The hermit crabs, from the Paguroidea family, are an ideal pet to have. With a lifespan of 15 to 20 years, these creatures are very docile and can allow themselves to be handled by their pet parents.
Despite their name, hermit crabs aren’t actually hermits. They are curious and active creatures and often spend their time in colonies. But probably the best thing about hermit crabs is that they don’t cost much to own and maintain them.
There are over a thousand species of hermit crabs ranging from land dwellers to marine inhabitants but despite the variety, they all share a common trait: the ability to find and carry their own homes.
The Costs of Owning and Maintaining a Hermit Crab
In this article, we will be discussing the figures and numbers of hermit crab ownership and maintenance. This would include one-time costs such as the actual price of the pet and its homemade habitat, as well as recurring costs such as food.
- Hermit Crab Price
The first thing you have to consider when it comes to hermit crab ownership is the actual price of the pet.
Just how much do hermit crabs cost? You should know that these creatures come in many different species and a variety of shapes and sizes which may affect their overall price. Luckily, most hermit crabs don’t cost that much.
Furthermore, the cost can be reduced when you buy them in bulk.
Among the species of hermit crabs you can choose from is the small blue leg hermit crab (Clibanarius tricolor) which can cost as low as $0.59 or $24.99 if you plan on buying in bulk. This is a relatively low-cost species but if you are keen on getting a costlier breed, you may want to get a blueberry or a strawberry hermit crab.
Coenobita purpureus, otherwise known as the rare land-dwelling blueberry hermit crab, is native only to Japan and can cost around $24.99. A dozen blueberries can cost you $239.99 if you want a colony as pets.
The strawberry hermit crab, or the Coenobita pelatus, is another breed similar to the blueberry but can be found in the Indo-Pacific. A single strawberry hermit costs about $19.99 to $39.99 and buying in bulk will cost around $219.
Other breeds of hermit crabs would include the Indo hermit crab (Coenobita brevimanus) priced around $9.99 to $14.99, the Ecuadorian hermit (Coenobita compressus) at $9.99 to $14.99, and the Atlantic hermit crab which costs around $4.99 to $9.99 depending on the size.
- Shelter Costs
Aside from the price of the hermit crab, you would also need to consider the costs of providing a suitable enclosure for your pet.
Depending on the number of hermit crabs you want to have, a 20-gallon tank would be sufficient in fitting a number of crabs. But a 5-gallon tank is ideal for two hermit crabs. Tanks usually cost around $17.95 to $39.99.
Larger and greater quality tanks are more expensive, somewhere around $100 but you don’t need to spend that much on hermit crab tanks.
You would also need to buy substrate for your hermit crab. The best substrate would have to be sand because these creatures tend to bury themselves either to modify their body temperature or if they are molting.
Substrates typically cost $2.57 to $36 depending on the type. Your pet hermit crab may also need an assortment of shells as it usually likes to switch homes that would accommodate the changes in its size. You can find shells for free on the beach or you can purchase a number of them for about $2.99 to $4.99.
Hermit crabs also need to be fed and drink so you would need to provide at least two containers for these purposes. A water dish may cost at about $7.29 while a food dish is somewhere at $15.99.
Furthermore, when you choose a water dish, make sure it is not too deep because hermit crabs like to drag themselves over the water. It wouldn’t hurt to purchase an extra dish to be filled with salt water.
Land-dwelling crabs also breathe through their gills. This means that they need to be in an environment with at least 70% humidity so that they don’t suffocate. You can raise humidity by spraying water in the hermit crab’s enclosure every other day.
You can also buy a humidity gauge for only $5.55 to know how humid the temperature is. During winter, you can also purchase a heating mat so that your pet doesn’t become too cold. Heating mats typically cost around $14.99 to $19.99 at PetSmart.
You may also want to consider buying a hide for only $7.95 because hermit crabs like to conceal themselves.
Recurring Costs of Hermit Crabs Ownership
The best thing about hermit crabs is that they are low-cost pets to have. Part of their low-cost characteristics is their eating habits, or the lack thereof.
Hermit crabs can eat the same things you do. Not only that, you only need to feed them in small amounts to meet their nutritional needs. You can also buy hermit crab pellets for as low as $2.49.
- Water Treatment
Freshwater can be harmful to hermit crabs, which is why you would need to dechlorinate it before you can allow your pet to drink it. A dechlorinator would cost around $3.22 to $70.26.
Get Your Own Pet Hermit Crab
If you are wondering where you can get your very own pet hermit crab, there are numerous pet stores that offer these shelled animals.
If there aren’t any pet stores near your location or if the ones you’ve visited don’t have the kind of hermit crab that you like, you can always turn to the internet. The internet hosts a number of pet services and you are bound to find a hermit crab that is perfect for you.
Online pet stores such as PetSmart and Reptile City are known providers of fine hermit crab species which you can get with only a click of a mouse.