Proper care of aquarium crayfish

Do you know that crabs can live not only in rivers, but also in an aquarium? Find out which types are suitable for such content, and how to care for them.

Varieties of aquarium crayfish

The class of crustaceans is very numerous. But only some species are suitable for aquarium contents:

  • Australian Reddish (Red-felled) Crayfish in the wild lives in Australia and New Guinea and can feel comfortable even in small freshwater bodies. The color is interesting and includes blue and green tones with bright inclusions, and claws are red.
  • Marble crayfish have a color resembling a stone of the same name. And such individuals are not only beautiful and bright, but also quite unpretentious.
  • Blue Cuban cancer has a celestial color and lives in small rivers and even streams of Cuba. Dimensions reach 10 centimeters, so this type is ideal for keeping in a small aquarium.
  • Dwarf swamp cancer has a tiny body, the length of which rarely exceeds 3-4 centimeters.Color varies from light gray to brown.
  • Florida Florida snow. His color was bred artificially as a result of breeding, and his body size can reach 10 centimeters.
  • Dwarf orange or tangerine cancer. In the wild, it can be found in freshwater in Mexico, and some biologists claim that this species is a mutation of a gray cancer.
  • Zebra crayfish live in New Guinea, and their size reaches 20 centimeters. This species prefers the nocturnal lifestyle, like many others.
  • Purple crayfish are very beautiful and have a calm character, so they get along well with both their fellows and the fish.

We select the appropriate aquarium and equip it

How to care for such unusual water inhabitants as aquarium crayfish? The first thing to do is to find the right aquarium. To determine the optimal size, one should proceed from the proportion: fifteen liters of volume for every five centimeters of the body of one individual, this will be enough for comfortable living and free movement.

The aquarium is best equipped with a lid with holes,especially if the crayfish are kept with other inhabitants (attempts are likely to escape in order to find a more spacious place, since these arthropods do not like the cramping).

The bottom of the aquarium should be covered with coarse soil, and this is a prerequisite, since crayfishes very much like to dig holes. In addition, they can hide in plants, so plant them, but choose species with strong stems, strong root system and sufficiently dense and large leaves, so that the inhabitants of the aquarium can hide in them, but do not damage their claws and do not get confused.

The soil should be poured in such a way as to form a small area of ​​land: crayfish will periodically climb onto it. In addition, you can lay out decorative objects at the bottom: snags, clay pots or their non-sharp fragments, stones. Such accessories inhabitants can use as shelters in the daytime.

Suitable water

Most freshwater crayfish feel comfortable in clean water, so change it regularly or install automatic cleaning equipment. Oxygenation is also necessary, otherwise the aquarium inhabitant will feel discomfort and will try to leave the place of residence. The optimum temperature is within 17-22 degrees.

Another important condition that includes the full care of crayfish is a sufficiently high water hardness necessary for the formation of a dense chitinous shell after a molt. The ideal level is from 8 to 12 units. To increase the rigidity can be placed in the aquarium any mineral, for example, limestone or marble.

Important: since the crayfish regularly hide the food that is not eaten, it can pollute the water, therefore regular replacements of at least half of the total volume are desirable and mandatory.

Tip: it is best to install an internal built-in water filter, as the external wires can be damaged by claws or used for escape attempts.

Is it possible to contain crayfish with other aquatic inhabitants?

Many crayfish are hermits, loners and same-sex individuals, so they often try to retire in the wild. Although some species quite get along with their counterparts, and even with fish. But this content is far from always possible and permissible: sometimes the neighborhood ends tragically, and more often than not for the crayfish.

Freshwater crustaceans do not coexist with bottom fish,as they begin to compete with them and try to win back the territory they consider theirs and reliably guard. Therefore, it is not recommended to settle them with catfish. Small fish, such as guppies or neons, will not be the best neighbors: their crayfish can be simply mistaken for prey and eaten.

Crustaceans do not get along with large, predatory and aggressive fish, which are cichlids: in such a neighborhood they tend to hide, experience stress, starve and eventually die. Also, it is not necessary to be hooked to the cancers of aquatic inhabitants with voluminous and long fins and tails: they can be damaged or completely removed with sharp claws.

Tip: if you decide to keep the crayfish along with the fish, then remember the differences in their lifestyle and nutrition. So, crustaceans usually feed at night, while other inhabitants prefer to receive food during the day. In addition, overly active aquatic dwellers can cause slow and calm crustacean discomfort and even bring them to stress.

How to feed the crayfish?

Proper nutrition is a guarantee of health and durable shell of cancer. About 70-80% of its diet should be plant food, for example, water lilies, cabbage or lettuce leaves, various algae, horsetail, nettle.Also, the menu may include bloodworms, pieces of fresh meat or fish (many crustaceans are scavengers and sweepers and do not refuse the remnants of other inhabitants of the reservoir).

Young individuals are allowed to feed with fish feed, crushed tubule, Artemia. You can also offer dried dry foliage, which improves digestion, destroys parasites and is a source of nutrients.

Feeding females should be about once every three days, males - every two days. During periods of mating and molting, the amount of food should be increased, since at these stages a considerable expenditure of energy is expected.


Usually mating cancers occurs almost immediately after molting, and the female releases specific substances to which the male reacts. The couple begins to dance, touching each other with claws and antennae, then fertilization takes place. Eggs are postponed after three weeks, and until this moment the future mother is better kept separately, since it can become aggressive. Hatching crustaceans at first move, clinging to the body of the female.

If you decide to start aquarium crayfish, then provide them with comfortable conditions of maintenance and proper care.

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