Cucumber is a term applied to the fruit of the Cucumis sativus plant family. Often erroneously referred to as a vegetable, a traditional garden cucumber is considered a fruit as it contains small seeds.
Fresh fruits are a cornerstone of many hermit crabs’ diets, so you’ll likely be tempted to offer cucumber. Cucumbers offer hermit crabs calcium, hydration, antioxidants, and Vitamin A.
Unfortunately, what cucumber offers in nutritional value it lacks in taste and scent. Many hermit crabs show little interest in sliced cucumber, as it lacks any of the factors that arouse a hermit crab’s senses.
It’s advisable to introduce cucumber to a hermit crab’s diet. If your hermit crabs take to this food, there are undeniable advantages. Just don’t be surprised if your hermit crabs remain disinterested in cucumber and offer alternative fruits with similar benefits.
Do Hermit Crabs Like Cucumber?
Hermit crabs may not necessarily dislike cucumber, but it’s not common for them to demonstrate wholesale indifference. As cucumbers are almost entirely made up of water, they lack a strong scent to attract hermit crabs and can taste slightly bitter.
The best way to get land-based hermit crabs to enjoy cucumber is to apply something with a stronger aroma. As explained by Proceedings of the Royal Society, this stimulates the instincts of hermit crabs. Dab some peanut butter or jam on a slice to increase their interest.
If you’re keeping 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, as excess water causes a cucumber to rot almost immediately.
Is Cucumber Good for Hermit Crabs?
Although cucumber could be considered a little tasteless to hermit crabs, this fruit could never be considered unhealthy. Here is the nutritional value of half a cup of sliced cucumber:
If your hermit crabs enjoy cucumber, encourage them to eat it regularly. This fruit’s calorie-neutral, fat-free nature makes it an ideal snack for hermit crabs.
Can Hermit Crabs Have Cucumber?
There are many benefits to feeding cucumber to hermit crabs, assuming you can convince them to eat the fruit. As with all foods, you’ll need to keep cucumber as an occasional snack, and you may need to take steps to make cucumber appealing.
If your hermit crabs are interested in cucumber, there’s nothing unsafe or toxic about it. Slice the cucumber into appropriate slices before offering it to your hermit crabs.
The only other thing to note about cucumber is that it spoils quickly in a tank’s hot and humid conditions. Observe your hermit crabs; if they show no interest in cucumber, remove it immediately.
Benefits of Feeding Cucumber to Hermit Crabs
Cucumbers comprise 96% water – more than any other food. This can be great for keeping hermit crabs hydrated. Hermit crabs like hot, humid climes but need to cool off daily, and eating cucumber can work alongside bathing in and drinking water.
There are other benefits to feeding cucumber to hermit crabs. This fruit contains a large amount of calcium, vital to building and maintaining a healthy, sturdy exoskeleton. Offering cucumber in rotation with other foods will keep calcium levels high.
Another positive aspect of cucumber is the presence of beta-carotene. This pigment, found in cucumber skin, bolsters the vibrant color of a hermit crab’s skin. Additionally, as per the European Journal of Horticultural Science, beta-carotene is a natural antioxidant.
Drawbacks of Feeding Cucumber to Hermit Crabs
The only real issue you’ll face when offering cucumber to hermit crabs is indifference.
As cucumber has little smell, your hermit crabs may ignore it. As mentioned, cucumber spoils quickly – if it is not going to be eaten, it needs to be removed from the tank.
You could try sprinkling herbs onto cucumber slices to make it more appealing.
What Types of Cucumber Can Hermit Crabs Eat?
There are over a hundred varieties of cucumber in the world, most of which are labeled according to their country of origin. 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 covered 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 aren’t plants; they’re living animals.
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 have a bland taste, so terrestrial hermit crabs are unlikely to show interest.
If you keep aquatic hermit crabs, they may instinctively enjoy eating sea cucumber if placed in an aquarium. Sea cucumbers can be purchased from exotic pet stores that specialize in fish.
Dehydrated cucumber is a helpful way of treating hermit crabs to the nutrients of this fruit while providing a more enjoyable taste experience. Hermit crabs will enjoy the chewy texture of dehydrated cucumber, and it’s less likely to spoil.
Slices of dehydrated cucumber aren’t always easy to find in a supermarket, but you should be able to source them in health food shops. Look for a bag of snacks that resembles potato chips.
While dehydrated cucumber lasts longer in an enclosure than fresh fruit, it can still spoil. For the highest chances of success, pour the cucumber flakes into a bowl and sprinkle a herb with a strong scent on top.
Also known as gherkins, pickled cucumbers are sliced and stored in brine to maintain a distinctive flavor.
Hermit crabs shouldn’t be offered pickled cucumbers. There’s no way of knowing what spices, additives, and preservatives have been applied to these fruits.
They may smell and taste more appealing but are potentially lethal if consumed.
How to Feed Cucumber to Hermit Crabs
You should abide by certain conditions to maximize nutrition if your hermit crabs like cucumbers. Follow these guidelines if you’re serving fresh garden cucumber to hermit crabs:
- Wash the cucumber thoroughly, even if it’s organic.
- Slice the cucumber, leaving the skin on the fruit.
- Don’t make these slices too thick, but don’t slice them so fine they lose all sense of taste.
- Place the cucumber in a small, shallow dish.
- Offer cucumber slices to your hermit crabs after they wake up.
Monitor your hermit crabs and check how they react to the cucumber. Hermit crabs usually wake up hungry, so if they’re going to eat, they’ll do so quickly.
If your pet hermit crabs investigate the cucumber and walk away, remove it from the habitat.
How Often Should Hermit Crabs Eat Cucumber?
No matter what you’re offering hermit crabs to eat, you can’t provide the same snack too frequently. Hermit crabs seek variety in their diet. Anything consumed within the last 24 hours, possibly a day or two longer, will be ignored.
Once a week is enough to slice and offer cucumber to your hermit crabs. Try this once or twice and see how your hermit crabs react. If your hermit crabs refuse cucumber, even if they’ve not eaten it in a while, this is unlikely to change.
There’s nothing harmful about cucumber, which is undoubtedly beneficial to hermit crabs’ health.