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koko

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I have lots of Hermit Crabs! I love them :wub: they are very interesting and entertaining! Here is a starter list of basic info on Hermit Crabs from the group that I belong to on Facebook  
Some sort of tank/enclosure-(minimum of 10 gallons for 2 small crabs) with a lid that will hold in humidity. *This will only work temporarily & will need upgrading soon.     Substrate-this is the stuff your crabs will bury in. We recommend only a mix of sand and coconut fiber (also called coir or eco earth) in 5 parts sand (not dyed and no calci or repti-sand) to 1 part coco fiber and very strongly urge against using only coco fiber. Your substrate should be enough to cover your biggest crab at least 3 times. *NOTE: The exception to this are the Australian land hermit crabs c. variabilis, also called "Aussies". They must have substrate consisting of 8 parts sand to only 1 part coconut fiber.   Food/Water Dishes(3)-For all species of crabs you will need to offer both salt & fresh water as well as food.    Heat-You need a heat source to keep your crabitat warm. They are called UTH (under tank heaters) but should only be used on the side or back of your tank; NEVER underneath. You can also use heat lamps/bulbs.   Water-ALL CRAB WATER MUST BE DECHLORINATED There are "tap water conditioners" you can buy. Avoid slime/stress coats & get one that also removes heavy metals.Your crab friend needs a dish for fresh water and a dish for salt water. This is made with a product like "Oceanic" or "Instant Ocean". DO NOT USE TABLE SALT, it MUST be marine-grade salt. The water dishes should be deep enough for your biggest crabs to fill their shells with water but still also have a safe path out for your small crabs.     Places to climb and hide-Hermies need exercise and they need places to hide and feel safe. These can be hermie-safe things like cholla cactus wood, coco-huts or plastic plants and vines, a leaned up rock or anything they can climb and/or hide under.  

Friends-Hermit crabs are very social and need company, so get more than one but do not over-crowd.

  Extra shells-You need extra shells both a little bit bigger & a little bit smaller than their current one(s). Painted shells are not considered safe, so get all natural shells. Provide a minimum of 5 spare shells for each crab 1f642.png.   Temperature/Humidity Gauge(s)-Keeping your crabs' conditions just right is important to their health, so you'll want to keep an eye on things; digital are the most accurate.   Food-Your crabs need a varied diet with sources of protein, plant fibers and calcium, made up from both fresh and supplement foods (see our lists of safe foods).  

Tank: Glass aquariums with a secure lid are the most ideal for Hermit Crabs, A 20Gal makes a good start point although if you're planning on upgrading it's easier to do it at the beginning. Keep in mind how many Hermit Crabs you would like to own, and plan accordingly. Remember, they need lots of space and substrate. Plastic Kritter Keepers, and Wire "Hermit Huts" Housing are not suitable for Hermit Crabs. Although the Pet Stores will tell you this is what you need - It is not, It's dangerous. They thrive the most in glass aquariums. You can find decently priced aquariums on Craigslist/Kijiji, Local Buy&Sell Groups on Facebook, as well as Yard Sales. 


Substrate: The most important part of your Crabitat! Substrate. A 5:1 Ratio of Play-sand to Eco Earth with a sand castle consistency mimics closely to what Hermit Crabs have in the wild and is most ideal.  You also want your Sub to be 3x deeper then your largest Crab to ensure healthy molts, tunneling and digging. (6-8" of Sub is usually okay...Deeper never hurt!)  When mixing your Sub together you may need to add a little dechlorinated water to get it to the consistency you want - To check if your consistency is okay poke a hole in the Sub with your index finger and make sure no surrounding Sub falls into the hole you've made. If the hole stays put you are okay, If there is some Sub falling you may need to add a little more water and give it another good mix up. 
*Please stay away from Calci-Sand or Hermit Crab sand as this can turn into cement when too moist or wet which is very dangerous to your Crabs. You can find large bags of Play-sand at your local hardware store for $3-5.


Humidity and Heat: Gauges are very important and also where you place them in your Crabitat. You don't want to have your gauge sitting on the Substrate or near as this would be reading the Temp/Humidity of the Sub and not your actual Setup. Ideally, you would want to place your gauge(s) and inch or two above Sub level in the middle of your Tank. (Suction Cups work great for helping them hold up.) 
The heat and humidity for Crabs is likely to be in the mid 80's. PPs (Purple Pinchers) can tolerate lower temperatures compared to Exotic Species but ideally you want your Temp gauge to be reading around 80. For heat, UTHs (under tank heater) are a good place to start. They need to be attached to the side or back of your Crabitat. Underneath is very dangerous for many reasons. You will need the equivalent of 3 times the heat of your tank, for instance a 10 gallon tank would need one or more UTH which combined are rated for 30 gallons. Lights can be used in addition to the UTHs in the larger tanks 20/30 gallon and up. On smaller tanks they usually sap the humidity. You want you humidity levels to be at least 75%-85% anything over 90% inhibits mold growth. To keep the humidity up you want your Sub at sand castle consistency and need a good lid to keep the humidity and heat locked in. Some use glass panes or plexi over a mesh lid or just the glass, some use tank lids, some use Saran Wrap or Glad Press & Seal. Either way make sure there are no escape routes, these guys can climb almost anything and are incredibly strong at times and in unexpected ways. If the lid and Sub alone don't keep your humidity in a good range you can try adding a damp moss pit, larger pools near the heaters, pools with bubblers,  etc.

Food: First and foremost stay away from any commercial Hermit Crab food. (Pellets, Fruit Salad, etc) They can eat most Human food; shrimp, chicken bone marrow, bananas, popcorn, eggs, egg shell, dry maple leaves,organic honey,fish, cilantro, See our food Guide for more! Variety is important, and will play a role on the coloring of your Crab(s) The more food you offer with high Beta-Carotene the more intense color. There are several folks on this page who sell great healthy Hermit Crab food and there are websites such as The Hermit Crab Patch  which have good reputations as well. They will need all sorts of variety including fiber sources and calcium sources. Mine enjoy a mix of pulverized cuttlebone, egg shells and  crushed oyster shells. To that I usually add worm castings which they are obsessed with!

Water: They will need both salt and fresh water available to them at all times. Many love to soak in the pools so they should be deep enough for your Crab to fully submerge. You can add river stones or needlepoint canvas to make sure they can easily get out. The waters need to be dechlorinated with a product that breaks down the chlorine but also the heavy metal bonds to make the water safe for them. The salt should be aquarium salt, A lot of Hermit Crab owners prefer Instant Ocean however, there are different types of aquarium salt. 

Decoration/Entertainment: Hermit Crabs need places to hide like huts or leafy plastic plants or even tipped plastic or bowls. They will also need stuff to climb on, sticks of safe woods you can find in your yard (pesticide free of course) You can boil and bake anything you find to ensure there are no bugs, pesticides etc living on them. (Let your piece soak in a large bucket of salt water for about 10-15minutes, then place in your oven for about 20-30minutes until thoroughly dry. Usually you get a nice wood smell in your home when the piece is done drying out. Ovens vary , I set mine to about 350-375*) You can purchase Cholla which they really enjoy! Moss Pits are always fun for them and they also help with your humidity! You can find Moss at your local Pet Store, just follow the directions on the packaging and add to your Tank!  Decorating your Crabitat has got to be the most fun part, be creative! It's amazing the things you can find at the dollar store that they will love and enjoy. 
*Tip: You can buy a Coconut at the Grocery Store for about $1. Crack it in half so you have two pieces now, scoop all the meat out (which they LOVE), Now you've got two hides and a whole bunch of coconut for them. You can cut doors in your new hides and then add them right in.

 

Shells:  Painted Shells are a big no-no...They are not only painted on the outside but also the inside. Which can cause a Crab to get stuck inside and not be able to move/switch shells and eventually pass away. If you purchased a Crab that is housed in a painted shell please offer lots of natural shells in hopes they will switch sooner rather then later. Different sizes, openings, and shell types. Once your Crab has ditched the painted shell please throw it away; do not continue to offer it as a shell. 
You will need at least 3 shells per Crab to ensure there are no shell fights or streaking going on. The more shells you offer, the better.. Keep in mind they do need a large variety of different shells, openings, and sizes. 


Crabs: I would suggest starting with PPs,(Purple Pinchers)  as they are the most easy to care for Crabs.. Usually the 'Beginner' Crab. They are more hearty than the others. 
Don't be startled if you rarely see your Crab(s)  They are nocturnal and might be up and about while you are asleep.  With the right Tank conditions you will have some Crabs out in the daytime and not always 'Pet sand' ..Every Crab is different, as well as Species. 

 
Thanks for all the good info!

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Oh my goodness! My local hospital that is in the neighboring city near us is flooding bad! There is a video that a hospital employee took of the hallways flowing with huge strong currents of water that are past ankle deep. There are door mats, garbage cans and other big debris rushing by in the current down the halls like a big river. :yikes  There are news reports of cars being whisked away in the flood and getting slammed under the bridge, stores are flooded out, homes are flooded so bad and it is still raining :no: My yard is flooded too but not like in the next door city, but my yard looks like a big wide stream rushing thru our yard and continuing on thru the entire block and the streets are so flooded, there are lots of places in town under flood waters, ugh! :doh11: 
 
That sounds horrible!!!

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Also have hermies.
To be honest, they not the best pet out there - they will moult for weeks/months on end - and very much noctural in nature. If that doesn't worry, then they make great pets!

But for many, having a pet thats not regularly out and about isn't enjoyable/fun.


My tips:
- good deep substrate. Many like to do the 5:1 ratio of sand/ee, but straight sand or EE is also fine IMO.
- deep salt and freshwater. Good quality salt, and they will appreciate
- heat/humidity is essential. They poikilotherms, high heat tends to increase activity - hence why many suggest temps at 80F and over. A good heat mat will get this at an appropriate level, positioned on the size/back (many strive to cover the entire back of the tank above the substrate line). Keep humidity above around 80% and they be happy, higher levels increase likelyhood of mould but due to having gills the mould isnt an issue as much as its to us.
- balanced diets! Stay away from most store brought prepares foods, they do well on organic foods like fruits, meats, veggies nuts ect. Eg. What you have for dinner, keep a bit aside and offer to the crabbies.

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Also have hermies.
To be honest, they not the best pet out there - they will moult for weeks/months on end - and very much noctural in nature. If that doesn't worry, then they make great pets!

But for many, having a pet thats not regularly out and about isn't enjoyable/fun.


My tips:
- good deep substrate. Many like to do the 5:1 ratio of sand/ee, but straight sand or EE is also fine IMO.
- deep salt and freshwater. Good quality salt, and they will appreciate
- heat/humidity is essential. They poikilotherms, high heat tends to increase activity - hence why many suggest temps at 80F and over. A good heat mat will get this at an appropriate level, positioned on the size/back (many strive to cover the entire back of the tank above the substrate line). Keep humidity above around 80% and they be happy, higher levels increase likelyhood of mould but due to having gills the mould isnt an issue as much as its to us.
- balanced diets! Stay away from most store brought prepares foods, they do well on organic foods like fruits, meats, veggies nuts ect. Eg. What you have for dinner, keep a bit aside and offer to the crabbies.

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What I am thinking of getting are the pp or purple claw. I had one when I was little and he lived a little over a year. Back then we was given really bad advice that I literally did everything wrong. I had a large open air rabbit wire enclosure with no substrate at all. I was also told only to give a wet sponge for water and was given a dry pellet for food. He was alone in a wire cylinder with just a few cross members to climb on. No heat source and extremely dry air during the winter months.

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Species may be determined for you if you go down the route of purchasing. Even though they are one of the more common species in the US/Canada market, Ecuadorians are also pretty common as well.

Instead of purchasing, I would highly consider adopting if possible- like going through online marketplaces like fb classified or Craigslist - to help reduce over exploitation of wild populations.

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10 hours ago, Fish Of Gold said:

Oh my goodness! My local hospital that is in the neighboring city near us is flooding bad! There is a video that a hospital employee took of the hallways flowing with huge strong currents of water that are past ankle deep. There are door mats, garbage cans and other big debris rushing by in the current down the halls like a big river. :yikes  There are news reports of cars being whisked away in the flood and getting slammed under the bridge, stores are flooded out, homes are flooded so bad and it is still raining :no: My yard is flooded too but not like in the next door city, but my yard looks like a big wide stream rushing thru our yard and continuing on thru the entire block and the streets are so flooded, there are lots of places in town under flood waters, ugh! :doh11: 

 

Man what a mess. I am sure glad your alright :) 

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🤪🐱

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Well I set up the tank had it going for a little while added 5 guppies and in 48 hrs they are all dead.

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2 hours ago, koko said:

Man what a mess. I am sure glad your alright :) 

Yeah I'm ok :) The yard is still flooded and there's a billion earthworms crawling everywhere, those huge giant ones, I think they are called Night crawlers. They look like baby snakes everywhere LOL! But look at the poor hospital, and one of the parking lots downtown. 

35553376_1977621255595383_2567723348687585280_n.jpg

35518703_1718611878246131_8452355575349510144_n.jpg

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:hi Hi everyone!!!! How are you doing Amy???

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IM GETTING A NEW CAR IM SO HAPPY OMG. My 6 month headache will gone in the next couple of weeks!!!!

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27 minutes ago, DawnMichele said:

:hi Hi everyone!!!! How are you doing Amy???

I'm doing good, thanks for asking ;) More rain may start tonight again, but I hope not! 

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1 hour ago, Mikey said:

IM GETTING A NEW CAR IM SO HAPPY OMG. My 6 month headache will gone in the next couple of weeks!!!!

IM so happy for you Mikey!!!!  :redbanana:

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1 hour ago, Fish Of Gold said:

I'm doing good, thanks for asking ;) More rain may start tonight again, but I hope not! 

IM glad your OK Amy!!!!  :hug Fingers crossed you don't get any more rain.

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5 hours ago, Daniel E. said:

Well I set up the tank had it going for a little while added 5 guppies and in 48 hrs they are all dead.

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IM so sorry for your loss Daniel. Do you know what happened?

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IM so sorry for your loss Daniel. Do you know what happened?
It was probably from the store. They said they had list a lot and some in the takes did not look the best. I got the healthiest looking ones but I think they still was already sick.

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I'll probably try again next time I'm out there.

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14 minutes ago, DawnMichele said:

IM so happy for you Mikey!!!!  :redbanana:

Thank you!!! It’s been a grueling fight. I’ve been arguing with corporate back and forth since March, but the car has been a headache since week 1. They are replacing it with a 2018 and in the color I originally wanted. This fight was definitely worth it. 

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5 hours ago, Daniel E. said:

Well I set up the tank had it going for a little while added 5 guppies and in 48 hrs they are all dead.

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I’m sorry to hear that Daniel :(  

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3 minutes ago, Mikey said:

Thank you!!! It’s been a grueling fight. I’ve been arguing with corporate back and forth since March, but the car has been a headache since week 1. They are replacing it with a 2018 and in the color I originally wanted. This fight was definitely worth it. 

That's FANTASTIC!!!! IM so happy for you Mikey!!!!

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4 hours ago, Fish Of Gold said:

Yeah I'm ok :) The yard is still flooded and there's a billion earthworms crawling everywhere, those huge giant ones, I think they are called Night crawlers. They look like baby snakes everywhere LOL! But look at the poor hospital, and one of the parking lots downtown. 

35553376_1977621255595383_2567723348687585280_n.jpg

35518703_1718611878246131_8452355575349510144_n.jpg

Oh wow!!! That’s a lot of flooding!!! Stay safe!

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18 minutes ago, Daniel E. said:

It was probably from the store. They said they had list a lot and some in the takes did not look the best. I got the healthiest looking ones but I think they still was already sick.

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That's a shame. Hopefully you can get some healthy ones next time. How are you feeling?

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That's a shame. Hopefully you can get some healthy ones next time. How are you feeling?
About the same. Just surviving day to day.

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7 hours ago, Daniel E. said:

Well I set up the tank had it going for a little while added 5 guppies and in 48 hrs they are all dead.

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Man that just blows :( 

3 hours ago, Fish Of Gold said:

I'm doing good, thanks for asking ;) More rain may start tonight again, but I hope not! 

Oh man, I sure hope it doesn't rain more on you. That is just crazy.

Ill give you my heat for some rain, Im 106F today :o 

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This last hour and a half of work is going to drag 

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