When it comes to your hermit crab’s habitat, one of the most important aspects is the substrate. The best substrate will ensure the health and wellbeing of your crab. Since your pet will burrow, molt and eat in the substrate, making sure you get the best hermit crab substrate is vital.
The best hermit crab substrate should be moist and large enough for your crab to burrow into. In addition, you want a substrate that is attractive and easy to clean.
Our quick buying guide and top 15 recommendations for best hermit crab substrate will guide you in picking the perfect substrate for your pet.
Best Hermit Crab Substrate Buying Guide
Go for the Right Type of Substrates
Hermit crab substrates are available in many different forms including sand, forest bedding, or a combination of both sand and forest bedding.
Sand is a good choice of substrate for your hermit crab since it is what they would have in their natural habitat. A sand substrate is easy for crabs to burrow into and provides them with a healthy habitat.
Forest bedding substrate is typically made up of shredded coconut fibers. It retains moisture well and provides a healthy eating and burrowing environment for the crab.
You can also go for substrates that combine both sand and forest bedding. They combine the advantages of both sand and coconut fibers to make a healthy substrate that is great for your crab.
Substrates that are hard to burrow, lack moisture or are too rough are not good for your hermit crab. Avoid substrates like gravel, pebbles, potting soil, and wood shavings.
Pick the Right Depth of Substrate
Your hermit crab will need a substrate that is deep enough for them to burrow into. This means that the proper depth to use will depend on the size of your hermit crab.
For large hermit crabs, go for a substrate that is approximately 10-12 inches deep. This will be deep enough for the crab to burrow into and molt and provide them with enough protection.
Always go for a substrate depth that your hermit crab can burrow into up to 3 times their size.
Go for Moist Substrates That Have a Soft Consistency.
The best substrate for your hermit crab is one that is able to retain moisture. Moisture creates the right level of humidity in your crab tank and creates the right texture for digging and burrowing.
Dry substrate does not hold up well to tunneling and will make it hard for your hermit crab to dig into it. This is why you should avoid using coarse, pebbly and dry material such as gravel..
The level of moisture in your substrate should be just moist enough to build a sandcastle with but not too moist that it is soggy.
Mixing sand and forest bedding substrate gives you the perfect moisture and texture of hermit crab substrate that your hermit crab can easily dig into.
Our Top 15 Picks for the Best Hermit Crab Substrate
Fluker’s Hermit Beach Sand Substrate for Crabs
This Fluker’s moist sand substrate creates a healthy habitat for your hermit crab. It is easy to dig into and your hermit crab can easily burrow into the soft texture.
The combination of sand, shredded coconut fiber, and calcium carbonate is meant to mimic the natural environment of a hermit crab.
It contains natural probiotics that help to degrade and eliminate waste products from your hermit crab’s tank making a clean and safe environment for your pet.
Since it contains coconut fiber, this Fluker’s hermit crab substrate retains the ideal moisture levels needed to make the substrate healthy for your hermit crab.
Since it naturally deodorizes your hermit crab’s habitat, you do not need to fret about bad odors when you use the Fluker’s Hermit Beach sand Substrate for crabs.
Zoo Med Hermit Soil Coconut Fiber Brick
This product works great either on its own or mixed with a sand substrate. Made of eco-friendly material it is safe both for your hermit crab and the environment.
One brick of Zoo Med Coconut Fiber Brick substrate will expand to make 8 liters of substrate. This substrate is designed to naturally break down waste and eliminates odors from your hermit crab tank.
Coconut fiber substrates like this one make cleaning your hermit crab habitat easy. They also expand in water to create the ideal depth and moisture level content for your hermit crab.
Hermit crabs love digging into this substrate because of its fine texture. It also maintains high humidity levels in your hermit crab habitat.
Hermit Habitat Terrarium Sand
If you are looking for an attractive sand substrate for your crab tank, this Hermit Habitat Sand is an ideal pick.
It creates a beautiful environment in your hermit crab habitat. Since it is made using non-toxic pigment that will not affect the health of your hermit crab it is completely healthy and safe.
This terrarium sand contains plenty of calcium, which is beneficial in terms of boosting your hermit crabs health.
This sand substrate retains the right balance of moisture and consistency to create the best digging conditions for your pet.
Since it naturally eliminates odor, your hermit crab habitat will remain clean and odor-free.
Reptile Sciences Terrarium Sand for Aquarium
The best substrate is one that mimics the natural habitat of hermit crabs. Hermit crabs will be happier in an environment that feels natural to them.
This Reptile Science product creates the ideal natural environment as close to the hermit crab’s habitat in nature as possible.
Made with digestible calcium and natural grains, this sand substrate provides the ideal protection and molting ground for your hermit crab.
This sand substrate absorbs well and will keep odors at bay for a fresh and clean environment for your hermit crab.
As an added plus, the natural white color looks great and gives your hermit crab habitat an authentic look and feel.
Zoo Med Eco Earth Loose Coconut Fiber Substrate
Perfect moisture content is one of the hallmarks of a great coconut fiber substrate. This Zoo Med product is one of the best choices for achieving the right humidity in your crab tank.
Since it is made from recyclable coconut fiber, this eco-friendly substrate makes for a healthy and happy hermit crab.
The soft but firm texture of Zoo Med Loose substrate is easy to burrow into and your hermit crab can make burrows for molting and get adequate protection.
It comes with a natural self-cleaning process that breaks down waste and neutralizes odors. This is essential since it will keep the hermit crab in a clean and safe environment.
This Zoo Med Coconut Fiber Substrate makes clean up easy and is therefore ideal if you want a substrate that is low maintenance.
Galapagos Hermit Crab Tropicoco Soil
Galapagos Hermit Crab Tropicoco is a coconut fiber substrate that is specifically designed to create the perfect environment for your hermit crab.
You can use it on its own or mix it with a sand substrate. When hydrated with some saltwater this compressed brick yields a soft and fine-textured substrate for your hermit crab to dig and burrow into.
This substrate is ideal for hermit crabs since it inhibits bacterial growth and neutralizes waste products and bad odor to leave your hermit crab’s tank clean and safe.
Since this coconut substrate is highly absorbent, you do not need to worry about maintaining the right humidity levels.
It is made from eco-friendly material that can be recycled and repurposed.
Hermit Habitat Terrarium Substrates
This Hermit Habitat sand is made from gravel and creates a colorful environment in your pet’s habitat.
It is designed as nontoxic and colorfast to keep the crab’s environment safe and free of harmful chemicals.
This hermit sand is not too coarse for your pet to burrow into. For added moisture and humidity you can also mix this sand with a coconut fiber substrate to add more moisture
This hermit sand is easy to clean and does not require a lot of maintenance.
Zoo Med Eco Earth Compressed Coconut Fiber Substrate
Eco Earth Compressed Coconut Fiber is a loose substrate that is ideal for hermit crabs. It is an eco-friendly substrate that can be recycled.
This product can be mixed with some sand substrate to create the perfect texture and moisture content for your hermit crab tank.
It helps in maintaining the right humidity levels, removes waste and bad odor naturally If you prefer and is also low maintenance.
If you want a healthy coconut substrate for your hermit crab, this is an ideal choice as it is mold resistant.
Clean up is easy when you are using the Eco Earth Fiber Substrate and your hermit crab will love digging into the soft and moist texture.
Carib Sea ACS05820 Super Natural Moonlight Sand
Fine texture, easy to clean and an appealing natural look are some of the reasons this is one of the best hermit crab sand substrates.
This sand recreates the ideal natural environment for your hermit crab and the natural white color will accentuate the beauty of your hermit crab tank.
You can use this sand substrate on its own or mix it with a coconut fiber substrate for more moisture and a finer texture.
This Carib Sea Sand is easy for your hermit crab to burrow into and it naturally deodorizes cleaning out bad odors.
This product does not contain any artificial dyes or pigments so it is healthy and safe for your hermit crab as well as eco-friendly.
Nature’s Ocean Bio-Activ Live Aragonite Live Sand
Like any other pet, your crab needs a clean environment for their health and well-being. This self-cleaning sand from Nature’s Ocean is therefore one of the best choices of sand substrates.
It eliminates accumulated waste products, leaving your hermit crab habitat safe, clean and free of bad odors.
This product is versatile and can either be mixed with a coconut fiber substrate for more moisture content or used on its own.
For your hermit crab to burrow and molt in ideal conditions, this sand mimics the natural habitat of a crab.
Zoo Med ReptiSand Substrate
This sand substrate creates the perfect environment for your hermit crab to burrow and molt. It is completely free of artificial pigments and is safe both for your pet and the environment.
The soft texture enables your hermit crab to dig into this sand easily and create burrows for protection and molting.
Since it comes in two different colors you can choose one that will make your hermit crab habitat look as natural and as attractive as possible.
This substrate is easy to clean and does not require high maintenance. It works well mixed with a coconut fiber to facilitate high moisture retention and create the perfect environment for your hermit crab.
When it comes to hermit crab substrates, this product is a safe bet since it mimics the natural habitat of a hermit crab in the wild.
SunGrow Coconut Fiber Brick Hermit Crab Substrate
Your hermit crab is happiest in an environment where he can freely dig and burrow into a healthy and clean surface.
This coconut fiber provides just the right amount of moisture and softness to make digging and burrowing easy.
By helping to maintain the right humidity in your hermit crab tank, this coconut fiber substrate for crabs makes maintaining your pet’s tank easy.
Apart from being eco-friendly, SunGrow Coconut Fiber Substrate naturally degrades waste products ensuring that your hermit crab is in a safe and clean environment.
Whether you want to create a blend of substrates for your hermit crab tank or use this coconut fiber on its own, this is a practical and effective product for your hermit crab tank.
Zoo Med Hermit Crab Calcium Sand Substrate
The Zoo Med range of crab substrates are popular choices since they are healthy and safe for crabs. They have the right texture to encourage digging and burrowing.
This calcium sand substrate is natural and healthy for your hermit crab. It provides a rich source of calcium carbonate that will keep your hermit crab healthy.
Since it is free of any artificial pigments it is not only safe for your hermit crab but also eco-friendly.
The natural deodorizing property of this sand substrate means your hermit crab habitat will be clean and odor-free.
The soft texture, beautiful white color, and ease of digging for your pet are some good reasons to make this Zoo Med Calcium Substrate your choice.
Exo Terra Plantation Soil Substrate
This versatile coconut fiber substrate creates a burrowing and digging haven for your hermit crab. It is natural and free of any chemicals or pigments that may be harmful to your pet.
Pigments and artificial colors can release harmful toxins into your hermit crab’s tank. This may affect their health so products without pigments tend to be safer for your pet.
This soil substrate is made using compressed coconut fiber to create the perfect texture for hermit crabs to dig into and burrow through.
This Exo Terra substrate is less messy than dirt or sand and doesn’t cloud or clump like most sand substrates.
This all-natural, low maintenance substrate is one of the best substrates you can use for your crab tank.
Carib Sea Calcium Substrate
This highly soluble calcium substrate is a healthy source of calcium for your hermit crab. Its soft texture and ability to hold moisture make it one of the best options for your hermit crab.
Carib Sea Calcium sand does not contain any silica and phosphates making it safe for your hermit crab and eco friendly.
The beautiful desert rose color will accentuate your hermit crab tank. It is also naturally deodorizing and will keep your hermit crab habitat odor-free and clean.
A good substrate ensures that your hermit crab is healthy and safe. Picking a high-quality hermit crab substrate such as this one from Carib Sea will ensure your hermit crab can dig and burrow as much as he needs to.
Can I use regular sand to make my own substrate?
Yes, regular beach sand can be used to make a substrate provided it is not too coarse. However, you cannot use play sand as a substrate as it is typically too fine to make the right texture required for burrowing and digging.
Should I use a dry or moist substrate for my hermit crab?
The perfect surface for your crab tank should be moist enough to make a sandcastle. The moist texture is what makes it possible for your hermit crab to burrow through the substrate. Dry sand tends to clump and will make burrowing difficult.
What is the right humidity for my hermit crab?
The ideal humidity is at least 70%. This level of humidity is what allows hermit crabs to breathe easily and stay healthy. Low humidity can damage hermit crab gills and affect their health.
How often should I change my hermit crab substrate?
Replace your substrate every four months so that your hermit crab lives in a clean and healthy environment. Cleaning your substrate periodically will also help to maintain a clean living habitat for your hermit crab.
Hermit crabs are great pets to have but creating the right habitat for them is not always easy. The best substrate for hermit crabs is one that closely mimics their natural environment in the wild.