About animals

Hermit Crab Content


African hermit crab. Glad to welcome you! On the pages of the blog of the aquarist Aqua As. Today I would like to tell you about another hermit crab that is amazing and useful in a marine aquarium (Calcinus Laevimanus). Xotya, of course, he is often called simply, African hermit cancer. Why is this kind of hermits so remarkable? Let's sort it out together.

Video in which hermit crab changes shell to a new one

This concludes my post about the contents of this wonderful type of hermit crab in a saltwater aquarium.

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Hermit Crab - content in the aquarium.

Scientific name: Clibanarius spp.

Other names: Dwarf Hermit Crab (Dwarf Tip Hermit Crab).

Hermit Crab Care Level: Light. It is well suited for marine beginners, but before launching into the aquarium, the cancer must undergo a slow drip acclimatization (an hour or longer) in order to get used to the parameters of the aquarium water. Do not be alarmed if you notice that hermit crab has begun to molt.

Hermit crabs live: 2-4 years, but may take longer.

Size: up to 3cm (1 inch).

PH level: 8,1-8,4.

t 0: 22-27 0 C (72-80 0 F).

Specific gravity: 1,022-1,025.

Habitats for Clibanarius: tropical and subtropical ocean waters.

Temperament of Hermit Crab / Behavior: very peaceful.

Reproduction of hermit crabs: hard-bred.

Aquarium Size: 50 liters for one individual.

Hermit crabs compatibility: Despite the fact that they have a protective shell, care should be taken if you plan to keep them with more aggressive marine invertebrates.

Diet / Food for Hermit Crab: they, as a rule, dig in living stones and sand, looking for algae and cyanobacteria (brown-red algae). If there are not enough algae in the aquarium, then feed them with plant foods, for example, dried algae.

Region: mainly located on or around living stones.

Floor: There are no specific ways to distinguish a male from a female.

Cost: you can buy hermit crab for $ 8-15.


Thanks to evolutionary development, the hermit crab has received many adaptations that allow him to feel comfortable in the ocean. For example, its hind legs were shortened, so that it was more convenient for the animal to move with a heavy house on its back. At the same time, the front part of the body of these crustaceans is reliably covered by an impressive layer of chitin, but the abdomen is soft and devoid of any kind of cover. The size of the animal usually does not exceed 1 inch, i.e. 2.5-3 centimeters.

It is interesting that the question of what the hermit cancer looks like cannot be answered unambiguously. The fact is that he uses a variety of objects to protect the abdomen. The classic version of the house is the shell of a sea mollusk, in which the animal hides during an attack or hunt.

As the cancer grows, sometimes it has to change the shell to a larger one. Most often, he prefers something light, since such a house is not so difficult to move from place to place. Scientists say that sometimes between the hermits there is even a peculiar exchange of shells! One of them taps on the shelter of the other, offering a deal. If the second does not agree to it, then simply closes the entrance to his sink with a claw.

If there are no mollusks nearby, then hermits can use any objects suitable for protection instead of shells. It can be, for example, a piece of a bamboo stem or any other solid object that reliably protects the delicate body of the animal.


The hermit crab occurs in the following bodies of water:

  • Baltic Sea,
  • North Sea,
  • the coast of Europe
  • Mediterranean Sea,
  • Caribbean islands coast.

Usually these animals live in shallow water, although some species prefer to go down 70-90 meters under the water.

What are hermits

An incredibly large number of species of hermit crabs live in the seas and oceans. Outwardly, they are quite similar and most often differ only in color. The table below shows the names of the most common of these animals:

Russian name Scientific name English name

Steppe Hermit Crab Clibanarius sp. Tawny hermit crab

Gold-spotted hermit crab Clibanarius cruentatus Gold-spotted hermit crab

Mexican red-footed hermit crab Clibanarius spp Mexican red leg hermit crab

Clibanarius infraspinatus orange-striped hermit crab)

Blue-striped Hermit Crab Clibanarius longitarsus Blue-striped hermit crab

What eats hermit crab

The next step in getting to know hermit cancer is to describe its diet. Like his relatives, he belongs to omnivores, i.e. consumes elements of plant and animal food. Among his favorite products are:

  • worms
  • seaweed,
  • caviar of different types of fish,
  • mollusks
  • fish.

In some cases, hermits can also eat carrion or the remnants of food from their adjacent sea anemones. If these crayfish come to land, they can sometimes eat coconuts, fruits or small insects.


The main role in reproduction belongs to females. The female’s body regularly produces eggs (sometimes up to 15 thousand at a time!), Which she wears on her abdomen. After a week, larvae come out of them, ready for swimming and life in the water. They molt four times and turn into young crayfish.

In wildlife, the process of reproduction does not stop throughout the year. Under artificial conditions, hermits do not breed. At the same time, cancer lives for a maximum of about 10-11 years.

Life in the aquarium

Hermit crab in the aquarium is an ideal choice for beginners. Caring for him is a simple matter. It is important to remember that these animals necessarily need drip acclimatization. It is worth producing it slowly, for 60 or more minutes, so that the pet has time to get used to the quality of the aquarium water. Also do not worry if you suddenly notice that the animal is molting, this may be due to a change in habitat.

It is recommended to keep the pet in a sufficient volume of water (about 50 liters for one individual). Recommended temperatures are 22-27 ° C and the pH is 8.1-8.4. You can feed the hermits with dried seaweed, but often they themselves can take care of themselves by looking for food in the sand and living stones. These cancers eat brown algae, also called cyanobacteria.

These marine animals are not recommended to be settled next to the aggressive inhabitants of the aquarium. Although hermits have protection, they can be the victim of an attack, for example, of some invertebrates. At the same time, the crayfish themselves are very peaceful and kind, so they will never harm the neighbors in the aquarium.

So, the content of hermit cancer is a fairly simple and busy affair. Visit such an unusual pet in your aquarium and watch its life and behavior.

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Hermit crab is a representative of the variety of decapod sea crayfish. It lives in coastal zones at shallow depths in the subtropics and tropics. The peculiarity of this arthropod is that everywhere with it it carries an alien shell. These are usually mollusk shells. The sink becomes his home. It houses the back of the animal. Thus, the hermit is protected from danger. The external structure of hermit crab is very curious. The following parts of the body can be distinguished:

  • Torso (soft abdomen).
  • Cephalothorax (head aligned with the chest).
  • Legs.
  • Mustache antennas.
  • Massive claws located almost at the head.

The right claw is larger than the left. She serves as a door to the house. Her arthropod closes the entrance to the sink. The left claw is used to search for food. Near the claws are two legs. With their help, cancer travels distances. The remaining legs are too small and not suitable for walking. The front of the cancer (claws, head, legs) is coated with chitin. Chitin is an external skeleton, it does not stretch and does not grow with cancer. Therefore, the creature molts several times, that is, discards its carapace. A new one is growing in its place. It looks unusual. However, this situation should not scare the owner. After the pet has faded, the chitin skeleton does not need to be pulled out and thrown away. Let it be in the aquarium. Later, the cancer will eat him.

Strong shell protects cancer from enemies. The back, consisting of the trunk and legs, does not have a chitinous layer. She is gentle, soft. To cover her with a hermit and picks up a shell. Small rear legs hold the house tight and prevent it from falling off. Depending on the species, hermit crab can be very small (about 2-3 cm) or large (10-15 cm).

Interesting Facts

The hermit changes its shell as it grows. He is looking for one where he will be comfortable. But it’s not always possible to find the perfect home. Then the cancer is content with what it finds. In nature, you can see hermits who live in corks, glasses, bamboo particles, etc.

Some crayfish in search of a home offer their relatives to exchange shells. They are clawing at a neighbor’s shelter. If individuals are satisfied with the option, they change shells. If not, then peacefully disperse.

Despite the name, hermit crabs cannot live without company. Therefore, in the aquarium you need to keep at least two individuals. Keeping these animals in captivity suggests that they are calm. Cancer aggression is infrequent.

Hermit crabs are water orderlies. They eat everything edible that occurs in their path. Due to its specificity, the places where crayfish live are always clean.

Hermit crabs are huge. They differ in size and color. There are black, with gold dots, orange hermits. Among the most famous representatives of Diogenes. This is a tiny crustacean. It grows to 3 cm. Its color can vary from pale white to pinkish.

Arthropods with red and blue colors are ideal for a home saltwater aquarium. They will clean the water tank from detritus, cyanobacteria, particles of lower algae and other harmful substances..

The aquarium should be rectangular in shape. Water per individual requires 40-50 liters. Normal tap is not suitable. Filtered water is needed. From it, in turn, prepare the sea. To do this, a synthetic salt is diluted in water. You can buy the product at a pet store. The water temperature should be around 27 degrees. These inhabitants love heat. The acidity level is 8 pH.

At the bottom you need to put coarse sand. In addition, you need to purchase live stones that were obtained from sea reefs. They are porous. Microscopic organisms live in the pores. The pet's habitat needs to be equipped with various objects, stones, on which you can crawl.

It has been observed that hermit crab cannot live normally without a shell. Therefore, the owner of the aquarium must definitely add new larger shells. If a new home suits him, the hermit will feel safe

If there are enough shells at the bottom, then an exotic inhabitant can constantly change them. Look at this is very curious.

How to feed hermit crab

The question of what hermit crabs eat is of concern to many owners. These are omnivores, capable of finding food on their own. However, if the aquarium is new, there are few algae, you have to feed the pet. He can be given dry seaweed, fish food, ordinary human food. In no case should you overfeed it.

These arthropods are very smart. They will be able to quickly orient themselves when other inhabitants of the aquarium (for example, fish) get their food. As a result, crayfish will be at the place where this happens at the time of breakfast and dinner of fish. There they will be able to pick up and eat the fallen remains, unnoticed by the fish.

Keeping and caring for an exotic pet is easy. Hermit crab is suitable for a person who recently acquired a marine aquarium. This animal will help clean the water tank. Watching it is very interesting, since the effects of cancer cause emotion and a smile.