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What To AVOID When Buying Hermit Crab Supplies

Updated: Jul 7

It can be hard, especially for new owners to know what items are and are not safe when it comes to buying Hermit Crab supplies. But don't worry, this blog has you totally covered!!

We will go over commonly found items in pet stores and online, that you should avoid at all costs. Not only will this save you money, but it may just save your crabs lives.

It's strange to think that items marked as "for hermit crabs" could actually be unsafe! We want to trust that the products we buy online and in store are safe. But sadly, majority are not. When it comes to pet store products, it is all for marketing and does not truly reflect what Hermit Crabs naturally use in the wild.


Avoid ALL Hermit Crab labelled pet store foods. This goes for pet stores and online pet stores. Unless your foods are made from an Approved seller of the Australian Hermit Crab Association (AHCA) or The Land Hermit Crab Owners Society (LHCOS) then they are not something worth risking. Sellers who work with these 2 organizations, are under very strict guidelines to produce 100% safe food products for your crabs that are well balanced and cover your crabs' dietary needs, helping them to not only thrive, but actually survive.

Foods to avoid

• Krabooz Foods - Treatz, Munchiez.

• Zoo Med Hermit Crab Food

• Hermit Crab Pellets

• Hermit Crab Flakes

• Blue Planet Hermit Crab Food

• Aqua One Hermit Crab Food

• Any other Hermit Crab Labelled Foods from pet stores or online


This one always gets new owners as it can be very confusing. Hermit Crabs NEED Ocean water in their tank. And majority of us don't live next door to the beach. So, we have to create our own ocean water. The only product that truly replicates the salinity of ocean water is Marine Salt.

This is something that is used in some fish tanks. Therefore, it is something you need to buy from an Aquarium Store, Specialist Fish Pet Store, or online through an approved seller.

Avoid using the following salts. They are NOT marine salt and do not mimic the ocean and all of its natural vitamins and minerals that our crabs need.

• Krabooz - Saltz Crystalz, Ocean Water Bag

• Aqua One Hermit Crab Salt

• Blue Planet Hermit Crab Salt

• Zoo Med Conditioning Salt

• Soaking Salt

• Table Salt

• Sea Salt Flakes/Crystals

• Himalayan Salt

• Celtic Salt

• Cooking Salt

• Kosher Salt

• Aquarium Salt

• Tropical Salt

It gets a bit confusing knowing what is Marine Salt, as there are SO many specialist salts out there. Commonly used brands in the Hermit Crab community include Red Sea Salt, Aqua Forest Sea Salt, Instant Ocean, Aqua One Synthetic Reef Salt, Continuum Reef Crystals and Aquasonic Premium Sea Salt.

Marine salt is not commonly found in your standard pet store, or local grocer. It is something that will usually be available to purchase from an Aquarium Store.

Water Conditioner

There are quite a few hermit crab labelled water conditioners, unfortunately they usually only remove one or two nasties from the water. If you are using tap water, you MUST treat your water with something that removes ALL of the following nasties.

Ammonia, Chloramine, Chlorine, Nitrates and Nitrites. All of these chemicals are harmful to your crab.

Avoid the following water conditioners

• Krabooz - Zooper Dropz, Dechlorinated Water Bag

• Reptisafe Terrarium Water Conditioner

• Zoo Med Hermit Crab Drinking Water

• API Tap Water Conditioner

• Aqua One Water Conditioner

There is one Water Conditioner that stands out above the rest, it covers EVERYTHING! And all you need is 1 drop her 1 litre of water.

Seachem Prime Water Conditioner is the best on the market and is cost effective for what it does and how much you will use.


It sounds strange but not all decor is safe for your Hermit Crabs. Avoid the following materials.

• Metal

• Eucalyptus Leaves & Branches

• Evergreen Wood - Pine, Cedar, Juniper

• Unsafe Woods - Walnut Wood, Apricot, Laurel, Nectarine, Peach, Plum, Lucky Bamboo, Boxwood, Alder Bark, Apple Wood)

• Treated Plants

• Painted Plastic Items

• Tanbark

• Painted Rocks

• Cardboard

• Glue

• Sphagnum Peat Moss

• Foam

All of the above items are toxic and can be consumed by your crabs, essentially poisoning them.

It's best to stick to the safe products listed below.

• Plain Plastic Decor

• Coconut Hide

• Acrylic

• Fish Egg Crate

• Caple Ties

• Aquarium Sealant

• Gutter Guard

• Safe Woods - Cholla, Pecan Bark, Cork Bark, Oak Bark, Mopani Wood, Mangrove, Madrona Wood, Birch Wood, Bamboo, Ash Wood)

• Sphagnum Moss

• Jute Material (non-painted)

• Seagrass Hammocks

• Coloured Plastic (non-painted)

• China, Ceramic, Resin.

• 3D Printed Filament Products

• Fake Plants

• Granite Rocks

• Faux Grass


The kind of tank you provide for your Hermit Crabs is very crucial to their survival. Avoid the following style of tanks.

• Krabooz - Large Enclosure, Donut

• Tanks With Mesh Lids

• Plastic Containers

• Tanks With No Lid

• Tanks With Mesh Gaps

• Tanks With Only a Hooded Lid

The following tanks are all that you need to ensure your crabs stay warm and the environment stays humid. This will also prevent your crabs from escaping.

Hermit Crabs do NOT need "breathing holes" they do not breathe fresh air. They absorb humidity through their modified gills, and this is how they breathe. They WILL NOT suffocate if your tank is enclosed. They WILL suffocate if you have an open style tank with fresh air.

• Enclosed Glass Fish Tank With Lid

• Reptile Tank With Mesh Parts Covered And Proper Enclosed Lid


The type of shells you provide for your Hermit Crabs is very important. They need correctly fitting shells, ones that are larger for them to grow into and a selection of various shapes and styles.

Shells to avoid when shopping include.

• Painted Shells - these are toxic

• Broken Shells

• Shells With Holes

• Shells with narrow or slim openings

• Long Spiral Shells

• Jagged Shells

• Plastic or Glass Shells

Your crabs only ever need all natural shells with D, O or Round openings. These are best purchased through an approved seller, online seashell stores and some pet stores.


The Hermit Crab marketed Poole are extremely shallow, so shallow in fact, that all a crab can do is put their feet in there.

Sadly, that leaves your crab with no way to actually fill up their shell with water.

Hermit Crabs need to store water in the base of their shells to keep their soft abdomen moist and also for use during their long moults.

This is why all pools (salt and fresh) should be deep enough for your largest crab to fully submerge their shell and body.

As long as you have a safe way in and out, they will not drown.

Pools to avoid

• Krabooz Poolz

• Shallow Containers

• Shallow Reptile Pools

• Metal Pools

• Flimsy Plastic Pools

• Soft Plastic Pools

• Takeaway Container Pools

• Rubber Pools

The following items are perfectly safe to use as pools and are much sturdier, preventing them being tipped over or leaking.

• Small Glass Fish Tanks

• Hard Plastic Tupperware

• Glass Containers

• Resin Containers

• Acrylic Containers

• 3D Printed Pools

• Ceramic Pools

Heat Sources

This one is really important, our Hermit Crabs need high heat in order to survive. Similar to their natural environment. Our Australian crabs prefer heat between 27-32.c degrees, all year round, 24/7.

Avoid the following heat sources, these are either not safe, may burn your crabs, dry out substrate or are not strong enough to actually produce heat into the tank.

• Heat Mats UNDER 20w (Wattage)

• Heat Lamps

• Heating Rocks

• Heat Bulbs

• Ceramic Heat Emitter

These types of heat sources will cause dry substrate, burns to crabs, only heat one small portion of the tank, and will not actually heat the air of the tank the way it needs.

There are only 2 heating products that should be used on a Hermit Crab tank (we said on, NEVER in) placing heat sources inside a tank is extremely dangerous.

• Heat Mats ABOVE 20w (Wattage)

• Heat Cords

Both of these items should be placed on the outside back/sides of the tank, sitting above the substrate level. This prevents substrate drying out and burning your crabs.

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