When it comes to shells, the more you can offer your crabs the better! I honestly believe in following the rule of keeping at least 2-3 of she same shell size your crab is currently in alongside a 2-3 larger and 1 smaller. Remember to offer shells with different shaped openings. One crab may prefer a round opening, but another will opt for the ‘D’ shaped opening.
If you do not have enough suitable shells you are at risk of having a ‘naked’ crab. This is when a crab leaves it’s shell but does not take another in it’s place. This can also cause fights over shells – leaving some crabs being pulled out by another. However funny naked crabs may sound – it is actually very dangerous and stressful for a crab to be so exposed. If you find a crab in your enclosure with no shell we advise that you use the cup method to encourage it back into a suitable home! *Please note – if your crab appears to be moulting we recommend that you do not lift or disturb it, but simply place something over the crab to protect it from any others in the set up*
The cup method:
Place your naked crab in a cup or very small container with a tablespoon of de-chlorinated tap water plus 2-3 perfect sized shells. Always try and offer the crab the last shell it wore as well as a few others. Once your crab has been very gently scooped into the cup (without touching the abdomen) you can cover the cup with a breathable cloth material and leave it in peace for a while. This usually ends up working very well and your crab will take a shell and you will be able to release it back into the enclosure and on his/her merry way!
*please note the cup should stay INSIDE the enclosure to keep optimum humidity and heat levels during this process*