Helpful Hermit Crab Basics. Hermit crabs are fun animals to care for in your home. Once reserved for beach holiday souvenirs, they can now be purchased almost anywhere. They make great pets for children. They are a great alternative to more traditional gerbils or hamsters, and they have a much longer lifespan than goldfish! Contrary to what you might expect if you’re new to Hermit Crabs, they’re playable and they have a bit of personality. Do you think hermit crabs could make a great pet for you? Here are some helpful tips to get you started.
Before collecting crabs, you need to prepare basic equipment and supplies. First of all, they will need an aquarium for their house. Forget the tiny cages you see in shops near the beach; Real hermit crabs need a 10-gallon aquarium to be comfortable. If you get more than one crab, you will obviously have a larger aquarium. The pet store can advise you on the most suitable size based on the number of crabs you will be keeping. Make sure the aquarium has a tight lid so your little friends don’t run away! Place a heating pad under the tank to give the crabs a pleasant and tropical feel.
You will also need something to cover the floor of the tank. Three to four inches of sand is best, but you can also use crushed coral liners or reptile fiber. If you’re using anything other than sand, it’s a good idea to cover some of the ground with sand so the crabs have a comfortable place to walk while they molt.
Now that you have covered the house and the ground, you must obtain two shallow dishes of water and one plate of food. Shallow shells work well for this job. In one dish of water, you need to keep fresh water, and in another dish – salt water, which is mixed with a solution of marine aquarium salts. The plates should be shallow enough for the crabs to crawl through. Natural sponge is a good addition to freshwater treats, your crabs will love to pinch it and it will help maintain moisture in the aquarium.
The last thing you will need to decorate your hermit crab house are decorative pieces of wood for the crabs to climb on. Coral and coconut shells are also great additions your crab will love to play with.
Once you have collected your crab, to feed it, you will need to purchase commercially sealed crab food. You can supplement this with small pieces of fruit, meat, whole grains or fish. Also, make sure your crabs are crushed with egg or oyster shells to increase their calcium intake; It is important to keep their fragile skeletons strong. Cuttlebone is another option for this purpose.
To care for crayfish, clean their water and food bowls daily and clean the tank as needed. You should provide plenty of additional bowls of progressively larger sizes so that the crab can change homes as it grows. Wide mouth mussels are best. Remove the shed skin as soon as possible as the crab grows.
Optional but useful accessories are a tank thermometer and a moisture meter. Your hermit crab will be happiest when the temperature is between 22 and 25°C and the humidity is between 70% and 80%.
With these helpful tips, you’ll be ready to get your hermit crab. Now all you need to do is find a name for your new pet!