Home Forums Chewin’ the Choya Please evaluate my crabitat set-up

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    Hello, fellow crabbers!

    I thought I would introduce myself and see if I can get your opinions on my crabitat. My name is Jenny, and I’ve got 3 PPs (one is brand new today!). Yes, I realize I should have an isolation tank for him, but unfortunately, I’ve put all my spare money into my existing tank. I also have a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology, so I love all living things. Here’s what I have in my current, 10-gallon aquarium tank:

    2 large reptile dishes for fresh and salt water
    2 large air plants (most likely Tillandsia sp.)
    3 mopani wood pieces
    1 resin coconut hut
    Spare shells (mostly 2-3 tubinado and 1-2 D-shaped opening shells–possibly whelk?)
    1 hemp cargo net that I crocheted by hand
    Bivalve seashells and large bottle caps for food dishes
    4-watt UTH (on side of aquarium)
    Overhead reptile lamp with day bulb and moonlight bulb

    I’m feeding freeze-dried mealworms, powdered crickets, calcium supplement powder, aquarium salt crystals, organic peanut butter, freeze-dried shrimp, dried/wilted hibiscus flowers, dried vegetables (no copper sulfate, copper compounds, or sulfur compounds), and a powdered strawberry treat mix from All Living Things (only ingredients are powdered coconut milk, powdered honey, and powdered strawberries, maybe one or two other all-natural ingredients). I also feed portions of my all-natural fruit juices/smoothies that I drink, like Odwalla and Bolthouse Farms (no dairy or anything non-fruit/vegetable). If I eat veggies, I try to sneak some up to the crabs (boiled only, no spices).

    Oh, did I mention my crabs are a secret? I’m 30 years old but had to move back in with family, and sadly, I couldn’t bring my cat. So I ended up getting the hermits on the sly, but it’s a secret from one family member. Not that they make a lot of noise or mess, really. So, I have to be very stealthy when I sneak up fresh fruits and veggies. I feel like I’m in high school again.

    One of the things that’s concerning me is that the only aquarium salt I could find at my local Wal-mart is Jungle Aquarium Salt. I think this is for freshwater fish. Does anyone know what kind of salt compound this is (chemical composition), and if it contains the micronutrients necessary for hermit crabs? If not, do you know what else I could supplement, such as from a grocery store, instead of having to buy a large amount of Instant Ocean type salt from the expensive pet store?

    Additionally, I am looking for ideas for materials from which I can sculpt tank decorations. I know it will have to be super non-toxic, so that it doesn’t off-gas any fumes into the aquarium. Probably some kind of resin would be best, but I want to be able to mold it by hand. The ideal product would not require baking or firing to cure it. Does anyone know of any suitable products?

    Thank you so much! Glad to join you all!


    Jenny and the 3 PPs (Fred, Bernard AKA Bernie, and Churley)


    Oh, and my substrate is play sand from Home Depot. I started out using Eco Earth, but it kept molding and maintained too much humidity. The crabs are really loving the sand! They seem much happier. I’ve got it at a depth of about 6-8 inches.

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