Losing Crabs

Discussion in 'Fish and Invertebrates' started by Nav, Aug 26, 2015.

  1. Nav

    Nav Director of Marketing & Photography

    Last week I found my healthy emerald crab dead for no reason, he was healthy very active and I keep feeding nori once in a while too (molted twice in a few months, but this was no molt)

    Last few days I noticed my blue leg hermit in the same place but his legs was moving so I guessed he was going to molt too... Today I found him out of his shell (not a molt again) cos the body outside was upside down and very slowly moving (as if it has 5% life). So for now I put him and his shell into a container and floating in water but I'm kinda positive he'll give up...

    Then I also noticed my halloween hermit too with the same behavior (same place all time, but alive), he's still alive but I'm afraid I might lose him too :(

    What could be wrong? My Long spine urchin & snails are still very active and healthy...

    Temp is 80 and salinity is 1.025, as usual... no recent changes in the system.
     
  2. Enderturtle

    Enderturtle Volunteer

    I've bought about 15 turbo snails since I've started my tank.
    Today there is 1 turbo snail

    I've bought about 25 trochus snails.
    Today there are 5 trochus.

    20 blue legged hermits.
    Today there's about 8 or 10.

    I've had 1 astrea snail that has been with me for over a year.

    I've added like 15 of stomatella snails. Only seen 1.

    I don't know why some die shortly and some live very long. I personally feel like it's just shipping stress or maybe lack of the right food.
     
  3. Nav

    Nav Director of Marketing & Photography

    I agree Michael, but these are not new additions... They've been super active and happy for several months...

    The emerald is what I got from u, remember how long that has been?
     
    Enderturtle likes this.
  4. Nav

    Nav Director of Marketing & Photography

    Also nothing has changed in feeding, I also spot feed them every week when I feed my coral...

    Funny thing is I've only had one of each variety ;)
     
  5. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer President

    How old were they when you got them and how long do they live?
     
  6. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    I "recently" lost a ton of snails, I say "recently" because I just started noticing how many of the shells were empty, ironically around the same time the company I bought them from sent me an email that I should "recharge" my clean up crew :D. That said I still have snails that are alive, so I doubt it was anything sinister on their part :D
     
  7. neuro

    neuro Webmaster

    my snails and crabs rarely live past a few months.

    they have to be replenished every once in a while.
     
  8. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    In theory, those have a 10 year life span.

    Check Alk and Ca.
    I remember a die-off that really seemed correlated to high Alk with Low Ca.
    Not horribly off though, but I forget exact numbers.
    And there are notes on the web about high Alk being an issue for snails and crabs.
     
  9. JAR

    JAR Supporting Member


    maybe they got the flu or the plague. hard to tell with crabs. i have had some for many years but they do die off from time to time. same with snails. I have never had much luck with sandbed snails. go figure
     
  10. Nav

    Nav Director of Marketing & Photography

    Today I came back from a 2 day vacation and found the halloween hermit dead too :( I'll go to the basics and check ammonia, nitrites, alk n cal again tonight.
     
  11. Nav

    Nav Director of Marketing & Photography

    Tests were all kinda normal...

    NH3-N02-N03 - 0
    Alk - 9.8
    Cal - 365 (I dosed and got it up to 400 now)
    Mag - 1440
    Sal - 1.025
    Tmp - 80
     
  12. Enderturtle

    Enderturtle Volunteer

    Yeah your calcium is low. According to rygh that might be the cause.
     
    Nav likes this.
  13. JAR

    JAR Supporting Member

    just keep doing water changes. dosing and chasing numbers is not the answer.
     
  14. Nav

    Nav Director of Marketing & Photography

    My doser adds same amount of Alk & Cal everyday... the problem is my IO-RC salt is lower on Cal when freshly mixed (so I've been adding some extra Cal to fresh saltwater batches but I forgot to do that the last 2 times).
     
  15. Nav

    Nav Director of Marketing & Photography

    Another update! I AM SO STUPID! The halloween hermit actually molted... now I just noticed he's bright red and moving around. Atleast I didnt toss the shell out. The other 2 (emerald & blue hermit) surely died cos I saw the body with rotting flesh, not just a shell.
     
  16. wpeterson

    wpeterson Webmaster

    Sorry to hear about your crabs.

    Snails and some crabs can be very sensitive to salinity and water parameter shocks, so it's worth taking the time to drip acclimate them when you first get them. Especially trochus and astrea snails have complex inner organ and blood vessel structures that can be ruptured by salinity shock. If you just toss them in the tank, they may be mortally injured but take a month or two to die.

    Crabs are more hardy than these snails but can also be shocked depending on how different the water params are. I just bought an emerald crab and some black foot trochus at one of our LFS and their water was at 1.022 salinity which is much lower than my tank. I took the time to drip acclimate them because of that.

    I would bet shipping or acclimation stressors kill most snails and crabs in the hobby.

    However, you might also have a predator or something eating them when they molt - but it's hard to catch them in the act.
     
    rygh likes this.
  17. Nav

    Nav Director of Marketing & Photography

    Agreed Winfield. I temp & drip acclimate every invert for hours. As I stated earlier the ones that died were happy in my tank for several months...
     
  18. wpeterson

    wpeterson Webmaster

    Sorry! I should know you would.
     
  19. Nav

    Nav Director of Marketing & Photography

    I'm no expert n there's no end to learn in this hobby...

    Didn't know about the snail organ thing ;)
     
    Enderturtle likes this.
  20. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    +1 on acclimating.
    I lost many snails after a few weeks to a month or so, and really wondered why until someone pointed that out.
     

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