Cobalt Blue Lobsters (Procambarus Alleni)
Cobalt Blue Lobsters (crayfish) are highly prized within the aquarium hobby for their very bright blue (cobalt) coloration. This species has been selectively bred for a number of years to produce the brilliant blue coloration that is commonly offered with the aquarium hobby today. In the wild, specimens of this species vary in color from a brown/tan color to a light blue to cobalt blue color. However, the specimens offered in the aquarium trade are chosen specifically for their blue coloration and while they may appear a light blue or tan during shipping or when first introduced into the aquarium, will quickly regain their brilliant blue coloration once they are feeling at home. The blue coloration of the Cobalt Blue Lobster will darken as it matures going from a light blue color in young specimens to a brilliant cobalt blue color in mature specimens. While wild specimens can reach appreciably larger sizes, the selective breeding the produces the bright blue coloration also limits the adult size of the specimen, with the Cobalt Blue Lobster typically reaching only about 5 inches within the aquarium environment.
Cobalt Blue Lobsters are quite territorial towards their own kind or similarly shaped and sized crayfish species and will need to be housed either singularly within a smaller aquarium (30 gallons or less) or provided at least 20 gallons of aquarium territory per specimen if kept in a larger aquarium. While they are generally peaceful towards fish species and other invertebrates, they will eat fish that are very small and slow enough for the crayfish to catch. Providing the Cobalt Blue Lobster plenty of easy meals consisting of meat based sinking pellets or algae wafers will help curb their aggression towards any fish living in the aquarium, as they will go for the easier meal. Cobalt Blue Lobsters also tolerate a wide range of aquarium conditions including pH, GH, temperature and water quality and should do well in any reasonable aquarium setup.
Cobalt Blue Lobsters are omnivores and will readily consume a wide variety of meaty and plant based foodstuffs. They will actively scavenge in the aquarium, eating any foodstuffs that they can find on the aquarium substrate. Their diet should consist of meaty foods that they scavenge from the substrate along with naturally occurring algae growth, and should be supplemented with a quality sinking pellet, flake food and dried algae.
In general the Cobalt Blue Lobster if very easy to breed in that they will readily breed in almost any conditions. However, they must be selectively bred to produce bright blue specimens, which take a considerable amount of effort and a fairly large scale breeding operation. This species is prohibited in Michigan due to fish and wildlife laws.