The blue lobster, sometimes called the blue crayfish, gets its common name from its vivid blue coloration! But this blue-colored crustacean has no relation to the rare and stunning saltwater blue lobsters that seem to regularly make international news headlines.
The blue lobster you will meet in this article is always blue and isn’t really a lobster at all. This freshwater crustacean can make a great addition to your home tank.
Blue Lobster Purchase Price
The formal species name is Procambarus Alleni. Knowing the formal name can be helpful to ensure you purchase the right species since this blue crayfish also has several common names – including electric blue lobster, Florida blue crayfish, Hammers Cobalt Blue lobster or simply Cobalt Blue Lobster.
This species is native to Florida in the United States and, happily, is classified as “least concern” status so it is not endangered in the slightest. Adult females will produce anywhere from 200 to 400 young annually, so you shouldn’t run into any issues with being able to purchase your own.
The blue lobster price is quite reasonable given this species can live 20 years. Arizona Aquatic Gardens lists a $25.99 purchase price. Averaged out over 20 years, you are paying just $1.29 per year to enjoy your lovely blue crayfish.
Live Aquaria has a cobalt blue lobster for $29.99 with increasing discounts for purchases in quantity.
Aquatic Arts has a 2”+ young adult blue crayfish for sale for $24.95 plus shipping.
Factors Affecting Blue Crayfish Purchase Price
While supply is typically not a factor in determining the price, there are several other factors that can drive the price you pay up or down.
- Blue coloration
The intensity of the blue coloration is the number one reason you may pay more or less for an adult blue crayfish. Some may simply have a more brilliant blue color and these will typically cost more because they are in demand with breeders.
- Crayfish age
The age of your blue lobster may also impact price. Blue crayfish grow up quite quickly and typically reach breed-readiness within their first year of life.
A young 2” crayfish will be cheaper and easier to ship than a 6” fully-grown adult crayfish.
- Body condition
“B-grade” is a term that means “body condition” in the blue crustacean industry. If a blue lobster has a B-grade rating, this means the crustacean may be missing appendages – either legs or claws.
As Aquatic Arts points out, it is normal for blue lobsters to lose appendages and they will be regrown within one to two molt cycles. However, the price may be discounted for this reason.
- Age and gender specific single or opposite gender pair
For breeders in particular, it can be important to know the age and gender of the blue crayfish. Many of them are sold gender-unknown and even age-unknown.
If you are seeking a breeding age single (male or female) or breeding pair, and especially one that is a guaranteed breeder, this may add to your price.
One-Time Blue Lobster Costs
In addition to the cost of the blue lobster, you will need to factor in additional one-time costs especially if you are setting up a new tank or resetting your tank to include the blue crayfish.
The first thing to know is that these crustaceans are both hunters and scavengers – if they can catch it, they will likely try to eat it!
Live plants, slow-moving snails or bottom dwellers, small snails or shrimp are all fair game. They are also prone to eating one another.
Before adding a blue crayfish to an existing tank, be sure the other residents will be safe or you just paid to add lots of expensive snacks to your blue lobster’s environment!
This crustacean will do best with plenty of room to move about. A 30-gallon aquarium will do nicely for one adult. If you have other occupants, add tank size accordingly. The price is up to $200.
- Filtration system
It will be important to have an excellent filtration system as the blue lobster can produce quite a bit of waste. This will probably be the priciest investment you will make.
The Fluval Advanced Filtration System costs $269.99 for the 40 to 80-gallon tank version.
- Substrate and decoration
Blue crayfish like to scavenge and forage and they also appreciate multiple hiding places. These items tend to be inexpensive with prices ranging from $2 to $24.
This species needs a water temperature range of 65°to 76° F (18° to 24° C) and a pH of 6.5 to 7.5. The KH (water buffering to protect pH) should be 6 to 15.
A hydrometer is very useful for measuring these specifics. The price is up to $150.
Ongoing Blue Lobster Costs
It will be important to also budget for ongoing care costs over the next one to two decades.
Blue crayfish are known to be enthusiastic eaters that will consume a varied diet – including their own freshly-molted exoskeleton!
Pelleted or wafer food is generally preferable. Costs start at $3.39 for a 1.2-oz. jar.
- Water treatment
The type of water you have will determine in part what type of treatment additive you need to add to your tank. Freshwater fish tank treatments can cost $5 to $33.
- Veterinary treatment
Current estimates indicate annual veterinary costs for fish and aquatics range from $20 to $80.