It is a good idea to flush out as much dust from the sand substrates as you can, as it is a health hazard to both you and your hermit crabs. Follow the method below to clean your sand.
Place a small handful of sand into a clean bucket.
Turn on your garden hose to fill the bucket with water. The water should appear murky to begin with. Do not spray directly at the sand; otherwise the sand will splash out of the bucket.
Keep the hose on and let the excess water flow out of the bucket once it is full. Continue until the water appears crystal clear.
Add a drop of dechlorinator to the crystal clear water in the bucket and swirl with your hand.
Tip out the water and put the clean sand aside. Repeat the above process until all sand has been rinsed.
If you are fortunate to be in summer weather, you can let the Sun dry your sand for you; otherwise, bake the sand in the oven for half an hour at 150°C (300°F). Scrape through the sand with your hand to increase its exposed surface area so that it dries quicker.
How do I loosen up a coconut fibre brick?
Coconut fibre bricks should first be soaked in salt water. You may want to only wet a small fraction of the coconut fibre at a time as it does expand quite a lot. The coconut fibre will dry up over time, so add tiny amounts of fresh water or diluted salt water to keep it moist. If you keep adding full-strength salt water to the coconut fibre, the salinity of the coconut fibre will increase over time to the point where it may harm your hermit crabs. This is due to the water alone evaporating from the coconut fibre, but the salt is still left behind.
How deep should the bedding be for newly adopted hermit crabs?
The bedding should only be half an inch deep. This is to prevent newly adopted hermit crabs from burying themselves so that they can undergo the weather therapy that was previously discussed. Otherwise, if your hermit crabs are not given enough time to slowly adjust to the weather in your tank, they might not recover from PPS and die as a result.
When can I increase the depth of the bedding?
You can increase the depth of the bedding once you have finished gradually increasing the warm end temperature and humidity in the tank to 28°C (82.4°F) and 80% respectively. The depth of the bedding should be at least twice the height of your largest hermit crab. However, the depth of the bedding above an UTH should be shallow so that your hermit crabs cannot bury on top of it and risk getting burnt.
Can hermit crabs burrow in the CaribSea Aragamax Sugar Sized Sand?
Yes. Since the sand is not being kept underwater, burrows will not be crushed by the water pressure.
Is play sand safe for hermit crabs?
Play sand often contains metal filings, which may be harmful to hermit crabs. Although some crabbers have not had problems using play sand, it may not be the best type of sand for you to use.
Should I mix gravel, shell grit or oyster shell pieces into the bedding?
No. Hermit crabs have died due to pieces of gravel, shell grit and oyster shells slipping into their shell and puncturing their abdomens. If hermit crabs do want to munch on some calcium, they can munch on their own shells or their shed exoskeleton if they have moulted. You can even try burying a few large pieces of cuttlebone in the bedding.