facts on Potamonautus orbitospinus (Malawi
Lake Malawi. This crab – the only one living in Lake Malawi as far
as I know - occurs everywhere in the Lake.
While diving, we found specimens along the Tanzanian shore (i.e.: Higga Reef and Hongi Island to name a few
spots), around the
Cape MacLear area (i.e.: both Thumbi islands and Mumbo island, again
to only name a few). Younger
specimens occur in very shallow water hiding between stones. My crab has been caught near Monkey Bay, on a rocky bottom,
with water as shallow as 10 cm/4 inches.
Larger ones can be found as deep as 10 meters and perhaps
Difficult to give suggestions. I kept mine in a 33 US gals, then in
a 100 US gals. Both
times it was kept with Utakas, M’bunas, and other Malawi
invertebrates with no detectable troubles.
Follow faithfully what is stated for cichlids and these buddies will
do great. This means,
at the least, alkaline water (pH >7.5) and a water temp of about
No idea, and NO chance to investigate it, since I happen to have
only ONE single specimen.
Literally everything: sinking tablets, floating pellets, flakes (he
climbs the aquascaping to catch them at surface), and plant's leaves, which I am not that happy
about. Finally, it’s an excellent scavenger (see pic).
All Malawians are suitable. I’ll
suggest avoiding smaller fellows and/or juveniles.
Also "Plecos" have not caused problems up until now.
While these crabs grow, their “bony-skin” will not do the same.
That’s why crabs (and many other marine animals such as
lobsters) change their carapax at given intervals (see pic).
If You plan to keep this crab beware!
It’s a messy fellow, at the least.
It climbs everywhere, including onto floating nests, looking
for food (a sub-adult H. nyererei male over 2 inches in size
didn’t survived his “visit”), bites fishes (or at least tries
to), cuts/uproots plants, digs in the sand, and moves stones … DO