are, sadly, often considered a throw away pet, but a properly cared for hermit crab can live 15 years or more! We’re here to change that perception and help you get the most out of your new crustacean friend!
A few tips to get you started:
A few tips to get you started:
Download the care sheet (pdf)
Between 0.5-4 inches in length
Potentially 6-15 years
In males, the reproductive organ is located below the heart and open to the outside at the base of the last pair of legs, whereas in females, it is located at the base of the middle pair of walking legs.
Hermit crabs generally get along with one another as long as there are enough shells for them to hide in. Since they often outgrow their shells, there are often competitions for any available shells.
Most hermit crabs come from the Caribbean.
Coming from the Caribbean, hermit crabs enjoy a heated environment.
Hermit crabs are mostly active during night.
Hermit crabs enjoy a temperature between 70 – 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
Lighting No overhead light is necessary for fear of drying out the habitat. Regular house lights are sufficient enough for them.
Humidity is key when it comes to the hermit crabs. It should stay between 70-80%.
If there is more than one crab in a tank, there should be sufficient space between them to prevent them from running into one another. Shells varying in color and size should also be distributed around the tank in order for the crab to change shells.
Clean gravel or sand may be used as a substrate for the hermit crab. Using crushed coral will aid in calcium absorption for a strong exoskeleton. Provide a molting box with at least two inches of moist sand to encourage healthy molting.
A hiding shelter should be provided for the crab so that it has a place to sleep during the day. As mentioned before, scattered shells are also great to have.
Generally speaking, there should be about one gallon of space per two hermit crabs. The size of the glass aquarium strictly depends upon how many hermit crabs there are and how much space is to be allotted to them.
Hermit crabs are omnivorous meaning they eat both animal and plant matter. Bloodworms and baby shrimp are great choices for these fellows.
Crushed cuttlebone is a great supplement for it provides them with calcium. This helps to strengthen them especially during the stages when they start to molt.
Although they are able to eat plant matter, hermit crabs should also be fed vegetables.
Hermit crabs should be fed one teaspoon of prepared food in a powdered form. Hermit crabs are scavengers therefore, a variety of proteins such as fish meal and plant matter should be provided. Preferences are vegetables and fruits with natural sugar content.
It is recommended to provide a soaked natural sponge with dechlorinated water.
Hermit crabs are molters, which means that they shed their outer skin every so often. When it does this, gently clean it. However, a small bathing bowl should be provided with water that has no chlorine in it. This way, the crab may bathe when it wishes to.
Oral and Foot Care
Hermit crabs have very sensitive abdomens and should not be squeezed or dropped.
Hermit crabs are docile animals and respond well to being handled however if frightened, they may pinch the hand that holds it. In this case, submerge the hand in temperate and dechlorinated water to get the crab to release. They will only snap their claws if they feel threatened or if they are pinched too tightly.
A deep cleaning of the tank every one to two weeks is highly recommended. Uneaten food and any molten skin should be removed daily. Water should also be rinsed and changed daily.
Since the hermit crab molts, they become highly sensitive to their environment. They bodies are soft and sensitive to everything. If there are other crabs with it, it molten crab should be isolated from the others until it recovers. A shallow dish of dechlorinated water should be provided for the crab to walk around in to rinse the shell from excrement and to freshen the primitive gill. This should be done every two to three days for about ten to twenty minutes.