Author: Aqua Gardening

Yabbies and Freshwater Crayfish for Aquaponics

Yabbies and Redclaw freshwater crayfish are versatile species that flourish in diverse environments, including aquaponics systems and ponds. Their adaptability is truly remarkable, as they can adjust to a wide variety of water quality conditions. This includes variations in alkalinity, ammonia, hardness, nitrites, temperature, and oxygen levels.

However, it’s important to remember that sudden or extreme shifts in these parameters can have fatal consequences. Therefore, maintaining clean and stable water conditions is paramount. This can be achieved through regular water changes and the implementation of an efficient filtration system.

Both of these species exhibit excellent foraging skills and are generally open to a wide variety of food sources, making them not particularly fussy eaters. This adaptability in diet further underscores their resilience and versatility in different environments.

Name: Yabby (Cherax destructor)

Australian yabby photo

  • Distribution: Yabbies are native to the Murray-Darling Basin
  • Water Temperature: They thrive in temperatures between 15 - 25°C
  • Water pH: The optimal pH range for Yabbies is 6.5 - 8.5
  • Water General Hardness: The general hardness of the water should be between 80 - 300ppm
  • Diet: Yabbies are omnivores. In their natural environment, they live from a diverse diet of dead plants and organic matter, algae, and small aquatic animals. In captivity, they can be fed fish food, but they can also be fed a variety of foods, including vegetables, fruits, and protein sources like shrimp and fish. Commercial yabby pellets can be a convenient option, but it’s beneficial to supplement their diet with fresh foods like spinach, carrots, and apples.
  • Growth Rate: Yabbies take about 18 months to reach a weight of 50g
  • Size: Up to 20cm
  • Life Span: Up to 7 years


Name: Redclaw Crayfish (Cherax quadricarinatus)

Redclaw crayfish photo

  • Distribution: Redclaw Crayfish are native to Northern areas of Queensland and Northern Territory
  • Water Temperature: They prefer warmer temperatures between 25 - 30°C
  • Water pH: The optimal pH range for Redclaw Crayfish is 6.5 - 8
  • Water General Hardness: The general hardness of the water should be between 50 - 300ppm
  • Diet: Redclaw Crayfish are omnivores and have a flexible diet. In their natural habitat, they consume a variety of foods including decaying plant matter, animal matter, and algae. In captivity, the can be fed fish food, but they have also been known to eat a range of other items, including fruits, vegetables, grains, chicken pellets and dog pellets.
  • Growth Rate: Redclaw Crayfish take about 12 months to reach a weight of 50g
  • Size: Up to 35cm
  • Life Span: Up to 5 years