Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Crab Activities

And since today is "Clean the Crabitat Day", while the crabitat is drying these hermies are on the sink (yet again) exercising:

These guys are having carrots today :)

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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The HK Choi Picture Story

We brought our parents to Megamall yesterday as my Dad was home for the Holidays. I must admit that of all the malls in Manila I still do not like going to Megamall -- too many people and too confusing for me. Bleh. But since the parents wanted to go there, who was I to refuse right?

So here are some pictures for you guys. Our lunch at HK Choi was the most enjoyable part of the day, just because our family likes good food and good conversation. Click on the pics below for a better view ;)

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HK Choi; the ambiance; the parents; Mom and Mark (my boyfriend)

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Ze FOOD!

Yang Chow Fried Rice, Steamed Fish Fillet, Roast Peking Duck, Hot Prawn Salad (my fave!) & Braised Beef Pot Roast

...and me with the boyfriend (he's shy) ;D

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Friday, December 11, 2009

Maximus Makes Progress

Today is Maximus's 4th day with me, and although most of the time he's hiding in his shell, he has truly made fantastic progress! First of all, he has not attempted a "shell fight" with any of his new bunkmates. Either his new smaller friends have unattractive shells, or he's just not in the mood for it.

From the start Maximus has been a little timid, but crabby. He is a BIG crab compared to the new ones, but he still gets pushed around by just 1 crab. All the other crabbies are just plain scared of Maximus, but not Mortimer! The latter has been inverting and pushing Max around, and Max just seems to ignore him.

This evening I watched eagerly as Maximus and Mortimer ate their carrot and cornmeal feeds. It is such a joy to see my pets thriving happily. And I am so amazed with how they feed themselves, they seem to really enjoy their veggies.

The other smaller crabs love climbing the "Do Not Enter" sign, while Max has to stay at the bottom because his shell is too big :( I am seriously contemplating on buying a much bigger terrarium where all these guys can play around. Even though hermit crabs are small critters, they still need their exercise.

So here are some pointers for taking care of your happy hermits. I am by no means an expert, but these are some of the stuff I pulled up online (articles and videos) and also from experience:

  1. Hermits LOVE to burrow! So make sure your susbtrate is about 2" higher than your crab's height. Aquarium sand or smooth pebbles (gravel) are best. Hermits burrow 80% of the time (at least mine does). Therefore it is imperative that your substrate should be deep enough to accomodate their tunnelling. You need to clean the substrate once a month with unchlorinated water (very important!) only -- do not use soap!
  2. Hermits LOVE climbing and exploring, so make sure their crabitat contains lots of toys such as stones, signs or poles, logs, etc. Be careful though, hermies are known to escape easily if you leave the top open.
  3. Provide friends! Even though they are called hermit crabs, in reality they LOVE company! Get 3 or 4 hermits total (as much as the terrarium space permits of course) and see them interact with each other. Sometimes I find them all piled up on top of each other fast asleep. It's pretty cute!
  4. Use unchlorinated water ALL THE TIME. Use this to clean their crabitats, their dishes and most especially for their drinking water and bathing water. Crabs cannot tolerate chlorine and exposing them to such will give them a slow and painful death.
  5. Feed your hermit crabs every night. These guys are nocturnal and so most of their crab activity happens after 8pm. I have also heard them chirping early in the morning. You'd be amazed at how their chirping can actually be as disturbing and loud as let's say, crickets or cicada noises.
  6. Spritz their crabitat and the crabs every few hours with -- you guessed it -- unchlorinated water. These land hermit crabs have specially developed gills that they allows them to breathe even when they aren't in water all the time. However, these gills need to be kept moist and so misting helps regulate the humidity in the crabitat and makes sure that the crabs can breathe properly.
  7. Give your crabs lots of TLC. They may not be as affectionate and responsive as dogs or cats, but they are still very charming and endearing. Play with them and feed them, just make sure you don't drop them!
  8. For more info on hermit care, please visit this very informative sirte: http://www.hermit-crabs.com/.

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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Maximus & Delia Love Story

I am such a bad blogger.

I know you guys think I've either become too lazy or have neglected this blog altogether. The truth is, I've been so busy with my Holiday bazaars that I have had NO sleep and NO time to go online (okay, okay, I snuck in a little Cafe World here and there), but basically I have been so damn tired that I haven't really thought about blogging.

Plus, you'll never guess what I have in store for you guys. Ready? Here's the big reveal:

I am a new MOM!

I am now a proud owner of a Hermit Crab! I got it at the Zonta Carnivale Bazaar last weekend. I have to say that the bazaar was so successful, I decided to spend a little money on a new [low maintenance] pet.

I got Maximus from Happy Hermits, they sell handpainted crabs and crabitats. I know crab-painting is not such a good idea -- it stresses the crab and causes it to die eventually due to toxicity. But, I admit that the lonely sad face of the shell drew me in. I paid Php 480 total for a plastic crabitat with sand, the "Do Not Enter" sign and the hermit crab. Later on, I decided that Maximus might get lonely (hermit crabs being hermits are a misnomer --- they are in reality very sociable creatures), and I purchased Delia for an additional Php 180.

The night I brought both home, Maximus was agitated and walking around frantically. I figured either he was hungry or just being plain crabby. As per instructions of Happy Hermits, I am supposed to feed them every night as well as provide them with saltwater and plain unchlorinated water. The moment I provided the water, he ran out of his shell and dipped his bottom in the dish. I guess this was because of the change in humidity and he needed to cool off. After a while he started eating his hermit powder food. Delia on the other hand, was a bit shy and was running around for a different reason. It soon became clear why she was running around --- Maximus wanted to steal her shell!

As owner and hermit crab mother, I attempted several times to mediate their "shell fights". But Maximus persisted, and so after a few seconds, Maximus evicted Delia and took her shell D:

Delia had just become a nudie crab. She was so upset and stressed even more. Futheremore, they have been chirping all night! (Hermits chirp for several reasons but mostly because of aggression, dominance or fear). But eventually come early morning, Delia was sleeping soundly in Maximus's shell.

Delia NEVER went back into Maximus's shell after that. I even bought her a new crabitat complete with toys and I have yet to find a new shell for her.

Unfortunately, when I woke up this morning, Delia was missing from her crabitat! What happened to her was and still is a mystery. I don't know if she escaped or was taken by mice. I am still sad that she couldn't wait for her new shell. How tragic D:

Update:

Maximus currently has a new bunkmate (whom I named Mortimer) and although they've smelled each other using their antennaes a couple of times, Maximus has not yet attempted to steal the new crabby's shell. Has Maximus finally met his match? They're both sleeping now and the new crab has burrowed underneath the pebbles. Let's see if they play around tonight, hermit crabs are nocturnal after all.

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