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How to Care For a Land Hermit Crab

Updated on July 25, 2013

Here's A Hermit Crab In The Wild In Key West In This Photo

Hermit Crabs are one of the most interesting pets you can have. Just be sure you learn everything you can about them.
Hermit Crabs are one of the most interesting pets you can have. Just be sure you learn everything you can about them.

How to Care For a Land Hermit Crab

One of the first things most people notice about their Hermit Crabs are that Hermit Crabs are nocturnal. In case you don't know this means they move around at night and in most cases trash their tank or enclosure almost every night. When you see their tank in the morning you wonder how on earth did those hermit crabs make such a mess. I keep my hermit crab enclosures simple for this reason.

Always be sure that your hermit crabs stay warm and always have a clean supply of water. If you see anything in their water change the water so that they always have clean water. I have a waterfall with a fountain in my large hermit crab enclosure and the hermit crabs love it.

In The Wild Hermit Crabs Sleep During The Day

In their tropical native habitats hermit crabs hide and sleep during the day and they are their most active at night. Most crabs will stay hidden until after the sun has set and then they are out and about looking for food. You should set your crab tank or enclosure up with a light that stays cool and provides light but little if any heat. You need to have the light on a automatic timer and you need to set it to come on during actual daytime for ten hours and then go off.

Don't disturb or mess with your hermit crabs in the day time hours if they sleep. They will be up in the late afternoon and evening. My hermit crabs are always most active at night.

Under Tank Heater

If your using a tank for a crab habitat you need to use an under tank heater to provide heat for your hermit crabs. The tank or crab enclosure must stay at 75-85 degrees at all times. You need a thermometer in the tank or enclosure so you can monitor the temperature. If your tank or enclosure is too cool your hermit crabs will die.

The Humidity Must Be Kept Between 70 - 80 Percent

Your hermit crab tank or hermit crab enclosure must be kept between 70-80 percent humidity. You can use an artificial waterfall to keep the humidity up or you can mist your crab habitat or crab tank with water several times a day. You must have a humidity meter in the tank or enclosure to monitor the humidity. Use a spray water bottle filled with bottled water to mist your hermit crabs enclosure when you need to so the humidity levels will stay up.

Keep In Mind Your Hermit Crab Is Going To Climb

Your hermit crab or crabs are going to climb up and on anything and everything in their tank or enclosure so you need to be prepared. Provide your crabs with sturdy branches to climb on. You must also have a screen top on the tank or enclosure and it must be fastened down or the crabs will pull off the great escape. You'll go to look for them one day and they will be out climbing the curtains.

Hermit Crabs Will Move And Hide Food To Eat It Later

This is the reason that you need to clean your hermit crab enclosure or tank on a at least once a week basis. Yes your hermit crabs will take food out of the food dish and bury it in the substrate or in their day time hiding place. It's up to you to clean their enclosure or tank thoroughly about once a week. You need to sift the sand and be sure the coconut fiber is clean. You need to wash the tank or enclosure with a bleach water solution and you need to rinse with fresh water until the enclosure or tank is very clean and the smell of bleach is gone. Never use any chemicals in your crabs enclosure or tank or around them. Again never use any type of chemicals around your crabs or in your crabs tank or enclosure.

Sink Your Water Dishes Into The Substrate

You need to sink your water dishes into the substrate so the crabs can't turn them over in the night. Until you keep hermit crabs you won't believe how active they will get at night and how they can throw everything around in their cage or enclosure. Water dishes need to be one half inch to one inch deep. Don't use dishes that are any deeper or small hermit crabs can fall into the water dish and drown.

Fresh Water And Salt Water Must Be In The Enclosure Or Tank

I have been experimenting with using a regular gravity pet water bottle for my hermit crabs to drink out of. Use only bottled water with no chlorine to give to your crabs to drink. You can CLICK HERE and learn how to make salt water for your hermit crabs. Never give or use any table salt or sea salt containing iodine around your hermit crabs.

How To Make Your Own Hermit Crab Food

Click Here To Read How To Make Your Own Hermit Crab Food

Click Here To Learn How To Properly Feed Your Hermit Crab

Click Here To Read All About Strawberry Hermit Crabs

Let me tell you here that you'll be a lot better off to feed your hermit crabs an all natural diet rather than trying to use a commercially prepared hermit crab food. You never want to use any commercial food that contains copper of any type. If it does then don't use it. You can look for a natural hermit crab food or you can click the above links and use the information you find there for what to feed your hermit crab or crabs.

Hermit Crabs Eat Very Small Amounts

You may put food in your Hermit Crabs food dish and think your crab is starving to death but it probably isn't. Hermit Crabs have very small stomachs and eat very small portions. If you have 4-5 hermit crabs in an enclosure you'll notice them eating a lot more than if you have just one hermit crab.

You'll find that your hermit crabs will love treats. Give them shrimp and small pieces of fish about twice a week. I think you'll see them over at the shrimp and fish eating as they eat a lot of shrimp and fish in the wild. You should do extensive research so you know anything and everything that your hermit crabs will like to eat. Just follow the above links and you'll know exactly what you should feed your hermit crab and what your hermit crab will love to eat. Shrimp, fish, strawberries, and mango seem to be the favorite food of my hermit crabs.

Keep A Journal About Your Hermit Crabs

I like to keep a journal about my hermit crabs where I make notes about them all the time. I write down what I observe them doing and I write down what I see them eating. I also have a digital scale and I weigh my hermit crabs about once a month and write their weight down. Keep great notes and you can refer back to your journal and see trends about what your hermit crabs are doing. I've kept a journal about my hermit crabs for a number of years and I find them to be interesting reading.

Nice Large Hermit Crab In This Photo

Keeping Hermit Crabs as pets is not that hard if you will just read and learn the basics on this Hub Page.
Keeping Hermit Crabs as pets is not that hard if you will just read and learn the basics on this Hub Page. | Source

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How To Care For A Land Crab

Keep in mind that with good care and feeding your hermit crab or crabs can easily live for 20 years or more so know that your hermit crab is going to be around for quite a long time. Some hermit crabs have even lived as long as 32 years.

Keep Your Crab Happy

You should provide your hermit crab with plastic plants to climb on and hide in. You can use live plants but you need to do extensive research and make sure the plant or plants is not going to harm your hermit crab.

Don't use pine in the enclosure or tank of a hermit crab and never feed them any citrus fruits. Always keep in mind that usually a happy hermit crab is a healthy hermit crab and that is what you want is active, happy hermit crabs.

Moulting Crabs

Your crab will moult once or twice a year and it will bury down in the sand to moult. Never disturb a moulting crab for any reason. If you can use tank dividers to keep moulting crabs safe from other crabs. If this is not possible you need to move the crabs that are not moulting to another tank or enclosure. Moulting crabs are very fragile and you should never touch or disturb them for any reason.

Keep Various Size Crabs In The Same Tank Or Enclosure

You will be a lot better off if you put crabs of various sizes in the same enclosure or tank. This will work to keep down the fighting over shells. You must provide your crabs with larger shells than the ones they are currently using. I can not stress enough that you should never use painted or decorated shells. Some people and companies will tell you the paint is safe but it is not. It can chip off and if the crab or crabs eat it then it can kill them.

Hermit Crabs Are Great Pets

Hermit Crabs make great pets as they are inexpensive and easy to care for. Always be sure that you continue to learn everything you can about hermit crabs so you will be prepared for what ever happens with your hermit crabs in the future. You can let the children help with the hermit crabs and at the same time teach them everything you know about hermit crabs.

Thanks For Reading My Hub Page On How To Care For A Land Crab

I appreciate you taking the time to read my Hub Page. I hope you learned something you didn't know about hermit crabs. I appreciate you reading this Hub Page.

Please Post Your Comments About How To Care For A Land Crab. And Thanks For Reading.

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