How to Care for a Hermit Crab

One of the easiest pets to look after is a hermit crab. They are fun to play with, inexpensive, and above all, they require very little time and maintenance. If you have a hermit crab, you can easily take care of it following some useful tips and simple guidelines. Remember that these crabs require very little from their owners and if you take good care of them, they can live up to 10-20 years.

Things Required:

– Aquarium (10 gallons or larger)
– Spiral shells (assortment of different sizes)
– Calm-style shells (1 to 2 palm-size); or shallow dish
– Natural sponge (fist-size)
– Hermit crab food
– Sand (1 bag)
– Filtered water
– Water treatment drops for de-chlorination


  • 1

    Get an appropriately sized aquarium

    You need to give your hermit crab a nice home to live in, and getting a suitably sized aquarium should be your first priority. In case you own a single hermit crab, a 10-gallon aquarium is perfect. Keep in mind that hermit crabs like company, so you should adopt two to three hermit crabs at a time.

  • 2

    Line the aquarium's floor with sand

    Get hermit crab-friendly sand from your local pet or hardware store and line it in the bottom of the aquarium. You are required to fill up to two to three inches of sand. You can even use normal playground sand if you can't find the specialized variety.

  • 3

    Keep a wet area in the aquarium

    You are required to keep a wet area, or make a pool for the hermit crab in one corner of the aquarium. This will not only keep it moist but will also provide it with calcium. Your hermit crab will also be able to drink from the pool in order to stay hydrated.

  • 4

    Use a small natural sponge

    In order to help in evaporation, you need to get a small natural sponge around the size of your fist. Place the sponge in the water and the air in the aquarium will become humid, which is preferred by your crab.

  • 5

    Provide hermit crab food

    Get special hermit crab food from your local pet store and feed it to your crab once a day. You can also feed fruit, vegetables or cereals which have essential nutrients for your crab.

  • 6

    Place different spiral shells

    You need to give your crab room to grow. Place different spiral shells in the aquarium but make sure they are bigger than the crab’s own shell. When it outgrows its current shell, it can then easily choose a new home.

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