The Apricot Crayfish (Cherax holthuisi var. "Apricot") is a captivating variation of its species, characterized by its vibrant solid orange coloration. This stunning crayfish is native to Irian Jaya, Indonesia, and is also commonly referred to as the Apricot Crayfish or Sunburst Fire Freshwater Lobster, despite the absence of true lobsters in freshwater environments. Breeding the Apricot Crayfish in an aquarium is relatively easy, although the fry have a notably slow growth rate compared to many American crayfish species.
This particular crayfish is quite active and spends a significant amount of time foraging on the aquarium floor in search of food. As an omnivorous scavenger, the Apricot Crayfish readily consumes various meaty and plant-based foods. However, caution should be exercised when keeping ornamental live plants with this crayfish, as it has a tendency to consume them at a surprising pace.
Upon reaching adulthood, the Apricot Crayfish can exhibit territorial behavior, potentially behaving aggressively towards other tank inhabitants. Therefore, it is crucial to provide ample hiding places such as rockwork, driftwood, or PVC pipes. This is especially important when housing multiple crayfish in the same tank. Given the size and waste production of this crayfish, it is recommended to provide a minimum 30-gallon, well-filtered aquarium for a single adult. If housing multiple adults of similar size, a larger aquarium of 55 gallons or more is preferable. While the Apricot Crayfish is reasonably hardy, regular water changes are essential for maintaining its optimal health. It is advisable to avoid keeping 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 Apricot Crayfish, although crayfish are opportunistic feeders and will generally consume whatever they can catch.
In conclusion, the Apricot Crayfish is a visually striking species with its solid orange coloration. It breeds easily in aquariums but has slow-growing fry compared to many American crayfish. It is an active crayfish that requires a well-structured environment and appropriate tank mates. Providing adequate hiding places, a sufficiently sized and well-filtered aquarium, and regular water changes are crucial for the Apricot Crayfish's well-being.