Last Updated on: 19th October 2023, 10:08 am
Cucumbers (Cucumis sativus) provide hermit crabs with water, calcium, antioxidants, and vitamin A.
Despite its nutritional value, cucumber lacks the flavor and aroma to entice hermit crabs—the absence of sensory stimulation results in minimal interest.
Don’t be surprised if hermit crabs are disinterested in cucumber. If so, offer alternative fruits.
Do Hermit Crabs Like Cucumber?
Cucumbers almost entirely comprise water, so they lack a strong scent. Also, cucumbers taste slightly bitter due to a compound called cucurbitacin.
The best way to get land hermit crabs to eat cucumber is by adding food with an aroma.
According to the Proceedings of the Royal Society, enticing food stimulates the instincts of hermit crabs.
Dab some peanut butter on a slice of cucumber to increase their interest.
If you have marine hermit crabs, they’re likelier to eat cucumber without hesitation.
Wild marine hermit crabs frequently eat sea cucumbers. Never leave a traditional cucumber in an aquarium because the water will cause it to rot and decay quickly.
Can Hermit Crabs Have Cucumber?
There are benefits to feeding cucumber to hermit crabs, assuming you can convince them to eat it. You may need to take steps to make cucumber more flavorful and appealing.
If hermit crabs are interested in cucumber, there’s nothing unsafe or toxic about it.
Note that cucumber spoils quickly in a tank’s hot and humid conditions. Remove it after a feeding session.
Benefits of Cucumber
Cucumbers comprise 96% water, which is essential for keeping hermit crabs hydrated. This is needed for well-functioning organs, temperature regulation, and a healthy metabolism.
It’s a good source of fiber. Coupled with water, it promotes digestive health and prevents constipation.
Cucumber contains calcium, vital for building a healthy, sturdy exoskeleton. Adding dietary calcium is especially important if a hermit crab is about to molt.
Another benefit of cucumber is the presence of antioxidants like flavonoids, tannins, vitamin C, and beta-carotene. This pigment in cucumber skin bolsters a hermit crab’s vibrant color.
The European Journal of Horticultural Science stated that beta-carotene is a natural antioxidant.
Drawbacks of Cucumber
The only real issue you’ll face when offering cucumber to hermit crabs is indifference.
As cucumber lacks scent, hermit crabs may ignore it. As mentioned, cucumber spoils quickly – if it’s not going to be eaten, it must be removed from the tank.
You could try sprinkling herbs onto cucumber slices to make it more flavorful.
What Types of Cucumber Can Hermit Crabs Eat?
There are over a hundred varieties of cucumber in the world. The differences in taste and nutritional value between these national variances are minor, so we’ll refer to them as garden cucumbers.
Garden cucumbers are the traditional cucumbers you’ll find in a supermarket.
We’ve explored the nutritional value of garden cucumbers and explained the pros and cons of introducing them to a hermit crab’s diet.
Let’s review the other types of cucumber:
Sea cucumbers are living animals, not plants.
Sea cucumbers take their name from their appearance, which resembles a garden cucumber. As omnivores that dwell on ocean floors, wild marine hermit crabs eat sea cucumbers.
You can get sea cucumber from specialist retailers. Like garden cucumbers, sea cucumbers taste bland, so terrestrial hermit crabs are unlikely to show much interest.
If you keep aquatic hermit crabs, they may instinctively enjoy eating sea cucumber if added to an aquarium. Sea cucumbers can be bought from exotic pet stores that specialize in fish.
Hermit crabs enjoy the chewy texture of dehydrated cucumber, and it’s less likely to spoil. While dehydrated cucumbers retain their nutrients, they’re no longer a water source.
Slices of dehydrated cucumber are available at most health food shops. Alternatively, you can create dried cucumber at home in an oven on a low heat setting or using a dehydrator.
Also known as gherkins, pickled cucumbers are sliced and stored in brine to maintain a distinctive flavor. Unfortunately, certain spices, additives, and preservatives are bad for hermit crabs.
How To Feed Cucumber To Hermit Crabs
Follow these guidelines if you’re serving fresh garden cucumber to hermit crabs:
- Wash the cucumber, even if it’s organic. Don’t use tap water as it’s toxic.
- Slice the cucumber without removing the skin or seeds.
- Don’t make the slices so thin that they lose their taste.
- Place the cucumber in a small, shallow dish.
- Offer cucumber slices to hermit crabs just after they wake up.
Hermit crabs usually wake up hungry, so if they’re going to eat, they’ll do so quickly.
Cucumbers contain little white seeds. These are high in vitamin K (phylloquinone) and antioxidants.
The seeds are tiny and harmless, so they don’t present a choking risk to hermit crabs. You don’t need to buy seedless cucumbers for your hermit crabs.
While it’s common for humans to remove the skin from cucumbers, this is unnecessary for hermit crabs. Like many fruits and vegetables, most vitamins and minerals are concentrated in the skin.
The green cucumber peel is a source of antioxidants (like beta-carotene) and insoluble fiber.
Since cucumbers are often grown with fertilizers and protected by pesticides and insecticides, the unpeeled skin must be cleaned with filtered water before consumption.
How Often Should Hermit Crabs Eat Cucumber?
Never offer the same food too frequently to hermit crabs because they seek dietary diversity. Anything eaten within the last 24 hours, possibly 1 to 2 days longer, will often be ignored.
See how the hermit crabs respond to cucumber. Does it attract their attention, or are they indifferent? Their reaction to cucumber is unlikely to change, even if they’ve not eaten.
There’s nothing harmful about cucumber, and it’s beneficial to hermit crabs’ health. If your hermit crabs enjoy cucumber, offer a couple of slices once or twice a week.