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Home > Pom Pom Crab (Ptychognathus barbatus) a true gem and consummate nano aquarium specimen!

Pom Pom Crab (Ptychognathus barbatus) a true gem and consummate nano aquarium specimen!

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Pom Pom Crab (Ptychognathus barbatus)
photo credit: Aquatic Arts
* For the safety of our animals, we now ship Pom Pom Crabs exclusively via UPS Next Day Air. If your order contains this item, you will only see UPS Next Day Air as a shipping option during checkout *

We are extremely proud and excited to be likely the only North American retailer to offer the freshwater Pom Pom Crab (Ptychognathus barbatus), a true gem and consummate nano aquarium specimen!  This extremely rare freshwater crab has proven to be a very endearing, interesting, and durable candidate for the freshwater community aquarium.  Very little information is available for this crab, but we have done extensive research to determine proper husbandry for this crab in our in-house facility.

Like most crabs, the Freshwater Pom Pom Crab is an omnivorous scavenger.  In addition to eating food items that collect on the patches of hair (“pom poms”) that grow on its claws, it feeds on filamentous algae and detritus in the aquarium and will also readily accept high-quality dry foods that are rich in plant matter.  We also occasionally feed these crabs protein-rich frozen foods such as bloodworms, but only sparingly.

The Freshwater Pom Pom Crab reportedly has pockets of population throughout many tropical and sub-tropical regions in Africa, Asia, and Australia, particularly Madagascar, Taiwan, and New Caledonia.  It inhabits both brackish and fully freshwater areas and it is suspected that this crab spawns in brackish water and its fry go through a larval stage similar to many crustaceans that live in freshwater as adults but spawn in brackish areas.  Spawning in the aquarium has not yet been reported.  Unlike most “freshwater” crabs, this crab is truly fully aquatic.  However, we recommend keeping your water line relatively low or keeping a lid on your aquarium, as these crabs are occasional escape artists.

This crab is very peaceful and shows zero interest in its tankmates.  While it is much heftier, active, and more outgoing than the peaceful Thai Micro Crab (Limnopilos naiyanetri), it shares the same disposition and, in our experience, has shown absolutely no aggression toward its own kind or other tankmates.  Even in a small aquarium with massive quantities of dwarf shrimp, the Freshwater Pom Pom Crabs we housed never showed the least bit of predatory interest.  This crab will make for a completely ideal, exciting candidate in any nano, community or planted aquarium.

* It’s important to note that this is a very small crab (most will be 1 inch or less at the time of purchase but they can grow up to 1.5 to 1.75 inches). This small size makes them ideal for nano tanks as mentioned above *

*IMPORTANT* Please "Choose a Variant" above before adding this crayfish to your cart. We offer a "B-Grade" variant for these crabs. Our “B-Grade” crabs are simply specimens that are missing legs or claws unless otherwise stated.  Loss of appendages is not permanent and happens commonly with crustaceans.  They are completely healthy with excellent coloration and will completely regenerate lost appendages within 1 to 2 molts.

What We Like About This Crab:
  • Very active with peaceful disposition, even with dwarf shrimp
  • Less aggressive than many other crabs
  • Fully aquatic
  • Easy to feed
  • Excellent scavenger
  • Temperature: 68° - 78° F (20° - 25° C)
  • pH: 6.2 - 7.2
  • KH: 1 - 5 dKH
  • Minimum tank size: 5 gallons
  • Diet: Omnivorous. High-quality sinking flakes and pellets, plants/algae, and freeze-dried or frozen meaty foods will be readily accepted. Cuttlebone should be added to the aquarium to supplement calcium, which will aid in exoskeleton production
  • Social behavior: Peaceful.  Seems to completely ignore all tankmates
  • Origin: Madagascar, Taiwan, New Caledonia
  • Average adult size: 1 inch (2.5 cm) or less
  • Average purchase size: 1/2 - 1 inch (1.3 - 2.5 cm)

Freshwater Pom Pom Crab (Ptychognathus barbatus) _Shrimpy Business

Freshwater Pom Pom Crab (Ptychognathus barbatus) _Shrimpy Business
Pom Pom Crab (Ptychognathus barbatus) by Aquatic Arts

Pom Pom Crab (Ptychognathus barbatus) by Aquatic Arts



Panther Crab (Parathelphusa pantherina) are fully aquatic crabs that originates from Indonesia
Pom Pom Crab (Ptychognathus barbatus) a true gem and consummate nano aquarium specimen!
Thai Micro Crabs (Limnopilos naiyanetri) tiny, fully aquatic crabs that so far have only been found in one specific river in Thailand

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