Hermit crabs have such an eclectic palette, as they enjoy all sorts of foods ranging from fruits, vegetables, exports and grains, meat, and seafood. It seems you can feed them almost any type of food straight from the grocery store, but there are some precautions you'll want to take to properly prepare certain foods while just staying away from other types of foods. Following these easy steps when feeding your hermit crabs will keep your crab healthy and live a longer and more full life.
In the wild, hermit crabs are naturally found in more tropical areas of the globe, particularly in the Caribbean region and along shorelines near the equator. As crab pet owners, we also look to maintain similar environmental conditions to keep our crabs happy and healthy, but warmer and humid air can bring certain microbes and other types of infections, so it is critical to offer your crabs sterilized food and water properly prepared .
When preparing food and water for your crabs, follow these basic guidelines to ensure proper health:
* Properly Treat Drinking Water – Your crabs are not used to consuming the same tap water that we find in our municipal sources, which is typically treated with minerals and additives such as chlorine and fluoride. These elements are intentally added to protect our drinking water for human consumption, but are harmful for hermit crabs, resulting in skin and shell deterioration, leading to infections. Be sure to use commercially available water treatment for your crab's drinking water.
* Do not Feed Organic Foods with Copper Sulfate – Copper is a necessary element for the overall health of your crab, but when in the form of copper sulfate, this can pose harm to your crab. Certain organic foods have this element added. Feel free to feed your crab green and leafy vegetables although to maintain health both before and during their molting process.
* Do not Feed Foods with Artificial Flavors & Preservatives – Technically these are foods that we should not eat either, but it is very harmful to feed your crabs foods which are not organic or have added artificial flavors or preservatives. Eating these foods will deteriorate your crab's health very quickly, as their bodies are not acclaimed to such foods. Such foods include convenience snacks and even processed dried fruits where there are preservatives and added sugars.
* Do not Feed Foods with Lots of Spices – Hermit crabs prefer their foods simple and natural, just like they would find in the wild. Whole foods which have not been processed or have added spices is best. Even simple and common spices to us such as salt and pepper are not good for your crabs, and can harm their digestive system.
* Do not Feed Salt or Sugar – For the most part, hermit crabs would not find foods with added refined sugars or table salt in the wild, and their bodies and digestive system is not able to handle such foods. If you must spice up their food, use fresh organic parsley, organic honey, and organic molasses, but for the most part, the natural sweetness of foods such as apple, strawberries, and bananas is just enough for your crabs.
These are the most common warnings when feeding hermit crabs. Naturally when preparing and washing whole foods bought from the local grocery store or farmer's market, you'll want to use de-chlorinated water to prevent sickness. You'll also want to focus on foods rich in antioxidants, carotene, and minerals like copper, zinc, and iron. Feeding your hermit crab whole foods will make them very happy and content, and we can all benefit from adopting the hermit crab diet of organic foods and lots of fruits and vegetables!