Pet Hermit Crab

Mr. Crabbz

The Amazing Mr. Crabbz

Let me begin by telling you about my early experiences with Hermit Crabs - and unfortunately, none of these have a happy ending.

  1. When I was a kid, my younger brother (around age 6) got a hermit crab on a visit to the beach. The crab made it home, but later disappeared after being placed on the floor of our den. No sign of the crab or his shell has ever been found.
  2. My daughters inherited a hermit crab from their babysitter. Now, this was a pretty hearty crab, because he had lived in the babysitter's household for over 1-year. Well, under the care of my girls, he did not live very long :(
  3. My granddaughters each purchased a hermit crab a couple of years ago while visiting the beach. One crab died before ever making it home...the other died within a couple of days :(

Well, needless to say, I was of the opinion that hermit crabs could only thrive while living in a cage of a beach pet store. It must be something about the climate or the food. And, I really did not think a hermit crab living in my household was a good idea - not with our track record!

Well, I have been proven wrong...and if you've had similar experiences with hermit crabs, then read on. I've got a success story to share with you.

On our last visit to the beach, in June 2011, my granddaughters once again decided that more than anything, they wanted a hermit crab to take home. Oh my gosh - just the thought of it made me cringe. But after a bit of discussion, we determined that we would buy ONE hermit crab...and we would search the lot of crabs to find a really hearty take home. Hence, we found Mr. Crabbz.

Mr. Crabbz (or "Mr. C") was a large hermit crab in a yellow bumble bee shell. We could tell from the beginning that he was a lively sort. We purchased a small cage, pool, gravel and hermit crab food, crossed our fingers and started our new adventure. And, now three weeks later, he is still alive and kicking (or pinching as the case may be).

Now, here are a few facts and tips for those planning a hermit crab purchase:

  1. My first tip is that you should purchase a large, feisty hermit crab.
  2. Don't buy a small cage for your hermit crab...unless you want to spend money on another one. Hermit crabs enjoy having space to move around.
  3. Buy a "pool" and "sponge" for your crab. Place the sponge in the middle of the pool, and fill with unchlorinated water (spring water works well). Keep the water shallow so your crab will not drown.
  4. What? Hermit crabs can drown? Yes they can. Hermit crabs are land crabs...they need water but do not live in water.
  5. Hermit crab food is not a necessity. Hermit crabs by nature are scavengers and will eat almost anything. Mr. C loves raw salmon, tuna, and most anything else we give him.
  6. Give your crab some extra shells that he can move into. Mr. C likes to go back and forth between his shells. It's wierd, but he really seems to like it!
  7. Whenever possible, let your crab be in a warm, humid area of your home (like the bathroom counter during your warm shower). This is a real treat for your hermit crab and he will love it.

Most importantly, do not give up on your hermit crab. Take time to watch him from time to is fascinating! I've already learned so much...but realize I still have much to learn.

A Very Happy Mr. C

Mr. C seems unsure which shell he prefers.
Mr. C seems unsure which shell he prefers.
Taking a climb or trying to make a break for it?
Taking a climb or trying to make a break for it?

Comments 2 comments

frugalfamily profile image

frugalfamily 5 years ago from Houston, TX

Great tips! Up and useful. Thanks!

Alyssa 3 years ago

I hear this, and it seems your drab is happy, which surprises me. Hermit Crabs are extremely social and when someone has one they should get another. I usually have four at a time, but I refuse to have just one for I refuse to let my crabs by lonely. I love my crabs, and I have had hermit crab deaths too. Four from using some store bought hermit crab water, which I will never buy again, and one I do not know what happened. When I got my first hermit crab (Mrs. Puff) I studied hermit crabs on line to figure out how to make her life great, because I gave up on all my fish (Gave them to my grandpa) just so that I could have one of those fun beach animals. I found out that they were social, so when I went and got all my hermit crab supplies I got Mr Krabs. Mrs. puff loved the company so later I got Sandy and Spongebob. Now they have passed and I have Diego, Barbra and Little Hollywood. (Use to have one named Cali, but she is the unknown death.) They are usually found close together, enjoying each others company.

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