When caring for hermit crabs, it’s probably good to know that when it comes to pet care, it’s relatively inexpensive and doesn’t take too long. This must be good news! After all, what better way to own a pet than to have one that takes care of it practically! Well, just before diving headlong into the world of “crab”, here are some common mistakes you should avoid to allow your hermie companion to live a long and happy life.
Buy only one!
Okay, so first of all! You have chosen a pet hermie and locate that one in the pet store for you! You buy it and go out, happy to know that you are going to give your new pet the care and attention it deserves. Well guess what! You just made your first mistake! You see, when you want to keep your hermie happy and healthy, it is essential to try to recreate its behavior in nature. Hermies are actually very social creatures who live in small groups of colonies and are really not happy to be alone. So rule number one, go buy a friend from your friend!
Incorrect temperature and humidity
Hermies live in tropical areas and have adapted to high temperatures and high humidity levels. Therefore, you will have to recreate this in captivity. Try to regulate the temperature of the aquarium to around 70-72o F. and a humidity level of around 70%. Hermies is good enough to let you know there is a problem. If they are too hot, they will give off a musty smell and excrete a dark brown liquid. If they are too cold, they will become very docile and eventually die.
Incorrect food requirements
A pet hermit is certainly not a picky eater and eats just about anything you put in front of it. However, don’t make the mistake of feeding him junk food or high-sugar foods because they need a certain amount of nutrients in their diet, namely calcium, carotene and antioxidants. In this case, when taking care of your hermies as pets, it is always best to observe them closely. If they need calcium, their shells start to turn white. If they lack carotene, the crab will start to take on a slightly gray color.
To think that the crab is dead or sick
It is a very common mistake to make when you own a hermie. You see, hermies must moult up to six times a year (depending on size and age)! When they prepare for moult, they become lethargic and even lifeless for long periods. They will also dig into the substrate. At this point, it is easy to think that the crab is dead or seriously ill. If you move it when it moults, you could damage the new, very soft exoskeleton, and you could kill the crab. So just observe and leave it alone for a few days.
If you can avoid these pitfalls, caring for hermit crabs should be a hassle-free and fun experience for you and these adorable critters.