Articles about hermit crabs that don’t fall into other categories.

Painted Shell Donation Giveaway


Limited run enamel hermit crab lapel pin

Limited run enamel hermit crab lapel pin

Send us your empty painted hermit crab shells and you will be entered to win this limited run enamel hermit crab pin!

We are collecting painted shells for a display at the St Louis Pet Expo. The goal is to fill this wire cage:

Fill the wire cage with painted shells!

Use this form to enter the contest.
Live in the St Louis area? Visit our booth and bring your painted shells and not only will you be entered to win the pin but I will give you one free natural shell in exchange for the painted shells.

One entry per person
Enter by mail
Enter in person
No purchase required
Open to anyone
Mailed shells must be received by October 25, 2017 to be a valid contest entry.
The drawing for the pin will be held AFTER the St Louis Pet Expo 10/28/2017-10/29/2017.

Welcome new Local Representative Jeanne!

Another new addition!! Welcome Jeanne S. to the local reps program! Jeanne will be covering her region of West Virginia, USA. Jeanne joined our group and immediately fit right in. She is eager to help and usually one of the first to welcome a new member to the group. We are excited to have her on the team!

I asked Jeanne for a little introduction…

“My son wanted a pet in 1988 so my in-laws got us a hermit crab . Herman lived 3 months in a critter keeper I saved his shell . Still have it. Flash forward to 2005, a friend went to Florida and brought me back two hermit crabs . This time I searched the internet and they did ok but ran away. I tried again in 2006 – 2007 this time my crabs did well with a sealed lid and a bubbler for their water and 3 inches of pink play sand, poor crabs. In 2016 I was worried about my last 2 crabs now 9 years with me and found LHCOS .My crabs have never been so happy and I love this group. I now have 3 tanks and 15 crabs mostly gifts and rescues.”

Marine Hermit Crab

Did you accidentally bring home a land hermit crab or a marine hermit crab?

We often find people searching our site for care information on what are actually marine hermit crabs and not land hermit crabs.

We are a group dedicated to the care of land hermit crabs and provide no care information on marine crabs. Their needs are drastically different from a marine hermit crab and we are not able to provide assistance beyond what is in this file.

Please note: In most areas of the U.S. it is ILLEGAL to collect wild life without a proper permit.

Land hermit crab C. clypeatus Photo credit: Mike Vukoder

Land hermit crab C. clypeatus Photo credit: Mike Vukoder

Thin stripe marine hermit crab Photo credit Cheryl @:

Thin stripe marine hermit crab Photo credit Cheryl @:

Shown here you can see they are significantly different.

Where did you find it?

Marine hermit crabs are found at the waterline or in tide pools, land hermit crabs are usually found on dry land and further away from the waterline.

Only one species of land hermit crab is native to the U.S. and they are ONLY found in Florida. Any other hermit crab you find in the wild is a marine hermit crab.

You must act quickly!

Marine hermit crabs require a saltwater aquarium setup. They can only live a couple days outside of the saltwater and need to be returned to the ocean immediately.

If you are not able to return the crabs to where you found them you may be able to find a local fish store that is willing to take them.

We do have a rescue in Florida who is willing to return marine hermit crabs to the ocean if they are shipped overnight.

If you choose to keep them you must act fast to setup the proper environment.

This site should help:

Volunteers Needed – Miss Crustacean Pageant 2017

Volunteers needed August 16, 2017 in Ocean City, New Jersey to assist Local Representative Beth Carducci in handing out hermit crab caresheets. There has been talk of ending the pageant after this year. If that is the case we will shift our focus to another similar event.

Pageant details:

Facebook Event

Thousands of hermit crabs are doomed to death in the boardwalk shops, we want to help as many as we can survive after they are taken home.

If you aware of an event involving hermit crab racing, pageants or carnival giveaway please email us at crabstreetjournal at


The boardwalk giftshops are a hermit crab house of horrors. They clearly care more about the plastic, overpriced garbage than the living animal which is why the crab is free or super cheap. This needs to be stopped.

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Have you ever wondered how they get the hermit crabs into the painted shells? It’s not nice.

Photo Credit: Beth Carducci and Mary Milhorn

Coral’s Color Boosting Crunchies

Coral's Color Boosting Crunchies

Coral’s Color Boosting Crunchies

1.5 cups organic yellow cornmeal (I used Bob’s Red mill)

1 cup packed, freshly ground coconut

1 large very ripe (brown) banana

1 package very ripe strawberries (pint)

1 cup or so sunflower seeds

1.5 cups whole, with shell, dried river shrimp (I used brand)

2 tbsp beet root powder

2 tbsp carrot root powder

1 tbsp chlorella powder

1 tsp powdered nutra Rose or 2 teaspoons liquid nutra Rose

1 cup dried apple ribbons

Soak/cook the cornmeal with treated hot water as per the cooking instructions.
Blend the strawberries and banana together and mix with the cornmeal after it cools a little. Mix in the coconut, carrot, beet root, chlorella and nutra rose. Spread mixture onto non stick tray liners or parchment paper and dehydrate at 135° f until crispy and crumbly all the way through. It should crumble easily into your hands. Grind up half of it along with the sunflower seeds (together in the grinder, you don’t want the seeds turning into nut butter) crumble the other half by hand, leaving crunchy texture. Pulse the shrimp until about half ground and mix it in. Crunch up the dried apple ribbons into small pieces and mix in.



This makes a lot. You can keep it out for a while, but since it’s so much, freeze half. The oils in the nuts and coconut will eventually go bad, just like any other nuts and seeds. Best stored in an airtight glass jar in a dark cabinet.
You can sub fresh beet or carrot juice for the powder, simply mix it in with the water and add less water. Or mix in a little mashed, cooked, carrots and beets. Just a little, maybe a 1/4 cup.
You can sub spirulina for the chlorella.
You can sub any nuts or seeds for the sunflower. Pumpkin would be great!
You can sub whatever berries you have on hand for the strawberry, but make sure they see nice and ripe!
Do not sub out the whole river shrimp for a kind with no shells. The shells contain color boosters. The freeze dried ones sometimes don’t have shells.

Does not require refrigeration

Can be frozen


Submitted by Amber Miner

Local Reps European Invasion – Hungary!

Local Representative – Hungary

That’s right, HUNGARY! We have our first European Local Representative joining us.  Please welcome Veronika Barany Berthane to the team!

This mother of two became the owner of a couple hermit crabs when a friend of her child no longer wanted them. With a little bit of searching she found our Facebook group. After joining our group and learning all she could about hermit crab care she decided to help others in her region by translating our care practices and establishing a hermit crab care blog and a Facebook group in Hungarian. Veronika also posts pictures of her hermit crabs babies on Instagram. 


From Veronika:

I couldn’t have asked for a better care group, there was so much information to process, I had an endless list of questions. The admins and the group members helped me so much, answered my million questions, gave me lists, helped me correct my mistakes. It’s an awesome group. I’d like to give back by helping others who would like to keep land hermit crabs. I made a small group in Hungarian, a blog about them with a link to my instagram where I have pictures of my crabbies.

Hungarian land hermit crab care group on Facebook:

Hungarian land hermit crab care blog:

Veronika on Instagram

The Local Representatives program is officially international!!

Local Representative Indonesia

Local Representative Indonesia

There are no words to express how THRILLED I am to see that our mission of education is spreading. Sometime last year I was invited to join an Indonesian hermit crab group on Facebook. I selfishly wanted to not only see the photos of the gorgeous hermit crabs that are native but I wanted to see how they are kept as pets. Despite our language barrier our two groups quickly became friendly and intermingled. The members of the Kelomang Lovers Indonesia group were warm and welcoming and most of all quite curious about how we care for hermit crabs in North America.  We happily shared what we know and they embraced the new information.

Fast forward to today…

The LHCOS Local Representatives are quite joyfully announcing our FIRST Local Rep from Indonesia! Please join us in welcoming Andy Muliana from Jakarta!

Andy is a chef and owner of a small Korean restaurant called Uppa Bingsu in Jakarta. He has kept land hermit crabs as pets for about a year. Andy also manages his Indonesian local group gatherings in his restaurant (about 5 times so far). Andy also breeds isopods & springtails. He introduced them to the members of his group and also sells them as well. Andy is now making his own dried hermit crab food and shares it with his local members. Andy will soon sell his food locally.

Andy is working with the team to find local products that are hermit crab safe as it is difficult and expensive to ship items from the U.S. This will allow us to not only offer prizes to local contest winners but will be a reference for other hermit crab owners in his region.

Yah for two more Local Reps!

Watch us grow!!

Mike and Melissa are joining us from Florida. They plan business and family trips around hermit crab adoptions they find on Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace (among others). Their largest rescue was 33 crabs from Naples who were all in painted shells. Recently the last to change is now in a natural shell! They not only rescue hermit crabs, but also work hands on helping others set up proper crabitats. One was for a Kindergarten class that they set up with the perfect crabitat and some hermit crabs for the children to enjoy. Michael works with the Reddit community to promote proper land hermit crab care. Melissa loves oddball hermit crab items to decorate with from wall art to unusual knick knacks they find along the way. Please raise your claws high and welcome Mike and Melissa to the team!

Pet Expo 2017 here we come!

That’s right kids we’re going to the Pet Expo again this year!! Thanks to a very generous donation from an amazing couple the expo is fully paid for!! I am so excited! I hope some of you nearby have a chance to come see us. Should be in early November. From the bottom of our crabby little hearts we thank you for your donations and for being part of our community!

Where is all of the water coming from?

flooded substrate

Photo credit Jeanne Singhass – flooded substrate

A couple years ago when we created our Facebook group to go along with our website I was shocked to find so many people with flooding issues and bacterial blooms in their crabitats. The response to this was a false bottoms.  In 14 years of crab keeping I’ve never encountered this, so it’s on my mind all the time…where is all the water coming from?

I think I may be on the path to the root cause – overly wet substrate at the beginning.

When you take sandcastle wet sand, add wet ecoearth, add bubbler pools and heat and it’s no wonder the humidity in tank skyrockets and stays there. And it’s no wonder the tank floods, all that excess water has to go somewhere after the substrate becomes completely saturated.

When temperatures fluctuate outside of the tank, condensation can occur. Condensation in the tank is going to end up in the substrate, wetting the ecoearth even more. Ecoearth gets warm when it’s wet, have you noticed that? Hot, soggy tank = disaster.

Prior to my house fire I had my 150 gallon set up and had switched from exclusively using overheat lights to using lights with heat pads. I also put in larger pools and one with a filter, in a segmented section of my tank with Growstone around it. This was to monitor for pool leaks but that never occurred.

Before long I could tell my substrate was getting wetter. Algae was beginning to grow on my cork wall divider a few inches below the surface. My humidity was in range but that was likely because I was still using my overhead light hoods at the time and they burn off a lot of humidity.

After the fire I set up my 150 gallon with dry sand. It wasn’t dusty dry but it was pretty close. I chose to use only one thin layer of dry ecoearth and instead added in some coarse chunks of coconut shell. Eco earth was originally added to help the sand retain moisture, now it may be overkill. This decision was based on @Lisa Dawson ’s flood which was trigger by extreme Australian heat causing her tank to overheat and sweat, then the ecoearth got warm and she ended up with a nightmare in her beautiful crabitat. My tank has two LARGE filtered, waterfall pools.

In the photo below you can see how the moisture is creeping down through the layers of sand. I’m sure the sand around the pools is wetter from splashing and minor spills during cleaning.

The tank has been set up about three months now and successful molts are occurring. My humidity is stable, not climbing over 80% unless we have an unusually warm winter day. I will try to take additional photos in the coming months. I don’t know how long it will take the sand to get saturated at the current rate, hopefully never if my humidity stays controlled. After bringing the lights inside the tank my humidity has dropped to the lower end of the safe range at times. I am thinking of bringing the pools up higher when everyone is above ground so that I can add more sand (miscalculation at set up). I will use dry sand again and that should give me some additional information to work with.

So I’m presenting my suggestions for modifications in our instructions for setting up the substrate for further discussion. Those suggestions are as follows.

  • When setting up your tank don’t add water to the sand. My sand felt dry but in reality had enough moisture to pack right out of the bag.
  • Wet sand should be dried before adding to the tank.  
  • Mix up your ecoearth far enough in advance to allow it to dry out completely before mixing into your sand.
  • If you are installing bubbler or filtered pools I don’t think you will ever have to wet the sand. If your humidity comes up to the safe range after a few days, the sand will absorb moisture from the air.
  • If you are using standard pools (deep enough but no bubbler/filter) you might have to lightly mist the top layer of sand to get things going.

Obviously it is much easier to correct a substrate that is too dry than it is to correct a substrate that is too wet. I don’t agree that it is beneficial to the hermit crabs to allow the substrate to become completely saturated.

We have never recommended extremely high humidity. 90%+ humidity coupled with already saturated substrate will result in a tank flood if maintained at that level for too long.

CSJ has also officially changed it’s stance on mixing moss INTO your substrate, read more about that. 

Note: cross posted on my personal blog (All Things Crabby)as well as our Facebook group to encourage discussion.

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