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Wikkids_Wench
07-22-2005, 03:44 AM
A few piccies of my little gang of land hermit crabs (four Coenobita Clypeatus and four Coenobita Compressus)

First off, the Crabitat - a glass tank 24" long x 15" wide x 9" deep. The lid is made from a sheet of perspex cut to size, and held in place with strips of stick-on velcro.

The substrate in the tank is a mixture of 3 parts aquarium sand to 2 parts coconut fibre (eco-earth) to 1/2 part aquarium gravel and 1/2 part chopped sphagnum moss. This allows the crabs to burrow (they do this for entertainment and for safety when moulting), but does not become waterlogged easily - it is not as susceptible to mould as pure peat or eco-earth might be, but holds water better and allows more even evaporation than pure sand. The substrate is two inches deep at one end of the tank, rising to nearly 5 inches deep at the opposite end.

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y291/Pagan_Writes/crabitat1.jpg

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y291/Pagan_Writes/crabitat2.jpg

Wikkids_Wench
07-22-2005, 03:47 AM
And a few of the crabbies themselves:

Livingston

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y291/Pagan_Writes/livingston.jpg

Oscar

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y291/Pagan_Writes/oscar.jpg

Slick and Livingston

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y291/Pagan_Writes/slick_and_livingston.jpg

Ed, Apricot and Bumble

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y291/Pagan_Writes/ed_apricot_and_bumble.jpg

Fidget, being sociable

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y291/Pagan_Writes/Fidget.jpg

Nivek
07-22-2005, 04:15 AM
Those are some very nice pics! Cute craps, and a gorgeous setup :worship:

Wikkids_Wench
07-22-2005, 04:18 AM
Thanks, although I'm hoping to improve on the set-up soon - more space for more crabs :D

luther
07-22-2005, 04:56 AM
Very nice setup. Looks like some very well cared for crabs.

I had half a dozen of these guys for a few years. I ended up naming the painted shells because it was impossible to tell one crab from another. My children were very fond of them because they were easy to handle.

They are fascinating creatures to watch and to listen too. The chirruping is so cute. They seem very intelligent and curious. Rearrange their setup regularly to stop them getting bored :}

Have you offered them a little organic peanut butter or honey? They love it!

A hermit crab, about 2 inched long, was responsible for the most painful injury I've had from any of my inverts, including all my tarantulas. The crab was walking on my hands (just like in your pic) when it became spooked and withdrew into the shell. It tried to hold on to the skin of the side of my thumb while retreating and pinched it hard between the big claw and the shell. My God that hurt, out of all proportion to the size of the wound. It was like some martial arts pressure point trick. These little fellas are incredibly strong for their size.

I'd really like to see a full sized colony of these in the wild. They must look great when theres a few hundred milling about together.

Wikkids_Wench
07-22-2005, 05:05 AM
Honey goes down well, but they're not so keen on peanut butter (although their tastes in food change periodically so I keep offering it every now and then. The favourite treat at the moment is powdered coconut, along with the main dry food that I feed them (my own recipe due to the amount of repulsive ingredients that get shucked into shop bought crab food).

I'm avoiding rearranging too much at the moment as at least two of the crabs are burrowed in and moulting so I want to avoid doing anything that could collapse their moult chambers. Although I think one of them is just having fun with me now (http://pagan_writes.tripod.com/crablog/) ;)

As for the pinching, I've had one small nip from Apricot when buying the Ecuadorians, but nothing worse (so far) - and I'd rather avoid getting nabbed by Livingston, Oscar or Fidget. They're all quite large and I've seen Livingston dent a pistachio shell...

knightjar
07-22-2005, 07:58 AM
Chocolate chip cookies are a favourite. Probably not the healthiest snack, but very popular.

Take care handling them. If you do get pinched it tends not to be just a nip - they lock on and it hurts like Hell even with a relatively small crab. You need to run them under the tap to persuade them to let go.

Wikkids_Wench
07-22-2005, 08:17 AM
Chocolate chip cookies are a favourite. Probably not the healthiest snack, but very popular.

Since crabs are unable to digest dairy products and find iodized (table and additive) salt poisonous I'd say definitely not the healthiest...

Crabs do have a sweet tooth though its true - why not try them with something like sweetened powdered coconut or fresh sugary fruits such as melon and grapes?

spot
07-22-2005, 08:24 AM
Goblin Queen, that is a nice tank. did you build it yourself?

knightjar
07-22-2005, 08:27 AM
Since crabs are unable to digest dairy products and find iodized (table and additive) salt poisonous I'd say definitely not the healthiest...

I'm sure that's true, but my experience is with a crab who lived 20 years in captivity, with regular cookie treats. Of course he may just be the exception that proves the rule, like these 90 year old smokers who claim it never did them any harm.

Wikkids_Wench
07-22-2005, 08:31 AM
Of course he may just be the exception that proves the rule, like these 90 year old smokers who claim it never did them any harm.

Lets hope so :) Still not something I'd want to suggest to other keepers though...

Spot - no, but it was hand-customised by my boyfriend. The tank is a regular glass aquarium with a plexiglass lid with two mesh-covered ventilation holes in it - the lid is fixed in place with strips of adhesive velcro. But like I said, good enough though it is I'm hoping to 'upgrade' soon...

hermitman64
07-22-2005, 05:25 PM
Very nice setup and hermit crabs. I kept 3 of those for a few years a while back. I loved them, very easy to care for and cute. However, as previously mentioned, the pinch is extremely painful. Great pets nonetheless.

wikkid_devil
07-23-2005, 02:14 AM
Spot - no, but it was hand-customised by my boyfriend. The tank is a regular glass aquarium with a plexiglass lid with two mesh-covered ventilation holes in it - the lid is fixed in place with strips of adhesive velcro. But like I said, good enough though it is I'm hoping to 'upgrade' soon...

The tank is shallow, because I bought it off a friend of mine who used to be a tropical fish importer. This is a stock holding tank. I it bought off him for 2, he's got a garden full of em :rolleyes: . It is shallow to make it easier to net the fish when they are sold. It used to house my P.imp's before they got their upgrade :)

spot
07-24-2005, 08:32 AM
a shallow tank like that would come in really handy!

we have two hermit crabs that we have had for about a year and have kept them on calci-sand only. yesterday we changed their substrate using your instructions and they are more active than I've ever seen them, with lots of burrowing. plus the new substrate allows for more landscaping so the tank looks nicer!

Wikkids_Wench
07-25-2005, 03:40 AM
They sound like happy crabs then! Glad it worked well for you :)

Malkavian
07-25-2005, 11:51 AM
Wow, never knew hermit crabs could be that interesting. I had one a while back and it wasn't anywhere near interesting to watch...probably didn't have its cage furnished enough though, judging by your Crabitat

druid8783
07-25-2005, 12:47 PM
I used to keep hermit crabs and I loved them! I had over 60 of them. They are very neat. They are by far one of my favorite pets I ever had. I had to give them away though because my parents said I was keeping too many animals.

They remind me a lot of T's with their little quirks and things.

Wikkids_Wench
07-26-2005, 04:25 AM
Malkavian, it might have been because you only had one - they're very social creatures and tend to be much happier and more active when kept in groups :)

Ruri - yup, they're nuts! :D

luther
07-26-2005, 06:25 AM
I agree. Hermit crabs MUST be kept in social groups. They are not solitary animals and need others around.