Cambarellus Diminutus (Smallest dwarf crayfish)
Origin: USA (South of Gulf of Mexico).
Appearance: With a size of approximately 2cm this is the smallest crayfish known sofar.
Sexing: Males are slimmer, have larger legs with claws and gonopodes instead of the first pair of swimming legs. Gender can be seen at a very young age.
Life span: 2 years.
Size: Up to 2.5cm.
Sexually mature: Probably when they are 3 months old.
Gestation: About 3 weeks.
Character: Peaceful and not aggressive, even amongst own species. Do not dig and will not eat the plants. If these crayfish are combined with shrimp then they might catch the odd one.
Keeping these with other Cambarellus species should be avoided since cross breeding is possible.
Tank setup: Rocks with hiding places and plants with small leaves and moss.
Aquarium from 20 liters and above. Use sand or fine substrate as soil. Choose waterplants based on water temperature and lightning used. Use wood and rocks to create hiding places. Create some water movement by means of an electronic- or air filter.
Make sure the aquarium is closed well because otherwise the crayfish will climb out. The Cambarellus Diminutus prefers aquaria which are not completely clean. Detritus is no problem. Refreshing water is still needed and promotes the health, mating behaviour and moulting.
Waterconditions: Temperature 15-28ºC (22-23ºC is ideal). Acidity can vary between pH6.5 to pH7.8 and water hardness ranges from 2-18dGH.
Feeding: Detritus, dead fish, small snails, dead plants and special crayfish food. Try to diversify the food and do not feed too much.
Breeding: Not easy but doable. Will not yield a big offspring.
It is an option to put females that carry eggs in a separate aquarium to monitor and separate the young crayfish once thet are born.
Tank mates: Snails and small non agressive fish. Other crayfish are not suitable as tankmates. Shrimp can be placed in the tank. Despite the fact that they are not active hunters an occasional shrimp will be eaten.
Copyright photos: © Bernd Jung.