Hermit Crab

Pet House

Care Info For Your Hermit Crab

Please read the following carefully as it contains important information about the care required for your Hermit Crab. Please also refer to our Legal Page, and for any further information, assistance or advice, please contact one of our stores.

In their natural environment, Hermit crabs live in groups.  They do prefer to have company.  Always pick a Hermit crab up by its shell and be careful to never pull them out of their shell.  At first the Hermit crab may seem scared, but please handle them as much as possible and they will get to know you.  Hermit crabs love to climb and walk around, but be careful to never let them injure themselves by falling off high objects and do not let them crawl on carpet.

We recommend a tank with a lid to increase the humidity to over 55%.  You measure the humidity with a hygrometer. This helps them breath and conditions their body.

Originally these Hermit crabs were from a warmer environment than the Central Coast.  Hence, a tank with a light or an additional heating source (heat pad or heating rock) should be sought. The Hermit crab environment should be kept between 21 and 27°C.  You can monitor the temperature of their environment with a thermometer.

On the floor of the tank, we suggest a combination of fine gravel, sand and / or shell grit, and coco peat.  The best substrate is coco peat as it holds moisture to aid in developing humidity as well as giving plenty of material for them to dig through.  The floor should be kept dry and the gravel should be washed and thoroughly dried every few months.  Any shell grit and sand should be replaced every few months.  Shavings can be placed in one corner to give the Hermit crab something to snuggle into and get cosy when cold.

You should provide some climbing equipment in the tank such as driftwood, rock, or an ornament.  Re-arrange these periodically or swap them with different artefacts to make their environment more interesting.  They also appreciate a hide, so a cave or hut is essential.


The two water dishes must always be kept full to aid humidity - in a dry environment, a Hermit crab will suffocate.  One should contain tap water with Water Ager added to it and the other dish should also contain tap water with Water Ager and additionally a pinch of Hermit Crab Salt (not table salt as it contains iodine).  The salt dish should be used by the crab as a weekly bath - essential for the conditioning of the exoskeleton.  If the Hermit crab doesn't regularly use the bath, slowly submerge them whilst on their back and gently move them around.  Remove them from the water and place somewhere the water can drain from the shell. 

The water dishes should be shallow as the crabs cannot swim and should have some small rocks in them to allow the crab to hold on and walk amongst the water.  Bury the dish in the sand or gravel so they cannot be tipped over and the crab has an easy time getting to the water.

Hermit Crab Food is the perfect all round dry food diet that the Hermit crab will need however, small amounts of most pop corn, biscuits, vegetables, fruits, grasses and even lean meat (ham, fish, devon, etc) should be added.  Uneaten fresh food should be removed daily to avoid spoilage. 

Spare shells are essential and there should be a variety for them to choose amongst.  A Hermit Crab grows at a rate of about 3-4mm per year, so spare shells need not be much bigger than what it has currently.

Crabs are very sensitive to chemicals in their environment so be careful what you use to clean the tank and play equipment and area.

The crab will moult their exoskeleton to grow and during this time (approx. 30 days), please do not touch them.  To aid in the moulting of their skin, you should provide them with Iodine but NOT in the form of Iodised salt. The skin is very, very sensitive during their moult.  The crab will burrow into their bedding during this time.  Do not remove the old skin as this will be eaten to provide essential nutrients when growing their new skin.

Remember to hold them regularly to get them used to it. But be aware that if stressed, they can nip with their claw. If they do, remain calm and immerse your hand in water (they can drown so once they let go put them back in their home by holding their shell) or place the nipping crab it in a dark area and remain calm.  They will let go, so don't pull them.

We aim at giving specialist advice backed by quality products and courteous service.

We believe that this will give you the best chance at having the kind of pet you will enjoy. 

We would be grateful if you keep us informed of your new family members progress and we will do our best to assist you in any way we can.


Harmit Crab

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