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· RAT ADDICT
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am considering hermit crabs,but wanna research first. I am coming to you first,cause I know you had/have them.

Now to be honest I was never much into hermies because I thought they died really,really easy. My "cousin" used to have them,but they never lived long...but then again,she didn't take care of things properly anyways. But today I was into PetSmart and they had hermit crabs and they were out and eating and super cute. I was talking to the worker there who was telling me she had hermit crabs at home and that they didn't die as easy as I assumed. And that once you had everything you needed and knew how to care for them right,they were easy to look after.

I would like a new pet....something that is generally easy to take care of and doesn't demand my attention "24/7" like the rats...hahaha. I am getting newts again next week,but I still will have a 29 gallon tank free.

So now a few questions...

+ do they need friends?
+ best substrate?
+ best food/diet?
+ how many shells do I have to get? How many times do they change shells? Just till they reach full size or...?
+ do they need heat/lights and any other special thing like that?

Anything else you would like to tell me/share...I am all ears! :yes: :D

Also can you recommend any good reputable websites or hermit crab forums? Thanks muchly!



 

· is a little "special"
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Awesome! Hermies are great little guys! They live long if you take good care of them. My oldest one was about 4.5 years old. I have 6 of them right now, and 5 of them I adopted from the humane society a little over a year ago, and one I have had for 2+ years. Since I adopted the ones from the humane society I decided I would stop replacing them, and I've only had 2 of my older ones die in the last year.


~Friends: Yup, the more the merrier! When I had them in my 40 gallon, I had 14 of them LOL. They love company, so you should always have 2 or more.
~Substrate: Either sand or Echo Earth... It's just you personal preferance. I like sand the best, because it doesn't get all dusty and gross if it dries out, and it doesn't soak up all the water like Echo Earth does if it is kicked into their dishes. I did a 1/2 & 1/2 tank once too, and that was neat.
Just make sure it is aquarium grade sand, if you use that. I have CaribSea brand reef sand, and I love it.
~Food: I use HBH brand "Variety Bites". Make sure what ever you buy has NO ethoxyquin in the ingrediants. It's a preservative, and it killed a number of mine a while back. :(
~Shells: At least onje new one for each hermie. They change shells really randomly LOL. They especially love getting tons of new shells: and change into them just to try them out, even if they are too massive or tiny LOL.
~They need a UTH. They like their cage around 75-80*F, and humidity should be 70%+. Get a digital thermometer and hydrometer... They dial ones are crappy and innacurate. You can look in the indoor/outdoor thermometer section and just about any store to get a cheap one. I got one at Walmart for $12 that has the humidity and temps on it!


Websites:
This one has everything you need to know about them! I don't know of a better one. http://www.crabstreetjournal.com/xoops/


Let me know if you have any more questions! I'm tired and I can't type anymore now LOL.
 

· is a little "special"
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Yeah, they're weird like that. :rolleyes: If they get new shells, they'll change into one, walk around in it for 5 minutes or so, and decide they liked their old one better!
Or if you have a lot of them and one changes shells, it sets off a chain reaction.
 

· Resident Aquarium Nerd
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We had one who insisted on wearing shells that were way too big. She could barely walk sometimes :lol:. And there were a ton of shells to choose from!

Hermit crabs are neat little critters. We found that if they survived the first few months (they tend to be in poor shape and are all wild-caught) they were usually long-lived. We had a few for 2 or 3 years, sometimes a bit longer. Our original ones were from pet stores but after that we just adopted (we mostly just didn't want the rescue ones killed by people...most people have no idea how to care for them).
 

· RAT ADDICT
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks Jess and Sasami.

So what is their lifespan? And they are all wild caught? They can't be bred in captivity?

That sounds really cute,them changing shells because they can. Just to try a new one on...haha. That sounds adorable.

So do they all have different personalities?

I have used "Eco Earth" for my scorpion and my millipede. But every time I see hermit crabs they have a sand substrate...so I will probably go with that if I get them.

I have a 29 gallon tank,that would be enough for 2 at least? They are not climbers,are they? They don't strike me as climbers.

Thanks for all your help. I will check out the site.
:)
 

· is a little "special"
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Most of them seem to live 2-5 years, but I've heard much longer. It all depends on how well you take care of them, and the luck of the draw a little too.
They need to breed in the ocean, so hermies are all wild caught.
And they all have their own personalities. I don't really handle mine anymore, but some of them are really outgoing and energetic while others are really shy. And one of them is always the first in the food dish LOL.


The floor space of a 29 gallon is 36" x 12", right? You can keep around 10 in there comfortably.
 

· Resident Aquarium Nerd
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To answer your other question, they actually are climbers! They love climbing and we gave ours driftwood and had a coconut fiber tank background that they could climb on (straight up, too!).

One of ours escaped one when my sister forgot to close the top all the way. The crab apparently walked all night and made it to the other side of the house. She was sitting by the back door, haha.
 

· Resident Aquarium Nerd
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Couldn't someone breed them in a oceanic environment?? Does catching them from the wild harm wild numbers?
It's much more complicated than that. They have a planktonic larvae stage that literally floats around the ocean eating microscopic food. They could certainly be bred in captivity, we'd just have no way to raise the babies.

As for your second question, not really. They're pretty common.
 

· is a little "special"
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Yeah, I know of some people that have tried to raise their eggs, but the babies never survive. :(
 

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When I had hermit crabs, I used HBH brand of food and salt. One issue with hermit crabs is that they will fight with one another. When one of them is molting, you need to separate it from the others so that it won't get killed or hurt. After it has molted it will be white with a little bit of color. I did a lot of what Jessica did with her hermit crabs. The only exception to that is that I tried a powdered food called T-Rex Crab Island Fruit and Flower crab food.
 

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When I had hermit crabs, I used HBH brand of food and salt. One issue with hermit crabs is that they will fight with one another. When one of them is molting, you need to separate it from the others so that it won't get killed or hurt. After it has molted it will be white with a little bit of color. I did a lot of what Jessica did with her hermit crabs. The only exception to that is that I tried a powdered food called T-Rex Crab Island Fruit and Flower crab food.


You should use Marine salt, not hermit crab salt.

You don't need to separate them if A. you feed them enough protein and calcium and B. your tank is big enough.
 

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The Purple Pincher kind of hermit crabs only need freshwater, it's the Ecuador and Strawberries that need salt water too. I have fresh & salt water for mine though even though they are all PPs, since I still have a ton of salt left over from when I had Ecuadors and Strawberries.


I don't seperate mine unless I notice that one of them is being attacked, or crawled out of its shell due to stress or something. They are pretty good at keeping themselves hidden, so moulting usually isn't a problem.
 

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PP's need less salt, but they'll still benefit from it.

I'm so jealous of people in America, you all get a lovely variety of crabs! here in a Australia, I can only get Aussies and Strawberries and Strawberries cost up to 40 dollars more then Aussies!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks everyone for all your lovely help.

I was looking at hermit crab supplies a couple of weeks ago. I do want them,but I am going to wait,because we may be moving. So I am not getting any new pets till I know for sure if we are moving or not.

So marine salt is better then the salt they label as hermit crab salt? I saw that stuff,but someone said the marine stuff is better?

And also how do you know what species they are? All the stores I saw just labelled them as hermit crabs and since I am still a novice,they all look the same to me...:(
 

· is a little "special"
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Yeah, get the marine stuff. "Special" hermit crab salt is the same thing, but they sell it in smaller quantities and mark up the price.


This is what Purple Pincher hermies look like. They only need freshwater since they don't live near salt water in the wild.



These are Equador and Strawberry hermies. They are the ones that need salt water, but they aren't as common as the PPs are.




Hope that helped. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks Jess! I appreciate it.

They are all so cute. The strawberry ones are neat. But I like them all.
 
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