Hermit crabs store water in their shells. The water a hermit crab keeps in the shell is used to keep its abdomen and gills adequately damp and prevents the hermit crab from drying out. In their natural environment, hermit crabs refill the water in their shells and bathe themselves in saltwater that is readily available to them. In captivity, hermit crabs require periodic saltwater baths to stay healthy and clean.
Prepare your salt water by following the instructions provided on your sea salt mixture. These products are sold at pet stores and allow you to correctly mix saltwater that will be as close to your crab's natural environment as possible. Let the prepared water sit until it reaches room temperature.
Pour the saltwater into a small bowl that your hermit crab is capable of climbing in and out of. The bowl needs to be deep enough that the crab can submerge himself in the water.
Submerge your hermit crab in the saltwater and wait for him to come out of his shell to explore the inside of the bowl. Your hermit crab will wash himself in the saltwater and replenish the supply of water stored in his shell as he comes out of the shell.
- If desired, you can leave a bowl of saltwater in your hermit crab's living enclosure at all times and allow him to bathe when he chooses.
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Jen Davis has been writing since 2004. She has served as a newspaper reporter and her freelance articles have appeared in magazines such as "Horses Incorporated," "The Paisley Pony" and "Alabama Living." Davis earned her Bachelor of Arts in communication with a concentration in journalism from Berry College in Rome, Ga.