Hermit Crab care sheet
Hermit crabs have a few basic requirements as pets. These are required for the hermit crab to live a long healthy life as your pet. Once you provide the proper tank, humidity, temperature, substrate and food necessities you can then sit back and enjoy you hermit crab.
GLASS AQUARIUM: A glass aquarium is the best way to house your hermit crabs. We call an aquarium that holds hermit crabs a crabitat. The glass is able to keep and maintain the temperature and humidity stable. A 30 L tank with sufficient base area is a great starter crabitat. You will need to cover the crabitat. Glass or Perspex is ideal.
SUBSTRATES WE RECOMMEND: Hermit crabs need to dig. Your substrate needs to be one that allows them to do this. You need enough to be 2 inches deeper than your biggest crab.
Compressed Coconut fibre
SUBSTRATES WE DO NOT RECOMMEND: because they are not good for hermit crabs.
Dirt, Bark or Wood Chips
HUMIDITY GAUGE Since hermit crabs breathe using modified gills, it ideal to have a humidity gauge (hygrometer) with in the crabitat. You will find this in the reptile section of the pet shop. Their crabitat must have the required humidity range or they can suffocate and die. The humidity in the crabitat must be between 74% and 82% relative humidity, anything higher than 82% and you will grow mould in the crabitat.
TEMPERATURE GAUGE Hermit crabs are from tropical regions so they require warmth, temperature between 22 and 28 degrees Celsius. If the temperature drops below 21 for too long, the hermit crabs can go dormant. Unfortunately they don’t always survive this.
HEATING THE CRABITAT There is a few options to choose from for heating your crabitat. You can use a heat mat that is of an appropriate size for your tank to heat it adequately. It is IMPORTANT to give hermit crabs warm and cool sides to allow them to find a zone that they find more comfortable
Many people can also use lights to keep the tank warm.
WHAT TO PUT IN YOUR CRABITAT:
EXTRA SHELLS It is recommended that you have 2-3 extra shells for each crab in your crabitat in different sizes. Some hermit crabs prefer round openings and some prefer “D” shaped openings for shells.
FRESH WATER Hermit crabs need clean freshwater for drinking that has been de-chlorinated.
SALT WATER All land hermit crabs require salt water to bathe in, deep enough for your hermit crab to fully submerge in one that allows them to easily exit to prevent drowning. Please use marine sea salt. NEVER USE TABLE SALT!!
FOOD Hermit crabs are omnivorous and eat a wide variety of foods. We recommend feeding fresh fruits, veggies and fish food such as pellets. Make sure any uneaten food is removed.
ACCESSORIES Hermit crabs like to climb and explore. Adding fake plants, netting, drift wood, cork bark gives them the ability to climb. They also like to hide, so provide half logs, coconut huts and caves they can crawl into and hide. Turtle docks make great second levels so there is more room to explore. They also are great for holding all the shells in the crabitat. Reptile moss is a great item to have in the crabitat. You can place some in a small container, wet it with salt water, and the hermit crabs have a great place to hide and it is also edible! Sponges are also an option and they will help if your humidity needs a bit of a boost.
DAILY CLEANING Check the substrate for any uneaten food or waste and clean as needed. Dump and replace water dishes with new water daily.
DEEP CLEANING The majority of hermit crab owners change out their substrate every 2-6 months. Depending on the substrate you use, you can either replace it with new or bake it and re-use it.
MOULTING All hermit crabs need to moult. This is how they grow. It can happen as often as every month to once every year depending on the size of your hermit crab. Moulting Hermit Crabs should be left alone under the substrate and not dug up or exposed to light.