Of the total number of five hundred species of hermit crabs, only a few species have bonded with humans as pets. Though the number has been small, yet the friendship these little hermits have shown has enriched human knowledge about the natural world as a whole. According to their selection of habitats, these creatures have been classified as land hermit crabs and marine hermit crabs. Although members of both the classifications have adopted as pets, yet few species of land crabs have claimed all the limelight of hermit crab pets.
The land crab species like the Ecuadorian crab and the Caribbean crab live in an enclosure of moist sand and with provisions of bathwater and drinking water. These creatures are omnivorous crustaceans, and they really relish a vegetable diet. In fact, a crab pet must be provided with an adequate supply of calcium rich and carotenoid rich vegetables. The presence of antioxidants within the diet is also important. The marine hermit crab pets require an adequate alkaline environment with provisions for rock faces and gravel for them to take rest or burrow themselves during molting. Like land crabs enclosures, sand is an important component for marine crab’s enclosures too.
The saltiness of the marine crabs’ aquarium must be fixed according to the specific need of the species that is staying there. This is because each marine species of the crabs belong to different native oceans and seas, and each sea has its own individual level of alkalinity. Therefore, the alkalinity of the marine species should be able to imitate the alkalinity of the creature’s home waters.
Keeping a pet is a very great responsibility, but the responsibility is always worthwhile after the creature has accepted the owner as a friend. Winning the trust of these creatures is not a difficult task, if the owner is patient and caring enough. A hermit crab pet is an exotic member of the household and the little crustacean behaves like a true hermit when it literally carries the weight of his existence always on its shoulders. This recognition to the creature will automatically let the crab trust you with genuine friendship and an enriching company.
These creatures are of a very delicate physiology and they respond drastically to any symptoms of stress. These creatures actually start shedding their body parts like the claws, the feet and in extreme cases even eyes. However, the amazing nature of these creatures allows them to regenerate a lost organ. However, for that they have to go to molting stage. Thus, frequent moltings by a hermit crab pet, is serious symptoms that the creature is under lot of stress. The owner should be responsible for finding the reason for annoyance and take measures to relieve the creature of stress.
The owner of a crab must have an understanding of the process of molting and should be able to take proper care of the pet. The usual symptoms of molting are the crabs change in attitude and a definite change in the color of exoskeleton. If you have identified the beginning of the molting, and the creature is not alone in the enclosure then it is best to remove the crab to an isolation enclosure with enough moist sand and let the creature stay there in peace for molting. Proper provisions of food and freshwater should also be provided to these creatures.