The Zebra Crayfish (Cherax peknyi) is an intriguing and relatively rare species of crayfish that originates from Papua New Guinea. Commonly referred to as the Asian Tiger Freshwater Lobster, it boasts impressive size and displays captivating pastel colors. While orange, blue, white, and purple are the prominent hues on this crayfish, it's important to note that true lobsters do not inhabit freshwater environments. The Zebra Crayfish has gained attention for its striking appearance and is one of the largest freshwater crayfish species available.
Breeding the Zebra Crayfish is relatively straightforward, and we have witnessed successful breeding in our facility with many specimens producing offspring. However, it's worth mentioning that the fry of this species have an exceptionally slow growth rate.
In terms of behavior, the Zebra Crayfish is relatively active and spends a significant amount of time exploring the aquarium floor in search of food. As an omnivorous scavenger, it readily consumes a wide variety of meaty and plant-based foods. However, it is not recommended to keep this crayfish with ornamental live plants, as it has a tendency to consume them at a surprising rate. Furthermore, its climbing abilities necessitate extra caution to prevent any potential escape from the enclosure.
As the Zebra Crayfish reaches adulthood, it tends to become territorial, potentially exhibiting aggression towards other tank inhabitants. To promote a harmonious environment, it is crucial to provide ample hiding places such as rockwork, driftwood, or PVC pipes. This becomes even more important when housing multiple crayfish together. Due to its size and waste production, a well-filtered aquarium with a minimum capacity of 30 gallons is necessary for a single adult. Larger tanks, such as a 55-gallon or larger aquarium, can accommodate multiple adults of similar size. While reasonably hardy, regular water changes are vital for maintaining the crayfish's optimal health. It is advisable not to house other bottom-dwelling invertebrates and fish with large crayfish. Although it is possible to keep mid- and upper-level fast-swimming fish with the Zebra Crayfish, their opportunistic feeding nature means they will generally consume any prey they can catch.
Additionally, the coloration of the Zebra Crayfish stands out with its extremely high quality, surpassing others available in the market. However, it's worth noting that after molting, which may occur during shipping, the crayfish may temporarily change color and exhibit increased hiding behavior. If you observe faded color and find a molt in the bag or aquarium, there is no cause for concern. This is a normal occurrence, and the vibrant colors will return within approximately two weeks or less.