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Caring for Hermit Crabs

Last summer we got a couple of hermit crabs. They didn't live long. This summer, Ainsley wanted to get some more of them. We got two in Atlantic City last weekend, and I'm determined to take better care of them.

Here's an article about caring for hermit crabs I found and I figured I'd pass it on to you.

Hermit Crab Care -- 8 Tips on Keeping Healthy and Happy Hermit Crabs
By Jennifer Manning

Are you thinking of buying one or a few hermit crabs? Hermit crab care seems so simple. Just put them in a little plastic critter carrier with a cap of food and a sponge of water and they'll be fine and dandy.

Unfortunately, it's not as simple as that. This setup is far from the ideal conditions required by the land hermit crabs available in the majority of pet shops. Here are some essential tips on how to keep your hermit crabs happy and healthy.

  1. Provide a glass aquarium for your hermit crabs -- at least a 5 gallon for one crab and 10 gallons or more for multiple crabs. Get a lid for the top and try to keep a minimum humidity of 70% and a minimum temperature of 72 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Apply an under tank heater to your hermit crab's aquarium and invest in a thermometer and humidity gauge to monitor the environment and make changes as needed.
  3. Place 1 to 2 inches of calci--sand or play sand in your hermit crab's home (Crabitat). Keep the sand slightly moistened at all times.
  4. Providing a fresh bowl of non--chlorinated water daily is vital in proper hermit crab care. You can purchase dechlorination drops at your local pet store.
  5. You should buy a wide variety of shapes and sizes of shells for your crab to change into as desired. Hermit crabs molt and grow on a regular basis and need larger shells to accommodate them.
  6. It's not a good idea to keep only one hermit crab -- get a few. Hermit crabs are social creatures and live in colonies of hundreds in the wild and do much better when they have the companionship of others.
  7. In addition to a good staple hermit crab food (available in most pet stores), provide them with a variety of other foods. They also enjoy fresh apples, bananas, peanut butter and a variety of other foods. Variety is very important in hermit crab care. I also like to add a little aquarium sea salt to their food dish too. I usually put the fresh food in a separate dish and remove it the next day.
  8. Hermit crabs love to climb and play, so provide a variety of toys such as driftwood, flower pots, shells and fish nets. Be creative and experiment. You never know what your hermit crabs will enjoy playing with. Thoroughly clean anything before adding it your Crabitat.

Get more important tips about Hermit Crab Care at http://www.petcarejournal.com - a website designed to provide you with pet care articles and resources to help you get the most out of your pet keeping experience, no matter what type of pet you own.

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