Hermit Crab Tank Basic Needs for Beginners

Being decapod crustaceans, hermit crabs come in two groups – aquatic hermit crabs and land hermit crabs. The former lives underwater most of the time, while the latter spends time inland. So here in this article, we are going to learn something about hermit crabs and discuss hermit crab tanks and maintenance.

Pet hermit crab

Keeping some hermit crabs in tanks helps clean aquariums. Because they are omnivorous scavengers and eat almost everything, like algae and uneaten food. Also, hermit crabs are a social species. If you keep the crab alone, it will feel lonely. However, if you keep more than one hermit crab in a tank, you should pay attention to crab fights because of insufficient food, water, or space. While some hermit crabs are aggressive, and attempt to steal shells.

Plus, most hermit crabs are nocturnal. Consequently, it is best to feed them at night. Besides that, hermit crabs will molt, usually twice each year. And they will eat the shed skin, which is rich in calcium. After molting, a larger shell is necessary for hermit crabs. Just keep in mind – prepare various spare shells for crabs to choose from.

Furthermore, the table below will give you basic information about hermit crabs.

Superfamily Paguroidea Diet omnivore
Adult size 2 /6 inches Ideal water


72 /80 ℉

22 /27 ℃

Lifespan about 15 years Ideal pH level 8.1 /8.4
Temperament friendly and peaceful /aggressive Minimum tank size 10 gallons

Hermit crab tank

Hermit crab tank size

Generally, a hermit crab tank should be at least 10 gallons. How large the hermit crab tank should you get is determined by the quantity and size of hermit crabs. Usually, you can keep 1-2 hermit crabs in a 10-gallon tank. If you want to keep more than 5 hermit crabs, then a larger tank is better, like 30 gallons. One more tip here, hermit crabs fancy plenty of space, so, the larger the tank, the better.
hermit crab

What kind of tank does a hermit crab need

(1)Humidity requirement

Without humid air, hermit crabs can not breathe properly. Thus, an ideal hermit crab tank should keep optimal humidity of at least 75% and fresh air. Accordingly, a fish tank is an excellent alternative. If necessary, you can add a hygrometer to monitor the humidity of hermit crab tanks.

(2)Hermit crab tank decoration

As for the substrate, sand or soil are great options. The substrate depth should be 3 times the height of the biggest hermit crab in the tank. Because hermit crabs will dig the substrate, and stay in or hide under the substrate.

Furthermore, some climbing toys may be necessary. For example, natural rocks and seashells. And sterilized them before adding to crab tanks. But never add painted toys, which is damaging for hermit crabs.

Aside from that, you should also make sure of adequate hiding places. Because hermit crabs would need to hide in case of danger. Empty shells and broken pots are available.

Additionally, freshwater and saltwater water bowls are critically crucial. Hermit crabs need to drink water. Therefore, you should provide clean freshwater and saltwater. But do not use tap water. Since the chlorine and minerals in tap water are harmful to hermit crabs.

(3)Tank equipment requirements

Hermit crabs are from tropical areas. And too low temp will slow down the metabolism of hermit crabs. Hence, you should maintain stable and warm water. The water temperature should be kept between 72℉ and 80℉. An aquarium heater and thermometer will help you a lot exactly. The heater is beneficial to keep the temp at an optimal level, while the thermometer can monitor the current temp. Plus, it is recommended to add an aquarium light and keep it on for about 8–12 hours.
hermit crab tank size

How many hermit crabs are in a 10-gallon tank

In general, keeping 1-2 hermit crabs in a 10-gallon tank is feasible. But if the crab is large, then keeping one hermit crab in a 10-gallon tank is better. Moreover, hermit crabs prefer living in groups. Provided keeping one hermit crab in a tank, the crab would feel lonely, and it may be not good for its growth.

How to clean hermit crab tank

Tank cleaning

Regular tank cleaning is vital. You can do a partial cleaning once every two weeks and do a complete cleaning once every a few months. While doing complete cleaning, you should set up another temporary tank to stock hermit crabs in advance. Also, you can clean your hermit crab tank with a vinegar solution. Plus, you should replace the substrate once every six months. Because dirty substrate would cause the appearance of mold, which is damaging to hermit crabs.

Hermit crab cleaning

In addition to cleaning the hermit crab tank, you should also clean hermit crabs. Just provide a freshwater and saltwater bowl for them to bathe. Also, it is recommended to add a sponge to the tank, which is helpful to keep crabs clean.

In summary

In a nutshell, hermit crabs are a great addition to your tank. Nonetheless, you should be cautious when you want to touch your hermit crabs because they may pinch you.

That’s all for today. For additional information about hermit crabs, please share with us in the comments. We’re happy to receive your sharing. Finally, thanks for taking the time and we hope this article helps.

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