Skip to Content

How Much Are Hermit Crabs? (The True Cost of Owning One)

How Much Are Hermit Crabs? (The True Cost of Owning One)

Share this post:

The purpose of this blog is to share general information and is written to the author's best knowledge. It is not intended to be used in place of veterinary advice. For health concerns, please seek proper veterinary care. In addition, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

As odd as it may sound, hermit crabs are actually great pets. Although their setup can cost a bit more than other pets, they don’t require a fortune to keep. So, how much are hermit crabs to own?

The cost of the hermit crab itself is much less than other pets. You may pay for one hermit crab anywhere between $0 and $45.

However, the supplies you need to create a suitable home for it can be a bit pricier than you might think.

Below is everything you need to know about the costs of owning hermit crabs. So, keep reading!

What Is the Cost of Hermit Crabs Themselves?

The cost of purchasing a hermit crab varies widely. That’s because the price depends on many factors, like the species, age, and size of the crab.

Overall, if you’re lucky enough, you can find a hermit crab for free through adoption groups. That said, it’s not even that expensive to buy a hermit crab from a breeder.

According to its size and breed, a hermit crab can cost between $3 and $45.

The tiny hermit crab is the most inexpensive size. It’s as tiny as a quarter, and it usually costs under $5. Obviously, the larger the hermit crab is, the more expensive it gets.

A medium hermit crab is the size of a golf ball, while the large one is the size of a tennis ball. The jumbo hermit crab, on the other hand, can be as large as a baseball.

The most expensive and popular species of the hermit crab is the Purple Pincher. The price of one can be as high as $45.

How Much Do Different Hermit Crabs Cost?

Other interesting breeds of hermit crabs include the Ecuadorian crab ($9–$15), Strawberry hermit ($19–$40), Ruggie hermit ($10–$20), and Caribbean crab ($3–$25).

It’s worth mentioning that hermit crabs are friendly and social animals. That’s why you may want to consider getting more than one of them to ensure a better quality of life.

As a result, the cost of buying several hermit crabs will be significantly higher.

What Is the Cost of Hermit Crabs Supplies?

It’s crucial to get an overall idea about what you need to prepare the perfect setup for hermit crabs to thrive.

This is the most costly part of owning hermit crabs. However, the good thing is that you only buy most of these supplies once.

That said, the total cost of preparing a setup for your pet hermit crabs ranges between $80 and over $200. It all depends on what you choose to buy.

Here’s a list of hermit crabs essentials and their price ranges:

1 – Enclosure

Typically, any type of glass container works great for keeping hermit crabs inside. Bear in mind that the enclosure size varies according to how many and how big they’re going to get.

If you don’t consider these variables, you might need to replace the tank sooner than you should.

The ideal tank size for a small group of hermit crabs is a 10-gallon tank. That space is more than enough for them to be happy.

However, if you’re planning on getting the jumbo crab, you should think about getting a 30-gallon tank instead.

That said, the cost of that tank should be anywhere between $20 and $50, and you may need to pay a bit extra for a lid. A lid is essential because those creatures can easily climb out of their tank if it isn’t covered.

2 – Substrate

Any kind of playground sand or aquarium sand works amazingly as a substrate for hermit crab tanks. The amount of sand should be at least three times higher than one hermit crab.

So, it depends on the size of the hermit crabs you own. Luckily, sand is relatively cheap. That’s why filling your hermit crabs’ tank costs around $10.

Since you should replace the substrate three to four times a year, the annual substrate cost falls somewhere between $30 to $40.

3 – Nutrition Supplies

To provide your hermit crabs with food and water, you need to purchase three bowls. One for fresh water, the second for salt water, and the third for food.

Remember that those dishes need to be deep enough for a hermit crab to submerge its body in them. On the other hand, they need to be shallow enough for a hermit crab to be able to get out of them.

These bowls should cost about $10–$15.


Hermit crabs can’t drink tap water, so you need to purchase a de-chlorinator. In addition, you should also get aquarium salt to make the salt water for them to bathe in.

All these products cost between $10 and $20.


Hermit crabs don’t eat much. That’s why it doesn’t cost a fortune to feed them.

In fact, you can give them any greens or fruit leftovers you have, like the tops of tomatoes, strawberries, or lettuce.

Additionally, they like eating eggshells and unsalted nuts. As for treats, you can always spoil your hermit crabs with a bag of dried shrimp once a month, for instance.

So, by calculating all this, you end up with a monthly food budget of nothing more than $10.

4 – Accessories

Now that the tank is ready and filled with sand, it’s time to add some accessories. You can’t just leave it empty, as hermit crabs like to have things to climb over as well as hide inside.

For that, you need caves, plants, logs, climbing toys, etc. Additionally, you have to get a litter scoop to remove the hermit crabs’ feces, any food remains, or shed exoskeletons.

Finally, don’t forget to buy a few empty shells for your hermit crabs to try out.

On average, hermit crab tank accessories should cost you around $50.

5 – Electronics

Hermit crabs need to live in a humid environment. That’s why it’s crucial to buy a humidifier or a fogger for their tank.

This should cost around $50. What’s more, to monitor the humidity levels, you should get a hygrometer, which you’ll likely spend $10 to get.

If you’re living in a relatively humid area, you might not need to get a humidifier. Misting the tank regularly with a water spray may be just enough to raise the humidity levels.

Furthermore, adding natural sponges soaked in water to the tank helps greatly with that.

Temperature can also affect hermit crabs’ stress levels. That’s why it’s always necessary to monitor it.

You can do so by installing a thermometer in the tank, which costs less than $10.

In addition, a simple $10 to $20 heater can help maintain the hermit crabs’ preferred temperature.

That said, the overall cost of all needed electronics inside a hermit crab’s enclosure is $30–$90.

What Is the Cost of Hermit Crabs Health Care?

Unlike some other pets, hermit crabs don’t get sick that often. Surprisingly, most people never had to take their hermit crabs to the vet throughout their entire lives.

They’re considered healthy animals, and their lifespan extends for 30 years in captivity and 40 in the wild. Most hermit crabs’ health problems are easy to deal with by yourself.

Unfortunately, though, if your hermit crab gets sick, there’s nothing much a vet can do for it to survive. That’s because not all available vets in your area will likely have experience treating exotic animals.

That said, the cost of hermit crab health care can be as little as $0.

Parasite Treatment

Hermit crabs can sometimes get parasites, like flies, mites, and beetles. In most cases, dealing with those parasites doesn’t cost a penny.

All you need to do is clean the tank yourself and bathe the hermit crabs thoroughly with a saltwater solution.

What Is the Cost of Hermit Crab Tank Maintenance?

Cleaning the hermit crabs’ enclosure is almost free. That’s because it doesn’t require special products.

All you need to do so is distilled water!

In addition, a mixture of vinegar and warm water is perfect for cleaning grime off the tank’s walls.

You’ll typically need to clean the tank each time you replace the substrate. So, before you refill the tank with fresh soil, make sure to wash it thoroughly and leave it in the sun to dry.

Remember to never use chemicals—like disinfectants or bleach—in the process, as they may be toxic to hermit crabs.

Final Thoughts

From supplies needed to make their enclosure homey to the yearly food and maintenance supplies, how much are hermit crabs to own?

Buying the hermit crab itself can be as cheap as $3 depending on the species and size. However, you may need to spend much more money on the setup.

Averagely, it costs at least $80 for the basic supplies, and up to over $200 if you decide to go all in.

Although hermit crabs are low-maintenance and easy to care for, you need quite a bit of money to start with. It’ll all pay off eventually, though, because hermit crabs are a joy to have at home!

Share this post: