Hermit crabs a lovable pet if cared for properly

Hermit crabs a lovable pet if cared for properly 
By Linda Lombardi, The Associated Press 
Posted: 7/22/08 Section: Diversions

It's a summer tradition in many beach and boardwalk towns: you buy the kids a hermit crab in a brightly painted shell, take it home, and then, usually, it dies. You figure they don't live very long, and move on.
夏天總會有一個習慣, 便是在海灘和木板路(只直譯)給小朋友買螺殼畫了彩色圖案的陸寄居蟹, 帶牠們回家. 通常, 牠們很快會死亡. 大家會認為牠們的生命是這樣短, 不以為意.

But for Carol Ormes it turned out to be a bit more of a commitment. When a friend bought a crab on a trip to Ocean City, Md., Ormes says, "I said that that was the ugliest thing I ever saw - I don't want that in my house! But after a week of it crawling around the house, I fell in love with that little guy." 
但對Carol Ormes來說, 飼養陸寄居蟹變成了一種承諾. 之前朋友在Ocean City買了一隻陸寄居蟹給她. 當時她覺得那是她看過最醜的東西, 不想這東西放在家裏. 但過了一星期後, 她漸漸喜歡了.

So she got Jonathan Livingston Crab on the way home from the beach, and his friend Crab Kate later at a mall. They now live with Ormes at a retirement community in Fort Myers, Fla., and are about to turn 32 years old. 
Jonathan Livingston Crab(寵物的名稱)便進註了她的家. 之後再購買了Crab Kate(寵物的名稱). 她們現在與Carol Ormes一起生活了32年.

Ormes is a bit of a local celebrity - "The crabby lady, they call me" - although not everyone is clear on the source of her fame: at a local restaurant recently, "someone asked, how are your snails?"
Carol Ormes在當地是一個名人 - 被稱為"Crabby lady". 不是所有人也真正知道她的名聲由來. 在當地的餐廳, 有些人會問"最近你的蝸牛怎樣?".

They're not snails, nor particularly closely related to the crabs we eat. And Ormes is far from the only one who loves them. You can find a thriving community of hobbyists on the Internet who appreciate these critters and share advice on how to keep them. 
牠們不是蝸牛, 也不像一般我們的食用蟹. 陸寄居蟹不是只有Carol Ormes喜歡. 大家可以在網上找到很多不同的飼養者, 分享經驗和意見, 教導如何飼養牠們.

Contrary to what you might think when you buy the little critter, it does take a little attention to keep them healthy - which also means they'll be more fun.
當你買牠們時, 所飼養的注意點往往會與你所想相反. 飼養者一定要注意某些東西才能讓牠們健康.

The basic setup should include:

Substrate: Crabs are often sold with gravel in the container, which you'll need to replace immediately with sand, or coconut fiber bedding that you can buy in pet stores. Keep it moist (not soggy) and deep enough for your biggest crab to bury itself completely. Otherwise the crab will be unable to molt, and will die.
底材: 業者販賣陸寄居蟹的展示缸通常是放在小石子, 必需要立即用沙或椰磚代替小石子. 保持底材濕潤(但不要積水), 底材也要有足夠的濕度讓飼養中最大的個體躲藏起來. 否則, 牠們便不能脫殼, 隨之死亡.

Enclosure: Crabs need room to move around and places to climb and hide. Also, remember that the hermit crabs we buy as pets are tropical: provide a heat source, and don't use wire cages - they don't retain humidity.
空間: 陸寄居蟹需要空間爬行, 也要有地方攀爬和躲藏. 還要記得陸寄居蟹是棲身於熱帶地區, 所以要提供保暖設施. 不要使用鐡籠, 因為鐡籠不能維持濕度.

Extra shells: The unique feature of the hermit crab is that it wears another animal's shell for protection, so you need to provide a choice of bigger shells as it grows. "Imagine if we stayed in the same clothes since we were in kindergarten!" says Eleanor Glazewski of Shrewsbury N.J., who sells shells and other supplies at www.elsshells.com. She cautions against painted shells, they chip, and the crabs can eat the paint. Make sure to have several for each crab in a tank; they may fight over them otherwise. 
空螺殼: 陸寄居蟹特別的地方是牠們使用其他動物的螺殼來保護自己,所以我們必需提供較大的螺殼給牠們長大時替換. “像想一下如果我們現在還穿著幼稚園時的衣服會怎樣!” Eleanor Glazewski(在www.elsshells.com販賣螺殼的人)說. Eleanor Glazewski批評彩繪螺殼, 它們會剝落, 而陸寄居蟹也會吃到那些油彩. 必須要提供每一隻陸寄居蟹幾個螺殼, 否則牠們會有搶殼的情況.

Water: Crabs need chlorine-free water. Glazewski suggests that since they only need a dish of water, not a whole tank, you can use bottled water instead of buying aquarium dechlorination chemicals. The more exotic species require a dish of saltwater as well, which some hobbyists also provide for the usual purple pincher that's sold in pet stores and souvenir shops. You can get saltwater mix at the petstore; since you'll be using small amounts compared with a full aquarium, one package will last for months.
水: 陸寄居蟹需要不含氯氣的水. Eleanor Glazewski提議因為陸寄居蟹不需要一整缸都是水, 所以可以提供牠們一盆水, 我們可以用煮過(隔夜過)的水來代替使用除氯劑. 我們還要提供海水給一些特別品種, 而飼養者一般也會提供海水給西伯利斯陸寄居蟹. 我們可以到寵物店買些海鹽來調制, 對比起用於整缸海水魚, 我們只需要用很少份量, 一包海鹽可以用數月.

Food: As for food, crabs in the wild are scavengers. "They eat pretty much whatever falls from the trees and washes up on the shore," says Aaryn Wika of Northglenn, Colo., who sells her own natural food mixtures at www.thehappyhermitcrab.com. The wide variety of mixes on her Web site are made from human food ingredients, even the seaweeds - everything, she says, except the krill. So go ahead and supplement your crab's diet with bits of your own fruits, vegetables, and seafood. (Wika cautions not to feed them garlic, onions, or table salt, and while they like popcorn, no butter.)
食物: Aaryn Wika(在www.thehappyhermitcrab.com販賣天然食物的人)說:野外的陸寄居蟹是雜食者. 牠們吃樹上跌下來的東西, 和海邊的東西. 在Aaryn Wika的網站內有很多不同成份製成的食物. 請提供陸寄居蟹不同的水果, 蔬菜和海鮮(肉類). (Aaryn Wika說不要提供陸寄居蟹蒜頭, 洋蔥, (餐桌上的)調味鹽. 牠們喜歡爆玉米花, 但不是牛油.)

Wika warns that if you buy commercial foods, be careful of preservatives, especially copper sulfate. Copper is actually used as a medication for fish to eliminate invertebrate parasites, so should never be fed to an invertebrate like a hermit crab, says Shane Boylan, veterinarian at the South Carolina Aquarium.
Aaryn Wika建議如果大家買商業食品(人工飼料), 要小心防腐劑, 尤其是copper sulfat(硫酸鹽化銅). Shane Boylan(南卡羅來納州的水族館的獸醫)說: 銅實際上是用魚類的藥物治療, 來消滅其身上無脊椎的寄生生物. 所以, 我們不可用於陸寄居蟹這些無脊椎生物身上.

Finally, when you pick a crab to buy, try to find a store that looks like it's following these care instructions; for example, if they're kept in wire cages, they are likely already dehydrated and in poor health. With a good start and the right care, your crab should last through many more summers. You probably won't beat Carol Ormes' record, but who knows - as she says, "I didn't realize this would be a lifetime adventure."
最後, 當大家購買陸寄居蟹時, 盡量選擇一些店舖會跟據以上的飼養指南: 例如, 如果業者是用鐡籠, 當中的陸寄居蟹通常已經是脫水和不健康. 如果飼養方法適當, 陸寄居蟹必定可以渡過很多個夏天. 大家可能未必能打破Carol Ormes的記錄, 但誰知道. 正如Carol Ormes自己所說”我也從來沒想像過飼養陸寄居蟹會是終身的經歷”. 



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