If you have recently purchased your first hermit crab you may be wondering, what do hermit crabs eat? Hermit crabs are fascinating little creatures, and once considered a “throw away” pet we now know that they have a lifespan of anywhere from 20-30 years if properly cared for.
If you want your new addition to the family to make it that long you will need to start by making sure you feed the little guy (or gal) a well-balanced hermit crab diet.
The best diet for your hermit crab is going to be very similar to your own. They will eat a variety of foods; just avoid giving them processed sugary and salty snacks.
If you have purchased a hermit crab for your saltwater aquarium, you probably did so to help clean up the trash a little bit.
Hermit crabs are notorious for keeping tanks clean by eating algae, debris, fecal matter and dead fish. In fact, hermit crabs are proven cannibals and if one of their own dies they will eat their buddy’s dead body.
What Do Hermit Crabs Eat to Stay Healthy?
Although these little creatures are great at keeping your aquarium picked up, they do require a little wider variety of nutrition. Humans have not discovered their appropriate nutritional needs yet, but we do know that hermit crabs require antioxidants, calcium and beta-carotene.
You can tell if your crab needs more beta-carotene when it molts and its skin has gone from the pretty red-orange to a dull tan or beige color.
This is an easy fix, as you can simply supplement their diet with some nice bright veggies. Carrots, corn, or yams all have high beta-carotene content. They also need calcium for a nice, strong exoskeleton. You will be able to supplement this by buying cuttlebones and grinding them, or purchasing cuttlebone powder.
Then there are antioxidants. Your crab probably isn’t going to be too fond of green tea, so you will need to feed them fruits and vegetable which are filled with antioxidants.
What Do Hermit Crabs Eat In The Wild?
Hermit crabs are omnivores and scavengers. They do not like to work too hard for their meals, so in the wild they will eat pretty much what is available. This includes grass, plants, decaying wood, leaves, dead crustaceans, fallen fruits and yes, even fecal matter.
Hermit crabs are not picky eaters by nature, and will locate their food based on what all the other crabs are eating or by smelling it.
What Do Hermit Crabs Eat to Survive?
As long as your hermit crab has a well-rounded diet with plenty of calcium, antioxidants and beta-carotene, it should live a long and healthy life. If you don’t want to feed it the commercial crab food you may feed it meat, vegetables, fruit, fish and dead crustaceans.
You can always see what your crab is most receptive to. Place a sample of food in their habitat and if they start eating it then they most likely will enjoy the smell and flavor.
The Complete Owner’s Guide to Caring for Your Hermit Crabs
Discover the secrets to how to properly take care of your hermit crab. Including information on proper care, feeding, habitat requirements and more. This hermit crab book will extend the life of your hermit crab by as much as 40 times!
“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
“I’ve had a few hermit crabs as pets in the past and I could never figure out why they kept on dying on me only after a few months. After I read this book not only was I able to become a better pet owner, I have finally learned how to keep my little pets alive! Thank you!” – Joseph