Hermit Crab

    This week the big question at the ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION was:

How to care for my land Hermit Crab?

    Hermit crabs in their native environment live inland away from the water and the beach. Their diet consists of leaf litter, fruit, and vegetation. They also enjoy chewing and eating bark and have a special preference for decaying wood. Do not use pine or cedar. They also have commercial food and you can on alternate days you may also feed some treats, such as coconut, romaine lettuce, apple, wheat bread, peanut butter. Feed treats very sparsely. Land hermit crabs eat slow and very little. 

    Uneaten food must be taken out and fresh put back in to avoid the ingestion of spoiled foods. Fresh water to drink must be kept in with them. A Cuttlebone may be added in the water for extra calcium and proper salts. They may be kept in an aquarium with 2 or 3 inches of gravel or sand. The air temperature should be above 70 degrees and they prefer around 80 degrees. It is a good idea to bathe your crabs once a week as well as giving them an occasional misting outside the tank. No water in tank. Only in a small dish for them to drink.

    Never attempt to remove a crab from its shell because it will allow itself to be torn apart rather than give up its shell. Hermit crabs are not aggressive like many of the sea crabs. The big claw is to hold onto a limb or other such support for climbing. The smaller claw is for use to pass food and water to the mouth. They are odorless and clean.

    They are good climbers and enjoy any type wood to climb on. Rocks may be added. They also need to have extra empty shells in the tank so they can change shells when they grow larger. Land hermit crabs can not reproduce in captivity. Their eggs must hatch in the sea. Like other crabs they must shed their outer ex-skeleton. Older crabs molt less frequently but require the same care.

    It is known that some crabs have been kept in the home as pets for as long as 15 years. The hermit crabs like to live with more them one, you should get at least 2 or 3 or 4 or maybe more. They will have a better activity schedule. You will have a much more enjoyable time watching them.

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Click Here For Narration by Marjorie Carter (403 KB - Real Audio)