Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Sandy and Shelly

I think I forgot to tell you about our newest members of the family. Well, really I was just waiting to see if they lived past a week. Because the last time we had a hermit crab, well, he did not live past a week.

But this time they have. So, I am officially introducing you. Actually, right before this post, I checked on them and thought one was dead. But I revived him by spraying him with water. (see comprehensive care list below)

Meet Sandy and Shelly.



'Cause my kids are original if anything.
Sandy like the sand and Shelly like a shell.
You see? Original.


Here is Elmo checking them out. This is pretty fun actually because they hide when he comes near them and when they poke their heads out he runs away. Ahhh... fun times with our critters.



Did you know that hermit crabs should really be called TEMPERAMENTAL little baby crabs?

Seriously, I did not know they required the care that they do. It is no wonder our other one died in a week.

YouTube has videos on how to bathe them. Oh yes, they do.

Really? Give them a bath? Seriously? Who gives them a bath when they living in their natural habitat?

Another tip is to make sure their temperature is between 72 and 82 degrees. Ummm, hello? Like, don't they live by the ocean and doesn't it get above 82 degrees there sometimes?!?!?

Today, I bought them sand and they refuse to sit on it. Guys?!!? (I think they are guys) Remember the beach?!?!? (update: they are burying themselves in it now and seem to love it)

They've changed shells already. How fast do this darn things grow anyway? Will I need a 5 gallon aquarium soon or what? And just where will that go? (update - they have moved up to a 10 gallon tank which now lives in the playroom)

Just two more things for me to keep alive. The fun never ends around here.

Oh, and just in case you would also like to know more about the tempermental baby crabs here is a comprehensive list from a friend who has managed to keep hers alive for almost 3 months now! And I do mean comprehensive.

***

1. They really need to drink salt water or water that has no chlorine. You can make your own salt water by using 2 heaping tablespoons of sea salt (found in grocery stores) to one gallon of water. Put the water in a mister and mist your crab and its sponge.

2. They really need to move to a bigger "crabitat" then what we bought to be "happy."

3. They are social crabs - they want friends - other crabs - someone to 'crab around with' - (joke).

4. They like to eat fruit (mostly sweet fruit), popcorn, veggies, herbs - parsley,cilantro, rosemary, and basil. They like organic vegetables because they have not been sprayed with pesticides. They need protein - they can eat dog or cat food if soaked in water. They also like small cricket, fish bloodworms, freeze- dried clams, shrimp, plankton, water fleas, eggs, and fish and turtle food. They don't seem to be too picky. yeah, right.

5. When they decide to 'move-up' they want a 'crab-shell' similar to the one they are living in now - and if they don't like their new shell - they will NOT go back in their previous shell - then they will die (sounds picky)

6. If they are aggressive with their crab mates they need to have "time-out" - put the more aggressive one in his own crabitat and turn the lights out and leave him/her in the dark until he calms down. (really)

7. They need a bath in salt water - they need humidity in their crabitat or they will die.

8. They are nocturnal and they don't mate in captivity.

9. They also make noise - a squeaky kind of noise.

10. If a crab gets a hold of you and does not want to let go (fear of falling) put cold or warm water on him/her until they let go.

11. They like to climb - so put stuff in their crabitat to climb on. They also need places to hide - so put a broken pot in their bed for them to go in. Petsmart actually sells all kinds of things for these guys.

12. I don't even want to get into 'molting' - it sounds gross.

13. The temp in their tank should be between 76 and 82 degrees - anything above that is too hot (go figure they sit in the sun on the beach but once they move in then they get picky. They actually sell warming mats in Petsmart to warm a part of his tank - so he can go to that side when he needs to warm up.

***


Well, there you go - EVERYTHING you could ever want to know about how to take care of a hermit crab. If you do want to know more head over to YouTube.

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7 comments:

Kim @ Through My back door window said...

Yeah, you have fun with them! E's had a total of 6 and none have lived through a molt. We are down to two. Mr. Crabs and Camo. Don't forget there salt water dish. Along with the plain water (filtered mind you), they like to bath and splash in their own salt water! Sometimes when molting you may think they've died but actually no they're alive. Also, didn't know a molt is diferent than just changing shells!

Janel@Dandelion Dayz said...

yes, I did see on a website somewhere that they need both filtered water and salt water.

These things are more high maintenance than me!

jen@odbt said...

They are picky little creatures. Who knew they were so demanding - very interesting palate. Have fun with the new additions. Love how the puppy captured one.

Anita said...

Well how exciting is that, and I never knew they were high maintenance...LOL.
I hope they live a good long life in your home!

GladMom24 said...

we've had up to 4 at a time, now down to 1. some lived over a yr.
my girls like to take them for rides w/ the Barbies.
we always take them back to the beach with us. once 1 escaped, took us all week to find him in our 3BR condo. and yes molting is disgusting. if you find 1 'naked' (sans shell) isolate him immediately with his old shell and a bigger one.
and yes, ours chirp.
since the hamster died, we are down to 1 hermit crab/2 betas/2 dogs--still quite a zoo.

Kristin said...

Well lucky you! We made it thru a hermit crab a few years ago. Kermit the Hermit. Because my kids are also extremely original. haha. Best wishes!! :)

Kellie said...

Who knew that there was so much involved in hermit crabs!

Loved the pic with the (amazingly big!) puppy!

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