Overview crayfish


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Overview photo:

Cambarellus Patzcuarensis var. Orange (CPO)


Origin: Mexico, lake Patzcuaro.
Appearance: Beautiful orange colour and grows up to 5cm. This is a stable orange variety originated through selective breeding.
Sexing: Clearly visible at the bottom like with most Cambarellus species. The females have a wider tail and a more robust body. The first swimming legs of the male are grown into the gonopods, the genitals of the male.
Life span: 2 to 3 years.
Size: 5cm.
Sexually mature: Starting from 2.5 to 3cm.
Gestation: About 3 weeks.
Character: Dwarf crayfish with a character which make it less suitable to keep this crayfish in a community aquarium. Animals that live and/or sleep on the bottom will be chased. Limit the amount of males in a tank, they can fight until death. Fighting is often caused by lack of food and hiding places.
Tank setup: From 20 liters and above. Some moss and plants with fine leaves. Preferably a special tank just for these crayfish with plenty of hiding places so the young have a good ability to hide and survive. Use slighlyt colder water during refreshing which will stimulate moulding and breeding. NOTE: When adding new plants, make sure these have been in water outside the tank for a few days and properly rinsed. Crayfish are very sensitive to preparation fluids used at wholesalers.
Waterconditions: Temperature 10-26ºC (22-23ºC is ideal). Acidity can vary between pH6.5 to pH9 and a water hardness ranges from 12-18dGH.
Feeding: Will eat nearly everything. Detritus, dead fish, small snails, dead plants and special crayfish food. They also like boiled vegetables and deep frozen food like larvae. Clean dried leaves from oak trees can be put in the tank as well.
Breeding: Easy but it may take a while to get them going. After moulding the females are chased and violently turned on their back so the male can deposit his sperm package(Spermatophore). Pregnant females are very shy and will not leave their hiding spot often. Try to feed close to the hiding place so they can eat and not leave the eggs alone.
Tank mates: Fish that do not sleep on the bottom and shrimp when there is enough space. An occasional shrimp will be eaten so do not add expensive ones.
Copyright photos: © Ralf Müller,