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 Post subject: Our Hermit Crabs
PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 11:30 am 
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I wanted to show you pictures of our newest Hermit Crab - Daisy. We have 3 Hermit Crabs in total and we think they're so much fun to watch. We first got Shy Guy and Sonic. We then added Daisy. They eat all kinds of things like fruits and veggies etc.

I'm trying to arrange their ''crabitat'' so it looks nicer. Then I will share pictures of their home with you :bg

Image

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Last edited by Vicky & Charlie on Mon Aug 08, 2011 1:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Our Hermit Crabs
PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 12:29 pm 
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Daisy is so cute. How do you tell the difference between them? Different shells? I love "crabitat" - too funny - and am looking forward to seeing it. Looks like a coconut to me.........

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 Post subject: Re: Our Hermit Crabs
PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 1:26 pm 
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The 'crabitat' is actually a 15 gallon glass fish tank with sand at the bottom and all the necessities for them to be happy. They do have a coconut home :evil and a swimming pool. I need to decorate the crabitat with more things for them to climb on. I was just watching them a while ago, Daisy ate a huge piece of apple and then climbed on top of the coconut to rest :gig .

Charlie was laying down next to me with his chin on his front paws. He kept making noises when the crabs were walking in front of us.

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 Post subject: Re: Our Hermit Crabs
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 3:33 pm 
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Here's a picture of one of the smaller crabs climbing on top of the tank.
Image

And Charlie keeping an eye on the crabs :gig I think he likes them.
Image

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 Post subject: Re: Our Hermit Crabs
PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 8:27 pm 
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LOL - that last picture is great. Our puppers ignore our crabs - even when they clunk around tapping on the glass. We've had many over the last 8 years or so and I also find them fascinating to watch. We had one named Daisy also that used to love to sit on my shoulder, snuggled up to my neck. She was very gentle and would tickle me with her feelers. I'm sure she was just looking for a warm place to sit, but she'd scramble under my cupped hands too and sit there, looking at me. We started working with her outside the cage when she was small so she wasn't afraid to be handled and since we were always gentle, she never startled or pinched us even when we would turn her over to examine her underside or give her baths in the sink.

If you need some crabby care tips or crabitat ideas, I have many as we've gone through many redecorations of our 50 gallon tank. Things like making sure the sand is moist and at least three times the depth of the largest crab so they have plenty of room to dig tunnels when they are ready to molt - which they'll do every few months or so. Don't panic when they disappear and don't disturb them when they do as it can take a week or more and is a fragile time for them. I used to mix sand and crumbled peat blocks to help keep the moisture level in up in the sand - it helps keep it from collapsing too. I also discovered that if you place a couple rocks under the water pool, it'll keep it from dropping on them when they dig under it.

We had Purples and Gray Ruggies and all kept moulting and growing until they got big enough to span my palm. As they got bigger, we had to anchor down the cover on the tank because they also kept climbing out and we were afraid our cats would get them. I used a lot of natural things to decorate their tank with (rocks, broken clay and non painted ceramic pots, shallow bowls with rocks in them...) but the thing they found they like the most is an aireal walkway made of a wire shelf like you use in a kitchen cupboard covered with plastic canvas that is laced to it with plastic lacing or fishing line. Using this, we have built them areas in the sand to dig and are able to keep the food and water up high out of the sand (where it gets algae or molds very quickly). We even cut strips between the climbers that they love to nap on or climb upside down on. Netting draped across it also gives them a way to climb up but our's love to just climb up the legs.

Do your's chirp? The first time I heard that was so funny - I kept looking around the house wonderin what was making that noise. Then I spotted the cat, staring into the tank like Charley is - only she was chirping back at them. LOL

I haven't been online there in a while, but there is a site called The Crab Street Journal that has an awesome forum for sharing and gathering decorating, training and care tips.

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 Post subject: Re: Our Hermit Crabs
PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 2:27 pm 
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Thanks for the info Heather.

The only crabs we can find around here are Ecuadorians (E for short) and they are on the smaller side compared to other species.

I think we're on the right track with humidity & temperature levels, foods, toys etc. The issue I'm having is finding shells for them. I don't know where to get them from :dk And no, I've never heard them chirp :gig The tank is in my step-daughter's bedroom, I hope they don't wake her up if they decide to start chirpin!

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 Post subject: Re: Our Hermit Crabs
PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 7:32 am 
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Good shells are very hard to find. I hate ordering things online that I want to see first but good shells are important to the crab's health and what I find locally are usually chipped, painted or too thin. Mine prefer the Turbo style because the shell is a medium to heavy density, which provides good protection from attack and holds inner humidity for their bodies. Crabs are amazingly strong and can lug around even the heavy Murex type shells fairly easily (though the spikes on the Murex's often get snagged on things). I avoid the Cherry and Fairyland shells because they are too thin and don't breathe well and our crabs just don't like them. Another thing to watch for in shell buying is the shape of the opening. E. Rugosa's (also known as Ecuadorians or Ruggies) tend to prefer rounder oval openings that fit their bodies better but I have had some that go for the more flat ovals but can't figure out how they can be comfortable squeezing in there. All our Purple and Reds, prefered a round non-oval opening as their bodies are rounder and legs tend to be longer so they can carry them better. Painted shells also don't breathe and if given a choice, most crabs will choose a natural shell. Be sure to sterilize any shells in boiling water before introducing to your crabitat to kill any parasites and molds. Watching them switch shells is a bit unnerving because that isn't the most attractive part of their bodies :gig but it is fun watching them pick over and peek into shells as they try to decide which one to take. Aside from molting time, it is also the most likely time for an aggressive crab to attack so its a good idea to put the clean empty shells up on a higher shelf or in a dish so they can swap without fear.

Humidity is difficult to control but I found that by keeping a pool at soil level and one up on the shelves with the top closed, the air stayed humid without promoting mold as long as the food was changed every to every other day. One pool is fresh water and the other is salt water btw as they need the salinity and one must be deep enough for them to flush out their shells in. If the sand/moss mixture (3 parts sand to 1 part crumbled compressed coconut fiber block) in the bottom is less than 2" deep, it dries out and they can't dig into it to molt or hide because it will collapse. I have a low side where the pool (a ceramic ash tray actually) is located but the deeper side is mounded to about 5-7 inches deep and I occasionally sprinkle that side with water to moisten it. They dig tunnels and caves in it and it's fun to watch when they clear a cave up along the glass and peer out at you.

The Ruggies are the most vocal between the two species. Strawberry crabs are also very vocal but can be aggressive and are known for rearranging their crabitat so we have had only one. She would sit up on a rock and when ever anyone challenged her "perch" she'd chirp like crazy - a definite warning to back off. One of my purples got caught up inside a tower that I'd put in and one night I heard this frantic chirping as a bigger Ruggie cornered him and wouldn't let him out. I ended up taking the tower out and he happily crawled out. The one Ruggie we have left now will sit on an upper shelf where we put their food and chirps if I put grapes or raw shrimp with shells (his favorite treats) in for him. The sound is like a cross between a cricket chirp and a stone rhythmically scraping on glass.

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 Post subject: Re: Our Hermit Crabs
PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 12:28 pm 
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Heather,

Thanks for all the info. You're lucky to be able to find all those different crabs in your area. I've only seen E's so far around here. I'd love a Strawberry or Blueberry one :hp You should post pictures of yours, I'd love to see them.

I knew about the salt water and I have a question. Since I live near the ocean, is it safe to use plain ocean water? There's plenty of places where I can go get a gallon or two :gig I'd rather use that than buying a box of Instant Ocean...

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 Post subject: Re: Our Hermit Crabs
PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 4:04 pm 
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New pictures of our Hermit Crabs:

Image

Image

Image

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Our Hermit Crabs
PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 6:28 pm 
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I found all of this to be very interesting. We had our "Bout" with tropical fish. Now, we only have one Plecosamis left in a 40 gallon tank.

Our local aquarium store will take this fish and not destroy it, but it has been a part of our family right from the first time Kevin and I got together 21 years ago. So, I am finding it hard to let it go. :roll

Here is a link if you want to see what they look like.. The black spotted one is like the last Plecosamis we lost. It was my favorite. Funny how we love our pets! Even crabs. I usually think of eating them. :bang

http://www.google.com/search?q=plecos+f ... =6KacT4WzI

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 Post subject: Re: Our Hermit Crabs
PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 7:01 pm 
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Wow Dawn, your pleco must be pretty big if you've had it for that long! We've had fish tanks in the past too. My fiancé was keeping 10 red-bellied piranhas when I met him. I had Blood Parrots (hybrids) fish, balloon rams and some bolivian rams for a long time. I really enjoyed my fish tanks, I was thinking of setting one up the other day. There's a 55 gallon in the shed... :roll

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 Post subject: Re: Our Hermit Crabs
PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 7:25 pm 
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Well, the tank is 12"x24"x36" and he/she almost reaches nose to tail across the 12" part of the tank. The tank is one of those tall 40 gallon tanks. I posted pictures of the two awhile back, but our computer crashed, so I would have to search the hard drive copy to find it again. I really liked the black spotted one because it was so pretty. This one is red and is so old that it has big black spots on it.

Like I said, the aquarium store assures me that they "re-home" the fish, but I would always question what happened to it. I have dealt with this store for many years, so I do believe them. I would really like to get this tank out of our entry way. But, so it goes... :roll

I think that your crabs are so cute, but I doubt that we will ever venture into anything but our Cocker Spaniel babies. They are our life and we don't have any children around so there are no other needs. I do think that it is great for kids to experience all types of critters. Then they will learn to love all and be advocates in their behalf when they are adults.

Some day remind me to tell you the story or our "Miss Happy Fins". She was a golden Gourami and we went to great lengths to try and save her. Even taking her to the Vet. UGH! :roll :ROFL

Dawn :paw

Hope that you don't mind that I stated that I like to eat crab. We do live in the San Francisco Bay Area. :gig

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 Post subject: Re: Our Hermit Crabs
PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 4:24 am 
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dawn & kevin wrote:
Hope that you don't mind that I stated that I like to eat crab. We do live in the San Francisco Bay Area. :gig


:ROFL Dawn, seafood is one of my favorite. I live in Atlantic, there's fish and shellfish everywhere. Lobster season just started here and I can't wait to eat my first meal!

Even Charlie loves to play with lobsters!


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 Post subject: Re: Our Hermit Crabs
PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 4:33 am 
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Vicky I'm glad you enjoy your hermits.......they secretly give me the creeps! Dawn I'm sure the pet store will rehome your fish. Large plecos are expensive and many people enjoy them.

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Zoey parti-color DOB 2/20/2009 my first dog
Deuce the maine coon cat
Flash the ragdoll cat
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 Post subject: Re: Our Hermit Crabs
PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 5:54 am 
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beckyboo wrote:
Vicky I'm glad you enjoy your hermits.......they secretly give me the creeps! Dawn I'm sure the pet store will rehome your fish. Large plecos are expensive and many people enjoy them.


I went away on vacation for a few days and when I came back, my fiancé had bought one for his daughter. Of course, since she's not here all the time, I started taking care of them and reading up on how to take care of them. They were creepy at first but now I like them. Especially our Ecuadorian, she has pretty eyes :wk

Dawn, beckyboo is right, a lot of people are looking for large plecos so I'm sure your pet store wouldn't have any problem re-homing him if you decide to let him go. I got attached to my Parrot fish so I understand why you're keeping the Pleco.

I found pictures of our fish, here are a few:

Red-Bellied Piranhas
Image

Balloon Ram
Image

Blood Parrot (hybrids) kissing
Image

Image

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Our Hermit Crabs
PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 2:27 pm 
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beckyboo wrote:
Vicky I'm glad you enjoy your hermits.......they secretly give me the creeps! Dawn I'm sure the pet store will rehome your fish. Large plecos are expensive and many people enjoy them.

Guess what my Mom brought Riley from her trip to the ocean. Yep. Hermit crabs. Ugh. Any tips on crab care?

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Deuce the maine coon cat
Flash the ragdoll cat
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 Post subject: Re: Our Hermit Crabs
PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 3:03 pm 
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beckyboo wrote:
beckyboo wrote:
Vicky I'm glad you enjoy your hermits.......they secretly give me the creeps! Dawn I'm sure the pet store will rehome your fish. Large plecos are expensive and many people enjoy them.

Guess what my Mom brought Riley from her trip to the ocean. Yep. Hermit crabs. Ugh. Any tips on crab care?


:ROFL

My first guess would be that they are Purple Pinchers. You'll find all the info you need on this site, they have care sheets for every species:

http://www.hermitcrabassociation.com/phpBB/index.php

They're a lot of fun once you like them...

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 Post subject: Re: Our Hermit Crabs
PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 4:50 am 
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ok so the new crabs are in their new home a 10gallon tank.I will have to post pics as soon as I can. The first one closed up tight into the shell when I picked him up to move him, but the second came right out as I picked her up. Yikes! I almost dropped it! Shudder!!!!! but the poor things ran right into the water bowls to get a drink and then hid in there new little hut.

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Zoey parti-color DOB 2/20/2009 my first dog
Deuce the maine coon cat
Flash the ragdoll cat
Riley and Grayson my "skin kids"
Princess Bambi the bunny
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 Post subject: Re: Our Hermit Crabs
PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 6:29 am 
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Awww :love I can't wait to see pictures!

Here are some "guidelines" that I can think of right now:

- they will need a bowl of treated fresh water and a bowl of salt water (not table salt but the salt used in salt water aquarium).

- what are you using for substrate in the tank? It should be sand (cheap bag of play sand from hardware store should be ok) and the sand should be kept humid. A good guideline is "sand castle consistency".

- most commercial foods contains bad things. Your crabs will be happier and live longer if you give them a healthy diet of home made food. They eat eggs, most fruits, most veggies, fish, seafood, meat, peanut butter, natural popcorn, etc.

- they love to climb so be creative with their home. You can build homes with different levels etc

- the dept of the sand in the tank should be at least 3 times the hight of your larges crab. They need to dig deep when they molt. They love to dig tunnels to hide and stuff...

- make sure you have some extra shells in the tank. Most crabs come in shells that are too small for them and they usually change shells when they find one they like. Different species of crabs prefer different types of shells.

- the temperature in the tank should be arond 78* and 83* and the humidity should be around the same.

I could go on but I think this covers the basics... Let me know if you have any questions. I'd be glad to answer them.

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 Post subject: Re: Our Hermit Crabs
PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 8:18 am 
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Vickie I have them in a 10 gal tank with playsand and coco fibner mix 4 to 6 inch depth. With a clay pot on its side to hide in( that's where they are now) two ceramic dished one with fresh and one with salt water but I used reg aquarium salt. food dish and a log to climb. They love the sand as the kiosk had them on gravel with only a wet sponge to drink. They haven't really eaten except Mr krabbs ate some grape. Krabby hasn't eaten but ran to the salt water while Mr krabbs ran to the fresh then they both hurried to hide.

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Deuce the maine coon cat
Flash the ragdoll cat
Riley and Grayson my "skin kids"
Princess Bambi the bunny
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 Post subject: Re: Our Hermit Crabs
PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 8:49 am 
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geez, I had no idea the care a crab requires.

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 Post subject: Re: Our Hermit Crabs
PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2012 4:43 am 
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Debbie I had no idea either till I red up online. They sell the poor crabs and say just wet the sponge and give a sprinkle of this dry food powder....they will die a slow death that way. they need heat and humidity too.

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Zoey parti-color DOB 2/20/2009 my first dog
Deuce the maine coon cat
Flash the ragdoll cat
Riley and Grayson my "skin kids"
Princess Bambi the bunny
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 Post subject: Re: Our Hermit Crabs
PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2012 11:42 am 
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Vicky,

I am sorry I got sidetracked! I don't think that an aquarium would be able to find a home for our Plecostomus. He/She has large black spots which are not too attractive. :dk

Dawn :paw

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 Post subject: Re: Our Hermit Crabs
PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2012 1:04 pm 
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I have a pleco in my outside koi pond. He is nearly two feet long. Since it stays warm in the winter here he does fine. Someone didn't want him any more so I adopted him. His name is Tank.

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 Post subject: Re: Our Hermit Crabs
PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2012 2:44 pm 
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Deborah wrote:
I have a pleco in my outside koi pond. He is nearly two feet long. Since it stays warm in the winter here he does fine. Someone didn't want him any more so I adopted him. His name is Tank.


Oh I'd love to see a picture of him if you have one! I think the largest Pleco I've seen was about a foot long and I thought he was a monster.

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