overheating death- and heating problems

Questions about suspected deaths.
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mageiacrabs
Zygote
Zygote
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2014 1:00 pm
Gender: Female
Hermit crabs: 3
Total gallons: 10
Total tanks: 1

overheating death- and heating problems

Post by mageiacrabs »

Hi there, I'm a new hermit crab owner, I've only had my crabs for about a month.
I have 3 crabs currently, in a 10 gallon tank. The substrate is half Eco-Earth and half Sand.

A few days ago I found one of my crabs, Scylla, nestled up to the UTH heater. My UTH heater is the Fluckers brand, size small, mounted on the side of the tank rather than underneath. When originally setting up the tank, putting the heater underneath just wasn't getting the tank warm enough. However, setting it up on the side seems to have worked. Until a few days ago, the side mounted heater wasn't a problem- and then Scylla nestled up to it and didn't move- I came home that night to discover Scylla was dead.

Since then I've rearranged my tank to create a buffer so the crabs couldn't dig themselves in right up to the heater. The pet store also gave me a new crab, so I still have 3 crabs in my tank. I brought Annie home from the pet store yesterday. To my dismay, Annie seems to be addicted to that heater. I've tried moving rocks in front of the heater, moving the largest water bowl in front of the heater, leaving the area near the heater bare, putting a thin but taller sheet of rock in-front of the heater (it only blocks about 2 inches from the bottom), and nothing is working. I have a thermometer at the other end of the tank, and it reads between 72 and 76 degrees on a daily basis so my tank can't be too cold. I've also tested a second thermometer to make sure the first one was correct and the second thermometer read very close to the same results.

I also tried to make other areas more appealing to my crabs (adding stuff for them to climb on, hide away spots), which they seem to like but still are trying to nestle right up to the heater.

My crabs are freaking me out. Does anyone have any ideas about what I can do to solve this problem? I don't want any more of my crabs to die from this issue. I thought of moving the heater up higher but I worry that the bottom of the tank near that area will be too cold if I do. I've also thought about putting a second sheet of glass between the glass of my tank and the heater, but that worries me because I don't know how much colder that will make my tank.

Any advise would be good...to my knowledge I haven't seen anyone else with this type of problem.
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emmac350
Coenobita
Coenobita
Posts: 1949
Joined: Mon Sep 22, 2008 8:08 am
Gender: Female
Hermit crabs: 6
Total gallons: 40
Total tanks: 2
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Re: overheating death- and heating problems

Post by emmac350 »

My crabs love basking in their heat lamps, but they're less likely to overheat that way. Try using a lamp for some warmth. I have a moonglow bulb that's on at night that my one crab, Rack, loves to bask in. I also have a ceramic heat emitter on a thermostat with my side-mounted UTH as well. It works well in my 30g tank.

With a 10g, you can probably use the absolute smallest lamp wattage you can find, and watch your temperature/humidity until you know it's working and stable.
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Rack, 23 Sep 08; Benny, 23 Sep 08; Slightly, 3 Jan 09; Nibs, 3 Jan 09; Curly, 3 Jan 09; Spaz, 5 Jul 09

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