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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
ok ive had a search and found a couple of ideas but both failed (dropping in fresh water and heating the end of the shell) does anyone have a sure fire way to get hermits out undamaged? i was out and collected a few this morning and was hoping to go out with them this afternoon but im having probs extracting them


any ideas greatly appreciated
 

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try freezing them they come out easy after that or if you want to use them live then just use a rock to crack the shell or use nut crackers just take your time and dont squeeze to hard.
 

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We have tried to get them out without damaging the shell, so that they can be reinhabited by others, which as you know if the shells are not available the crabs will not prosper. Up to now the only method we have found is to leave them in a bucket of gradually warming up water, unfortunately they all come out at once and die pretty quick. Cracking shells is the only way, but no shells on sea bed means eventually no crabs. So if anybody has a sure fire method please let us all know.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
well as im planning on using them in about an hour and a half i guess il have to try cracking the shells.ive had no luck at all with the fresh water idea,i currently have a dozen hermits in the kitchen sink wandering around as if they were in salt water :g:

time to get the small hammer out i guess
 

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if you trap them in the lid of an ice cream tub .. cut little holes so shell catches in it they then think they are trapped and exit shell into tub in search of new shell .. i tried it and it does work, some are quick but some take longer .. hope this helps, forgot to say a little sea water in bottom of tub or sea weed


dan
 

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Warm the tip of the shell with a ciggie lighter...they pop out in a few seconds ready to put on the hook.
ptr
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
well i eventually tried the nut crackers and they worked a treat,shame i didnt catch owt.will try some of the other ideas next time i can be bothered going out and collecting the little buggers

cheers for all the replies :thumbs:
 

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I was told to drop them in fresh water to get them out......
 

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I was told to drop them in fresh water to get them out......

That's what it says in the Angling bait section on it :thumbs:


REMOVING HERMITS FROM THEIR SHELL
The knack to easily removing a hermit from it's shell for bait, or more permanent storage, is to place a live hermit straight in to a container of fresh water. This dramatic change in salinity levels forces the crab out of it's shell almost instantly.......
 

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A mate of mine slung a net bagfull over the side of his boat to keep them alive overnight and when he went back to get them they'e all boogered off leaving him 50 odd empty shells.
 

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Tricky one this,and a topic that could get us all into trouble... And rightly so. How to humanely remove hermits from shell, and keep them alive? Well, I'm yer man, I suppose having 30 years experience at "doing things" to crustaceans- many of which I'm not proud of, but here you go....
1) Ciggie lighter/ propane blowtorch (best). This works on small ones, but the bait sized ones are different- some come out, some recalcitrant ones sit there and cook... 2) Hammer, nut crackers. Good if you know what you are doing. Tap gently though. 3) Salinity shock. Put them in diluted seawater. Amazingly, this generally works! The idea is that the uncalcified abdomen starts to swell up (water uptake via osmosis across thin membranes), and the crab "reasons" that its grown and should vacate its shell! 4) Suffocate them. Put loads into a limited volume of seawater, and leave them in a warm environment. This works, but its impossible to revive them, and dreadfully cruel in my opnion. So, as you can see its difficult.
I would say, from a humanitarian viewpoint, and not wishing them to suffer, it would be best to put them on crushed ice. This is what we do to our experimental animals, before dissection. When they are fully anaesthetised and show no reaction to stimuli- ie touch the eyestalks- they should not retract. Then, gently remove the mollusc shell with pliers- they will come out of the shell easily, since they will be relaxed. Then freeze them as quickly as possible- if you have it, use dry ice, or liquid nitrogen (be careful!!!).

Having said all this, I'm not particularly happy using live hermit crab or any live crustacean as bait, they are all good friends of mine.
 
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