Home » How To Make Safe Saltwater for Hermit Crabs
how to mix salt water for hermit crabs

How To Make Safe Saltwater for Hermit Crabs

Last Updated on March 21, 2024 by Joanne Harper

You can make saltwater for hermit crabs by adding half a cup (4oz) of marine salt with 1 gallon of distilled water, as it’ll be chlorine-free. Never use table salt because it contains traces of iodine.

Even if you never see land hermit crabs using saltwater, they’ll bathe in and drink it. Hermit crabs are nocturnal animals, so most of their activity happens under the cover of darkness.

Where To Get Marine Salt

You can purchase pre-mixed salt for marine life or create your own.

The latter is more affordable, but it carries more risk. We’ll explain the process of mixing saltwater shortly. In short, you’ll need the right ingredients and measurements.

Aquatic Pet Stores

Marine salt is available at most pet stores, notably aquatic specialists and marine life websites.

It’s extracted from natural water sources and contains what hermit crabs need to flourish. Even if hermit crabs are land-based, they’ll drink and bathe in saltwater to stay healthy.

Marine salt won’t resolve other issues with water suitability. According to Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, the chlorine and heavy metals found in tap water are deadly to hermit crabs.

sea salt to water ratio for hermit crabs

Instant Ocean Sea Salt

Instant Ocean is the market leader for aquarium salt, primarily due to its price point. In this instance, cheap doesn’t mean it’s substandard. It’s a quality sea salt used by many public aquariums.

If you buy a 200-gallon box, you won’t need to restock. The salt is entirely natural, with no traces of nitrates or phosphates. It dissolves slowly, so be patient when preparing it.

Consider upgrading to Instant Ocean crystals, which contain additional calcium for a strong exoskeleton.

API Aquarium Salt

API is among the longest-standing and most reputable fish and exotic pet brands. One of its primary selling points is its medicinal qualities.

API marine salt may prevent fungal infections, which are common among new pet hermit crabs.

Jungle Aquarium Salt

Jungle aquarium marine salt dissolves rapidly, saving time when mixing and preparing saltwater. It also boasts numerous healing qualities for minor wounds, such as nips from claws.

Because this salt is sold in smaller quantities, it’s ideal for land hermit crabs. Add a small amount to the drinking and bathing water.

Using Sea Salt to Make Saltwater

Buying salt for an aquarium may seem like a needless expense. After all, the average kitchen cupboard has ample salt. Unfortunately, table salt is unsuitable for a hermit crab’s aquarium.

can I use sea salt to make saltwater for hermit crabs?

Table salt contains iodine, which harms all land and aquatic hermit crab species. Also, many table salt brands apply anti-caking agents to prevent clumping.

You can use sea salt from a supermarket, but ensure the salt is pure and unaltered. Instead, buy sea salt from a health food store to be safe. This may be slightly more expensive.

How To Mix Saltwater

Once you have suitable salt, you can prepare your saltwater solution.

Create saltwater by the gallon. If you keep terrestrial hermit crabs, one mix should be ample. If you have aquatic hermit crabs, it will be necessary to repeat the process several times.

The tools you’ll need for mixing saltwater include:

  • A vessel to hold the distilled water.
  • The right type of salt.
  • One gallon of filtered or bottled water.
  • A water conditioner for marine hermit crabs.

Line up your materials and start the mixing process:

  1. Clean the empty vessel, ensuring it contains no lingering chemicals or residue.
  2. Pour distilled water into the vessel.
  3. Add the water conditioner, if applicable. Then, stir thoroughly.
  4. Add half a cup of marine salt to the water.
  5. Stir the salt until the water is no longer cloudy and there are no lumps.
  6. Leave the water to sit and settle, ensuring it’s at room temperature.
  7. Apply the water to an aquarium or bathing and drinking dishes.

The pH level of the water should be between 8.0 and 8.4. You must maintain this level by occasionally changing out and replenishing the water. Fluctuations can have life-threatening implications.

Sea Salt to Water Ratio

Add half a cup (4 ounces) of sea salt to 1 gallon of distilled water. If you buy a branded marine salt, follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the packaging.

It’s just as harmful to have too much salt as an imbalanced pH in water, as this dries out the skin.

You’ll know if the water contains too much salt as it’ll be excessively cloudy. If you remain concerned about the safety of your hermit crabs, use a hydrometer to measure the salinity of the water.

Saltwater is essential for all hermit crabs but must be store-bought or mixed correctly.