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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
- We recommend Ultratherm heat pads http://amzn.to/2EVPmb2
- Can be insulated with Reflectix Reflective Roll Insulation or other DIY options 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 disposable food storage bowls work great!
- Water dishes should be deep enough for your largest crab to submerge.
- Provide exit ramps for small crabs
- Skip the cheap, analog gauge at the pet store, 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.
The following articles are very helpful and will cover pretty much everything you need to know about keeping land hermit crabs as pets.
Methods for heating your crabitat
Shell-less Hermit Crab-
My Hermit Crab has left its shell! What do I do?
Escaped Hermit Crab-
Locating an Escaped Hermit Crab