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do crabs live in freshwater

Can Blue Crabs Live in Freshwater? Will They Survive?

Blue crabs are extremely attractive and exciting creatures. They are also known as blue claw crabs due to their sapphire-tinted claws. But the question arises of whether blue crabs live in freshwater or not.

Blue crabs can survive in freshwater with the right temperature, nourishment, and environment. They can live in water where salinity is much lower. They prefer living in brackish water. 

After mating, female blue crabs tend to migrate to saltwater to release their babies. They come back to freshwater once the babies get mature. You will therefore have to take proper care of the crabs if placed in a freshwater tank or pond.

Can blue crabs live in freshwater lakes?

These crabs are strong swimmers mainly due to their fifth pair of legs. A freshwater lake is ideal for blue crabs to live. All over the world, there are freshwater lakes where you can find them in abundance.

Lakes like lake George, a combination of saltwater and freshwater, are home to many blue crabs. You can find giant and huge blue crabs in North Carolina.

Reasons why blue crabs can live in freshwater:

can blue crabs survive in freshwater
Pond crab

There are a few reasons why blue crabs live in freshwater. Let us look at them.

Rapid rate of growth: 

The director of marine and technology has proved that crabs residing in freshwater show record-breaking growth. In freshwater, there is a great rate of growth for blue crabs.  


Blue crabs are fantastic creatures. They can adapt according to the change in environment. They have the ability to survive and cope with their surroundings. They can also beat the change in salinity level in freshwater. 

Versatile food habits:

Blue crabs have flexible food habits. They will eat food like lifeless fishes, mussels, algae, snails, worms, and other plant materials.  

How long can blue crabs live in freshwater?

There is no fixed time span for how long can blue crabs live in freshwater. They need a proper well-oxygenated place to survive. In low oxygenation, they use their gills to extract oxygen from water. 

They are quite flexible with any kind of aquatic environment. They can survive in freshwater, but female blue crabs must migrate to the saltwater during breeding to release their eggs. They only stay in freshwater till they get pregnant. 

What type of water do blue crabs live in?

Blue crabs prefer living in shallow and deeper brackish water. Areas that are naturally tailored to their needs and survival requirements live happily there.  Any water body with salinity upto 40- 0 ppt is suitable for living. 

They can also live in high-salinity oceans. Blue crabs can live merrily in freshwater too.

The two hotspots of blue crabs are the Atlantic coast and the Gulf of Mexico. 

How can you raise blue crab in freshwater?

Blue crabs can be raised with a few tips and precautions. If a suitable environment is not given to them, they can die. There are some steps you can look into to raise them healthily. 

  • Catching the small blue crabs:  First, you need to catch blue crabs from the ocean. You need to be careful in selecting what type of crab you want. Then, take small blue crabs and not fully mature ones for your safety. 

Take an adequate specimen of both male and female crabs to have a nominal population in freshwater. 

  • Select a freshwater medium for the crabs:  After catching them, select the medium of freshwater for them. It should be clean. It will be an ideal choice to have a decent pond for them. After that, put them inside it. 
  • Arranging the suitable food for the crabs: blue crabs are not so demanding regarding food habits. They are pretty flexible with their food habits. 

Algae is the most common and wanted food item they look for. It is nutritious in nature and healthy for crabs. Catch algae from the nearby river or ocean for your crabs.

Remove crabs from the pond when they grow fully mature. They take 105 days to get mature.  

Also Read: How Many Hermit Crabs Per Gallon?


One female blue crab can lay between 750,000 and 3 million eggs at a time. But only one or two survives. 

When do blue crabs need saltwater?

Female blue crabs need saltwater to release their eggs. They migrate to saltwater after mating. They stay in freshwater till they get pregnant. Female blue crabs move to higher salinity water. 

Blue crabs need saltwater also to maintain the saline ecosystem. 

Can you put blue crabs in your pond?

It is possible to put blue crabs in your pond. You can add saltwater or brackish water to your freshwater pond. Blue crabs tend to live in brackish water, a combination of fresh and saltwater. 

You must take care of the water temperature for blue crabs to survive. The optical temperature lies between 65-75 degrees F.  If the water gets too warm, then blue crabs wont survive long. They might die within a month. 

If the water gets too cold, they will lose their metabolism and die within a week. 

Can blue crabs be farm-raised? 

Blue crabs can be farm-raised. It is clinically proved by doctors and scientists that it is possible to farm and raise a blue crab in freshwater. 

But what is difficult to maintain is their natural habitat. It becomes challenging to replicate their habitat. 

To raise blue crabs, you need a proper understanding of their mating procedure and preferences. 


Can blue crabs be raised in fresh water?

Blue crabs can live happily in freshwater. It is possible if they get adapted to do so. In freshwater, the salinity is much lower than in saltwater.  

Knowing whether you are caring for a freshwater crab or a saltwater crab is important. Do not place both the species in alternate water types it may prove fatal. 

Can a blue crab live in a freshwater tank?

Blue crab can survive in a freshwater tank. They can live in areas where their needs are filtered properly with care. It must be well-oxygenated.

Little care is needed with their nourishment, temperature, and habitat.

Do blue crabs live in saltwater or freshwater?

Both in fresh and saltwater, blue crabs can live. They are more likely to be found in brackish water, a combination of fresh and saltwater. 

Blue crabs like staying in shallow and deeper brackish water that is much saltier. 

Can blue crabs reproduce in freshwater?

It is difficult for blue crabs to breed in freshwater. They cannot reproduce in freshwater.

The mating season for blue crabs is from May to october. Female blue crabs stay in freshwater till they get pregnant. One or two months after pairing, they migrate towards the saltwater to release their babies.

It becomes challenging to meet the requirement of the young in the freshwater pond or tank. Temperature is also an important factor to observe for the older species. 

Can blue crabs live in tap water?

Tap water is harmful to blue crabs. There is chlorine in tap water which is toxic for blue crabs. To make tap water safe, remove the chlorine from the water using de-chlorinator drops. 

Point to remember, do not put table salt in water it has harmful idione which can affect the crabs.  

Final Thoughts 

Blue crabs can live in both fresh and saltwater. You need to meet their requirement with utmost care and precautions. 

Female blue crabs migrate after mating to saltwater to release their eggs. In saltwater, their is a higher chance for their offspring to survive. 

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