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The Basics of Having a Pet Hermit Crab

Friday, February 4, 2011

Are you thinking about purchasing your first pet hermit crab? If so, there are several things you need to know about hermit crabs before you decide to bring them home to be your pets. While you will need to do a great deal of research in order to provide your hermit crab with the best living environment possible, here are some of the basics involved with hermit crab care.

Hermit Crab by Kristian Golding
Obtaining the Right Temperature
Before you even bring your hermit crabs home, you need to set up a home that will allow your new pet to stay happy, healthy and comfortable. Namely, your hermit crab will need a home that never falls below 72 degrees Fahrenheit. If your hermit crab is consistently exposed to lower temperatures, it could die. Similarly, if the temperatures are too high, it can become overheated and die a slow and painful death. Recognizing an overheated hermit crab is relatively simple, as it will start to emit a musty smell and may actually start to discharge a brown liquid.

Creating the Proper Humidity Levels
Hermit crabs also require a certain level of humidity in their homes. Ideally, your hermit crab's home should be maintain at least 70% humidity. The goal is to create a tropical feel within your hermit crab's habitat. Therefore, the moister the better. You can help keep the habitat moist by squirting the inside of the tank with water on a frequent basis.

Making it Cozy
Your hermit crab habitat is also going to require the right substrate, which is the substance you use to line the bottom of the terrarium. You will need to keep a fairly thick level of substrate in your tank so your hermit crabs can bury themselves deep inside. At the same time, you will need to use an under-tank heater in order to maintain the proper temperature. Therefore, you don't want to make the substrate so thick that the heater isn't able to properly warm up the habitat.

Decorating the Tank
When it comes to hermit crabs, you can have quite a bit of fun with decorating the tank. Hermit crabs love to play, to hide, and to climb. Therefore, they will enjoy pretty much anything you put in the tank. Dried wood, driftwood, sand-blasted grapevines, and plastic plants are all good options. Hermit crabs also enjoy climbing up plastic reptile ladders and some have even been known to roll around in plastic hamster balls! Of course, you will also want to put plenty of shells and other items that your hermit crab can wear as a shell. After all, half the fun of owning a hermit crab is watching what he will wear next!

Giving it a Friend
When you decide to keep a hermit crab as a pet, you are actually deciding to purchase at least two of them. Despite the name "hermit," these crabs like to be around other hermit crabs. In fact, in the wild, they often stick together in packs of 100. In addition, some research has indicated that a hermit crab without a friend is more likely to become sick and even to die. Therefore, it is best to include at least two in your tank.

About the Author: CS Swarens is the president of Find a Pet Online. 800 998-7065 For additional information on dogs, cats, birds, horses, and exotic pets visit the internet's pet resource including pet classifieds at Research over 430 pet breed profiles at

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