The Crayfish, Not the Restaurant

Keeping an aquarium doesn’t necessarily mean keeping fish. The box of glass and water can be used for keeping other interesting creatures instead…such as crayfish! These aren’t the crayfish of your childhood creek bed: these creatures are bright and very colorful. For the home aquarium, they are often referred to as lobsters rather than crayfish, but they are a freshwater crayfish. Two examples are the Electric Blue Lobster and the Neon Red Lobster, which are both beautifully colored. These freshwater inverts are gorgeous, with plenty of interesting behavior to observe, easy to care for, and very easy to feed, making a smaller size aquarium of 20 gallons along with one of the lobsters an excellent choice for a situation such as a science classroom in a school or in a house with kids who are curious about animals and biology.

Setting up a habitat for a crayfish is rather straightforward.  Start with either fine sand, or small fine gravel because crayfish do like to dig and burrow. Add in some driftwood, or artificial decorations to form cave-like areas for hiding and the terrain will be suitable.  Combine that with a PH in the middle 7’s and a cool water temperature of 65 to 72 degrees, and you will have good conditions to keep a crayfish as a pet. They are territorial, so if the habitat is relatively small, then keeping only one is preferred.

Feeding the Electric Blue lobster or Neon Red lobster is also a very simple thing. They are not particularly picky about what they eat, so flake food and shrimp pellets are good suggestions for

A red crayfish patiently waits for food to come by.
A red crayfish patiently waits for food to come by.

them. Some sources also state that offering them a small leaf of romaine lettuce from time to time will help to vary their diet.

Average lifespan for either of these interesting creatures is approximately 5 years.

About The Author John Flynn

John is the Live Deliveries Manager at Petsolutions, and has 20 years of experience working in the pet care industry specializing in live fish, plants, corals, and reptiles. Outside of PetSolutions, John enjoys photography as well as outdoor activities such as camping and hiking.

comments (2)

  • I purchased .what was said to be a Red Lobster > and I’m thinking it’s a Red Crayfish . It has shed already 2 times in three weeks and has tripled in size . I’ve checked my PH and it is at 7 but my water clouds . How many times a week should it be feed ? I bought the correct food pellets, I.ve changed half the water and filter . still cloudy . I even change the filter each week. I noticed he ate his old shin . and it has killed all my fish and alge eater . I read I could have top water fish . but he could reach them too .. This is new to me to have such a beautiful creature in my tank . I only have a 5 gallon tank , should I get a larger tank ? I have a good hiding place for him and he loves it .And I have artifical plants in it . Lowered the water level , because my sister in law said it could climb out of the tank . Just need some reasurance if I’m doing it okay . More concerned about the cloudy water . I use distilled water and have tried Clear .

    • Hi Carol,

      You are correct, if it is freshwater it is a crayfish. I’m not sure if you got it from us or not, but on our site in the information about it we call it a crayfish also. “lobster” is just a common industry name that wholesalers use and retailers have adopted. Hopefully where you purchased it from has the same information. They are considered semi aggressive, so catching slower moving bottom dwelling tank mates is normal for it. The cloudiness in your water is often caused by a bacterial bloom. Make sure you have a good filter on the aquarium, and when you do water changes do not change more than 25% of the water unless an emergency calls for more extreme measures. If you are doing 100% water changes, then you’re likely causing the blooms.

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