Frequently Asked Questions About Land Hermit Crabs
1. Why did My Hermit Crab Come Out Of his Shell?
2. Why Is My Hermit Crab So Inactive?
3. What happens when a crab molts?
4. What size habitat should I provide for my hermit crab?
5. What is the best way to handle my hermit crab so it doesn't pinch me?
6. Will my hermit crab reproduce if it has a companion?
7. Why do hermit crabs lose their claws or legs?
8. What is the difference between Caribbean and Ecuadorian hermit crabs?
9. How long will my Hermit Crab live?
10.Should hermit crabs be handled or just watched?
11.How can I get rid of mites inside of a hermit crab cage?
12.How often should I clean a hermit crab cage?
Why Did My Hermit Crab Come Out Of his Shell?
There are many different reasons why this may occur. 1) The Shell may have become very dirty, causing the crab to feel itchy and irritated. In this instance the crab will permanently abandon the shell. 2) There may be a crack or some loose debris inside of his shell, causing him to feel uncomfortable and leave the shell. 3) Your crab may be unable to hold the shell onto his abdomen due to dry body. To remedy these problems you must first wash the naked crab with clean water in order to remove any debris from the crab's body. Then you should prepare a new clean shell or boil the abandoned shell for approximately two minutes in order to clean and sanitize the shell. You can also wash shells with hot water. Then simply place the crab in a small container with his cleaned shell or new shell. The Hermit crab will instinctively move into the shell. This has to be done within 6 hours after a crab comes out of the shell.
Why Is My Hermit Crab So Inactive?
Hermit crabs are nocturnal creatures and are more active at night than during the daytime.Each crab has its own unique personality. It is very hard to determine which one is more active until you have had them for a while and got them acclimated to your environment. Though most crabs tend to be nocturnal, There are some crabs who only move when a light is on. The best thing is providing the crabs more things to play with such as, choya wood, coral, and sea sponges. They become more active By adjusting the temperature in their cage between 75 and 85 degrees, or misting them regularly in order to create a more humid in their shell, Misting the crab is likely to increase their activity during the daytime. Get your crab a few friends. Hermit Crabs are not solitary animals. They will move more when crabs are not alone.
What happens when a crab molts?
Hermit crabs must periodically shed their exoskeleton, enabling themselves to grow. If a hermit crab loses any part of its body including eyes or claws, it will re-grow them through a process known as molting. During this process they will remain in their shell and they will likely bury themselves in the sand and may not move for days or even weeks because they are left vulnerable while their new skin is in the process of hardening. Often hermit crab owners mistakenly believe that their crab is dying or dead. If there is no odor present, your hermit crab is probably molting. When they shed their skin they lose up to 90% of their calcium and it must be replenished by eating the old exoskeleton. You may also add egg shells or cuttlebones to aid them in their molting. You can isolate your crab in a separate cage while he is molting in order to prevent other crabs from disrupting the process.
What size habitat should I provide for my hermit crab?
A five gallon cage is sufficient for up to two crabs depends on size of the crabs you have. Remember these are living creatures and would like space to roam around in. You should also provide plenty of obstacles for them to play on, such as, corals, gravels, and choya wood.
What is the best way to handle my hermit crab so it doesn't pinch me?
Hermit crabs will usually only pinch you if they are afraid and looking for something to hold on to. If this happens, they will immediately release upon contact with warm running water(Make sure it's not hot). But if you have a crab pinch the skin, there is no need to worry about infection, because hermit crabs do not carry any known diseases. Hermit Crabs are very passive animals and can easily be held in the outstretched palm of your hand. Larger crabs however might pinch you on your palm because they need enough room to move around. For this reason, you should place larger crabs on the floor to play as opposed to in the palm of your hand.
Will my hermit crab reproduce if it has a companion?
They won't reproduce in your cage because they mate and lay eggs only at the ocean. One of our partners has tried lab haching crabs a few times and got pretty good idea. But still it's very hard.
Why do hermit crabs lose their claws or legs?
There are various explanations for this. Hermit Crabs could lose their claws if their habitat becomes arid or dry, or if they become dirty. Adding water-filled sponges in there water dish and misting crabs, along with weekly baths and daily drinking water will help an arid invironment. While you should fell sympathy for the crab, do not worry, because the leg or claw will be regenerated during the next molting phase. However never intentionally remove a claw from your �crab.
What is the difference between Caribbean and Ecuadorian hermit crabs?
Mainly there are two types of land hermit crabs sold as pets in the United States. One is the Caribbean Hermit Crab (purple pincher/ Coenobita clypeatus) which are more commonly found in the Caribbean and is nicknamed for its purple colored pincher. They primarily drink fresh water, although they can drink salt water as well, and they live inland away from the shore. The other type of Hermit Crab is the Ecuadorian Crab( Eccie/ Coenobita compressus). They are usually green or bluish gray in color , but as they grow their body will begin to show orange and tan . They live primarily on the shoreline, so they need salt water, but can also drink fresh water for a short period of time. The best way to determine which variety you have is by the claws. The Caribbean crab will have purple claws while the Ecuadorian will not.
How long will my Hermit Crab live?
The average life span of a hermit crab is five to fifteen years, but Some crabs have been known to live for more than 40 years in captivity.
Should hermit crabs be handled or just watched?
Both. While it is fascinating to watch their antics, it is equally exciting to gently handle hermit crabs and eventually have them respond to you. Crabs vary in their reactions to being handled. But never try to take them out of its shell. Hermit crabs won't give up on their shell until they are torn apart. Shy crabs have been trained with frequent misting. Each day they come out looking for their showers.
How can I get rid of mites inside of a hermit crab cage?
Sometimes mites may appear due to the humid environment or food you have in the cage. When this happens you should sterilize the entire cage. First you need change to a new substrate and then wash the cage with water mixed with white vinegar and rinse with warm dechlorinated water. Everything in the cage needs to be boil for a few minutes. Second wash your hermit crabs with lukewarm dechlorinated salt(non-iodized sea-salt) water to remove mites from their body and shell. You might want to do this a few times a week until the mites are gone completely.
How often should I clean a hermit crab cage?
A Hermit Crab cage does not have to be frequently cleaned because Hermit Crabs produce very little waste. Once a week is sufficient for minor cleaning and maintenance. The substrate should be changed every 6 months, or sooner if you notice a wet, musty smell or plan to add additional crabs to the habitat.