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How to Set Up Your Hermit Crab Tank?

How to Set Up Your Hermit Crab Tank?

Posted by Dr. Mark Mitchell, Professor of Zoological Medicine at LSU School of Veterinary Medicine and The Fluker's Team on Jul 3rd 2024

Image of hermit crab crawling in a tank with hermit crab accessories on Hermit Crab Sand Substrate

In this tutorial, we are going to talk about How to Care for your Hermit Crabs. Hermit Crabs are very friendly and social animals. As with any pet, it is important to get all your supplies prior to bringing your pet home.

These animals live an exceptionally long time. When properly cared for, the average life span of a Hermit Crab is 10 years. We want to make sure they have the best life they can in captivity. So, when you bring your Hermit Crabs home, do not just bring one, bring two, or a small group of them to ensure they have the best quality of life.

Enclosure

  1. Begin with a 10-gallon aquarium or a similar-sized plastic container. This will house at least two crabs.
  2. Avoid placing the enclosure in direct sunlight or drafty areas, as this can impact the hermit crabs' body temperature. Being exotherms, hermit crabs adjust their body temperature based on their environment. Unlike humans, we can control our own temperature.
  3. Add a screen cover to put on the top of the enclosure. This helps to ensure the hermit crabs do not get out. Moms do not like hermit crabs getting out!

Image of Fluker's Hermit Crab Sand on White Background

Substrate

4.Set up the substrate next. Substrate is crucial for hermit crabs because they are natural burrowers. They like to get into the sand itself.

Make sure to add plenty of sand to the enclosure for the hermit crab to molt properly. The molting process is an incredibly stressful process for the crab. The proper amount of substrate is 3x as deep as the highest hermit crab shell.

We recommend Hermit Crab Sand. This sand is a blend of premium sand, coconut fiber, and probiotics. These ingredients are essential in the health of our hermit crab.

Some people use calcium carbonate sand. However, it can be hard and stick to the hermit crab's legs and abdomen. This can make it difficult for them to move around.

5.Once you put the substrate in, spread it out, and again, make sure it is deep enough for your hermit crabs.

Image of 3 corner bowl groupings on white background

Food and Water Bowls

6.You need a minimum of three bowls; one for the food and two for the water. We recommend Fluker’s Rock Corner Water Bowl as well as the Fluker’s Hermit Crab Lagoon.

It is important that the water bowls are deep enough that the hermit crabs can completely submerge themselves into the water bowl. They will be able to get themselves out because we will talk about using sponges later.

7.For the freshwater corner bowl, place it right into the corner of the habitat. Fill it with water. It is important to de-chlorinate the tap water with a conditioner.

We recommend the Fluker’s Fresh Water Conditioner. Add 4 drops to 1 cup. Chlorine can be very toxic for hermit crabs, so it is important we get rid of it.

8.We also recommend for our deep Lagoon bowl using a conditioner. For this, we recommend Fluker’s Salt Water Concentrated Conditioner. Not only does it de-chlorinate the water, but it adds important nutrients and salt as well. For this, you can add one teaspoon for every 8oz (about 236.59 ml) of water.

9.Salt is essential for these animals because they come from a marine environment. The salt helps with the movement of fluid in and out of hermit crabs. To help them with that, we recommend two products:

  • Saltwater Conditioner and Concentrate- this product should be used any time you are using tap water to help remove Chlorine and Chloramine because they are highly toxic to our hermit crabs. In addition to removing those things, they add salt and essential minerals, such as calcium, that are important for the long-term health of our hermit crabs
  • Salt Concentrate in Solid Form- Can be used in deep water lagoon for soaking bath. This product does not dechlorinate, so it will be best used with bottled (filtered) water.

10.For a deeper water dish, we recommend using a sponge. These sponges contain chitin and extra nutrients, things like shells the crabs will eat and get some extra calcium from. It also allows easy mobility in and out of their water bowls.

11.For the food, we recommend using the Fluker’s Rock Feeding dish. This is a shallower bowl the hermit crab can use without having to put forth so much effort.