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What to Do About Mold in a Hermit Crab Tank

What to Do About Mold in a Hermit Crab Tank

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.

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Hermit crabs are great pets to have as they are cute entertaining, and they can be easy to care for. However, some problems can develop in their tanks, like mold growing on ornaments or substrates.

Let’s go through what you need to know about mold in your Hermit crab’s tank.

Mold in a Hermit crabs’ tank can be concerning as it can affect the health of your Hermit crabs. When you spot the mold growing, you need to thoroughly clean their tank and ornaments to kill the mold and then prevent it from happening again by keeping the tank clean and cleaning new ornaments.

Is the mold that grows in your Hermit crab’s tank dangerous for your Hermit crabs? How do you clean mold from their tanks properly? How do you prevent the mold from growing in the future?

Let’s find out!

Is Mold Dangerous to Hermit Crabs?

Close Up of Mold

Hermit crabs are loveable creatures that make for fascinating pets. They have been increasing in popularity as more and more people notice how incredible these little crustaceans are.

With their spick in popularity, people are beginning to realize that Hermit crabs do come with their own set of possible problems. One such issue is that mold can easily start growing inside their tanks.

This mold can begin growing on the shells, ornaments, and substrate you place into the tank for your Hermit crabs, and it can even start growing on the hermit crabs themselves. This will concern most Hermit crab owners as we have always been taught that mold is dangerous.

So, should you be anxious about the health of your Hermit crabs when mold is present in their tanks? This is a tricky subject as some molds are dangerous for your Hermit crabs, and others won’t hurt your crabs at all.

Certain molds can cause a fungal infection on your Hermit crabs shells called Shell Disease Syndrome. This fungal infection can cause the shell of your Hermit crabs to erode and start pitting and can eventually kill your Hermit crabs.

This is due to the chitin-destroying microorganisms that live in these various molds. This fungal infection can spread from Hermit crab to Hermit crab if the infected Hermit crab is not isolated and treated.

These molds are slightly rare compared to non-harmful molds. However, it’s extremely difficult to differentiate between these harmful and non-harmful molds. So, when you notice any mold in your Hermit crabs’ tank, it is best to treat it as if it were dangerous to your Hermit crabs to be safe.

How to Clean Mold from Your Hermit Crab Tank

So, when you see mold developing in your Hermit crabs’ tanks, you need to act fast and clean it out properly, but how do you ensure you kill the mold?

When you see mold growing in their tank, you need to disinfect the entire tank as the fungal spores can spread easily in the tank. So, here are the steps you can follow to ensure you clean your Hermit crabs’ tank thoroughly to kill all the mold.

Step 1 – remove your crabs from the habitat and place them in a secure location.

Step 2 – remove all the shells and ornaments from the tank and clean out the substrate.

Step 3 – scrub the tank and the ornaments with a 3% bleach solution or a reptile habitat cleaner you can buy at a specialized pet store.

Step 4 (optional) – you can spray the tank and ornaments with a saltwater solution, and then you can back the ornaments in your oven on low for 10 minutes.

Step 5 – rinse the tank and ornaments thoroughly with lukewarm water to remove all traces of the cleaner you used

Step 6 – leave the tank and ornaments to dry completely in the sun, then add some new substrate to the tank and place the ornaments in the tank. You can now safely return your Hermit crabs to their tank.

How to Prevent Mold in the Future

Cleaning a Hermit Crab Tank

As with most things that can affect the health of our animals and us, it is best to prevent mold growth rather than trying to treat it once it has already started growing.

You can use several methods to help prevent mold from growing in your Hermit crab tank. It is better to use more than one of the following methods to ensure no mold can grow in the tank.

Clean Your Hermit Crab Tank Regularly

One of the best approaches you can use to help prevent mold growth in your Hermit crabs’ tank is by cleaning the tank regularly and on a schedule. Some cleaning should be done daily, like cleaning up obvious messes and spot cleaning.

Then you need to do a more intense clean of their tank at least once a week. A full deep clean of your Hermit crab’s tank needs to happen once every month or two, depending on the tank’s dimensions and the health of your Hermit crabs.

Use Mold Inhibiting Substances in the Tank Regularly

With Hermit crabs, you need to mist their tanks regularly to help keep the humidity levels high enough for the crabs to live comfortably. When you do this, you can switch out your plain water spray for a saltwater spray as the saltwater is a mold inhibiting substance.

The saltwater will kill any small mold spores that may have begun growing without you noticing. This is a good way to help you get ahead of the mold without needing to put in much effort.

Soak New Ornaments Before They Go in the Tank

When you buy new ornaments for your Hermit crab’s tank, this is where mold spore can hide and then be introduced into the tank. So, you should soak it in some saltwater for about 10 minutes to ensure that the water completely saturated the ornament.

Then you need to rinse the ornament and leave it to dry in the sun. Now you can place it in your Hermit crabs’ tank without worrying about mold growing from it and possibly spreading to other parts of the tank.

Final Thoughts

Hermit crabs are great little pets to have, and they can offer great entertainment as they waddle around their tanks. So, it can be concerning when you spot mold growing in their tanks.

You need to clean this mold out as soon as possible to ensure the health and safety of your Hermit crabs. Thankfully, you can clean the mold from their tanks easily, and there are methods you can use to help prevent mold from growing in the future. Good luck with your Hermit crabs!