Home Forums Chewin’ the Choya Had a bad hermit scare this morning…

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  • #1015
    Shawn
    Participant

    It was a bit chilly when I went to bed last night and this morning it was 53f in my crab tank. The pilot light had gone out in my furnace and it was a couple of hours until we could get it re-lit again.

    The five mediums that usually hang out against the glass wall where the UTH is, as well as the one or two medium/smalls that hang out in the log were very still.

    I placed a large quart-sized cup of very hot water in their tank on one end and a two liter bottle of very hot water in the other. I also turned on their hood with 90w and 60w bulbs. by the time it had warmed up to almost 80f in the tank they still hadn’t moved so I misted the tank above them with warm water and they started to stir one at a time. When it had gotten up to 88f I removed the hot water containers and turned off the 60w light allowing it to drop back down to about 82f. Still no idea how the four smalls are doing since they bury down and I never see them other than when I dig around to fluff up the ecoearth.

    Next week I’ll be replacing the small UTH on the side with a large UTH under one end of the tank along with a bubble stone in their ocean water bowl. Hopefully this will keep the tank temps and humidity around 80%/80f instead of the 72f it usually is without the 90w bulb going.

    #1017
    Beth
    Participant

    I think you should warm the tank slowly, fast changing temps and humidity can stress the crabs. Lower temps slow their metabolism down. This is why they were not active. I was wondering when you dig to fluff up the eco earth if the crabs come out on their own, or do you dig them up? We should never dig up crabs when they bury themselves. How are the crabs doing?

    #1019
    Shawn
    Participant

    I allowed it to get that hot quickly because the temp of the stuff in the tank was so cold and wanted to bring that up. I figured if I only added a little heat, slowly, it would warm the air a little but the stuff in the tank would still be cold (thermal mass). I was afraid they would die from the cold, as my daughter’s crabs did several years ago.

    No, I don’t dig them up. When I’m digging in the eco, if I come across a crab I stop digging there and cover them back up. Still haven’t seen the small crabs. I hope they come up soon, I need to replace the eco since it’s been in the tank about four months since I replaced it last.

    Tomorrow I’m adding a bubbler to their salt water bowl and hopefully, if the pet store has an ultratherm, I’ll be adding that too. Maybe if it gets warmer and more humid and stays constant they will come up soon so I can do a deep cleaning.

    #1021
    Joanna
    Participant

    Good luck! Our power went out one winter and we were without it for 32 hours. It dropped to 52F in the house and tank. I keep a supply of hand warmers on hand, and we cracked those open and placed them under and around the tank under a heavy quilt, with several 2liter bottles of hot water. It was so long the temp dropped down in the tank to 55 or so. I was so worried about the crabs. Sadly I did lose one that was buried. I just assumed he must have been molting and the temperature changes were too much for them. But the rest of them did fine and were back to themselves in no time. Give them time, what’s done is done, hopefully they are all ok!

    #1022
    Shawn
    Participant

    Moved some stuff around yesterday and added a medium sized zoomed corner SW pool with a bubbler. Also started using an incandescent bulb in combination with the UVB bulb and the tank is warmer and more humid now. If the ten crabs in the tank, eight were out last night, even the two timid ones who always hide under the half-log. One even basked on a branch up near the lights for about an hour. I must have sat and watched them for about four hours or more.

    The only ones who didn’t come out are the two very small crabs that stay buried all the time. Actually, they might have come out but by 3:30am I needed sleep. The eco was disturbed during the night so I don’t know if it was one of them or not. I do know that one of the bigger crabs burrowed into the eco since it left a neat hole behind this morning. One of these days I’m going to set up a USB webcam with motion detection recording software and point in down into the tank to see if the very small ones come out regularly or just once or twice a week.

    #1023
    Beth
    Participant

    How big is your tank? I am glad the crabs were hanging out. I would love to get a bubbler. I have a 40 gallon tank, with 3 crabs. One female, golf ball size, a medium male, sugar packet size, and another small male, quarter size. I made a small second level with a 12×12 cork bark tile. I want to get more tiles, to utilize the empty space in the tank, so they can have lots of room to walk and climb. The tank is at least 18″ high, so I can use that space. The 40 gallon looked huge, but my big girl makes it look like there isn’t enough room for her. The two males are molting now, so I think she is enjoying the peace and quiet. She tends to be moody, and will push them away from her when they come close. She does hang out with them, (aren’t they lucky?) Its nice to know others sit and watch the crabs for awhile, not just me!

    #1024
    Shawn
    Participant

    It’s a 38gal (36″lx12″wx20″h). Adding the bubble pool has really cut into my floor space. Hopefully this spring I’ll be able to double the size of their tank, maybe more. I want to order a few of each of the other species but will need lots more room. Hopefully enough room to add some filtered FW and SW pools and live plants. I want to get as close to a natural environment as possible.

    I’ve gotten so used to only one or two ever being out, since I made changes at least 7 or 8 come out in late evening to bask in the “sun” or just roam around.

    #1265
    Shawn
    Participant

    Last week I cut some short lengths of 4″ pvc pipe, drilled some large holes holes through the sides with a hole saw drill bit, the kind you use in a door to install a door knob. I put them in the tank under their water bowls to that the entire floor space can be used for digging. I mixed some play sand and eco-earth and filled that half of the tank up to about 6″ deep. Now they can dig down under the water bowls to molt and won’t be harmed by cave-ins when removing and replacing the water bowls. Will add pics in a few minutes.

    #1266
    Shawn
    Participant

    Pics of my tank adding the SW bowl and then raising it up on the pvc pipes and adding deep sand.

    #1268
    Shawn
    Participant

    This is my tank with before adding the salt water bowl, with bowl and then with bowl raised up on pvc pipes with deep sand beneath.


    This is one of my crabs eating Fliker’s Fresh River Shrimp, it’s a big hit.

    • This reply was modified 8 years, 2 months ago by Shawn.
    #1270
    Shawn
    Participant

    Photos not showing… sorry.

    • This reply was modified 8 years, 2 months ago by Shawn.
    #1278
    Shawn
    Participant

    One last shot at uploading pictures…

    #1284
    Shawn
    Participant

    Uploading pics not working. Oh well.

    I lost a crab this week, a medium PP. He was spending a lot of time in the water bowls for a couple of days. Then he was just sitting next to the food bowl for about 24 hours. He moved over to the end of the FW bowl and just sat there for about 24 hours and died during that time. He was sitting up with his eyes pulled under the front edge of his shell like he was sleeping.

    #1286
    Beth
    Participant

    Oh no!!! I am sooo sorry! What do you think happened?

    #1288
    Shawn
    Participant

    No clue. It just seemed to run out of steam and die. He was fairly active for a few days and then nothing, then death.

    My crabs are weird. About four stay out and almost never bury themselves, the other five are rarely seen.

    I still need to set up the other tank and connect them. Can’t convince my wife to let me take over the other book shelf next to the current tank. “One tank in the living room is enough”.

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