Hermit Crabs are growing as a popular pet choice all over the world. These little crabs are easy to care for, are highly curious, have a unique personality, and make good companions. However, a Hermit Crab’s tank is incomplete without enough toys in it to keep them busy and entertained.
Although Hermit Crabs are active creatures, if you don’t provide them with something to work on, they will have no choice but to eat and lie around all day.
With enough toys to keep them busy inside the tank, your little pets will not only have fun themselves but keep you entertained as well. After all, you have to agree that watching these adorable crabs in action is a pure delight.
In this article, I’m going to talk about 14 different kinds of Hermit Crab toys that I have settled on after hectic research. You can go through the list and take your pick.
Out of all the toys people buy for their pet Hermit Crabs, the sand bed is by far the most underrated one. Only a handful of Hermit Crab-owners realizes the true value of a proper sand bed. Sure, all crab-owners add sand at the base of their pet’s tank. But not all of them know about the exact thickness or quality that is ideal for their little pet crabs.
Hermit Crabs are passionate diggers and love to spend their day burrowing in the soil. To make burrowing more fun for them, you should add at least six inches-thick sand bed in the tank. Before making a sand bed for them, you also need to ensure that the sand you’re buying for them is clean.
I buy sand for my pet crabs from the pet supply stores and would recommend the same to you. If you’re into online shopping, you can also find it online on Amazon.
It is not mandatory that you have to use only the sand for the bed. If you are looking for something to work as a substitute for sand in your pet’s tank, coconut fiber is the best option. You can also mix it with soil to make the bed thicker.
If you want to engage your little pet friends in climbing exercises, what’s better than attaching a rope ladder in their tank? Often used in the birdcages to help birds learn balance, the rope ladders can work well for your aquatic pets as well. All you need to do is find the right kind of rope ladder, and you’re good to go!
There are two ways to go from here: you can either get creative and build the rope ladder using DIY tutorials or buy one from a store. Whatever method you choose, there are some pointers you need to keep in mind. When the rope ladders were introduced, they were mainly designed to teach birds balance and to involve them in hopping exercises.
To this day, most bird cages are equipped with them. These ladders, thus, had little rope knots between each step, giving them more room to hop. Your Hermit Crabs, however, cannot hop.
The legs of these little crabs can get stuck if they try climbing a rope ladder with gaps in it. Thus, when building or buying a rope ladder for your crabs, always go for the ones that have no spaces in between. You can go for a rope ladder like this one.
If you have gone over the idea of a rope ladder in your head and think it’s too much of a hassle, I have a simpler, less complicated alternative for you. Instead of using a rope ladder, you can simply suspend ropes inside your pet crab’s tank and let them climb on and off it all day.
Before you get ropes for your Hermit Crabs, there are two things you should know: what kind of rope works best for them, and how to best attach the rope in their tank.
Let’s begin by solving the first problem. There are many kinds of ropes out there, but not all of them are suitable for your pet Hermit Crabs. Some might be too slippery for them to climb on, while others too rough on their skin. After spending hours looking, I found just the right kind of ropes for them: ropes of sisal, hemp, and jute are perfect.
Another factor to keep in mind is the width of the rope. Knowing the size of your pet crabs is essential for determining the ideal rope for them. If they are small-to-medium in size, twisted manila jute rope with a diameter of 1 inch will work for them. However, if they are of jumbo-size, you should go for a rope that has a thickness of at least 1.5 inches.
Suppose you’ve already bought the rope by now. How are you planning to attach it in their tank? Well, the best, as well as the safest way, is to let one end of the rope hang down to the base of the tank, and attach the other on the upper edge using a suction cup hook. That way, your pets can begin their climbing journey from the bottom any time they want to; it will be a safe and fun adventure for them.
While ropes and rope ledges provide your pet friends with ample climbing exercise, here is another, more exotic-looking alternative for them.
Step ledges are an attractive addition to their tanks that provide them with climbing exercise and much more. These ledges can give them room for hiding as well as make a great basking space.
Moreover, they are painted in a way that makes them appear to be built of stones, adding a touch of the wild to your pet’s cave. You can either buy the step ledges online or look for them in your local pet store.
Since these ledges are ideal for all kinds of aquatic pets, if you ever plan to keep fish or snails, they will love it, too.
Most of you might be wondering how burlap sacks can be used as toys for the Hermit Crabs. After all, who uses these sacks other than the farmers?
Well, you would be surprised to know how these sacks make great a climbing toy for your little pet friends. Not only are they extremely cheap and easy to find, but they are also easy to set up in the tank. All you need to do is attach the sack at the upper end of a tank wall using suction cup hooks, and it is good to go.
Hermit Crabs can find even the tiniest holes in the sack and grab it tightly, climbing upwards. Just keep one thing in mind: the humidity inside the tank will take its toll on the sack in a couple of months, destroying it completely. So, keep changing it at the interval of a month and a half.
Are you thinking, “how can a wheel that’s designed for hamsters be a plaything for my Hermit Crabs?”? Well, let me tell you how. Just as the hamster wheels make good exercise equipment for hamsters, so can they work for Hermit crabs.
Only, for your pet crabs, you will have to go for a sideways hamster wheel so that their legs don’t get stuck in the gaps. Other than working as an exercising tool, these wheels are also great stimulants for your pets and keep them entertained for hours.
The sideways hamster wheels need little effort to set up inside the tank and are easy to clean as well. If you want to keep these wheels outside the tank and bring your pet crabs out to work on them, you can do so by all means.
Cholla wood is probably the most common toy that you can find lying around in the tank of all the pet crabs. However, if used creatively, it can become one of the favorite toys of your pet Hermit Crabs. I’ll guide you through it.
Most crab owners place the cholla wood horizontally at the base of the tank. Lying there like a fall piece of log, the cholla wood would never get the attention of your pet crabs. However, if you place it vertically or even in a slanting manner, they will definitely want to climb up and down on it. Just change the positioning and watch them climbing all over it.
Also, make sure that you buy natural cholla woods with no added coloration. You can find them online at a cheap price here.
Plastic Building Blocks
Who would’ve thought that Hermit Crabs can like Legos just as much as our kids? Well, now you know that they do. Hermit Crabs are curious little creatures, actively seeking new things.
Give them a couple of toys to play with, and you will find that they’ve exhausted them and are bored with it in no time. However, playthings such as building blocks are inexhaustible toys. How?
Because you can keep changing their shape every now and then. You can either build a stair that they can climb up and down or a magnificent pyramid that amuses them to no ends. Get your creative juices flowing!
Before you put the building blocks inside the tank, it is essential to ensure that they’re free from all kinds of germs, especially if they have been used by your kids before. For this, you should put the blocks in boiling water for 10 minutes to get rid of any unwanted bacteria. You should also try to make a routine of taking the blocks out of the tank once a month to clean them.
Adding rocks to your pet crab’s tank fulfills two purposes: it works as a plaything as well as gives their home a more natural feel. Before we move on to talk about the best ways to put rocks in their tanks, let’s first discuss what kind of rocks you should avoid putting in their tank.
You surely don’t want your pet crabs to catch an infection from their toys, do you? Therefore, you must take the vinegar test on them. This entails pouring a drop of vinegar on each rock. If the vinegar bubbles or creates a hissing sound, the rock is not safe for your pet.
Once you have collected all the rocks which have passed the vinegar test, wash them thoroughly to get rid of all kinds of dirt and grime. The rocks are now good to be placed inside.
You can either simply place the rocks at the base of the tank, or stick them together with hot glue in specific shapes to create climbing or hiding spaces for your pets. When building something, be careful about its sturdiness. You don’t want your crabs having any accidents, right?
Nettings are one of the most convenient toys for your Hermit Crabs because they are very easy to set up and take up a very small space in the tank.
If you set it up in the middle of the tank, you can provide your pets with a whole other layer to climb and explore. You can also add a rope ladder or simply a rope that connects the base they are on with the netting.
Hermit Crabs love to climb on ropes that are slightly humid since it makes their climb easier. Therefore, always try to place the netting where it is most humid inside the tank, above the water bowl, for instance.
The Hermit Crabs that live in the wild are used to climbing on all sorts of vegetation that grow in their surroundings. In a way, plastic plants are a means to make their new home in the tank resemble their old ones, giving them a sense of security.
When you buy plastic plants from the pet stores, opt for plants with thicker trunks and a broader base. These plants will stand firmly in the tank for a longer period of time, with your crabs climbing and hanging all over it.
However, if you have jumbo Hermit Crabs, they might be too large to climb on the plants. In that case, these will remain as an aesthetic touch to their home.
While plastic plants are one of the great additions to your pet crab’s tank, a natural wooden bark is even better. It can serve the purpose of adding a natural feel much better than the former and works better as a climbing tool.
The main issue with using bark is not cleaning it properly before placing it inside, which can lead to a number of problems, including health hazards for your pets. If you can scrub it thoroughly and let it boil for a while, go ahead. Also, you should avoid using the bark of pine trees in your Hermit Crab’s tank.
There are many ways in which you can use a plastic canvas in your Hermit Crab’s tank. For those of you who do not know about it, plastic canvas is a thin, layered mesh which is generally used in art and craft.
You can easily find these in your local art and craft stores at a surprisingly affordable price. Plastic canvas is not only cheap but also really easy to install.
Moreover, if you are creative enough, you can think of more than a couple of ways to use it inside a tank. One of them is to simply create a climbing wall using them. You can also use it to make a bridge-like structure for them to climb on.
Just like barks, sticks make a great addition to your pet Hermit Crab’s tank as well. These are particularly more fruitful if your pet crabs are new-born or relatively younger in age since they have more scope of playing with sticks.
The older and heavier they get, the wider and larger wooden sticks they will play with. However, this shouldn’t be a problem. Out of all the pet Hermit Crab toys we have talked about in the article, sticks are by the easiest to acquire. You should worry more about cleaning them properly than about finding them.
After the process of boiling is complete, you can try using a toothbrush to cleanse them thoroughly of any dirt or grime that might be stuck in the narrow edges of the wood.
Toys are an essential part of any pet’s home, especially active creatures like Hermit Crabs that live confined in a tank. The happiest and healthiest Hermit Crabs are those that have an active routine. If you go through the list given above carefully, you will notice that you don’t have to buy each of the toys; some of them can also be adopted as your own DIY projects, your little hand-crafted gifts for your beloved pets. Don’t wait, fill your pet crab’s home with these toys today, and watch the fun unfold.