Crabs and Turtles: Two Lovable, But Unwanted Pets

Crabs and turtles are much better pets than you think.

Some advantages of keeping hermit crabs are that they are very easy to care for and make great first pets. They are also simple to tame, and can be played with at any time. Hermit crabs are generally harmless, and, unless you make them very angry, they won’t pinch you.

Some disadvantages of keeping hermit crabs are that they have claws and can pinch you. If don’t keep an eye on them while you have them outside their container, you can easily lose them. The crab could also leave its shell and get lost or stepped on.

Some foods that hermit crabs eat are:

Crackers, bread bits, cooked rice, cooked pasta (plain), and oatmeal, peeled grapes, pears, apples, coconut, oranges, bananas, lettuce, cooked beans, broccoli, squash, cooked carrots, green peas, potato, spinach, ocean fish, ocean shrimp, beef liver, beef heart, lean beef, lean bacon, peanut butter, dry dog food, dry cat food, canned cat food, crab food, etc.

Some measures you must take to cure hermit crabs of most sicknesses are to keep the tank as well as the water clean. You also have to maintain the water at the proper temperature.

The hermit crab itself can cost from $1 up to $20 or you can just catch them at the beach, sometimes you need to buy more than one because they can get lonely. You will have to buy new shells which normally cost $1 for them when they start to get too big for their old shell. You can also buy a heater which can cost up to $20. You can buy a tank for them that is usually $10 or you can just use a box to keep them in, but the hermit crab will feel more at home in a tank and will be healthier in a tank. Hermit crab food pellets usually cost $2; you may not need to buy pellets for it if you have other types of food that they can eat. You may need to buy a thermometer to keep track of the temperature of the tank to keep the crabs healthy. The overall low price is about $35. The overall high price is about $73.

Some advantages of keeping turtles are that they are easy to take care of because they will eat many different types of food and don’t get sick easily. Another advantage of keeping turtles as pets is that fish can be kept with the turtle in the same tank. Sometimes, the turtle will eat sick or dead fish as emergency food.

Some disadvantages of keeping turtles are that they are very messy while eating and occasionally very picky about what they eat. Sometimes when you feed the turtle vegetables, they won’t eat it. They often eat raw meat which could be a source of parasites. It is also very easy for turtles to over eat and become obese.

Papaya, mango, water melon, cantaloupe/common melon, grapes, apple, banana, pear, strawberry, figs, spinach, leaves of radish, lettuce, cabbage, tomatoes, carrot, beetroot, turnip, sweet potato, beans, peas, pumpkin, squashes, earthworms, nightcrawlers, redworms, mealworms, snails, and tofu.

The first measure you must take for any cold-like symptoms for turtles is to raise the temperature in the turtle enclosure. Raising the temperature helps the turtle’s immune system become more active. Also, make sure the turtle has the cleanest possible environment. The optimum temperature range is 28 – 30 ºC (82 – 85 ºF).

To go one step further, take the turtle, if it is a water turtle, out of the water. Put the turtle into a heated box and use a thermometer to monitor the temperature to ensure it stays in the optimum range. You can use a heating pad or a lamp to heat the box. Leave the turtle in the box the entire day except for two soakings of 1/2 hour each in the mornings and evenings. The soakings allow the turtle time to get moist again as well as give it a chance for eating and drinking.

Turtles can be purchased at $25-$30 or you can find them by a nearby water source. Turtles usually need basking lamps which usually cost about $5 to warm themselves when they are cold. Their tanks usually cost $10, but you can put them in a plastic tub, but do not place them inside a cardboard box because they need to be kept moist. Turtle food pellets usually cost $2. The overall low price is $42. The overall high price is $47.

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  1. I think you gave very low esitmates of what the cost will be for the animals and their things. I know i must take into consideration the currencey you use and how much things cost in your area.

    for people buying a turtle such as red ear slider turtle, you should buy a fairly large tank. these will grow to the size of a dinner plate. the plus side is that you have time to buy these things, most wont reach that size until 10 or so. I would recomend a 10 gallon tank to start.

    for both animals i would say you should buy a tank(turtle) or the plastic container you mentioned for the hermit crab. Also you need the little rocks to “line” the bottom of the tank, you can also use marbles(i like them most just boil them so they are clean) a filter, i reccomend the under water filter because both animals tend to have lower water than a fish tank.

    I really disagree with just picking up a turtle or hermit crab from the wild. Im just not a fan of that, plus the chances of it dying while being under your care are very high. making such dramatic changes in their lives like that can really stress them out.

  2. I’m sorry to be negative, but this is really not a good description of turtle care. In addition to the heat lamp and basking area, they also need a full-spectrum (UVB AND UVA) light, to help them get enough ’sunshine’ so that they can make vitamin D. This lets them absorb calcium, and without it, they can get soft bones and shell, and become very sick or injured. These lights are very expensive, and have to be replaced every six months. The only way they don’t need it is if they are outside in the sunshine (no glass over/around them) for at least 3 hours a day.

    Also, the description of food is really heavy on the fruit…they should only have a little fruit once in a while, since they rarely can get it in the wild.

    The other person who left a comment is right that the sliders get really big and need a large tank, with a powerful filter. Even with a filter, their water needs to be changed every other week, or ammonia and bacteria from their urine and poo will build up and make them sick.

    A final thing to think about is that turtles don’t have a regular ‘life span’ the way people and other animals do. If they don’t become sick or injured, they can continue to live indefinitely. Only 10 percent of baby captive turtles even lives more than a few years…this is so sad considering that in the wild, if not injured or sick, they can live way longer than people!

    Please don’t keep turtles as pets unless you are willing to care for them properly and accept responsibility for having a very long-lived pet…even including finding a GOOD new home for them if you can’t care for them any more, and providing for them when you die. Because if you take good care of them, they will live way longer than you!

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