Land Hermit Crabs – A Care Guide

Land hermit crabs need a wide variety of foods offered to them daily to ensure they are getting the correct nutrition.  
Here is a chart showing their basic nutritional needs. Sources of protein include dried insects, dried fish, dried meat and some veggies. Calcium sources can be from crushed oyster, egg shell and crab exoskeleton. Fruit and vegetables can be offered dry or fresh. The ‘other’ portion will be made up of nuts, seeds and other tasty treats your crab will enjoy! 

Your crabs will need both fresh and salt water pools. They need to be big enough for your largest crab to be fully submersed. These do not need to be aerated or filtered, but it is essential they are always fresh and clean. 

Substrate should be made up of a 5:1 mixture of play sand and coco fibre. We recommend it to be at least 6-8 inches deep. Crabs moult whilst dug down into the substrate and can stay down there for quite some time which is why the depth is important. The deeper the substrate, the less likely another crab is going to disturb the one moulting.  You should never dig up a crab – there are risks of injuring and even killing them if you do so. 

The ideal temperature for hermit crabs is between 25-26°c and the humidity between 78-80%.  In order to attain this, a well fitted but well-ventilated lid and a reptile heat mat will do. We always recommend you use a thermostat on heating equipment.  Place the heat mat on the back of the enclosure, at substrate height. The humidity should be stable, you should avoid misting as much as you can. Misting can bring on growth of bacteria, mould and cause flooding in tunnels and burrows under the substrate. 

A good light cycle is beneficial. I use an aquarium LED light and turn it on for 8-12 hours during the day then off at night.  

Crabs are good climbers! They will enjoy using multiple levels and vines to make their way across the enclosure, just make sure you are using wood that is safe and will not be prone to moulding. Reptile vines are very useful for this. 

Finally, I personally believe that land hermit crabs are a hands-off pet. The stress and damage from handling can cause to deaths in some cases. Crabs use the humidity in their enclosure to breathe through their gills, when taken away from that humidity they will eventually suffocate.  

Thank you for taking the time to read this guide.