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Old 11-09-2004, 08:36 AM   #1
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Tell me your Crayfish stories!

I'm planning on a species tank for Procambarus alleni, or the electric blue crayfish. What kind of experiences do you have with these or similar crays?

I kept one years ago but all I know is that they like caves and cooler water, and I'll plan on feeding crab pellets (probably Hikari) as well as veggies and whatever else I find to toss in there. Anything else I should know? I have relatively hard water, and I think that is a good thing.

TIA
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Old 11-09-2004, 09:50 AM   #2
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Well this isnt any info that will help you but a little story instead.

My little girl saw a small crayfish in the LFS and wanted it.
Well I bought it and put it in our 55gal community tank.
It stayed in there for a while till it started nipping the fins of my other fish.
So we moved it to it's own 5gal tank but it quickly out grew that.
When I got my 180gal Oscar tank I tossed it in there figuring it had a TON of room now.
Well he lasted a good time in there hiding under the driftwwod.
But one day he stayed out to long and became Oscar food.
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Old 11-09-2004, 10:13 AM   #3
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Hmmm, well. A long time ago I kept two in a 10 gallon tank. It was fascinating to see them molt and then devour their shell. They are escape artists and I learned that the hard way. One was missing. It had crawled into one of my wifes boots and died. You can imagine the thrill of her slipping her foot into it and discovering it there. LOL.

Anyway, more than a year later the remaining crayfish became quite lethargic. Eventually I saw what I thought was a type of fungus under it's belly. That fungus turned out to be a clutch of eggs. They are sperm storers. The eggs hatched and I wound up with hundreds of tiny crayfish. It was fun. Enjoy.
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Old 11-09-2004, 10:20 AM   #4
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That is a good point about them getting out - I think this will be an Eclipse type tank with a completely covered lid.

The one I used to have I kept with a juvie oscar in a 35gal, and that cray kept the oscar basically pinned to one upper corner of the tank at all times. I suppose this would not have gone on once the oscar got some size on him, but he was sure terrified of that cray! Really gorgeous, though. Here is a pic of what I'm getting (sorry for such a giant pic!):
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Old 11-09-2004, 11:41 AM   #5
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They have those at my LFS.
They sure are pretty.
Good Luck.
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Old 11-09-2004, 03:48 PM   #6
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They came today! I asked for a pair but after they were already shipped I got an e-mail stating that no females were available, and they had already sent 2 males. Right now they are in a 6-gal Eclipse because that's what I had handy (biowheel has been in another tank ready for action, plus I borrowed rocks from another tank). I think these two small males will not last long together in this tank, so I'll have to separate them, but I am already thinking the desk-top tank is a bad idea, because I can't stop watching them - they are the coolest! They will probably eat the plants but I put them in there just to help with water quality and they are expendable if they want to chow down. So far they have eaten sinking pellets voraciously. I was not really ready because I thought I had another week before they would get here. Shout out to franksaquarium.com for extremely prompt service, excellent packing and shipping, with the crays arriving in excellent condition.

Here are pics, poor quality due to bowfront acrylic and my woeful photography skills:


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Old 11-09-2004, 03:57 PM   #7
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BTW, if they reach their full size I'll need at least 2 10's for them, likely - they supposedly will reach almost 6". Maybe I could get a 20 long and divide the tank so they can both be in there.
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Old 11-09-2004, 07:50 PM   #8
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I have a 7" Asian tiger crayfish/lobster living merrily with some of my smaller bichirs...
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Old 11-10-2004, 05:53 PM   #9
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I used to have a crayfish in my old 55 gallon as well as a couple crabs.

One day my Father's girlfriend was attacked by a dustball that scuttled out from under the refridgerator and grabbed onto her foot. We washed off the dustball and tossed him back into the tank.
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Old 11-10-2004, 10:11 PM   #10
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OMG, rhetor, that is too funny! I can definitely see this happening - They are in lockdown at the moment. Do they "need" to get air at any point? Is that the reason for the high incidence of escape?
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Old 11-10-2004, 10:20 PM   #11
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No expirience with the blue ones but we did keep a few in our pond. One day our neighbors called us and said there was a lobster in their pool, we went over and there was one of our crayfish. Not sure exactly how it go over there but it must have traveled about 100 yards and over a fence.
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Old 11-11-2004, 10:34 AM   #12
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That must have been an alarming sight! Who knows what moved that cray to take a cruise, but it does not sound surprising. My kids are thrilled that we have "lobsters" now, and my husband just wants to know if they'll turn red when they are cooked or not 8O
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Old 11-11-2004, 03:43 PM   #13
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WOW!!! I just saw one yesterday. There's no room for another tank, but in the future perhaps!
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Old 11-11-2004, 03:56 PM   #14
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I am really digging the bright blue color, which shows up well against the moon sand. Having trouble finding Hikari Krab Kuisine (am told this is the best for them) locally but they are eating anything and everything that goes in the tank.

I have seen several profiles of them mention that they are "great additions for a planted community tank" and I most wholeheartedly disagree! For one thing, fish are in danger - they are very good with those claws, and they are voracious plant eaters. I knew that about crays but they decimated the plants I had in the tank overnight. I was hoping the plants would last a week or two, at least, HA! They now are enjoying climbing around the silk plants.

This is really a perfect resident for the very small desktop aquariums if you don't want a betta. No heater is a plus, too, so those tanks people have on their desk at work with limited electrical outlet availability could house these guys (or any type of American cray) easily. Think of all the chilly bettas that would be saved!
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Old 11-12-2004, 06:44 PM   #15
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Rhetors' story brings back memories of my old apartment. My roommate woke me up with a baseball bat in hand claiming there was a squirrel or chipmunk under his bed. Was it? No! It was the crawfish walking on newspapers. He had taken it from the river across the street and put into his pirrahna tank. I guess they didn't get along.
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Old 11-12-2004, 08:49 PM   #16
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Now I've just come back from putting electrical tape across the small opening in the Eclipse lid for the cords to go through- looked too small to me, but.... 8O
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Old 11-13-2004, 11:06 PM   #17
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This story bears repeating, told it here sometime ago, I think. A few times by now, actually.

I was in my early 20s, still living at home with the folks. Went on a afternoon fishin trip, had a bucket full of crayfish for bait. End of the day, I had 10 or so left. I think to myself, I'll just put them in my extra 10 gallon tank, use them for bait next weekend. Seemed like a good idea at the time.

Well, in the middle of the night, 3 or 4 am, I'm woken up by my dog barking furiously out in the hallway. I bolt outta bed, and find the dog has a crayfish cornered out there! Run back into my room, the tank is EMPTY of crayfish! They all climbed up the airline tubing and were making a dash for freedom.

By this time, the whole house is awake. My Dad and my bro are laughing their butts off, my Mom was seriously ticked off, and the dog was having a good ol time hunting crawdads! Over the next several hours, I managed to find maybe 6 of them, all still alive. They went directly into the stream nearest my home.

What about the other four, you may ask? Well, they were found by smell over the course of the next few days!!! Dead crayfish stink pretty bad! Of course, I was also forbidden to ever bring home live bait of any sort ever again!

This has eveolved into one of those stories you tell at family gatherings every so often, very funny now, but it wasn't so funny then.
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Old 11-14-2004, 10:03 PM   #18
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Oh man, CC - I remember that story! I don't think I had been here at AA too long when I heard about that - never thought I'd be trying to keep my crays in their tank, or that I'd pay serious change for some bright blue ones! I am sure I have told your story to others when the subject of crays comes up, it's a classic!
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Old 01-09-2005, 01:47 PM   #19
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Cobalt lobsters

Greetings Tank Girl,

I have one Hammer's Cobalt in my 40 gallon tank and he/she is very hardy and just recently molted. You may definitely want to separate them, )this clipping is right from where I purchase the lobster (liveaquaria.com):

"Provide a freshwater aquarium of at least 20 gallons with plenty of rocks, and a substrate with a moderate grain size or finer, for the Hammers Cobalt Blue Lobster to burrow in. They are territorial towards their own kind, and a larger aquarium will be needed if housing more than one. Provide at least 20 gallons per Lobster and include plenty of cover including both rocks and plants.

The Hammers Cobalt Blue Lobster is generally peaceful, except with its own kind. They will not typically bother fish, unless they are very small, and slow enough for the lobster to catch.
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Old 01-09-2005, 02:17 PM   #20
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I did have to separate them, as I knew I would, and wish he would have told me he was sending two males before he shipped!!

I tried keeping fish in there but that fellow tried very hard to catch the fish, and the fish were terrified. I am sure if I had left them in overnight it would have been all over for them.

Liveaquaria.com recommends a 30-gal minimum aquarium for otocinclus cats, which is bunk, so I tend to take their profiles with a grain of salt.
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