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Stress is caused by a number of factors.. one, temperature and humidty may be out of range. You must have that in check.. 76-85 degreesF and humidty 75-85% relative. They breathe through modified gills and only a warm and humid tank will allow them to properly breathe.
Also pre-molt is very stressfull...they need good food and clean water.
You need to keep more than one crab as in the wild they live in warm humid troical conditions in colonies of 100 and more.
If there is no sand or coco-fiber for them to dig in.. that can cause stress.. not enough extra shells of the right type and size and also stress will occur.
ANOTHER big stressful thing is overhandling... they are not a regular pet that need or even enjoy too much human handling.... they are an exotic species of land crustacean that only thrive and live for years with ideal sustained tank conditions. And no over handling.
Bathing is also not recomended because it causes stress.
Make sure you have both fresh and marine/oceanic de-chlorinated waters in seperate 1/2 inch or deeper pools so they can fully submerse themselves and enjoy the water which they often do.
Make sure you also offer more than just commercial pellet foods since they ARE ALL filled with artificial ingredients and chemicals... THey need human grade fresh fruits, veggies, meat, fish and chicken... as well as grains.
We take a very naturalistic approach to hermit crab husbandry... we have had 23 successful molts this year alone which is a 100% success rate.. we own 43 hermits right now...have owned and worked with hermits for 10 years and studied and researched them for 15 yrs.
We have studied the effects of stress and it's causes and the above items that I have given you are the most common causes. If you make sure the tank conditions are in range, by using a solid or glass lid.. have 12 hours of lights and 12 hours of dark they will be good. Using both dayglo and nightglo lights are an amazing way to keep your crabbies happy.
Substrate and food and water is their life fource as well as the extra shells.. at least 3 per crab. Anything that comes into contact with the crabs must be cleaned with de-chlor water and NO CHEMICALS. Make sure each crab has it's own area where he or she can hide out if needed and be alone. Hidies like 1/2 cocoshells and 1/2 logs are good...plenty of climbing areas too.. they need both coola nd warm areas within their tank.
Our oldest crab is 15 years old.. and we also have a 10 year ols and 2 seven year old crabs.... we have ideal sustained tank conditions 24/7 with a very natural setting with no dropped limbs, no agressions and 100% stress free hermit crabs.
We own and operate "A Home For Hermie, Land Hermit Crab Rescue and educational facility. Here is the site for our rescue..
http://www.geocities.com/hermitcrab_rescue/ full of care sheets and tips about the entire care and keeping of hermit crabs as well as an extensive all natural food list.
HERE are some pictures of our crabs etc.. http://s49.photobucket.com/albums/f279/jenniferm2203/
And here is our land hermit crab forums..http://crabrescue.proboards102.com/index.cgi
UPDATE>> the person below is talking of marine hermits they are totally different..
land hermits can not and will not live in the water and can not reproduce successfully in captivity BUT marine hermits can. If you try to keep your crabs in water like that they will die. You must provide both fresh and salt water.
· 1 decade ago