How to Keep Your Pet Crab Healthy
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How To Keep Your Pet Crab Healthy
Hello my name is Thomas Byers aka Crazyhorsesghost and I've been keeping Hermit Crabs for over forty years now. I bought my first ones at a beach shop in Folly Beach South Carolina over forty years ago and I've been keeping them ever since.
If your going to be keeping a hermit crab or hermit crabs as pets please learn everything you can about them. I suggest keeping a journal so you can refer back to it later in case you need the information. Hermit crabs can be really interesting pets. Especially for small children.
Use Only All Natural Unpainted Shells For Your Hermit Crabs
Let me start off by telling you some basic things you shouldn't do. You should use as natural of shells as possible for your Hermit Crabs. I know the painted and decorated shells are pretty but you really shouldn't use them. Often they are painted with paint that can be harmful to your crab if they ingest the paint and believe me Hermit Crabs will eat almost anything. You need to be sure never to feed or give your Hermit Crabs anything that can be harmful to them. I know you'll still see beach shops in coastal regions selling Hermit Crabs with painted shells but you should only buy ones with out painted shells.
You Need At Least A 10 Gallon Tank For A Hermit Crab
First of all your Hermit Crabs need at least a ten gallon tank for one Hermit Crab and a 20 gallon tank for two or more Hermit Crabs. Your tank should have a wire top that can be fastened down with clips securely. If the top doesn't fasten down the Hermit Crab may escape. You don't want this happening. Believe it or not but a hermit crab can be hard to find in a large four bedroom house or even in a small apartment for that matter.
Your Hermit Crab Tank Must Stay Between 70 - 80 Degrees
You need a under tank heater as your crab enclosure must be kept between 75 - 85 degrees. If the temperature in the tank falls down to low it can kill your crab or crabs. You need a safe cool light on your tank that gives off little or no heat. You need a thermometer and a humidity meter in the tank with the Hermit Crabs and you need to keep a close eye on them. The humidity must stay between 70 - 80 percent and the thermometer must be between 70 - 80 degrees. You want the inside of your crab tank to have a moist tropical feel to it. If you can use a small pump to create a falling water fall this will be the ideal situation. But be sure to keep the water filled up at all times.
Keep In Mind That Hermit Crabs Are Social Creatures
While Hermit Crabs would by their name make a person think they would like to live by themselves this simply isn't true. In the wild Hermit Crabs live in colonies of several hundred hermit crabs so you can easily keep 4 - 5 together in a 20 gallon or larger tank. Ideally you should keep hermit crabs of various sizes together as they will get along better than if you try to keep a tank of hermit crabs of crabs of all the same size. Always keep several larger empty shells in the tank so your hermit crabs can search for a larger shell when they need one. Use only natural shells and never painted or decorated shells.
Substrate In Your Hermit Crab Tank
Your tank should have a substrate of sand and coconut fiber and it's okay if there is some moss in the substrate. I always heat my coconut fiber and moss up to 400 degrees to be sure it is mite free. If mites get into your crab enclosure be sure to move the crabs to a holding box and discard the substrate outdoors away from your house. Heat treat new substrate in the oven to 400 degrees to make sure that it is free of mites. Clean the tank with a bleach water solution and then wash the container outside with fresh running water until the bleach smell is gone. Your substrate should be about four inches thick. Don't pack the substrate down tight. You want the crabs to be able to dig down into it if they wish.
About once or twice a year your Hermit Crab will moult. It will bury down in the sand and you should not mess with or bother the fragile crab while it's moulting. If you can use a tank divider to isolate the moulting crab from the other crabs. I keep a extra crab tank so I can move the other crabs to the other tank while the moulting crab goes through the process. I have seen other crabs kill or badly damage moulting crabs so keep this in mind.
Provide Branches For Climbing
You should provide your crab with branches for climbing in its tank. The tree branches need to be securely fastened down so they will not move when the crab climbs on them. Hermit Crabs love to climb. I fasten a cuttle-bone or two up on the branches for the Hermit Crabs to feed on and the cuttle-bones are an excellent source of calcium. You can also offer them unwashed egg shells about every other time you feed them and they are also a rich source of calcium.
Hermit Crabs Must Have Lots Of Beta Carotene
Bright colored fruits and vegetables are great sources of Beta Carotene and your crab or crabs must have lots of Beta Carotene to maintain its bright color and health. Items that have lots of Beta Carotene also have lots of anti oxidants and just like you crabs need rich sources of antioxidants to stay at their healthiest. Its okay to buy a supplement for them but be sure to read the label. You want it to be as natural as possible. Always read the labels to be sure you feed your crabs as natural a product as possible.
More Of Our Information On Hermit Crabs Can Be Found Below
Your Hermit Crabs Need A Place To Hide
You should provide several places in your crab habitat for your Hermit Crab to hide and have privacy. I have a couple of crab enclosures where I have built in underground burrows where they can go and hide and they love it. Be sure to clean out these underground burrows often because your crabs will carry all kinds of things into the underground burrow. Old food especially needs to be cleaned out often.
Water For Your Hermit Crab
You should know that your Hermit Crab needs both fresh chlorine free water and salt water to be at their healthiest. You need a small dish of each kind of water that is only one half to one inch deep. Use only bottled water to make your crabs salt water with and use only bottled water to make their salt water.
Everyone Needs A Good Book With On Hermit Crabs
Below you'll find a great book on Hermit Crabs. If your going to be keeping Hermit Crabs as a pet then you need to have a good book on Hermit Crabs.
Hermit Crabs Don't Need To Be Throw Away Pets
With proper care your Hermit Crab can be expected to live 20 years or longer and in some cases hermit crabs have lived thirty years or more. You do need to read and learn every thing you can about Hermit Crabs. If you follow the links on this Hub Page you can learn quite a bit about Hermit Crabs and how to take care of them. It's very important not to ever give your hermit crab anything to eat that you would not eat yourself. Also remember to read the labels carefully on any food product or supplement you purchase for your crab.
Hermit Crabs- Care and Keeping! All you need to know!
Check Out These Hermit Crabs In The Photo
How To Keep Your Pet Crab Healthy
Be sure that your water dishes are not deep enough that your smallest Hermit Crabs will not be able to climb out of them and drown. One half inch to one inch is as deep as your container should be. Wash your water dishes often and be sure to rinse them over and over to be sure they stay very clean. I run mine through the dishwasher. Never use any other chemical but a bleach water solution to wash your crabs tank or enclosure with. Never use soap or other chemicals. If you do you will probably kill your Hermit Crab. Try to keep that in mind at all times. A great bleach water solution is six parts water and one part bleach. Put six cups of water and one cup of bleach in a large container and you have your bleach water solution. When you clean with it use plenty of fresh running water to wash away any bleach solution before returning your hermit crabs to their home.
Toys For Hermit Crabs
You'll find that hermit crabs love toys. Use plastic plants, dried cholla wood, driftwood, unpainted clay flower pots and man made wooden boxes for them to hide in. In my larger enclosures I've also built burrows into the bottom of the crabs enclosure so they can retreat to the burrow and hide when they want to. You can also add a couple of securely fastened down mirrors for them to look at themselves in.
It's Perfectly Okay To Hold Your Hermit Crab
But know that they can pinch and large Hermit Crabs can pinch hard. Respect them if they don't want to be held and leave them along until another day. Be especially careful with new crabs you just brought home. You don't know how they were treated where they came from. Always pick up any crab from the back of the shell. A crab is not a mouse. It is not going to enjoy being in your pocket. If your nervous use gloves to handle your crab or crabs until they get used to you. Never allow a child to hold a new crab because you don't know what that new crab is going to do. You don't want the crab dropped onto a hard surface because it could kill it.
Hermit Crabs Make Chirping Sounds
Yes Hermit Crabs can make a sound that sounds like a chirping sound. It's a real cute sound and they usually do it when happy but I have had them do it when hungry. It's interesting that no one is exactly sure how they make the chirping sound. Though it is cute and I like to hear it.
Shell fights can and often do happen. This is why its really important to have Hermit Crabs of various sizes in a tank together. Along with a supply of shells. Crabs of different sizes will need various sizes of shells so you will have fewer fights over new shells. So keep this in mind when your picking out your crabs and crab shells.
If you will follow the links on this Hub Page and read all the information we have for you on Hermit Crabs you'll find all the information you will need for keeping happy and healthy Hermit Crabs. If you ever have questions please feel free to post them below.
Thanks For Reading My Hub Page On How To Keep Your Crab Healthy.
I want to thank you for reading my Hub Page on How To Keep Your Crab Healthy. I appreciate you being here and reading my information on Hermit Crabs. If your going to be keeping Hermit Crabs as pets you should always be doing research and learning everything you can about Hermit Crabs. Thanks For Reading.