Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Moltey Cru(s)

Little Pebbles' antics really intrigued me last night and I couldn't fall asleep so I did some research on various aquatic life forums, webpages, etc. Turns out, they might already be molting.

Molting or moulting is the process by which crustaceans shed their exoskeleton as their body grows. The new shell remains soft for a period before hardening. This process is also known as ecdysis.

It is important during the molting process to provide areas for burrowing or hiding that will shield them from light. The molting process can be stressful (imagine if your body was involuntarily trying to break out of your own skin), especially after shedding of the exuvium, their soft new shells make the little crabbies vulnerable to their surroundings. Their environement should be maintained at the usual temperatures, clean and undisturbed.

From now, if I see BamBam or Pebbles lying on their backs or whatever, I am not touching them at all. What I will do is change their water over the weekend to make sure they'll be alright after they've shed their skin. *sob* They grow up so fast.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Crazy crabs gave me a scare

I went to our little crab shack tonight, turned on the light to see how the little babies are doing. To my horror, Pebbles was smack dab in the middle of the tank, submerged in water, flipped over on her back and by all appearances, dead! I observed for a few minutes and saw no signs of movement. Bambam is hiding out in a corner, staying still but had signs of life.

I ran to my bf and said, "I think the little one is dead..."
He was talking on the phone but he whispered, "Just poke her, she's fine."

I found the tweezers we use to feed them fish flakes with and poked. No movement.
I gently picked her up by her claws and there may have been movement. Or it may have been the joints just moving due to gravity. Finally I flipped her onto her legs right out of the water onto their big perching rock. Well, she didn't collapse but there was scarcely any movement I still thought she was dead or at least very sick.

Finally I picked up a bunch of fish flakes and dumped it right in front of her. Slowly, very slowly, she stirred and jammed a huge piece of fish flake into her mouth, chewed a little and stopped moving again. Maybe she's just sleeping but now there's a big piece of fish flake sticking out of her mouth.

What strange little creatures they are!