June 2, 2016
Hermit crabs climbing net
Make a hammock. Place two suction cups at one end of the tank and place two suction cups with hooks on them at the other end of the crab's tank. Cut a piece cheesecloth or a fine fishnet into a rectangle. The rectangle should be a few inches less than the length and width of the tank. Cut two small holes at each end of the rectangle. The holes should line up with the suction cups. Place string through the holes and make loops. Hang the hammock by placing the loops over the hooks that are on the suction cups.
- You want the hammock to sag a little bit so place the suction cups 1/2 to 2 inches above where you want the hammock to be.
- Make sure the holes you place in the cloth are in the right position. Hold the ends of the hammock up against the tank before you pierce the cloth.
- Do not use glue to secure the leaves. Glue is toxic for your hermit crab. Twisting the vines around the leaves is enough to keep them secure.
- Add as many or as few leaves as you like. The tree will look more realistic if there are more leaves.
- Your crab will enjoy climbing on the tree and hiding under the leaves.
- All of these items can be found at your local pet store.
- Tie fishing line or cotton thread to the stems of your tree and then tie the tree to a piece of driftwood. Bury the driftwood and the bottom of the tree stem in the substrate to keep the tree upright and from floating.
- Remove the driftwood when you clean your crab's tank. Wash the driftwood with hot water and put it in the microwave to dry. Do not use soap or detergent to clean the driftwood. These chemicals can be harmful for your crab.
- Dried choya wood, coral, and barnacles can also be placed in your crab's tank as well.
Method 2Choosing a Substrate
- Make sure the substrate is deep enough. Hermit crabs love to dig, tunnel and bury themselves. Not only is playing in substrate fun for your crab, the substrate provides the right environment for your crab to molt (i.e. shed exoskeleton, grow). The depth of the substrate should be 3 to 4 times the size of your crab's shell and be able to retain moisture.
- If your crab is the size of a dime, penny, or quarter, you will need at least 6 inches of substrate.
- If your crab is the size of a golf ball, use 6 to 8 inches of substrate.
- If your crab is the size of a tennis ball, use 8 to 10 inches of substrate.
- If your crab is larger than a baseball, use at least 12 inches of substrate.
- Use sand. Any type of sand is fine for your crab as long as it is clean. Most sand that you buy will be pre-washed and/or pre-sanitized. Pour some of the sand into a small bowl before you put it in your crab's tank and check for insects.
- If you notice any strange smells when you open the bag of sand, do not put the sand in the tank. The sand may be moldy.
- Sand is very affordable and your crab will enjoy playing in it.
- Use coconut fiber. Coconut fiber (i.e. Forest Bedding, Eco-Earth) comes as a hard brick when you purchase it, and it must be prepared before you place it in the tank. Place the brick in a large bowl and fill the bowl with water until you can break the brick apart with your hands. Add the coconut fiber to the tank while it is moist.
- Your hermit crab will probably eat some of the coconut fiber. This is perfectly fine as it contains minerals that they need.
- You can also use pre-prepared salt water to fix your coconut fiber.
- Coconut fiber attracts fungus gnats. If you notice tiny black bugs in the tank, you need to clean the tank and replace the substrate.
- You can also combine sand and coconut fiber. Use a 5:1 ration of sand to coconut fiber.
Method 3Making a Hideout
- Make a plastic cave. Use PVC pipe to make a cave for your crab. Cut the PVC pipe in half and bury it in the substrate to make cave. You can bury the pipe horizontally or vertically. You can also place the cut pipes side by side for a different look.
- If the PVC is untreated, rinse it with clean water before you place it into the crab's tank.
- Make sure the cave is big enough for your crab to move in and out of it.
- Make a clay hiding place. Purchase a new, untreated terracotta flower plot as a hiding place. Place the flower pot on its side and dig it into the substrate so that it is secure. You can also make your own pottery piece to put in the tank. Only use natural clay without additives when making your own pottery pieces.
- Do not paint, glaze, or glue any of the clay pieces. These chemicals are harmful to your crab.
- Use sand paper to remove any rough edges from your pot and wash it with hot water to get rid of dust.
- Have multiple hiding places. Hermit crabs enjoy a variety of places to hide and play. Incorporate different materials and shapes into your crab's habitat. An even mix of open space and hiding space is ideal. Your crab may prefer some toys to others so you can adjust the habitat based on your crab's personality and preferences.
- Fake plants, vines, and rocks can also be used for hiding places.
- You could also attach rocks to a the outside of a clay pot or PVC pipe cave. If you use rocks, attach them using aquarium safe silicone only.
- Test and treat your rocks. If you collect rocks instead of purchasing them from the pet store, you need to make sure they are safe to place in the tank. Wash and scrub the rocks and pour vinegar on them. If the rocks bubble, they are not safe to use. Place the other rocks in a bucket of water with 1-2 cups of bleach. Allow the rocks to soak for 24 hours. After 24 hours, rinse the rocks and soak them in a bucket of clean water for 48 hours.
- During the 48 hour soak, change the clean water every 12 hours to make sure that the bleach is gone.
- Boil the rocks for 6-8 hours in a large pot of fresh water, rinse them, and allow them to cool before you use them.
- If you do not want to go through this process, you can purchase rocks from the pet store that have already been sanitized.
- Care for hideout toys. Transfer your crab to a small plastic container with a little bit of sand and remove the toys. Wipe the toys using warm, dechlorinated water. Some toys (i.e. drift wood and rocks) can be boiled for a few minutes to kill bacteria. Other toys (i.e. plastic caves, plastic plants) should not be boiled, just wipe them down. Allow the toys to dry completely before you place them back in the tank.
- Never use tap water to clean the toys. Hermit crabs are sensitive to chlorine found in most tap water. Also avoid using and soaps or chemicals because they are harmful for your crab.
- Toys should be cleaned every 2 weeks to prevent mold and bacteria from growing on them.
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