If you want to join the ever growing population of “crabbers” and you really fancy the thought of owning a land based hermit crab as a pet, then you are going to need some hermit crabs information that you can use, in order to to keep them successfully in captivity.
So where do we start! Well in order to be able to care for your pets properly you really need to know a little bit about their background in order to get the best out of them whilst in captivity.
One of the first pieces of info on these little critters you will need to know is that their natural habitat is the tropics. So in order for them to survive they will need a warm and humid environment (somewhere around 72oF and 70% humidity is perfect). You can purchase small heaters from any decent pet store that will regulate the heat, and the humidity can be controlled by placing a wet natural sponge inside the tank.
In the wild they live in and around the shoreline, so life can be pretty tough for these land based crawly critters. Information on the types of food they eat has been monitored closely by scientists and zoologists alike. As they are natural foragers they discovered that the crabs had to develop a less than discerning palate due to the fact that in order to survive, and indeed thrive, they had to find food in and around the confines of their relatively small living area. So this could mean things like fruit such as pineapple, coconut, papaya and mango, marine shrimp, even carrion (dead meat or fish) might be on the menu. Given the fact that they are not fussy eaters, it means that you can feed them relatively inexpensively. So give them a variety of fruit (crab sized pieces of course!) along with fresh veggies. Carrots are a particular favourite as they just love to crunch when they munch. They even have a slightly sweet tooth, so your crabby companions will just love peanut butter and chocolate (although moderation is the key here!)
So let’s talk about shells! You most probably know that one of the most endearing things about a crabby companion is that unlike normal crabs, it is not born with a shell. So in order to protect itself, the little critter needs to find other discarded shells to make its home in. However recent info about these little crawlers has shown that it doesn’t just run and hide in the first shell it comes across. In fact, the crabby crawler is very picky about where it lives. Once a shell has been found, the crabby crawler will stick with that shell until such times as it either gets too big for it, or the shell becomes damaged. So how does this effect you? Well obviously in the wild the crabby critter seeks its own shells, but in captivity you will need to do this for your new friend. The best thing you can do is to make sure that it has a wide variety of shells with varying sizes. You will find that after a while it will probably favor one particular type of shell and you will get to know which type this is. However, until then, variety is the spice of life (well for the hermit crab anyway!)
Hopefully you now have enough info about your crabby companion at your fingertips so that you can look after your new found critter with confidence, knowing that it will live a happy and long life.