As the number of people keeping pet hermit crabs continues to increase, the number of questions that we see from the hermit crab keeping community continues to increase with each month that passes.
Out of all the questions that we see people asking, we don’t think that there is one that is more polarizing within the community than using distilled water for hermit crabs.
Although hermit crabs do not need distilled water, many people do choose to use it for their crabs as it lacks the iron and chlorine that tap water usually contains technically making it a better option for your pet hermit crabs.
There has been some “research” done into the actual benefits of using distilled water for hermit crabs but for the most part, it is essentially just an opinion piece on the topic rather than real scientific research.
Still, as we see so many people reaching out every month about if you can use distilled water for hermit crabs, we have decided to publish this article going over the topic.
We hope that we will be able to help as many of our readers as possible but for the most part, it usually doesn’t matter and plenty of people use dechlorinated tap water or even spring water for their hermit crabs with minimal issues.
Can You Use Distilled Water For Hermit Crabs?
You can use distilled water for hermit crabs and many people choose to do it.
The problem with “distilled water” is that very few places have a legal definition on what distilled water actually is and in some cases, it can just be tap water with a much higher price tag.
There have been multiple cases where companies have been caught selling what is essentially just tap water for a much higher price.
This is why we usually recommend against using distilled water for hermit crabs if possible as in most cases, you really don’t know what you are getting.
Distilled Water For Pets
In the last few years, there have been a number of companies have started to release distilled water for pets.
Many of these companies explain that they have taken steps to make their distilled water as inert as possible technically rendering it safe for use with your pets.
Although many places don’t have any laws on what distilled water has to be, any of these companies caught miss-selling or using false advertising strategies could end up in legal trouble.
Due to this, we only recommend that you go with one of these distilled water products if you are set on using distilled water for your hermit crab and many local fish stores sell them now.
Still, we really don’t think that they are worth the money and most people will get very similar if not the same results from their hermit crab tanks if they just use regular tap water but use a tap water conditioner product on the water prior to use.
This can end up working out much cheaper, especially if you keep a large number of tanks with hermit crabs in them.
Do You Need To Dechlorinate Distilled Water For Hermit Crabs?
Technically, you should always be dechlorinating any distilled water that you purchase for your hermit crabs as the legal issues around distilled water prevent you from knowing exactly what is in it.
As we covered earlier in the article, there have been a number of companies simple re-selling tap water and marketing it as distilled water.
In this case, the distilled water can still have the chlorine in it as well as heavy metals such as iron in the water.
This means that you should always use a tap water conditioner product on the water to make the chlorine safe and bind the various heavy metals that may be in the distilled water.
Although most aquarium water test kits won’t test for the levels of heavy metals in your water, some of the more expensive advanced kits will.
If you do plan to use distilled water for your hermit crabs, we would highly recommend that you use one of the more expensive kits on the distilled water to test what you are actually getting.
We know that in the short term, this can pump your costs up but if you are planning to use distilled water for your hermit crabs for the long term, it can end up saving you lots of money if your test kit tells you that you are basically just getting tap water.
Can You Use Spring Water For Hermit Crabs?
We have seen some people use spring water for their hermit crabs with minimal issues but we usually wouldn’t recommend this either.
As we covered in our article going over using spring water for fish, there are a number of minerals in spring water that are perfectly safe for humans to consume that can cause issues with your fish and cause problems with your water parameters.
Due to this, we would usually recommend that you don’t use spring water for your hermit crabs as you may be accidentally putting your hermit crabs at risk.
In addition to that, you may be overpaying for your water if you do choose to use a treatment product on your spring water to make it safe as many of the minerals in the water will just end up being neutralized.
This will usually turn it into something that is very similar to tap water that has also had a treatment product used on it but tap water is much cheaper than spring water.