Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Breaking news: Sparks molts!

First and foremost I would like to thank my crab readers who have left comments and emails, asking (some begging) me for more crab stories. Sorry for the late posts, their human has been very busy as it is the start of the bazaar season. Furthermore, all of my crabs are in "hibernation" and are due for a molt soon, so there hasn't been much action in the crabitat

If you remember, I first acquired Sparks on September 16 from Happy Hermits in SM San Lazaro. After every crab purchase I anxiously wait for the new crabs to molt because some experts say, crabs experience PPS (post-purchase stress) up until their first molt with their new owner.

According to the Conscientious Crab Hobbyist:
PPS is the result of a crab’s inability to physiologically adapt quickly enough from his natural circumstances (environment and habits) into a transitional one and then into a captive environment. The inability to adapt is invoked and influenced by the degree of and withholding of elements the crabs need to adjust to their environment.

This statement means that crabs suffer the most risk of physical stress induced death from the change in their environment (heat, humidity, range and associated resources) by being harvested, shipped and housed by the pet merchants. Resources in this context are water, salt water, food and shelter. Explicitly we need to recognize that the stress is not an “emotional” one, which we have to tendency to relate more easily to. It is physical and involves their ability or inability to forage (for food); have access to resources such as salt water, fresh water; an appropriate substrate and/or room to metabolize to their new environmental surroundings (heat and humidity).
A large percentage of newly bought crabs die from PPS and so it is recommended that new owners understand this and make the new crabitat molt-friendly as well as provide adequate food and water. I recommend you read the FULL article by clicking the link above, PPS is a touchy subject and it's quite hard to discuss it here.

Now on to the good news -- Sparks just molted today! It has been approximately a month and half ago from the time he was purchased and boy was I relieved! I took photos for you guys, too, so checkit checkit:

ye old exoskeleton
recuperating in the ISO tank
And this is his ISO tank. I transferred the house (PP literally lives in this house so I have to purchase another one stat) so he could recover undisturbed in there. He has some fresh water in a deep dish, some corn, dried shrimps and a dried cuttlebone for added calcium. I also added some shells which were left over from Max (he came in unpainted shells that were too big for him last December, check this post), in case Sparks decides to move out.

PP and 2 other unnamed crabs are buried underneath the substrate, and will be molting soon (I hope!). I will going on a trip in 2 weeks so I hope they do their thing before I leave because no one else can take care of them while I am gone.


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