Land Hermit Crab Help

Hello everyone!
I have a 55 gallon aquarium housing 3 large hermit crabs. I’ve had the setup for a little over a year now and I’m planning on cleaning the tank very soon.
Every year I usually refresh my knowledge on their care but I have found many different opinions/unanswered questions! As my crabs are growing and I get more experience, I want to provide them with the best environment possible.
So my first question is about substrate! Right now I am using a mix of about 2/3 all purpose sand and 1/3 eco earth. The all purpose sand in the tank is very rocky (has pieces of gravel) and is a darker color which I don’t like all that much. It also makes the tank look dry! This year I want to use play sand (the brand from Lowe’s) but I have heard many different opinions on it. Is play sand the best to use? If so, what brand? Also, would it be a good idea to mix crushed oyster shells into the substrate as an extra calcium source?
I also want to make it a different ratio. I plan on using 1 cup eco earth to every 5 cups sand, does this also sound good? My final question on substrate is, should I stick with sandcastle consistency substrate? Is that still recommend?
So now on to plants! I want to add a couple live options to the tank. I’ve heard that spider plants and chia sprouts are safe, would they do well in the warm and humid environment? Also, would anyone recommend any other plants like pothos or fern (if so, please tell me the type!)
Finally, heating! Right now my crabs have a Zilla UTH heater on the side of their tank but I want to upgrade it. What size would you recommend for a 55 gallon tank?
Other upgrades to the tank will include 10 inches of substrate (right now they have 7-8), a worm casting digging area, more climbing options, water dishes that are easier to clean, some river rocks added by the entrance of the water dishes, new and improved water dish ramps, and a duct taped/plastic wrapped lid!
I asked a ton of questions so even if you could just answer one that would be AMAZING! Thank you for reading, any help is appreciated
bettaf1sh 7789
Awesome, sounds like a good setup. I wouldn’t bother with live plants if it’s for aesthetics, they will just eat them. But yes, chia seeds will grow in the tank for you. I make my own dry food and it has chia seeds and occasionally they wind up around the tank and start growing lol. For heating, the heating pads will be rated for the size tank, it really depends on how cold it gets where you live. I have a 40 gallon hermit crab tank and I only need a heat pad rated for up to 20 gallons. I personally like the exo terra heat pads, they’re very thin and the one on my snake tank has lasted about 3 years now (after having multiple zoo med ones melt and nearly cause fires). For substrate I do all eco earth, I know many people like play sand, but I’m not a fan of sand, that’s just a personal opinion though. Yes sandcastle consistency is good, you want it moist enough that it will hold tunnels.
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