Thursday, June 10, 2010

Nervous Parenting

Let it be known that I'm notoriously spontaneous and the fact that my boyfriend can also have these tendencies does not help matters at all.

I've recently just come back from a vacation at the beach. I saw hermit crabs and suddenly had a romantic idea of owning two little ones with that bf of mine. I was on the fence about it. When I asked my boyfriend if he wanted to get a couple with me he said, "Yeah, sure. Sounds good." That did it. All doubts went out the window and my eyes were starry with romance. We got them as soon as possible.

Lord all mighty.

Don't doubt that I love Theodore and Pigby, but holy bajesus, they are not "easy and affordable to care for" as oh so many people claim. I feel as though the general public is under the impression, as I was, that all hermit crabs need are some food and water. My eyes weren't twinkling for long! As soon as I google searched those bad boys, I knew I was in for it.

Here's an image of a proper tank:

This doesn't even list a hygrometer I had to get also to measure humidity! We've already spend over $200 on these suckers.

So here's the truth. They need a humidity of at least 70 or they can't breathe properly and they can slowly DIE. They need the temperature to be 80 or they'll DIE. They need salt water to bathe in or they'll DIE(I don't know if they'll actually die because of that, but I wanted to keep the pattern going.).

For the past week, I have been a nervous wreck. I eat, sleep, and breathe worry! (Literally. I just had it for breakfast earlier.) I've been struggling to keep the humidity levels over 70. Just this morning it was 60 then it dropped to 30! I've been laying in bed fretting because my poor babies can't even BREATHE! I haven't even had time let them crawl on my shirt or throw a ball around with them or embarrass them in front of their friends! I've been researching and researching, doing everything the websites advise to no avail! I've had dreams! Dreams no normal 20-year-old should have! Not only about how they can't breathe, but also that I don't have any shells. Websites say you should have at least 3 extra shells for hermit crab so they can change to their pleasing. If a crab wants to change, but can't find any suitable shells (let alone any shells at all!) they can get stressed out.

But I won't end this ranting post on a sad note. In the past few minutes, while writing this post actually, I figured out how to keep the humidity levels up. I simply covered the top with a piece of scrap cardboard. I feel intellectually (and physically) beaten by a piece cardboard.

I can't make fun of Tina and her worried husband anymore. I've now been begrudgingly shoved into their category (several years too early I might add) of being a nervous parent.

PS. Look at the time. It's 8:43 am. I've been know to sleep til noon. Sigh...


wallflower said...


Honestly, I hardly care for my hermit crab. It has no heating lamps and I hardly even spray the tank. It's doing fine! :)

(let's not mention the others I had that died.... ;)

Crazy Shenanigans said...

Wow, I'm now really glad that I never bought one of these while at the beach!

It sounds like it's a lot of work!

Laura said...

Yes, be warned!!

Tara said...

Haha! I really enjoyed this post. Laura is obsessed! I've never seen anything like it.

Erin said...

HI Laura!!! I found your blog because I have Google Alerts on for Hermit Crabs and I'm so glad I came across your entry because I have some tips for you from a girl that has 6 hermit crabs and has ALSO worried a lot also!
One, for humidity I use plastic wrap that you can buy at any store and you can keep it over the container or aquarium you have. I spray bottled water into their cage about 2 times a day and always have the plastic wrap over the container IT HOLDS HUMIDITY AMAZINGLY! I also keep a little space heater by their aquarium.
Two, A GREAT FOOD SITE FOR HERMITS I use her site for all of my hermies food and for the hemp nets that they can climb on.
ALSO you have to have saltwater in their cage I didnt have it for months since I was clueless and I guess your crabs slowly die because of it
Also if you have more than one crab you wil need an isolation tank when they mold since they can eat eachother
Also some people think bathing your crabs is good its not they take care of what they need in their shell to live no needs to clean their shells
If jyou want to contact me for more helpful info and sites that can help etc please email

Laura said...

Thanks for the tips, Erin!

I fear one of my crabs is molting because he keeps burying himself in the sand, but I'm not sure. Some websites say isolate them and some say don't. I'm torn.

Erin said...

gosh im soooo sorry for contacting you again sooo late I had computer and internet problems grrr
Here is an easy iso tank!!!! Sometimes I've found my crabs already molted in their cage(big thing is to wet the sand so that it is easy enough for you to put your finger in the sand and have it stay around your finger not so wet it is like water and not so dry it doesnt make a hole) SO! the big thing is to put then in the iso tank if you find their exoskeleton BECAUSE the other crabs like the smell and will possibly eat them or their exoskeleton THEY NEED TO EAT THEIR EXOSKELETON it is sooo good for them after their molt.
SO! for the iso tank:
1. find a plastic container medium size piut some sand in it make it like i said before make it moist
2. find a little water dish, possibly soem bottled water with some bit of the salt in it very little salt is important
3. put some shells out in the iso
4. have a little dish of food-calcium is very important! some cuttlebone etc for them with a bit of their regular food mixed in
5. put a dark t-shirt over the container DARKNESS HELPS THEM MOLT AND RECOVER VERY WELL!
6. WHen the exoskelton is shed make sure its put by their shell and they will eat it!!
7. When it is gone and you see they are getting color back and dont look so pink PUT THEM BACK IN THEIR CAGE WITH THEIR FRIENDS!(or I've actually seen one of my baby crab g get like depressed he never came out of his shell in ISO because I had him in there to long and I put him back in with his friends and THERE HE WAS ALL HAPPY AND SOCIALIZING LOL!