If you ever thought Hermit Crabs made great cheap pets, you are WRONG WRONG WRONG! Here's just some of the stuff we had to buy for these crabs: sand-lots of sand-enough for the biggest crab to completely bury himself. (we already had a tank but if we didn't, we'd have to have that too-a 10 gallon one). Water dishes-2 of them. They have to be heavy because the crabs will upend them climbing in them. They also have to be fairly deep so the crabs can get themselves a bath. You need one for salt water and one for fresh water. This salt water and fresh water both have to be dechlorinated. The salt needs to be aquarium salt. We bought two food dishes. At first I used jar lids but they flipped those over pretty easily so I bought two heavy food dishes. Two because they are PICKY. I try to put out at least 3 or 4 different kinds of food but they don't usually even touch most of it before it's gross and has to be thrown out. We had to buy a bunch of empty shells. A crab's whole purpose in life, other than turning up their noses at food, is to find that ultimate perfect shell. They try on a lot of shells before picking one to move into and they also change their minds a lot. And the shells have to match the size of the crab and we also had to buy shells slightly bigger. So two different size crabs means at least four different size shells. We had to buy climbing stuff because they will be bored if they don't have a playground. One corner net and ladder and one hanging plastic basket and ladder. Plus the suction hooks to hold this stuff up. We had to buy a thermometer/hygrometer so we could monitor the temperature and humidity. We also had to buy a hidey hole because they like to hide. But the hidey hole got moldy so I took it out and cut a hole in a tupperware and now that is their hidey hole. I didn't have to buy the tupperware, because I already had it. But it is worth more than the wooden hidey hole, I think. We also had to buy a spray bottle because you have to spray in there every so often to keep the humidity up. Plus a variety of foods, and oh, the commercial crab foods? they are not really good for crabs. So we bought some very stinky dried shrimp and krill, some dried coconut, and some worm castings (worm poo). Thankfully the Crabbage Patch, which is where I buy all of my crabbie stuff, gave me free samples of stuff with each order. So I got free worm castings, free oyster shell, and free dehydrated meat. Which is actually lizard food so maybe crabs will eat it too. But so far they do not. I also bought some baby food which they have also not touched. We give them fruits and veggies which are actually leftovers so I guess they don't count. We also sneak in the occasional cheeze-it and teddy graham. Also soda bottle caps of soy butter and some dried seaweed. And eggshells but those are not a big expense.
So anyway despite all this headache we still like our crabs a lot. Even though one of them, Spiderman, likes to scratch all night long and make lots of noise. Noise that I can hear 2 rooms over.
Here are some pictures of the kids and their crabs. The first two are Jenny and Davy Jones and the last two are Jake and Spiderman. Sammy is not into hermit crabs. Both crabs are in shells from the Crabbage Patch. Anyone who is interested in buying crabs, I highly recommend them for crab supplies.