Preparing For The Molt

Okay, so your hermit crab is acting sluggish, eating more or less than usual, and it's eyes are foggy. For reptiles, this would mean a hibernation period is coming. For hermit crabs it means a molt is coming. So what can you do to prepare for the upcoming molt?

Move Your Crab to a 'Molting Tank': Although this isn't necessary, to prevent other crabs from bothering their molting friend you can move your 'sluggish' crab into a separate molting tank. If your crab has already begun to molt do not move it, handling it at this time could be fatal.

What should a 'Molting Tank' have? First, and foremost, go extra on the sand. While molting your crab is going to dig dig dig, and it should have plenty of room to do so. Keep the sand moist and make sure there is plenty. The rule of thumb is: If you think you've put in enough, add two extra handfuls. Other than that, your tank should include all of the normal traits of a crabitat: saltwater, freshwater, extra shells, food, and a little hiding hut.

Best place for a 'Molting Tank': A dark bedroom, roomy closet, shadowy corner of the house, or a dark colored book shelf that faces away from a window. At this time your crab is going to crawl under ground. Light isn't necessary at this point in time, but completely darkness isn't necessarily ideal either. Just keep the tank in a dim-lit part of the house.

What should I feed a molting crab? You don't need to change up your diet, but do give your crab more options of high-protein foods like fish, lobster shells, shrimp, and eggs. You should also have a cuttlebone or calcium supplement available at this time.

Be patient: It will take a while for your crab to molt. Be kind, be patient, and take a deep breath. Let it get through this on its own. Yes, it's stressful for both of you. But your little buddy was made to handle this situation and with your kind wishes can make it through just fine.