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How to Make Hermit Crab Salt Water

How to Make Hermit Crab Salt Water

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This post is written to the author's best knowledge and is not intended to be used in place of veterinary advice. In addition, this post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Taking care of pet hermit crabs should be a really satisfying experience. Many people are starting to look at these pets as amazing options.

You can enjoy caring for hermit crabs as pets even if you live in a small space. You just have to understand how to meet their care needs.

To be able to thrive, hermit crabs need access to both freshwater and saltwater. So you’ll need to learn how to make hermit crab salt water to keep your crabs in good shape.

Below, you’ll learn about exactly what you need to do to get good results. This should help you to care for your crabs even if you’re a newcomer to the process.

Can You Use Table Salt for Hermit Crabs?

Some people who are new to caring for hermit crabs might not understand how to safely make saltwater. You need to give hermit crabs access to saltwater, and you might wonder whether using table salt to make the saltwater is acceptable.

Never use standard table salt to make saltwater for hermit crabs. This would be very unsafe for the crabs.

Table salt contains iodine and this is not good for hermit crabs. Exposing your hermit crabs to iodine is a very poor idea when your goal is to keep them healthy.

Don’t make the mistake of using table salt to mix up saltwater for the crabs. Now that you know this isn’t acceptable, you can learn about the type of salt you’re supposed to use.

Can You Use Aquarium Salt for Hermit Crabs?


Yes, people often use aquarium salt for hermit crabs. It’s safe to use aquarium salt if you want to keep things simple.

Many hermit crab owners simply use aquarium salt to mix up the saltwater mixture for their crabs. If you have aquarium salt that you can utilize at home, it’ll be perfectly fine to use it.

For many, this is convenient since they might have aquarium salt due to caring for saltwater fish. Making the saltwater mixture isn’t going to be that difficult either.

Always make sure to use salt that’s appropriate for hermit crabs. This will keep them safe and you won’t have to worry.

How to Make Saltwater for Hermit Crabs

Making saltwater for hermit crabs isn’t a long or arduous process. It shouldn’t take you long to mix up the saltwater once you know what you’re doing.

To start, grab the aquarium salt and one gallon of distilled water. You want to use distilled water or filtered water for the safety of the hermit crabs.

Hermit crabs are sensitive to chemicals, and that means that using tap water generally isn’t safe. Tap water often contains traces of chemicals such as chlorine.

So you must use dechlorinated water to be safe. You combine the aquarium salt with the water and then place it in a container.

Mixing one-half of a cup of aquarium salt into one gallon of water will be the right mixture. You want to stir everything up until the water isn’t cloudy any longer.

If you do things right you shouldn’t see any lumpy spots in the water. It might take a bit of effort to mix everything up properly.

Allow the water to sit for a little bit now. Ensure that you let the water sit in a room temperature setting.

Later, you can pour the water into the shallow dishes so the hermit crabs can utilize it. Congratulations, you’ve successfully created a saltwater mixture for your hermit crabs.

Hermit Crabs Need Constant Access to Water

Hermit Crab Drinking Water in a Bowl

Hermit crabs need to have constant access to water. You’re supposed to give hermit crabs at least two shallow dishes of water in their habitats.

One of the shallow dishes of water needs to contain saltwater and the other should contain freshwater. Hermit crabs will utilize both of the water dishes as necessary.

They will both drink the water and use it for bathing. The shallow water dishes that you use need to be deep enough for the hermit crabs to fully submerge their bodies.

There are different types of water dishes that you can purchase at pet stores. Some have ramps that make it simple for hermit crabs to get in and out of the water.

You want to carefully pick an appropriate dish to keep the hermit crab from drowning. Hermit crabs can and will drown to death if they get stuck in the water dish.

This is why you’re supposed to use shallow dishes and not deep ones. Be careful when putting water dishes in the tank and make sure that they’re appropriate for your hermit crabs.

Keep Both Distilled Freshwater and Saltwater on Hand

It’s a good idea to keep both distilled freshwater and saltwater on hand. You’re going to need to replenish the shallow water dishes often.

You should regularly empty the saltwater dishes and give the hermit crabs more water. If you don’t, the water will get dirty and cloudy.

It’s important to keep your hermit crabs clean and safe. So it makes sense that you’d be emptying and replenishing the water often.

For convenience, it’s best to mix up one gallon of each. You can use clear gallon jugs and label them appropriately.

This allows you to easily give the hermit crabs both types of water. Remember that the water should always be at room temperature.

Is It Normal for Hermit Crabs to Drink Saltwater?

Don’t worry if you see your hermit crabs drinking saltwater from time to time. It’s actually normal for them to do this.

Typically, hermit crabs will drink the freshwater and will use the saltwater for bathing. It’s fine for them to drink the saltwater as well, though.

Many enthusiasts say that the elements contained in the saltwater will be beneficial to the hermit crabs. So they will drink it every so often.

You don’t need to be concerned about them drinking saltwater. It isn’t bad for them in any way.

Why Is Tap Water Bad for Hermit Crabs?

Tap Water

You might find it annoying that you’re not able to use tap water for hermit crabs. It would indeed be convenient to be able to fill jugs of water from the tap, but it’s too dangerous for the crabs.

Giving the hermit crabs tap water would very likely kill them. Why does this happen, though?

Chlorine is lethal to hermit crabs. When hermit crabs are exposed to chlorine it’ll cause their gills to start blistering.

This is going to cause the hermit crab to stop breathing. It’ll suffocate and your pet will be dead before you know it.

You must avoid using tap water or your hermit crab won’t live long. To get the best results, buy distilled water from the store.

It is okay to treat the tap water to dechlorinate it. Dechlorinating tap water involves using special tablets or liquid to remove the chlorine from the water.

Typically, it takes ten drops of dechlorination liquid to dechlorinate one gallon of tap water. Some will find it simpler to buy distilled water than to go through this process each time.

Keep the Hermit Crab Habitat Clean

Do your best to keep the hermit crab habitat clean. Letting the hermit crab tank get dirty will invite many problems.

Your hermit crabs could become stressed if forced to live in a very dirty environment. This can also make them sick.

When hermit crab habitats get dirty, it also makes it more likely that pest issues will ensue. Pests such as mites are known to be drawn to leftover bits of food in hermit crab tanks.

Mites will get on your hermit crabs and bother them. They might even stress the crabs so much that they will start losing their legs.

If you don’t handle things, mites have the potential to kill your crabs over time. This is why you need to be careful and clean the habitat well.

Some cleaning should be done each day. You want to do a bit of spot cleaning to remove fecal matter and leftover bits of food daily.

Then you should do larger cleaning sessions on a weekly basis. Sticking to a schedule like this should make it easier to keep your crabs in good health.

Cleaning also involves changing out the water and ensuring that it doesn’t get dirty. Always check to make sure that the shallow water dishes are relatively clean.

Final Thoughts

Now you know how to make saltwater for hermit crabs. Doing so isn’t difficult, but it certainly is important to use the right kind of salt.

You want to purchase aquarium salt or marine salt to make the saltwater. Ensure that you mix it with distilled water, too.

Never use tap water unless you have dechlorinated it first. Normal tap water will likely kill your poor hermit crabs due to containing traces of chlorine.

Do your best to give your hermit crabs constant access to water. They need both saltwater and freshwater to stay in good health.

Keep the water dishes clean and regularly refill them. Knowing what to do should make it easier for you to care for your hermit crabs optimally.

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