Keeping hermit crabs warm is an important part of their basic care. Because they are tropical creatures, they need temperatures above 75 degrees Fahrenheit, but they shouldn't be allowed to bake in the sun, either. If you're committed to keeping your cute crustacean healthy and happy, it's worth investing in a quality thermometer. Also, keep an eye on your tank's humidity levels; heating systems can reduce air moisture to unsafe levels and make it difficult for your crab to breathe.
Keep your crabitat away from windows and other sources of drafts, especially if it's cold outside.
Use an overhead light to heat your tank, but make sure the wattage is not so high that your crab overheats. Choose a bulb that is the appropriate size for your tank. If your crab is in a 10-gallon tank, use a 25-watt bulb.
Install an under-tank heater to provide warmth at the bottom of your hermit crab's home. The Hermit Crab Association recommends placing the heater under only half the tank to prevent all the substrate from drying out.
Provide plenty of substrate for burrowing, but make sure it's not so deep that it blocks the heat from your tank heater. If your crabby likes deep sand, pile it higher in one corner of the tank and leave it thin elsewhere. This allows him to move to a cooler or warmer location, when necessary.
Monitor the temperature in your crab's tank with a thermometer. Adjust the heater when necessary to keep the temperature between 75 and 84 degrees. Above or below this range can be deadly.
Maintain proper humidity levels in your tank by dampening the substrate and misting the air inside the tank, as needed. Use a hygrometer to keep relative humidity levels at 70 to 80 percent. Proper humidity levels will also help keep your hermit crabs warm.
Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images
Sandra Ketcham has nearly two decades of experience writing and editing for major websites and magazines. Her work appears in numerous web and print publications, including "The Atlanta Journal-Constitution," "The Tampa Bay Times," Visit Florida, "USA Today," AOL's Gadling and "Kraze Magazine."