When we want to keep any aquarium pets (fish, crayfish, shrimps, etc.) we need to provide it with the ideal conditions. Here by ideal conditions I mean the ideal water parameters.
Water parameters are extremely important for any aquatic animal. Wrong parameters can be responsible for your pet’s tragic death! So, first we need to know what are the ideal water parameters for crayfish, how to test the water parameters and how to achieve those ideal ranges!
Ideal Water Parameters For Crayfish
|Water Parameter||Ideal Range|
|Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate||Close to 0 ppm|
|Temperature||65 to 80 Degrees Fahrenheit (19 to 27 degrees Celcius)|
|pH||6.5 to 7.5|
|Important Note||Consistent water parameters are more important than trying to hit the correct number. If your tank water pH is 8.0, it’s not the end of the world for crayfish. Just make sure the parameters are consistent and do not change rapidly.|
What These Water Parameters Mean?
Now that we know the ideal water parameter ranges for crayfish, it’s time to understand what these parameters actually mean. Let’s tackle them one by one:
Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate:
It is very important to understand these 3 chemical compounds when keeping any aquatic animal. These 3 chemical compounds are directly related to cycling. If you don’t know what cycling is, then I’ll highly recommend you to read this cycling guide of mine. Though it is for shrimps, the principle is totally same.
Here’s what ‘cycling a tank’ is in general:
- All living organisms produce waste. Also when you feed fishes, there are uneaten foods lying around the tank. All these decaying organic matters produce Ammonia in the tank. Ammonia is a very lethal chemical compound for any living organism. A slight amount of Ammonia can lead to the death of your pet. That’s why the tank needs to have 0 ppm ammonia or as close to 0 as possible.
- If your tank is properly cycled, then the filter media will culture a beneficial bacterial colony. This bacterial colony will use the Ammonia as food and produce Nitrite. Nitrite is also very harmful for any living organism.
- The bacterial colony will further use the Nitrite as food and produce Nitrate. Now, Nitrate is much less harmful than the other two. A small amount of Nitrate is not lethal for pets, even some Nitrate is good for plants because plants can take it as food! However, we can’t let Nitrate build up as too much Nitrate can get lethal for the pets. That’s why we need to perform weekly water changes in order to keep the Nitrate level in check.
I hope you are now clear about the roles of these 3 chemical compounds in an aquarium. But the question remains, how to test this parameters?
Fortunately for us, API has produce a master test kit that can test all these 3 parameters. With this API Master Test Kit, you can also check pH of the water. If you can, invest on this test kit right away! It will be one of the most important investments in your crayfish keeping journey!
pH stands for Potential of Hydrogen. pH is measured on a scale from 0 to 14.
- 0 means the water is very acidic.
- 14 means the water is very Alkaline.
- 7 is the neutral range.
The ideal pH range for crayfish is 6.5 to 7.5.
You can use the same API Master Test Kit to measure pH along with Nitrite, Nitrate and Ammonia. So, there is no need to buy a separate test kit for pH.
However, if you don’t want to buy the API master test kit and just want a test meter for pH, then this one from KoolaMo can be a good choice.
GH & KH
GH stands for General Hardness. It generally indicates the amount of Calcium and Magnesium in the water. GH is measured in ppm (Parts Per Million). The ideal GH range for crayfish is 4 – 10 ppm.
KH stands for Carbonate Hardness. Like GH, it is also measured in ppm. Generally, KH refers to how quickly the pH of the aquarium water can go up or down.
The older the aquarium, the lower the value of KH. The ideal KH range for crayfish is 3 – 10 ppm.
With this GH & KH Test Kit, you can measure both the GH & KH of your tank water. There is no need to buy two separate test kits. Certainly a handy test kit that will help you a long way!
TDS stands for Total Dissolved Solids. It measures all the elements in the water except for the H20 molecules. For example, TDS includes minerals, nitrite, nitrate, chemicals, ammonia, etc. It is also measured in ppm.
Don’t get too high up on the TDS. It is not as important as the other ones I mentioned earlier. I basically measure TDS to know if I need to perform a water change. Higher TDS means my tank needs a water change.
The ideal TDS range for crayfish is 100 – 300 ppm. To measure TDS, you’ll need a TDS meter. I like this one as it offers the most accurate reading.
Ideal Water Parameters According To Specific Types
At the starting of this guide, I’ve mentioned a table where I included the ideal water parameter ranges for crayfish.
However, if you want to dive more deeply and check what water parameters your specific type of crayfish needs, then the table below will come in handy!
I have divided the types of crayfish under their scientific Genus. Every type of crayfish under a single Genus will prefer the same water parameters.
|Procambarus||65 – 76° F (18 – 24° C)||6.5 – 7.5||6 – 15 dKH|
|Cambarellus||60° – 75° F (16° – 24° C)||6.0 – 8.0||6 – 12 dKH|
|Cherax||68° – 80° F (20° – 26.7° C)||6.5 – 7.5||6 – 15 dKH|
|Macrobrachium||65 – 75° F (18 – 24° C)||7.0 – 8.0||8 – 15 dKH|
If you don’t know the scientific name of your crayfish, don’t worry! I’ll help you with that too!
Just check the common name of your crayfish in the table below. You’ll know what scientific group it belongs to!
|Procambarus||Cambarellus / Mini Lobster||Cherax||Macrobrachium|
|Ghost Crayfish||Orange CPO Dwarf Mexican||Zebra Crayfish||Taiwanese Long Claw Prawn|
|Electric Blue Crayfish||Brazos Dwarf Crayfish||Supernova Aka Blue Moon Crayfish|
|Neon Red Crayfish||Cajun Dwarf Crayfish||Blue Pearl Crayfish|
|Self-cloning Marmorkreb Crayfish||Alabama Dwarf Crayfish||Thunderbolt Crayfish|
|Christmas Tree Crayfish||Wild Color Dwarf Mexican Crayfish||Emerald Fire Crayfish|
|White Specter Crayfish||Blue Brazos Dwarf Mexican Crayfish||Apricot Crayfish|
|Scarlet Crayfish||Blue Cajun Dwarf Crayfish||Indigo Blue/Black Scorpion Crayfish|
|Orange Ghost/Fireball/Firecracker Crayfish||Red Chili/Red Brick Crayfish|
|White Tubercled Crayfish||Blue Kong/Blue Claw Zebra Crayfish|
|Waccamaw Crayfish||Snakeskin Blue Moon Crayfish|
|Sapphire Crayfish||Tricolor Blue Moon Crayfish|
|Yellow Sun/Yellow Arm Blue Moon Crayfish|