Hermit crabs make wonderful pets for children and apartments.  They are easy to look after and have personality too!  All they need are their 6 basic requirements met:

1. Fresh water (with chlorine removed) & Salt water (with chlorine removed)  Both fresh water and salt water should be checked every day and changed at least 3 times a week. Salt water is essential to allow the hermit crab to bathe and stay healthy. The Hermit Crab salt bottle will tell you how much salt to add.  Chlorine added to tap water is harmful for you hermit crab. Chlorine Neutralizer (or water conditioner/ager) has to be used in all water before it comes into contact with your hermit crab. The bottle will tell you how much to add per litre of water. It’s a good idea to make a small bottle up and leave it in the fridge each week.  Check the water is not deep enough for your hermit crab to drown in! They must be able to climb out of the water bowls.
2. A quality Hermit Crab food - Special Hermit crab pellets are recommended to feed your hermit crab as they contain all the nutrients necessary to keep your hermit crab healthy. Fresh vegetables eg. Zucchini can also be fed to your hermit crab as a treat.
3. Sand or gravel to bury in – Sand should be clean sand, preferably purchased form an aquarium or pet shop to ensure it’s clean and disease free. Ideally 4-5cm deep so they can burrow down (they love it!).
4. Something to climb on and hide in - Hermit crabs like to come out naturally at dawn and dusk and like to be able to get out of the light if they choose to. Watch them come alive !
5. Spare shells - Hermit crabs as they grow need to change their shells and move to larger shells. Spare shells should be left in your hermit crab tank to allow the hermit crab to swap shells.
6. A clean home - The tank and gravel should be cleaned at least every 2 weeks to remove waste.  Make it a fun job for the kids.

Some important information on how Hermit Crabs Change Skin (Exoskeleton) & Shells:
Like other crabs, Hermit Crabs grow by shedding their outer exoskeleton. This occurs once every year or two. This is the most important step toward growth a small crab will make. During this time they shed all their skin (which looks like an empty skeleton of a crab). They need to be kept extra moist and will completely burrow so they are fully 'underground'.  Ensure there is enough sand for them to completely cover themselves. It may also be necessary to isolate the crab for a couple of days because, out of their shells, they are soft, vulnerable and inactive. Do not remove the old exoskeleton as your Hermit Crab will eat this later for nutrients. Spare shells of a larger size (but not too large) should be available so that when they are ready they can move into their new ‘home’.