How do I take care of a hermit crab?


Quick Answer

Hermit crabs are popular pets that are fairly easy to care for as long as attention is paid to detail. Appropriate environmental factors are vital for their well-being, so be sure to set up their aquarium properly, using the right size of tank and a range of accessories, as well as providing a varied and adequate diet.

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Full Answer

  1. Use the proper-sized aquarium

    Do not use anything smaller than a 10-gallon tank.

  2. Add sand

    Hermit crabs require 3 to 4 inches of sand in their tanks. About.com recommends adding additional ground fiber or sand for crabs to use for bedding and molting.

  3. Provide two water dishes

    Be sure to use shallow dishes so that the hermit crab can climb in and out of them. One should contain fresh water, and the other should contain a marine aquarium saltwater mix. Use only dechlorinated water.

  4. Buy a humidity gauge and thermometer

    The temperature in the tank should be between 72 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. The humidity should remain between 70 and 80 percent.

  5. Add accessories

    Hermit crabs enjoy climbing, so pieces of wood, aquarium decorations, coral and coconut shells all make excellent additions to their tanks.

  6. Provide a nutritious diet

    Feed hermit crabs a store-bought hermit crab blend. Supplement this diet with fresh fruits and vegetables, pieces of fish and meat, cereal, whole-grain bread, cuttlebones and ground oyster shells.

  7. Maintain cleanliness

    Change the crab's water every day and clean out the food dishes, removing any leftovers. Do a more thorough tank cleaning at least every month.

  8. Provide empty shells

    Provide a variety of empty shells sized a little bigger than the crab's current shell for it to choose from when molting.

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