Looking After Your Pet Hermit Crab
Date Posted:5 June 2017
Hermit Crabs are very simple to care for, however there are many dos and don'ts to keeping them. Hermit Crabs make great pets because they do not carry any known disease and are hypoallergenic, which make Hermit Crabs a perfect pet for those with allergies. Land Hermit Crabs are very low maintenance and are easy to take care of. Normally they do not require large amounts of space and they are odorless. Hermit Crabs are not solitary animals, and it is suggested to have more than one because of their social nature. We help you to look after your pet Hermit Crab.
Do's for Keeping Hermit Crabs
- Always clean the tank regularly to provide your hermit crab a safe and comfortable habitat.
- Hermit crabs love to climb around, play and hide. So it's nice to set up toys, climbing ornaments and shelters to keep them happy.
- The sand is a very important part of your Hermit crabs habitat. The depth should allow your crab to hide.
- It is best that you put the water dishes in a shallow area, so your hermit crabs can easily get in and out.
- Moisture is a very important part of a Hermit crab's habitat. The environment should be around 24 - 26 degrees, keep the lid on to retain humidity.
- Provide extra shells in different sizes because Hermit crabs need to change homes as they grow.
- Hermit crabs don't like to be alone. The more, the happier. Make sure the aquarium is big enough for them, with more extra shells to avoid crabs fighting.
Don'ts of Keeping Hermit Crabs
- Do not place your aquarium in direct sun or heat
- Do not close the lid airtight. Use a fresh air screen cover for them to be able to breathe.
- Do not forget to secure the lid because Hermit crabs are talented escape artists.
- Do not force your Hermit crab out from its shell for another shell, otherwise you will rupture all vessels of its abdomen and your Hermit crab will die.
- Do not disturb your Hermit crab when molting. Leave them alone and give them time to renew.
- Never use table salt for saltwater, it could kill them. Only use Hermit Crab Salt.
- Do not use tap water as it contains chlorine, copper from pipes and other toxins that may be harmful for your pet. Provide them fresh dechlorinated water.
Hermit Crab FAQ's
What is a hermit crab?
Hermit crabs are small crustaceans that belong to the super family Paguroidea. They have soft abdomens and use discarded seashells as protective shelters or homes.
What do hermit crabs need in their enclosure?
Hermit crabs require a suitable enclosure, such as a glass tank or terrarium, with a secure lid to prevent escapees. The enclosure should include substrate (such as sand or coconut fibre) for digging, climbing structures, hiding places (such as shells or logs), and both fresh and saltwater dishes for bathing and drinking.
How should I set up the temperature and humidity in the enclosure?
Hermit crabs need a warm and humid environment to thrive. The temperature should be maintained between 24-29°C, and the humidity should be around 70-80%. This can be achieved by using a heat pad or lamp to create a warm spot and misting the enclosure regularly to maintain humidity.
What do hermit crabs eat?
Hermit crabs are omnivorous, meaning they eat both plant and animal matter. Their diet should consist of a variety of foods, including commercial hermit crab food, fresh fruits and vegetables, and occasional protein sources like cooked meat, eggs, or seafood. It's important to provide a shallow dish of dechlorinated water and a separate dish of marine saltwater for them to bathe and drink.
Can hermit crabs be handled?
While hermit crabs can be picked up and held, they are generally not as interactive or sociable as some other pets. They are more likely to be stressed by handling, so it's best to limit handling to necessary situations, such as during cleaning or when moving them to a new enclosure.
Do hermit crabs need companionship?
Hermit crabs are social creatures and do well in groups. It is recommended to keep at least two hermit crabs together. They are more active and exhibit natural behaviours when kept in groups, but make sure to provide enough space and resources for each crab.
How often should I clean the hermit crab enclosure?
Regular maintenance is essential for a clean and healthy hermit crab enclosure. Remove uneaten food, clean the water dishes daily, and provide fresh water as needed. Spot-clean the substrate regularly and perform a full cleaning of the enclosure every few weeks, replacing dirty substrate and cleaning the surfaces and decorations.
Can I use any seashell for my hermit crab?
It's important to provide appropriate shells for hermit crabs to change into as they grow. These shells should be clean, smooth, and slightly larger than the crab's current shell. You can find suitable shells at pet shops or online stores that specialise in hermit crab supplies.
How long do hermit crabs live?
Hermit crabs have varying lifespans depending on their species and care. Some species can live for several years, while others can live up to 30 years or more. Providing proper care and a suitable environment can help ensure a longer lifespan.
Can hermit crabs be taken from the wild?
We do not recommend taking hermit crabs from the wild as it can have negative ecological impacts and disrupt natural populations. It is best to purchase captive-bred hermit crabs from reputable sources.