Help Land Hermit Crab Sand

mralph3577

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We recently purchased 2 hermit crabs. One is exhibiting typical behavior the other one is very lethargic(he hasn’t moved) and has lost 2 legs. I built the habitat with sand on half and coconut substrate on the other half as recommended by the pet store we purchased them from. But the sand is turning brown??? Any help would be appreciated.
 

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NC122606

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mralph3577 said:
We recently purchased 2 hermit crabs. One is exhibiting typical behavior the other one is very lethargic(he hasn’t moved) and has lost 2 legs. I built the habitat with sand on half and coconut substrate on the other half as recommended by the pet store we purchased them from. But the sand is turning brown??? Any help would be appreciated.
So the sand is turning brown? Or do you think it’s just the coconut substrate being moved by the carbs?
 
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mralph3577

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It is definitely the sand is turning brown and the one crab is dead.
 

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What type of sand are you using, and how exactly did you prepare it before putting it in?
 
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mralph3577

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It’s the sand that came in a hermit crab habitat kit we got from Petsmart. I did nothing to prepare it. It was ready to use. I attached picture kit I purchased with sand I used it was called Vita-sand(Sonoran white).
 

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Fanatic

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mralph3577 said:
It’s the sand that came in a hermit crab habitat kit we got from Petsmart. I did nothing to prepare it. It was ready to use. I attached picture kit I purchased with sand I used it was called Vita-sand(Sonoran white).
Okay, unfortunately that is calcium based sand, and it is not great once wet, as it hardens and can cement your crabs underneath. Substrate needs to be mixed to a sandcastle consistency with dechlorinated fresh or marine salt water by using Instant Ocean. It must be at least six inches deep throughout or three times as deep as your largest crab is big.

You can get a 50 pound bag of playsand at most hardware stores for under ten dollars, and it can be mixed with eco earth to retain moisture.
Those kit tanks aren’t good, as they contain a lot of useless supplies that you won’t need to use, and the tanks aren’t very large either.

I recommend ideally one crab per ten gallons, but there can be an exception for small/micro hermit crabs. I have nine crabs in a 55 gallon with a 20 gallon topper.
 

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The advice Fanatic gave is great. I would follow that. I just wanted to add that the sand is turning brown because coconut fiber leaches tannins. It’s not harmful. The sand itself is because like mentioned above, it hardens in the shell and they’re unable to come out.
 

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