Hermit Crab Care Sheet


SET-UP AND CARE GUIDE

Hermit crabs make great pets that are fun and entertaining. Despite their name, they are actually friendly and very social. Before bringing home your new pets, it’s important to have all the supplies you need such as housing, accessories, and food. This will ensure that your hermit crabs have an easy and healthy transition period into your care.

Check out our Hermit Headquarters specialty shop for all the products mentioned here. We offer a broad selection of upgraded products to provide everything necessary for your hermit crabs to live long, healthy lives.

 

QUICK FACTS

  • Hermit Crabs are intelligent and friendly.
  • The average adult size is between 2-6 inches long.
  • With proper care, hermit crabs can live 10 years or longer.
  • They live on land, not in water.
  • They need friends! Hermit crabs are social animals and ideally need to be in pairs or groups.

 

ENCLOSURE

  • Hermit crabs need plenty of space to thrive. It is extremely important to select an enclosure large enough to satisfy their needs.
  • We recommend a 10-gallon plastic or glass tanks or as a minimum size for keeping two small crabs, but more room may be required as they grow.
  • Make sure you have a screen top to prevent escape.
  • Avoid placing in direct sunlight, by windows, drafty areas, heaters, air conditioners, or any place with extreme heat or cold.

 

SUBSTRATE

  • Hermit crabs are natural diggers. They dig to hunt for food and when it is time to molt. It is very important to fill your crab's habitat with enough moist sand for the molting process.
  • The proper amount of sand is 3 times deeper than the height of your largest crab's shell. The deep moist sand protects your crab during the molting process and prevents dehydration, which is vital for your crab's longevity.
  • Avoid calcium carbonate sand as it does not retain moisture, does not pack together, and sticks to your crabs’ legs and abdomen. The colored sand can also rub off onto your crabs.
  • Fluker's Premium Sand for Hermit Crabs is a perfect blend of all-natural sand, coconut fiber, sea salt and probiotic.
  • The silica sand packs well and the coconut fiber helps with water retention.
  • Calcium and sea salt are added to replicate the exact sand hermit crabs find in their natural environment.
  • And a probiotic has been added to help maintain a clean environment.

 

FOOD & WATER

  • You’ll also need to add TWO water bowls and a food bowl.
  • The food bowl should be smaller than the water bowls.
  • The water bowls should be big enough that your crab can submerge itself completely in them, but not so big that it can’t get in and out of it.
  • Fill one with dechlorinated fresh water and the other with dechlorinated salt water (make sure you use aquarium salt mix).
  • Place a sea sponge in each water dish to allow crabs a safe way in and out. Sponge may be moistened with purified water to help maintain humidity. Sponges also contain nutrients such as Chitin and bits of natural shells that crabs will eat and are beneficial for their exoskeleton.
  • We recommend: Rock Corner Water Bowl, In-Ground Water Bowl, Rock Feeding Dish, Natural Sea Sponge, Freshwater Conditioner, Saltwater Concentrate & Conditioner, Soaking Salt

 

ACCESSORIES

  • Hermit crabs love to climb and hide. Decorate their home with branches, half logs, driftwood, caves, and shells. Make it as simple or as extravagant as you like!
  • Our unique Castle Crib combines a basking platform, crawl space, and bowl.
  • Placing Catappa Leaves in your crab's habitat is a perfect way to create hiding places for your pet. Also, a great way to keep humidity levels higher in your enclosure. Crabs will also nibble on them, which is a great source of cellulose.
  • As hermit crabs grow, they need bigger shells to change into. Always keep extra shells in their enclosure. These extra "growth" shells should be larger than the shell your crab currently resides in.

 

TEMPERATURE & HUMIDITY

  • Hermit crab enclosures should stay at a temperature between 72° and 82°.
  • Use a quality tank heater or clamp lamp to maintain temperature.
  • Using a clamp lamp with a black nighttime bulb will provide heat 24 hours a day while allowing for night viewing when crabs are most active.
  • Hermit crabs need moist, humid air to breathe properly. Relative humidity levels within the habitat should always be between 60-80%.
  • Mist the tank with non-chlorinated water as necessary and use a hygrometer to monitor humidity level.

 

DIET & NUTRITION

  • Hermit crabs are omnivorous scavengers.
  • Commercially prepared hermit crab food has a proper balance of vitamins and minerals for your crabs.
  • Pelleted foods can be fed once a day and should be crushed especially for smaller crabs.
  • Feed at night and remove uneaten food daily.
  • Hermit crabs need a lot of calcium to support the health of their exoskeleton, and this is especially true during molting. You can add calcium vitamin supplements to their food.

 

HANDLING & SAFETY

  • Hermit crabs can be vulnerable while molting, because their bodies are soft. Isolate them from their roommates during this time.
  • Don't drop hermit crabs onto a hard surface; doing so can injure or kill them.
  • Never release hermit crabs into the wild. They aren't likely to survive and if they do, they can harm the local ecosystem.
  • If you notice any of these symptoms of illness or distress, contact a veterinarian: decreased appetite or activity, staying outside of the shell, excessive molting, lost claws or limbs, strong odor from inside the shell