Home › Forums › Chewin’ the Choya › Large crab, tiny shell, is he stuck? please help!
Tagged: Australian, change, crab, help, hermit, Large crab. small shell, shells, stuck
- This topic has 9 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 10 years, 3 months ago by Julie.
November 17, 2012 at 6:49 am #426
hi, so i have this crab, I got him about a month ago from a shop where he was kept in the worst conditions, no huts for him, shallow sand, no shells big enough for him to change into and nasty crab pellets. He was the only crab left and the largest one there, very sluggish and in a ridiculously small shell for his body, his body being the size of a golf ball alone when he’s “retracted”. He is very large.
Now i have him home, I’m just wondering if he’s perhaps stuck in his shell, i’ve got heaps of shells for him to move into, but he won’t, he can’t retract back into his shell at all, if you guys want a picture i will provide. I’m really worried, his shell is natural but perhaps as he’s grown in that shell, been unable to change and his abdomen has become swollen and stuck? maybe it’s dried out? I just don’t really know what to do…D: please help!! Also, he’s an Australian land crab, if that helps at all? And he’s very sluggish. Thanks guysNovember 18, 2012 at 4:26 am #429
Hello, I haven’t heard of a crab getting stuck in a shell, but I guess it could happen. My big girl was in a shell that was much too small for her when I got her, she also couldn’t retract all the way inside. She eventually changed shells after a few weeks. I do know that some hermit crabs are very stubborn, and although shells may seem too small for them, they refuse to change shells. I think there is a certain kind, that are noted for that particular quirk. E’s maybe? Just know this, hermit crabs do what they want, when they want, how they want. I will look it up on the internet, and see if there is a way to get him “unstuck”. It very well may be he does not want to change shells, even though it is too tight a fit for him. I can’t imagine how someone could help a crab who may really be stuck, you absolutely MUST NOT try to pry him out of the shell, the crab would rather be torn apart than pulled from the shell! Hopefully, the website manager Stacy will have some answers.November 18, 2012 at 11:16 am #430
hah yeh i know not to force him out, he’s massive anyway, id probably lose a chunk out of my finger if i tried, i’ve had him for round a month like i said with pleanty of shells so like… yeah i just get worried also because he looks very dry??? I’ve done extensive googling and can find nothing really usefulNovember 18, 2012 at 4:32 pm #431
I did happen to read a little bit ago if the shell was painted, they get stuck to it because the paint was still wet when the crab was forced into it. Sadly, this is a common practice because painted shells appeal to children so they will buy the crabs. I will keep looking, and hoping Stacy will read these posts, she knows alot about crabs, and has helped me many times. I can also ask Tammy and Kirk, they have a hermit crab store, The Hermit Crab Patch, everything you need for your crab. They are wonderful people who also know their way around crabs. Does your crab go into the water dishes to drink?November 19, 2012 at 10:50 am #432
he doesnt move much 🙁 his shell is natural, he is alive and all but just very sluggish most of the timeNovember 20, 2012 at 1:19 am #435
I just had a thought (uh oh) (ha!) Maybe the crab is getting ready to molt, they can sometimes be less active at this time. My big crab is less active for a bit, then gets destructive, and destroys the tank! Moves things around, pushes her dishes away from the side of the tank, she will rip the fake plants apart. Do you have deep sand so the crab can dig under? Moisten it to sand castle consistency, I use salt water , Oceanic Natural sea salt Mix.November 20, 2012 at 3:15 am #436JulieParticipant
If I may, I’d like to know a few things about your tank. What’s the temperature and humidity inside the tank right now?
I gather that you’ve provided him with shell options and nice hiding places.
From past experience with stubborn hermies, they tend to get a shell that is equivalent to our most comfy pair of jeans. We wear them out. They do the same thing. Sometimes, it’s just too hard to part with a comfy shell. My first hermie, who I still have after a bit over 6 years, took FOREVER to change shells. She couldn’t even pull back far enough to cover her eyes. Now, she’s in a shell that she can back up into.
As for sluggishness, it could be from a couple of reasons. Seeing as how it is becoming colder for those of us in the northern hemisphere, the temperature in our tanks may be getting cooler as well. Colder temps make the hermies go into hibernation mode and that is not good. They’re tropical creatures and need temps 75-80 and humidity in that range as well.
If the little guy… ehem… excuse me… the BIG guy is getting ready to moult, then just be sure to provide him with a secure place to moult complete with proper temperatures, humidities, fresh food, fresh waters, and peacefullness.
Keep us posted.
JulieNovember 20, 2012 at 7:01 am #437
ok so i have a heat and humidity unit that measures it and provides it etc. so humidity is usually at 70% i think and heat at 22 degrees Celsius or something around that. I’m in Australia so ti’s getting hotter haha. I think in this tank we’ve had 3 successful moults so im not sure what’s going on with him. He buried himself for a long while but then came out again. Perhaps the sand isn’t wet enough. My other crabs are buried like all of the time as well, it’s a bit disappointing but it’s normal right? I’m fairly sure they come up at night.
The sand is deep enough for the big guy to go under almost completely, there’s a ventilation grille like round the bottom of the tank so i can’t make the sand so deep that they could get up and climb it really, but yeh it works for them.
So Fatts, the crab (like fatts waller haha) um has been in teh same place for 24 hours now…i put him in the water bowl last night and he climbed out and has been sitting there since….also i noticed his joints are very dark? couldn’t get a good look…He also did this thing when i held him yesterday, just sort of wiggling around, does this mean anything?….He’s an odd one
Tips for getting the crabs to surface a bit more? adjusting heat and stuff? thanks for the help by the way! Do you want pics??November 20, 2012 at 8:01 pm #438
Pics of the crab and tank would be great! What do you mean by a ventilation grille? Is it a glass tank? I have never seen that before, is it one of those tanks that is taller rather than longer? I have seen those at petsmart, I think it opens in the middle in the front for easy access. Never saw a grille like that on a tank before. When Fatts came up, did you notice his coloring? Was it vibrant, were his legs really hairy, and the tips of his legs needle sharp black nails? Tell tale signs of an after molt.December 6, 2012 at 6:48 am #453JulieParticipant
We always love pics. I have also not heard of a ventilation grille. If the lid or door is secured well enough, I wouldn’t worry about the hermie climbing too much. My hermies climb the air hose or vines to reach the screen lid and they hang around upside down sometimes for hours. I just make sure the lid is heavy enough so they can’t push it up and climb out.
As for the depth of the sand, the rule that I’ve heard and seen on this site is that the sand or eco earth coconut fiber should be twice the height of the largest crab. This means she can dig down twice her shell height into the sand. It helps them muffle out the noise and provides them with the darkness they need from time to time.
Speaking of darkness, you should also provide your hermies with a day and night cycle. You can put your plugs into a timer or just turn it on when you get up and turn the lights off about 12 hours later.
With the Norther Hemisphere entering winter, my hermies have been a bit less active. My tank has been running a little cooler so I bought a ceramic heat emitter and as of tonight, the hermies have all moved closer to the heat source from their hiding spots. *LOL* I’ve been noticing the tank holding around 70 degrees lately so with the heat, they should be able to get a bit warmer. This may help their activity.
Yours as well.
Smoothe out the sand and watch to see if you have tracks in the morning after you have put fresh food or even freshly boiled shells. That has almost always worked for me when they’ve gone under a bit.
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