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Land Hermit Crabs

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by loom, Jan 10, 2017.

  1. loom

    loom Senior Member

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    I mentioned in the "Passions" thread that one of my passions is rescuing Land Hermit Crabs; those little crabs in painted shells that you can buy at mall kiosks and beach shops everywhere.

    They actually require very specific care that usually isn't met by the average person who buys one as a souvenir from the beach. Most pet shops sell inadequate and down right dangerous (to the crabs) supplies for them. In a nutshell, they need an aquarium with a glass lid; deep substrate (3 times the depth of the largest crab); decholrinated fresh and salt water bowls deep enough for them to completely submergea source of heat and a source of humidity. Ideal heat and humidity is 82 and 82% relative humidity. They need organic foods from many, many sources such as meats, nuts, grains, leaves, bark, fruits, sea weeds, vegetables, feces, molds, etc. They are scavengers in the wild and are genetically programmed to not eat the same thing twice in a row. They can eat almost anything as long as it is organic or wild sourced, not processed, and unseasoned.

    The little creatures, if properly cared for can live for upwards of 30 years in captivity and 70+ years if left in the wild, where they belong. The painted shells often cheap land snail shells painted with toxic lead based paints.

    I currently have 13 in two different tanks. My two oldest are 9 years old and in shells the size of baseballs. I have 6 med-to-jumbo sized crabs in a 55 gallon tank and 7 micro-to-small sized crabs in a 40 gallon tank.

    I personally don't believe they make good pets and they definitely should be banned. They are literally tortured from the moment they are captured to the moment they wind up in someone's tank. Under the best of care they will survive. Most don't.
     
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  2. RelaxMax

    RelaxMax Senior Member

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    Too cool. How do you end up with the crabs? I grew up in VA Beach and I know every Sunsations or w/e around there has dozens in those little cages.
     
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  3. SEAmom

    SEAmom Senior Member

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    Hermit crabs can be a big pita to give proper care. Between the right diet, humidity, temp, enough space per crab, adequate salt and fresh water pools, etc, it's definitely a headache. Daughter won one at school 2 years ago and is now in a 2"+ shell. We got a second of matching type for company - both ended up being males - and that one is in the 2" shells now, too. They live in a 90 gallon tank that I got for an absolute steal from a woman who upgraded her crabs to a bigger tank.
     
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  4. Peanut Palomino

    Peanut Palomino Senior Member

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    Pictures! Where are the pictures!?

    I agree with you though. I had two of them growing up and they didn't do so great. I tried really hard and did what I thought I was supposed to for their care, but they never thrived. After reading your OP, I can see why. I enjoyed them though.
     
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  5. loom

    loom Senior Member

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    I got my first one accidentally. A friend of mine picked up an aquarium for me and we didn't know it, but it had a live crab in it. That poor crab lived in her little dried out habitat for months in my garage, which was at times above 100 and below freezing. One day I decided to clean out the tank and use it for something. I brought it inside (it was really cold out) and started pulling out stuff. It had coconut fiber, some d├ęcor, shells and other stuff in it. I had no idea what was previously kept in it until one of the "empty" shells started moving.

    I gave her some water and she was voraciously drinking it and I started doing a crash course on hermit crab care. The water I first gave her wasn't declorinated, but she survived. I set her up with proper conditions to the tune of over $100.00 and as soon as she ate and rehydrated, she went down for a molt and I didn't see her for six months. I essentially had a tank of "pet sand."

    Once she emerged alive and well I set about to finding her a buddy. Since she went through so much, I named her Molly Brown. She is the only crab I've ever named.

    I wound up adopting over 100 crabs at once from a pet store that was going out of business; they were going to throw them away. All of the crabs lived and I adopted them out to people who knew how to care for them. I meant to keep some for myself, but I got divorced and I wasn't able to keep them. I had to give away all of my tanks, crabs and equipment except for my original crab and her tank mate. That's how my obsession was born.

    Once I got back on my feet and back into a house, I upgraded to a 55 gallon tank and my two little crabs were approaching jumbo size. I searched CL and other sites for people wanting to rehome their crabs. Now I have 13 in two tanks. I also have to empty 20 gallon tanks that are set up and running in case I come across more that need care.

    I enjoy setting up their environment and taking care of them. My survival rate is nearly 100%. I've lost one. It never resurfaced from a molt.

    Fairly recent pictures of my two biggies. The 2nd picture gives a size comparison as she is next to a few half coconut shells.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Here's an older picture of some of the rescues before they changed into natural shells.
    [​IMG]
     
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  6. loom

    loom Senior Member

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    Yours certainly did land softly! They are some of the lucky ones.
     
  7. loom

    loom Senior Member

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    On the crabbie dinner menu tonight is organic worm castings in one bowl; ground up freeze dried crickets, meal worms, sunflower seeds and steel cut oatmeal in one bowl; and my "flower power" mixture in a third bowl. It contains rose, hibiscus, calendula, lavender, jasmine, and chamomile petals all organic or wild sourced.

    Food bowls get changed every other day and water pools 1-2 times a week.
     
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  8. RelaxMax

    RelaxMax Senior Member

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    This is too cool. I never knew all this. Thanks for doing what you do.
     
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  9. BluemoonOKy

    BluemoonOKy Senior Member

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    Impressive and Very cool. I had one when I was a kid. Did not live through her molt. I was devastated at the age of 8. Her name was Hermietta.
     
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  10. manesntails

    manesntails Senior Member

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    OMG~!! That thing looks like some kind d of creature from the black lagoon, up close like that~!! :eek:

    I'm glad you like these and want to take care of them. :bow:

    Someone has to~!! :p
     
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