Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Seamore 11-18-2012 09:59 PM

Blue Crayfish/Lobster help
Ok so i've had a total trainwreck with this whole thing.
Firstly,I know i made the mistake of buying without doing enough forward research,that was bad of me and I know.
Here's where it got started.....

I've been keeping shrimp for a while now,just little Red Cherries and the like,keeping them in a small 15L tank with gravel and all,and it's all been going really well,they're happy,they get fed,they have a good time in the moss balls.
Recently 1 of them died,so I figured i'd get a few more and expand my collection,all I keep in this tank is shrimp,so,I went to the pet shop.
I've been wanting a Blue Crayfish for a good while now,so when I saw the pet store had some,I jumped on the chance to get one,real pleased with it,and they said it'd be ok to put in with Cherry Shrimp as it would never catch the shrimp,so,I bought one,brought it home,and a friend of mine named it 'Rocky' (she said when they're older,they look like they're wearing big boxing gloves).
I wasn't sure on the idea of putting it in with my shrimp when I got it home,so when I was offered a small 20L tank,I jumped on the chance,I was told by the pet shop it'd be ok to keep him there for a few months whilst he was young,and I was of the understanding I needed a bigger tank within the next 3 to 6 months,and had full plans on it too!
Anyways,so Rocky got set up in his new environment,he seemed happy and was fascinating to watch,he'd come tot he tank window every time i went past,when I stared,he'd stare back,he'd follow my finger across the tank,I could even hand feed him tiny bits of fruit,and he'd take them from me!
I went back to the store and decided i'd actually buy the shrimp I originally set out to buy,and well,I did.....................and another Crayfish.........they told me at the store you can keep two together in a small environment for a short time but again,they need something bigger soon,to which I agreed,and have been looking around at tanks ranging from 100L to 180L.
So I put the two Crays in together,Rocky and the new addition (and my username here now),Seamore (get it,Sea....More.........yeah it was the same friend).
The houses I planned on giving them turned out to be smashed (coconuts) so I had to temporarily improvise some houses for the way of small lego forts......but they had one each and somewhere to hide,and very often you'd see them with a head each hanging out one,Seamore even figured out how to open the windows and close them!
ANYWAYS!,this is where the madness started.
They seemed to be fighting a little when food was around,I figured this was just feeding time,but others in my household noticed Rocky attacking Seamore and chasing him around a few times,to which I found out they're fiercely territorial.
So,I took them both out that night,cleaned the tank out,changed the water,took all the pebbles out and replaced them for gravel,put the forts back in but re-arranged everything,then when they went back in,I had them both in the same net,so they both went in to a fresh tank at exactly the same time,with a complete environment reset,plus they seemed to be having difficulty navigating over pebbles.
Still they continued to fight,so I thought there's only one thing I can do,get a big tank before I planned to,but until then I wanted to separate them,it seemed Seamore was taking a submissive role in the tank and being bullied by Rocky,and I really wanted to take Rocky out of there to let Seamore get a sense of his own territory,so when I put them together again he wont be bullied around by one,I want them both equally as bulshy as each other so he'll give as good as he gets.
So I took any shrimp I had back to the pet shop,and asked them if they'd mind rehoming them for me,to which they agreed,and when I came home,I put Rocky in the shrimp tank.
I use gravel and a heat pad for the shrimp tank,which seems to do them just fine,however,my air pump broke literally hours after Rocky went in.
I've not long started a new job,so I haven't had the chance to rig up his new airpump until today,he's been maybe a day without an air pump.
Last night,I went downstairs to get some water,and when I do go down,I give a quick check on them,and Rocky was nowhere to be seen in his tank,upon a closer look around,he'd managed to get completely out of the tank through a small hole that is on the fitting fr pipes and stuff to go through,gone along a shelf,then fall from about my waist height (i'm 6'1) on to a wooden floor and crawl somewhere dark,when I found him he was bone dry and barely moving,so I got my net and put him back in,I must have got to him just in time.
I read a site online that said when putting them in,put them in upside down to avoid drowning them,so I did,he went to the bottom,and stayed there,not moving,then he twitched,and slowly,came back to life and was scurrying around the tank happily,I gave him some food and he seemed ok (I put something over the hole too).
Today I went to check on him after I bought him some Crayfish pellets,and he was absolutely still,not moving at all.
I put my hand in,moved my finger next to him and nothing,then gave him a tiny nudge,and still nothing,he's still down there in the tank now,as I wasn't sure if he was molting or not,but every video i've found of Crayfish molting,they've been moving around happily then just gone on to their backs and shed on the spot.
Has Rocky met an unfortunate end??
Seamore is absolutely fine,but i'm feeling really damn guilty thinking i've killed my crayfish because I didn't research them properly ahead of time!
This is/was Rocky
This is Seamore

Xeek 11-27-2012 05:18 PM

My little dwarf crayfish will move even while hes molting, just not as much. His whiskers move. He'l still intend on staying in his spot but he will show life when I touch him during molting. My crayfish also molts pretty fast, usually overnight. My shrimp seem to take longer.

Can you take him out of the tank and see if he moves? If he doesn't he's probably a goner. You can also try smelling him - if he's dead he will smell horrible and awful! There's a chance when he fell he was injured and it took time for him to succumb to this injury.

You need to remove the legos. The paint or plastic may be non toxic to human kids, but can still leach out chemicals into the aquarium that will eventually harm any aquatic animal. I've also found they do have a hard time walking on larger gravel and something like small gravel or sand is better.

If he doesn't move when you pick him up, I feel bad for your loss. Those aren't cheap for fish pets and they often have individual personalities that make them harder to accept a loss.

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