Why Is My Hermit Crab Eating Sand?

Have you ever noticed that your crab or any other crab is eating sand? You might be surprised at this question if you haven’t seen them do that. If you have, then you will be also surprised and curious to know why they’re doing that. Hermit Crabs and other species of crab sometimes act very odd, for instance, like eating sand. If you notice them do that for the first time, you will be shocked and also curious to know why they’re doing that. If you’re reading this article, it means you might have noticed them do it and want to know why. well, this article will answer your questions and settle your curiosity.

Why is my hermit crab eating sand? Hermit crab and other crabs will sometimes eat sand if they find minerals and foods in the sand.

If you have had crabs for long, it’s normal to see some of them move around at the bottom of the tank while acting as if they’re taking some of the substrates in the tank and putting in their mouth.

Related: Is my Fiddler Crab dead or Molting?

Although this is very normal, but when you notice this, at first, you might think something is wrong with your crab or maybe its sick. No, it’s not.

The thing is, all crabs does that, but it depends on your over all experience with crabbing, that’s why you’re worried and shocked.

The truth is, seeing your hermit crab or any specie of your crab do this doesn’t necessarily mean they are eating or trying to eat the sand or substrates at the bottom of their tank.

Related: Why is my Fiddler Crab upside down?

From what I have learned, crabs are not sand eaters, and won’t eat sand, unless they find something edible in that sand.

What am trying to say is, if you find your crab eating sand, then know that there is a reason for that, which is, ” there is food in the sand.

Related: Do Hermit Crabs molt at the same time?

For instance, Fluker’s crab sand contains calcium, and so, don’t be surprised seeing them try to eat it.

Also they will try to eat tiny pieces of food in the sand, for instance, leftover fish foods at the tank bottom, calcium, tin vegetables and plants at the bottom of the tank or inside the substrates etc.

All these are normal and all crustacean do this.

Related: Why do Crayfish lose their Claws?

So seeing your crab meddling with substrates and trying to eat them is just normal.

Just know they ain’t eating sand, but leftover tiny foods they find in the sand.

Do Hermit Crabs Eat Sand?

If you’re wondering why you hermit crab seems to be eating sand, then this will answer you question and curiosity.

Do hermit crabs eat sand? No, hermit crabs doesn’t eat sand, they only eat the minerals and foods in the sand.

Although they may seem as if they’re eating sand and substrates in their tank, but the truth is, crabs don’t just start eating sand for no reason.

Related: Why is my crayfish not molting?

If they do, then just know that there are edible things that are attracting the attention of your crab in the sand.

Again once they start doing that, it might be a sign that they need certain minerals like calcium, vitamins etc.

Related: Why is my crayfish floating?

So if you observe them eating sand, then you might have to step up their diet to provide them the necessary minerals they might be lacking.


Crabs don’t just start eating sand for no reason, so try to find out the reason for the action before you become worried.

Am just an experienced pet keeper and pet lover. Am not a vet.

So I will always advise you to look for the professional advise from a vet if you ain’t satisfied with your pet’s behavior.