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Have you found yourself an unprepared parent of a hermit crab or two? Are you prepared to give them the proper habitat in which they can survive long term? If so, here’s a very basic list of supplies to get you started.
A glass tank
- go as big as you can afford
- it doesn’t have to hold water
- it doesn’t have to be new (check the newspaper,craigslist, yard sales)
A secure lid for the tank
- a mesh lid with a solid barrier on top to retain humidity is ideal
- you can use saran wrap in a pinch but not ideal long term
- a piece of plexiglass or coroplast is a good cover for the mesh lid
- hermit crabs are escape artists! Place heavy weights or locks on your lid
Substrate for the tank
- 6-12 inches deep or 3 times as deep as your largest crab is tall
- Play sand meant for a sand box is perfect http://amzn.to/1PLQOMu
- Coco fiber which is shredded coconuts http://amzn.to/1KhJaHb
- Mix the play sand and coco fiber together, roughly 5 parts DRY sand to 1 part DRY coco
Heat mat – We recommend Ultratherm http://amzn.to/2EVPmb2
- Can be insulated with Reflectix Reflective Roll Insulation http://amzn.to/1PLR1zg
- Place on the back wall of the tank to provide gradient heat. (Warm and cool zones)
- If you have a well lit room that will illuminate the tank during the day you can get by without a lamp. No direct sunlight on the tank.
- Be aware of how the room temperature rises during summer.
- They need a normal light/dark 12/12 hour cycle.
- We recommend Prime Aquarium Water Conditioner http://amzn.to/1PLRcu9
Ocean Salt Mix
- Not freshwater aquarium salt!
- Instant Ocean is the most common brand and is easy to find http://amzn.to/1SrKxnM
- These other brands are also good and may be available in your particular area: Fluval Sea Salt, Red Sea Salt, Coralife, Oceanic Sea Salt, Tetra Marine Sea Salt and Marinium.
- Cheap Tupperware works great!
- Water dishes should be deep enough for your largest crab to submerge.
- Provide exit ramps for small crabs
- If you can afford it, go wireless and digital. WalMart carries digital indoor/outdoor Thermometer Hygrometer You can also buy online. http://amzn.to/1KhJDZM
- Hygrometers should be calibrated prior to use
Check out this video on how to set up a temporary crabitat in a storage bin: https://youtu.be/x29JaAr9w9U?list=LLCYR6QkuCDm4MJ8hEDeBqvQ.
Bins are not a permanent home, but may be needed in emergencies.
Shell-less Hermit Crab-
My Hermit Crab has left its shell! What do I do?
Growing your own hermit crab food
Going Natural Beginner’s List
Hermit Crab Food Recipes
Hermit Crab Nutrition Table
People food for hermit crabs
Should I feed my crabs meat?
The Power of Protein
What foods are good and bad for hermit crabs?
Substrates for Hermit Crabs
Escaped Hermit Crab-
Locating an Escaped Hermit Crab