A crab needs care.

The most common type of crab is the purple pinchers.They can live as long as ten years in captivity, and are easy to care for.Purchase and set up a glass tank complete with water, plants, and equipment for your crab.All of the items you need to care for and feed a purple pincher hermit crab should be in a large pet store.

Step 1: A glass 10 US gal tank is recommended.

This is a good starting size for someone new to crabs.The tanks are inexpensive.At most pet stores, 10 gallon (37.9 L) tanks cost about $13USD and 20 US gal (76) tanks run closer to $30USD.Tank-building starter kits at pet stores don't hold humidity in.Hermit crabs love to climb and have a knack for escaping their tanks.Make sure the tank you purchase has a lid, and keep it closed when the crabs are inside.

Step 2: Purchase 3-4 crabs.

The purple pincher crab is a social animal.Never purchase more than 1.If your interest in crabs grows, you can add more crabs as years go by.The crabs are usually between 2–3 inches (5.1– 7.6 cm) long.If you want to keep more than 3–4 crabs in your tank, you will need a 20 US gal tank.Don't keep more than 6 purple pinchers in a 20 US gal tank.

Step 3: The bottom of the tank should be covered with some kind of material.

The purple pincher crabs prefer a blend of sand and coconut coir.Purchase sand and coir at a pet store and blend them with your hands.Put an even layer in the bottom of the tank.Home-improvement stores and plant nurseries can sell coconut coir.The coconut coir is found in the middle of the coconut shell.You will need to break it apart before you mix it with sand.

Step 4: crabs can hide behind objects in the tank.

Crabs like to hide and sleep behind objects in the cage during the day.There are a number of objects around the tank, including a plastic hiding hut, full-size seashells, and chunks of choya wood or driftwood.Before putting the items in the crab's cage, wash them with soap and water.Most pet stores have plastic and driftwood rocks for sale.Pet stores should sell genuine shells.You can collect the items yourself if you take a walk along the shore.

Step 5: The back of the tank is where your crabs can climb.

The majority of the crabs' days are spent climbing.Attach a sheet of mesh to the tank.You can buy pieces of driftwood from your local pet store and put them on the edges of the cage.The purple pinchers don't spend a lot of time digging.

Step 6: Each crab needs 3–5 spare shells.

hermit crabs are famous for changing shells.For the sake of change, they do this when they outgrow a smaller shell.You can give your purple pinchers a few choices by placing 3 shells per crab in the cage.Provide shells in a variety of shapes and sizes so the crabs can choose the one that suits them best.Hermit crabs can become possessive and fight over shells.Adding more shells that look similar to the popular one will prevent future fights.Before adding new shells to the tank, wash them in hot water.

Step 7: The tank should be heated to a temperature of 75–85 F.

The purple pincher crabs are native to hot regions.To create a warm zone for the crabs, place an undertank heater on one side of the tank.Cool temperatures can be harmful and even fatal to crabs.You can easily check the temperature from time to time if you hang a thermometer over the edge of the cage.

Step 8: The humidity in the tank should be between 70 and 80%.

It's important to keep a healthy humidity range for your crabs.Purchase a hydrometer from your local pet store and hang it in the tank.In most cases, the water that you provide for the crabs to drink will keep the humidity in check.If the humidity falls below 70%, use a plastic spray bottle to spray dechlorinated freshwater into the tank.The humidity level will be raised by this.If the humidity goes above 80%, remove the top of the tank and put a sheet of mesh over it.The humidity will be allowed to leave the tank.

Step 9: The tank should be clean once a month.

The purple pinchers are clean.If you notice the glass getting dirty, you can pour a few drops of white wine vinegar onto a sponge and wipe the inside of the tank.Use a small shovel to pick up crab waste while you clean the tank.If the crabs don't try to escape, you can clean the tank.If they do, take the crabs out of the tank and put them in a second tank or a glass container that they can't escape from.If it becomes oversaturated and starts to mold, replace it with a new blend.

Step 10: Commercial crab feed should always be available for the crabs.

Crab feed can be purchased from a local pet store.Commercial food can be placed in a small bowl and put into the crab tank.When the food supply runs out, replace it.You'll need to replenish the food occasionally.You don't need to be concerned that the purple pinchers will eat too much.The feed shouldn't get wet if the dish is at least 3–4 inches away from the water dishes.

Step 11: Fruit and insects are added to crabs diet.

In nature and in captivity, purple pincher crabs can eat a variety of foods.They like to eat apples, bananas, mangoes, and papayas.Crabs eat meat, fish, and live insects.Vegetables and tree leaves will be snacked on by purple pinchers.Each crab should get 1 live insect and 1 small serving of fruit each day.You can either give the crabs fruit or insects at the same time.Don't give a crab more than a third of a banana.You can buy live insects at most pet stores.Crickets are a popular choice.

Step 12: Crabs can get 1 bowl of freshwater or saltwater.

Fresh and saltwater are needed by purple pinchers.The fresh water needs to be dechlorinated.The water dishes should be at least 3 inches deep so that the crabs can fully submerge themselves in the water.Remove the old water and replace it with new water at least twice a week.Crabs can easily crawl out of the dishes if you lean a 4 in (10 cm) stick or other object inside.

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