Hermit Crabs Habitat

Coming up with the perfect hermit crabs habitat (crabitat) is one of the best ways to make sure that your hermit crab will live a long time. With proper love, care and attention hermit crabs can live up to 80 years or more!

To encourage your hermit-crab to live as long as possible, you will need to set up a hermit crabs habitat that is very close to the environment that these animals are from. You obviously won’t be able to recreate the ocean and the forest, but you can recreate many aspects of their natural habitats on a smaller scale.

Hermit Crabs Habitat Materials

An Aquarium - To start, you are going to need at least a ten-gallon tank for your hermit crabs habitat.  And as they are social animals, you should have at least 2-3 hermit crabs to start. Ideally you should always have a minimum of 6-10 crabs once you get the hang of how to care for them as pets. In the wild, hermit crabs live in colonies of hundreds of crabs or more.

Sand: Sand will form the base of your crabitat.  The sand should be at least 6-7 inches deep as hermit crabs love burrowing. The sand should also be slightly damp. Avoid using gravel or wood chips as these can hurt your hermit crab.

Temperature and Humidity: To create the hermit crabs habitat properly you must take both the temperature and the humidity of the tank into consideration. Both the temperature and the humidity of the habitat should be always be around 75 degrees F. Anything lower than this, and your hermit crab will start to die.

A thermometer and a humidity gauge will tell you if your tank is too dry or too cold. Make sure the tank is kept away from direct sunlight at all times.

Water: Make sure you have both fresh water and salt water available to your hermit crab. To recreate salt water, mix sea salt with filtered water (not tap water). The fresh water that you give your hermit crab should never be chlorinated or tap water either. Toxins in the water will kill your hermit crab.

Avoid putting your hermit crabs water in metal containers. Use a shell or a glass bowl. Make sure your hermit crab and easily get in and out. You may want to add sticks for your hermit crab to easily climb out of the water bowl.

Creating A Home - Use a dried and empty coconut shell as a home for your hermit crab. Make sure you mist the coconut shells with filtered water once in a while to increase humidity.

Add driftwood, twigs and plants into your hermit crabs habitat. They love climbing, so make sure they are able to get plenty of exercise and have many things to climb.

Shells: Hermit crabs will change shells from time to time, so be make sure you have spares seashells in different sizes for your him or her to change in and out of.  The seashells should be all natural, and be free of paint, holes, cracks, and lacquer.

If you got your hermit crab came from the mall or a pet store then it most likely has a painted or lacquered shell, get rid of that shell and replace it with a all natural one.  Painted hermit crab shells are dangerous to your hermit crab and should be avoided at all costs.

Give the shells you have a quick wash with a all natural soap (avoid harsh soaps and cleaners that have fragrance and coloring). You can get natural soap at a health store.

TIP: While fake or artificial plants may give your overall crabitat a nice look, they are made from plastic and other toxins, and should not be put into your hermit crabs habitat.  Your hermit crab may nibble on the leaves and get sick.


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“Even though I don’t have any hermit crabs YET, I always see them for sale in malls and have always been interested in learning more about them. This book is an excellent introduction, with both basic and advanced information (mating, habitat, feeding, etc.) on hermit crabs. Definitely a great read for anyone interested in this unique pet.” – Jennifer

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