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More on Hermit Crab Care

Hermit crabs are very special crustaceans that need constant careful care to survive. Since crabs are never born in captivity, there is always the issue of adaptation to a human environment for these exotic animals. This obviously requires a lot of trust from the crabs because they are extremely sensitive to any kind of cruelty. Adhering to the correct crab care rules is essential, as without care these crabs do not live long. Usually, when proper care is taken in every aspect of their life, these exotic animals can even live more than 20 years and be a lifelong companion of the house.

The first principle of crab care is to recognize the mystery of the little crustaceans. You should be able to wonder at the amazing senses of perception and individuality that these exotic animals show in their different daily activities. Their particularity about their shells and their choice to eat food only when they are hungry show them to be highly thoughtful creatures. They are remarkable climbers and you will be amazed to see the way they climb up and down the rock face or the terraces of the salt water tank in their enclosure. Small crustaceans have very expressive eyes and often show sudden (and unpredictable) mood swings in their decisions.

The next aspect of crab care is to provide the crabs with an ideal habitat. If you have marine hermit crabs, then you need to create a coral reef aquatic system with sufficient rock faces to allow the crab to climb and rest. The water should be dechlorinated and the aquarium should be able to maintain a balanced nitrogen cycle system in the aquarium. Sea crabs molt within minutes, so no special care is required during sea crab molting. The ideal specific gravity range is 1.022-1.0240 and the salinity range should be 30-40 ppt.

For land hermit crabs, the habitat should be an enclosure of sand substrate. The sand should not be wet, but not dripping. The height of the sand base should be enough for the larger hermit to completely disappear into the sand. Provide a variety of good shell options for the crabs. Painted sea shells should not be given because they are dangerous for the crabs. The owner of the land crab should be able to understand the initial signs of a molt and take immediate steps to gently remove the crab to an isolation tank. However, if transport is not possible due to an advanced stage of molting, then the crab’s owner should install an isolation barrier (something other crabs can neither climb nor dig through). Alternatively, you can also try removing all non-molting crabs to a different enclosure and leave the crab alone in the old enclosure. Molting in land crabs is a prolonged process that can take more than a month, so proper care of the crab must be taken. Disturbing the crab at any point during the molt is not allowed as this can prove fatal to the crab.

Another important aspect of caring for crabs is feeding the crabs. A land crab enclosure should consist of a separate container for fresh water and a separate container for salt water (both dechlorinated). This is because land crabs only drink fresh water and bathe in salt water. These exotic animals are omnivores and prefer a diet based on carotene and calcium for themselves. They like plankton, dried shrimp, coral deposits, cuttlefish, fish flakes, crushed eggshell, crushed calcium tablets and crushed oyster shell as daily foods. They treat fruits, vegetables, unsalted nuts and resins as treats. They are very fond of eating their own shed exoskeleton after molting. During the molt, the crab must be fed a diet rich in carotene.

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