Looking After Hermit Crabs

Hermit crabs are considered as good “First Pets” by many people and can be look after without too much fuss. They are interesting little creatures that are a little more unique than some other pets. Looking after your crustacean friend is not always intuitive and sometimes requires a little bit of thought – though it’s easy once you know what you’re doing!! They will also last up to 15 years if cared for properly!

And also note, they are land crabs, so don’t keep them in water!


Glass tank

  • Use an aquarium or terrarium with a lid or some way of being sealed. Hermit crabs are great at escaping!
  • Small Starter Kits can be a great size

Floor covering

  • Coral sand, shell grit, aquarium sand, coarse winter sawdust, are all option for covering the base of your tank
  • Use enough to be at least 5cm deep – they will burrow into it!


  • Add some items of interest to your tank for crabs to clamber over
  • Rocks or driftwood can be good choices, or even some reptile ornaments can work well

Spare Shells

  • Hermit crabs need new shells for when they grow
  • After moulting, they will search for a new shell
  • Tip: leave the old exoskeleton in the tank, as they will eat it – and it’s nutritious!


  • Try to keep between 50-75% humidity
  • Keeping it at an appropriate


  • Heat rocks or heat mats under the tank can be best
  • Low wattage heat bulbs can also be used, though make sure they do not dry the tank out
  • Ideal range is 24-30°C– try not to let it drop below 20°.

Food and Water

When feeding, use only small amounts of food to make sure it stays fresh for longer. Remove any leftover food the next day to prevent it going mouldy in the humidity.

Pre-packed Feeding

  • Pre-made complete diet pellets
  • Fruit mixes are also available

Other food options

  • fresh fruits and vegetable (blueberries, mango, banana, pineapple, grapes, sweet potatoes, carrots, corn, spinach, apple and broccoli heads)
  • nuts (walnuts, peanut butter)
  • Or for variety: honey, oatmeal and wheat germ
  • Meats: unseasoned raw beef, bloodworms and mealworms

Water sources

  • Two bowls, changed frequently
  • One fresh water for drinking – Hermit crab water conditioner can help neutralise the chlorines in our water
  • One salt water for bathing – Hermit crab salt can be added to normal water
  • Dampened sponges can be a source of drinking water and can help with the humidity in your tank
  • Tip: keep the bowls steady to ensure that they are not tipped over so the tank does not get too wet

Calcium Carbonate

  • Seashells or cuttlefish can be great for them to gnaw on to help toughen their exoskeleton

Foods to avoid would include highly citrus or acidic foods, sweet, salty or fatty foods (even though they may love them), and avoid dairy products.


This is a normal process for Hermit crabs, normally around twice a year. It can range from 2 to 18 months.

At this time, the crabs may burrow and stop eating.

After moulting, leave them alone for a few weeks until the new shell hardens.


We can get Hermit Crabs in, in a variety of sizes. We often stock the Medium size but can get smaller and larger ones.


And if you want to make keeping Hermit Crabs even more fun, visit https://www.krabooz.com/. They have an app with information about how to care for your crab, a leaderboard to compare how you are doing with others, and helpful reminders!

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