Water Conditioner and Marine Salt are two vitally important aspects of any Hermit Crab tank.
In the wild, Hermit Crabs only come into contact with ocean water and all its natural saltiness, as well as distilled rain water. Both which contain no Ammonia, Nitrites, Nitrates, Chlorine, Chloramine or heavy metals.
But when we bring them into our home, we use tap water that has been treated with many different chemicals and heavy metals, all which are unsafe for Hermit Crabs. That is why it is so important that we treat all water that goes into their tank with a proper all purpose water conditioner and a marine salt that mimics the natural salt water they find in the ocean.
There are hundreds of water conditioners on the market right now, it can be hard to know which one to use. Especially since several of them are marketed at Hermit Crabs.
Sadly, these just won't get the job done. Hermit Crab marketed water conditioners will only treat one or two aspects of the water, usually chlorine and heavy metals.
But that's not all we need to remove, you should be looking for a water conditioner that removes Ammonia, Chloramine, Chlorine, Nitrates, Nitrites and heavy metals. Something that gets the entire job done with just one bottle.
We always have and always will highly recommend Seachem Prime Water Conditioner. This wonderful little bottle removes all of the nasties mentioned above with just 1 drop per 1 litre of water! So a little goes a long way, making it last longer and getting more bang for your buck! These are easily accessible online, at aquariums, or in the fish section of most pet stores.
So why do we need to remove all of those nasties from our crabs water?
When tap water contains as many chemicals as it does, it turns the water "hard", no not hard like ice, but hard as in containing very high mineral contents.
All of these added chemicals are essentially toxic to your Hermit Crabs. You may not see a decline in their health straight away, but it is certainly taking an effect on their overall health and will show in time.
• Pictured above are some commonly found hermit crab water conditioners. None of these remove everything from your tap water and should be avoided.
This is where people often get caught out, Sea salt, Himalayan salt, Table salt, Cooking salt, Aquarium salt, Tropical salt, Celtic salt, Marine salt... its all just salt right? Sadly no. Each salt has its own purpose and contrary to belief, some salts contain certain properties that other salts do not.
So why do we only recommend Marine Salt for hermit crabs? Firstly, your salt pool is supposed to mimic the ocean. Your crabs salt water serves more purpose than just a place for them to bathe. Marine Salt contains important trace minerals that hermit crabs need in order to survive and thrive. They will also dip into the salt pool to fill their shell water, mixing it with fresh water inside the shell to obtain their preferred salinity.
A high quality marine salt is as close to sea water as you will get without going to the ocean. You should never use table salt, himalayan salt, cooking salt, celtic salt, salt crystals, tropical salt, or food grade sea salt. These were not designed for Hermit Crabs and can be toxic and serve absolutely no purpose to your crabs life.
We also highly advise against using salts that are marketed at Hermit Crabs. Again, these serve no purpose and will not aid your Hermit Crabs health in any way. If you can find the a salt at the supermarket or standard pet store, it's not going to be safe nor useful. The best place to buy your Marine Salt is through aquarium stores, online aquarium stores or through a reputable online Hermit Crab supplies store like our own.
Salts that we highly recommend are Red Sea Salt, Aquaforest Sea Salt, Aqua One Synthetic Reef Salt, Continuum Reef Crystals, and Aquasonic Premium Sea Salt.
• Pictured above are some commonly found Hermit Crab salts.
How to use your Water Conditioner & Marine Salt
Prime water conditioner only requires 1 drop per 1 litre of water, so a little goes a long way. We often get owners stressed that they have accidently added 2-3 drops into 1 litre of water and freting that this will poison their crabs. You cannot overdose your water with Prime. Adding extra will not harm your crabs, but it certainly will use up your water conditioner alot quicker.
Water conditioner must be added to all water added into your tank, in both the fresh and salt water pools, as well as in the water that you use to dampen your mosspit and when washing your shells.
Most marine salts require 34g of salt per 1 litre of water. Or roughly 2 tablespoons. You must condition your water first, add your marine salt and stir until all salt is fully dissolved.