Noob: Can't figure out shell sizes or where to order?

Questions about choosing the right shells for your hermit crabs.
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MommaNix
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Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Jul 23, 2018 10:44 am
Gender: Female
Hermit crabs: 3
Total gallons: 34
Total tanks: 1

Noob: Can't figure out shell sizes or where to order?

Post by MommaNix »

Hello! I am a crab momma to 3 right now. My two oldest (I have had one for 4 years and the other for 2 years) are really needing larger shells, and I am at a loss as to how to tell what size to get and on where to find them. I have never had crabs live very long in the past. My son did a TON of research this time to be sure his first "pet" that was his would be well taken care of. We were shocked to hear people have crabs for so long and that get so large! And now they need bigger shells and I have no idea what I am doing beyond the basics I have gotten from the pet store.

I do a lot of beach walking and I found some snail shells on the river beach and boiled them last year, and Mordecai took to one of the larger shells. Rigby moved into a medium shell I purchased at the pet store, and Dave is still kind of small. It looks like Mordecai and Rigby both are ready to move into larger shells, but the stores around here have ones that are too small or are enormous. Both of the crabs when inside their shells are much larger than a golf ball but smaller than a tennis ball. Mort can not pull himself 100% into his shell anymore.

I need to be sure to get them the right size shells to size up, and need to order some super soon. They are both trying on what I have in the tank already looking for bigger homes. I checked local stores and Amazon. Is there a good place online I can look for crab shells? I know to avoid painted shells.

We have them in an awesome crabitat using an Exoterra all glass front open terrarium. Tons of room to climb and to bury themselves! They love hanging out and onto the driftwood pieces I have crisscrossed in the tank for them, and hide in the knotholes. :) I also have heard them "talk" and chirp on quiet nights. That was pretty cool.
lbremers
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Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2018 1:03 pm
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Re: Noob: Can't figure out shell sizes or where to order?

Post by lbremers »

I haven't had much luck with ordering shells online and everything I've purchased as a newbie from pet stores were WRONG, HEAVY, PAINTED, ETC. I wonder as I go into my second year if they make enough on the shells you see in the pet store from selling them to only newbie crab parents!!

I've ordered from 4-5 places and the only place that gave me refunds on returns was Amazon, however, I never bought anything there that was usable or described properly in the description.

My best luck was on Etsy and I've ordered twice and been VERY satisfied with those purchases. I have 4 crabs and everyone has changed into shells from FLORIDA BEACH WEDDINGS. The name alone caused me to pass on them several times but since I was looking for openings of 1-1/4", they seemed to be the only ones with enough descriptions to give me the info to take a shot and order from them. I was pleased with their 15 piece set and the 3 pc. set with the much larger shells. The 15 pc set has maybe 6-7 small shells that are too small for my crabs but the rest were PERFECT. All of my crabs have changed into them. The last two I rescued/purchased were in painted shells for about 4 days until these new shells came. I boiled the shells and put them into the tank that night and next morning, EVERyBODY was in their new duds.
StellaCrab
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Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2016 10:29 am
Gender: Male
Hermit crabs: 13
Total gallons: 125
Total tanks: 2

Re: Noob: Can't figure out shell sizes or where to order?

Post by StellaCrab »

I do not have any place near me that sells acceptable shells, so I seek them online for my hermit crabs. The only types of shells you should be buying are naturals shells that have not been coated or treated with anything, even gloss. Polished shells are fine. They should be thin and lightweight, unlike most shells sold at local chain stores, which are usually thick and have the wrong type of opening.

The best online shops that I recommend are Richard's Seashells, Naples Sea Shells, or Florida Shells & Gifts.

Remember, clypeatus (purple pincher) crabs like to wear shells with a round opening, while exotics like the compressus (ecuadorian) prefer to wear smaller shells with an oval shaped opening, with some exceptions.
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