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Discussion Starter · #43 ·
Robin, We definitely have a problem on our hands....

But then, we already knew and accepted it, I guess we can't complain about the strays when we start feeding them!

I think I have about 13 crabs left total. Used to be over 20. There are always early losses, due to stress and injuries during shipment, and some simply don't adjust to captivity. It's so hard to see the numbers drop like that, knowing that they are capable of such longevity.
There should be...10 that I have moved in so far! I love having them together for so many reasons, but one big one is the maintenance! Soooo much easier to care for one large than 5 smaller tanks. Water and food and just lights off/on etc. I have a cheap timer I could put them on but I don't like to unless we are gone or something. Idk why.

I have two tiny crabs in there, maybe grape sized, and two slightly larger than that, and then their sizes jump all the way up to large and jumbo! I don't really have many in the middle anymore. There are 2-3 more needing to pop up so I can move them- assuming they WILL pop up anyway. I don't have reason to believe they won't specifically, but I have a gut feeling about at least one that isn't good.
 

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I definitely get how much easier it is to have one central tank to maintain and to be able to see all of them at once for any problems.

Oh! You're waiting on some to complete their molt? Since moving has been going on how does that work? Do you leave shells for them in case they want some new pants? Do you have to wait for a time before moving them after they emerge?
 

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Discussion Starter · #45 ·
I'm going to give each of the two tanks I potentially 'left' crabs in about a month before I start digging for them. Digging is NOT recommended, which is easy to see now that you know how they molt etc! But, in these cases, if they aren't back by.... say Jan 15 or so, they aren't likely to come back up. Possible but unlikely, given their size a s the length of time etc etc. but there are no guarantees in crabbing!

And yes, I did leave a small handful of shells in each of those just in case they want to swap when they're back. Fingers crossed- I'm only truly anticipating one. Two would make me thrilled, and 3 or more would blow my mind!
 

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Discussion Starter · #46 ·
And yes, they do play.... this was one of the more usual activities, with more than one on the wheel tonight; slightly less normal was my little guy riding around the outside while the big fella walked on it- you can see how the little one is blurred from moving along faster than the inner.... too funny. Reminds me of those moving sidewalks in airports, where some walk and go faster.... or a grownup beside a toddler w long vs short legs.... idk it amuses me!


 

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After all you taught us about them I knew you were risking a great deal if they haven't emerged on their own and started looking for them. How in the heck can you possibly keep track of who hasn't emerged in X time? Will you keep some sort of chart to mark who disappeared and when they should emerge.

Who in the heck discovered they would use a wheel? That's one of those things that would be fun to watch them do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #48 ·
It is. They're very klutzy and kinda dorky in their clumsiness sometimes- endless entertainment ops!

I guess it is kind of like taking care of chickens/poultry- you might be the only person who could tell them apart, but not only can we tell them apart at a glance, we know about when they did X,Y, or Z! I tried to keep up with molt dates initially, but they're so tricky about it that they'd dig down under the sand 2-3x before they'd actually stay gone! I got tired of striking thru and rewriting, so now if I think of it I will write down the date I first see them back and an estimated time of molt. Certain sizes mean an average amount of time per size and while there are always exceptions, it's usually not too bad to keep up with. I quit stressing it if I didn't though. I lost a lot of the Es early on- me and my friend got 10 to start, a little over a year and a half ago. We were down to just 4 within that first year, and neither of us can say why, other than to surmise they had a hard trip here from Ecuador. Just don't know enough about them to be able to help more than this yet.
 

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True. And just like the chickens they have certain behaviors that if you see something different you know to watch.

I guess it's not like popping eggs in an incubator and writing the date down and knowing when they should hatch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #50 ·
More night time/early morning wheel play- and yes they do know exactly what they're doing here. They do work cooperatively to play like this, as they would work together in the wild to reach something good to eat! Behavior has been observed where they have piled up in order for others to reach the goods and pull it down for them (if possible anyway!) pretty cool. We also know now that the older and larger crabs teach the little ones. Where to find food, water, shelter, how to do certain things and act certain ways. Really cool, and that is something we are still learning about. The recent large clutch of captive babies gave us a sample group- 2-4 at a time adopted out, sent all over the country to various crabbers. They found that the babies that were placed in a tank with larger crabs grew significantly faster as well.

Ok sorry- I thought you'd enjoy those odd little factoids too though! I really think it's neat how much we are still learning about them, and they being an old/ancient life form as they are.

Ok they loaded swapped, but here are some of them settling in for the day, Princess tipped back against a rock, and Corn up on the shelf. Corn had a friend, Pop, that did not make it. Originally they wore the same type of shell and I couldn't tell them apart so I just named them PopCorn for the time being! Anyway- daytime, then a fuzzy wheel pic. They just wouldn't hold still!




Edit: I adopted most of my crabs from others who could no longer keep them. First 1, picked up in WVa a couple hours drive, then another 3 (I drove the 4 hours to almost Nashville for them), and then I drove to Manassas (6 hours) to adopt the 9 crabs from a guy. The following day I drove north an extra 3 hours to meet my friend Kelly, who took some of those for her colony too.

If anyone does decide to start crabbing, adoption is a much better bet for a lot of reasons. Health being the top reason, of course. Just food for thought!
 

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I really enjoy reading those little tidbits about their behavior and how they get along when it comes to surviving.

That business about learning from the older crabs is very much like chicks and other babies learning from their mothers. It's just one of those things you don't think about when it comes to those little creatures.
 

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I really enjoy reading those little tidbits about their behavior and how they get along when it comes to surviving.

That business about learning from the older crabs is very much like chicks and other babies learning from their mothers. It's just one of those things you don't think about when it comes to those little creatures.
Yes, thank you, it's all so interesting! The pics are great!
 

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Discussion Starter · #53 ·
One other thing- this is one of my favorite clips about them, it's from BBC and shows them changing shells in the wild. Really cute and cool. Worth a view if you haven't seen it, or even if you have! I've watched it at least 5x.

 

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I can see why. There was such a frenzy going on it was hard to keep track. But I'm really surprised to see how swiftly they were able to change over.
 

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Discussion Starter · #58 ·
Well, your wishes have made it stop hurting already!
I'd say I'm kidding but actually- once the ibuprofen kicked back in, it came down to a bearable level. For now. Tomorrow and the next will be the worst tho.

It's all worth it. Thank you. Truly.
 

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Love ibuprofen after a rough visit to the dentist. And after any surgery. Stuff works.

Is this your excuse to eat all the ice cream you want?
 

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Discussion Starter · #60 ·
Who me??? Hahaha I have a quart of ice cream from a local dairy, egg nog flavor I'm slowly working my way thru! It's coming along. Mostly soft and liquid (ok they said all but it ain't my first rodeo, there are still a few things edible they wouldn't agree with tho!) ya know, as long as I'm careful and gentle, I can still eat my favorite homemade gingerbread dipped in white chocolate cookies, made by the lady i house sit for! Oh they're so yummy. Hehe. They will melt in my mouth. Then what's the problem?

And yes, my ginormous sweet tooth probably never helped much when it came to my teeth, but even when I tried cutting it out it didn't slow anything that I could tell. Meh.

Feeling pretty good so far today, too. Not too much swelling!
 
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