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Hello all. I'm sure title of my post may sound familiar to some of you. Sorry for the long post, but wanted to share my experience and how it has led to my addiction to these little critters . Last summer we took our 11 year old grand daughter to the beach in Delaware and she wanted a couple of hermit crabs. I said no but MDW said yes so of course we ended up with 2 in that plastic box they give you with the blue sand and some food. She kept them alive in that box all summer and when she flew back home I found out a couple of days later she left the crabs for me to take care of. I didn't know anything about crabs and was getting ready to move to Florida so was busy. I managed to keep those 2 little guys alive somehow in that plastic box and they traveled in the car to Florida. Fast forward 6 weeks after Florida arrival. I finally had some time to research hermit crabs and was aghast what I read about the care. How I kept them going is beyond me. I immediately went out and bought a 10 gallon aquarium and some sand and EE and some better food and a coconut hide. One water dish and only about 3-4 inches of substrate. I knew just enough to get going but didn't research completely. They lived!Fast forward to November. We decided to move back to MO so loaded up the aquarium and put it in the car and brought them North. Took them in hotel at night so they wouldn't freeze. They survived the trip! I started a new job in January and am able to work from home. Those 2 crabs were still alive even though they were in shallow substrate, no salt water, and only crab food and a few vegys when I had time to put in. No heater either or temp or hygrometer. A couple of weeks ago I noticed I couldn't find one of the crabs and had been MIA for over a month. I started digging around and finally found it, dead under the sand. I felt really bad. However, the other one was still going strong.I made a decision that something had to change. I have always felt any living creature that is confined to being taken care of by humans not by their choice should be taken care of to the best of that person's ability. I found several sites and your forum and did more research and was horrified that I knew so little still and more surprised I kept the one crab alive for 9 months. He or she refused to give up thankfully.I broke down and purchased an Exo Terra 24x18x18 terrarium, a UTH, a couple of bags of play sand, more EE and things to made 3 levels, plants, , a bunch of shells, 2 more dishes, temp/hygromeer, Instant Ocean, and some good food and veggies. I built a new home and placed the one lonely guy in it. I then went and picked up 3 more and put them in with him ( I know, I should have done the Iso tank). A week later and I have 4 happy crabs from what I can tell. Mr or Mrs original crab has been running all over the place and tearing up the new food and the water bowls. The other 3, all PP are adjusting well. None have disappeared for more than a couple of days and are making a mess during the night. I'll keep reading up and doing my best to keep them alive. I'm hooked. I know I need to do more but I feel like I'm at least giving them a chance at a longer and better life now.Any advice you would like to share, please do. The only thing I'm trying to get down now is the temp. Humidity is about 85% and fairly steady. Temp holds pretty well about 74-75 with a dip at night sometimes to about 72. I don't have the UTH wrapped and am not planning on doing that unless it is required. Also, thinking about picking up 4 more crabs and doing the Iso thing in the 10 ga. Will I have enough space? All are small right now according to size gauge I read.Thanks for reading .
@Elvis, let me be the first to welcome you to our forums and family here at LHC.com and to apologize for the lateness of this response, have had a lot of things going on in my personal life and haven't been able to get on as regularly as I need to but anyway welcome and if you have any questions please feel free to ask as that is what we are here for. Don't feel bad over having started off on a rough patch as we all have our own horror stories from when we first got into the crabbing world, we all have to start somewhere and some of us got better starts than others but the main goal is not to compare our level of care or knowledge with others but to continue learning and bettering ourselves and consequently our hermitcrab care.We like to say that no two hermitcrab owners will have similar tank conditions because we all have varying restrictions on what we can and can not do so we have to tailor the basic hermitcrab care guidelines to our specific situations to best fit our needs so if your unable to do certain things beyond the bare basic minimum care that is okay you just do what you can the best you can.I've been crabbing since 1992 of course that means that I have been through multiple groups of hermitcrabs and multiple variations of enclosures based on where I was living at the time and what my space constraints were and basically I got from where I started to where I am now through a series of progressive steps learning new things the entire time and I still find myself learning new things, if there is one thing I know is that the more the world of academic science takes an interest in hermitcrabs the more information will be forthcoming so there will always be something new to learn.We have gathered together as a community to exchange tips, tricks and anecdotal information and in this way we have expanded our collective knowledge of hermitcrabs and their care exponentially so please help us continue this always evolving process. As for you question on how many hermitcrab you can safely have for a ten gallon you can do five small quarter sized hermitcrabs, for a twenty gallon you can do ten quarter sized hermitcrabs, the thing you have to keep in mind is the smaller the hermitcrab the more often its going to be molting.At quarter size they molt once every three to four weeks and effectively double in size inside a year closer to six months if your offering a good nutritional diet.What we like to suggest is that new hermitcrab owners get the largest size enclosure they can afford as this will cut down on how many times you have to size up, I started with a ten gallon then sized up to a thirty gallon long after two years, then after a year I had to go up a size yet again to a forty gallon breeder and then two years later I sized up again to a 121 gallon because my hermitcrabs quadrupled in size in four years going from quarter and dime size to golf ball and base ball size.When purchasing a hermitcrab enclosure you really want to consider how large the crabs will be when full grown and then buy an enclosure that would allow for enough space when they are full grown but still allow for adequate walking room and lots of climbing decor.
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.
Welcome. Sounds like your on the right track now. A few tweaks here and there and you'll have a setup that you and your crabby babies can live with. Not very many of us have time to get on every day but we try so make sure and ask any questions you have and one of us should be able to get to it, but check back the next few days cuz sometimes you get more than one answer on different days.
I got mine from my son when he left to go to college. I was like you but we had 2 in 5 gal tank no lid just a towel, a scant of e.e. No salt water, fish food, sponges, the water he drank was bottled. After he left I started researching and like you I found out I made a lot of mistakes! I found 29 or 30 gal tank at yard sale for 8$ with lid and light. I used it for years. Then I found a 55 for 75$ it needed a lot of work and replacing of lids and new stand set me back a few 100$ but now I only have 3 in there. 2 are down one is in a iso tank , she wants to dig them up. My motto is what one thing for another may not work for someone else. You make things work for you and if you can't then you try something else. If that works do share! It Might be something we haven't tried the best thing you can do is read the high lighted black in the forums. Good luck crabbing