What Do Hermit Crabs Eat?

Many people in this country and in others have pets, and the most common pets tend to be dogs, cats, birds and sometimes fish. However, a growing number of people are looking more toward exotic and unique pets to provide companionship and entertainment. Hermit crabs are becoming more and more popular as an interesting pet that is fairly easy to feed and to care for. Compared to a large dog or even to a cat, Hermit crabs do not eat very much, but there are some things that you should be aware of in regard to the proper feeding of your Hermit crab. Owners who take the time to learn the correct feeding techniques will have a much better and longer experience with their crabs.

Hermit crabs eat whatever they come across in the wild, so you are able to feed them almost anything as long as it does not have preservatives in it or is spicy. Obviously, the wild hermit crab is not eating a diet high in salt or in sodium or saturated fats, so avoid giving your crab random table scraps or junk foods. In the wild, crabs will eat any small fish they can catch, small snails and mollusks, various sea plants and insects. In captivity, the crabs will eat fruits, vegetables, meats, bread and even egg shells. Raw vegetables, breads and some small fish is a great combination that will keep the crab healthy and growing.

Many pet stores will carry various food items for Hermit crabs, most of the nutritionally engineered specifically for the crabs. These food sticks or food balls are good for the crabs, but it is a good idea to supplement this with fish and vegetables periodically. Some hermit crab owners have had good luck with feeding small crickets, which are also commonly feed to pet turtles. As long as the cricket is small enough, the crab will eventually catch the cricket and eat it. It is a very good idea to remove any uneaten food from the aquarium on a daily basis to prevent the crabs from burying the food, leading to rotting and molding. Regardless, it is a good idea to change out the crab’s sand about every 6 weeks to get rid of old food particles and other debris.

Along with a proper and balanced diet, Hermit crabs have some important and specific moisture requirements. Hermit Crab Aquariums should always contain separate dishes of salt water and fresh water. The dishes should be deep enough for the largest crab to immerse itself in. While the crabs do live on land and breathe air, they need to replenish the water they carry in their shells regularly. Hermit Crab aquariums should also be kept in a room in which the temperature and humidity can be regulated. Hermit Crabs live in a temperature range of 73F to 85F and a humidity range of 75% to 85%. If the crabs are kept in an environment that has less than 70% humidity, they will slowly die.