How to Move With Hermit Crabs

Moving with Hermit Crabs

Moving to a new house or relocating is something we humans do quite often. However, if you’re a hermit crab, having your entire habitat packed up and moved can be really stressful.

Making sure the move for your hermit crabs is as stress-free an experience as possible is something any hermit crab owner would want. After all, that’s why you’re here reading, right?

To move with your hermit crabs, all you need to do is prepare beforehand, watch out for your crabs’ stress, and make sure you have everything they need for the trip.

Moving into a whole new environment can be stressful enough. So, hopefully this article can help you worry less about how to move your hermit crabs with you as safely as possible.

Table of Contents

Preparing to Move With Hermit Crabs

The first question you need to ask is, “how long do I have before I move out?” The answer to this question will allow you to follow the required steps that will ensure the safety of your hermit crabs while moving.

Move the Crabs into a Smaller Tank

The first scenario is that your moving date is months away. This gives you plenty of time to move your hermit crabsOpens in a new tab. and keep them calm enough to move.

It’s very dangerous to attempt to move your crabs in the same tank they usually stay in. First, most permanent tanks are made of glass. Second, if you don’t empty the tank there is the potential of the collapsing of the bottom of your tank because of its heaviness.

The better alternative is to move your hermit crabs to smaller temporary tanks that are easier to carry around. These smaller tanks could even be temporary storage bins.

A storage bin will cover as a temporary home to the crabs. It should contain substrate, but not too much that the crabs would dig in to molt, or you can simply add moss substrate that would prevent them from digging down.

The storage bin should also have a UTH heater for temperature control and maintaining humidity levels. Your crabs will get anxious if a drastic change happens in temperature suddenly.

If you have three months or more to move, start moving the surface crabs to the temporary storage bin. In addition to moving the crabs, you should also move the decor and add food and water to the new small tank.

This step will give your molting hermit crabs the time to get out of the substrate ready to be moved as well. By the end of the three months, hopefully, all your crabs will be ready in the smaller tank to be moved.

Dig Up the Molters

Molting Hermit Crabs

The other scenario is that your move is sudden, and you don’t have that much time to wait for your molters to get out of hiding. You’d need to move all the surface crabsOpens in a new tab. first, then move on to the next step.

That next step would be to set up a separate tank for the molters you are about to dig out to move. Separating them will ensure they wouldn’t harm your other surface crabs.

To dig out the molters, you should start by moving your fingers through the substrate to locate where they exactly are. When you do, gently dig them out and move them along with any remains of their exoskeleton.

Once everyone is out and moved to the smaller lighter tanks, you’d be good to move your pets from the old place to the new one. Therefore, here lies a new question:

How to Ensure a Safe Trip for the Hermit Crabs

To make sure your crabs would be safe during your trip to their other home, you should consider a few things first. Heat, food and water, moisture, and a stress-free environment are what you should cover to keep your crabs safe for the trip.


If you don’t have access to a UTH heater or you can’t use one in your moving truck or personal vehicle, then you can browse these other alternatives:

●       Hot water bottles

Some would advise keeping hot water bottles around your tank in order to keep the hermit crabs warm enough for the outside weather. However, this is only efficient if the trip is short enough so that the bottles don’t get cold.

●       Tote bag

A tote bag around your tank does a great job of keeping the tank warm for your trip. You can also get a tote bag with little pockets for the small food.

●       Car AC

If all the above still doesn’t make your hermit crabs warm enough, then try adjusting the car’s air conditioning system to fit their ideal temperature. Additionally, you can keep their tank in the sunny part of the car for more warmth.

In case the weather is too hot for them, you can try putting their tank in the shade and keep an indirect motion of wind circulating in the vehicle, but not too rough that it would bother them.

However, make sure you don’t keep the tank in direct sunlight if it is plastic to avoid the crabs getting overheated.


The second important thing you should keep in mind while moving with your hermit crabs is the moisture level.

A very helpful trick is to put a moist paper towel at the very bottom of the tank under the substrate to keep the humidity level fit.

Food and Water

If your trip is longer than a few hours or if it’s going to take a couple of days, you can always store food and water and give them to your crabs at night in the motel room you’re spending the night in.

This way, you can make sure the water in the tank wouldn’t get spilled from the movement or the rockiness of the road.

Stress-Free Environment

Your hermit crabs are most likely going to experience anxiety from the separation from their familiar environments and being in a different tank. They would also feel uncomfortable if the tank is overcrowded or has both larger and smaller crabs together.

Not only that, but they can also get very nervous because of the drastic change in temperature and humidity. To help with that, keep their hides in the temporary tank and don’t remove them. Cocohuts and spare shells will help lower their anxiety during the trip.


Traveling or moving to a new house with the company of your hermit crabs can be very tricky and stressful if not done properly. However, your crabs are easy to be handled and taken care of if you know how to think of what they could be facing.

From preparing the temporary tank to move your hermit crabs, and to ‌the point where you take care of your crabs’ stress during the trip, you would do the ideal job if you learn the essentials of how to move with hermit crabs.


I've been a college coach for going on 20 years now and that career has led Jen and I on quite the journey. We've lived in 7 different states and have moved a dozen different times. We've learned A LOT over the course of all those moves and we want to pass on our knowledge to help others going through the moving process.

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