Mexican Dwarf Crayfish Care Sheet (Cambarellus patzcuarensis)

The Mexican Dwarf Crayfish or CPO crayfish (Cambarellus Patzcuarensis var. Orange) is a tiny shrimp-like crustacean that is naturally found across several locations in Mexico and makes a great addition to your freshwater shrimp tank.

CPO Crayfish Care Sheet
Mexican Dwarf Crayfish – Cambarellus Patzcuarensis var. Orange (CPO Crayfish)

Cambarellus Patzcuarensis CPO Crayfish Caresheet

Difficulty:Hard
Size:1.5-3 inches (3-5 cm)
Color:Bright Orange
Behavior: Very peaceful towards other species and not voracious. Not a great socializer.
Aquarium:10+ gallons (45+ liters) cycled tank
Water:pH of 6.5-8.5, hardness 3-15 dkh
Temperature: 65-75°F (18-24°C)

CPO Crayfish characteristics and features

Cambarellus Patzcuarensis have similar features to freshwater shrimp like caridina and neo caridina: small in size, they resemble orange cherry shrimps if not that they are also equipped with small claws. Behaviourally, they don’t resemble shrimp at all – they are not nearly as good swimmers, not as angry and sociable, they tend to keep to themselves and only reach out to other crayfish when mating. They can also get aggressive although they won’t generally be a problem to other species of shrimp and fish of a similar size. They live for up to two years.

Ideal Aquarium Setup

During the molting period this crayfish becomes particularly vunerable to preying, even at the hand of small fish, therefore it needs plenty of hiding spots to feel safe. It is therefore crucial to fill the tank with freshwater plants, rocks and decorations.

Mexican Dwarf Crayfish Diet and Feeding

CPO crayfish are detrivore and omnivores, but they tend to prefer meaty food such as worms, insects, snails, carcasses, and abandoned eggs, while they won’t munch on algae and other plants in your tank. Because of this, you will need to feed them regularly, fish pellets and protein-rich shrimp food work fine. It’s also important to feed them calcium-rich food in order to aid smoothless molting.

CPO Crayfish Breeding

Mexican Dwarf Crayfish are relatively easy to breed as they can already start mating after 4-5 months and there is no need for a second breeding tank. The mother will carry the egg for about two weeks and then newborns can live together with the adults, provided that there are enough hiding spots in the aquarium to act as shelter from predators.

Cambarellus Patzcuarensis for sale

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