Feeding Your Hermit Crab
Feeding your hermit crabs can be fun, if you do it right. Hermit crabs are scavengers by nature and will eat almost anything you offer them. But it's up to you to provide your domestic hermit crabs with their food. Any human food that is not very high in salt or sugar is probably okay. No meat or bread, though. The meat can spoil easily and promote bacterial growth which can harm your hermit crabs. Bread can expand in the crab's stomach and can cause problems. Crackers, on the other hand, will not harm your hermit crab. And the small amount of salt in a cracker can actually be beneficial to your crab. My hermit crabs were always fond of Cheez-Its and vanilla wafers. Each crab is different, so experiment. Here is a list of foods you can try feeding your hermit crab:
1) Commercial hermit crab food should be a part of your hermit crab's diet. Hermit crab chow can be found in any pet store that sells hermit crabs. A good brand to look for is FMR or Tetra Terrafauna. It contains all the vitamins and good stuff your hermit crab needs to thrive and should supplement the other foods you offer.
2) Most hermit crabs are partial to fruits, especially grapes. You can cut the grapes in half to make it easier for your hermit crabs to eat them. Apples, bananas, peaches and other fruits can also be offered. But do not leave them in the tank for more than a few hours. The fruit will begin to spoil and can attract fruit flies.
3) Peanut butter has always been a favorite of my hermit crabs. If you choose to give them any, offer it in small amounts and if possible, out of the tank, as a treat. The hermit crabs tend to get it all over them and then walk through the sand, making a yucky sticky mess.
4) Crackers, as I said earlier, are okay to give your hermit crabs as long as they are not TOO salty or flavored (barbecue, sour cream & onion, etc). Vanilla wafers are okay too, broken up into halves or fourths.
5) Most cereal is unsuitable for hermit crabs because they are very high in sugar. Cheerios and Corn Flakes are an exception. My hermit crabs always loved Honey Nut Cheerios. If you don't have any in the house, don't bother running out and buying a box for your crabs. They won't eat more than a few pieces of cereal a week.
6) Popcorn, unsalted and without butter, is a favorite of most hermit crabs. Try giving a piece to your hermit crab. They wrap their legs around it and a few minutes later, all that is left is the kernel.
There are many other foods suitable for your hermit crabs that I have not listed. Feel free to experiment, but think before you feed. Do not offer foods high in salt or sugar. As a guide, if it's healthy, it's probably ok.