Aquarium Livestock Pet Care Guides

Aquarium Lobsters

Natural Habitat

Indo-Pacific, Atlantic

Tank Temperature




Specific Gravity


Tank Requirements

Provide caves and rockwork; supplements of Calcium and Iodine are beneficial for aiding molting process.


Opportunistic scavenger; meaty foods, like shrimp, krill, scallops, gastropods, bivalves, other crustaceans, or other similar items; may prey on small fish or invertebrates.


Nocturnal; scavenger; predatory; spends daylight hours in dimly lit areas; may harm small fish and invertebrates; all Reef Lobsters are territorial and aggressive towards each other


Community, Reef, and Invertebrate Safe, with caution. Best kept with larger peaceful fish that cannot be caught or consumed. Lobsters can be kept singly or in a mated pair.

Species Overview

Lobsters available in the aquarium trade vary in size but generally have very similar temperaments. The smaller species are commonly referred to as the "Reef Lobsters" (genus Enoplometopus) while many larger species are also occasionally available (genera Palinurellus and Panulirus, among others). Lobsters are omnivores and will scavenge on both plant matter and meaty items like fish and invertebrates. Depending on the size of the lobster, they may be a threat to smaller invertebrates but smaller lobsters are generally not a severe threat unless underfed. While they will eat some leftover food, they should be target-fed with small meaty items regularly.

Lobsters are usually considered Reef Safe (if well-fed) in that they do not usually eat corals. However, lobsters do build burrows in rockwork and can cause some damage as they bury, especially larger lobsters. The "Reef Lobsters" are usually safe in reef systems but the larger Spiny Lobsters, Slipper Lobsters and some others are best kept in large systems without coral that can be damaged by their activity. Most lobsters are nocturnal; they will remain hidden during the day and come out at night to feed.

Crustaceans benefit from iodine and mineral supplements to help form a healthy, hard exoskeleton. Regular water changes with high quality salt mixes usually provide enough, but extra supplements may be needed in reef tanks or in tanks with heavy invertebrates loads that use up iodine and other minerals rapidly. If water changes with new, fresh saltwater are not done regularly, the minerals may become depleted and nitrates may accumulate. This can also be detrimental to crustaceans and other invertebrates.

We always suggest that you do further research before adding a new pet to your tank. What we have provided for you are guidelines and suggestions. If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact our fish room at 717-299-5691 ext. 1213 or

Recommended Items

Frozen Aquarium Food
Live Rock
Calcium & Reef Building Supplements