The Black Kong Zebra Crayfish (Cherax alyciae, formerly Cherax peknyi) is a remarkable species that was originally believed to be a color variant of the Zebra Crayfish superspecies found in Papua New Guinea. However, further research conducted by Lukhaup, Eprilurahman, and von Rintenlen has revealed that it is, in fact, a distinct species in its own right. This freshwater crayfish is known for its impressive size and captivating pastel colors, particularly its striking blue-tipped claws. With vibrant shades of orange, blue, and white, the Blue Kong Zebra Crayfish stands out among its counterparts.
Breeding the Black Kong Zebra Crayfish in an aquarium is possible, although the fry have a slow growth rate and can exhibit cannibalistic behavior. Many specimens have successfully bred in our facility's tanks. This crayfish species is relatively active and can often be seen exploring the aquarium floor in search of food. As an omnivorous scavenger, it readily consumes a variety of meaty and plant-based foods. While it may eat ornamental live plants, some aquarists have observed that Cherax crayfish species, including the Blue Kong Zebra Crayfish, tend to be less destructive to plants compared to other large crayfish species.
Being a skilled climber, precautions must be taken to prevent the Black Kong Zebra Crayfish from escaping its enclosure. Additionally, as it matures, this crayfish species can become territorial and exhibit aggressive behavior towards other tank inhabitants. To ensure their well-being, it is essential to provide ample hiding places such as rockwork, driftwood, or PVC pipes. This becomes even more crucial when housing multiple crayfish in the same tank. Due to their size and waste production, providing a minimum 30-gallon, well-filtered aquarium is necessary for a single adult. If housing multiple adults of similar size, a larger aquarium of 55 gallons or more is recommended. While reasonably hardy, regular water changes are vital for maintaining optimal health. It is not advisable to keep other bottom-dwelling invertebrates and fish with large crayfish, as they may become prey. However, mid- and upper-level, fast-swimming fish can potentially coexist with the Blue Kong Zebra Crayfish, although crayfish are opportunistic feeders and will consume whatever they can catch.
Lastly, it's worth noting that the coloration of our Black Kong Zebra Crayfish specimens is of exceptionally high quality, surpassing other options available on the market. Following molting, which may occur during shipping, the crayfish may temporarily change color and exhibit increased hiding behavior. If you notice faded coloration and find a molt in the bag or aquarium, there is no cause for concern as this is a normal occurrence, and the vibrant color will return within two weeks or less.