My crab won't leave it's painted shell

Questions about choosing the right shells for your hermit crabs.
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harleyucollins
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My crab won't leave it's painted shell

Post by harleyucollins »

I have three crabs. I got them a few weeks ago. When I got them, they had painted shells. I ended up getting non-painted shells, and two of the crabs switched into them. But.... the other one hasn't even touched the shells, and I know that there are a few shells in there that he can fit perfectly into. How do I get him to come out of his painted shell safely? And why doesn't he change shells himself?
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Re: My crab won't leave it's painted shell

Post by Wai »

Do you have PPs or Es? If you have PPs, go for the turbos with circular openings. If you have Es, go for shells with oval shaped openings, such as the babylonia shells.

Being from Australia, I have Aussies, which are similar to Es. My Aussies seem to love pheasant shells the most.
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Re: My crab won't leave it's painted shell

Post by ladybug15057 »

Along with Wai's advice, try boiling the shells too in dechlorinated water and prior to offering them give a squirt or two of ocean/sea water in side the shells.
If offered proper shells that feel well to them they will change shells. Other than offering a variety of shells there is no other safe way to get a hermie to change its shell. This is something they must do themselves.
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harleyucollins
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Re: My crab won't leave it's painted shell

Post by harleyucollins »

I don't know how to tell if they are PP's or E's. But I have both of the openings you described in the variety of shells that are there. I also did boil the shells because some of them came out of my salt water tank and I wanted to make sure that nothing was in there that could harm the crabs. I will try the squirting of sea salt into the shells. Thanks. :]
Proud owner of 10 hermit crabs.
6 PP's - Dino, Squirt, and Squishy (Other three unnamed)
4 E -Reo-ohki, Pip, Magnus, and Tien
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harleyucollins
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Re: My crab won't leave it's painted shell

Post by harleyucollins »

Oh, wow. I feel dumb. haha PP's is purple pincher's. Yes, they are PP's. :D
Proud owner of 10 hermit crabs.
6 PP's - Dino, Squirt, and Squishy (Other three unnamed)
4 E -Reo-ohki, Pip, Magnus, and Tien
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harleyucollins
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Not to be annoying

Post by harleyucollins »

I posted on here awhile back about my crab not leaving his painted shell. I boiled the shells like someone suggested and put a few drops of salt water in them.. He still has not changed shells. He doesn't even seem interested in them. Is there anything else I can do??
Proud owner of 10 hermit crabs.
6 PP's - Dino, Squirt, and Squishy (Other three unnamed)
4 E -Reo-ohki, Pip, Magnus, and Tien
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Re: Not to be annoying

Post by emmac350 »

Don't worry too much - while painted shells are hardly ideal, at least your crab is in a shell. You can't force your crab into any shell (trust me, they never pick the ones you want them to either), so just keep doing what you're doing and hopefully he'll change soon. Are any of the extra shells you have the same shape as the one he's in? Maybe he just really likes the shape and thickness of the shell he's in, so try to offer him a similarly sized shell of the same variety along with as many other shapes and sizes (sizes near to his current shell size both bigger and smaller) to encourage changing.
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Re: My crab won't leave it's painted shell

Post by Wai »

I agree with Emma. Try giving him the same size and type of shell, but unpainted. It is also possible that he's not in the mood to change shells.
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Re: My crab won't leave it's painted shell

Post by ladybug15057 »

As mentioned one cannot force a hermie out of their shell or into another. Considering he is already in a painted shell he has been forced out of his original shell from home and forced into the painted one. (he did not come across a painted shell in the wild) This video is considered 'Art'!
http://www.youtube.com/user/crabstreet# ... YZZb-gkUIE

Some hermies are more traumatized than others through the process of being forced out of their shells and VERY reluctant to change shells. I bought 5 exotic hermies when they made it to my area, and all were in a painted shell:
http://s187.photobucket.com/albums/x276 ... ted-in.jpg

My one rug Clipper just downright refused to remove from his hideous shell, but the other 4 did:
http://s187.photobucket.com/albums/x276 ... -shell.jpg

but when he molted within a week he did FINALLY leave that shell to a beautiful brown tapestry turbo.
Usually it is the D shaped thin shells that are painted. (as in the first link) This is what they were forced into moving into. Try offering more turbo style shells since he is a PP with the round torso. He maybe like my Clipper though and not move until he molts. Have you put him in iso with numerous shells so he feels more comfortable about changing?
And as sad as it is, even a painted shell is better than no shell.
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Re: My crab won't leave it's painted shell

Post by harleyucollins »

He has actually changed his shell three times... but all into painted shells before I knew they were bad. So I removed the paint of the ones I could and the ones I couldn't I just threw away... I was thinking about putting him in an ISO tank with a lot of shells but I bought a new hermie and he's in there right now. So maybe in a week or two I will switch them out and hopefully by then the new shells I ordered will come in so he'll have even more shells to choose from. Thanks. :]
Proud owner of 10 hermit crabs.
6 PP's - Dino, Squirt, and Squishy (Other three unnamed)
4 E -Reo-ohki, Pip, Magnus, and Tien
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