Crawdad questions. - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 5 Old 05-12-2014, 04:02 PM Thread Starter
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Crawdad questions.

So I finally got my 55 gal aquarium like I want it. I have 2 crawdads, 2 texas cichlids, 3 corycats, 4 red wag platy, and 5 yucatan mollys. I have a ton of hides, fake plants, 3 bubblers the works. I do a 25% water change a week, and 50% 1x a month. I add about 3 teaspoons aquarium salt, 5 drops iodine at every water change. I feed 2x a day with 1 day off a week. I feed tropical flake, shrimp pellets, with nori, and fresh veggies everyyother day, and blood worms maybe once a week. MY crawdads seem to be molting every week or 2. Is this normal? Am I possibly over feeding? I lost 1 platy to 1 of the crawdads already, which I'm not broken up about cause that little booger kept trying to "kill" my hand and arm when I went to clean the tank. I have worked hard on making this tank look good, and lower the possible aggression levels before they could arise. This isn't just my tank its also for my children. Also my crawdads don't hide except right after they molt. They are always out and about looking for food. Is this normal? All the crawdads I ever dealt with when I was a kid always hid, but those were destined for the cook pot too. These 2 aren't. I don't know what species these are but they aren't the ones I grew up with in and around Louisiana. I can tell you their brownish, and have a tiny bit of blue on their elbows when they were younger. I like them because they have a sociable personality, and want to "challenge" my 3 yr old lol. He loves them. Please give me some insight on these 2 silly things. I'm sorry if this is long but I wanted to give a perspective on how my aquarium is. Thank you in advance for help.
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post #2 of 5 Old 05-12-2014, 05:30 PM
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Not sure what kind they may be...but I can tell you they typically don't like salt.

As for molting: Yeah...mine shed once a week for a while there, skipped to, shed again two weeks in a row. Mine is an electric blue crayfish. Got him at around an inch a couple months ago, he's near four inches now. Yours sound like normal...wild-like ones, I've seen many like that which I used to catch in the creeks nearby(I live in Colorado), I believe they're the pest ones called Clarkii variety, could be wrong... They grow fast and they are gluttons. =) Feeding sounds ok.

Hiding: Yes, they typically hide a lot, but some are active and will come out more often. Depends on them. Hiding after a shed is normal since they don't want to risk injury or death by another predator. Leave their sheds in,t hey eat them and get back some nutrients.

I feed mine once a day, veggies a couple days in a row, proteins, or a mix, usually skip a day. They love worms. Mysis shrimp are good, got a tad of calcium since they have nice shells. Ghost shrimp are a nice snack if they can catch them and also good for the shells.

I'm still learning too, but other than the salt it sounds ok.

Turning on the Aquarium lamp in the morning is MY cup of coffee.
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post #3 of 5 Old 05-12-2014, 06:14 PM Thread Starter
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I've been leaving the shed in. I'm trying to find a more natural and not chemical based flake. I like stuff more natural than all the processed foods. I think these are the Florida ones. I know they are the wild type. Today neither crawdad has been out so I think they may both have shed. When I got them they were about 1 inch long. Now I think their closer to 3 or 4 by their looks. They are getting bigger around also. They aren't shy in any way which is good with a 3 yr old knocking on the glass even though he gets in trouble for it. My cichlids haven't had any goes at them. The cichlids were the last additions. I did that so everyone else would be comfy and the cichlids wouldn't try to beat any new additions. Where I live in NM it's hard to get Ghosts. The only place besides Walmart that carry fish know nothing about the fish they sell, and doesn't take care of them. I had to educate them about CA/SA cichlids and African cichlids killing each other if placed in a stressful environment. I don't go there except as a last resort for ecoearth for my ball pythons. Oh wow both crawdads are out. The smaller of the 2 looks soft, and bigger. Their so cute. Should I put washed crushed egg shells in the tank?
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post #4 of 5 Old 05-13-2014, 07:18 AM
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Egg shells...a lot of people say to wash, scrape, bake and drop them in. However you have fish. This can actually be dangerous.

Cuttlebone is a better choice. Cuttlebones are used for birds often, so you'll find them in a petshop area for bird supplies. Calcium boost from those is better than egg shells and doesn't risk your fish killing or injuring themselves if they eat it or bite at it since it's soft. I bury mine in the substrate and leave part of the top out so they can nibble at it if they like, or absorb it by walking, rubbing or climbing on it, it also releases a little into the water. Once they get algae growing on them, the critters will go over and feed off them too, so extra bonus. =)

Best ways to get calcium into your critters though, is through food. Kale is good, one of the better choices. It's pretty tough stuff even blanched, but your crayfish can handle it. =) Spinach has calcium but I hear it can cause harm to their kidneys so I don't recommend that. Broccoli stems are a favorite of mine, I give him a bit once a week or so. Nice and squishy, they have calcium. Shrimp are a good source, if you can find amanos or cherries that'll work too. They're more expensive though. You may be able to find some ghosts online. If you have a smaller tank, like a ten or twenty, you can set it up for shrimp and breed them yourself. Ghosts are quite easy to breed provided the tank is set up right.

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post #5 of 5 Old 05-16-2014, 07:29 AM Thread Starter
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Never thought about the cuttlebone. I'm trying to make sure I do this right for them. They are very active and aren't shy so I guess I'm doing something right. I am set to do a water change tomorrow and they try to climb as high as they can to see if theres food in the new water lol. My oldest son and I named them Claws and Crack. So my husband can't eat them when they get bigger lol. I am now starting to feed my 2 baby Tx cichlids live feeders. They are tiny feeders, can I do the same thing for the crawdads? Or would I be better off getting fresh fish and piece mealing them off it? I know my mollys and platys would eat anything I put in there. They are stomachs with fins attached. Also am I adding too much or too little iodine? It's kents marine iodine. I do 5 drops from an eye dropper every water change, plus the 3 teaspoons of aquarium salt. Not marine sapt just good old fashion aquarium salt. The minerals it releases is good for everyone in this tank. Also I'm breeding and raising my own feeders. I'm not buying them. I'm too afraid of disease, and parasites. Well time to go feed everyone.
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