Hermit Crab Care
Caring for a hermit crab: food and shelter tips
Hermit crabs are also known as tree crabs because they like to climb up and onto the trees that are found around the beach areas. Their shelter should offer them plenty of climbing space. This can be accomplished by putting rocks or branches of driftwood in their home. Be sure to boil these materials if brought in from outside to kill anything that could be on them that might harm your crab. I have found sand to be the best floor covering, and it can be used time and time again if boiled when removed from the cage and allowed to dry. Since crabs are very adept at climbing you want their cage to be one that is secured. I use a 20 gallon aquarium. The more room the happier they will be.
Hermit crabs are given their name because they like to move from shell to shell. The bottom portion of their body has no skeleton leaving them vulnerable to other creatures so they will put this portion down into a shell and then carry the shell along with them. It is good to have several shells there for them so they may try them on and move as they grow. You may often find them in a different shell in the morning than they were in the night before. When adding new shells remember the new one should be 1/4 inch larger than the shell they are in, and should be boiled if from outside.
Remember that hermit crabs are beach comers and eat what they find there. A good crab pellet food should be bought and fed to insure they get vitamins they need. They also like fruits and vegetables. Grapes are a favorite of mine and he also likes peanut butter. If possible feeding them in a half clam shell is good as it is most like their ocean origin. Plastic is alright but never use metal, as it is harmful to their health. I also put water in a half clam shell because of the calcium in the shell which is good for the crab.
On a daily basis I spray my crab with water inside his shell to make sure he does not dry out. His water and food should be changed daily so that he will not eat food that has decayed. His sand should be changed or boiled monthly.
Hermit crabs are nocturnal so if you wish to watch them in action a moonglow bulb on the cage would be best. I use a screen lid and rest the light fixture on the screen. The light should be no more that 15 watts so that you do not dry your crab out.