Pet Hermit Crabs Care Sheet
Land Hermit Crabs, are one of the most popular and easy to care for pets available today. These crustaceans are very clean, and can become very friendly once they get to know you. Hermit Crabs tend to sleep during the day and play at night. The warmer their environment the more active they will be.
Hermit Crabs are social and live in large groups in the wild and are therefore best kept in groups of three or more.
The best & easiest way to create a home for your Hermit Crab is to use an aquarium. Clean gravel, pebbles or sand are suitable for lining their home, this will need to be kept dry. As Hermit Crabs love to climb and try to escape, ensure that you have a secure lid on the tank with plenty of air holes. PetWave driftwood and rocks can be added to your Hermit Crabs’ house to provide an entertaining and attractive environment.
TEMPERATURE & HUMIDITY
The optimum temperature for a Hermit Crab is 25 to 30 ºC. If the temperature could fall below 21 ºC inside the tank, an appropriate heater is required. Humidity is of equal importance. In order to breathe, your hermit crabs lungs must be kept moist to exchange carbon dioxide for oxygen. If the atmosphere becomes too dry, your Hermit Crab will suffocate. Always keep plenty of fresh water in their bowl and spray water daily in the tank, this will ensure there is an adequate level of humidity for proper breathing.
Hermit Crabs have a keen sense of smell and love a variation in their diet. Any fresh fruit, vegetables, cereals, fish flakes can be used. Hermit Crabs are most active at night and this is the best time to feed them. Make sure any uneaten food is removed from their home daily.
Water bowls should be changed daily, and de-chlorinated if possible. The water bowls should be big enough that the hermit crabs can submerge themselves if needed, but also needs to be shallow enough that they can get back out otherwise they will drown. They need two bowls of water; one containing freshwater for drinking, the other saltwater for bathing.
Extra shells should be kept in your hermit crab enclosure. They like to change shells from time to time especially when they moult. These shells should be a little larger than the ones they are currently living in. They can be purchased online from PetWave.
Once or twice a year Hermit Crabs will moult. This is when they shed their outer skeleton and then grow a new one. It is very important not to touch the old exoskeleton, as your hermit crab will eat it later for extra nutrients. When your hermit crabs moult, it is necessary to leave them alone for 20-30 days as they need this time to grow their new skin and build up their tissues. If they are left for this period, they should emerge bigger than before and will be in search of a bigger new shell.
Whether they like to be handled or not depends on the individual crab. They can be taken out of their home but avoid putting them onto dangerous surfaces such as carpet.
If well cared for your hermit crab should live for many years. Hermit Crabs will not breed in captivity.