Ok, so last year we were going to do a crayfish project...ended up not doing it. So we're doing it this year! Quite unplanned, but it happened. lol
It was actually kinda a...well, one of those things. I took my little cousin out crawfish hunting...the way you catch but do no harm, admire and release. Anywho, we caught a few dozen in a few minutes. ^^; Apparently the fishing hole I used to go to fifteen years ago has grown. lol We caught two big males that were...absolutely huge, couldn't get them to let go of the line so they could go back to their hole, actually had to handle them, which we don't normally do. They were pretty too, odd colors I haven't seen here. One was more red and black with the red markings down the back, the other was similar colored but his markings were green. So unusual, yeah. One was about six inches, the other at least eight, biggest ones I've seen around here in multiples since they usually max out around five inches(though there are a couple big guys)....
We also caught a few youngsters. Not as young as I was hoping for. One is about...was about three inches(maybe a tad less) the other near four. Couldn't snag the smaller ones, big guys kept running them off. I was wanting a pair that were an inch or less, so little tinies. Those two went home with us, unplanned, instead.
We had caught a bunch of the larger ones to release much further up stream so the smaller ones had a better chance of finding proper food and surviving...my cousin though, did the beg/whine, when I told her no she did the quiet big puppy dog eyes with unshed tears, and OK! I don't normally budge, but she got me. The rest went to a nice pooling area similar to where we caught them but with more plant life and less crawfish(bunch of females, or so they looked with their larger size but small, pointy claws compared to the males we caught).
So, I put them in a ten gallon tank, two different tanks so they didn't kill each other...not going to hold them for long. I intend to keep them until the end of Summer instead of next year since they're already so large. Nice little things though, one is a real sweety and isn't aggressive(possibly a girl, I dunno...I always thought the light colored ones with small claws were female and the brighter colored ones with thicker claws were male). The other, assuming a male for his claws and color, is highly aggressive. Little butt. lol
We've had them for six days now. The smaller one adapted right off, the bigger one took a day before he came out to play. They both went right for the snails once they calmed down, and ate a bit of java moss. I'm trying to keep their diet more...natural so they can get back into things when released without trouble.
The big one has already shed his skin and I swear whenever they do that they look like they double in size! The smaller one is looking a little tight but hasn't shed yet.
These two are the most active crayfish I've ever had. lol When I was a kid I used to catch and keep them in a pool until I released them...though there was a giant I caught and had in a tank, he broke the makeshift top and escaped....found him two weeks later cornering my dog. >_>; Most would just kinda be there, would eat but weren't real...go get 'em. These two go right for food, always moving around the tank, the big one made a little nest/tunnel in a patch of java moss the other is using a plant as shelter. They don't freak when I come near, though the big one will try to kill me. ^^; He's gonna be great.
So, let's hope this works out and that they will do alright in their original home later this year. Otherwise I'll have two new friends and will need to open up space in the big tank. LOL You guys think that'll go ok, or have I ruined their wild life for good?
And now for photos. First though, I do have them with fish...well, the small one anyways. I actually tried to feed them one of my unfortunate...guppies with a severely deformed spine, they wouldn't touch it. x.x Left it in a cup with the big guy for a day and a half, he ate snails...not the fish. lol Oh well, she gets to live with it, poor thing. Though I wonder which way is better, eaten by a crayfish or living with a deformity that is so bad.
First up, the little one, see those empty snail shells in the back? Yeup, she's good at eating them! I love it, finally got extra help since my lone blue crayfish can't keep up as well(I wonder if they would breed... I was told my blue was of the wild, "Pest" variety, eh, just having one in a cup up top ticked off Baby Blue, so probably not a good idea to try! LOL):
And the bigger one, he is quite aggressive, is thankfully helping control my snail population by eating both adult snails and egg sacs...and no he's not in the container anymore, I just kept him in there temporarily since I didn't want to keep him, he's too big for the project I wanted, the other one is on the line herself...my grandma actually argued it since my little cousin wanted him -sigh- so he's in a tank now:
Oh, and just for kicks...Baby Blue, my Electric Blue crayfish, showing off and being a brat. :3