1. What is the procedure for administering a tetracycline solution to my hermit crab?
2. What do you do if a hermit crab comes out of its shell?
3. How can I make my hermit crabs more active?
4. What happens when a crab molts?
5. What's the ideal temperature for a hermit crab?
6. What makes a hermit crab aggressive?
7. How can you tell the age and sex of a hermit crab?
8. What size habitat best suits a hermit crab?
9. What do I do if my hermit crab gets parasites?
10. Should hermit crabs be handled or just watched?
11. Why do hermit crabs drop their claws or legs?
What is the procedure for administering a tetracycline solution to my hermit crab?
To make the Tetracycline solution the following items are needed:
Two 250 mg capsules of Tetracycline. (Tetracycline can usually be purchased at a store that sells fish or your local Pet Smart. Other chain stores usually do not carry Tetracycline.)
1 gallon of room temperature bottled spring water.
Dissolve 250 mg (1 capsule) of Tetracycline in a 1/2 gallon of spring water.
* Day 1: Make first batch of solution (This solution will be used for Days 1, 2, and 3.) Bathe crab 1x for 30 seconds. (If limbs are missing, DO NOT BATHE. Instead mist or use eye dropper 3x/day.)
* Day 2: Bathe crab 1x for 30 seconds using solution made on Day 1.
* Day 3: Bathe crab 1x for 30 seconds using solution made on Day 1.
* Day 4: Make second batch of solution (This solution will be used for Days 4, 5, and 6.) Bathe crab 1x for 30 seconds.
* Day 5: Bathe crab 1x for 30 seconds using solution made on Day 4.
* Day 6: Bathe crab 1x for 30 seconds using solution made on Day 4.Back to Top
What do you do if a hermit crab comes out of its shell?
A Hermit Crab may leave its shell for many reasons. The important thing is to get the hermit crab back in its shell. First, boil the empty shell and rinse it with cool water. Then, fill the clean shell with cool water. Finally, dip the naked crab in water and gently push it into the shell, abdomen first. Tapping lightly on its head will threaten it causing it instinctively to draw back quickly into its shell. This also workds if the hermit crab is lively, active, and simply "streaking" by running around nude. If your land hermit crab has been lethargic, hanging around the water dish, and hanging out of it's shell; more attention is required. Use the method above to encourage the hermit crab back into the shell for its own protection. The hermit crab is probably suffering from a stress-related syndrome that affects its respiratory system much like hyperventilation. When these clinical signs occur, please call FMR. Our staff will be happy to help you. Sometimes mother nature has her own way of dealing with these things, but our goal is to help you prevent the worst from happening.Back to Top
How can I make my hermit crabs more active?
Hermit crabs are nocturnal. They are never going to be as active as cats or dogs. However, there are several things you can do to promote activity. First, start with healthy land crabs and a warm environment. Second, bathe or mist the crab to induce activity. Third, make their habitat a playground setting with a dry bottom medium and plenty of coral, driftwood, sea fans, and lava rock for climbing and exploring.Back to Top
What happens when a crab molts?
As part of its growth cycle, a hermit crab molts or sheds its exoskeleton usually once a year between May and September. The process can take two weeks or more. Initially, the hermit crab may bury itself in the sand or gravel and stay there for a few days. At this point, separate the molting crab from its companions by installing a divider in the habitat or by moving the other crabs to a separate habitat and leaving the molting crab in its familiar, stress-free environment. The next step is the shedding of the exoskeleton, which the crab will leave hanging in front of its shell. This shed skin is then eaten by the crab. It contains a valuable hardening agent called chitin. Because it is vulnerable with its new soft skin and it needs a lot of moisture, it may bury itself once molted for protection and to seek moisture. If you know where the crab has buried itself, sprinkle water on the surface above it. Once the new soft pink skin becomes hard and purple, the hermit crab can return to its companions.Back to Top
What's the ideal temperature for a hermit crab?
The comfort zone for hermit crabs is 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. That is when they are most active and healthy. If the temperature drops to between 50 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit, dormancy and hibernation will occur. A long hibernation may permanently affect the hermit crab. When you lower household temperatures with air-conditioning or energy-saving winter thermostat settings, heat the hermit crabs' habitat with a light or a special heater that warms the bottom medium.Back to Top
What makes a hermit crab aggressive?
Despite their name, hermit crabs are actually very social, community oriented creatures and are rarely aggressive. Various sizes of hermit crabs can live together peacefully. The larger ones won't pick on the smaller ones. Any aggressiveness is often due to a favored shell rather than territory. Providing a large enough habitat with plenty of extra shells for playful switching and healthy growth should reduce fighting. When determining the right size shell for a hermit crab to grow into, consider two points. First, the opening of the new shell should be the same size as the large pincher so the hermit crab can completely close itself off for protection. Second, depending on how far out of the old shell the hermit crab is protruding, the new shell should be about one-third larger. Shells that are too large are cumbersome to the crab and they become lethargic.Back to Top
How can you tell the age and sex of a hermit crab?What size habitat best suits a hermit crab?
Although not scientifically conclusive, hermit crab keepers have widely held assumptions when determining the age and sex of land hermit crabs. The little teeth on the larger claw seem to imply age. The more teeth, the older the hermit crab. Of course, size is another factor. Jumbo hermit crabs (softball size and larger) are estimated to be between 15 and 50 years old. It is believed the presence or absence of long hair along one side of the abdomen determines the animal's sex. It is assumed that females have this long hair for the purpose of holding eggs. Hermit crabs do not breed in captivity as their eggs must hatch and become larvae in the sea.Back to Top
A good rule of thumb is two crabs per one-gallon tank. The larger the habitat, the happier the residents.Back to Top
What do I do if my hermit crab gets parasites?
Although not usual, parasites can sometimes invade the hermit crab and its environment. If you notice parasites on the crab's body, follow these steps to eliminate the parasites. First, break down the entire tank and discard the bottom medium. Thoroughly clean and rinse the tank itself. Boil all other objects in the habitat, including extra shells, food and water dishes, and climbing items like coral, rock, and wood. Rinse the items and allow to air dry. Finally, bathe the crab by dunking it in lukewarm water several times a day for a few days. Return the crab to its clean environment.Back to Top
Should hermit crabs be handled or just watched?
Both. While it is fascinating to watch their antics, it is equally exciting to gently handle hermit crabs and eventually have them respond to you. Just like other pets, hermit crabs become familiar with their owner's voice and touch. They have been known to eat out of their owner's palm, ride on their shoulders, and come out of their shell when called. Shy crabs have been trained with frequent misting. Each day they come out looking for their showers.Back to Top
Why do hermit crabs drop their claws or legs?
There are three basic reasons why hermit crabs lose their pinchers and legs. First, the environment may be too dry. Adding water-filled sponges in their water dish and misting crabs, along with twice-weekly baths and daily drinking water will help an arid environment. Second, the loss could result from physical stress, such as a traumatic molt or toxic interference from paint fumes or insecticides. Finally, an aggressive crab could have attacked it and the crab could have dropped its claw as it escaped. Claws and legs will regenerate during the next molt.Back to Top