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Hermits and shells...


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Okay, I need a debate resolved. I've been arguing with a friend of mine who's convinced that if a hermit crab doesn't have larger available shells that they stop growing. I on the other hand believe that if a hermit does not have larger shells for it to host as it continues to grow independent of shell size that eventually it will be forced to abandon its shell and die.


P.S. Does anyone know which is actually the case?

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I have had one small blueleg for about 6 months or more, and I don't have any other shells in there for it to move into. My opinion is they stop growing when they can't trade shells. I want to get a few small shells for it to see if it takes one for a new home.

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Well, I don't belive that they stop growing..... I mean it's not like they "know" that there is another shell for him in your tank, right?? I don't think they crawl up to a shell and say "Hey, I could grow into this. Let me just memorize where it is and I'll come back." I don't know a lot about hermits, if anything at all but I don't think they have that good of a memory, if one at all. Just my thought on the subject.


Also, a hermit dosn't DIE becuse it's out of the shell. But rather from something eating it. OR, there is that possibility that he would be so scared that he would stress real bad die. But I can't tell you that for sure.



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  • 2 weeks later...

I have 7 dwarf red tipped hermits. I've had them for about 4 months, I've noticed that they are growing, but also that their shells are growing along with them. I added several shells just to add some variety to my tank, and noticed that the hermits that got those 3 shells grew remarkably faster than the rest.

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i asked the same question at a pet store and they said not to worry. the salesperson said they switch shells all the time..sometimes up-sizing...sometimes down-sizing. but if you cannot provide any slightly larger shells, the hermits wil be fine....was their response. this particular fish store is a wholesale distributor for many stores and public aquariums. they have large sharks and rays and octopus too, so i imagine that they would be really knowledgeable.

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