The 5 Best Habitats & Tanks For Hermit Crabs

Hermit Crab Jun 27, 2021
Written by | Updated Oct 3, 2021
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The 5 Best Habitats & Tanks For Hermit Crabs

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Hermit crabs are entertaining pets, to be sure. After all, how many pets routinely change the appearance of their whole bodies? Hermit crabs carry shells around on their backs, but these shells are for protection – they aren’t the hermit crab’s home. If you want to keep hermit crabs as pets, you should take the time to choose and decorate the ideal hermit crab habitat – a crabitat, if you will.

In this article, we’ll talk about housing pet hermit crabs and provide some tips for choosing the best hermit crab habitat. You’ll also see our top 5 picks for the best hermit crab habitats.

We highly recommend looking at the comparison table we have below where we highlighted the features of each product. You’ll also find more detailed information about each product later in the article.

Compare Best Habitats & Tanks for Hermit Crabs

Overall Best
Exo Terra Glass Terrarium Kit

1. Exo Terra Glass Terrarium Kit

Runner Up
COLIBROX Aqua Aquarium

2. COLIBROX Aqua Aquarium

Best Affordable
Exo Terra Faunarium Terrarium

3. Exo Terra Faunarium Terrarium

Best Durable
OMEM Portable Reptile House Terrarium Habitat Clear and Breathable

4. OMEM Portable Reptile House Terrarium Habitat Clear and Breathable

Best Budget
Zoo Med Laboratories SZMSCK1 Hermit Crab Kit

5. Zoo Med Laboratories SZMSCK1 Hermit Crab Kit

Materials
Glass with mesh top
Materials
Glass
Materials
Plastic
Materials
Plastic
Materials
Varied
Size
12x12x12 inches
Size
10 gallons
Size
14.5×8.5×10 inches
Size
1 gallon
Size
Varied
Features
All glass, hinged doors, mesh top
Features
Solid construction, affordable
Features
Deep, plastic construction, easy-access lid
Features
Easy access, shatterproof
Features
Includes thermometer, sand, soil, decorations

What To Look For In Tanks For Hermit Crabs?

Your hermit crab will spend the majority of its life in its tank, so be sure to choose wisely. When choosing a hermit crab habitat, you need to think about a number of different factors such as the size of the tank, the tank dimensions, and the materials from which it is made.

Here are some important things to look for in hermit crab habitats:

  • Appropriately sized. It is recommended that you choose a 5-gallon tank for up to 2 hermit crabs and something at least twice that size for more than two crabs.
  • Made from durable materials. Because hermit crabs like to dig, you’ll want to choose a habitat made from durable materials that are unlikely to scratch or break.
  • Deep enough for burrowing. Hermit crabs like to burrow, so you’ll need to make sure your habitat is deep enough to accommodate several inches of substrate for burrowing and digging.
  • Retains heat and humidity. In addition to thinking about the size and depth of your hermit crab tank, you also need to consider whether it will retain heat and humidity well to keep the environment warm and humid the way your hermit crab likes it.

Our Top Picks For The Best Habitats & Tanks For Hermit Crabs

Now that you have a better idea what to look for in a hermit crab habitat, it’s time to start shopping! Keep reading to see our top 5 picks for the best tanks for hermit crabs.

Overall Best
1.

Exo Terra Glass Terrarium Kit

Product Info

  • Materials: Glass with mesh top
  • Size: 12x12x12 inches
  • Features: All glass, hinged doors, mesh top
Pros
  • All-glass construction with mesh top
  • Hinged front doors for easy access
  • Deep enough to accommodate inches of substrate
Cons
  • Significantly more expensive than some models
  • May be taller than necessary
If you want to build your hermit crabs the ultimate habitat, consider this all-glass terrarium from Exo Terra. Available in several sizes, this terrarium features a durable glass construction with a wire mesh top where you can place heat lamps and other elements as needed to maintain the proper temperature and humidity in the tank. The tank also features two hinged doors on the front for easy cleaning and access but they are several inches up, allowing for plenty of depth to add substrate for burrowing.
Runner Up
2.

COLIBROX Aqua Aquarium

Product Info

  • Materials: Glass
  • Size: 10 gallons
  • Features: Solid construction, affordable
Pros
  • Affordably priced under $25
  • All-glass construction, very durable
  • Large enough for 4 crabs, deep enough for substrate
Cons
  • Doesn’t come with any equipment or decorations
  • Tank lid is sold separately, not included
If the previous option is a little too pricey for you, the Aqua Culture 10-Gallon Empty Aquarium might be a better option. This all-glass aquarium is large enough for up to four hermit crabs and because it features a solid glass construction, you can add several inches of substrate for burrowing with no problem. You may need to purchase a lid to retain heat and humidity, but it is very affordable, so you’ll have plenty left in your budget for accessories and equipment.
Best Affordable
3.

Exo Terra Faunarium Terrarium

Product Info

  • Materials: Plastic
  • Size: 14.5×8.5×10 inches
  • Features: Deep, plastic construction, easy-access lid
Pros
  • Very affordable pricing for all sizes
  • Deep enough to accommodate substrate
  • Easy to clean and disinfect
Cons
  • May not be large enough for multiple crabs
  • Less durable than all-glass terrariums/tanks
You don’t necessarily need to spend a lot to find the perfect habitat for your hermit crab and the Exo Terra Faunarium is proof of that. This plastic habitat is perfect for hermit crabs because it is plenty deep enough to accommodate several inches of substrate and has an easy-access lid on the top. Because it is a solid plastic construction, it retains heat and humidity fairly well and it is easy to clean and disinfect. It may not be quite large enough to use as a permanent habitat for multiple hermit crabs, but it does well if you choose to use it as temporary housing or for one hermit crab.
Best Durable
4.

OMEM Portable Reptile House Terrarium Habitat Clear and Breathable

Product Info

  • Materials: Plastic
  • Size: 1 gallon
  • Features: Easy access, shatterproof
Pros
  • Durable shatterproof plastic construction
  • Easy access from the top of the lid
  • Ideal for travel and temporary housing
Cons
  • Not ideal for a permanent habitat
  • Not large enough for more than one crab
When you’re cleaning your hermit crab habitat, where do you put your crab? The OMEM Reptile Carrier with Cover is the ideal solution for temporary housing or travel. It is a 1-gallon tank made from shatterproof plastic with an easy-access lid and a carrying handle. It may not be ideal for permanent housing or more than one crab, but it serves its purpose well.
Best Budget
5.

Zoo Med Laboratories SZMSCK1 Hermit Crab Kit

Product Info

  • Materials: Varied
  • Size: Varied
  • Features: Includes thermometer, sand, soil, decorations
Pros
  • Includes all of the essentials to get started
  • Affordably priced way to equip your tank
  • Designed specifically for hermit crabs
Cons
  • Limited amount of substrate may not be enough for all tanks
  • Only includes accessories, not the tank itself
Choosing the right hermit crab tank is only half the battle – you also need the right equipment. This Zoo Med Laboratories Hermit Crab Kit is essential a hermit crab habitat in a box. It contains everything you need to turn your hermit crab tank into a hermit crab home.

Tips For Housing Your Hermit Crab

It doesn’t take a lot to create an ideal hermit crab environment, but you do need to do a little research first. Hermit crabs are natural burrowers, so you’ll need to create a habitat that can accommodate for this natural behavior. They also live in tropical environments, so maintaining the proper heat and humidity in your hermit crab tank will be important as well.

Here are some simple tips for housing a hermit crab:

  • Be careful about choosing a terrarium for your hermit crab tank – aquariums are designed to hold water, so they can accommodate several inches of substrate, but many terrariums have doors on the front.
  • Place your hermit crab tank away from direct sunlight and out of reach of any heating or cooling vents that might make it difficult to maintain the ideal tank temperature.
  • Choose a substrate that your hermit crab can easily dig through and one that will support the higher humidity requirements in the tank.
  • Include some hideaways and things for your hermit crabs to climb on in the tank as well as several empty shells for when they are ready to make a switch.
  • Provide your hermit crabs with a shallow dish of dechlorinated water and place a sponge in it so your crab can easily climb out of the dish.
  • Fill the tank with enough substrate that your hermit crab can completely bury itself – this is important for molting. A minimum of 4 inches is recommended, but ideally 6 to 8 inches.

Now that you have a better understanding of how to create the ultimate crabitat for your new pet, it’s time to start shopping! Take what you’ve learned here about housing your hermit crab to choose the best habitat for your new pet.

Final Remarks

Hermit crabs may not be high-maintenance pets, but they do require a certain degree of care. One of your most important jobs as a hermit crab owner is to select the ideal habitat for your pet and to set it up properly with the necessary equipment and decorations. If you’re still not sure where to start in looking for a hermit crab habitat, try out one of the top 5 best hermit crab habitats we’ve reviewed above. Good luck!

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Kate Barrington is avid pet lover and adoring owner of three cats and one dog, her love for animals has led her to a successful career as a freelance writer specializing in pet care and nutrition. She has been writing about pet care and pet products since 2010
8 Comments
  1. K S

    I like the exoterra tank but how to you cover it to retain heat and humidity?

    • Kate Barrington

      Thanks for the question! The ExoTerra tank is already designed to retain heat and humidity - it has an all-glass body with a mesh top for ventilation. If you're wondering about the glass tank that doesn't come with a lid, you can purchase tank lids separately at your local pet store. You can usually find mesh lids as well as solid options.

  2. Mandy

    Hi! With the ExoTerra tank, do you still need a heater? If so, what do you recommend? Thank you!

    • Kate Barrington

      Hi Mandy! Hermit crabs prefer warmer temperatures around 75 degrees F, so you may need a heater unless your house stays that warm. An under-tank heater is usually a good option because it will warm the sand in the tank.

  3. Matthew Sirbaugh

    The info here is all wrong. The best tanks are actual aquariums to be able to hold all the substrate needed for a proper hermit crab setup. You absolutely want no less than a 6-8 inch substrate for the crabs to be able to molt. Preferably 8+ inches.

    • Kate Barrington

      Hey Matthew, thanks for your feedback! We try to provide our readers with a variety of options and information to help them make their own choices. Having enough substrate for the hermit crab to be able to fully bury themselves is definitely important - we've updated the article to include that tip!

  4. Anna

    I just got nee Hermit crabs and this was so helpful, thank you!

    • Doron Wolffberg

      Thanks for sharing Anna!

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