Thai Micro Crab: Care, Lifespan, Breeding & More

We love the Thai Micro Crab! It’s one of our top aquatic critters, but not many people know about them. We always recommend them to other aquarists. Here’s why:

This species is super low-maintenance and can do well in various conditions. Plus, they’re unique-looking! These little critters have an otherworldly vibe that’s unlike any other species.

If you’re considering getting a Thai Micro Crab, this guide is for you. We’ll tell you everything you need to know about caring for these creatures, and you’ll be ready to get your own by the time you’re done reading!

Species Summary

Ideal for petite aquariums and miniature habitats, the Thai Micro Crab (Limnopilos naiyanetri) is aptly named. These crustaceans are some of the most diminutive you can get! They are very peaceful and entertaining to observe as they forage for food.

These freshwater crabs are endemic to a single river in Thailand, which is why they have this name. The Thai Micro Crab is sometimes called the Thai Micro Spider Crab or False Spider Crab.

These tiny critters are quite new to the aquarist world, having been introduced to the market in 2008. Despite this, aquarists have been purchasing them in abundance! This subject remains unknown, but we have established their basic care needs.

Average Thai Micro Crab Size


You’ll be amazed at how tiny these little creatures can be, with an average diameter of only 0.4 inches, making them a truly unique addition to your aquarium. Thai Micro Crabs are one of the smallest species of crab in the world, and their small size is part of what makes them so fascinating to observe.

Despite their small size, they’re packed with personality and can be a joy to watch as they scuttle around your tank. Their small size also means they can thrive in small tanks, but it is important to provide them with plenty of hiding places and vegetation to forage in.

Keeping them with larger fish is not recommended, as they’re virtually defenseless and could easily be eaten. However, they can make great tank mates with other small aquatic species, such as Cherry Shrimp or Pygmy Corydoras.

Overall, their small size makes them a unique and fascinating addition to any aquarium.


These tiny creatures have a lifespan of around 1.5 years and require a stable environment with warm water and vegetation to forage in. While their lifespan may seem short, they compensate for it with their unique appearance and low-maintenance care.

Keeping their tank clean and maintaining a balanced pH level is important to ensure their full lifespan.

To extend their lifespan, you can also provide them with a varied diet that includes live or frozen food, such as mosquito larvae. Additionally, you should avoid housing them with larger fish that could eat them and make de plenty of hiding places and natural decor in their tank.

With proper care and attention, these tiny Thai Micro Crabs can make a delightful addition to your freshwater aquarium for their lifespan.


If you’re fortunate enough to observe the Thai Micro Crab up close, you may be amazed that they are similar to their larger relatives. Their bodies consist of a round carapace and are usually a silver-gray hue. Their legs, however, may have a warmer shade of brown and appear slightly transparent.

These crabs have often been mislabeled as spider crabs. Their legs are abnormally long compared to the rest of their body, and they tuck their ten legs in close to their body.

Something unique about the Thai Micro Crab is the filaments growing from their legs and claws. They use these hairs to trap tiny food particles in the water, which helps them greatly during their scavenging for meals.

In terms of size, there is usually no distinction between males and females. However, it is relatively easy to identify the females due to their rounded bodies, and males generally have narrower and more pointed carapaces.

Celestial Thai Micro Crab Care

If you’re considering getting a Celestial Thai Micro Crab, it’s important to know that they require a small tank of at least 5 gallons and a slightly bigger one if they are kept with fish.

Thai Micro Crabs are very adaptable and undemanding regarding environmental conditions. However, they can be adversely affected by radical changes in the water quality.

You must maintain stable water quality with a neutral pH balance and warmer waters.

It is crucial to set up their tank with thick vegetation foraging and hiding places. Remember, like other freshwater crabs, they can suffer from bacterial and fungal infections.

Tank Size

Your tank size should be at least 5 gallons for the Thai Micro Crab and slightly larger if you plan to keep tank mates with them. These tiny creatures don’t require a lot of space, but they do need enough room to forage for food and hide when they feel threatened.

A larger tank also means more opportunities for natural decor and vegetation, which is important for their well-being.

Here are three reasons why you should consider a slightly larger tank for your Thai Micro Crabs:

  • It allows more room for their tank mates to swim around without disturbing the crabs.
  • A larger tank means more space for natural decor, which is important for the crabs’ mental and physical health.
  • A bigger tank also means a larger water volume, which can help maintain good water quality and make it easier for you to maintain a stable environment for your crabs.

Remember, the Thai Micro Crab is a delicate species that requires proper care and attention.

You can help ensure they live a healthy and happy life by providing them with a well-maintained, spacious tank.

Water Parameters

Maintaining proper water parameters is crucial for the health and well-being of your beloved Thai Micro Crabs. These little creatures require a specific environment to thrive, and any deviation from their preferred conditions could lead to stress, illness, and even death.

Aim for a neutral pH balance between 6.5 and 8 and a temperature range of 75 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure your crabs are happy and healthy. The hardness of water can range from 6 to 15 dKH.

You can use a heater and a thermometer to monitor the water temperature and a pH test kit to measure the acidity levels. Remember that sudden changes in pH or temperature can harm your crabs, so it’s best to make any adjustments gradually.

In addition to pH and temperature, you should also pay attention to other water parameters, such as ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels. These compounds can build up over time and cause toxicity, leading to stress, illness, and death.

To prevent this, you should perform regular water changes and use a good filtration system that can remove any waste and debris from the water. You can also add beneficial bacteria supplements to help break down organic matter and maintain a healthy biological balance.

By closely monitoring your water parameters and ensuring they are within the optimal range, you can provide your Thai Micro Crabs with a safe and comfortable environment that will allow them to thrive for years to come.

Setting Up Their Tank

Setting up the tank for your Thai Micro Crabs is crucial for their health and well-being. These little creatures require a well-established aquarium with plenty of hiding places and natural decor. Thick vegetation is important for their tank, as they spend most of their day foraging for food in the roots of plants.

It’s also important to provide a slightly larger tank if you plan on keeping them with fish. When setting up their tank, paying attention to the water parameters is important, as they require warmer waters and a neutral pH balance.

You should also provide some hearty live or frozen food, such as mosquito larvae, in addition to their regular diet. Avoid strong currents and suction inlet tubes by using foam covers for the tubes, as these can be harmful to your crabs.

By creating a suitable environment for your Thai Micro Crabs, you can ensure they’ll thrive and make a wonderful addition to your freshwater aquarium.

Potential Diseases

Be aware of potential bacterial and fungal infections that can harm your freshwater crabs. While no diseases are specific to Thai Micro Crabs, they can still suffer from common freshwater crab infections, such as bacterial and fungal infections.

These infections can be caused by poor water quality, overcrowding, or poor tank maintenance.

Symptoms of infection include lethargy, loss of appetite, discoloration, and slow movement. If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s important to act quickly to prevent the spread of infection.

To prevent bacterial and fungal infections, maintain a clean and stable tank environment. Regular water changes, good filtration, and avoiding overcrowding are all important steps in preventing infection.

Additionally, quarantine new tank mates before adding them to the tank to ensure they aren’t carrying any diseases. If you notice signs of infection, separate the infected crab from the others and treat the tank with medication designed explicitly for freshwater crabs.

With proper care and attention, you can ensure your Thai Micro Crabs remain healthy and free from infections.

Food & Diet

Feeding your tiny aquatic pet the right combination of powdered plant-based shrimp food, sinking algae wafers, and hearty live or frozen food like mosquito larvae is crucial for the health and happiness of your unique little critter.

Thai Micro Crabs are omnivores that capture microorganisms and food particles floating throughout the water with the help of their leg hairs. They spend most of their day foraging for food in the roots of plants, so thick vegetation is important for their tank.

In addition to their regular diet, Thai Micro Crabs require some hearty live or frozen food, such as mosquito larvae, to supplement their diet.

Ensure to provide various food options to keep them healthy and happy. Remember, maintaining a stable tank and providing the right diet is crucial for the health and lifespan of your Thai Micro Crab.

Behavior & Temperament


You’ll be surprised by these tiny crustaceans’ fascinating and unique behavior, from their foraging habits to their interactions with tank mates.

Thai Micro Crabs spend most of their day foraging for food in the roots of plants and capturing microorganisms and food particles floating throughout the water with the help of their leg hairs.

They are incredibly active and are constantly on the move, which makes them a joy to watch in the aquarium. Despite their small size, Thai Micro Crabs can be social creatures and coexist peacefully with other tank mates. They are non-aggressive and won’t harm any fish or invertebrates in the tank.

However, it’s important to note that they are virtually defenseless and should never be housed with larger fish that could eat them.

Thai Micro Crabs will thrive in a well-established aquarium with plenty of hiding places and natural decor and will become a great addition to your freshwater aquarium.

Tank Mates

Consider the tiny and friendly Thai Micro Crab and their compatible tank mates to add unique and interesting creatures to your freshwater aquarium.

These crabs are peaceful creatures that can get along with various fish and invertebrates. They are great companions for Cherry Shrimp, Kuhli Loach, Bloodfin Tetra, Cherry Barb, Pygmy Corydoras, and most snails.

However, it’s important to remember that these crabs are virtually defenseless and shouldn’t be housed with larger fish that could eat them.

When choosing tank mates for your Thai Micro Crabs, ensure the fish aren’t too aggressive and can’t harm the crabs. It’s also important to provide enough space in the tank for all creatures to coexist peacefully.

Additionally, provide plenty of hiding places and natural decor for the crabs to feel safe and secure.

Your Thai Micro Crabs will thrive and create a fascinating and unique underwater world with the right tank mates.


To successfully breed these fascinating creatures, you must create the perfect environment to replicate their natural habitat and carefully monitor water quality and temperature.

Thai Micro Crabs are notoriously difficult to breed in captivity, and their babies almost always die before they can grow.

However, if you’re up for the challenge, you can increase your chances of success by providing them with a well-established aquarium with plenty of hiding places and natural decor.

Ensure they have some hearty live or frozen food, such as mosquito larvae, in addition to their regular diet. You’ll also need to closely monitor the water quality and temperature, as any major changes can harm their health.

While successful breeding is rare, it’s not impossible, and the reward of seeing baby Thai Micro Crabs in your tank can be well worth the effort.


Congratulations on choosing the Thai Micro Crab as your aquatic pet! These fascinating creatures can thrive in your tank with proper care and attention and provide endless entertainment.

Remember to maintain a warm, neutral pH environment and provide them with a varied diet to ensure their health and longevity.

While breeding Thai Micro Crabs in captivity may be challenging, their unique characteristics and low-maintenance requirements make them a great addition to aquariums.

Just be sure to choose compatible tank mates and avoid larger fish that may view them as a tasty snack.

With the information in this guide, you’ll be well-equipped to give your Thai Micro Crab the best possible care and enjoy their company for years.