Caring for hermit crabs
Funny! I came here to post a few questions about them, and found another thread on them :)
My little sis bought 2 last week. They are so cute but I haven't held them. I'm afraid they'd wiggle their legs and I'd scream and throw them :eek: And I DO NOT want that! Lol :) But I do enjoy watching them. She hasn't officially named them yet...I call the big one Freddie. This is the first time we've had crabs. They're in a small cage, but from the other thread I assume they should have a bigger one? What size is good? 'Freddie' is very active, and the other one is very shy. My sis gets them out often to let them run around on the floor (very supervised). What is a good material for the floor of their cage? Right now they have pebbles. And any other advice will be appreciated. Thanks!
I suggest glass cages, like a big aquarium. Most of the time, hermit crabs come in wire cages, especially if you get them from some mall stand or some store on the boardwalk (which is where I got mine). They really cannot live the best life in this cage due to the fact that hermit crabs need constant humidity because they're native to tropical climates. The species you most likely have are called Caribbean Purple Claws, and as they are from a tropical area, they need good humidity, or humidity is ideal.
Right now, mine are in a 2.5 gallon tank, but if I had the room, they'd be in a 10 gallon glass aquarium which you can find for around $14 at Walmart or Petsmart. Gravel isn't good material for hermit crabs. You need either sand or coconut fiber substrate, which they also sell at Petsmart. Generally I recommend a mix of both and at least 4 inches deep, if not deeper. Purple claws are land crabs and they LOVE to dig, especially when in molt so it needs to be pretty deep for them. They also LOVE places to hide and logs to climb on, for that I suggest logs with holes in it or Choya wood!
To keep humidity up, I suggest getting a heating pad for at least half the cage (they have hermit crab ones but also sell them for reptiles). I don't suggest a heat lamp as you don't want it too hot because it stresses them out. A temperature gauge is a good idea for keeping track of how hot it is in the tank. They like 75-80 degree F, generally.
Feeding can consist of many things. I give mine things like Turkey, fruits, veggies, and hermit crab food. But if you keep it in too long, you'll attract mites, fruit flies, so just be careful of that! Another thing you want to be careful of is MOLD. I've had it grow before on my logs because it becomes a little too humid in their tank at times. Mold can spread everywhere once on one surface, so be careful to give them some air circulation (crack the tank open a few hours a day).
Alyssa's got it covered. :)
Just one more thing! They also need a bowl of both de-chlorinated freshwater and saltwater.
I hope you find them as fascinating and fun as I do!
Thanks! I printed your replies and showed them to my sis. She immediately tried to get me to take her to Walmart for a new tank :) lol. Thanks again!
I knew Alyssa would jump right in! We of course expect pictures ...
I'll try...the little one is a bit hard to get. ;) but I'll see what I can do.