Acquired: Pet store
Sicklerville, New Jersey, United States
Posted Apr 26, 2017
I had hermit crabs as a kid, but they always died. A few years ago, after buying two at the beach and doing some research, I found out why. Those metal cages they sell with the crabs are actually poisonous! Yikes! Off to the pet shop I went. I needed a 10 gallon fish tank and lid for my habitat, and a heater to keep the temperature just right. They also need substrate to dig and hide in, which also keeps the humidity level like the Caribbean. Then, of course, food, bowls, extra shells to change in to, and several different natural-wood crawlers so I can change them every 2-3 days (for two reasons... one, it is wet in there all the time, and you don't want them to mold. Also, hermit crabs are nomadic. They do better when they feel like the move to a new home frequently.
The substrate needs to be at least 4-6 inches deep, and damp all the time. This is so they can bury themselves deep, shed their exoskeletons, and then wait there until their new shells are hard enough to start moving again. Your little guys could be underground for three weeks or more sometimes, and this is nothing to worry about.
I change the substrate twice a year. I am lucky though. For some reason (don't ask me why) my guys all poop in a single bowl. I leave it in there and dump it every day. If they pooped in their substrate, I'd have to change it more.
It takes some time to set up a proper home for them, but once it is done, you just need to even out their soil and feel them every day. Mine do not bite, they crawl on my hands, and will even take a treat right out of my fingers. They are awesome pets, and are sitting beside me now giving me cute little crabby smiles.
Oh! One last thought. Despite their names, these guys are very social. PLEASE do not buy just one. They need friends. Any it is really kinds cool listening to them "talk" to each other, which is a little chirping sound. (Which is usually a "leave me alone" or "Don't take my food", but it's still fun to listen to.)