Calci-Sand of any color hardens and can cement your crab while caved in during a molt.
Play sand or clean all-purpose sand, the sand must be course and not fine. You can find this at any hardware store (Home Depot or Lowes) for less than $5. Coco fiber “Eco Earth” both must be mixed, not separated.5:1 is (50 lbs of sand, 3/4 brick or bag). Plantation Soil is also coconut coir. Your sub will need to be half the height of the tank.
**Coco fiber can also be sold in block form**
Moisten the sand with treated dechlorinated fresh water treated with conditioners such as Kordon Amquel Plus and Seachem Prime. The sand should have a “sand castle” consistency. Enough moisture allows your Hermit to create tunnels and caves to molt, de-stress or tunnel around doing “crab stuff”. If the sand is over watered to a “slushy” consistency, it is useless to your Hermit!
Coconut fiber holds moisture in the sand. Sand holds a better structure to create caves and tunnels, coco fiber alone will hold too much water and will inevitably bloom.
You can boost the nutrients in your sub by adding organic worm casting, crushed oyster shell and sphagnum moss in the sub, as well as orchid bark. This is beneficial for hungry molting crabs.
**Verify the worm casting does not contain any metals on the label.**
Adding isopods, shrimptail and leaf litter both aereate and alleviate the substrate. It helps circulate the air, water and nutrients in the sub. Some safe choices of leaf litter are birch, maple and oak. Another positive of having isopods is they work like a cleanup crew, they consume anything your crabs stash in hiding places that prevent toxic blooms and mold. Isopods can also be high-protein snacks if they aren’t fast enough.
You can find a variety of Isopods for your krabitat at www.isopodconnection.tictail.com
for further information visit Hermit Crab Owners/All_About_Substrate