Hermit crabs

Odd, I thought I had 3 tiny hermit crabs but when I changed the coconut fiber substrate I only found 2.
I even dumped the substrate outside and searched….
So now I’m down to 2 tiny hermits. I’m sort of sad.

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What my hermits eat….

Ok, interests in hermit crabs has been showing up on my search feed so I will say a bit about how it’s been working out for me.

Currently, I have 4 live hermit crabs. In the year and a half since I’ve started with hermit crabs i’ve lost 2. One after a yr shortly after i changed the substrate from coconut fiber to sand and one after a few weeks of ownership. So I’ve had a total of 6, 2 big, 1 medium (the originals) and 3 tiny. I’ve lost only one of the big originals and one of the newcomers.
This is what I’ve learned.
My hermit crabs are purple pincher, at least that’s what I was told.

Occasionally, I put the yellow flukers cricket calcium fortified cricket quencher in their water dish.
I used rabbit food pellets, hermit crab powdered food, flukers cricket food, dried shrimp, rabbit dried veg treats, bird food, and occasionally fresh fruits.

I prefer the coconut fiber substrate.

When not traveling the hermits live in a huge plastic clear storage container with holes drilled in the lid.

At home I do have a small heating pad stuck to the side of the plastic container. *warning, do not place the heavy plastic container on top of the heating pad, it will melt the plastic and be a possible fire hazard. usually, the temperature in my house is around 75 degrees but there is high humidity in the habitat. Ido have a temperature and humidity gage in their habitat.

I try not to unbury the hermit crabs while molting but in emergencies I gently use a plastic spoon to dig it out, put in a plastic dish filled with substrate, bury it slightly and put a hut over it. The plastic dish I do place in the bigger habitat so that when it is finished molting it can crawl out and join its friends.

At one point I had a three footed toad (a toad with 4 legs but 3 feet) housed with the hermit crabs for about 8 months. I swear the hermits ate the toad’s poop. I also saw the hermits hunting and catching the crickets.

When traveling, I placed the hermits in a smaller portable habitat made out of a clear office storage box with holes in the sides and a latch lid.pictures below of the travel case as we are currently traveling)

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I know many people are worried about making their hermit crabs sick but I have at times Introduced slugs, snails and worms to them from the outside during the time that the toad lived with them. I also included branches from outside. They loved the bark.
At one point they shared their habitat with about 10 slugs because well the slugs for the toad laid eggs and then their were baby slugs. There is still one resident slug in the habitat. It has been there since it hatched

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Update:8/13/2012
Someone gave me their pet hermit crab because it quit moving around and they figured it was unhappy.
This was its habitat.

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Sooo hermit crabs

So remember a while back when one of our 3 hermit crabs died, I told my boys, and we buried it. A few weeks after the burial I bought 3 small, small hermits.
About a week before our trek from TN to Florida I moved their habitat into a smaller more portable case.
Well we’ve been in FL for about 3 full weeks. At some point in the last 3-4 weeks one of the small crabs had died while buried in the substrate. I thought it may be molting so I tried to give it plenty of time, well I checked today and it was dead dead dead.
This time I did not tell the boys as they had not yet formed attachments to the new small hermits, in fact my hubs thinks I only bought 1 extra hermit do this hermit that died wont be missed by the family. However, I did bury this one and covered it with rocks to protects its “grave”….

On another note, the living hermits are enjoying all sorts of food: rabbit food, dried veg, dried fruit, crab food, cricket food, finch food….. Etc

Toads and hermits

Well we did it. Against all online advice we moved our toads and hermits into the same large habitat. They’ve been together for about a week and seem to be doing well. In fact the hermits seem to be doing better than ever.
So the species experiment continued.
On a side note in sept I fly back to Florida and am going to see of I can bring 2 toads with me to re-release back in their natural habitat.

Several things

Sooooo
Today I bought a car decal from thewholenetwork.org that says “bring your whole baby home.” I finally did it. I’m moving to isolated community in a few weeks where probably every little boy is cut so this is big for me.

We al caught a medium sized toad today. The boys were happy. We bought crickets and will release in a couple days.

My keruig coffee k- cups came in….all 125

The hermit crab sunshine is isolated and I haven’t seen her in 2-3 days. Sunsun and Sid have been crawling around so I assume they are fine. My mother is still trying to convince me to set them free into the wild.

And we signed of rental contract with the realtor so she can rent out our house once we leave…..

Jelly legs

Well, the hermit crab Sunshine had been buried under the substrate for about a week… but I had to isolate her today. I found SunSun [the other big crab] digging a trench right on top of her…I don’t know if he was trying to eat her or not but I decided to isolate her just in case. When I picked her up I noticed her missing leg is now growing back [clear jelly leg until the molt]. So right now she is in the 2 gallon tank and hopefully she’ll molt and can rejoin the others soon.

What I know about hermit crabs

I may be wrong…..

Land hermit crabs are not loners for the most part they prefer companionship. In the wild they can live in colonies. I have 3. They crowd into the same coconut hut.

They use each other to climb out of things.

They need a humid, warm environment. Get a thermometer that tests temp and humidity and put it in the tank.

They are omnivorous … meaning they eat plants and meats… Mine love apples and salmon dry dampened dog food and of course hermit crab store-bought food. don’t give acidic foods or dairy.

They should be given special salt water and fresh [not tap] water to drink.

They need shells to change into as they get bigger and should be given several options to choose from.

Hermit crabs can grow back lost limbs. Before they molt, shed their exoskeleton, they grow jelly legs in the place of the lost limbs.

They bury themselves to molt and should be left alone to molt in peace. This can take a week or so. {I isolated my small one when he molted because I didn’t want him to be eaten by the 2 big ones} The young ones molt more often than the older ones.

They eat their old exoskeleton to regain lost calcium. They also can get calcium from shells and cuttle stones [for birds].

They need to have a humid environment because they breathe through gills and DO NOT USE tap water with them as the chlorine can burn and kill them. Either use spring water or tap water that has been made safe and dechlorinated with fresh water aquarium water conditioner.

Supposedly, the crabs are active at night. I kick mine out of their coconut shell hut once a day or once every other day to make sure they get out an eat.

Crabs need some space and depth to their living environment. I have a 10 gallon aquarium for my 2 big and 1 small hermit crabs. I am currently using a coconut fiber substrate [bedding]. You can buy it as a condensed brick at a pet store in the reptile section, add water, it expands and you break it apart.

Crabs like to dig. Make sure you put enough substrate in there to let them bury themselves. Do not use heavy rocks. I’ve found I prefer the coconut fiber to sand….

I recently found out that they can live 20 or more years if properly taken care of…. I probably should have read about them before purchasing them for my sons.

Oh and painted shells are bad and could be poisonous to them. Only get them natural shells. My little one is still in his painted shell because he refuses to choose a new one.

I just found out that a female hermit crab has spots on either side of her body after her 3rd walking legs. Do not attempt to pull your hermit crab out of the shell to check.

So far this is most or all of what I know. if you actually want more accurate information do what I did and google it.

I’ve a 2 gallon tank and a 10 gallon tank.

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Freedom? No, not a chance….

Well the home for the hermit crabbies fell through. When it came down to the line the person said no. My mom and darling husband keep trying to get me to “set the free” by the beach…. Um… NO NO NO!!!!

1) they are captive bred

2) they are not native to Florida

3) since they are not native here, there is no population to deposit them in.

4) they are my pets and my responsibility and if no one will care for them for me then I must do so…..

Maybe my crabs are a lot like me… Sociable and gets along with others of my kind but also just like to hide under my coconut hut and pretend I’m elsewhere. I’m also used to my captivity. I’m not a roaring adventurer seeking the next thrill or even a person who has to fight for my survival be it in the wilds of the jungle or the wilds of the city. I’m comfortable with my coconut hut. I can climb on top and waves my legs if I want. I can when and what I want to eat out of what is available around me and most of my needs are met. I am comfortable in my captivity. God forbid someone dump me in the middle of a forest and say “Hey chica, enjoy your freedom. Live long and prosper.”

…… i don’t know where I’m going with this blog post. I just I’m just rambling without a point. I’m just feeling sort of down today. The kiddos have been in fighting form the last couple of days and my emotional reserves are slim.Yesterday, I chewed my husband out over a toy present he selected for a birthday party for 10 minutes because it wasn’t what I wanted him to pick up. Did I need to do that? NO! He did me a favor in picking up the present and I was an unappreciative witch.

How am I supposed to be a priest’s/pastor’s wife if I cannot hold it together in my own home…..

anyways, enough moping and whining… gotta go

In The Quest For Pets

Up front I’m going to state we don’t want anymore pets. However, somehow we continue to add to our family….

Last weekend, we bought 2 feeder goldfish[at the bidding of our 4 yr old, and they promptly died within 48 hrs…. Then yesterday, the boys caught 3 good-sized small toads and I bought them some small pet store crickets to munch on. The toads will be released tomorrow but dude, we are always getting animals. is it that I can’t say no to my 4 yr old or that I can’t say no to my inner child.

I remember being a kid and wanting to take home every stray and have it be my pet….my parents had different ideas though and sadly none of the animals I found ever got a home with me….

Either way, whether it is mine or my 4 yr old’s fault we have currently in our house 3 dogs, 3 hermit crabs and 3 small toads……

We have a house

Well we have a house at our new HOME away from home for the next 3 yrs. It is 3 bed and 2 bath. Hopefully, we will adjust easily to the new setting and we won’t try to kill each other.

Other than that, I may have found a home for the hermit crabs. My hubby doesn’t want to take them with us. Actually makes me sad to contemplate giving them up.

Yesterday was my birthday. I’m now 30 yrs old. I pigged out on doughnuts, sushi and Lobster bisque. It was a great birthday.

Come June I am cold turkey weaning the youngest from the boob. Wish me luck.

The end

Hermit crabs

SID is a live!!! He survived his molting! We saw him yesterday and today with new pink limbs!
Next week, I will reintroduce him to the other ones.
Sunsun and sunshine are still reclusive.

Yesterday, we caught some little brown toads at church to release today in our yard. Sadly, all but one died in our care during today’s afternoon heat in our back room. The one left living was released but who knows if it will survive.

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Hermit Crabs

The hermit crabs are still living. The small one SID is hiding and not eating because he is growing 3-4 replacement legs. I don’t know how he lost the legs or even if it was while in my care but I’ve isolated him so the others don’t eat him while he is vulnerable. The other 2, SunSun and Sunshine are doing fine. Hermit crabs are a lot less active than I thought they’d be. I have to practically kick them out of their coconut huts to make them eat and walk around. The hermits were a mistake. Oh well. Chalk that up top another bad decision.

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Off

Well it has been a week and a half since I took my zoloft. I can’t say it’s been easy. I’ve been stressed and shirt tempered as I learn to cope with myself again. I’ve been impulsive and rather expensive… A stroller, clothes, 2 carseats and shit load of groceries in days. Damn!!!
I’ve been very short with my oldest son but I am trying to keep in my mind that he is only 4!
This whole week both boys have been in daycare to help me cope.
My hubby still doesn’t know that I’m off the Zoloft although I told him several weeks ago I was thinking about slowly weaning off….(not the cold turkey bs I’m doing now)

I will be a better mom!

On a side note the boys are now the proud owners of 3 hermit crabs. Sunshine, sunsun, and Sid. (my oldest named them)

Oh and our 6 yr wedding anniversary is this weekend! Alex got me a keruig coffee maker and I got him some disarrouno amaretto liqueur, vacation photo frame and some blankets.
I love him.

The picture was taken from a facebook fan page. I think peaceful parenting in honor of genital integrity week in march…..