New Future Hermit Crab Keeper, Preparing for Crabs

Please post here if you are a new crab owner and someone will be along shortly to welcome you to the HCA! This is also the place to welcome new crabbies to your clan!
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DinkDonk
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New Future Hermit Crab Keeper, Preparing for Crabs

Post by DinkDonk » Mon Nov 11, 2019 3:34 am

Hi there! A bit about me, I'm a college student, but I'm on a tight budget because of so, but I really would like hermit crabs! My passion for them grew as my college has a pet shop within walking distance, and I visit there about every other day. Because of this, I also have 2 fish tanks at home, all freshwater beginner level fish. I am looking forward to becoming a marine biologist as my career.

As the title says, I am going to be a future hermit crab keeper, and right now I am preparing to get supplies to keep them. Right now I have some supplies, and I am needing some more. Right now I already have some supplies like water conditioner, extra shells, and a hygrometer and thermometer. Some supplies I am going to get sometime this week is play sand, a 10 gallon aquarium, and possibly Instant Ocean salt. One question I have is is there any alternatives to sea sponges in a hermit crabs water dishes? I have a somewhat deep cockle shell and a wide scallop shell, and an assortment of different shells. Do I need sponges to have them climb out of? I have bought water pillows for humidity.

Another question I have is is there a way to create hermit crab shelters? Pre-made ones in stores are a bit out of my budget. My last question is how do I use this forum? This is my first forum joined and I would like help on liek rules and usage. Thank you for reading my overly verbose introduction, and thank you for your support!

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DinkDonk
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Re: New Future Hermit Crab Keeper, Preparing for Crabs

Post by DinkDonk » Mon Nov 11, 2019 3:35 am

Oh, PS I am planning to get 3 small Purple Pincher crabs


Moe2076
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Re: New Future Hermit Crab Keeper, Preparing for Crabs

Post by Moe2076 » Mon Nov 11, 2019 7:09 am

Welcome to the HCA! Good job doing your research first! Hermit crabs require some pretty specific conditions to thrive. Most of the information I have found from several pet stores is VERY inaccurate. Also, much of the things that are commercially made that specifically say "Hermit Crab" on them may not be safe and are usually not ideal for them, and it is usually very overpriced, the commercial food being one of them. The good news is that they eat a lot of things we eat that is safe for them and they enjoy. Be sure and check the safe food list before you feed them anything. You can find/craft many things for your crabitat for much cheaper than buying it from the pet store. Home improvement and craft stores have many building supplies for low cost. It sounds like you have been reading up some, here are some answers to your questions and a few tips:

You don't want/need sponges in the water dishes, they are a growing place for bacteria. You can use anything plastic or just plain rocks in your dishes so they can climb out. A lot of people use craft mesh and zip ties and plastic Tupperware dishes.

Be sure you thoroughly wash anything before you add it to the tank. If you use rocks let them soak in declorinated water a while after you wash them. Avoid any detergents. I've been building/upgrading and obsessively buying things for the crabitat a lot recently and everything I think I am going to use in the tank gets sprayed down with a 50/50 solution of water/white vinegar and is allowed to dry. The DIY and pictures section are good for ideas.

Before you open and use that water conditioner check the safe water list. If it is not on the safe list or contains things that are not safe, I would return/exchange it for something else. A lot of stuff used for fish is also safe/ideal for crabs and is easily available.

You can craft a hide from plastic and many kinds of wood, (Popsicle sticks!) check the safe food list about your wood first. Any evergreen like pine irritates them so don't use it.


There's a lot of useful information, here is the main link to care sheets, Don't let it overwhlem you. The basic care for all species care is a good read.

https://www.hermitcrabassociation.com/p ... .php?f=120

Commercial food warnings/ Safe food and water:

https://www.hermitcrabassociation.com/p ... 25&t=92555

https://www.hermitcrabassociation.com/p ... 25&t=92557

https://www.hermitcrabassociation.com/p ... 27&t=92553


Unsafe/unpopular food list:

https://www.hermitcrabassociation.com/p ... 25&t=92556

DIY and pictures:

https://www.hermitcrabassociation.com/p ... m.php?f=39


https://www.hermitcrabassociation.com/p ... um.php?f=8

Forumn use (I think): I use the board index a lot then pick from categories. The search feature is handy if you are having trouble finding what you need, you can always make a new post asking a question.

https://www.hermitcrabassociation.com/p ... um.php?f=6

PS: This group is FULL of overly verbose folks, you are in good company.
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curlysister
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Re: New Future Hermit Crab Keeper, Preparing for Crabs

Post by curlysister » Mon Nov 11, 2019 11:11 am

Welcome to crabbing! Moe has given you great advice. Three small crabs in a 10 gallon will only be okay for a while - as they grow, a ten gallon will be too small quickly. Maybe only start with two in a ten gallon. That way, you won't need to upgrade your tank for longer. You could also check places like Kijiji and other swap type pages for a used tank. I think I paid like eight dollars for my 20 gallon (I have since upgraded to a 50 gallon that I actually got for free!). I didn't have lids on my first two tanks, I just used Saran Wrap over the top. Here's the care sheet for how many crabs / what sizes/ in what size of tank:

http://www.hermitcrabassociation.com/ph ... 26&t=92541

Most of us mix some EE (Eco Earth) in with the play sand - 5 parts play sand to 1 part EE is a common mix. AussieJJ had a really good suggestion of mixing the EE with Dechlor water first (it comes in a dry pressed brick, so this way it gets nice and fluffy first), then mixing in the play sand. The moist sub should hold it's shape, and the EE helps with moisture and humidity in the tank.
As for a hide, I took a white square plastic container, and cut a 'door' in it, then put it upside down in my tank. I glued some sea shells to it with aquarium safe glue, and let it air outside for a few days before adding it to the tank, so they could climb onto the top. I glued a shower caddy to the top (I never could get it to stick to the tank with the suction cups so just removed them) so they had 'rails' on their look out deck. It look a bit pedestrian, but gets the job done, and they use it all the time!
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." -Will Rogers

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DinkDonk
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Re: New Future Hermit Crab Keeper, Preparing for Crabs

Post by DinkDonk » Mon Nov 11, 2019 5:41 pm

Thank you very much for the info Moe! You are correct, I've spent about 4 to 5 hours reading on hermit crabs care, but I will be sure to look out for these links! I will read them soon. Your explanation and your post was very informative, thank you very much! And, thank you Curly Sister for your help as well! Your tip on substrate mixture and the container for the hide sounds very nice, I'll try to base my hide off of it as well! I feel very welcomed to the community right now! :D

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scuttlecrusty22
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Re: New Future Hermit Crab Keeper, Preparing for Crabs

Post by scuttlecrusty22 » Mon Nov 11, 2019 10:39 pm

Sounds like you are doing a pretty good job so far preparing for your little fellas. :love:: Welcome to the HCA!!! :clap:
(Scuttle, Crusty) crabs, (Buster,Ruby) chihuahuas, (Bugs) goat, (Echo) betta fish (Skittles) parakeet

John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life"

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Re: New Future Hermit Crab Keeper, Preparing for Crabs

Post by aussieJJDude » Tue Nov 12, 2019 12:46 am

Welcome to the board. Crabs probably are one of the easiest college pets to keep as they require very little maintainence once set up correctly. You'll probably find them similar to fish in terms of care and interactive-ness....

Everyone above have some good links worth checking out! So highly reccomend having a good look at them. (Same with advice!)
For the rules, these following links may assist:
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=94269
http://hermitcrabassociation.com/pages/HCARules.htm
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=88713&p=814148

Terra cotta pots also make good hides, as do washed rocks stacked in a safe manner. Food bowls/mugs could also work, but dunno if its exactly college student friendly to use a fopd bowl for crabbos.
curlysister wrote: AussieJJ had a really good suggestion of mixing the EE with Dechlor water first (it comes in a dry pressed brick, so this way it gets nice and fluffy first), then mixing in the play sand.
Haha, sounds like Wod not me. But eh, I'll take the compliments any day. ^_^

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DinkDonk
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Re: New Future Hermit Crab Keeper, Preparing for Crabs

Post by DinkDonk » Tue Nov 12, 2019 1:54 pm

Thanks again for your help Aussie and Scuttle! It makes me happy that I'm welcomed here once again! I try my best to care for my little guys, even if they're not expensive. Like, I bought 3 feeder guppies since I wanted some fish to put in my tank, and they were only about $.30 for one. Nonetheless, when the mama guppy gave birth, I was determined to save the little guys since they are seen as food to their parents. I got a separate tank for them and I look after them as family now! Personally all lives are valuable to me, no matter the price.

I wish to do the same for my hermit crabs, who will make a warm welcome to my humble abode, and I want them to have the best possible lives I can! Other than living uncomfortable lives in the pet store, which I've seen. Now on my free time it's just mostly reading about hermit crabs and hermit crab care and fish too :P I'll try my best to learn about the forum and crab care and to be a good standing member of the community. I'm excited to bring crabbos into my family soon and have them live comfortable and healthy lives! :D

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