How Much Do Hermit Crabs Cost?

Hermit crabs are fascinating creatures that have captivated many pet owners with their unique characteristics. Apart from being fun and entertaining, they’re also easy to maintain, making them an ideal pet for those with a busy lifestyle. For those interested in owning a hermit crab, one of the first things that come to mind is how much it would cost to get one.

In this article, I aim to provide you with information on how much hermit crabs cost and what factors can influence their price.

Average Cost of Hermit Crabs

The average cost of a hermit crab ranges from $5 to $35, depending on the species, size, and location. Some pet stores sell hermit crabs relatively cheaply, while others may charge more for certain species or larger sizes. It’s worth noting that while purchasing a hermit crab, the price of the crab itself is just one expense – you also need to factor in the cost of setting up its home, such as a terrarium, food, and other accessories.

Purchasing online may be an option, but it’s important to remember that shipping costs can significantly add up to the overall cost. Additionally, buying hermit crabs from an online supplier may come with some risks, such as receiving unhealthy or diseased specimens. Hence, it’s better to buy from a reputable pet store or breeder to ensure a higher quality of the organism.

The price of a hermit crab is fairly affordable, making them an accessible option for those wanting a low-cost and low-maintenance pet. The cost of a hermit crab may vary depending on various factors, but in general, they are relatively cheap.

Factors Affecting the Cost of Hermit Crabs

Several factors can influence the cost of hermit crabs, including the species, size, age, and location of purchase. Here are some examples:

  • Species: Some species, such as the Ecuadorian hermit crab, are more common and therefore less expensive than rarer species, like the Coconut Crab, which may be more expensive due to its exotic nature.
  • Size: Bigger hermit crabs tend to be pricier than smaller ones due to the time and resources needed to sustain them to that stage.
  • Age: Hermit crabs that are younger are typically more affordable than older ones since younger crabs have a longer lifespan and more time to mature and grow.
  • Location: The cost of hermit crabs can vary depending on where you buy them. For example, pet stores in cities often sell hermit crabs at a higher price than in other localities due to higher operational costs.

Besides these factors, it’s essential to buy a hermit crab from a reputable source or breeder. Healthy hermit crabs will be worth the cost in the long term since they tend to have a longer lifespan and fewer health issues.

Cost of Hermit Crab Habitat

Apart from the cost of the hermit crab itself, it’s also crucial to account for the cost of building or providing a suitable habitat. Contrary to popular belief, a hermit crab’s habitat is not a simple plastic tank filled with water – instead, it is a complex environment that involves temperature and humidity control, substrate, food, and water bowls, and decorative items such as caves and hiding spaces.

Depending on how elaborate you would like your hermit crab’s home to be, the cost of setting up a habitat can vary. Basic models will cost around $50, while larger and more complex habitats may cost up to $200. However, you can always start with a basic tank and gradually add more elements later on.

One important thing to remember is that hermit crab’s tanks need to be cleaned regularly, and items such as sand and substrate will also need maintenance and replacement, making the cost of investing in a hermit crab’s habitat an ongoing expense. Nonetheless, creating a comfortable and stimulating environment for your pet hermit crab is crucial to their overall health and well-being.

Cost of Hermit Crab Food and Supplies

In addition to purchasing a hermit crab and setting up its home, there are other ongoing costs to consider when owning a hermit crab – namely, its food and supplies. Some of the basic supplies needed include substrate, food dishes, water dishes, and a source of heat and humidity.

Supply Cost Range
Commercial Hermit Crab Food $5 – $10
High-Quality Organic Food Up to $50 or more
Calcium Supplements Varies depending on quality and brand
Thermometers and Hygrometers Varies depending on quality and brand
Replacement Supplies Ongoing cost to be factored in

The cost of hermit crab food and supplies can vary depending on the quality and quantity of the items you purchase. For example, a package of commercial hermit crab food can cost around $5 to $10, while high-quality organic food options can cost up to $50 or more.

Other supplies that may need to be purchased include calcium supplements, which help keep your hermit crab’s exoskeleton healthy, and thermometers and hygrometers, which help monitor the temperature and humidity of the habitat. Also, various sizes of shells are required, so your hermit crab can change shell when it grows. The cost of these items varies depending on the quality and brand.

It’s essential to note that hermit crab food and supplies should be replaced regularly to ensure the health and well-being of your pet. This ongoing cost should be factored into the overall price of owning a hermit crab.

Cost of Hermit Crab Medical Care

Like any other pet, hermit crabs can fall ill or require medical care. Hermit crabs are delicate creatures, and their health can deteriorate quickly if not treated promptly. Basic care such as monitoring the temperature and humidity of your crab’s habitat, providing fresh water and food, and keeping the tank clean can help prevent health issues.

However, if your hermit crab does become sick or injured, veterinary care may be necessary. While hermit crab veterinary care is not yet widespread or easily accessible, it can be costly, with regular check-ups and treatments ranging from $50 to $100 or more. It is important to factor this expense into the overall cost of owning a hermit crab.

Another point worth noting is that it is often difficult to identify when a hermit crab is sick since they are quite secretive creatures. Symptoms such as lethargy, loss of appetite, and a lack of movement can be telltale signs of illness or parasites, and it is essential to seek medical attention quickly if you suspect something is wrong.

Where to Buy Hermit Crabs

If you’re interested in owning a hermit crab, the next question you’re likely to ask is where to buy them. Hermit crabs can be found at many pet stores, both online and offline. However, it’s essential to do your research and ensure that the source is reputable.

Pet stores typically sell hermit crabs for between $5 and $35, and you may be able to find a wider selection of species and sizes at a specialized pet store catering to exotic pets rather than a general pet store. Visiting a specialized pet store also allows you to ask questions and receive advice from knowledgeable staff.

If you prefer to purchase online, you can find hermit crabs on various websites. However, when buying online, it’s essential to verify the source and ensure that the supplier is reputable. Shipping can also be an issue if the supplier is not located close by, as it can be stressful for hermit crabs and makes them more prone to disease upon arrival.

Attending a reptile, amphibian, or exotic animal show is another option for purchasing hermit crabs. At these shows, you’ll often find vendors specializing in selling unique and exotic pets, including hermit crabs. Not only can you find a suitable and healthy hermit crab at these events, but you’ll also have the opportunity to meet other hermit crab enthusiasts and gain valuable knowledge.

How Much does it Cost to Own a Hermit Crab?

After reading about the various expenses related to hermit crab ownership, you may be wondering: how much does it cost to own a hermit crab in total?

Expense Cost Range
Initial Cost (Hermit Crab and Habitat) $50 – $100
Ongoing Expenses (Food, Supplies, Substrate) $10 – $15/month or $120 – $180 annually
Medical Care $50 – $100 for check-ups; more for advanced care
Total Cost per Year $250 – $500

The total cost of owning a hermit crab depends on various factors, including the initial cost of the hermit crab, the cost of the habitat setup, ongoing expenses such as food and supplies, and the potential cost of veterinarian care if your crab falls ill.

On average, you can expect to spend around $50-$100 initially to purchase a hermit crab and set up the habitat with the basic necessities. However, if you opt for more elaborate setups or premium equipment, the cost can easily go up.

Ongoing expenses such as food, supplies, and substrate will cost around $10-$15 per month or $120-$180 annually. Medical care can add extra costs if your hermit crab falls ill, with vet bills ranging between $50-$100 for check-ups and more for advanced care.

Owning a hermit crab can cost around $250-$500 per year, including initial expenses and ongoing costs. It’s important to plan the cost associated with hermit crab ownership and ensure that you have the financial resources to provide adequate care to your hermit crabs.


In conclusion, hermit crabs are fascinating creatures that make for great, low-maintenance pets. The initial cost of a hermit crab and its habitat is relatively affordable, and ongoing expenses such as food and supplies are also manageable. However, potential costs for medical care should also be considered.

It’s important to remember that owning a hermit crab is a responsibility and requires a financial commitment to ensure that your pet is healthy and happy. By doing your research, purchasing from reputable sources, and planning for the costs associated with hermit crab ownership, you can enjoy the companionship of your pet hermit crab for years to come.

avatar Noah
I’m Noah, chief editor at VIVO Pets and the proud owner of a playful, energetic husky (Max). I’ve been a volunteer at Rex Animal Rescue for over 2 years. I love learning and writing about different animals that can be kept as pets. read more...

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