Hermit Crabs? Yup! Hermit crabs are now counted among our family. This TR household is currently 4 humans, 1 dog, 3 cats, and 3 new hermit crabs.
We thought these crabs would be a simple, low-maintenance pet to add to our family.
But please be warned! We learned the hard way that welcoming hermit crabs into your home isn’t necessarily easy-cheesey. These little critters involve a lot of initial expense and set up. We had thought we researched this undertaking and were good to go. But it turned out that stuff like “keeping the humidity stable” is harder to do than we might have thought.
Tip1: Items recommended for your hermit crabs: heat lamp with day AND night bulbs, glass aquarium, substrate of sand, 2 water dishes (not metal), heat/humidity gauge, food dish, small hiding shelter, extra shells, and climbing toys.
We had a 5 gallon tank and decided that 3 small hermit crabs would fit comfortably in this space. We wanted to be sure that our hermit crabs appeared healthy and happy prior to purchase. We visited a few local stores before settling on the active hermits crabs at Animart, a locally-owned pet store chain. We picked our sand up at Menards, a local home & builder store (much cheaper than buying the fancy sands sold at pet stores) and some supplies at PetSmart– all for the lower prices.
Once home, we excitedly set up our new friends in their habitat. Our crabs seem to really enjoy a small ceramic tree that had been sold as a fish tank decoration, as well as some green moss we were able to get at Michaels (which is also where we found a big bag of extra shells).
Tip2: To reduce the odds of giving your crabs an illness or parasite, make sure all items for their tank are thoroughly washed and rinsed with boiling water.
It took us a while to get to the point where both the temperature and humidity seemed more or less stable in our ‘crabitat’. Since we obsess about taking good care of the critters that live with us, this struggle caused us some distress. We suspect that crabs are hearty crustaceans that can weather these issues better than we think. But we recommend you do full research if you choose to get hermit carbs, as you should for any new pet.
Tip3: We did a lot of our research using YouTube, but not all videos are equal. Some seemed to come from very experienced crab owners, some seemed like they were made by newer owners. (One, disappointingly, featured a man smuggling crabs from Jamaica to bring to his home tank in Canada.) We recommend you watch MANY videos to get an ample supply of ideas to make your crabs happy. Or take out some books from your local library.
Our hermit crabs have turned into fun little friends to have in the house. We occasionally shift them into a small plastic bin to interact with them. They really seem to like these encounters! They all start moving around and checking things out. It has been quite a fun, new adventure for our family!