December 27, 2016 at 2:34 pm #6488
I’m not sure if all of you know the reason why we don’t use 100% Eco Earth as a substrate for hermit crabs. This is because of Eco Earth’s acidity levels. You see, the reason crabs exposed to 100% Eco Earth surface molt more often, is because the acids in the Eco Earth eat away at the crab’s bare skin causing molting deformities.
^That was the simplified explanation^
The reason many people don’t know the reason behind Eco Earth’s treachery, is because it’s fairly new information. Many people don’t use Eco Earth because the CSJ doesn’t recommend it (which is a good thing). Now we have a solid explanation for why Eco Earth is so bad.
My evidence is some fairly simple pH tests done to Eco Earth by the people at the Hermit Crab Association. (I know some groups don’t get along with others, and I am not sure if we have any beef with them, but they are the only ones who have conducted this research so far).
I am planning to do some solid testing myself on Eco Earth and use some crab skin samples for testing the acidity of Eco Earth on. (Don’t worry, I will only use crab limbs that are dropped by crabs, and no crabs will be harmed in the process). Hopefully afterward, we can have some solid evidence to base our claims off of.
If anyone has input on this or wants to do the same experiment for redundancy, please voice so.
MaxDecember 27, 2016 at 2:35 pm #6489
Link to the HCA forum on acidic Eco Earth: http://www.hermitcrabassociation.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=79403December 28, 2016 at 6:48 pm #6491
I myself use only play sand. I did not have good experience with eco earth in the past. One problem and it was probably my fault that it soured on me. I would think anything like that or wood type substrate would be high in acidity and the potential to sour more quickly due to high humidity I would be curious of the the acidity at different dampness.December 28, 2016 at 11:07 pm #6496
I plan to do different tests to find which mixture of Eco Earth and Sand is the best for a molting crab. I will make multiple jars of concentrations, flood them with water, and place a piece of a dead crab in each one to simulate molting. I will keep the remains in the jars for 3 weeks and then record results afterwards.
Crab remains will be sourced from dead crabs at pet stores, and no crabs will be harmed in the process.
I hope to publish a lab report afterward, so we can have some concrete evidence on the 5:1 ratio rule. Hopefully, my findings will help people and crabs. 🙂
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