- Hermit crabs make great first pets because they are easy to care for and don’t require a lot of room.
- They molt several times per year.
- All you need is a cage and a few basic supplies.
- The molting thing will surprise you.
- The cage can be either glass or plastic. You can start with a small one if you’re just getting one crab.
- During the molting process, the crab burrows under the sand and sheds its exoskeleton.
- You need three dishes: For food, fresh water, and salt water.
- They stay burrowed for a really long time. Like, weeks.
- Hermit crabs are scavengers and will eat almost anything: fruit, vegetables, Cheerios. One of their favorites is shrimp!
- After a couple of weeks you will dig up the hermit crab. Its lifeless body will fall limply out of its shell.
- You will also need a spray bottle for frequent misting. Hermit crabs need a warm, humid environment.
- You will tell your daughter that Hermione — the name she has given her hermit crab — is dead.
- If the temperature in your house gets below 70 degrees you should also get a heating pad to go under the cage.
- Your daughter will cry real tears. Along with her empty shell, you will place Hermione’s corpse in a plastic baggie and leave it on the windowsill overnight. Funeral planning will begin.
- Hermit crabs are natural climbers, so a stick or a climbing wall make great additions to the cage.
- The next day your son will observe Hermione moving inside the baggie. You will not believe him.
- An inexpensive thermometer and hydrometer will ensure that conditions within the cage are acceptable to your hermit crab.
- But he’s correct! Hermione did move! It turns out that the thing you thought was a crab corpse is actually Hermion’s exoskeleton. It really did look exactly like a dead crab. And Hermione is actually inside the shell but you didn’t see her before because the shell was clogged with sand and in all honesty you didn’t really look that closely; your attention was on the corpse, not the shell. Your daughter is both overjoyed and extremely pissed at you. You gently return Hermione to her cage, where she commences eating her own exoskeleton. Hermione regains her strength and is quite active for a couple of months, until she burrows again. Once again you get impatient and dig her up and think she is dead and tell your daughter and break her heart all over again. But the crab is actually alive (again). You are an idiot and can’t believe you did this whole Hermione-is-dead-no-just-kidding-she-is-alive rigamarole not once, but twice.
- Some people like to give their crabs baths. This is not recommended.