We all go on vacation or have to be away from home for an extended period at some point.
Your hermit crabs will need someone to check on them at least once during a seven day absence. Ideally someone can check on them every other day but not everyone is able to arrange a regular check in.
Be sure to write up an instruction sheet for your pet sitter. Include a link to this website, our emergency form and even our Facebook group so that we can help them if they need us.
If your sitter isn’t a crab keeper they may have trouble remembering everything so make it as easy as possible. Prepare ahead of time and leave easy reminders.
Before you leave
- Tidy up the tank
- Refill your litter basket with moss, leaves and bark
- Clean your pools and food bowls
- Check that your bubblers are working well, replace if needed
- Verify that all cords and cables are in good shape, label them with some tape to make them easy to identify
- Secure the tank lid
- Place a sticky note on the lid with a reminder for the sitter to make sure it’s secure
- Place a sticky note on the tank near the gauges with the safe ranges for heat and humidity. The sitter can see quickly if there’s a problem.
- Clean out and fill with fresh water, two gallon jugs and treat with Prime. If this is not enough water, make up another set and store them in your refrigerator to keep them fresher.
- Mix your ocean salt in one so you now have a reserve of fresh and ocean water, label them as such.
- If your pools are the kind you top off instead of fully replace, label them with sticky notes outside the tank to indicate which is salt and which is fresh.
- Using dry foods only (this will reduce mold, bugs, flies) prepare several dishes of food. Make enough to allow for a food change every other day.
- Check out the Vacation Oreo Cookie recipe
- Go through your dry foods and mix together several items that you can sprinkle throughout the tank. This will encourage foraging as well as providing a different food supply that what will be in the dishes.
- Fill up bowls with greensand and worm castings
Heat pad – Investing in a thermostat is something we strongly urge you to do. This will allow for any unexpected temperature changes while you are out.
Lights – A timer is ideal for managing your lights while you are away and it is one less thing for the sitter to worry about. If you don’t have someone arriving every day to turn the lights off/on it would be safer to leave them off while you are gone.
Just in case
- Set up a small container that can be used as an emergency isolation unit
- Place a roll of paper towels, gloves, trash bag and any other supplies the sitter might need. This way they don’t have to hunt through your house. Some extra moss for condensation collection would be helpful as well.
- Label the bottle of Prime with a sticky note containing usage instructions (add 1 drop daily for simplicity). Set it out with the water jugs.
Sample template for the pet sitter
Please do not turn off or unplug anything unless specifically instructed to do so.
Please do not smoke, spray chemicals or perfumes etc in the same room as the tank.
If I am not reachable please see the links at the bottom for places to get help quickly.
Water- change every other day
Dump the old water and clean the bowls.
Refill with water from the gallon jugs labelled fresh and salt.
*Additional jugs in the refrigerator
Add one drop of Prime to each bowl (you can’t overdose Prime)
Take care not to spill water into the sand
If there is a crab under the bowl, leave it there but be gentle replacing the bowl.
For semi permanent pools
Top off as needed
Add 1 drop of prime daily
Food-swap new for old every other day
Check for signs of mold around the dish, clean up if found
Gauges – check daily
Gauge should read between 75F-85F for temperature and 70-80% for humidity
Lights – Turn on/off for 12 hours at a time unless on timers (any power outage may reset them)
Heat pad/thermostat – Verify it is still powered on and running (any power outage may reset them)
Lid – check that the lid is secure before leaving
Excess condensation – wipe off the glass with paper towels, place dry moss around the perimeter to catch condensation
Hermit crab is not in a shell – link to article
Hermit crab appears dead or molting on surface – link to article
Water bowl leaked or spilled – if the substrate is quite wet, use paper towels, moss or even tampons to soak it up.
Contact someone in our Facebook group to get immediate help