Skip to Content

How Often Do Hermit Crabs Eat (What’s Their Favorite Food)?

In this article, you’ll know the answer to the question, “how often do Hermit Crabs eat?”

Do you want to buy a hermit crab and you have no idea where to start? You are in the right spot.

There are different types of crab hermit you can buy. If it’s your first time, you can start with the Caribbean. It’s also known as purple pincher (PP).

It is not so delicate like the others. You need to understand how you should maintain them.

To avoid starving the crab to death, let’s start with the basic. How often does hermit crab eat?

Hermit crab mostlyeats at night. They eat very little, at a slow pace. They can survive forseveral days without food up to a maximum of two weeks. To avoid starving yourcrab, ensure that there is enough food and water in the aquarium

Whenchoosing a hermit crab as a pet, there few things you need to know. It is notcheaper than other pets, and it has a high maintenance cost. Wild hermit crabscan survive for thirty years.

Unfortunately, most crabs in captivity, hardly survive for months.

There are steps you can take and make your crab survive for long. Before purchasing them, you need to buy some items.

Do Hermit Crabs Make Good Pets?

Yes, they do!

Hermit Crab Cage and Other Essential Equipment You Need To Have Before Buying a Hermit Crab

Apart from the cage, Hermit crabs also need these kits to live well.

1. A Large Tank That Has a Secure Lid

Image result for hermit crab tank

You need a place to keep your crab. The best site is a large tank of at least 10 gallons.

Since hermit crab is social, you require two or three more crabs to give it company. At least there will be enough space for the crabs to eat and move.

As they continue growing, be prepared to buy a larger tank of 30 – 40 gallons.

To prevent your crabs from escaping, you need to cover your container with a secure lid. Since you can’t stop them from climbing, you can relax knowing they are safe.

2. A maximum-minimum thermometer and a hydrometer

You must ensure that your crab is in a proper environment. The wild crabs survive well in hot and humid places.

Your crab need the same condition. Ensure that the humidity in the tank is 75%, with a temperature of 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

3. Heater or Any Other Heat Source That You Can Use For the Tank

Seasons keep on changing. You need a plan to maintain the humid and temperature.

You can use a heat source or an under tank heater during cold seasons. A heat lamp is also a better alternative.

To maintain the right level of humidity, you can use a water spray. It will help in misting the tank every day. Bubble dish could also be another choice.

4.For substrate, you can use sand or a coconut fiber

After purchasing the tank, don’t make a mistake of cementing it.

The crabs and most especially the purple pincher enjoy digging and hiding inside the sad. So if you put cement, you will deny your crab some rights.

5. Cleaning equipment

Just like you, the crab needs a clean environment. The material will help you clean all the left-over’s.

If you put substrate in your tank, ensure that you scoop all the soiled areas. Clean regularly and keep on replacing the soiled substrate with a fresh one.

To prevent bacteria’s form building up, empty the tank twice or thrice a year.

Use a dilute bleach to scrub it. Once it’s clean, refresh your task with the right furniture. You also need to put clean toys and new substrate.

6. Tank Accessories

You need to understand that the hermit crabs enjoy hiding during the day. So provide the hiding place.

Ensure that in the tank, there are some stones and branches. You can also put some hides. Most importantly, there must be some spare shells. 

The wild crabs are very selective of the shell they want to use. They avoid huge ones or very small.

They like fitting ones. If you don’t provide your crabs with spare cartridges, they will be forced to use the available one. It might not give it the comfort it deserves. It might be too big or so tiny.

Other Things to Buy Include:

1. Disinfectants – The disinfectants to protect your crabs from any infection.

2. A mister – these are means that will help you to ensure that the tank retains the right humid levels.

3. Two Dishes and bowl – The crabs need both fresh and salt water. One dish should have clean water; the other one should have saltwater. You can use a bowl to put crab food.

4. You also need a de-chlorinated and saltwater source I am sure that you would like your crab to live long.

It could be unfortunate buying all these types of equipment, only for your crab to die after a month.

Below are the common mistakes some people make, you need to avoid them at all costs:

1. Painted Shells

Some paintings are so attention-grabbing. You might be enticed to paint the shells to look beautiful and attractive.

But, do you know the harm you will cause your cute crabs? You will be poisoning them. The painting is often toxic to the crabs.

2. Solitude

After all, it’s just a crab. That could be your thinking when purchasing a crab. You might not see the importance of giving it company. Did you know that hermit crabs are very social?

Well, just like a human, they enjoy the company and hate being lonely. When sleeping, you will find them piled up in heaps.

3. Low Humid

To avoid suffocating your crab, ensure that the tank has a high moist.

Since they use their modified gills for breathing, they can’t get enough oxygen if the humidity level is low. Always ensure that humid level high at around 75%.

4. Inadequate Substrate and Tap Water

When giving water to your crabs, don’t provide them with tap water. Avoid also giving them salt water made of table salt.

You must use aquarium salt to make saltwater. Fresh water must be de-chlorinated.

To help the crab in their natural molting process, put enough substrate. They must be able to dig inside the substrate and burrow.

5. Boring Enclosure

A hermit crab is very active. It enjoys climbing and exploring. To make the environment more enjoyable to explore, you need to put more accessories.

Ensure that their habitats have places to hide and also to climb.


All in all, you’ve got to do everything to keep your hermit crab alive. It will not be right if your crab dies after a few months.

The same hermit crab can survive in the wild with no one taking care of it, for thirty years.

Before deciding to purchase it, you need proper advice. Understand what you can and can’t do when handling a crab.