Overview crayfish


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Overview photo:

Cherax Pecknyi (Zebra crayfish/Tiger crayfish)


Origin: New-Guinea.
Appearance: Tiger/zebra motif with beautiful colours.
Sexing: Generally, the female's claws are smaller and overall lighter than the male's. However, to determine the sex exactly, it is best to look at the bottom of the body. As with other species in this family, the female has two oval openings at the beginning of the 3rd leg pair, from which the eggs are later laid. The male lacks these openings, but always has a spine on the 5th pair of legs.
Life span: 6-8 years.
Size: 15cm.
Sexually mature: From 1 year onwards.
Gestation: 4 weeks after which another 2 weeks with the mother.
Character: Friendly. Can be places with slightly larger fish, but can also catch a small fish. This crayfish can be kept solitary but a group is always nicer for these creatures.
Tank setup: Aquarium of at least 80cm. Not suitable for a community aquarium. The zebra crayfish only has a moderate tendency to dig. However, heavier structures should be on the bottom to prevent the animals from burrowing underneath. It is recommended to use a soil made of flat pebbles that the crayfish can use. It is very important to create as many shelters as possible, made of clay or plastic pipes or tiled structures. They generally leave the plants alone, but not always.
Waterconditions: Temperature 20-26ºC with an acidity from pH7.0 to pH8.0 and a hardness greater than 6dGH.
Feeding: Will eat algae, excessive food, cooked vegetables, dead plant residues, special food for crayfish, as well as granulated food for fish. Dry leaves or soft wood are also important.
Breeding: Not easy, but can be done. Mating is usually not noticed and the future offspring are usually not noticed until the female has withdrawn for a long time. The young crayfish are about 8mm in the beginning. After three months they are between 20 and 50mm. In order to encourage them to breed, it is necessary to increase the amount of food and to change the water regularly.
Tank mates: Adult crayfish can generally be coexisted with dwarf shrimps and non-intrusive small fish. Do not keep them with fish that are often on the bottom or sleep there.
Copyright photos: © Ralf Müller,