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Hi! I'm Red. I was just thinking about buying a hermit crab buddy. I recently got my first job and instead of buying an xbox or something with my first check, I was googling "cheap pets" and the hermit crab came up. After a night of researching the ACTUAL cost (since most websites advertising "cheap and easy pets" haven't looked into it) I've realized that this may really be for me!I realize that no pet is ever truly "cheap & easy"; they're living creatures and deserve no less than the best of what they need.To start off, I am entemophobic. I am terrified of insects. The bellies of hermit crabs remind me of insects, and that makes me adverse to getting one; but I'm assuming you don't see their bellies a lot so I should be okay right?My main concern is space consumption. I was thinking a 5g (US) tank would be acceptable for one hermit crab (roughly 10"x10")? My list of things I aim to purchase is thus, in order;TankAppropriate gauges (temperature & humidity) (which is better for these, analog or digital?)Dishes (1 fresh water dish, 1 salt water dish, 1 food dish)Sea sponge (I understand this is for the water but which dish, salt or fresh?)Hide (is there anything I should avoid, like aquarium sealed hides or?)Decor/Climbing stuff (plants & netting for the walls etc.)Insta-Ocean (or bottled saltwater? I realize table salt is a silly idea but I'm stuck on what would be the better way to make an appropriate saltwater bowl for it)Substrate (Gravel? Those coconut fiber bricks? Calcium sand? What's best?)Food (I am lost as to what's best for them. On many different sites I've been told pellets are best, or powder, or these expensive bag mixes of ground flowers & fruit, or exclusively fresh vegetables such as avocado, lettuce, spinach, cucumbers etc.)Crab! (Realistically, where would be a good place to purchase a live hermit crab? I realize Petsmart may not be a good choice but going to a reptile convention in LA isn't exactly a viable option for me.)
ok ill start off by saying thank you for doing your homework befor you buy a hermit crab!!!no as far as the tank goes you will want to start off with a 10g as the smallest, as hermit crabs are best when bought in pairs to start they live in large groups in the wild, and haveing just one crab can shorten there life.a 10g tank is grate for 3 samll or 2 med crabs for the gauges i like the digital ones as you can read them ez and the analog humidity gage dont last as long.your good on the dishs DO NOT PUT A SPONGE in the water as this is just a breeding ground for bad bacteria (sorry not a good speller)a coco hut is good for a hidy spot or any of the lil hut in the reptile section of any pet storewhen i comes to salt water i buy the bottles or a big jug of it so i dont have to worry anout mixing (do not ues table salt use insta ocean or other salt mix made for fish)substrate- ues eoc earth or if your low on funds get play sand from homedepot or lowes and make sure it dont have a funny smell (you want about 6in deep) when i come to food there is a whole list of safe foods most stor bought foods are not good for them and im sure crabbers will tell you more about that but here is the food link http://landhermitcrabs.com/eve...5101988/m/6394049897i have got a few crabs from petsmart that fine.so the only other thing i would say to get is a lid for the tank as the can climb the corners to get out.. i has a mesh lid that i put plactic wrap over 90% of it to keep it humid and you will also want to get a UTH heater (rated for a 30 gallon tank) and mount it on the back of the tank if i missed anything other will let you know good luck!!!
5PP's and 1E, 67g Tank. 1Dog and a kid!!
First let me say welcome to the fourms and the family here at LHC.com on behalf of the staff.Second ten gallons is the smallest recommended size for hermitcrab enclousres as the size of the dishes, hides and extra shells is going to eat up nearly if not all of the space available in anything smaller so five gallons is not enough unfortunately.There are a few marine aquarium salt brands which include all the trace elements and minerals needed by our hermitcrabs but I prefer either Instant Ocean or Oceanic, I've used both and I favor Instant Ocean because its cheaper for me and seems to last much much longer.In any event you'll need to mix the salt into dechlorinated fresh water to certain ratios to get full strength sea water so for instance you'd need 8tblspns to 1 gallon of water which will last you two to four weeks depending on the size of the water dishes your using.For commecrial hermitcrab foods your going to need to check the ingredients list for things like ethoxyquin, copper sulfate, iron sulfate, ferrous sulfate, bha and bht which are all extremely toxic preservatives used to extend the shelf life of the foods and are really harmful to hermitcrabs as the majority of them are used in or as industrial strength pesticides and as such can not discriminate between the insects they are meant to kill and the hermitcrabs they are being fed to.Going organic on as much of their food as possible is the recommended method so for produce like apples(these are among the highest pesticide offenders)its a critical must to only by the organic version.I second the use of the linked foods posts in Miko's repsonse as the two lists we have available are the best bet to ensuring your crabs get a varied and nutrient filled diet.Hermitcrabs are biologically programmed to avoid foods that they have smelled or tasted for at least twenty four to forty eight hours afterwards so feeding something like a commercial diet for two or three days in a row is actually a waste as the hermitcrabs wont touch it again until it has been out of the enclousre and replaced with at least two other kinds of foods.For this reason it is recommended to rotate out foods on a daily basis when possible so as to ensure that the crabs are continually eating and getting a broad coverage of the nutrient base that they require.You'll need to cover protiens, cellulose(fancy word for fiber), nitrogen(critical element to molt success),calcium, chitin(hardening agent), healthy fats(oils like coconut, fish or krill)and a source of the color boosting pigment beta caroetien(sp?).Its preferential to cover all of the basis listed above daily but since that is in most cases not feasible we then just try to cover them in three days instead.For protiens you can offer things like raw fish, shrimp with the shell still on(this also doubles as a source of chitin and calcium,krill and other types of crab including lobster, boiled unseasoned chicken and the ocassional peice of boiled plain beef.For cellulose you can use crushed dried maple leaves sprinkled on the other foods(leaves must be from an untreated tree on untreated land) and natural sea sponges which can be left laying dry on the substrate the crabs will nibble on the sponge at their leisure.As stated by Miko sponges are not to be placed in the water dishes as they are like petri dishes quickly and easily cultivating/growing a really harmful strain of bacteria in as little as twenty four hours after being wet.For nitrogen the leaves mentioned above and rolled oats will provide this.For calcium your going to want to have a seperate dish filled with white or plain calci sand and a cuttle bone found in the bird section of most pet stores available at all times to the crabs.For healthy fats you can use oils like coconut, fish and krill just drizzle the oil on the food and your good to go.Most fish and krill oil is only available in pill form so you can just buy a bottle of it at the pharmacy make sure the ingredients listed only say the oil and gelatine capsule is made of this, take a clean needle and pierce the capusle and squeeze the oil out onto the food do this once a week minimum and your crabs will thank you for it.For the color boosting pigment you can use Spirulnia powder found in capsule form at most health food stores and pharmacies just open the capusle and sprinkle the poweder on any food, bell peppers like yellow, red and green are also a good source of this pigment as are carrots, yams, pumpkin and squash.I'll let you digest this bit and then either I or someone else will get back to you.Again welcome to the forum.
Hi I have autism so I tend to answer questions very directly and with little emotion so please don't think I'm being rude.
Usually and I repeat "usually" you only see their bellies if they are changing shell in front of you or you are handleling them and they are stretching out trying to hold on or move. In both occasions you can avoid seeing them by looking away or at the back instead of the belly when handling. When changing shells they come completely out and if you don't like the way they look don't watch. It is very cool to see but disturbing at the same time because the back half of them is such a different color and shape kinda resembles a big fat squishy grub. You can use clam shells for food bowls they don't eat a lot at a time so a tiny pinch of a couple different foods is all they will eat in a day or two.
I got squeamish when I saw a crab change shells. If your crab comes in a mag pie shell and you offer a new shell they will change. If you buy a 10 gal tank kit it will come with the lid and light hood. If you watch or put the word out hi can get a 29 real cheap! Don't be fooled, crabbing is not cheap to get started. You start adding it all up you will be amazed at what you plunked down. I just spent 15$ worth of food from crabsite.once a year you need to get rid of your sand or eco earth and wash it all.