Keeping hermit crabs in your home has the potential to be great. You love hermit crabs because of how neat they look and how much fun they are to watch.
These pets are capturing the hearts of many people around the world. Depending on your sensibilities, you might find them to be the perfect pet for your home.
You want to make sure that you can care for hermit crabs properly before you bring them home. These pets have specific needs that must be met for them to thrive.
Did you know that hermit crabs need to be submerged in saltwater every so often? Some hermit crab owners choose to give their hermit crab baths.
How do you give a hermit crab a bath? Is there a specific way you’re supposed to do this?
Continue reading to learn about giving hermit crabs baths. This should help you to understand the process so you can get good results.
Get an Appropriate Container
To start, you’re going to need an appropriate container. The container will hold the water that you’ll be bathing the hermit crabs in.
Ideally, you want to use a container that has a flat bottom. This makes it easier for the crab to maneuver when it’s in the bath.
You can use many different types of small bowls or containers. If you’re bathing the crab yourself, you don’t need to be too picky.
Of course, most people simply keep water dishes inside the habitat. Hermit crabs will bathe themselves if you do so.
Generally, it’s recommended to keep two shallow water dishes in the tank. These water dishes will allow the hermit crab to submerge itself as necessary.
One dish should contain freshwater while another will contain saltwater. The hermit crab can decide what it needs.
Hermit crabs don’t necessarily need you to bathe them. If you keep shallow water dishes in the tank, they’ll handle everything.
Hermit Crabs Can Drown
Hermit crabs can drown if you don’t set things up right. This is why some people bathe hermit crabs themselves.
Most experts say that it’s better to keep shallow water dishes in the habitat for the crabs to use at their leisure, though. You just have to limit the potential of drowning by using the right dishes.
The shallow water dishes need to be easy enough for the hermit crabs to get out of. It’s important for the hermit crab to be able to get out of the water without drowning.
You must also have the water be just deep enough that the hermit crab can submerge its body. Thus, it’s best to use recommended shallow water dishes for hermit crabs.
Often, people buy hermit crab ramp bowls to keep things safe. These bowls can hold pools of water, but the hermit crab will have an easy-to-use ramp to get out of the water.
So long as you’re using an appropriate water dish or bowl, it should be fine. The hermit crabs won’t need you to bathe them unless something unusual occurs.
Why Bathe Hermit Crabs?
Bathing hermit crabs might make sense when you’re trying to get rid of pests. Pests such as mites can bother hermit crabs and make them get sick.
If mites or other pests are present in the tank, you’ll want to remove the hermit crab from the habitat and clean it thoroughly. After cleaning the tank and replacing the sand, you’ll bathe the hermit crab.
Bathing a hermit crab can get rid of mites. This is a great method for getting rid of pests.
Sometimes this must be done several times to get rid of all of the pests. Bathing might also be a method of keeping the hermit crab moist, but it’s better to maintain the right humidity level in the tank for this purpose.
Manually Bathing Hermit Crabs
So what if you just want to manually bathe hermit crabs? The process is easy enough.
Once you have the right bowl or container picked out, you’ll need to mix up the water. You’ll create a saltwater mixture to bathe the hermit crabs in.
Buy hermit crab salt or ocean salt from a respected pet store. You don’t want to use table salt or some other type of salt to mix up the water.
Be careful to use the right water, too. You want to use room temperature distilled water and not tap water.
Tap water can be harmful to hermit crabs since it contains chemicals. Always use safe water when caring for hermit crabs.
When you have the right type of water ready to go, it’s time to fill the container. You want to fill the container enough so that the crab can be submerged.
If possible, make the water level top out just below the top of the hermit crab’s shell. You should also make sure that there are pebbles in the water.
Give the hermit crab an easy way to get out of the water. You don’t want it to wind up feeling trapped.
Handle the Hermit Crab Gently
You want to keep the hermit crab calm while you’re bathing it. It’s best to handle it gently during this time.
Remember that hermit crabs don’t like being handled very much. It’s a stressful situation for these pets to be in.
Since they don’t enjoy being handled, it’s best to keep handling to a minimum. When you do handle the hermit crab, you want to do so properly.
Approach the hermit crab slowly and from behind. Grab its shell firmly but gently.
Lift it up and out of the habitat so you can bathe it. Be careful when moving the crab because these pets can get hurt if you drop them.
Always use your dominant hand to grab the shell. This ensures that you’ll have a firm grip.
Your non-dominant hand can support the hermit crab’s legs while moving it to the bath. Carefully place the hermit crab in the bath when you’re ready.
When the hermit crab is in the water, move it around gently with your hand. It should recognize that it’s in a saltwater mixture now.
The hermit crab should come out of its shell and start bathing. It’ll also replenish the water that it keeps inside the shell.
When the crab goes back into its shell, you can remove it from the water. You don’t need to keep the hermit crab in the bath for too long.
Moving the hermit crab back to the tank will be the same as taking it from the tank. Handle the crab carefully and try to make it feel as secure as possible.
Always Be Careful
Always be careful when bathing hermit crabs. You don’t want the poor little pet to drown because you didn’t pay attention.
Pet hermit crabs have drowned many times before. This happens when the crab gets stuck in the bath.
Sometimes the water will be too deep or it’ll be too difficult for the hermit crab to climb out of the bath. Plan ahead to prevent issues like this from claiming your hermit crab’s life.
Remember that you only need to keep the hermit crab in the bath for a few minutes. If you’re bathing the hermit crab yourself, you can return it to its tank after bathing it for just a couple of minutes.
Never leave the hermit crab unattended while you’re bathing it manually. It can bathe itself in the shallow dishes that you put in its tank, but a larger container is likely to be more dangerous.
Knowing how to bathe hermit crabs will prove to be beneficial. There might be times when you’ll need to bathe the crab for safety reasons.
Hermit crabs might have issues with mites or other pests. Mites are dangerous, and you’ll want to get rid of them as soon as possible.
A simple bath is a great way to kill the mites. It’s safe for your hermit crab and you can do this without it being a huge hassle.
There might be other situations where you’ll want to bathe the crab as well. However, hermit crabs will normally bathe themselves if you provide them with what they need.
Hermit crabs generally need to have two small dishes of water in their tanks. One dish should contain freshwater and the other should contain saltwater.
The hermit crabs in the tank will submerge themselves in the water sometimes. It’s important to use shallow water dishes that the hermit crabs can easily get out of.
Hermit crabs can drown if you use dishes that are too deep or too hard to get out of. You have to find the right fit to keep your hermit crabs safe.
It’s easy enough to get what you need from local pet stores. The bowls that come with ramps work out nicely for many types of hermit crabs.
Now that you know everything you need to know, it’ll be simple to make good decisions for your pet. Continue doing your best to care for your hermit crabs so they can thrive in your home for a long time.
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.