The Basics of Owning a Pet Hermit Crab Hermit crabs can be great pets for just about anyone, whether they are a first pet or the pet of an enthusiast. However, hermit crabs do require a considerable amount of care. This article will discuss the proper environment, food/water, handling. Environment: A hermit crabs environment is essential to having a happy healthy pet. This is sometimes considered a crabitat. The first thing that is important isthe bedding. Proper Bedding: - sand - natural bedding, such as coconut fiber - this can be found in condensed blocks that you put in water - the bedding should reatin moisture in order to keep the humidity up in the tank Do Not Use: - gravel - wood chips - potting soil * these substrates can be harmful to your crab's health. Temperature and Humidity: - The temperature of the tank should stay between 70 - 85 degrees. If there is a large difference in temp. for a short time it will cause stress to your crab but he will be okay. If this temeperature variation goes on for a long time it could cause death to the crab. - The humidity level in the tank should remain constant at about 75%. However, a slight variation in this number is not harmful. The humidity is important because hermit crabs have gills. If these gills become dry, it causes breathing difficulties for the crabs. Accessories: The tank should include: (at least) - 1 water dish (the water should not be too high in the dish, but enough for the crabs to bathe) - make sure each crab is able to climb out of the dish - a sponge can also be place in the dish to drink out of and use for climbing - 1 food dish - shells !! (is is important to have a large variety, and quantity, of shells available for the crabs) - a place for crabs to live and hide (such as hut) - somewhere for the crab to climb and play - anything else you want to add Size: A 10 gallon tank is recommended for anywhere from 1-5 crabs. If there are any more crabs than that, a bigger tank should be used. In the wild hermit crabs can live in groups of up to 100. This means you should purchase at least two crabs. They will be more active and happy when they are together. Food/Water: Food can be purchased at any local pet store. Most of this is food is fine quality to feed your pet from day to day. However, it is valuable to mix up their diet with treats. They can be fed various fruits and vegetables. They like tropical fruits such as mango and coconut. They also appreciate spinach, romaine lettuce, and other vegetables. It is not recommended to feed citrus fruits. When giving the crabs water it is important that all chlorine has been removed. Water conditioner can be purchased at your local pet store to make the water safe for the hermit crabs. Handling: Each crab is different and each will have their own distinct personality. The more a crab is handled, the more comfortable they will become with it. They may pinch if they are scared. Don;t less this discourage you. It is important to have patience with your new pet. Like many new pets, they are not used to being handled. Facts: 1.Crabs enjoy exercise and play. They love to be let out so they can run around and it is recommended thet you give them exercise. 2. Crabs will molt. When this happens, they should be placed in a separate tank and separated from the other crabs. 3. Crabs can lose their legs if they get stressed. If this occurs, it is important to find the problem and fix it immediately. If not, the problem can lead to death. 4. Hermit Crabs are nocturnal so they will be more active at night.