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Old 03-28-2018, 09:21 AM   #1
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Moving Crayfish to Bigger Tank

Hi there, I've recently been wanting to start a crayfish tank so I purchased a Blue Pearl crayfish, Cherax Albidus, two weeks ago. He was put into a cycled 10 gallon tank.
The crayfish seems to be doing well and is just getting used to his new home. I thought he might be getting ready to molt but the past few days he has been coming out much more. Since I got the crayfish he's been eating every day, so health wise there doesn't seem to be an issue. The water parameters are good as well, 0 nitrites or ammonia and very low nitrates. I've been trying to get the pH down (so far successfully) with peat moss granules as the water is too hard for this crayfish at 8.0, and my other cycled tank seems to be at around 7.2 but that tank has been established much longer and with larger pieces of driftwood.

Anyway, let me get to the point here. I may have been a little hasty dropping him into the 10 gallon, not fully considering its potential full size. I felt bad seeing him walk around in that small tank looking for more places to go, so I purchased a 20 gallon long tank.
I'm not exactly sure about how I should proceed with the move, as I'm very nervous about scaring the crayfish and causing too much stress.
How can I do this while causing as little stress as possible?
I plan to use the old tank water in my new tank, along with the gravel and cycled filter media. How long should I wait before moving the cray into the new tank, figuring that it will have a pretty much instant cycle? I have a water-holding shrimp net that I think will work well for him (he's barely 1 and 1/2 " long, if that) and a breeder box I can place him into after netting.
I'm also nervous about moving the cray before he potentially molts so I don't want to mess that process up. Should I just wait until whenever he does molt? Does anyone have any experience with successfully moving a crayfish and having it molt soon after?

Sorry for the huge amount of text, I'm just nervous about harming my crayfish, he's such a cute and fun little guy to watch so far and I want to provide the best care I can.

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Old 03-28-2018, 07:04 PM   #2
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Use a large net I used a 10x8 net when I transferred my purple lobster (SW) he's the same size as a (FW) crayfish . using a net is less stressful than moving by hand the net is less invasive as it cradles rather being slightly squeezed by picking up by hand

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Old 03-28-2018, 09:44 PM   #3
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Place the cray in a bucket of clean tank water first thing .
Then you can move stuff over and run it for a couple hours to help it clear before adding the cray to the new tank . Rarely do many move things over to have a clear tank instantly regardless of the presence of good bacteria.
Might want give gravel a rinse also if there is waste in it. Stirring things up is not good and you are better just rinsing it when you move it.
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Old 03-29-2018, 03:00 AM   #4
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I use a cup and net - cup behind him then add the net in front and he should shoot backwards into cup. You could even use a rectangular plastic leftover food container.

You can take all the top clear water from the present tank and add to the new tank, leaving ~4" in the old tank, rinsing the substrate with tank or treated water is a great idea.

I use a strainer from the dollar store for gravelly, chunky substrate like Eco Complete. You can also use a net with holes in the fabric if you have more fine substrate, and for sand I use a container like a bucket or gallon pitcher, with the substrate in the bottom and pour treated, or clear pwc tank water through it to flush out the gunk until the water is clear to mostly clear.

He should molt after the tank change and so much new water. Sounds like he will already have hiding places and not have predators to worry about.

The DW should help stabilize the pH down some longer term and they love to crawl all over them. pH of 8 is okay.

Also I would get a medium to large Malaysian DW with gnarls and holes and add that to his tank. After the change
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Old 04-02-2018, 11:55 AM   #5
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Thank you so much for your helpful replies. I haven't posted an update since the day I originally posted, the cray seemed to have gone back into hiding behavior and I assumed he was preparing to molt. This morning I found the molted exoskeleton in the tank, along with the crayfish who looks more beautiful than before. I will be moving him to the new tank within a few days once he finishes eating the molt and has a chance to harden up.
Thanks again, and I will look into the Malaysian wood. I already have a medium piece of Mopani for him but I'd like to add more variety.
The cup and net may be a good option if I'm not able to scoop him up into the shrimp net.

Do you think he would be too scared waiting around in the container while I move stuff around, or should I immediately pour him into the new tank without acclimating? I know I may be overreacting, I'm just nervous because it's a very young crayfish.
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