Who knew that hermit crabs can become domesticated pets? Well, just in case you didn’t know, these shelled creatures are considered as well-known pets because of their peculiar behavior. One distinctive thing about them is their habit of transferring from one shell to another shell, as they grow bigger. Apparently, a lot of pet stores sell these crabs because many pet owners would actually buy them.
But contrary to popular beliefs, hermit crabs are difficult to take care, unlike cats and dogs. They need a high maintenance to keep them healthy and should never be away from their groups. It’s hard for them to live on their own. That’s why, if you wish to take care a hermit crab, you need to make sure that you are capable of providing everything it needs. Otherwise, it will just eventually die.
Cost of a Hermit Crab
Hermit crabs are ideal for people who want unconventional pets. If you want one, how much does hermit crab cost on the market? Typically, the hermit crab price ranges from $2 to $45, depending on the size and species of the crabs. They come in four sizes, and these are small, medium, large, and extra-large.
The price of a small hermit crab is less than $5, and it has a similar size with a quarter. At Petco.com, you can purchase a Blue Leg Hermit around $0.50. A medium hermit crab is as big as a golf ball, usually costing over $5. PetSmart sells hermit crabs at $5.69. A large-sized crab is about the size of a tennis ball, while extra-large or jumbos are like baseballs. The bigger the size, the higher the price you pay.
Aside from the size, the species of the hermit crab also affects the price. Reptile City, an online pet shop based in Honey Grove, Texas, sells several hermit crab species. The cheapest type on their list is the Atlantic Hermit Crab, which costs $4.99 for all sizes. Designer Crabs and Indo Hermit Crabs cost $9.99 for both small and medium sizes. An adult Halloween Moon Crab costs $19.99. The same price goes to small and medium Vampire Hermit Crabs. The most expensive on the list is the Strawberry Hermit Crab, which costs $39.99 for large and extra-large sizes. Basically, the rarer the crab species, the more expensive it is.
If you think about it, the price of a hermit crab is not that expensive as compared to other kinds of pets. What makes it expensive is its shelter, as well as its everyday maintenance and supplies. Remember that you need to provide its natural habitat so that it can thrive and live longer than expected. On that note, let’s discuss the additional costs you have to take note in caring for a hermit crab.
Luckily, hermit crabs munch on anything, even peanuts and popcorn, so you don’t have to spend so much on their food. They are omnivores, which means they eat what humans basically consume such as fruits, vegetables, meats, and processed foods. But if you want ready-made food, you can purchase packs of hermit crab food made of pellets or a variety of their natural diet. They cost around $3 to $11, depending on the pack’s weight. There is also a specialized snack made of natural peanuts, which you can buy around $1.50 for 1.85 ounces, and flavored, powdered treats for $8 a pack. You also need the following:
– a food bowl that costs $1.50 to $9; or you can have a dish for both food and water for $5;
– a bottle of saltwater, which costs around $2 to $3; hermit crabs need salt water since they basically live in the sea; a saltwater conditioner costs $6 to $7;
– and a bottle of fresh water solution about $2 to $3 as well.
SHELTER AND HABITAT
The most common equipment you can use as the hermit crab’s shelter and habitat is an aquarium. What works best for these sea creatures is a glass aquarium that can contain 10 gallons of water or more and comes with a secure lid. It will cost your around $30 to $50. You can also choose a plastic-made shelter that costs between $25 and $35.
Once you have purchased the shelter, transform it into the natural habitat of the crab. Basically, make it look like the beach by putting the following:
– sand $5 to $15
– substrate $3 to $5
– bedding $3 to $6
– hideout $4 to $10
– climbing branch $3 to $4
– toys or ornaments $3 to $10
TEMPERATURE AND HUMIDITY
Apparently, hermit crabs need heat to live, that’s why you should have a heating source in their alternative environment. The most efficient source of heat is a light bulb, which costs $6 to $20. Apart from the heat source, you also need to monitor the temperature and humidity level (70 percent is the ideal level) in the crab’s habitat.
– a thermometer for the temperature $4
– a hygrometer for the humidity $5
– a combination of both apparatus $6 to $12
As previously mentioned, one of the unique characteristics of hermit crabs is their ability to move or transfer from one shell to another. For this reason, you need enough supplies of shells for your hermit crab. Put, at least, two artificial shells in the aquarium so that it can enjoy its move out adventures. The shells cost from $2 to $20 each, depending on the shell’s design and size. Colorful or highly-decorated shells are likely more expensive than simple shells.
If you don’t want to set up the habitat of your hermit crab, then you can buy a starter kit that comes with the necessary accessories. The kit usually comes with food, sand, shells, water and food dish, thermometer, saltwater conditioner, sea sponge, toys, ornaments, and even a care book. The cost of a hermit crab starter kit ranges from $12 to $33, but the price depends on the number of accessories it includes.