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Pet Store Care Guide
Posted: Mon Aug 26, 2019 8:18 pm
Hey all! I recently got a new pet store job (one that's much better than my old Petsmart gig *barf*) and will be taking over the hermit crab tank! My managers are really supportive of my campaign to change how we care for the crabs in-house and how we educate our customers on crabbing.
My first big solo task is revising/rewriting our hermit crab care guide. This community was super helpful to me during my research phase of crab ownership and I wanted to open the floor to all the experienced crabbers here:
If you had to write a care guide for a pet store, what all would you include? What do you feel are the most important items people who are considering building their own crabitat should know? This care guide could potentially go out to all 3 Wisconsin locations, so I want it to be as accurate and useful as possible!
(I've already listed this site as a resource on the first draft, but need some help condensing everything down)
It also seems like I may be able to recommend/revamp what we stock for hermies, so please include some of your favorite commercial items that a pet store should stock!
Thanks in advance!
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Re: Pet Store Care Guide
Posted: Mon Aug 26, 2019 10:41 pm
The 'Basic Care Sheet' for all types of crabs has pretty much all the info to start. Of course I am sure that you would need to reference the HCA if you used it - and likely ask the admins for permission.
I wish the pet stores in my closest city carried shells, or I should say proper shells not just painted ones.
I also think that things like cuttlebone and Instant Ocean should be in the hermit crab area, as well as in the bird and fish areas (same product in two locations in the store, not sure if that is allowed or not).
If I think of more things, I will add them!
Re: Pet Store Care Guide
Posted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 1:36 am
I'm more new here, but been through the boardwalk advice, to a 1/4 knowledgeable PetSmart employee so here would be what I'd include.
Minimum 6" substrate; Eco Earth should be available for sale mixed with playsand. NOT the calcium sand sold at pet stores that hardens like cement and can kill a hermit crab especially during a molt (not sure how this would go over at a pet store selling this expensive junk though).
Two water sources for hermit crabs to submerge, but easy to climb out (should get a few sales here). Freshwater and saltwater; both with a conditioner for sale in your store that removes chlorine, chloramines, heavy metals, ammonia. Then a marine saltwater such as "Instant Ocean" for second water source. Please get rid of hermit crab salt (not sure how do-able this is, but most hermit crab salt is similar to API salt for freshwater fish stress). They need the saltwater and would likely die during a molt without any availability to help shed their exoskeleton and also to maintain the salinity within their shells.
Speaking of molting... Basic education on hermit crabs burying to molt and to not disturb unless an emergency (infestation, flooding, death smell). Hermit crabs will sometimes smell during a molt, but talking more about a dead fish rank from what I have read.
Food... I actually was lucky that PetSmart was out of hermit crab food because the ingredients there are suspect and I was advised to buy dried fruits and vegetables which kinda worked out. I also bought dried shrimp, but calcium could be more easily available (as mentioned, cuttlebone) or just education on feeding. I was using boiled eggs with shell and all for calcium for a bit.
Shells. No painted shells. Most will be Purple Pinchers (guessing here) which would require round openings and natural shells available for them to change into. At least 3-5 from the same size to slightly larger for each hermit crab sold would be ideal. All crabs are different and may have a different preference especially if a different species.
Heat. Why did PetSmart sell me an under tank heater only to find out here that it is deadly placed under the tank? Education that an UTH is needed along with a digital temp/hygrometer. The UTH above the substrate to the side of the tank (easy to sell). Humidity would go here as well along with sandcastle consistency substrate and a few sprays a day and/or seran wrap a mesh lid to keep temp and humidity around 80/80 (again, sell the temp/hygrometer gauges). Reminder that hermit crabs breathe through modified gills which requires high humidity.
Hiding places and climbing material along with appropriate sized tank (more to sell). Let's not sell multiple crabs in a small plastic container if can be avoided. Also, hermit crabs are social and should be sold at least in pairs if possible.
That's most of the bad advice that cost me more money to fix rather than setup correctly to begin with. This is all just off of the top of my head right now so not in depth or covering everything, but figured if you can make a difference I would try to contribute here. Others can make corrections if need be, but tried to just cover the basics. Good luck!