Costopedia / Pets / How Much Does a Hermit Crab Cost?

How Much Does a Hermit Crab Cost?

$ $ Primary Expenses: $80 - $320 $ $ $ Continuous Expenses: $160 - $320

Hermit crabs are invertebrates that can live in the ocean or on land.

There are more than 800 species of hermit crabs, being the most well-known, the land hermit crabs.

Despite their name, they are social animals, often living in big groups or communities.

They have been called hermits because of their constant need for shells of other animals that no longer need them.

Shells are vital for hermit crabs because their bodies are not fully protected as it happens with other crabs.

Their exoskeleton only covers their front part, leaving their soft tail exposed, so they need to look for empty homes to be safe from predators.

Let’s review if hermit crabs are what you’re looking for in a pet, and how much would it cost you to have one.

Is A Hermit Crab The Right Pet For Me?

Hermit crabs are considered exotic pets because they are wild animals.

They haven’t been domesticated as other common pets.

You’ll be providing a home for them, and you might also handle them and hold them in your hand, but they don’t have that special connection that some animals have developed over time with human beings.

Hermit crabs don’t generally breed in captivity, so most of the ones available at pet stores come directly from the wild, which could end up hurting their species.

They don’t have diseases that could be transmitted to humans, so they have been recommended for people with allergies that can’t have other pets.

Hermit crabs do need a very specific environment to have healthy and long lives.

In the wild, they can live between 10 to 15 years, with some species even reaching 40 years of age, but in captivity, there isn’t a real number of how long hermit crabs can survive.

Because of their social nature, you should never keep only one hermit crab, but at least two at a time, which could increase costs and the amount of time you must dedicate to their care.

Primary Expenses

These are the things you’ll probably have to buy only once when first getting a hermit crab.

Adopting Or Buying A Hermit Crab

As it happens with most exotic pets, hermit crabs are not easy to find in pet stores or shelters for adoption.

There are associations or groups online that tend to be the bridge between owners that no longer want their hermit crabs and people who are looking to adopt.

Most of these are free, but you will have to fill out several forms and send proof that you have everything a hermit crab needs before they let you adopt it.

Hermit crabs are available at pet stores to buy, usually costing from $3 to $20.

Aquarium Or Tank

Hermit crabs need enough space to move, exercise, and have all the necessary equipment.

Their tanks should be made of glass with a lid, to maintain proper temperature and humidity.

Depending on the size, aquariums can cost between $40 to $200.


Hermit crabs need a lot of accessories to stay in good health.

They will need a thermometer and hygrometer (you can find one device that measures both temperature and humidity, from $5 to $15), a heating pad for hermit crabs ($10 – $40), two separate dishes for water, one for saltwater and one for drinking water, and a food one too (each from $3 to $10), and shells of different sizes should always be available for when your crab needs to change their current one (sets from $10 to $15).

Continuous Expenses

Here are the basic things you’ll have to spend either monthly or annually to look after your hermit crab.


In their natural habitats, hermit crabs are omnivorous scavengers, which means that they eat vegetables, fruits, and dead animals.

There is special dry food prepared for hermit crabs that you can find at pet stores.

You’ll be spending from $60 to $120 per year on hermit crab food.


Bedding or substrate is very important for your crab’s health. They need it to dig and molt, and it also helps to stay hydrated.

Natural substrate will cost per year between $40 and $80.


Hermit crabs love to climb onto things, and there is a variety of items you can purchase for your crab.

Nets, hammocks, plastic bridges, pieces of wood, and coconut shells are some of the most popular toys to keep your hermit crab entertained.

These cost from $10 to $20.

Vet Visits

Although they are necessary, it could be quite difficult to find a veterinarian that has the proper expertise to check on your hermit crab’s health.

After all, it’s one of the disadvantages of having an exotic pet.

Most vet check-ups cost from $50 to $100, but it’s only a reference price for other animals.

Alessandra Spaziani Lara
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