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FAQs on Terrestrial/Freshwater Hermit Crabs 2

Related Articles: Terrestrial Hermit Crabs, Freshwater CrustaceansInvertebrates for Freshwater Aquariums by Neale Monks,

Related FAQs:  Terrestrial Hermit Crabs 1, & FAQs on Terrestrial Hermits: Terr. Hermit ID, Terr. Hermit Behavior, Terr. Hermit Compatibility, Terr. Hermit Selection, Terr. Hermit Systems, Terr. Hermit Feeding, Terr. Hermit Disease, Terr. Hermit Reproduction. & FAQs on Marine/SW: SW Hermit ID, SW Hermit Behavior, SW Hermit Compatibility, SW Hermit Selection, SW Hermit Systems, SW Hermit Feeding, SW Hermit Disease/HealthSW Hermit Reproduction, & FW Crustaceans 1FW Crustaceans 2

http://landhermitcrabs.com/ http://www.hermit-crabs.com/   http://www.crabbytalk.com/

Hermit crabs... rdg.     6/18/12
Hello there my family recently took a trip to North Carolina and on a crabbing trip my son caught a hermit crab.  Being a 6 year old little boy he wanted to take it home for a pet. Me being me I said ok but now have a few questions, actually a lot, as to habitat and if the wild crab will do well with store bought crabs.  My daughter got jealous and now I am the proud owner of a few of the fun little creatures. I didn't know if the wild crab would attack the tame ones
<They'll all eat each other given hunger, opportunity>

 and if I had to have a different habitat for the water dwelling crab versus the land dwelling store bought ones any help would be greatly appreciated thank you in advance.
<... read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/terrhermitself.htm
and the linked files above for both terr. and marine hermits. Bob Fenner>

Double moulting... Hermit... terr. I take it    4/6/11
Hi there, I have a hermit crab that moulted around 4 wks ago, we just got a new tank and I put nice soft sand in it last wk and now the same crab is moulting again, if this a normal thing to happen??
<Mmm, not too unusual. Either circumstances are very positive or adverse to bring on such frequency>
He was a medium crab now he looks so tiny,
<Ahh, they do shrink... become smaller under negative/unsuitable conditions>
The other question is they all seem to go back into the same shell after moulting , I have a heap of different shells but they just seem to pick the same one is that normal??
<... yes>
Thank u for your time
Regards tiarna
<Do read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/terrhermitbehf.htm
and the linked files above. I am trying to familiarize you w/ a breadth of possibilities here. Bob Fenner>
Re: Double moulting, terr. hermit    4/6/2011

Thank you for your quick response, I was feeling a little relieved while reading the start if the email but then was s little worried about the last part, so I'm guessing the tank conditions must be better but as he is shrinking a lot I am wondering if they are still no right.. It is currently 22deg in the morning as we are just starting to come into cooler weather so may be a blanket over the tank would help that at night time.
<I'd investigate, invest in a "hot rock" per this/these species
requirements. Sold in most petshops, through etailers for reptiles>
I feed them dried fruit, crab cookies I do give them fresh Apple, grapes biscuits but they never seem to eaten them, all things I have read say they love all these (and other foods) but they seems to be a bit fussy..
<Unusual. BobF>

Help. Terr. Hermit crab beh., rel. matters    7/9/10
we have had hermit crabs for over three years, we have seen them naked but this time one went naked and climbed into the water dish, and what we started to think he was molting. He hasn't moved or done anything for 5 days. He was moving just a couple of days ago. But nothing, we had to remove the water dish because the other one was trying to get at it. I don't smell anything. Would this be consider molting? If so, how long?
He is very small. He has molted before but never on top of the surface.
thank you
<Greetings. It isn't normal for Hermit Crabs to moult outside of their shells or at least outside some sort of burrow, so if you see your Hermit Crab moulting on top of the sand or coir, something is probably amiss.
Start by checking diet, particularly the availability of iodine, as iodine deficiency seems to be a very common reason for improper moulting. Note that Hermit Crabs can be cannibalistic, and it is crucial that recently-moulted Hermits get themselves into shells as fast as possible. If that isn't happening here, you need to separate them. The fact your Hermit hasn't moved is very worrying, and I'd be isolating him regardless. Make sure the vivarium is suitably warm -- unless you're in the tropics room temperature won't do -- and sufficiently humid. Like a lot of cold-blooded animals "dying" can take months, even years, so just because you've been successful thus far doesn't mean you've actually been keeping them properly. Sometimes it takes a long time for the problem to become fatal.
So sit back, review living conditions, and make sure you're providing everything you should. Most of the people selling Hermit Crabs in malls and whatnot haven't the foggiest idea what they need, and those little plastic habitats they sell are pure garbage. At minimum, you need a 10 gallon aquarium with a couple of inches depth of damp sand or coir, plus a shallow basin of either dechlorinated freshwater (for Purple Pincer Crabs, Coenobita clypeatus) or brackish water (for Ecuadorian Crabs, Coenobita compressus) depending on the species you're keeping. This is VERY important, and if you provide the wrong type of water you will create problems in the long term. Unfortunately both species are equally available, and the retailers, particularly those in malls, have not a clue which one they're selling. Place a heating pad under the tank to maintain a steady 25 C/77 F. You need a hood to keep humidity in the tank, but sufficient ventilation to prevent fungal infections. You need to clean the sand or coir regularly, ideally every couple of weeks. The diet should be varied but calcium-rich, so lots of things like whole lancefish and unshelled shrimps rather than just prawn meat or fish fillet. Some vegetable matter, such as banana, is also important. An iodine supplement is almost always required, though some Hermit Crab foods may include iodine -- check the labeling. I hope this helps. Cheers, Neale.>

What's wrong with them? Hermits, terr.... sys., fdg., beh....    8/5/09
Hello, my name is Ben.
Sorry to bother you, but there is something that's really bothering me and I'm worried about my Hermit Crabs.
<Interesting pets, and not difficult to keep, but often trickier than the sales clerks suggest. Suggest you visit one particular site that's all hermits, all the time:
It's a good site, and very frank about what's needed to keep them healthy.>
My brothers and I bought 3 hermit crabs (sorry, not so sure about the species) at Petsmart two days ago, we also bought frog moss, sponges, 3 shells of the appropriate size and some decorations. I had everything else ready at my house, hideys, chlorine remover, dishes, and bag of play sand.
I didn't buy any salt, though.
<Ah, this does matter. There are at least two species equally commonly traded in the US: Coenobita clypeatus, which needs a freshwater bathing pool, and Coenobita compressus, which needs brackish water or seawater in its bathing pool. Now, the critical thing to remember is that both species are widely sold, and sales clerks will say that both species need freshwater. That helps them make their sales quota! So do not, repeat DO NOT, take on trust any statement that the Hermit you have is a freshwater species. Review the link below, and confirm for yourself.
Use marine salt mix to make up the brackish water should you need it. At the amounts you're using the cost will be trivial, but you'll regret using cooking salt, aquarium tonic salt, or anything else that wouldn't be used
in a marine aquarium. You're after brands such as Reef Crystals, Instant Ocean, or whatever the cheaper generic marine aquarium salt is at your pet store.>
The lady who helped us mentioned something about them having only freshwater hermit crabs in store and that salt water was not necessary. I also didn't buy any commercial food, they didn't have any in store and I
heard they can a lot of other things instead.
<Certainly, these crabs are entirely omnivorous. An ideal diet would include soft fruit, freeze-dried or wet-frozen krill, squashed cooked peas, and chunks of lancefish, which you can buy frozen at pet stores. Lancefish are small fish, a bit like whitebait, and because they contain bones, they're a good source of calcium.>
I've fed them daily, watered the moss, misted the tank, gave them water.
(I've made sure to always use the water I setup with drops of chlorine remover every time I use any water)
<Very good.>
Well, here's my problem, I don't think they've eaten since I got them 2 days ago. I've fed them apple, melon, carrot, with small dabs of peanut butter or honey. I haven't really seen any change in the food from when I put it there. So I'm worried whether they're eating or not? Why not? How long could they go on like this?
<It is actually very common for Hermits to "go quiet" when first introduced to their new habitat. They're also somewhat nocturnal in the wild, and become more day-active once they settle down. So, between these two factors, you might well not see very much for the first couple days, even a week or so. Provided your Hermit is still alive, I wouldn't worry unduly about a quiet specimen for at least a week or so after purchase. Remove uneaten food to prevent fruit flies, fungus, etc. A small piece of lancefish would, I bet, be the thing to get them eating, so try that one night. Dead fish are a real treat in the wild, and land crabs get very
excited when they smell one!>
I also haven't seen a lot of action from them. Of course I'm not aware of what goes on after I fall asleep, but when I'm awake, they mostly hide all day. At night we take them out to play and exercise them a bit since
they're nocturnal but they don't seem to trust us much.
<They won't. It takes weeks before they become "trusting".>
It takes long for them to come out and when they do they try to scurry in the opposite direction, we always try to be as gentle as we can. Please, could you give us some tips that could help us earn there trust?
Please, I'm afraid they'll die, I've had hermit crabs before, but I wasn't well informed or prepared the first time. This time I did research on everything before getting them and I was prepared, but I don't understand
why they aren't eating. Thanks for taking time to read this, and I'm sorry to have bothered you.
Thank you,
<Do read the site mentioned, identify the species you have, adjust the salinity of the bathing pool if required, and give your Hermits time to settle down. Remember they need warmth, and if your habitat is too cold
(air temperature less than 22 C/72 F) they're not going to be active at all, and will probably die quite quickly. These animals live in the Caribbean area, so if you don't live somewhere with a similar tropical
climate, you WILL need a heater. An undertank heating mat is ideal, and doesn't cost much. Alternatively, some type of heating lamp could be used; not a regular lamp, a proper heating lamp mind you! Visit a reptile pet store and review the options for heating lizards, snakes and other warmth-loving animals. All of these tropical pets need heat, and it's a shame sales clerks often suggest they can be kept at room temperature in
the US and Europe; they very largely can't. If you happen to live somewhere warm like Florida where the air temperature would be adequate, don't forget that air conditioning will cool the air in your home, and that will also cool the air in your Hermit habitat. So do think very carefully about heating: it's probably the single most common reason why tropical "critters" of all kinds die in captivity. Cheers, Neale.>

Hermit crabs 11/10/08 Hi! My little sisters and I have pet hermit crabs. We put them in one tank. There are no bugs in it, but for some reason when I looked in the tank today, there was a web across one of the shells with little black dots in it. Is it from the crabs? Do you know what it is? <Greetings. It is possible I suppose that these webs are spider webs, or silk webs spun by something else. In that case, they won't do any harm and can be rinsed off with some clean water. But I'm a little more concerned that these webs might be in fact fungal hyphae. Fungi will grow on anything that is organic, warm, and damp. Hermit crabs need to be kept warm, as you know, since they're tropical animals that quickly die if they are kept at room temperature. But they also need a well ventilated environment. Usually these two things are taken care of by putting a heating mat or stone in the vivarium (for warmth) and then placing a lid on the tank (to keep the heat in) but the lid is left slightly ajar so air can move through the tank (for ventilation). Hermit crabs are quite difficult to maintain if you don't "tick all the right boxes", and I'd encourage you to review their needs carefully. Once sick, there's little that can be done for them. Many books have been written about pet Hermits, but in the meantime, why not visit one of the several good web sites dedicated to their care. I happen to like this one: http://www.hermit-crabs.com/ Cheers, Neale>

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