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RackinRocky 11-08-2013 10:01 PM

Guess what my new addition is?
I have been researching dwarf crayfish for the last week or so, found them fascinating, then found some on ebay for $7.99, so I thought, why not take the chance? I have a 20 gallon betta sorority tank that has 6 betta, 2 otos and a female guppy, so when he arrived today, I put him in there. The seller sent moss (I think it's Christmas moss) and pelleted earthworms and shrimp pellets. I know nothing about crayfish, but I think he's super healthy looking and a beauty! He's an inch and a half long (I thought he looked longer than that, but that's what he measures). I was worried about the bettas, and they did seem very interested when he was released after acclimation. I saw one nip at him, and he raised his claws, and she backed right off. So far, no more incidents, and it's been six hours since I brought him home. I'm very nervous though, that I'll find him torn apart or something when I get up in the morning.

He's super active and has been all over the tank already, and even ate a very small amount of tubifex I put in front of him, and an earthworm pellet. He backed into his little 2 inch clay pot to eat it! Too cute! He has two clay pots, a ceramic "barrel," a coconut with holes here and there and a piece of driftwood, along with moss, java ferns, a petite anubia a micro sword and an apongeton, so there are lots of hiding places.

I also have a 10 gallon with just endlers and a guppy in it. Should I put him in there, or take my chances with the bettas? They are all very non aggressive (at least to each other).

I never knew anything could be so entertaining! He looks a lot like my cherry shrimp, only about 4-5 times bigger, and huskier, of course. I plan to feed him frozen bloodworms, krill, earthworm and shrimp pellets,
Omega One veggie flakes, and will try different fruits and vegetables. I also have Hikari sinking wafers and algae wafers. So I have a variety of foods. Do these guys like Mysis and brine shrimp? I have that too. Also have spirulina brine shrimp, tubifex which is freeze dried, and cichlid and betta pellets. Since he's my first crayfish, any advice or experience would be helpful. Thanks!

RackinRocky 11-08-2013 10:04 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Forgot to add pics! I only have two, and they aren't the best (my camera doesn't photograph fish, etc. very well). The first is when he was still floating in his breather bag and is peeking out. The second one, he's on the moss. Will try to get some better ones later on.

Attachment 241457
Attachment 241465

Agent13 11-08-2013 10:32 PM

Dwarf orange cray!
Love them and still have two I saved from my bichir!
I tend to hand feed mine a mix of veggie wafers or sink NLS pellets right in front of them. They come quickly to get their food it seems. Sometimes a piece of prawn leftover fro feeding my bichir. They take it right from my fingers. So cute they are!

RackinRocky 11-09-2013 12:07 AM

Thanks, Agent, for your input. It's nice to know I can tame him enough to take food from me. I think everyone should have one of these! I think they're even more entertaining than cherry and ghost shrimp.

henningc 11-10-2013 11:45 PM

You have a CPO and it should be just fine with the female bettas. Make sure there are at least two hiding spots for the cray. Also, when the crayfish goes to molt it will likely hide out for a day or two. You will see the old exoskulletin, just leave it there as the cray will dine on it later.

Cray fish are neat little pets and tend to have a ton of personality. Some are easy going and some grumpy, but they really are not fast enough to harm healthy fish. Enjoy and post when you get another one, it will happen.

jaysee 11-11-2013 12:27 AM

Agreed, dwarf cray should be just fine. To elaborate on the molting process, the crayfish will go into hiding before it molts, so no need to worry about it eating because it won't. It'll go out into the open to shed the old shell, then back in its hiding spot till the new one hardens. This is when a crayfish is most vulnerable. This is when it is most likely to be eaten by the bettas. Just make just that the hiding spots are not large enough for the bettas to get in. And like was said, it's important to leave the shell in the tank so that the crayfish can eat it and recycle te nutrients.

I disagree that crayfish in general can't catch healthy fish - not sure if you were referring to just the dwarf ones or not. The full size ones are capable of taking down anything they can catch and overpower. They are very smart and will use learned techniques to attempt to catch them. My favorite is using its pellets as bait. That and dropping in on a fish from above. There are some fish that can be kept with a crayfish with minimal risk of predation - mainly barbs and danios. With others, death is a certainty.

RackinRocky 11-11-2013 12:27 AM

Thanks, henning, for the words of comfort! I'm so glad he'll be alright with my bettas. So far, he doesn't seem to be grumpy. Just puts his claws up in warning or backs off. He has a lot more than two hiding spots. Two clay pots with lots of moss draped over them, a small log, a coconut shell and a castle that has a hole on the bottom and many holes along the sides. Some driftwood too with some holes in it.

Thanks for the heads up on the molting! That would freak me out if I didn't realize it was the exoskeleton!

I will certainly post if I get another one. But if I do, it'll be in the 10 gallon endler tank, as I don't want any fighting, and from what I've read about them, fighting usually ensues. I love observing his behavior, but wouldn't want to see fighting! Thanks again, for the nice words, and I think crayfish are awesome! He's already won my heart.

RackinRocky 11-11-2013 12:32 AM

Jaysee, just saw your post. Yes, I was only referring to the dwarf crayfish. I'm aware, after a lot of reading, that the full size crayfish are a threat to fish.

I was thinking of getting a marbled cray for the 10 gallon, but that idea went out the window when I read they don't need a male, and keep producing babies! My goodness, what would I do with all of them, since I don't have any large cichlids? Also, I read they eat plants, and I have some plants in the 10 gallon, so if I do, in fact, get another one, it will also be another CPO. Thanks!

jaysee 11-11-2013 12:34 AM

I meant that for henningc :-)

There are also dwarf Mexican crayfish, if you were one to want a variety. Honestly no where near as attractive as the CPOs are though.

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