Putting together a crab habitat, often called a crabitat is very important when you own crabs. Often small plastic containers are sold as crabitats with a small amount of sand or gravel and a shell with a sponge. This isn't a suitable home and often crabs that live in these homes live about three to six months instead of the years that they would other wise live. Your hermit crab can live for 40 years with good care, but a proper hermit crab habitat is a must.  

What is the Hermit Crab Habitat?

The hermit crab habitat goes by a lot of names. Some call it a crab habitat, some call it a crab terrarium, and others call it a crabitat. No matter what you call it, it is simply the cage by which you keep your hermit crab. The crab habitat should include all the vital supplies you need to keep your crabs healthy and happy.  

My 10g Hermit Crabitat

Hermit Crab Terrarium

Hermit Crab Terrarium

A hermit crab terrarium can be a fish tank or a reptile cage. It needs to be able to hold several inches of substrate so that the hermit crabs can bury themselves. The cheapest option is buying an aquarium without a hood and then purchasing a top for it. You will want to make sure you get one that is large enough for your hermit crabs. Two crabs should have at least a 10 gallon tank. However, this is a really small space when you try to fit everything in. Often, bigger is better and having more than two crabs can be nice, but you will have to have a bigger space.


Hermit Crab Supplies

You will need a lot of stuff to go into your hermit crab habitat. Most hermit crab supplies can be purchased at the pet store, in craft stores, and you can even get creative and get them form other places. If collecting items from outside make sure that it is free of chemicals before using it in the hermit crab enclosure. 

  •  Substrate: You will want to have a good substrate or two. In fact, two is better. You can buy specialty options or you can choose items like play sand, coconut fiber, or soil.
  • Pools: Your hermit crab needs water to drink and to bath in. You will want a pool large enough that your largest crab can get in and soak for dechlorinated fresh water and one for dechlorinated salt water.
  • Homes: The hermit crab should have some where to rest and hide. You want to make sure that you give them a home. Some common options include cut out logs and carved out coconut shells. Either of these will work.
  • Toys: Hermit crabs like to walk and climb. In the wild they can go up to two miles a night looking for food. This makes your home pretty small and their crabitat tiny. You want to give them as many options as possible. You should add something for them to climb on such as fake plants, coral, rocks, and dried branches. Another great choice is cholla wood, but make sure it isn't painted because they like to eat it!
  • Thermometer: Your hermit crab needs it to be between 70 and 80 degrees. You want to make sure that you have a thermometer to keep track of how warm it is in the habitat. You can find inexpensive
  • Hygrometer: You have to have a hygrometer to make sure that you are keeping your humidity levels in the right range. They need at least a 60% humidity, but 70 to 80 is much better.  
Hermit Crab Habitat

Setting Up Your Crabitat

Setting up your crabitat can be a lot of fun. You can get creative and have some fun with it. Ideally you will do this a week or so before getting your hermit crabs. You want to make sure that you are keeping the temperatures and humidity at the correct levels before putting stressed out crabs into the crab habitat.

  1. Clean the new home. You want to make sure you clean out the inside well, but you don't want to use chemicals. You should rinse it out good to make sure that there is no dirt, dust, or anything harmful inside.
  2. Put in your substrate. You will want to make sure you have plenty of substrate for your crabs to dig in. You should put down about four inches of substrate for small crabs and a lot more for larger ones. The crabs should be able to climb into it with substrate under him or her and substrate on top of them. Adding two types of substrate is also a good option. Do this by filling up one side and then filling up the other.
  3. Next you should put in your water pools. You want to make sure that you are doing that now so that you have plenty of room to work with. You should always have a freshwater pool and a saltwater pool. They should be large enough that your hermit crab can get in them. If you have small hermit crabs you can add small shells or pebbles to help them get out of the pool.
  4. Next you want to stick the thermometer and hygrometer in the tank. You want to put it somewhere that it doesn't look really ugly, but also somewhere that you will be able to read real easily. If you put it somewhere that is a pain to read then it will be harder to keep an eye on the things that are important for the long and healthy life of your crabs.
  5. Then you get to have some fun. Take a wide variety of options that you are considering using for decorations. This can include coral, wood, cholla, fake plants, and so forth. While decorating you want to give them somewhere to hide, somewhere to climb, and somewhere to dig into the substrate. You want to make sure that there is some place to put extra shells as well. Have fun with the decorating part and get creative with the materials that you have.  
Hermit Crab

Taking care of your hermit crabs will require more than just a cool place to put them. However, having a good home for them is a great start. You will want to make sure that you create a house that offers them everything that they need, plus some fun. Remember to have fun with it and they are likely to have fun with it as well.