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What type of home NOT to use for hermit crabs   Fish & Crabs

Started 11/29/17 by PennyCC; 388 views.

From: PennyCC


Be careful what type of home you select for your hermit crab.

I was in a pet store recently and saw some cages being sold in the hermit crab section. These open cages were totally unsuited for hermit crabs. Here is an example:

Hermit crabs have modified gills, which means that they can breathe air, but their modified gills must be kept moist to work properly. Putting hermit crabs in an open wire cage would dry out the air and make it hard for the crabs to breathe.

Also, hermit crabs need to be in a home that is 72-80 degrees.  If it is winter where you are, you would have a hard time keeping a wire cage warm and humid enough for your crabs.

The best home for a hermit crab is a 10-gallon tank (or larger). That gives you enough room to put climbing wood inside, a water and food dish, and extra shells for the crabs.  Here is a picture of the tank I have for my 3 crabs. I covered most of the top screen so that I could keep the heat and moisture inside of the tank. I left an area open to put on a light during the day. Crabs need light to help them maintain calcium in their shells.  If I was not using heating pads on the side of the tank, I could also have the light provide heat as well. There are a variety of lights you can use for your hermit crabs.

At first I used a 5 gallon tank for the three crabs, but found it was just too small.  Here is a picture of that tank with the light on top that provided both light and heat. Later I decided to place heat pads on two sides of the tank instead and just use the top light for sunlight during the day. That allows me to turn off the light at night because the crabs also need darkness, especially when they are molting and hardening up a new shell.

To make sure your crab home is humid enough and warm enough, be sure to have a gauge in the tank. I have used several in the past, but they did not last. Now I use a gauge where the readout sits outside the tank with probes for temperature and humidity placed inside the tank. This one has been very accurate, easy to read, and has last a long time.

  • Edited November 29, 2017 11:33 am  by  PennyCC
In reply toRe: msg 1

From: PennyCC


Here is some more information about hermit crab homes, just remember that with hermit crabs, you never put an undertank heater actually under the tank. You do that with reptiles that do not burrow into the sand as crabs do.

With hermit crabs, you mount the undertank heating pads on the sides of the tank. I usually use more than one heating pad and place them on adjoining sides of one corner of the tank. That allows part of the tank to be warmer than the other parts and the crabs can pick which side they wants to be on.

Since my hermit crabs are in the basement, I have to heat the tank year round. But if you have your tank on the first floor, you can actually unplug the heaters during the summer when it is hot and just use them in the winter. Use your temperature gauge to determine when it is necessary to heat the tank.

  • Edited November 29, 2017 11:44 am  by  PennyCC