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What do Hermit Crabs Eat

Bhakti Satalkar Aug 1, 2020
Hermit crabs are found in water as well as on land. People who keep these as pets are sometimes not aware of the food they eat. Here are the details about the same.
Hermit crabs are actually saltwater animals that have a striking resemblance to snails. More and more people want to keep them as pets in their aquariums. Therefore, they are curious as to how to care for these crabs in general and what they eat in particular.

Hermit Crab Food Facts

Hermit crabs are omnivorous scavengers. They like variety in their diet, especially salty and sugary snacks. Pet crabs scavenge the algae and debris in the aquarium. As an answer to the question "What do hermit crabs eat?", they eat almost everything. They are usually not choosy about food.
The location of the food becomes an important point as far as feeding is concerned. They tend to locate food either by smelling it or by seeing other crabs feeding on it.
Hermit crabs have five pairs of legs. Generally, their right claws are bigger than the left ones. The right claws are used to shred food and the left claws to pick it up and put it in their mouth.
Their food should be rich in nutrition. Their diet should contain antioxidants, carotene, and calcium in sufficient quantities. In case of nutrition deficiency, they lose their color in the molting process and also have problems molting the next time. You can add crushed egg shells, cuttlebone and calcium and vitamin supplements to their diet.
They eat vegetables, fruits, as well as fish and meat. It is important that you wash the vegetables and fruits before giving it to the crabs, but be careful to pat it dry first. Just like any other pet, they relish a dessert once in a while. Citrus fruit can also be given to them once or twice a month. It is suggested that they be fed organic food.
These crabs are largely found in tropical climates. Therefore, you can feed them tropical fruits like mangoes, coconut, and papaya. They can be fed carrots and corn (for carotene), broccoli, and spinach as well. They are especially fond of tannin-rich foods. Oak tree leaves and bark are said to be a rich source of tannin.
Remember to give them crunchy leaves as they like the texture. They relish raisins and peanut butter a lot. Do not add any seasoning, butter, or sauce to the meat. You can feed them raw meat, especially shrimp. However, they should be served any kind of meat in moderation.
Make sure you feed them just once a day. They are slow eaters. Don't serve leftovers for the next day. They need a lot of water. So, provide them with adequate water, but not chlorinated tap water. The chlorinated water should be treated with chlorinate drops. Add salt to the water, but not table salt. Check with your pet store to get the right type of salt.
Pet shops have food labeled as 'hermit crab food'. You can feed your crabs the pet food to check if they take a liking to it. You can also buy seaweed for them; since crabs essentially belong to water bodies, they will like this treat.
Hermit crabs eat just about everything. Hence, you should experiment with the food to find out which is a favorite with your pet. Like human beings, they tend to have food preferences. Many crabs also like junk food, but be careful to not feed too much. Popcorn is said to be a favorite with them.
While these hermit crab facts can help you decide what to feed your pet, it is only after experimenting that you will find the right food for your pet crab.