More problematic Ecuadorian molts

On Tuesday when I moved the hermit crab tanks, I found Dai Dai mid molt. I quickly moved him to a small ISO and got him stable. The next day I checked him to find two of his legs were stuck in the old exo. He had eaten all the other exo though so I gave him food and salt water. The next day I brought him out and with my fingers was able to crumble away enough of the old exo to expose his toes. The rest of it has fused to his new exo . He’s mobile but his antenna are goofy too, and another of his legs seems to be bent wrong. I’m really frustrated because all of my E’s have had one good molt with me and then the following have been problematic. I’ve lost several of them now and am not sure what to do differently. Today I set up my 20 gallon long tank for all of the small/medium crabs. This means all of the E’s will be in there now on sand and easier to monitor. The berries have moved into the 40 gal tank. This will give all of the big guys more room too. My crabs eat a diet of all natural, organic things so I wish I knew what the E’s were lacking to cause their problems. Someone at HCA has had this happen to their E’s also so maybe its just their species. They are definitely difficult for me to bring through molts successfully.


  1. Hi Stacy! Sorry to hear of your E troubles. Ive only had one problematic molt that resulted in exo remaining on legs and that was in a newly purchased Rugosus (knock on wood). I did a lil micro surgery with a pair of tweezers and a razor blade, His second molt was within months and was when I was away, he died during molt and it was another problem molt, more exo was stuck to legs etc. Seemed like he just could’nt get “out” of the old exo.

    What have you been letting the Es molt in? I use Forest Bedding (the bricks, rehydrated) for all my molts. Ive got a deep in tank area set up that is about 10 inches deep covered with 2-3 inches of moss. Knock on wood Ive been letting everyone molt main tank for the past year+ and Ive not had ONE problem. Everything from my tiniest little PP (dime sized) to my big (golfball+) PPs and every species and size inbetween (except straws) has molted in the “FB Towers” with no fanfare or notice on my part, or the crabs part for that matter.

    I cant think of anything that you could be lacking that would cause issue only in Es and not other species. What are you offering food wise? I’ll send a note to some crab folks (that you know) that dont frequent any of the public crabboards and see if they have any ideas or input.

  2. -_- Wow. So Sorry! *hug* Well, I just wanted to tell you – I got my hermit Crabs Some New Sand. It’s T-REX Calci-Sand…. Got it from Petco, and guess what color it is…..PURPLE! I got them Purple Sand! ^_^ It’s T-REX sand – And I have T-REX hermit food too … weird…Sadie Lubbies The New shells I got for her to climb on, she’s tried on a few, but she likes hers the best. lol. Noodle has a new hiding space….its behind the hermit hut and 2 palm trees and its getting weird….He’s always there and I know he’s eating, I allways see little poopies under him when I pick him up to check on him every day. I think he’s obsessed with that spot. Sadie is Getting so active, during the day, and night, I can hear her shell bang against the glass. And noodle too.

  3. The only Problem molt was when Joey had a feast on My Nemo! Joey didnt care about the Exo … all he wanted to eat was Nemo….Poor Baby. -_- Sadie’s Molt went fine I guess.. When I went away to sleep away camp, they were STILL ALIVE! Even Sadie, she was molting when I left too! Someone took great care of her I guess. Im so glad that I didnt lose my hermies. *hugs Sadie and Noony* Mine

  4. I’ve still got coral sand in there and I’ve had some accidental surface molts in there. I’ve been trying to catch them premolt and moving them to an ISO with sand.

    NOW all the E’s and small/medium crabs are in the 20 gallon on sand. That way if I miss someone maybe they will fair better.

    I feed a lot of organic stuff and some occasion chicken or silver fish. Fresh fruits, dried flowers, some fresh rose petals but I can’t do that anymore. When the house was sprayed, my roses were too. The only thing commercial they eat is the occasional FMR treat.

    He is dug under now recovering. I hope I freed enough of his legs to bring him through. Moving him couldn’t have helped but I’m not sure how that would contribute to being stuck in his exo.

    I was actually considering putting a deep bin of sand or forest bedding in the main tank!! What are you using to contain it? I was thinking of building something with plexi to hold it. Or getting a deep storage bin or something. Since only the large crabs are in the 40 gallon now, they would be able to get in and out pretty easy I think.

  5. Sadie Molted Fine ^_^ The purple sand is more of a light pink, I dont think getting a dark sand would be good cuz I dont know if I’d see the little poopies when I have to clean out, and it would also be harder to see bugs, or like, other bad stuff

  6. Hey Stacy, I use plexiglass to contain mine. In my earliest rendition of FB Towers, I used two pieces of plexi joined at a 90 degree angle and set it in a corner of the tank so they had basically a ‘box’. This time inthe 30 gallon I went to just one sheet of plexi and its wedged against the glass. (I did the same thing in the 20L but used a smaller ‘width’ for the FB)
    (main tank picture is here )

    top view of the FB Towers-

    This was the original setup of the new tank. Right now Ive added some more ‘climby’ stuff for them to get into the FB area. finger sponges, pieces of coral etc. Ive watched the littlest to the biggest all climb in and out of the FB, so they have no problems getting up and in and no problems getting out. And for what its worth, I use only Forest Bedding. not eco-earth or bedabeast. In my oh so humble opinion 😉 it retains moisture well, doesnt compact when it dries etc etc. It costs more but ya know, I think its worth it.

  7. Yvette that is EXACTLY what I was imagining! When I can get out to get some more plexi and FB I’ll give it a shot. Which pet chain has FB? Petco or Petsmart?

    I may put a bin of it in the 20 long for the babies too.

    I did this last year I think with a large KK and I found 12 crabs in there at once! Several molted in there so they definitely liked it.

  8. I know how much you love them *L*

    When I have a reason to drive to the nearest Petco, I’ll get some FB and also some more Plexi. Until gas prices come down I am not doing any un-urgent traveling.

    Thanks Renee!!! Come back and post some more and share your crabbie news with me 😀

  9. The only thing I can add is that I’ve been feeding my crabs FMR regular. It contains copper sulfate, which everyone says is very bad stuff, but I’ve read on the internet, that tiny amts of copper sulfate are necessary for a good molt, in other types of crustaceans.
    I also have only had bad crab molts when I move the crab during molt. I think that once the molt starts, you are pretty much stuck with it occurring wherever that crab may be, and therefore are forced to move the other crabs, or to bottle the molter.
    Sometimes the crab is just sickly though, and there is not a thing you can do to help them, regardless of how you try.
    I think that the main benefit of burial, when the crabs bury for a molt, is that I cannot see them, and so I don’t feel tempted to help them, cause you really can’t help them much, except by removing their friends and neighbors.

    Every crab I’ve had to die during molt, was a crab I moved during or directly after molt, though. That’s been my experience.

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