The day we went to St. Joseph state park, (I think it was Thursday) we were bumming around the bay's water edge and Chad was looking for shells and I was making sure these crazy sand cricket things weren't attacking me. He saw a shell in the water and it was pretty amazing. He grabbed it from the water and realized it had an occupant of the hermit crab variety. Hmmmm...so we decided to keep it, wait for the occupant to die and then have this killer shell for our collection. *I know. We are heartless but bear with me.
Fast forward 3 days. The little bugger isn't dead. He is still hanging out in the bucket of shells as if nothing is wrong. What would you do in that situation? We named him Bob and brought him home in Chad's crabbin' bucket full of sand and other shells, trying to replicate Bob's natural habitat so he won't feel too sad about being in Iowa versus Florida. He sat between Chad and I all the way home. We stopped at a pet store in Alabama and bought his some crab food. He didn't seem to be doing very well. I was worried he was going to expire on the way home, which a few days ago wouldn't have been that big of a deal but now I was invested in the little guy. We stopped again in Illinois and bought him a 10gallon tank and some salt water conditioning stuff. We filled a tray with the salt water and lay him in it. He literally laid in that water, almost all the way out of his shell and soaked it up the rest of the trip home. Poor Bob was dehydrated.
We got him home and decided to do a little research on what exactly we had brought home. It didn't take long to find him online and to see he was a Striped Hermit Crab...a marine hermit who needed a saltwater aquarium to live a long healthy life. Adam's Aquatics and Petco were closed for the night so we would have to wait until Monday to get him properly set up but we temporarily set him up in a glass loaf pan with salt water and some sand and hoped he lived through the night. Amazingly, he seemed to perk right up. I really think he was on the verge of death. Thank you, internet and Google, for giving us the information we needed to properly take care of Bob.
Chad went on Monday to get all the supplies and we now have a cute, little saltwater tank for Bob to live in. He is hilarious to watch and a super fun reminder of our trip!!