I have two hermit crabs, Spock and T'Stala. I bought them over the summer from some horrible shop on the boardwalk. The problem with many Hermit Crab owners is that like with Bettas, pet shops and boardwalk shops sell bad cages and do not give proper information on care.
For one, my hermit crabs came in a mesh cage, a lot of people think they like this. They enjoy climbing, sure, but the cages holds no humidity and these are tropical animals that need good humidity as well as a heater. I wouldn't use a heat lamp personally because I think that would dry them out, but I do have a heat mat and attached heater on their tank. Mine are in a 5 gallon tank, as I don't have enough room for a ten gallon for them as well as my bettas, BUT they get outside time often.
They require lots of substrate like coconut fiber or sand, NOT gravel. They love to dig and burrow especially during MOLTING. They need bowls or sponges. They do not particularly need the sponges, but mine seem to prefer that. I also keep a bowl of saltwater in their for them, it is often recommended but mine never use it haha! I also give them LOTS of things to climb on and a little hermit crab hide.
Another really important thing, they also require plenty of extra shells. Mine have six in their cage to choose from if they wish. As they grow and just shed, they'll get a new shell. Many pet stores sell them in and sell painted shells, which is not healthy for them. They can eat the chipped paint and die. Mine came in painted shells, but little Spock changed to a new shell I put in the very next day! He's now in a natural shell and they only have natural shells available to them:) T'Stala despite that has never changed her shell lol.
I feed mine hermit crab food they came with and sometimes buy them the commercial hermit crab food, but I have had much success with feeding them lettuce and deli turkey. I've also fed them carrots, bits of bread, broccoli, even apple bites and oranges before. In the wild, they're scavengers. Mine seem to prefer fresh food. I'd advise that you change it once a day because it will prevent mites, which can be a bit annoying in a Hermit Crab tank. I think overall they're a really fun pet, but sometimes people don't take care of them properly. They have a very long lifespan in the wild (40+ years or something), so they can live much longer than a few months if taken care of well. :) My oldest has been 9 years!
[DT Blue and Red Male - Chippewa][General Hux - Blue DT]
Last edited by AAquarist; 12-25-2013 at 12:51 AM.