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6 Reasons Your New Hermit Crab Buried Itself

6 Reasons Your New Hermit Crab Buried Itself

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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.

Adding a new hermit crab to your tank should be very exciting. You love your pet hermit crabs and you know that hermit crabs like to live in groups.

It should be a good experience when you add a new crab to the habitat. However, you might be concerned if the hermit crab buries itself in the ground right away.

What does it mean when a new hermit crab buries itself? Is this a sign that the hermit crab is scared?

Keep reading to get to the bottom of this situation. It’ll help you to understand how to best care for the new hermit crab.

1 – Anxiety

It shouldn’t surprise you to hear that a hermit crab might hide when it gets scared. Hermit crabs will actually get startled rather easily.

Noises and fast movements have the potential to scare hermit crabs. Hermit crabs will often be very anxious when they’re transported from a pet store to a new home.

This is a stressful time for the little hermit crab. It doesn’t matter if you do everything right or not.

It’s still going to be possible for the hermit crab to become stressed. In response to these feelings of anxiety, the hermit crab may choose to burrow into the sand.

The hermit crab is hiding because it’s a bit frightened and unsure of the environment change. It’ll take the new hermit crab a while to warm up to its new situation.

Eventually, the hermit crab should come up and start acting normal. The new crab will learn to trust you as you feed it and treat it with care.

2 – Molting

As you might expect, molting is something that you should consider in this situation. While you don’t always expect a hermit crab to start molting as soon as you buy it, this is something that can indeed occur.

If your hermit crab digs into the sand and remains there, it could be molting. Of course, there are signs of molting that you can look out for.

Hermit crabs that are about to molt will usually have white eyes that look paler than usual. Many describe the eyes of hermit crabs that are about to molt as “glazed over.”

The exoskeleton of the crab will also start to look gray and pale as it approaches its molting time. It’s normal for hermit crabs to start eating more when they’re getting ready to molt, too.

If you didn’t have any time to observe the crab and literally just got it home from the store, it might have simply been ready to molt. Leave the crab alone if it appears to be molting.

Startling a molting hermit crab can have severe consequences. You might even cause the hermit crab to die.

Simply keep an eye on the hermit crab and hopefully all will be well. The molting process can potentially take weeks so you shouldn’t expect it to resume normal activity for a while if this is what’s happening.

3 – The Hermit Crab Might Just Like Digging

Of course, the hermit crab could also just like digging. One thing you’ll come to realize about hermit crabs is that digging is a very natural action for them.

Hermit crabs enjoy digging and they do it all the time. If you ever see your hermit crab digging into the sand, it’s not something that should raise an eyebrow.

Digging isn’t always related to fear or molting. Hermit crabs will dig for practical reasons and they’ll also do it simply because they think it’s fun.

So don’t jump to conclusions and assume that something is wrong with the crab. It might simply be checking out the new environment that you’ve put it in.

After the hermit crab has done some digging, it might explore the rest of the habitat that exists above the sand. Watch your hermit crab and look for signs that it might be anxious or that it could be close to molting.

4 – Foraging for Food

It’s also common for hermit crabs to dig into the sand when they’re looking for food. Your new hermit crab is getting used to the tank and it might decide to dig around and see if it can scrounge up a meal.

Hermit crabs will dig through the sand and see if they can find any food. This is a normal thing that they do in the wild and they still love to do it in captivity.

This means that the digging action isn’t something that you necessarily need to be worried about. It’s likely that it’s a normal thing and your hermit crab will be just fine.

Observe the crab and see if it comes out of the sand eventually. If it does, it’s likely that it was either playing or foraging for food in the sand.

A hermit crab probably won’t forage for food too often once it gets used to being fed. You’ll be feeding the crab regularly and that should meet all of its nutritional needs.

If the hermit crab keeps foraging even after you’ve been feeding it regularly, you might want to make sure that you’ve been feeding the crab properly. When the crab isn’t getting a proper diet, it might forage due to some nutritional needs not being met.

Do your best to follow a recommended hermit crab diet plan. This will ensure that you’ll get great results.

5 – Getting Away From the Light

Another thing to consider is that the hermit crab might be burrowing to get away from the light. You should know that hermit crabs are nocturnal creatures.

They’re more active during the night and they don’t necessarily enjoy bright sunlight. Perhaps it’s bright in the room where the habitat is located right now.

Your hermit crab might make the decision to dig into the sand as a way to escape the light. It simply wants to get out of the sunlight and chooses digging as the best option.

If this is the case, you don’t need to worry. It’s normal for hermit crabs to dig into the sand to hide from time to time.

6 – Is it Too Noisy?

Have you considered whether it’s too noisy in the room right now? Earlier, you learned that hermit crabs might bury themselves in the sand out of anxiety.

They also simply don’t like loud noises. If your hermit crab habitat is in a noisy room, this might not be the best situation.

Aside from being nocturnal, hermit crabs are also less likely to come out when it’s noisy. You might have the TV too loud or you could be playing music.

Many types of noises have the potential to scare hermit crabs and make them hide in the sand. It could be something as simple as a nearby dog barking.

Think of it from the perspective of the hermit crab. It’s easy to see why such things might be scary.

Final Thoughts

Now you have a much better idea of why your new hermit crab immediately buried itself in the sand. It could be a very normal action or it might mean that you should make slight changes.

If the hermit crab is simply anxious due to being moved to a new home, it’ll take a bit of time for it to feel comfortable. Give the hermit crab a few days and it should start to feel closer to normal.

Sometimes hermit crabs will simply dig into the sand for fun. These creatures love digging and do it all the time in the wild.

The crab could even be attempting to forage for food. Perhaps it’s just hungry and looking for a meal.

If the hermit crab is molting, you might notice some signs. When these creatures start to molt it’s imperative to leave them alone.

Hermit crabs are nocturnal creatures and might dig into the sand to get away from the sunlight during the day. They might even hide when it’s too noisy in the room.

Remember all of this and do your best to provide the hermit crab with optimal care. It’s very likely that your hermit crab is just fine and it’ll adjust to its new environment soon.

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