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CostHelper > Pets & Pet Care  > Hermit Crab

Hermit Crab Cost


How Much Does a Hermit Crab Cost?

 
low costHermit Crabs: $2-$45average costAquarium & Lights: $30-$90+
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Hermit crabs are popular pets for their curious behavior. Chief among these is their habit of "moving" from one shell to another as they grow. Their name suggests that they enjoy living alone, but actually only reflects that only one crab lives in one shell at a time.

Typical costs:

  • Hermit crabs mainly range in price according to size and species. Prices range from $2 to $45.
  • They come in four basic sizes: tiny, medium, large and jumbo. A tiny crab is about the size of a quarter and typically costs under $5. Mediums are about the size of a golf ball. Larges are the size of a tennis ball. Jumbos are about the size of a baseball.
  • One of the most popular, the Purple Pincher, has reddish purple skin and large claws and ranges in price from $10 to $45 at HermitCrabPatch.com[1] .
Related articles: Fish, Pet Frog, Turtle

What should be included:
  • Common pet species include the Caribbean, the Ecuadorian, the Strawberry and the Purple Pincher. Hermit crabs are social, and enthusiasts recommend having more than one crab in a tank. Hermit crabs live about 10 years. Captive crabs do not breed.
  • Hermit crabs have a soft abdomen with a hooked tail to grab onto a shell. They also have claws and can pinch but typically don't. Hermit crabs "move" from one shell to another often.
  • Another curious behavior of hermit crabs is the molting process. About every year to two years, the crab will shed its outer skeleton and grow a new one. To do this, they will bury into the sand and be there for about a month. It's a good idea to have an isolation area ready in the tank, as crabs need to be alone and safe for this process.
  • Visit HermitCrabAssociation.com[2] for a bounty of information on the hermit crab.
Additional costs:
  • Food. Hermit crab food comes in cans or in pellets and costs about $3 for six ounces, or a supply that lasts two weeks to one month. Also needed are a food dish, a water bowl for salted water and another with plain, dechlorinated, water. A dechlorinator costs about $5, as do the bowls.
  • Habitat. Get an aquarium that is at least 10 gallons or larger and that has a tight fitting lid. Glass works best. An aquarium costs between $30 and $50. Adorn the aquarium with places to hide and toys, these will be available for around $10 each. Sand can be purchased for $3.50 to $15.
  • Temperature and Humidity. A light bulb or heating source costs $12 to $20. Keep an eye on the humidity level -- it should be 70 percent -- with a hygrometer, which costs about $5.
  • Extra shells. Keep at least two extra shells per crab for the crab to move to. Shells cost between $2 and $20, depending on the look and size. Some are decorated with a carved image or painted. SeaShellCity.com[3] is recommended by the online hermit crab community.
Discounts:
  • Buy sand in bulk at a hardware store. A 50-pound bag at the Home Depot costs about $5.
  • Buy a ready-made kit for between $16 and $75. Kits typically include an aquarium, some foliage, sand and a hiding place. PetSmart.com[4] offers one for $35.
Shopping for a hermit crab:
  • There are a number of online communities for hermit crab owners. LandHermitCrabs.com[5] has a variety of information and active forums; it requires registration and signing in to view and post.
  • Petco provides a care sheet[6] on hermit crabs.
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External Resources:
  1.  www.hermitcrabpatch.com/Live-Pet-Hermit-Crabs-s/6.htm
  2.  www.hermitcrabassociation.com/phpBB/index.php
  3.  www.seashellcity.com/crabs/crabshells_1.html
  4.  www.petsmart.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2753345
  5.  www.landhermitcrabs.com/
  6.  www.petco.com/CareSheets/petco_CareSheets.aspx
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