New, read FAQs, have ??

Where you post anything related to hermit crabs that does not fit into the categories below.

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Joined: Sun May 31, 2015 4:43 am

New, read FAQs, have ??

Post by Sonya17 » Sun May 31, 2015 5:37 am

Hi all. We've read alot but have specific questions that I wanted to ask. I bought two hermit crabs for my 15 year old daughter to replace one she had last year. Right now she had a 5 gallon tank with a wire mesh top. She's using sand mixed with coconut fiber bedding for substrate. She also has a coconut fiber mat on the back wall of the tank for climbing and some driftwood pieces as well. There is a man made coconut for hiding and she uses a resin water dish and a shell for food. After reading, we realized she really needs a larger tank so that's next, but right now I'm concerned about a heat source. The reviews I've read about heating mats all say that they don't heat well enough. I think this was one of the reasons we lost her crab last year. For now I've taped a heading pad to the back off the tank but it runs for 20 min and shuts off. We can periodically turn it on to keep heat up but we need a reliable source with thermostat...any suggestions? Also, is distilled bottled water safe for drinking? Any guidance for this novice owner would be appreciated. She really cares for her pets and would love to hear from the experienced owners on what's works best and what you suggest.Thank you! Sonya and Meghan

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New, read FAQs, have ??

Post by Keg » Sun May 31, 2015 8:55 am

Hi.Distilled water is not safe for drinking to my understanding (google this). I use bottled water which is generally filtered for me and the crab.As for the heater, this sort of thing is a problem solving process. I did try one of those heating pads they sell at Petco and it was just slightly warm. It would be helpful to know what the tank temperature is, and for this, as well as the humidity, you should have a digital hygrometer.I use this one: ... 07W1EA6The actual reading may not be perfectly accurate, but it certainly is sensitive and seems to be consistent, so I figure out what numbers the crab seems most happy with and then I try to maintain that.As to how you can get the temperature right is an interesting question. At a minimum, I'd like to know what the temperature in the tank is, versus what your room temperature is. Depending on what part of the country you are in, these two temperatures could both be ideal for the crab (at least during certain times of the year). In that case, no problem. Or you could be in an area of the country where no crabs naturally exist because the temperature is out of their natural range. In that case, there is a problem solving process, but it would be good to know more facts.For instance, I live in Arizona, so everything I do has to take into account keeping the temperature down, except for a month or so in the winter. So I can't even afford to use a screen top because it traps heat in the tank and keeps air conditioning out. Of course an open top allows humidity to drift out, so I keep a human sized swamp cooler and a mister pointed at the tank. The crab in question is around 14 years old with 7 years under my care... Most of that care was bad and uninformed, but I do the best I can with these inhospitable conditions.If you could post a picture of your crabitat, it would help. As much information about your climate would help. And how stable is your room temperature? Sometimes it can be expensive to heat or cool depending on where you are, and these conditions affect humidity too.