Zebra Crayfish - Care Guide

Also known as Tiger Crayfish, the Zebra Crayfish is one of the most unique-looking crayfish we have to offer due to its diverse and lustrous coloration. These crayfish usually have cerulean blue, periwinkle, sage green, and sunny orange colors on its body, with a darker emerald green covering its tail. They are truly a sight to be seen!




The Zebra crayfish is a very popular variant from the Cherax genus that is notorious for its absolutely stunning and high-quality coloration. Cherax is the one of the largest and most widespread genera of fully aquatic crayfish in the southern hemisphere.  Zebra crayfish were first reported in the year 2008 and are most often found in the lakes, rivers, and streams of New Guinea.  
This is one of the largest freshwater crayfish in the world at adult size, but it is less aggressive than the Procambarus alleni (Electric Blue Crayfish). These crayfish can live in almost any freshwater aquarium and are among the toughest freshwater tank inhabitants available to the hobby. They are very active creatures that love to explore and do not spend all of their time under rocks. They are well known for keeping tanks clean and free of waste, and are especially useful in large aquariums of 30 gallons or more. Due to their maximum potential size, they should not be kept in aquariums any smaller than 30 gallons. These crayfish can live up to 3 or 4 years old with the proper care.
If you are planning to keep this crayfish with other crayfish or other large types of fish and invertebrates, is important to keep them in a tank with plenty of hiding places. Crayfish are vulnerable when they are shedding their exoskeleton, so landscaping the tank with live plants, driftwood, rocks, and/or caves is vital to their survival. Also, it is normal for a crayfish to eat his/her exoskeleton after molting.


Cherax peknyi



6 to 8 inches in length


Recommended Tank Parameters 

  • pH level range: 6.5 - 7.5
  • Temperature range: 68° - 85° F (20° - 29° C)
  • Water type: kH 6 - 15; gH 4 - 10; TDS 100 - 300
  • Notes from the owner: 
         - Crayfish are the hardiest freshwater specimens we have to offer, and thus tend to handle shipping and the acclimation process quite well.
          - Though crayfish are NOT friendly, they can often live with fast-moving fish (such as rasboras, danios, etc.). They are fairly slow and only a sick fish would be able to be caught by the crayfish. We have kept them with guppies and dwarf shrimp, and have never seen a death ourselves, but we cannot guarantee that dwarf shrimp will be safe if kept with a large crayfish.  Some crayfish have also been known to eat snails, though this is does not always happen.



Crayfish will typically eat whatever they can catch, but since they are slow-moving, they are rarely able to harm most types of fish or shrimp. They prefer foods like invertebrate pellets or blanched vegetables (such as zucchini, carrots, and spinach), but will also eat fish food and algae wafers.  


Warning! Avoid any food product, medication, or plant fertilizer that contains Copper of any form. Copper is toxic to invertebrates. Many commercial fish foods, medications, and plant fertilizers contain copper or more commonly copper sulfate. Always look at the ingredient list for any product going into the aquarium to ensure they are copper free.


What to Expect from Us 

We generally ship young crayfish that are around 3 inches or more in length. They will already have vibrant colors, but their colors should intensify even more as the crayfish matures and grows larger. Also, their claws will grow much larger in proportion to their bodies once the crayfish are fully grown adults.  
We ship the crayfish in plastic cups with wet paper towels. These cups are injected with medical grade oxygen before they are placed in a box and shipped out. This method of packaging the crayfish has proven to be MUCH more successful than our previous method (shipping them in a bag full of water). This minimal-water method is how most aquatic companies ship their crayfish, so it is something we learned from companies much larger and older than us. 
All Aquatic Arts brand plants and animals come with a 100% live arrival guarantee, plus free email support directly from the owners! All that we require is that you send us a clear, digital picture of the unopened bag of DOAs, and we will replace them free of charge.



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