Properly feeding hermit crabs is essential to ensure the comfort of the crabs as pets. The feeding of hermit crabs is excessively simple as the crabs are omnivours and they can even eat human-grade foods. That means you can simply feed the crab with the food that you are eating. However, it is important not to feed the hermit crabs any food that consists of pesticides, preservatives, spices, any other chemicals like ethoxyquin or copper sulfate, artificial colors or sweeteners. Also, avoid feeding the hermit crabs of dairy products.
There are also some other important rules to remember while you are trying to feed the hermit crab. Besides the previously mentioned food restrictions, hermit crabs should only be given dechlorinated freshwater to drink. In this respect, it is relevant to mention that the hermit crab enclosure must consist of two separate water containers. The first one should contain dechlorinated freshwater for the drinking purpose of the hermit crab and the second container holds dechlorinated marine water for the hermit crab to take a bath. In addition, whenever you give the hermit crab some food, it must always be washed thoroughly in running water (without any soap) and then preferably dried, as hermit crabs like their foods more when they are crunchy.
If the hermit crab does not like a particular food, it expresses its intention by toying with the food with the antennae and the claws, but never bringing the food to the mouth. If you are feeding hermit crabs with commercial food pellets, then make it a point to crush the pellets for the best wishes of your hermit. The crabs leave back the uneaten food particles strewn in the enclosure area, and it must be made a point to clean the crab cage after the feeding is over. In addition, it is worthwhile to remember that hermit crabs do not eat when they are not hungry and during molting they follow no definite feeding pattern. For this reason, it is important to keep some food items near the molting hermit crab’s shell/burrow so that the crab can help herself or himself when he or she is willing to eat. If you can gain enough trust with the hermit crabs, then they will not hesitate to eat from your hands.
Calcium must be adequately supplied to the crabs. Common calcium sources are crushed egg shells, crushed egg shells, cuttlebones and coral deposits. The coral is also available as coral dust, so you can sprinkle some coral dust over the sand bed, so that the hermit crab may find some nutrition, even while it has buried itself in sand for the purpose of molting. The molted exoskeleton of a hermit crab also serves as a rich source of calcium for the crabs.
The pet store can also be a good source for hermit crab foods. Since hermit crabs are omnivorous crustaceans, they would anything that is munchy and tastes good. Taste is an important factor as the hermit crabs judge food by tasting them first. Some common pet store hermit crab foods are Brine shrimp drained of the brine, fish food flakes, seaweed, freeze dried plankton, plant based iguana food, escaragot and frozen fruit. Hermit crabs consider almost all fruits as delicacies, even citrus fruits. Fresh and pesticides free vegetables are also food preferences while feeding hermit crabs. Their food must also necessarily consist carotenoids (as in carrots) as carotenoids helps the crabs to retain their shell color. Raisins, unsalted nuts, and even popcorns (unsalted) are favorites of hermit crabs.