DIY Mangrove Tree

Written by Angelo Garcia

Ever wanted to get one of those neat looking tree decors for your hermit crabs, but didn’t want to shell out tons of cash? Well, here’s a much more affordable way to make your own decor and still make it look really nice (not to mention, realistic!) I wanted something to look like it came from a brackish marsh, rather than something that looks like a forest, and I’m happy to say, that it turned out pretty well! This was the look I was trying to go for:

Photo courtesy of D.D.Reptiles.net.

What you need:
[ ]T-Rex Bio-vine or Exo Tera Jungle Vine
[ ]Plastic/silk plants

optional:
[ ] extra water/food dishes
[ ] moss

All of these things can be found at Petco and Petsmart:




Photos courtesy of Petco.com.

Procedure:
First, I took out the bio-vine (mine was made by T-Rex), and twisted the entire vine into 4 smaller vines, three of those twisted vines will act as “legs” or the “trunk/roots” while the remaining twisted vine will act as a branch/trunk.

DIY Mangrove tree for hermit crab crabitat - TRex Bio Vine

DIY Mangrove tree for hermit crab crabitat – TRex Bio Vine



Then I got my silk plants, and disassembled the leaves from their plastic holders. (I bought the Exo-Terra Silk Abutilon Jungle Plant, because it was on sale, and they looked really nice. But please, feel free to use any kind of plastic/silk plants that you already have laying around that you use for your hermits!)
DIY Mangrove tree for hermit crab crabitat - Silk Plant

DIY Mangrove tree for hermit crab crabitat – Silk Plant



Now, the fun part! In order to attach the leaves onto the vine, you kinda have to “untwist/unwind” the vine so that it creates a small slit/hole that’s small enough for the base of the leaves to fit into, once you have the base of the leaves positioned, just re-twist the vine and it should pinch the base of the leaves in place, leaving them in nice and tight.
DIY Mangrove tree for hermit crab crabitat - Silk Plant

DIY Mangrove tree for hermit crab crabitat – Silk Plant



DIY Mangrove tree for hermit crab crabitat - Silk Plant

DIY Mangrove tree for hermit crab crabitat – Silk Plant



DIY Mangrove tree for hermit crab crabitat

DIY Mangrove tree for hermit crab crabitat



DIY Mangrove tree for hermit crab crabitat

DIY Mangrove tree for hermit crab crabitat



Then, just keep adding more of the leaves anywhere you’d like (but if you’re like me, and you really want to make it look realistic, I’ve limited myself to putting the leaves towards the top portion of the vines, but don’t let that stop you from making whatever you’d like to make it look! You could even add even more leaves to make it look thicker, which works very nice as a hidey spot for your hermit crabs!)
DIY Mangrove tree for hermit crab crabitat

DIY Mangrove tree for hermit crab crabitat

DIY Mangrove tree for hermit crab crabitat

DIY Mangrove tree for hermit crab crabitat



Congratulations! You’ve made your very own decor that your hermit crabs will love! The best part of it, is that it’s very VERY versatile! Your hermit crabs will enjoy climbing all over it, using it as a hidey, eating parts of the vine, and hanging upside down on the vines! The best part about it, is its flexibility. Since the twisted vines can be shaped into practically anything, you can make it fit anywhere in your crabitat, you could also place a water/food dish underneath it to give it that extra “pizazz”! Add moss in the dish and it’ll be a really fun moss pit, or use it as a shell shop! They work great for corner dishes as well, please refer to the pictures below 🙂 . . . oh and I apologize in advance for not using a real dish/corner dish in my pictures, I didn’t want to disturb my hermit crabs by getting their water dishes, so I had to make one out of paper (just pretend it’s a real dish! Hehe!!)
DIY Mangrove tree for hermit crab crabitat

DIY Mangrove tree for hermit crab crabitat

DIY Mangrove tree for hermit crab crabitat

DIY Mangrove tree for hermit crab crabitat



They’re really fun to make, and the possibilities are endless! Make more than just one of these, and you can “connect” them into a series of trees, There’s about 4 jungle vines in there, which is why it looks more like a jungle gym for my hermits. The best part about this project, is that your hermit crabs will love it! Here’s what it looks like in my crabitat.
DIY Mangrove tree for hermit crab crabitat

DIY Mangrove tree for hermit crab crabitat

DIY Mangrove tree for hermit crab crabitat

DIY Mangrove tree for hermit crab crabitat

DIY Mangrove tree for hermit crab crabitat

DIY Mangrove tree for hermit crab crabitat

DIY Mangrove tree for hermit crab crabitat

DIY Mangrove tree for hermit crab crabitat