Keeping Hermit Crabs in Hervey Bay as Pets
As the hermit crabs grow, they must exchange their shell for a larger one. Since intact gastropod shells are not an unlimited resource, there is frequently strong competition for the available shells, with hermit crabs fighting over shells.
The availability of empty shells depends on the abundance of the gastropods and hermit crabs, but most importantly on the frequency of organisms that predate on gastropods but leave the shells intact.
Most species are Aquatic and live in varying depths of saltwater, from shallow reefs and shorelines to deep-sea bottoms. Tropical areas host some terrestrial species, though even those have aquatic larvae and therefore need access to water for reproduction. Most hermit crabs are nocturnal.
Note "They must not be kept in Water "
They are an awesome choice of pet because they do not reproduce with any success at home. The best ones purchased is after (shedding of the outer shell) moulting, this is a sign of them growing, this means they are really healthy. Their old shells or skins are left in the tanks as the hermit crabs eat these for nutrition.
To really enjoy your pet hermit crab it takes a little time and effort to prepare their perfect home.
Cover the bottom of the tank with at least a 5cm layer of clean, dry sand. Anything that mimics the crab's natural habitat is best, so use cleaned beach sand if you can. The crabs love to climb and clamber over objects so put in pieces of dried drift wood, barnacles or other beach-like ornaments which will allow the crabs to scramble around. Hermit crabs are deceptively good climbers and can even escape by climbing up the silicon seals at the edges of the tank. To prevent this and to help create a more stable, humid environment, place a lid over the top of the tank. Many tanks come with fitted, partially ventilated lids.
Examine the crabs and provide enough shells for each to grow into during its next moult. Use those shells with round openings, not elongated slits. The hole of each subsequent shell should be about 1/3 to 1/2 as large as the crab's current one. Just scatter the shells around the sand. Once the crabs have regained their strength after moulting, they will hop out of their old shell and search around for another that fits. Keep the old exoskeleton in the tank, it is a source nutrition and the crabs will eat it.
Hermit crabs love a variety of food, and can be offered pellets, cereal, shredded coconut, and a variety of fruits.
All fruit should be kept fresh and the old fruit removed.
Hervey Bay Pet World can show you the right pellets that are especially formulated to provide all the nutrients required for a hermit crabs diet.
It is also essential to provide two bowls of water (sturdy non tipping) – one salt water and one fresh water. The freshwater is for drinking and the salt water is for bathing.
We are thinking of having a competition for the most colourful hermit Crab shells let us know if you think it's a good idea.