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These are the minimum requirements needed to start up a healthy crabitat:A 10 gallon glass tank (the minimum recommended size, can be larger)A lid for the tank, either a glass canopy, a glass lid cut to fit the tank and drilled with several air holes (non-tempered glass only), or a screen lid for the appropriate tank size covered at least 75% with Glad Press and Seal or Saran Wrap that is taped shut to the lid to maintain proper temperature and humidity within the crabitat.A UTH (under-the-tank heater) if you live in a cool/cold climate and you cannot maintain a tank temp of 75-80 degrees easily. The UTH should side mounted; if you are side mounting you will generally need to buy a UTH that is rated for a larger tank.A temperature gauge and a humidity gauge, or a combination unit that measures both. Digital gauges usually cost more but tend to be more accurate, particularly with regards to humidity. A quality substrate that is safe for crab use and holds humidity well. Playsand, Eco-Earth and Forest Bedding are all recommended and economical substrates, and all can be mixed with salt water to ***** the growth of mold which is not uncommon in higher humidities.A dechlorinator that removes chlorine, chloramines and heavy metals if you are using tap water or spring water. The dechlorinator should not contain aloe.A commercial crab food that does not contain ethoxyquin and/or copper sulfate. Crab Island by T-Rex is a good commercial food and should be used in conjunction with the feeding of fresh foods. A list of all edible foods for hermit crabs is found on here. A source of calcium to be offered in the tank at all times. Calci-Sand, unflavored cuttlebone, clean crushed eggshells, crushed oyster shells, dried baby shrimp and krill are all good sources of calcium.A saltwater mix, to be mixed with dechlorinated water per the instructions on This Thread.Three non-metallic dishes, one for food, one for fresh water and one for salt water. The water dishes should be large enough that a crab can climb in them and be able to fill his shell with the water if need be. Sterilized gravel or aquarium gems are one of the many items you can use to line your water dishes to allow the crabs to get in and out of the dishes safely.*Please note that despite what store staff my tell you, crabs are not able to drink from sponges. To drink, they dip their claws in the water and bring the droplets to their mouths so there must be some depth to it which makes sponges and scallop shells unsuitable. Hiding spots such as Coco Huts, clay flower pots, resin aquarium or reptile caves, or carved logs such as Habba Huts. Climbing items such as cholla wood, corkbark, driftwood, or grapevine. Woods from evergreen trees (pine, cedar, juniper, etc.) should be avoided. Wood products should be boiled before first usage and do tend to mold, so remove the pieces on a regular basis and replace them with other wood to allow the pieces to dry out completely. Soaking the wood in salt water will further help deter mold growth.A minimum of three appropriately-sized shells per crab. http://www.naplesseashellcompany.com offers a complete list of available hermit crab shells and will do special orders if necessary. They also offer a 10% discount to all members through This Link.For more online companies that sell hermit crab supplies, please check out our Links Forum.A care sheet for those new to crabbing, created by our own member Jedi Master Thrash, is available here and here.
~ crabbing since 2003