Today, many families are realizing that hermit crabs make wonderful pets. When it comes to setting up your crabs tank, there is an important distinction between land and marine hermit crabs.
Land species are used to living on land, while marine species live in the water for their entire lifespan, rarely if ever venturing onto the beach. In general, it is more common to find land than marine when looking for a pet.
Caribbean And Ecuadorian
Although they are born in the water without a shell. They soon inhabit a shell vacated by a sea snail and migrate to the land, gradually spending more and more time on dry land until they become completely terrestrial.
Live For Twenty Plus Years
With proper care, they can live for twenty years or more. Unlike most other crustaceans, they spend most of their lifespan on the land. They cannot live for very long submerged in water, because their gills have adapted to breathing humid air. The environment required to keep a land hermit crab includes at least four inches of moist sand, gravel, or coconut fiber.
Needs To Molt To Grow
As the crab molts, or sheds his exoskeleton in order to grow larger, he will bury himself in this material. Because of their naturally warm environment in the Caribbean and in Ecuador, the tank needs to be heated to between 70 and 80 degrees.
Even though these crabs live outside of water, they still need a humid environment, at least 70% humidity. The best way to accomplish this is to spray or mist the tank at least once every day. Although they cannot live in the water, they also need plenty of fresh drinking water.
Both Salt And Plain Drinking Water
Many owners of these pets advocate keeping both saltwater and plain drinking water in the aquarium; fresh water for drinking, and salt water in which to bathe.
They which are used to climbing on trees in their natural environment, enjoy the opportunity to climb in their tank. Provide sturdy branches, rocks, or even a cork board to give your pet something to explore. They are very curious, and will spend many hours walking about their cages.
Hermit Crabs Love To Play And Explore
Providing activities such as a climbing branch keeps your pet from getting bored, especially if you only have one crab in the tank. These crabs are nocturnal, so the best time to watch their activities is at night. During the day, they like to hide in driftwood, coconut shells, and emptied flowerpots, as a response to their natural desire to avoid predators.
Although little in size, keeping a hermit crab is a big responsibility. With the proper care, your pet will have a long and happy life. Understanding your crab’s requirements means understanding his natural environment and replicating that as closely as possible in your pets new home.