when handled after they molt. In fact, the first time our molter is picked up 48 hours after they molt, they happily come partially out of their shell to great the misting of their gills. I attribute all the care given mentioned in this article as to why I have such a high successful molter rate.

Clyde looks dead

Clyde… He looks dead

 

Clyde Shrunk

Clyde Shrunk

 

Clyde is Tucked Safely Within Shell

Clyde Tucked Safely Within Shell

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