Example tank setups for new owners?

Questions that don't fit into the other categories below.
Post Reply
Ellesedil
Zygote
Zygote
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Oct 08, 2020 1:57 am
Gender: Male
Hermit crabs: 3
Total gallons: 10
Total tanks: 1

Example tank setups for new owners?

Post by Ellesedil »

Hi all. I'm new to hermit crab ownership (it's been 4 days) and have been reading everything I can. I have three crabs, and starting to realize that I've probably been trying to skip before learning to walk when it comes to crab ownership. I've been reading as much as I can about terrarium setups, because a good amount of my setup is based on conversations at the large pet stores near by and a ZooMed 10 gallon hermit crab kit.

The directions in the care guide and similar sources are great, which is why I'm looking at revising our current setup and already considering doubling the tank size. One thing that has been hard to really understand is what a tank should look like once it has been setup well. The guide does a great job trying to describe it, but having some great examples of properly setup tanks (and descriptions as to why it's a quality setup) to compare to as a basis for my own tank would be super helpful. Because that kind of reliable information is hard to discover and validate for a new owner given how pet stores and the internet works.

I realize there can be a lot of variation for a good tank setup, and that's kind of the problem because it can be really easy to have a tank that's not ideal. So, is there a resource somewhere with a variety of quality example setups (simple, complicated, in between, whatever) that are more or less validated by the community? Because outside of just random images on Facebook and web searches, I haven't really found that yet and it would be useful for me to understand if there are other qualities about my terrarium that might need to be revised.
User avatar
Wai
Administrator
Administrator
Posts: 2852
Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2004 2:12 pm
Gender: Male
Hermit crabs: 2
Total gallons: 45
Total tanks: 1
Location: VIC, Australia
Contact:

Re: Example tank setups for new owners?

Post by Wai »

There's no standard template for a good setup, just keep a few rules in mind which are explained in the care section outside this forum. How about you share a photo of what you have now?
Wai
Image
Ellesedil
Zygote
Zygote
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Oct 08, 2020 1:57 am
Gender: Male
Hermit crabs: 3
Total gallons: 10
Total tanks: 1

Re: Example tank setups for new owners?

Post by Ellesedil »

Here's our current tank (the crabs have rearranged the fake plants.)

https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/ ... 223227.jpg
https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/ ... 230032.jpg

There's an under tank heater on the left half that we are uncertain about it's effectiveness. We're certain there's not enough substrate, and it's pretty much just coconut fiber. And there isn't really a lot of room for hiding places, climbing things, extra shells, and places to roam. You can actually see two of our crabs out, and the third has buried himself under the hollow half log to the left (it has a missing leg and kind of sounds like it might molt soon).

My wife and I are actually talking about just upgrading immediately to a 20+ gallon tank this weekend. More substrate, and actually mix the coconut fiber substrate with all natural play sand, different water bowls so they can actually submerge, some more climbing things and just more room in general. We've talked about a moss pit, but we don't have a specific plan for one yet and have some open, nonspecific questions about it.

The two things I'm really uncertain about is how to heat a larger tank effectively, and what the water bowls should actually look like. The bowls we have now came in the hermit crab kit and are very shallow. No way a crab could submerge itself in them. But I have a hard time envisioning what a good water bowl looks like so that the crabs can get out. And I have a hard time understanding effective heating sources without drying out the tank. And I believe the care guide recommends a glass top? That seems counter to everything else I've read that suggest screen tops are best to enable air flow.

This is kind of why some example tanks would be helpful. I feel like most of this could be answered by images that demonstrate how the basic parts of the tank each contribute to the habitat's ecosystem when contrasted with the care guide. As it is, new owners are kind of stuck using their imagination to envision how this is supposed to all come together based on words on a website.
User avatar
Wai
Administrator
Administrator
Posts: 2852
Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2004 2:12 pm
Gender: Male
Hermit crabs: 2
Total gallons: 45
Total tanks: 1
Location: VIC, Australia
Contact:

Re: Example tank setups for new owners?

Post by Wai »

A sealed top with gaps for air helps hold in humidity. This isn't a problem if you live in a place that is humid all-year round, although the heat source will dry the humidity out if it needs to be on constantly.

I agree with getting a bigger tank, as that one is definitely too small for three hermit crabs. They need remove to separate themselves out to moult safely. Once you have a bigger tank, you can get deeper dishes as well as getting a ceramic heat emitter on one end of the tank, which is my choice for a heat source (more efficient than an under tank heater), but it must be used with a thermostat.
Wai
Image
Post Reply