Molting period and process could be very challenging to crustaceans including fiddler crabs.
Sometimes the Molting process can change your fiddler crab in many ways that you might even begin to think it is dead.
Related: Do Hermit Crabs molt at the same time?
It could make them weak, vulnerable and even act as if they’re dead by turning upside down etc.
In this article, we will learn a about the signs and behaviors of fiddler crabs when they’re about to Molt or after Molting.
Signs of Fiddler Crab Molting
Every crustacean will Molt from time to time, which fiddler crab is part of.
Related: 3 reasons why your Crayfish could stop molting
Molting is the process whereby a crustacean remove it’s old shell inorder to develop more bigger and fresh shell that will be able to contain it’s body growth.
There are signs every crustacean shows before or after Molting.
In this article, we are going to learn about some of the signs fiddler crabs show before and after Molting, and they are:
They will start eating alot of food
One thing that is very common with crabs is, they will start eating alot of food few days to their Molting period.
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This is commonly seen in fiddler crabs during their molting period.
When this happens, you might be wondering why your fiddler is eating alot of food, especially calcium rich foods and vitamins.
They do this to help their body store enough calcium and vitamins which are very important for the development of the new shell they’re about to get.
Related: Do Aquarium Snails molt?
So eating alot of food is one of the signs that your fiddler is about to start it’s Molting process.
So there is absolutely nothing to worry about, as it’s just normal.
They will start digging and hiding
Digging and hiding is one of the most popular ways to know a crustacean is ready to Molt, and fiddler crabs are not an exception to this.
Related: Can Fiddler crab be kept with Vampire crab?
When fiddler’s are about to Molt, they’ll first of all find a hiding place, either in the rocks, caves in their tank or they will start digging the substrates in their tank.
In the wild, they’ll hide in caves and rocks in the water and will only surface again when they’re done with the Molting and the new shell is strong enough to protect them.
They do this in order to hide from other animals around them because at that stage, they’re weak and vulnerable to any animals, including their fellow fiddler crabs.
Related: Can Fiddler crab be kept with African dwarf frog?
So they will always hide before Molting.
They might stay upside down
This is the reason why many people confuse Molting process to their fiddler crab dying or dead.
It’s funny, but sometimes, fiddler crabs do stay upside down when they’re about to Molt.
Related: Why is my Fiddler Crab upside-down?
Although this is very rare, but it happens anyway.
Nobody is actually sure why they sometimes do this when Molting, but some experts explained that ” this happen sometimes due to the weakness that comes from Molting process”.
When this happens, your fiddler crab is not dead or dying, it’s only Molting.
Related: Can Fiddler Crab live with Crayfish?
So check it’s body to see if there is any sign of peeling, crack or change of colors, and if you see any, then it’s not dying, but preparing to Molt.
They will stop Eating
This is another characteristics of fiddler crabs and other crustaceans.
When they’re about to molt, they will first of all become very greedy with food, and later they I’ll stop eating entirely, and when this happens, just know that the process is about to begin, maybe in a few days or hours.
Related: Why is my Crab eating sand?
This is the final sign before they start.
Before they stop eating, they must have accumulated enough nutrients to keep them active and give them enough energy to Molt, depending on what you feed them.
I have read many complains from people about how their crabs stopped eating.
Related: Why is my African Clawed Frog not eating?
Well, they’re about to Molt, that’s why they stopped eating.
They will start changing colors
Another sign that a fiddler crab is very close to it’s Molting period is when it start changing colors.
This normally happen a few days to it’s Molt, (2-4 days).
Related: 5 reasons why your frog is upside-down
Some of the colors to look out for are purple hue, light brown or more brown.
So when you start seeing this, just know it is normal and there is nothing to worry about.
How Long Does it Take For A Fiddler Crab to Molt?
Knowing some of the major signs to look out for when a fiddler crab is about to molt, you might also be interested to know how long it takes for them to do it.
How long does it take for a fiddler crab to molt? The molting process of a fiddler crab takes between 3-8hours, depending on the crab’s size.
The fact is, the time a fiddler crab takes to molt depends on it’s size.
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For instance, small fiddler crabs molt more often and the process is alot faster than big ones.
This is because the younger ones tend to grow more often and quickly, and so need to Molt regularly in order for the shells to contain the body growth etc.
So if your fiddler is old, don’t expect it to molt so often like it used to do before.
How do Fiddler Crabs Die?
It’s true that many people do mistake their Molting fiddlers to be dead, so this article can’t be complete without learning about how fiddler crabs could die.
How do fiddler crabs die? Fiddler crabs could die while molting, without brackish water and from predators.
Do you know that molting process could be fatal sometimes?
Related: Can Rainbow Sharks be kept with Neon Tetras?
This happens when the crab is sick, lack enough nutrients to keep the body with energy or when the crab is old.
The highest molt fatality occurs among old fiddler crabs.
When they get too old and reach their lifespan, they can’t be able to molt anymore and will die on the process.
Another way they could die is to keep them in a Freshwater instead of a brackish water.
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Although they might seem to be okay for a while, but as time goes, they will get weak and die.
Again they will die without food or proper food.
Another way they could die is by keeping them with a predator.
There are some fish and animals that will kill and eat then when kept together with them.
Related: Are Rainbow Sharks and African dwarf frogs suitable tank mates?
That’s why it is important to know their suitable tank mate before buying them.
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