Fanatic's Hermit Crabs

Discussion in 'Hermit Crabs' started by Fanatic, Apr 19, 2017.

  1. FanaticFishlore VIPMember

    A few years ago, I always wanted to get a new pet of my own. I wanted a variety of different pets, ranging from amphibians, to the occasional reptile. I had always had bettas, but I never was drawn to the hobby like I am now. I always wanted to get a frog, or hermit crabs. Hermit crabs meant a lot to me, because they are beach creatures, and you find them on the beach. Loving the beach, I thought hermits would be great for me! But, there were some occasional drawbacks to the decisions, like. Friends and other family members saying they are terrible pets, and you shouldn’t keep them.

    How could you hate hermit crabs? My parents are totally on board, now that I have achieved my dream of getting crabs, everyone loves them! They are just making the best pet, and they are fascinating little creatures!

    Want to learn a little about my setup?

    My setup wasn’t originally bought by me. The whole thing, including the crabs were free for take, due to a family in our neighborhood moving out for business reasons. We were the first to volunteer to take the crabs, and they were re-homed into our care! Me, finding this just stunning that we’d take on such a responsibility so hastily, I was already prepared for hermit crabs to be my pets! I had done a lot of reading on this species of crab, and knew quite a quantity of helpful information!

    Tank: 10 Gallons
    Heat Source: ZooMed Undertank Heating Pad
    Lighting: Standard Hood, with White Light Bulb
    Substrate: ZooMed Coco Fiber - Dry Coconut Husk Dirt
    Food: JurassiDiet Hermit Crab Formula. Coconut Shreds. ZooMed Fruit Treat: Occasionally some Vegetables
    Species: Purple Pincher Land Crabs. We have two in the setup.

    When we fist got the tank, we had two crabs, and one was extremely shy, and barely ever emerged from his shell to explore the habitat. Sad thing is, he eventually had died two months later sue to a bad molt failure. We still have the other crab from the claim of the setup, and introduced a new crab a week later. He’s absolutely monstrous! He’s a crazy adventurer, and has done so many crazy things during his keep. We have named our crabs: Chompey, and Rocky. Edward was the name of the one who passed away two months after.

    The most important thing when keeping hermit crabs, is to make sure that the environment is always humid, above 70% must always be the level. However; before we got these crabs, there was no humidity at all. The tank was completely dry, and didn’t even have enough substrate to encourage burrowing activities. We brought it home, and set it up. We didn’t have much time to modify it right in the moment, as we were going to dinner for the evening. The next day, which was Saturday. We ran down to PetSmart to get basic necessities that the crabs absolutely were in need of.

    What did we buy?

    Sea Sponge
    Hermit Crab Diet
    Coconut Hideout
    Coco Bedding
    Extra Shells

    When we got home, we started assembling everything back to how it should be. Starting with taking out the bedding, we put in new because the previous was extremely dry, and smelly. Then we finally got it all set up, and were ready to go!

    More on the topic of, Edward's Death. Shortly after his death, we visited our LFS again, which sells reptiles as well. We looked at the brand new shipment of hermit crabs that had just arrived! Guess what we saw? We saw brown hermies, white ones, black ones, big ones, and smaller ones. But we actually came home with a little sneak! I couldn't resist, and I picked up a Giant PP Land Hermit Crab! He's super awesome, and quite a show.

    Anyway, there will be some awesome photos that you can view to see our crabs!

    Fanatic's Hermit Crabs - "Saving Lives, one Crab at a Time"

    Attached Files:

  2. AMSNew MemberMember

    Hi. We had a similar situation. My daughter's friend asked her to take a walk to the lake where she was planning to leave the hermit crabs to the elements. So, rather than help her abandon the little guys, they found a new home with us. We upgraded their home, but it took a while to fully understand their needs. Eventually one attacked the other for its shell. We found him naked and unshelled. We surrounded him with shells and he moved into one, but the damage had been done and he died. It was very sad, but prompted us to upgrade again into a 10 gallon tank. The Pet Smart gave us the tip to go to the Home Depot and pick up a 10 lb. bag of (sandbox) sand ($2.00). This has worked out very well. We use a mix of the sand and the coconut fiber, and leave plenty of shells to choose from. We also put a 1/2 log in as a shelter for them with a heating pad adhered to the wall. They (we now have 3) like to congregate there.

    I find though that there does seem to be some "shell envy" amongst them. We leave lots of shells, but the one that's already being used seems to have more appeal. (Interesting that this isn't just a human behavior thing...) I am finding it challenging to find enough of the right size shells in a variety of sizes and shapes to offer. Please let us know if you find a good source of larger size shells. I notice there are always lots of small and medium ones at the store, but our guys are getting big!

    The crabs spent more than a month in December burrowed. We finally dug them out and they have stayed out, but are still in their same shells. I think they have grown and need to change their shells. We have observed that one has been roughed up a bit (the others want his shell) so we have had to separate them. (Tip: Good to keep the old cages when upgrading to a new home just in case you need to separate them.)

    As for feeding, we offer a variety of hermit crab foods in varying sizes. I assume they also have varying nutrient profiles as well, and generally we try to offer a variety of fruits and vegetables daily when possible. Not to mess with their blood sugar levels, but they seem to love apple, grapes, and bananas.

    Now, I didn't witness this myself, but my family was dazed by this one. Yesterday, my daughter watched as one of the crabs moved from one shell to another and then back home. The amazing part: She waved to the crab...and he waved back!!! He lifted his claw twice to her while looking at her!!! My husband says this was a real ET moment. I only wish we had it on film. It would go viral for sure!

    I have also had friends say, "what a boring pet." But we agree completely that they are fascinating and we love them dearly. (The first month they were here I was afraid to touch them, but now I adore them and don't ever hesitate to touch them, move or hold them.) I see their beauty, and isn't it a great thing to see beauty in a creature so different from ourselves?

    Enjoy and keep posting!

  3. hermitdudeNew MemberMember

    Painted shells are bad dude just so u know and use eco earth and have 70-85 heat and humidity

  4. FanaticFishlore VIPMember

    Yep, I know that painted shells aren't good. That's why I was thrilled to have him change from it, to a natural one.

    I realize the amount of humidity needed. I have been studying, and dealing with hermit crabs for quite some time.

    Just woke up this morning, and realized my hermit crab's tank hood was propped up slightly.

    Five minutes before, I was told by my brother, that he heard scratching, and strange sounds in the wall, or near it.

    Shutter to think, I couldn't find one of my crabs. Turns out, he had escaped!
    But, I didn't have a clue where he could have gone. I don't look forward to sleeping, and waking up to a sharp pain, which the claw of a crab crunching me!

    Did I find my crab? Yes, I finally found his 10 minutes later, in the same spot the noises were reported. Which was actually underneath my treadmill in the big room. My crab has escaped, and made his little way to take a run on the treadmill! :woot:

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 29, 2017
  5. Mike the fish keeperValued MemberMember

    Im thinking about getting some hermits. How many can I keep in a 20 gallon long and Whats a good lid to keep the humidity in the tank
  6. FanaticFishlore VIPMember

    Ah, in a 20 gallon long, you really can't get too much crabs.

    I'd say 6 is a good number. But you don't have to do as many, if you don't want to.

    How do you plan to provide humidity? I use a large spray bottle to keep it up.
    You need atleast 80% at all times. Don't let the temp go below 75, or else they could get sick.

    I can help you further, once you decide. :)
  7. Mike the fish keeperValued MemberMember

    I was planning on geting eco earth and spaying once or twice a day. I would also get a undertank heater.
  8. FanaticFishlore VIPMember

    Sounds like you've got a good idea.

    Getting the Eco Earth would work for them, and you can mist it. There's also some nice automatic humidity sprayers that you could check out. I find spray bottles, and misting to be much more simple.
    What I've also found that works, is putting a bowl, or container of water (not accessible for the crabs, if its a container) in the tank, and putting an air stone, with a pump to provide bubbles, to let off humidity.
  9. BottomDwellerFishlore VIPMember

    Can we see a picture of your setup?:)
  10. FanaticFishlore VIPMember

    You sure can!

    As soon as I get a better picture, haha.
  11. BottomDwellerFishlore VIPMember

    I love hermit crabs but they are one of those pets I'm a bit scared of owning them in case I don't do it right. They seem very difficult to look after.
  12. Mike the fish keeperValued MemberMember

    I also have some play sand left over fron my tank build. Would that work
  13. FanaticFishlore VIPMember

    Yes, as long as it's sterile which it is.

    You can put the sand as a fore layer on the terrarium for the crabs. Then cover it with the Eco Earth. The crabs will go crazy for it.
  14. FanaticFishlore VIPMember

    One of my crabs had a crazy night!

    He changed his shell 4 times, and I got to actually witness, him changing shells! This is crazy, and it was fun to watch how he quickly changed them!.

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