Basic Info:

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Land Hermit Crabs are fascinating animals. Hermit Crabs make great pets because they do not carry any known disease and are hypo-allergenic, which make Hermit Crab a perfect pet for those with allergies. Land Hermit Crabs are very low maintenance and are easy to take care of.  Also they are odorless. In the wild Land Hermit Crabs live inland away from the water. Land hermit crabs are also non-aggressive, unlike many of the sea crabs. However, when a Hermit Crab grabs your skin, the Hermit Crab will release immediately upon contact with water. Simply place the hermit crab pincher under warm running water (make sure it's not hot) and the hermit crab will instinctively release. Hermit crabs are nocturnal and are more active at night than during the day. Hermit Crabs are not solitary animals and it is suggested to have more than one because of their social nature. In fact, in the wild we see Hermit Crabs move from one area to another as a group. Some natives even refer to them as "soldier crabs" due to their habit of "trooping" in numbers.





Purple Pincher / Caribbean Hermit Crab




You may feed your Land Hermit Crab various kinds of fruits and vegetables (pieces of lettuce, grapes, bananas, etc). But these should be removed the next day because they are perishable. Hermit crabs also enjoy various other foods such as dry cereal, peanut butter, popcorn, and crackers. Give them a pinch three times a week. Please do not feed them any extremely spicy or hot foods. If desired, commercial Hermit Crab food can be purchased to insure a proper diet that gives them all the vitamins and minerals they need. But be aware that some commercial foods contain fish that have an odor that could make your crab smells like fish. Also it is a good idea to leave them without any food 1 or 2 days a week so they can consume food they hide coner of their cage. This allows them to mimic the behaviors that they would exhibit in the wild.




Hermit crab cage should not be kept in direct sunlight. They are happy in temperatures between 70-85 degrees, and they need air humidity. Placing a sea sponge in the cage will help to increase the humidity. Make sure you boil sea sponges often because hermit crabs also eat sea sponges. Also putting plastic wrap before you put a lid on the top will help to keep more humidity on the cage. it on the side of the tank wall Just make sure to add little holes in the middle of this wrap for air. If your home temperature is lower than 65 degrees, you may consider to place a heating pad on the side of the cage. Do not use a heat lamp because it can dehydrate your crab. A hermit crab can live without food for weeks, even months, but they need a constant supply of fresh water. Spring, distilled or de-chlorinated water(same qulity water for fish tank) is highly recommended (no enhanced water with additives such as dasani).  If you have Ecuadorian land hermit crabs, they will require some salt (non-iodized sea salt) in their water. You should also make sure not to allow water to remain under the gravel or sand in their cage, because that can cause bacteria or mites. You can also bathe (less than 5 minutes) or mist these little guys outside of the cage to keep them clean. Hermit crabs will enjoy their shower, but make sure hermt crabs are dry before returning them to their cage after their bath.



Proper way to hold a hermit crab



Exoskeleton & Shell:


Pacific/Ecuadorian Crab


Hermit Crabs like all other crustacean have an exoskeleton. This hard exoskeleton only covers the front portion of the body. The tail is very soft and must be protected inside of the shell. When their shell home gets too small or dirty they will go searching for a new one. At that time you should provide them with a few new shells. If you are not sure when they need shells, set empty shells always available in their cage, approximately 10-15% bigger than ones they have. If you set the shells in their cage, they will move in to them by themselves when they are ready. It can also be a great toy for them, even if hermit crabs don't move to new shells right away.




From time to time your Hemit Crab must shed its exoskeleton in order to grow. Hermit Crabs have the ability to grow back any missing part through a process called molting. They may stop moving altogether for a few weeks to even a few months. This is why a lot of hermit crab owners think that their crab is dying/dead while they are molting. If there is no odor, your hermit crab is probably molting not dead. It's pretty hard to predict when your hermit crab is going to molt as a new hermit crab owner. The signs of molting crab are 1. Moving more than usuall then suddenly stop moving  2. Their skin become lighterand and ashy colored. 3.Crabs are not being able to hold body tight. 4. Hermit crabs may bury themselves. The best way to help them to finish molting safely is placing them in a "molting cage". So isolate them from other crab possibly try to eat molting exoskelton become eatable. The molting cage has to be provided with sand wet on the four corners then place the crab on the center half way into the sand. The cage doesn't has to be big , just enough to fit a molting crab, water, and feeding dish. You might provide sand at least twice deeper than molting crab in the molting cage. A flat shell feeder is ideal as food dish and water. You can offer the hermit crab with calcium by putting crushed cuttlebone or eggshell. If a Hermit Crab looses a leg, claw or even an eye, it can grow it back when the crab molts again. Since they lose 90% of their calcium when they shed their exoskeleton, they will eat their old exoskeleton to regain it.


Discarded exoskeleton and new body of the crab inside the shell








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