Hermit crabs make good pets; they can live with others of their species and are pretty interactive as pets. Also looking after them is relatively easy, as long as you can maintain a favorable environment for them.
And today in this article we are going to discuss and answer a common question amount the succulent owners. The question is, are succulents safe from hermit crabs?
Hermit Crabs and Vegetation
The environment is a serious matter when trying to take care of hermit crabs. The environment needs to imitate its natural habitat. For hermit crabs, their living space needs to have high humidity. The humidity level needs to be around 60-70%, and the temperature needs to be warm. It needs to be around 30 celsius and cannot drop below 20.
Hermit crabs love climbing and nibbling on vegetation. That is why hermit crab owners plant trees and moss in their tanks. The hermit crab is a land crab, and the tank is not filled with water. So, many kinds of plants can be planted for them. Succulents initially seem like a good choice, but the environment succulents grow in is dry.
However, your hermit crabs will eat succulents if they come in contact. It is in their nature to nibble on vegetation. The vegetation helps the crabs to balance their diet and also acquire the necessary minerals and nutrients. So, you can have a replacement plant, and when the tree looks damaged, it can be replaced. The damaged tree can have enough time to grow and be planted again later.
Are Succulents Safe from Hermit Crabs?
Succulents prefer dry soil and low light; they have robust root systems that go deep. The moisture in the hermit crab tank will kill most succulents eventually.
If you want to put succulents in tanks with your hermit crab, the succulents need to be tolerant of high humidity. This is a hard task because succulents are mostly known for their love for dry atmosphere. However, there are many species of succulents, and some can survive in high humidity.
Some succulents can survive in 80-100% humidity. Although not every succulent is safe for hermit crabs. The crabs may have strong shells and pincers, but some succulents have thorns that can harm your hermit crab. So, be thorough when picking a succulent for your tank.
Succulents for Tanks
A few succulents that can survive in your crab tank are Kalanchoe hexangular, Crassula ovata, Delosperma cooperi, Aloe Zebrina, and Portulacaria afra. These succulents do not possess any harmful aspects to a hermit crab. They can increase the beauty of the tank while making sure your crabs grow healthy.
The Kalanchoe sexangularis, also known as the six-angled kalanchoe, is native to South Africa. They are shrub-like plants with cupped leaves. The plant can grow up to 3 feet, and the leaves usually have tints of the red border. When the tree gets older, the leaves become pinkish brown.
The succulent will be a good match for hermit crab tanks because it has a vibrant green outlook. They can also survive without much care and survive in the harshest environment. They are hardy trees that can survive the attacks of hermit crabs too. These trees can take on anything that is thrown at them.
Aloe zebrina is a succulent that is part of the aloe family. It is native to Southern Tropical African countries. They are evergreen, spiny plants, usually without stems.
The plants in nature grow in rosette formation and can grow up to 15 to 30 cm tall. The trees look like ordinary aloe but are speckled with white dots. The name zebrina might be an indication of this feature.
The tree possesses medicinal value and is used as medicine by the local people. In a hermit crab tank, the tree will survive properly as they are resistant to high humidity levels.
The hermit crabs can eat aloe plants, but they are not particularly fond of it. So, the tree might survive unscathed in the tank. However, the tree possesses a substance called anthraquinones. Anthraquinones are a natural laxative, and for humans, long-term consumption is harmful.
The Delosperma cooperi, also known as ice plant, is a flower type succulent. It is evergreen and colorful, and the flowers are deep purplish pink. The flowers blossom from early summer to fall continuously. The flowers are pretty eye-catching, and the tree can reach up to 3 to 6 inches in height and 24 inches in width.
The trees are flower-type succulents and have decent ornamental value. They are mat-forming evergreens. So, if they are planted in tanks, they might grow and take over the tank.
For this reason, their growth needs to be kept in check. Occasional trimming and cutting can keep them in control. The flower succulent, if maintained well, will increase the aesthetic of the tank and will create hiding, and climbing spaces for hermit crabs.
The Crassula ovata is also known as the jade plant, lucky plant, money plant, etc. The trees are native to South Africa and Mozambique. They have strong branches and jade green leaves.
They also save water in their leaves. The leaves are fleshy and filled with water. They can grow up to 2.5 meters, but if potted in tiny spaces can grow like a bonsai.
The tree can be a good addition to hermit crab tanks. The tree has wide and strong branches. The hermit crab can climb the trees and nibble on the leaves.
The tree will also create a good contrast with the red of the hermit crab and its jade green color. However, the tree is poisonous to horses, dogs, and cats. It is also mildly poisonous to humans.
The Portulacaria afra, also known as elephant bush, is a shrub-like plant. It is a plant that is very similar to Crassula ovata or the jade plant, but it does not have strong branches.
It is also called the miniature jade because of its small stature and shrub-like features. The big similarity it has with the jade plant is the leaves. They share the same fleshy, liquid-filled leaves.
The trees are native to South Africa. They can reach up to 12ft in height. However short appearance can be maintained by regular trimming and cutting.
The trees can be a good place for your crabs to hide and burrow. They, too, will be a good match for hermit crabs’ red color and create a natural green look for your tank.
Succulents and hermit crab might seem like not a good match at first. However, if you pick the right succulents, they can help your crabs and establish an excellent eco-friendly atmosphere for your tank.
However, it is easier to choose mangroves and air plants because they go with the nature of hermit crabs. If it is too hard to maintain, even plastic trees are a good alternative because you will be providing the necessary nutrients for them.