I have always wanted to keep a couple of freshwater crabs (Potamonautes warreni).

I set up a tank using stacked Palendaba rocks to form caves and a rock ledge above the waterline.

I used a Pen Plax 700 canister filter as filtration. There is a very strong current in the tank, but I recon that is important

 for a river crab to feel at home.

A tight fitting glass lid covers the tank as apparently they are escape artists.


I researched on the web and found minimal information on keeping freshwater crabs.

I managed to identify the crabs as Potamonautes warreni, but that is all I could find, nothing on feeding habits etc...


I have a small creek that flows behind my house, so armed with a bucket, net and fishing line I went crab hunting.

I tied a piece of raw chicken to the end and dangled it into the water.


You have to wait in one spot for ages, but eventually they come out to investigate. They hide under ledges and grab the bait.

You can't pull them out from under a ledge as they wedge in. You have to slowly tempt them out and when they grab the bait, slowly 

pull them up and into your net. They don't seem to want to let go of their dinner!


So far I have fed him raw chicken, and he seems to enjoy shredding and munching on some Egeria Densa in the tank.

So far he has left the Valisneria alone.


I arranged the Palendaba rocks on Styrofoam pieces so they won't slip out.

I used a plastic ice cream tub as well to raise the level of the rocks .


I added gravel and some Egeria Densa and Valisneria. The plants (unidentified) on the rocks I collected from my local stream.

They grow on the water edge with their roots in the mud and the leaves just above the waterline. 

20 May 2005



One of the new inhabitants. There are two crabs in the tank.


The other inhabitant underwater.


Update - 25 May 2005


The crabs move and uproot everything.

I have taken the Valisneria out as it was being shredded.

There are small chunks of Egeria floating about. I think they enjoy eating it.

Will add some Hornwort and see what happens.


Update - 7 June 2005


Through trial and error, I now feed them fish, ox-heart, chicken, chicken hearts, krill, calamari and algae wafers.