Hermit crabs, like all crustaceans molt (split there skin), and grow a new one and get bigger. You know how a snake sheds its skin and under its old skin it has a beautiful new one. Well hermit crabs do just the same. But its more dangerous for a hermit crab to split its skin in the open so it often digs as far as it can in its tank and waits. But that’s just the beginning for your Hermit crab; you have to take care of your molting hermit crab as we’ll. Hears some hints of wane a hermit crab is near its molt.
- Look for a slit on its back. That is the new skin trying to brake through the old skin.
- Look closely behind one side near one pair of walking legs, if there is a small black blob then that’s the fat storing sac. It feeds on this fat when it’s molting.
- If the hermit crab is very slow and not moving very much it is probably getting ready to molt, or if your hermit crab is eating a lot that’s a sign too.
- If your Hermit crab is digging a lot or has dug a hole and it’s in it it’s probably getting ready to molt.
Hermit crabs don’t just molt under ground, some times a hermit crab will molt in the open, if this happens put it in a different cage, or cover it with a cup to protect it from other hermit crabs in the same cage. Now when a hermit crab has a successful molt it is all pink and soft and very vulnerable if it’s out in the open where other hermit crabs are. Now let’s say you wake up and go say good morning to your favorite hermit crab and pick it up, suddenly it drops out of its shell like it was dead
Before you start worrying look inside you hermit crabs shell, if there’s something pink and naked and is deep inside its shell, that’s your crab. It has molted and is just fine. Notice the thing that looks like a dead hermit crab, that’s its old exoskeleton. Well it now looks like you have some things to do for your molted crab, the first thing you want to do is put it and its exoskeleton in a different hermit crab free cage (remember Hermit crabs are cannibals when they find a vulnerable crab especially a freshly molted one and will kill and eat it). Now that your poor crab is in a safe cage, in order to keep it from dehydrating make sure the cage is humid but not too hot. Now it’s time to make a very nice place for your crab so it can harden and rest in peace (remember a hermit crab needs to fully harden in order for it to go back in its home).
Now before you put your crab in its molting cage put abut 5 inches of sand in the cage (if you have a large crab make it deeper) and mix it with water. Then make a deep hole and put your hermit crab in it now cover the hole with a paper towel this we’ll keep moisture in the hole the crab is in, now put a rock or some thing heavy on the paper towel but near the hole not on the hole, to keep the paper towel on the hole. Now that’s most of the work, there are just two more things you have to do. Every day pick up your molted crab and dip it in some warm water to keep it moist and healthy then mist the cage to keep it moist and humid, if you keep this up you well have a very happy and beautiful crab when its finished hardening.
Now things happen and sometimes hermit crabs die when they have molted so if it happened don’t think it was your fault, that’s just the way it goes. You may be sad, but be happy that you did your best for your crab. Now when your crab has hardened and is alive congratulate your self and look at your new beautiful crab. You my have noticed that your crab looks a little larger, that because every time a hermit crab molts it gets bigger. Also that usually means that your hermit crab needs to find a larger shell to fit in, but some times their old shell still fits well on them and they don’t have to change shells. But if your crab needs a new shell, get your crab out of its hole you dug and put some shells in its private cage so it can decide if it wants a new shell before you put it back in its home. It usually takes a month for the complete molt but the long wait is worth it. And after that long time of taking care of your hermit crab you well have a beautiful molted hermit crab.