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Old 01-19-2023, 08:37 AM   #1
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Crayfish

Dude can I pick your brain about something? So I just bought a male dwarf cray and moved him with my female cray to a 5 gal mini pond I made with lot's of caves and hiding spots. I'm planning to breed them and move some of them to a 15 gal when I get a colony started. Question is will they actually find each other to mate? I asked some of the people who I bought crays from and they said to put them in a 2.5 cause they might not find each other if the space is too big. I also put a pregnant koi swordtail in there so it doesn't get mosquitoes. I was told by the guy i bought them from that fish won't eat the baby crays. Also I'm adding a leafy non aquatic plant in there but I'm concerned if the crays will climb up on it and escape?
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Old 01-19-2023, 10:17 AM   #2
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Hm, some answers and also questions. First thing first: you need a lid. They will definitely climb out without it. The operative word here is curiosity: they like to explore everywhere, which answers your question about them finding each other. They'd find each other if it was 50g.

Not sure about the swordtail. It could get too big for that space, it might possibly eat a baby cray, and if it doesn't, the crays may take her down and eat HER eventually. And the babies: were you thinking it would be a combination nursery tank/crayfish tank? Fish babies make a wonderful meal for crayfish.

Mosquitos: what's your concern about them? Most people don't get them (many wish they could). Do you live in a humid environment, like the US gulf coast? I do, and I became a surprise mosquito expert when one of my tanks started breeding them years ago. But none of the others did, despite being in the same room. So no guarantees about getting them.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, two crayfish on a lidded tank. And Mrs. Swordtail somewhere else. What do you think?
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Old 01-19-2023, 10:30 AM   #3
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Also - they'll eat that plant. You said non-aquatic...please make sure it's safe to eat. Crays will eat every living thing.
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Old 01-19-2023, 10:58 AM   #4
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Oh man. I thought they said cpo's don't eat plants. Ye it has a lid to help trap the heat in but it's loose fitting. They can't climb out cause the walls too high but good thing you reminded me, I'll have to make sure they don't climb through the filter hose. I'm in Asia, I get a lot of mosquitoes specially if the tank is empty. I'm not too fond of the swordtails so I don't mind cause it's hard to start a community tank with them so I'm just figuring out where to put some of them in. But if she's going to eat the baby crays then I'm gonna have to definitely move her. But now the problem is mosquitoes. I'd throw a dwarf rasbora or a lampeye in there cause they're too small to eat baby crays but I'm trying to get them to breed so they're indispensable right now. What about panda Platty's? They're just barely 1inch.
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Old 01-19-2023, 11:01 AM   #5
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Also are they definitely going to eat the dwarf sagittaria? Cause I gave them guppy grass before and they never touched it unlike my Clarkii's.
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Old 01-19-2023, 11:18 AM   #6
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In my experience (and the crayfish lovers I know) they'll eat all plants. If they don't, give it time. Or maybe they have preferences, like we do with food. But one day you may look in there and say Hmm...I thought I had plants in there?

Still, there are creatures that defy the norm and don't do what everyone says they do. I bought guppies for a tank with a big mosquito problem, sure that they'd totally take care of it. Nope. They don't eat any mosquitos at all. So I'm left with my go-to solution, which is to raise the lid and squash larvae with my finger, scooping them out. It's surprisingly effective. Which is good, 'cause I don't have another solution for that tank. I like it the way it is.

Any fish you put in there will be fair game for the crays. But you could buy time for awhile, since they're small; also, if you can bear the sacrifice, have an endless round of mosquito eaters that eventually become crayfish dinners.

Bettas love mosquitos and keep them in check. But a betta can't go in with crays. It would be a death sentence. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow...all those lovely fins waving in their faces advertising that a meal is sailing by...
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Old 01-19-2023, 01:33 PM   #7
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Guess I'm gonna have to replace the plants tomorrow with expendable ones. I'm fine with one of the Platty's being a snack as long as they don't eat the baby crays. I don't think he'll be able to handle my betta but I'd rather not since he's valuable to me. Thanks again. Gonna redo the whole thing once I get my new sand.
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Old 01-19-2023, 02:27 PM   #8
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You're welcome! FYI, I have only plastic plants in with mine. I prefer living ones in everyone else's tanks, but the crays showed me it was ridiculous to try to keep up with their snacking habits. At least there are some real looking plastic plants out there. Also, they won't eat silk plants and they look cool too.
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Old 01-19-2023, 10:19 PM   #9
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I wanted to use real plants to help with filtration. I have a coleus that I can stick to rocks but it might be poisonous if they try to eat it. I could use pothos or monstera but they might climb on it. What do you think? Should I just stick to no plants and just remove the dirt from the 1st layer of the substrate? Does it help with beneficial bacteria or does it serve no purpose now?
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Old 01-19-2023, 10:34 PM   #10
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It'll serve no purpose if it's been eaten to death! I stopped live plants for them for two reasons: I was spending money on something that disappeared within a few days, and replacing live plants meant plunging my hand in there to root them. Along comes a curious little crayfish who wants to know if those fingers can be captured...

Have you ever been pincered by one? It really hurts. And bleeds.

I put the plastic or silk in while I'm setting it up, before adding the crays. That it. No more attacks on the hands.

I don't know about the dirt. I've only ever used sand for mine. Everyone's very happy digging in sand, except the one who climbed out and landed on the floor with a sickening crunch one night when I didn't put the lid on properly, leaving an open space. Lesson learned. RIP Thibodaux the crayfish.

Please use only aquatic plants. There are plenty of lists online. Why take a chance on them maybe not eating something poisonous? I'd go with "they'll definitely try to eat this" and only put in plants (decor, etc) that's not toxic.
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Old 01-19-2023, 11:53 PM   #11
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Ok thanks. I'll probably just use an adanson's monstera and stick the roots between the rocks then remove the dirt. I have that set-up near the terrace so it catches a little bit of sun so I was kinda hoping it would serve as a sagittaria nursery too. Gonna have to remove everything then.

I haven't been pinched by any crays yet so far but I have been by big mud crabs when I was a kid cause my grandparents would buy fresh live ones whenever we came to visit as a kid. I'd just let them loose in the kitchen and play with them xD That's when I learned how to grab and hold them properly. I also caught a big coconut crab at my uncle's beach house and kept it as a pet. That guy was so strong I had to put weights on the lid so he couldn't open it. One time when I came home and opened the bathroom lights he was directly in my face cause he was grabbing on the shower curtain trying to climb up. My mom would use to call him the facehugger from aliens lol
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Old 01-21-2023, 10:44 AM   #12
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Wow, you are definitely a crustacean lover. What is your technique for picking up a crayfish without you or it getting hurt?
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Old 01-22-2023, 07:51 AM   #13
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I'm beginning to think so hehe. For crays I'm not sure cause they can jump fast while in the water and I've seen them grab a fish while doing it so I'm always cautious. So most of the time I use a little plastic cup and do it slowly so they're relaxed and don't try to run away. With crabs if you see one in the wild you have to press on their back where their claws can't reach you and grab them from their sides. Someone taught me how to tie their claws and legs with coconut leaves when I was a kid but I've forgotten now. Man wish I could go back to my uncle's beach house so I can grab one. Locals would just eat them. We'd just leave fish on the beach and track them when the sun went down xD
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Old 01-23-2023, 02:48 AM   #14
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Omg did my male just eat my female?? This is why I was hesitant to put them together
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Old 01-23-2023, 04:14 AM   #15
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Looks like bad molt ****** I'm so pissed. I contacted the guy who sold them and asked if he fed them calcium or if he uses cuttlebone he says he concentrates on protein and has problems with molting too. I told him he should use cuttlebone but wouldn't listen. This is the problem if I buy new crays that are about to molt. The sellers are so negligent. I didn't have enough time to supplement him with calcium.
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Old 01-23-2023, 06:08 AM   #16
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Crustaceans get most of the calcium they need from the food they eat. And when they are about to shed their exoskeleton, they drawn the calcium and minerals out of the old shell and store it in their body. Then they shed their old skin and make a new one. They pump the calcium and minerals back into the new shell to make it harder.

You can add a Rift Lake water conditioner to the water at a lower dose rate to increase the calcium and other minerals in the water if you are concerned about them not getting sufficient minerals from their diet.
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Old 01-23-2023, 06:25 AM   #17
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Ye for me I usually use cuttlebone. I sprinkle some and leave a small block I cut on their tank and I make sure they eat the whole exo before resuming their regular feeding. AD gave me a lot of tips last year and I haven't really had any bad molt since. The only problem I have is when I get new crays that are about to molt. Since they're only a couple days in my possession I can't give them enough supplements to prepare them for molting.
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Old 02-20-2023, 10:37 AM   #18
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Can I just ask, is it ok to feed my cray boiled store bought fish? I bought some plattys to breed and feed my crays but after taking care of the babys I just couldn't xD
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Old 02-20-2023, 11:08 AM   #19
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Hm, I've never tried. They are omnivorous scavengers that eat dead rotting things, so I don't see why they wouldn't eat cooked fish too...I give mine raw defrosted shrimp, a friend boiled a shrimp for his once or twice. Can't you throw a few live fish of some kind in there so they get the thrill of the hunt with their meal? I once bought a dozen 12Ę goldfish for one of mine. Anyway, cooked fish - why not.
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Old 02-20-2023, 11:23 AM   #20
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I can't... Not with the one's I raised T_T but I am planning on buying some feeder fish to breed outdoors. I was just wondering cause I've been feeding my specter dead guppies and plattys and he became bulkier. I want him to look like the red swamp that I bought which was kept in a dirt pond I was told and he looks huge.
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