Hermit Crab Care: Top Tips To Keep Your Pet Happy and Healthy

Closeup of a hermit crab crawling on wood

If you love exotic pets, you will adore hermit crabs. They are loving crustaceans that live longer in the wild. In their natural habitat, these crabs can live up to 30 years. However in captivity as pets, life expectancy drops to 10 years. This goes to show that you must look after them properly if they are to thrive. Some people have had very bad experiences with hermit crabs; others have mastered the art of keeping the little guys happy and healthy. This article packs wonderful hermit crab tips that you should know about.  

Quick hermit crab facts

In addition to living up to 10 years in captivity, these pets will also grow up to 6 inches long. These creatures do not dwell in water; they live on land. As they grow, crabs will shed their skin in a process called molting. Also, their shells continue to change as they mature. Even though you can handle them with your hands, they can attack by pinching you when they sense danger lurking.

Best habitat for hermit crabs

If you get the hermit crab habitat wrong, all your care effort might just go down the drain. These pets are tropical and in this regard, you must create a hot and humid environment.  When choosing a terrarium, space is of utmost importance. Provide not less than 5 gallons of space for 2 crabs. Hermit crabs love to live in groups and in this regard, consider getting two instead of one. You don’t want your pet to die of loneliness. Ensure proper heating and humidity in the tank. Also, you want to keep this habitat away from high traffic areas. Have a proper covering to keep crabs from escaping. Drafts and direct sunlight can also wreak havoc in your crab habitat; so keep it at a suitable place. There are all manner of accessories to add in the habitat including suitable bedding, hiding places, toys, food and water dish and so on.

little smiling girl holds her hermit crab

Nature Gift Store Pet Hermit Crab Complete Starter Kit

You can get it quick at Amazon here, but its popular, so you may reference other sources as well like this: Hermit Crabs Homes by Nature-Gifts.com

This is an excellent pet hermit crab starter kit by the Nature Gift Store. It literally comes with everything you need including 2 live hermit crabs. This kit also features a 2 gallon habitat, coconut fibre bedding, a sea shell, clamshell food dish, sponge with clamshell for water, plastic plant a palm tree, climbing wood and a water treatment solution. When you decide to order with the live hermit crabs, your area must have a suitable temperature; not below 40 degrees and not above 85 degrees. If you are considering hermit crab pets for the first time, this kit is ideal for you. This starter kit by Nature Gift Store is certainly one of the most affordable. As alluded to above, hermit crabs need their space to thrive. A  2 gallon habitat is probably best for one crab. The lining or substrate for the habitat is key and the following option is suitable.

Zoo Med Hermit Soil Coconut Fiber Brick

Find it Here

This is an expandable substrate that is compressed. It is ideal for hermit crab enclosures of all kinds. It encourages natural burrowing and elevates humidity in the habitat. Naturally, this substrate will break down odors and absorb them as well. This option is not just renewable but is also eco friendly. Choosing the right bedding or substrate determines the health and wellness of your hermit crab.

Heating and lighting for the hermit crab enclosure

Heating and lighting are crucial elements in the crab habitat. Temperatures must be kept between 21 to 24 degrees celsius during the day time. It is best to use a thermometer to monitor temperature in the habitat. You can also use an under-tank heater which you can cover with some bedding in the enclosure. Humidity levels must be between 50% to 80%. A  hygrometer will help you monitor the humidity. Also, misting the enclosure with chlorine-free water will go a long way. An LED or fluorescent bulb can be used for at least 8 hours a day to light up the enclosure.  

AIICIOO Reptile Heating Pad Large 24 Watt

Hermit Crab in a shell on a palm

This is an awesome heating product when you are looking to create that tropical environment for your hermit crab. It gently warms and heats the habitat without overheating. It is an energy efficient heating pad that is fitted with highly durable components. You can mount the heater at the bottom or at the side of your terrarium. This is also a versatile product that can be used in reptile and amphibian tanks.

Feeding your hermit crab

Get special hermit crab pellets for your pet and supplement the food with fruit and vegetables. These pets prefer to eat at night and they take time with their food. Smaller crabs may have trouble grabbing on to food if they don’t have big claws. To this end, make sure to provide powdered food or crushed pellets. This diet can be supplemented with green vegetables such as broccoli or kale. Apples, bananas and even grapes can also be eaten by hermit crabs. Just make sure to chop all the food properly to make feeding easier. Provide fresh water daily and make sure that it is free from chlorine. A water conditioner or a dechlorinator helps cleanse the water. All water and food bowls must be metal-free. Ideally, use ceramic options to preserve the health of your hermit crab. These pets are sensitive to metal.

HBH Pisces Pros Variety Bites Hermit Crab Food

Your little pet should be fed with high quality hermit crab food only and this product is a good example. It is made with premium ingredients to deliver high nutrition. It contains real coconut and packed with a host of vitamins. The end product is also delicious to your pet crab.  

Final tips

Always handle hermit crabs carefully because dropping them on a hard surface can injure or kill them. During molting or shedding of skin, the crabs are vulnerable owing to their very soft bodies. If any, isolate the molting crab from the others to keep them safe. With these tips, you should take care of your pet hermit crab the right way. If there are any issues, consult a vet.

You can learn a lot and find many patient, passionate hermit crab lovers over at the hermit crab association https://www.hermitcrabassociation.com/

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