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Can Hermit Crabs Eat Tomatoes? (Explained)

Hermit crabs are increasingly becoming a popular pet. But owners still seem to be confused about what to feed them and how to keep them well-nourished. In this article, we are going to address that confusion.

Hermit crabs eat a range of food. From vegetables to non-citrus food, they do well with several kinds of food. But can hermit crabs eat tomatoes? In this article, we are going to dig deep into this question. We will also discuss how you can feed tomatoes to hermit crabs in order to make the most out of it. So read ahead to learn all about it.

Can hermit crabs eat tomatoes?

Hermit crabs can eat tomatoes. But tomatoes only meet some of their nutritional needs. Since tomatoes provide only limited nutritional benefits to hermit crabs, it works as a supplement to other food. To make the best of the tomatoes, you should slice the tomatoes and dehydrate them well.

Hermit crabs are generally quite picky about their food. They may seem to enjoy a food one day, and completely ignore it the next day. So it is very natural for their owners to be concerned about what to feed them and what to avoid.

This is why we have designed this article to provide you a thorough insight into the food habit of hermit crabs. We will offer you a clear insight into how hermit crabs react to tomatoes and whether it works well for them.

Tomatoes are a great source of vitamin A and vitamin C. But they contain very little nutrients that the hermit crabs need. So you will have to use tomatoes as a supplement to other food. It cannot be their primary food.

Cherry tomatoes:

Hermit crabs can eat cherry tomatoes. Cherry tomatoes are the size and shape of actual cherries, which explains the name. You should cut the cherry tomatoes into small pieces and serve them to your hermit crabs. This will save your crabs some time and effort.

Cherry tomatoes are similar to grape tomatoes, but slightly bigger in size. They have very soft skin, which is palatable to the hermit crabs. These tomatoes have a high concentration of sugar and acid. So you should serve these tomatoes in very small amounts.

Grape tomatoes:

Hermit crabs can eat grape tomatoes. Grape tomatoes are very small in size. While crabs can chew on them and cut these tomatoes themselves, you can save them some time and effort by serving them the tomatoes in pieces.

Make sure not to serve them these tomatoes in large quantities. Because these tomatoes are rich in acid and sugar, which may cause the blood sugar level of hermit crabs to rise. Serve these tomatoes as small treats.

Are tomatoes good for hermit crabs? Do hermit crabs like tomatoes?

Hermit crabs enjoy eating tomatoes, for the most part. But they cannot derive much nutritional benefits from it. Tomatoes have only a few nutrients that can contribute to the diet of hermit crabs.

Tomatoes being a very acidic food, caregivers of hermit crabs are often concerned how to feed them tomatoes and how much to offer. It is advisable to offer them tomatoes only occasionally. Serve it as a treat. Otherwise, it may prove to be harmful for them.

Tomatoes have a high concentration of acid and sugar. So if you feed them tomatoes in large quantities, you may risk raising their blood sugar levels. So make sure to serve them tomatoes in small amounts and alongside other food.

How much tomatoes should hermit crabs eat depends on their weight, sex, species and health status. But make sure that at least 40% of their daily meal consists of fresh fruits and vegetables.

2 reasons why hermit crabs can eat tomatoes

Let’s discuss two of the most prominent reasons why hermit crabs can eat tomatoes.

Essential mineral requirement:

Tomatoes are a good source for potassium and beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is a special mineral that can make the color of your hermit crab look much healthier and brighter. It also works as an antioxidant.

Hermit crabs can eat tomatoes to meet their basic mineral requirements. However, make sure not to serve them tomatoes in large quantities. They should not be offered these minerals in large quantities.

Serve tomatoes as occasional treats only. It will then help benefit the health of hermit crabs. Tomatoes work in molting crabs well. It earns them a bright red color thanks to the high amounts of minerals.

Rich in vitamin A and C:

Tomatoes are rich in vitamin A and C. This is an essential nutrient requirement for hermit crabs. While tomatoes are quite acidic, with significant pH levels, they still serve as a good source of vitamins for crabs.

But you will have to be careful not to provide them tomatoes in large quantities. You can serve them tomatoes only occasionally, as a snack. These occasional snacks will help enhance the health of hermit crabs.

What nutritional values does tomatoes have for crabs? Raw or cooked tomatoes for hermit crabs?

Tomatoes have significant nutritional values for crabs. But how much tomatoes you should feed your crab will largely depend on the weight, sex, age of the crabs as well as their species.

Make sure to identify the type of tomatoes you are feeding your crab as well. It is a very important consideration. You can feed your crab one entire grape tomato or half a cherry tomato. This should provide them enough nutritional value for a day.

But you should not feed them one entire regular tomato. It will prove to be too much, given that tomatoes are rich in acid and sugar.

Tomatoes are rich in vitamin A and C. These are essential for the healthy diet of hermit crabs. In addition, tomatoes contain about 90 grams of water, which is also very important for hermit crabs.

To further add to the nutritional values that tomatoes have for crabs, they provide a significant amount of potassium and beta-carotene. These minerals are essential for hermit crabs’ health. 

It is best to provide raw tomatoes to hermit crabs. But you can definitely feed them cooked tomatoes as well. The cooked tomatoes will serve the same benefits as the raw ones.

How many tomatoes can a hermit crab eat?

How many and how much tomatoes can a hermit crab eat mainly depends on the age, weight, sex and health condition of a hermit crab. You will need to consider these factors before coming to a conclusion.

You should also consider the type of tomato that you are feeding your crab. If you’re serving a grape tomato, then an entire tomato should be fine to serve as these tomatoes are pretty small in size.

On the other hand, if you’re serving them a cherry tomato, then make sure to cut the tomato into halves before serving.

How to feed tomatoes to hermit crabs?

Introducing tomatoes to the diet of hermit crabs needs a lot of patience. They are pretty picky about their food and may completely reject tomatoes if they don’t enjoy it at first. In the following section, we will discuss how to feed tomatoes to hermit crabs: 

Wash and cut the tomatoes:

Make sure to wash the tomatoes thoroughly. Hermit crabs dislike dirty food. Now cut the tomatoes into small slices. While hermit crabs can cut through the soft skins of tomatoes, it is still best to cut the tomatoes into small slices. It will be a good start.

Serve the tomatoes with other food:

Tomatoes are a good source of nutrition. But they offer only a few of the nutritions that hermit crabs need. So you should mix tomatoes with other fruits and offer tomatoes in small quantities.

And if they are new to tomatoes, the hermit crabs will be a little skeptical at first. They may not go for the tomatoes at first. This is why it would be ideal to mix tomatoes with other fruits and vegetables. This way, they will have a slow introduction to tomatoes.

They may choose the tomato at first try or completly ignore it. You will have to be patient in this case. Repeat the process a few times and your crabs may end up enjoying tomatoes when they eat.

Final Thoughts

Hermit crabs can eat tomatoes. Consider their age, weight, and health conditions before deciding how much tomato to offer. Tomatoes contain some nutritional values for hermit crabs. But they are also very rich in acid and sugar, which may increase their sugar levels. Offer them in small quantities.