Hermit crabs are crustaceans and are native to the western Atlantic Ocean. Hermit crabs are made up of the head, the body, and the abdomen. They move into snail shells to protect their abdomens. The large claw of the hermit crab has gills which provide moisture to the crab.
Hermit Crab behavior
Hermit crabs are normally night creatures but if you wake them up during the day, they will sleep at night. Believe it or not, they actually need exercise outside of the aquarium tank and will live longer if they are allowed to roam around the apartment for a while each day. The life span of a hermit crab is anywhere from one to four years.
Place the hermit crab in water every day because it needs to keep its gills wet to survive.
Don’t be fooled by the friendly appearance of your hermit crab. Their claws hurt if they manage to grab hold of one of your fingers. When the hermit crab is scared, it will latch on tightly with its large claw. Even a small hermit crab can draw blood with its claw. One way to get your hermit crab to let go is to gently run warm water over the crab’s shell.
A ten gallon glass aquarium works very well as a hermit crab habitat and it can be placed on a small table, taking up little room in an apartment. Remember to cover the aquarium because hermit crabs have a keen talent for escaping from the tank. A glass cover works the best because it allows moisture to stay in the tank.
Never place the tank in direct sunlight because the hermit crab will suffocate as the moisture evaporates. Seventy to eighty-five degrees Fahrenheit is the ideal temperature for your hermit crab. Purchase a spray bottle and mist your hermit crab every day. Crabs enjoy the added moisture and it allows them to breathe through their gills.
Cover the bottom of the aquarium tank with about an inch of sand or aquarium gravel. Hermit crabs prefer sand because the gravel is difficult for them to walk on. Clean the hermit crab tank every week, removing any food the crab may have buried. A kitty litter spoon works well for this. Replace the sand once per month to keep the hermit crab at optimum health.
Provide coral and choya wood for the hermit crab to climb on. These items can be found at your local pet store. At least you won’t have to take your hermit crab for a walk around the block before bedtime.
Hermit Crab Food
Hermit crabs can live for long time without food or water, so if you forget to feed them for a few days, they will be alright. Hermit crabs eat commercial food from the pet store or you can feed them small pieces of fruits and vegetables. They cannot tolerate any kind of meat. They also eat popcorn, dry cereal, and crackers. So when you’re watching a movie, share your popcorn with your hermit crab.
Learn about Hermit Crabs