Home Forums Chewin’ the Choya Medicinal Bath Question

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    Hello this is my first post on here. I’ve had hermits for about two years now. My wife has had them for over 10 years.

    Onto the situation and question. We rescued several crabs in mid January from three different families. AJ just came up from his first molt with us two days ago. His big pincher appears to have been somewhat broken or split. I’m guessing from a possible attack while his exo was hardening? I saw the recipe for the medicinal bath and we got all of the ingredients at the health food store today and made the first batch. After cooling to 78 degrees,same temperature of the water pools in his tank, we placed him in the bath. We left him in it for about a minute. He poked out of his shell and appeared to slosh the water around with his little claw for a little before deciding to climb out. After that we put him back in his tank.

    With reading the guide lines under the shell rot area it says to put the crab in the bath twice a day for three days. Is there any length of time, 1, 5, 15 minutes they should soak to be beneficial? Also how long should we continue with these daily baths or after a week or two cut back to every few day to give him his best chance? Are their any other tips to help AJ out? Thanks!

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    Since the claw was broken during a molt, it’s probably not going to heal until the next molt, and even then it may still be appear to look a bit different. I personally would not worry to much as far as treatment goes, because it’s not going to affect the appearance of the claw, it’ll only prevent infections, but he will drop the limb if that happens and regenerate it on the very next molt.

    I am unsure as to what you call this bath, or what it has in it, but you can definitely continue this if you would to like. Soaking for as long as he’ll comfortably hold still in the container should be good enough, they often don’t like being placed into water and hold still.

    If he does drop the limb, watch for the others crabs around him, as he won’t have the normal amount of protection when inside his shell, which is what the big pincher serves as for all crabs. He should be just fine, they know when how judge these things based on their situation, which means dropping the limb will be under his control if or when he does it.


    Thanks for the reply. The medicinal bath sounded like a great idea to help him when I found it. From how I read the guide it sounds as if it may help decrease time between molts and add a slide layer to prevent infection. Its made up of Marshmallow Root, Gyrrh Powder, Calendula Leaves and Chamomile Flowers. Here’s a link to the medicinal bath.

    Medicinal Bath for treating bacterial infections, shell rot and black spots.

    So it sounds like like using this may bath help prevent infection. If it does get infected he will drop the claw no matter what. We normally keep a hands off approach for their care. Aside from inspecting them after a month or moving them out of the way to change food, water or tweak something in the tank.

    If he does drop the limb we can always put him in an isolation tank until he regrows it


    He’ll be perfectly capable of coexisting with the other crabs if he loses the limb.


    Yikes that pincher does look bad! Is it possible another crab found him and picked at him while soft?
    I would continue the bath for it’s healing properties. He likely will drop the pincer at some point. Once the gel limb starts growing he will be ready to molt again soon. Typically we don’t isolate for a missing limb but the big pincer is how they protect themselves inside their shell. If your crabs are not overcrowded and are eating a well balanced diet with plenty of protein, and have access to plenty of shells he should be ok with the others. You will have to observe their behavior for signs of bullying. He may have a harder time digging down to molt as well. If you notice lethargy after the growth of the gel limb, prepare for a surface molt.


    Thanks for the help and info. All 11 of these crabs are rescues we adopted in mid January. 8 of them are small/medium in size. I’d say 5/8-7/8 inch openings. The other two are XL nearing jumbo wearing 1-1/2″ shell opening, the last one is in an 1-1/8 shell.

    They are in a 55 gallon with 10″ of substrate. We went a bit deeper with the substrate since we have so many to give them more room. Currently only 3 are above ground. All of the smaller crabs went down to molt within a week and just starting to resurface. We have one guy that seems to be an aggressor to the injured guy. We are trying to keep an eye on him since they are all new and don’t really know their personalities yet.

    They should be good with foods. We rotate through nearly 100 different types of animal and sea proteins, veggies, fruits, sea plants and calcium’s. They actually eat better than us.

    We will definitely be watching for him to drop that pincher and keep an eye out for him to grow a gel limb. Once we see a hell limb we will move him to an ISO tank so he can safely molt without being disturbed.

    So far he still has use of the broken pincher. He was also very active when he first resurfaced from his molt. We didn’t see him this morning to give him a bath. We will definitely try and find him after work. This is the first time we experienced damage from one of our molting.

    I did rescue a strawberry around the same time as the others. The straw has the tip of one leg with an odd bend that happened during his last molt with the previous owner.

    If we do experience any more attacks or issues we will definitely set up another tank to reduce the number of crabs in the 55.

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