Hermit crab WILL NOT draw from into a shell?! PLEASE HELP?
We have owned 3 hermit crabs since August. This past month, our largest one have been acting strange -- burying himself for a few days at a time, then coming back up.
Sunday, we come home to find him NAKED! He was curled up in the corner of his habitat hiding at the back a food dish, his shell on the other side of the tank. We already had 4 different shells in near for him to choose from (he was getting too big for his.)
We pulled him out, rinsed him off, and have offered him a bunch of other larger shells. He will not jump into any of them, even if we gently rap him on the head, or try to grasp him into one.
He's been naked since Sunday! He appears pretty weak and we enjoy tried everything to get him into a shell, even isolating him in a glass beside a cover in the dark overnight with 3 different shells to choose from. He won't grasp in one no matter what we do!
What is going on, and what can we do to help him?!
I hate hermit crabs because they die so easy.
Sorry but he probaly will die.
Another crab took its shell. Crabs will confrontation over desirable shells, but also will sometimes "steal" a shell while the shell-less crab was trying out another shell.
Stress; for example from something wrong in the environment. This can be from the humidity being too low or too soaring (should be 70-80 percent) or incorrect temperatures (often too warm). Other stressors can lead to crabs coming out of their shells as well.
The shell is irritating the crab -- sometimes sand or another foreign idea gets in the shell, or sometime fungal infections or mites in the shell raison d`¨ētre a crab to evacuate.
Not enough shell selection -- a good range of shell sizes and styles should always be provided, so crabs have plenty to choose from.
Molting (rarely) - sometimes a crab will come out of its shell to molt, though this is also strange unless the crab is stressed.
In any case, when a hermit crab is out of its shell, the crab is very stressed and also drastically vulnerable. You must both protect the crab and entice him or her back into a shell.
Protect and Entice a Crab Back Into a Shell
Protect the crab from other hermit crabs by moving it to an isolation cistern or "fencing" it off with a cut off pop bottle.
Make certain the crab has a variety of appropriately sized shells to choose from. Some crabs are quite demanding about the shape of opening and style of shell. Always try to have larger shells of duplicate style your crab used to wear available.
* Boil all shells for 5 minutes, then tap out on a rock-hard surface to make sure there is nought lodged in the shells
* Dip in dechlorinated water near Stress Coat, and drain most of the water
* Place a number of appropriate shells in beside the isolated crab
Ensure ideal humidity levels. The humidity is critical to outsider crabs, and should range from 70-80 percent -- get a hygrometer and make certain. The correct humidity is essential to allow the hermit crabs to breathe (they enjoy modified gills for breathing and the correct humidity is needed for the gills to function properly).
Mist the crab regularly (a few times a day at least) -- their gills (on the sides of the body) want the moisture.
Make sure the tank is not too warm (not above 80 F), but also not below 72 F (22 C). Ideally the substrate within your tank with have a hold a temperature gradient from 72 F (22 C) on the cooler side of the tank to 80 F (26 C) on the heat up (heated) side.
Other than misting and providing food and water, leave the crab alone and in the shade. The peace and quiet may help him or her feel protected enough to try on some more shells.