The Blue Claw Zebra Crayfish (Cherax peknyi) is a remarkable color variation within the Zebra Crayfish superspecies, which is indigenous to Papua New Guinea. Renowned for its captivating coloration, this crayfish is among the largest freshwater species available. It displays a striking combination of red, orange, blue, and white hues. The Blue Claw Zebra Crayfish readily breeds in aquariums, although its fry exhibit slow growth and can engage in cannibalism. Many specimens have successfully reproduced in our facility.
This particular crayfish is relatively active and spends a significant amount of time exploring the aquarium floor in search of food. As an omnivorous scavenger, the Blue Claw Zebra Crayfish consumes a wide range of meaty and plant-based foods. While it may consume ornamental live plants, some aquarists have reported that Cherax crayfish species, including this one, are generally less destructive to plants compared to other large crayfish. Due to its climbing abilities, extra precautions must be taken to prevent the crayfish from escaping its enclosure.
Upon reaching adulthood, the Blue Claw Zebra Crayfish can exhibit territorial behavior and may display aggression towards other tank inhabitants. Providing ample hiding places such as rockwork, driftwood, or PVC pipes is essential, particularly when housing multiple crayfish together. The crayfish's size and waste production necessitate a minimum 30-gallon, well-filtered aquarium for a single adult. If accommodating multiple adults of similar size, a larger aquarium of 55 gallons or more is recommended. Although reasonably hardy, regular water changes are crucial for maintaining the crayfish's optimal health. It is advisable not to keep other bottom-dwelling invertebrates and fish with large crayfish, as they may be preyed upon. However, mid- and upper-level, fast-swimming fish can potentially coexist with the Blue Claw Zebra Crayfish, although crayfish are opportunistic feeders and will generally consume anything they can catch.
In summary, the Blue Claw Zebra Crayfish is an extraordinary color variant within the Zebra Crayfish superspecies, featuring a captivating combination of red, orange, blue, and white colors. It is known to breed in aquariums and requires careful attention to its enclosure, territorial tendencies, and tank mates. Providing hiding places, a sufficiently sized and well-filtered aquarium, and regular water changes are crucial for the well-being of this species.