As the number of people keeping pet hermit crabs keeps on increasing, the number of questions that we have noticed people asking about keeping a pet hermit crab also constantly increases.
Now, there has been a large number of questions asked over the last couple of months but recently, there has definitely been a spike in the number of people asking how many hermit crabs can be kept in a 10 gallon tank.
Due to the 10 gallon tank being such a cheap and widely available tank size, it can be an excellent starting tank for beginners to keeping pet hermit crabs.
Hermit crabs can be kept in a 10 gallon tank but they specific species of hermit crab that you keep will dictate how many hermit crabs can be kept in a 10 gallon tank.
This is often overlooked by people who are new to keeping pet hermit crabs and this is one of the main reasons that we have noticed so many people reaching out for advice on using a 10 gallon tank for their hermit crabs so we wanted to publish this article to help our readers.
Can Hermit Crabs Live In A 10 Gallon Tank?
Three of the seven most commonly kept types of hermit crab can live in a 10 gallon tank without issue and a fourth can live in a 10 gallon tank as a juvenile.
This is why we really do like the 10 gallon tank for anyone who is wanting to keep pet hermit crabs as it just offers an excellent entry point that is surprisingly versatile with the actual types of hermit crabs that you can keep in your tank.
In our opinion, the three best types of hermit crab that you can keep in a 10 gallon tank are:-
- Ecuadorian Hermit Crab
- Ruggie Hermit Crab
- Australian Land Hermit Crab
Although those three types of hermit crab will usually thrive in a 10 gallon tank, you can also keep a Caribbean Hermit Crab in a 10 gallon tank with minimal issues while it is young.
We would not usually recommend that you keep a Caribbean Hermit Crab in a 10 gallon tank though as you will end up having to upgrade to a larger tank as the crab grows in size.
How Many Hermit Crabs Can You Keep In A 10 Gallon Tank?
The number of hermit crabs that you can keep in a 10 gallon size will depend on the type of crab that you are keeping but you can usually keep four suitable hermit crabs in a 10 gallon tank.
A general rule of thumb for keeping hermit crabs in a 10 gallon tank is to keep four crabs that are less than one inch wide or two hermit crabs that are two inches wide in the tank.
Technically, you can keep a single hermit crab that is three inches wide in a 10 gallon tank but we really don’t recommend it and a larger tank is definitely better suited for larger crabs.
You also have to factor in that the more hermit crabs you keep in your 10 gallon tank, the more hermit crab poop will need cleaning up but a quick daily spot clean should be fine.
What Type Of Hermit Crabs Can Live In A 10 Gallon Tank?
As we mentioned earlier in the article, the main deciding factor in keeping hermit crabs in a 10 gallon tank is the type of hermit crab you want to keep.
Different hermit crabs have different maximum sizes when fully grown meaning that the larger ones will usually not do well in a 10 gallon tank.
If you are new to keeping hermit crabs, we would also recommend that you stick to one type of hermit crab in your tanks as hermit crabs can eat each other.
We will now be taking a quick look at the most commonly kept types of hermit crab to go over what ones are a better fit for a 10 gallon aquarium tank.
Ecuadorian Hermit Crab
The Ecuadorian hermit crab is one of the most commonly kept hermit crabs within the hobby and it is our recommended starting crab for beginners.
Most Ecuadorian hermit crabs will usually max out at a size of around half an inch when fully grown meaning that you can usually keep four of them in a 10 gallon tank without issue.
We have seen some people keep more Ecuadorian hermit crabs in a 10 gallon tank but we would only recommend this if you already have experience keeping hermit crabs.
If you are a total beginner, stick to a maximum of four and then expand in the future as your experience grows.
Ruggie Hermit Crab
The ruggie hermit crab is another great option for beginners that usually maxes out at around 0.6 inches meaning you can keep up to four of them in a 10 gallon aquarium tank without issue.
Just like the Ecuadorian hermit crab, as your experience of keeping pet hermit crabs increases, you can look to increase the number of crabs that you keep in your 10 gallon tank but to start we would only recommend four ruggies in the tank.
We have seen posts on social media going over how you can keep six ruggie hermit crabs in a 10 gallon tank and although this is correct, we always recommend that our readers start small and then grow from there.
Australian Land Hermit Crab
The Australian land hermit crab is another species of hermit crab that can work well in a 10 gallon tank but they are slightly larger and max out at around 1.5 inches in size.
This means that you should only keep two Australian land hermit crabs in a 10 gallon tank.
We have seen some people keeping three Australian land hermit crab in a 10 gallon tank and this is arguably fine but you will have to stay on top of your spot cleaning to keep the tank clean.
If you are a beginner, we would recommend you just go with one or two Australian land hermit crabs for a 10 gallon tank though.
Caribbean Hermit Crab
As we touched on earlier in the article, the Caribbean hermit crab can be kept in a 10 gallon tank when they are young but they usually need to be moved to a larger tank as they grow.
Most Caribbean hermit crabs will end up somewhere between two inches and six inches depending on their diet, environment and a couple of other factors.
We would not recommend a beginner keeps Caribbean hermit crabs in a 10 gallon tank as it will usually be a waste of money and you should just upgrade to a larger tank if possible or go with one of the hermit crab species covered above instead.
Still, the Caribbean are a very popular hermit crab to keep in the hobby and are probably neck at neck with the Ecuadorian in terms of popularity, we just don’t think they are a good fit for a 10 gallon tank.
Passionfruit Hermit Crab
Just like the Caribbean hermit crab covered above, the passionfruit hermit crab can temporarily be kept in a 10 gallon tank but they will usually need to be moved on to another tank as they grow.
This is due to a passionfruit usually growing from around one inch in length to around four inches in length.
Just like with the Caribbean hermit crab, we would not recommend that you try to keep a Passionfruit hermit crab in a 10 gallon tank and would suggest that you just go with a larger tank or a different type of hermit crab if possible.
Indonesian Hermit Crab
Although Indonesian hermit crabs can be great pets, they just can’t work in a 10 gallon aquarium tank due to their three to four inch size when fully grown.
We have seen people keep a single Indonesian hermit crab in a 10 gallon tank but we would advise against it if possible.
If you do have your eye on keeping Indonesian hermit crabs then you really should be looking at a much larger tank than a 10 gallon entry level tank.
Strawberry Hermit Crab
Although the strawberry hermit crab is a beautiful animal that can be great to keep as pets, they are not suitable for a 10 gallon tank due to their large size.
The strawberry hermit crab is the largest out of the commonly kept types of hermit crabs and they can easily get to between four and six inches making them unsuitable for such a small aquarium tank.
If you do like the look of the strawberry hermit crab then you definitely do need to go out and get a larger tank if possible as a 10 gallon tank just isn’t going to work.
How To Setup A 10 Gallon Hermit Crab Habitat Correctly!
Keeping hermit crabs in a 10 gallon tank is not as simple as just putting the crabs in the tank and leaving them to get on with it.
A little planning prior to getting your hermit crabs can go a long way when it comes to the actual quality of life that you are able to offer your hermit crabs so we would not recommend that you overlook this simple step.
In our opinion, there are a number of things that you can provide to your hermit crab to make their life much better and thankfully, most of them are cheap and easy to get.
We will be covering each of them in more detail below but the short list of what we would recommend you provide are:-
- A Suitable Shell.
- Decent Substrate.
- Food And Water Bowls.
- Tank Decorations.
- Hiding Spots.
- A Humidity Gauge.
- A Tank Heater.
We will now be taking a more detailed look at each of these to see how you should go about adding them to a 10 gallon hermit crab tank.
A Suitable Shell
Hermit crabs occupy the shells of other creatures and as they grow, you will have to offer them suitable replacements for their current shells.
We know that this may sound obvious but it is commonly overlooked by beginners who accidentally leave their hermit crab in the same shell for far too long.
This can then force the hermit crab to leave its shell and hermit crabs don’t usually live long without a shell.
Although most people do add a substrate product to their 10 gallon hermit crab tank, they usually add an unsuitable substrate.
Thankfully, an unsuitable substrate is usually better than nothing.
In our opinion, you should be decking your 10 gallon tank out with a sand or sand gravel mix substrate option if possible.
These are very common and easy to find for cheap with almost all pet stores and fish stores stocking them as standard.
Food And Water Bowls
Most land based hermit crabs will need you to add some sort of water bowl to the tank if you are a beginner.
We know that you can set up a self sustaining water source but this is more of an advanced option and a 10 gallon tank is usually too small so a water bowl is usually the easiest option.
A food bowl is not essential but it can help to keep your hermit crabs food in one place to make it as easy as possible to clean up when needed.
Although tank decorations are not essential. they can help to offer your hermit crabs some enrichment in their 10 gallon tank.
There really are a wide range of different things that you can offer but here are some of our favorites:-
- Safe Climbing Toys
- Dried Choya Wood
There is no need to add all of these but it gives you an idea of what you can work within your 10 gallon hermit crab tank.
Most hermit crabs will appreciate some hiding spots in their tank and there are a wide range of things that you are able to use in a 10 gallon tank as a hermit crab hiding spot.
Most people will probably be better off just buying a commercially made hiding spot for pets but you can make your own if you want.
In most cases, you can use the suggestions above in our tank decoration section to make a hiding spot for your hermit crabs in their 10 gallon tank.