How to Care for Hermit Crabs

Now that you've committed to caring for a crustacean, follow these tips to provide the best possible care.

You will need

  • Housing
  • Heater
  • Substrate
  • Filtered water
  • Food
  • Kitchen strainer
  • Seashells (optional)

Step 1 Prepare the housing Prepare the crab’s housing. Using a glass or plastic aquarium with a lid, recreate the crab’s native tropical climate. Use a heater to keep the temperature between 70 and 80 degrees and the environment very moist — no less than a 50 percent relative humidity.

Step 2 Choose a substrate Choose a substrate for your crab’s home. There are many to choose from, including sand, gravel, and river pebbles.

Step 3 Give your crab water Give your crab clean, filtered water. Chlorine is harmful to hermit crabs, so use a process to remove the chlorine or purchase filtered water for your crab.

Step 4 Feed the crab Feed your crab fruits and vegetables, unsalted popcorn, nuts, raisins, fresh fish, peanut butter, washed leaves and grass, or trail mix. Hermit crabs are omnivores, and like a diverse diet. You can also purchase commercial crab food.

Step 5 Clean the tank Clean the tank with a kitchen strainer to strain the crab’s waste from the substrate. Some scientists think that crabs like their surroundings changed every now and again, so periodically give your crab’s home a new look and sit back and enjoy your new friend.