Housing Your Hermit Crabs

There are three main types of housing options available in pet stores:

1. Glass Fish Tank/Aquarium - This is my preferred choice. A minimum of 20 Gallons.

Advantages:

A glass tank with lid helps keep the needed humidity and temperature levels stable. You should allow a small gap between the tank sides and the lid if condensation begins to appear on the sides of your tank.

Disadvantages:

Glass tanks, unless second hand, are somewhat expensive but worth the extra expense. If you have a lid that doesn't allow for a gap for air circulation you can get a build up of condensation on the walls, which can cause bacteria build-up within the tank and create unsavoury conditions for your hermit crabs to live in.

If you want a crabarium that will be more hermit crab-friendly, why not save some cash and get a custom tank built. Land Hermit Crab tanks do not need to have a bottom made as thick as with fish tanks do since they are not filled with water.If you phone around the different pet stores and aquariums, there are some custom tank builders that you can get a quote from to build to your specifications.

A popular size of custom made tank is a 2ft by 2ft by 1.5ft tank. It looks much like a 'cube' in shape, and has a base of 4 square feet. You will find that it is much easier to fit everything inside the tank that is essential, and that hermit crabs will not need to do the 'spider walk' along the edges of the glass because there is more room. Most fish tanks are very long and tall because fish are able to make use of the vertical height.

If you cannot get a custom made tank, try making use of the extra vertical space by installing levels or fixing climbing items such as sanitised mangrove root trees, sanitised driftwood, coral trees, ZooMed's Jungle Gym, or even more creative, a network of choya (or other sanitised wood logs) that hermit crabs can climb and hang upside down and move along the network. To see this in action, visit Crablover Don's image gallery.

NOTE: In some parts of my carepages I refer to a Crabarium. This is a pet name for a hermit crab's home. Another pet name is a crabitat or Crabitank.

2. Plastic tank with ventilation

Not suitable for land hermit crabs. The ventilation lets out the much-needed humidity.

3. Lifering by Krabooz

Not suitable for land hermit crabs. Sold within the 'Complete Kit' which includes The Zuper Zandz package. There is not enough sand to create a deep substrate level so that your hermit crabs can dig down to moult.

Visit The Crab Street Journal Magazine for more tank decoration ideas

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