Fresh Water Crabs

crabFresh Water Crabs Care Sheet

Fresh water crabs (holthuisana sp.) are normally found in inland rivers, billabongs and dams in northern Australian regions. The different species of fresh water crabs come in varying colour patterns, from tiger stripe to an attractive pale fawn colour with a chocolate brown irregular band crossing from front to the back of the carapace.

In nature they frequent inland rivers and billabongs that dry up seasonally. They burrow deep into the sand or mud awaiting the next rainy season.

The crabs can construct burrows around 60 cm long. The humid air trapped inside the burrows gives the crabs enough moisture to survive until wet weather returns.

They require a temperature between 18°C and 25°C. Ensure the temp doesn't fall below the minimum though. A general water hardness of 100-200ppm and a pH of 7.0 is also required. Like any other aquarium pet, water quality is important, they cannot survive for long in soft or acidic water. Due to their temperature requirements, these crabs can be kept with tropical or cold water fish.

Fresh water crabs shouldn't be kept with slow moving fish, or other invertebrates and snails etc. They WILL eat them. Sick or dying fish will quickly be devoured. When mixing species you should ensure you have plenty of hiding places for both the crabs and the fish.

Fresh water crabs make fascinating pets. They are active, hardy and a delight to watch.

Basic Requirements

If you are about to get any fresh water crabs, you need to make sure you have the basic requirements, before you even bring them home! Here is a list of the basic requirements for any fresh water crabs.

  • Bowl, Aquarium or Pond
  • Filtration (under gravel, corner or power filter)
  • Aeration (air pump & air stone)
  • Lighting (or natural light)
  • Substrate (gravel, sand, pebbles etc.)
  • Food (just about any fresh, frozen or dried fish foods)
  • Treated/Stabilized Water

Optional Requirements

  • Filters
  • Aeration
  • UV Lighting
  • Ornaments
  • Plants (live or plastic)
  • Test Kits (pH, ammonia etc)
  • Aquarium Backing


Suitable For People Aged: 10 & up (they bite!)
Experience Required: None. Care sheet & info
Feeding Care Time Required: 5 minutes a day
Maintenance Time Required: 1/2 Hour a Week
Minimum Space Required: Bowl, Pond or Aquarium
Cost of Upkeep: (approx) $8 Per Week (Power Required)
Life Span: (approx) 5 years
Availability: All Year

Fresh Water Crabs Care Sheet

To read our care sheet, simply click the link above to open it in your browser. However, if you want to download it to your computer for future reference, simply 'right click' on the document and select "Save Target As...". Then simply choose a location (like your desktop) to save. You will need Acrobat to read and print these documents.