Tag Archive for food

Managing grain mites in the crabitat



Written by Anne Grady

Food mites, more properly called grain mites are something that can be found in any tank at any time. The first thing to understand is that they did not come from the crabs, having hermit crabs does not cause you to have food mites.

Food mites come into your home through the everyday things you buy at the grocery store. Anything that contains grain can have food mites. Oatmeal, grits, breakfast cereal, noodles, flour and rice are a few examples. In general you won’t see them and they are harmless, but that box of corn meal or pancake mix that gets left on the shelf for a few months can be the start of them multiplying and spreading through your home.

The moist, warm place that is your hermit crab tank is also a place they love and if they find it they will move in and set up house. They will begin to multiply rapidly.
You can’t totally prevent any food mites from entering your home, but using your products in a few weeks and throwing out older things will help. Placing items in your freezer will prolong their life and help kill off mites.

If you have food mites in your tank, start by taking out all food and water dishes and cleaning them very well. Remove the top ½ inch of substrate to get those you don’t see. For a week change out food every day and wash the dishes each time. Feed only dry foods during that time. Any mites you see should be removed, of course. Wipe them off the glass with a paper towel and wash décor if you think they are climbing on it.

Many react to food mites by wanting to tear down the tank and start over, but that does not address the second part of the problem, the source.

You also need to attempt to identify the source of the food mites in your home. Check things that have been on the shelf for a while. Things like flour and pancake mix you can dump just a little on the counter, make it as smooth as you can and leave it for half an hour. If you check it and the surface has been “roughed” up, it more than likely has food mites. Things like noodles and rice that won’t work that way you can freeze for 3 or 4 days to kill them if they are in there. Wash all your pantry and cupboard shelves with a good cleaner or just vinegar and water.

There is no way to completely avoid having a food mite in your home, but these methods should help you to have far fewer problems with them.


Correction: Feeding Guide

Please be advised that there is an error on the printable feeding guide. The version on the website has been updated. Please update your copy. REMOVE CANOLA OIL.  Canola oil is not safe.  We apologize for the error.

Anthocyanin Nibbles

Anthocyanin nibbles

Anthocyanin nibbles


1 portion dark red/black cherries
1 portion blackberries
1 portion blueberries
1 portion red apple (Unwaxed only, she peel is the important part)
1 portion red beets
1/2 portion red raisins
1/2 portion dried plums/prunes
2 portions red beans (do not skip, or you won’t be able to grind into a powder)

Blanch each item in a small pot of crab safe water, reserving and reusing the water for each item. Prunes and raisins get soaked in the warm water last until they are very soft. Blend all items, including the reserved soaking/blanching water (start with a little) until its a paste about as thick as pancake batter. You may feed it to them fresh like this and freeze it in portions, or continue on to drying and powdering. To dry, line your dehydrater trays with silicone inserts, or parchment paper cut to size. Do not use wax paper, it will melt into the food 😝. Spread it across each sheet evenly about 1/3 inch thick, or less. Dry at about 130°f for a minimum of 24 hours, can take a couple of days. It depends on how thick it is and how humid your environment is. To test if it’s done, let it cool through. If you can break it into pieces, it’s ready. If it only bends and will not break, dehydrate longer until it breaks. Whiz it up in the coffee/spice grinder you keep for the crabbies, no cross contamination please 🙂 Store in an airtight glass jar in a cool dark space.

Submitted by Amber Miner

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 chubbymealworms.ca 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

Hermit Crab Oreo Vacation Cookie

If you are going to be away on vacation these cookies are an easy way to provide your hermit crabs enough food until you return.  In addition to offering a Hermit Crab Oreo Vacation cookie I suggest sprinkling your crabitat with some dried foods. This will encourage foraging and offer lots of different foods at once. Dried flowers, grains, seeds, egg shells, nuts and mealworms are all ideal dried foods.  I recommend that greensand and worm castings be available in your tank pretty much all of the time. You can cycle them out for a day or two if your crabs completely refuse other foods.


2 TBL Peanut butter (natural with no added salt, sugar, preservatives)

4 TSP Seeds and/or grains (use any mixture you want)

1 TSP Flax seed milled

1 TSP Bone meal powder (substitute any comparable calcium powder)



Mix the seeds into the peanut butter until well mixed

Mix the flax into the peanut butter mixture until well mixed, it should be thicker consistency now

Gently mix in the bone meal powder

Separate the mix into three 2 inch portions

Sprinkle worm castings on a paper plate and press the portions into flat patties on the castings. Then gently begin to shape in a ball while rolling in the worm castings to thoroughly coat. Repeat for the other two portions so you end up with three 2 inch balls.

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If you wanted to store these in the fridge or freezer until you are ready to use that won’t harm them and might help the cookie harden.  I just placed mine right in the tank for the feeding trials. The crabs eventually pulled it all apart but it held up well for a week and they eventually ate every bit of it even with their regular food being offered at the same time.

Wild Craft

Wild Craft

Wild Craft by Amber M.


“Wild Craft” all dried ingredients.
passion flower, nettle leaves, African honey bush, mushrooms, chamomile, oak leaves, maple leaves, raspberry leaves, rose, marigold, rose hips, black sesame, chia, flax, wakame (seaweed), coconut, hemp seeds.

About equal portions crumbled dried leaves, rose and marigold. A little less of the rest of the ingredients, except the seeds and rose hips. Put enough seeds that it is well distributed throughout, or to your liking.
No hard rule on quantities 🙂

Wild forage, clean, blanch and dehydrate yourself, our buy from a reputable source. This is a combo of purchased and foraged ingredients.



Crunch up all the leaves and flows into small bits and mix well. Chop the dried mushrooms and dried rose hips into small bits and mix in. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well in a big bowl.

This may be given in the food dish, or sprinkled around the tank to encourage natural foraging behaviour.

Additional info:

Does not require refrigeration

Can be frozen

Store in a cool dry location, out of the sun in an airtight glass jar.
If you make a giant batch, like me, you can freeze the extras. It will last a very long time in an airtight container though. Treat it like tea.

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