Buying a pet hermit crab is something that might interest you. You might have a friend who recently bought a hermit crab and you’re starting to want to do the same.
As a newcomer, you likely have many questions. It’s important to learn about hermit crabs before buying them so you can make good choices.
If you buy a pet hermit crab without being prepared, you might have a tough time getting good results. For instance, you might not know what type of habitat a hermit crab needs.
Can you simply put a hermit crab in a fish tank? Do you need some other type of habitat?
Keep reading to learn about hermit crab habitats. You’ll also get the answers to many common questions that are related to this topic.
Hermit Crabs Can Live in a Fish Tank
It is possible to keep any kind of hermit crabs in fish tanks. As you’d expect, aquatic hermit crabs can easily thrive in fish tanks.
You need to get the water conditions right, but it’s common for them to live in fish tanks as pets. This is something you should research before choosing to buy aquatic hermit crabs.
Land hermit crabs are much more commonly kept as pets. They require a terrarium-like setting. Sometimes people keep these crabs in fish tanks as well, but they don’t have water in them.
Fish tanks can pretty easily be converted into terrariums. So if you only have a fish tank, it’s possible to set it up and use it for pet land hermit crabs.
Can Aquatic Hermit Crabs Live with Fish?
People often keep aquatic hermit crabs in fish tanks. Can you put fish in the tank with these crabs safely?
Yes, it is possible to keep fish in the fish tank with aquatic hermit crabs. However, you can’t put them in the tank with just any fish.
It’s important to pick fish that thrive in the same water parameters as aquatic hermit crabs. You should keep the water parameters in mind when you research compatible tank mates.
You also need to consider the compatibility of the fish based on the safety of the crabs. Thankfully, there are good options out there.
Cardinalfish and firefish are some of the other popular options that you might wish to look into. Of course, you don’t have to keep aquatic hermit crabs with fish if you don’t want to.
With Or Without Fish?
Whether to put an aquatic hermit crab in a fish tank that contains fish or not depends on what you want to do. It’s fine to keep the hermit crabs in a tank by themselves if you want to.
Some people might not want to keep the crabs with fish. Others will want to add crabs to tanks that already contain fish to spice things up.
Simply make sure that you research things properly before making a decision. You don’t want to accidentally put a hermit crab in a tank with incompatible fish.
Which Hermit Crabs Can Live With Fish?
Many types of marine hermit crabs can be purchased. These crabs are capable of living with fish.
Land hermit crabs cannot live with fish because they cannot breathe underwater. So you need to make sure you’re getting the right kind of hermit crabs for a fish tank.
There are many aquatic hermit crabs that you can choose from. Some of the best options that can live with fish include electric blue hermit crabs, electric orange hermit crabs, dwarf red tip hermit crabs, dwarf yellow tip hermit crabs, zebra hermit crabs, and blue leg hermit crabs.
You must make sure the fish tank has the right water conditions for the crabs that you choose. Research the appropriate water conditions based on your chosen hermit crab type.
Are Hermit Crabs Reef Safe?
There are many marine hermit crabs that are safe for reef tanks. You should make sure to buy reef-safe hermit crabs so you’ll get the best results.
Thankfully, you have so many options to choose from. Here are some of the most well-known hermit crabs that are safe for reef tanks.
- Elegant hermit crabs
- Scarlet reef hermit crabs
- Halloween hermit crabs
- Electric orange hermit crabs
- Polka dot hermit crabs
- Dwarf zebra hermit crabs
- Dwarf yellow tip hermit crabs
- Dwarf red tip hermit crabs
- Dwarf blue leg hermit crabs
These hermit crabs should be perfectly safe for your reef tank. You’ll enjoy having the hermit crabs in the tank and they should get along well with compatible fish, too.
So long as you make good choices, keeping hermit crabs in a reef tank can be a great experience. Now that you know about many compatible hermit crabs, it’ll be simpler to decide which route to take.
What Kills Hermit Crabs?
Many things have the potential to kill hermit crabs. Hermit crabs can die when they aren’t fed properly.
These creatures don’t eat a lot, but they do still need to be fed to keep on living. You could easily starve a hermit crab to death.
Hermit Crabs Can Die During Molting
It’s also possible for hermit crabs to die when molting. Molting is a very stressful process for hermit crabs and they dig into the sand to be left alone while going through it.
Hermit crabs can remain motionless for weeks when molting. Sometimes you might wonder if the crabs have died.
If you startle a hermit crab while it’s molting or if you bother it, you could wind up killing the crab. It’ll get shocked to death.
Other animals or hermit crabs can kill the crabs by bothering them during the molting process, too. This is why you need to be careful when putting other things in the tank with a land hermit crab.
Hermit Crabs Can Die of Loneliness
It should also be said that hermit crabs are social creatures. They thrive in groups and normally shouldn’t be kept alone.
Some hermit crabs have died due to loneliness. Since being alone can kill hermit crabs, it’s best to keep them in small groups so that this will never be a problem.
Ideally, you want to keep hermit crabs in groups of three or four. Keeping at least a pair of hermit crabs together should be fine, though.
Hermit Crabs Can Die Due to a Lack of Humidity
Another thing that can kill hermit crabs is a lack of humidity. Land hermit crabs using modified gills to breathe oxygen.
The gills need to remain moist or they won’t be able to breathe properly. This means that humidity is crucial for hermit crabs.
You can’t keep land hermit crabs as pets without having a humidifier. The humidifier needs to keep the humidity level in the terrarium at a certain level so the crabs will stay safe.
Be careful to get the humidity level right for the grabs. Do your best to keep an eye on things so the crabs will remain safe.
Chlorinated Tap Water Can Kill Hermit Crabs
Did you know that chlorinated tap water can potentially kill crabs? Exposing crabs to water that contains chlorine is bad news.
You can use tap water for hermit crabs only if you dechlorinate it first. Be very careful when preparing water for the shallow dishes that hermit crabs require.
Making Saltwater the Wrong Way Can Kill Hermit Crabs
Even making saltwater the wrong way can kill hermit crabs. Some beginners make the mistake of making saltwater using iodized salt.
This is extremely bad because it can kill your crabs. The iodine is bad for the crabs and could easily lead to death.
Putting Too Much Water in the Dishes
Land hermit crabs are supposed to have access to shallow dishes of water. You’re meant to give them access to both freshwater and saltwater.
The hermit crabs need to be able to submerge their bodies completely in the water. So it can’t be too shallow.
However, the water can be too deep, and this can wind up killing the hermit crabs. You need to be careful how you set things up.
Ideally, you should be using shallow dishes that the hermit crabs can easily get out of. You don’t want it to be hard for the crabs to get out of the water or they might wind up drowning.
You’ve learned that hermit crabs can live in fish tanks. Land hermit crabs can live in fish tanks if you turn them into terrariums.
It’s easy to do this and you can set a tank up so it has everything a land hermit crab needs to thrive. Using fish tanks as hermit crab habitats is common.
Marine hermit crabs can also live in fish tanks. In fact, you can keep aquatic hermit crabs with fish.
There are compatible fish that can be kept with marine hermit crabs. Pick the right fish and ensure that the crabs are kept in the appropriate water conditions.
Only marine hermit crabs can breathe underwater. Land hermit crabs can’t breathe underwater and will drown.
Now that you’ve learned all of this, it should be simpler to decide what you want to do with your pet hermit crabs. Whether you’re new to the idea of owning pet hermit crabs or if you’ve had them for a while, it’s good to know more about what you can and cannot do.
Jeff has always enjoyed having pets, but as a child, he was drawn to his family’s fish tank. Being able to maintain a small ecosystem and observe the behaviors and interactions in the underwater world peaked his interest early on and has kept him hooked until this day. On Avid Aquarist, Jeff shares everything he’s learned about helping aquatic life survive and thrive in a home aquarium.