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Old 07-20-2015, 11:28 AM   #1
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Land Hermit Crabs

Hi all~
I know these aren't necessarily what this forum is made for, but I was hoping someone could help me with my two land hermit crabs.
Me and my friend own two land hermits, a small one and one that is slightly larger. We have had them for a couple months now and she went on vacation four days ago. I just got them for the first time a few days ago. I noticed many things wrong right off the bat.
First off, there was not even an inch of substrate when I got them and most of it consisted of aquarium gravel-dyed! Second, there was no source of humidity (she said she sprayed them morning and night, but obviously this is not sufficient in order to keep 75-80% humidity). Third, the only thing besides the salt water dish, fresh water dish, and food dish that was in the tank was a coconut hut-it looked rather boring.
So quickly I gathered what I needed. I gave them coconut fiber, eco earth substrate and made portions of the take 8 inches deep and others 4 inches deep to mimic the water line of the ocean. I made a homemade humidifier and got them driftwood, fake plants, moss, a thermometer, and a hydrometer.
However, despite my efforts, the two crabs will not move from the corner of the tank underneath the leaves. They have been there for three days and I am worried about them. Could it be they are distressing from moving to my house and getting used to their new environment inside the tank as well? Or is something seriously wrong?
I change the food bowl every three days and had added carrots, corn, lettuce, bloodworms, freeze dried shrimp, freeze dried meal worms, and calcium powder. I do not ever see them actively eating and the food bowl has been refilled for two days and no sign of grazing has been spotted. I am worried they are too impacted by their previous set up and that they will not recover.

Here is an image of their set up:
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Just in case, here is an image of my homemade humidifier:
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It consists of a plastic container, an air stone connected to an air pump, and a tub coming from the inside leading into the inside of the hermit tank that blows damp air into it.

Thank you so much!


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Old 07-20-2015, 07:24 PM   #2
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I have some land crabs and your setup looks very similar to mine. I think they are just recovering, but don't be afraid to reach back there and pick them up to make sure that they're still alive. My substrate is deep, probably around the 8 inch mark, and sometimes the crabs bury themselves for around a month without eating or drinking. These are mostly night active crabs, and I barely see mine out during the day. At night they probably are roaming the tank and drinking. In the future, I would keep the crabs instead of letting your friend take them home again. Also, mine go crazy over regular Cheerios. I don't know what it is they like so much about them but they love it. Try this with calcium powder for the next two nights and see if you can get them to come out. Cheerios do have sugar though, so don't give it to them too often. What mixture do you use for the saltwater? Also, do you dechlorinate the fresh water?
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Old 07-23-2015, 02:30 PM   #3
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You can soak them in luke warm treated water level to their ability to lift up out of it to breath, in a bowl /dish. To help rehydrate. I would imagine their ability to molt would be severely hindered by being very dry (over time). Not now of course.

Get some additional bigger shells if you don't have any. They love to climb and some twigs from a tree might be much appreciated.

Also some Crab Cuisine might be a big benefit has minerals for molting in the food so they can be healthy.

Cheerios plain (not honey nut) are made of oats, no sugar, and oats are good for us too, but have Beta Glucan which is very good for them. Good for dwarf shrimp too btw.
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Old 07-25-2015, 02:16 PM   #4
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Land Hermit Crabs

Thank you guys so much for the responses! I will soak them both today & yes I do dechlorinate the water I get from my RO system before I give it to them. She gave me a salt water mixture, I do not have it with me at the moment so I am unsure of what it is called. I am aware though that they would be far better off with natural ocean salt mixed in so I am on the hunt for that at the moment.
I do sprinkle calcium powder over their food, but I do not have Cheerios at my house due to we all are gluten intolerant. Maybe I will try some oats if that is one of the main ingredients in Cheerios! & I do have various sizes shells in the tank for them, the larger one just switched shells not to long ago 😊
I am hoping she lets me keep them instead of her taking them home because since they have been with me their color has improved greatly.
Thank you both for your help! I appreciate it 😊


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Old 07-26-2015, 03:17 AM   #5
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Maybe don't sprinkle the calcium on the food and see if they eat it better.

If you /your family ever shop at a specialty store like Whole Foods or Sprouts, there are bins of cereals and flour and nuts. Check there to get just a few ounces of cheerios or the health food brand just for the crabs and put them into a jar or zip bag. Same with the bulk oats that are rolled flat. You can just get a little if it isn't something your family would consume, at our store they were .99 per pound. So very cost efficient to by very small amounts for them.

Sounds like you are taking excellent care of them. I had a jumbo sized one when he came out of the shell his legs were the size of a ladies fingers on her hand. The shell the size of my palm - He was HUGE!!! The other 3 were normal sized. lol
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Old 07-26-2015, 11:31 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Autumnsky View Post
Maybe don't sprinkle the calcium on the food and see if they eat it better.

If you /your family ever shop at a specialty store like Whole Foods or Sprouts, there are bins of cereals and flour and nuts. Check there to get just a few ounces of cheerios or the health food brand just for the crabs and put them into a jar or zip bag. Same with the bulk oats that are rolled flat. You can just get a little if it isn't something your family would consume, at our store they were .99 per pound. So very cost efficient to by very small amounts for them.

Sounds like you are taking excellent care of them. I had a jumbo sized one when he came out of the shell his legs were the size of a ladies fingers on her hand. The shell the size of my palm - He was HUGE!!! The other 3 were normal sized. lol

Now THAT'S a big crab! Is it mainly the diet that you are concerned about? I'd say just give them the best foods you got, just like Autumn said, and the most important thing is to make sure that you keep the crabs in your care.
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Old 07-26-2015, 02:22 PM   #7
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Land Hermit Crabs

Wow, that hermit crab sounds gorgeous! I have read that they need calcium to help with the molting process, should i feed them high calcium foods instead? Or is extra calcium not needed?
Thank you so much, I've been trying my best to make them happy & healthy since they've been put through so much.
& I did soak them in a shallow pool of treated water yesterday and they seem to be a little more active, so I think it helped greatly with their energy and breathing.

Niles,
It is mostly the fact that they had been inactive in the corner for a week and I was growing concerned. Yet, diet could be a factor. Like everyone has said, maybe they're just adjusting and they're more active at night. I've never had them before and I've been researching like crazy. I got some organic unsweetened coconut and they seem to enjoy that! 😊
I would love to keep them in my care since it seems like she is stubborn &I thinks she knows what she is doing (& since I've spent so much on these little guys lol!) but they were hers to begin with so The best thing I can do is write stuff down and educate her as much as I can.




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Old 07-27-2015, 05:12 AM   #8
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Wondering too if your A/C is on they could be a little cold. They like warm tropical temps. You can soak them every day or 2 btw.
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Old 07-27-2015, 10:11 AM   #9
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Wondering too if your A/C is on they could be a little cold. They like warm tropical temps. You can soak them every day or 2 btw.
Good point. I have a Zoo Med terrarium heater (not sure what it's actually called) that just sticks on the tank, but I only leave it on in winter because that's when it gets coldest. If your A/C is on, then point it away from the tank or just move the tank to a better spot.
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Old 07-28-2015, 10:41 AM   #10
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I have read they like the temp around 75-80 and that's what my thermometer reads. I live in Arizona so my room is 80 almost all the time, it's terrible hot haha! Maybe they would appreciate it hotter though?


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