Electric Blue Crayfish help
So, I was just told today that someone ordered me a baby electric blue crayfish(he said the person he ordered it from said the baby will be anywhere from an inch to two inches long). Why? I really don't know! I wish people wouldn't, I have had bettas, cichlids, plecos, random livebearers, shrimp, frogs and the like dropped off on me, even snakes and lizards. I'm gonna start smacking people. People seem to think since I have five tanks I have room for anything and everything. @_@
Anywho, tried to get them to cancel it because I know so very little on them and space is limited, and they said they can't since it was shipped yesterday and looked...offended. Guilt trip major. BAH! T^T I should smack him. I did smack him...Ahem!
Fair warning, this may be long and a bit random, I'm flustered about it and don't want a critter I really love seeing to get all messed up or killed, so I need all the info I can get my brain wrapped around.
So, I've always liked them really, I sit and I stare when I visit shops that have them... just didn't want crayfish with my fish since I heard they will kill and eat them if they can catch them, so buying one never really crossed my mind after hearing that tidbit(last I asked I only had a ten and twenty gallon tank though). I do have a tank open so perhaps I can make it work. I just need info and fast! According to the tracker it'll be here in two days.
...So, currently I have a twenty gallon tank open, and that's it. It's fully established, just recently moved a few juvenile platies out of it, and it currently has some pink ramshorn snails in it, which I hear he may or may not eat...will he? Is a twenty gallon enough space for one or are they too active or large for it? There will likely not be anything else with him save for some snails if he doesn't eat them all. lol Unless there are some fish ok with a twenty gallon and the crayfish...
I do have a 55 gallon tank, but it's a tropical and from what I've read so far, they can't handle temps of 78-82 degrees. Something about liking it around 70-76. Big jump there...What temp do they -prefer- to be in?
I also have a bubbler(it was on a decoration but that broke so it basically free floats in one area of the tank, it doesn't bounce around or anything), a chunk of driftwood, and a lot of plants...I will likely be picking up a cave as well since I hear they like caves and hidey holes. Are they ok with a bubbler that isn't all high powered and such? I have a 20-30 gallon aquaclear filter, the tank is fully cycled and is well established and stable.
Are plants going to be ok with him or will he rip them apart? Mostly I have some java moss and a few types of anacharis and stem plants. Two small anubias nanas as well. Can those even handle the colder temps, let alone a crayfish?
What foods do I need to pick up for him, or her? I currently have a nice selection for my fish, mostly frozen foods: Emerald entree, baby brine shrimp and adult brine shrimp, glassworms, beef heart which I rarely use since it's not...fish protein foods really. I also usually have fresh veggies to blanch like peas, cucumbers, romaine lettuce and the like, and tropical fish flakes. Are any of those good for them or are they all carnivorous? I read they were omnivorous...however there's a lot of bouncy info on them out there and I want some facts. Would I need to snag anything else?
My stats in the tank are: PH 7.2, Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate are 0, hardness is about 10-11 dGH. Stable and has been for...well, ever. LOL Since it was last redone and cycled the stats really haven't changed, except the PH used to be 7.4 and it slowly went down and stayed at 7.2 about six months ago, which I assume was from the addage of plants and driftwood. Are these stats ok, or is something too high/low?
Will he/she be ok on gravel substrate?
I have cuttlebones in for my snails, will this affect him in a poor way, or will it maybe be good for him, being an invertebrate and all? Wont make molting bad, will it?
They're not social, are they? I don't think I have room for one, let alone two, they get like 6-8 inches long and are pretty bulky, right? Or are they smaller/larger?
How do I tell the gender? Any gender specific care and warnings I need to know?
Any info on what he or she will need to stay happy and healthy, lemme at it? Got my feet wet so I might as well swim. I just haaate when people do this, ESPECIALLY on fish/critters I haven't had weeks/months/years to research on and plan for before getting! But what am I gonna do? Can't just dump him somewhere. Since I have room, if not permanent but temporary...I'd like to take a shot at keeping a crayfish. Just wish it was a planned thing. =)
If I can't make it work, I'll be finding it a new home, but currently the LFS's I sell to are fully stocked and have been since before the December Holidays and say they wont have much room open due to other sellers and normal stocking for a month or two yet. I also don't know anyone who keeps crayfish or have larger tanks.
Quite a random series, eh? Can you feel the flusterness? I am...I haven't been angry like this in a while. I have no idea how to care for them and don't want to kill it, so cram in what knowledge you guys can. Please? =) It's not the first time and probably wont be the last time. I'm a sucker for taking things in and not forcing them back to whoever(mainly because usually critters dropped on me were "Rescues" and don't have proper homes, and I don't like the idea that something will likely die when it's in my face if I force it back. ><)
I love how you answered my question, truly. I was worried I added too much random, which I did really. ^^;
I'm a little more excited about it than I was yesterday. That's for sure.
And cherry barbs could possibly go in there? =o I've always wanted some, but that will have to wait while I see how things go for a while. Oh happy days, it looks like I have most of what I need down already!
I should get a photo of the lovely tank before he wrecks it. lol
Lol.. It'll be fun to watch it wreck the tank. They are very full of themselves and quite fun to watch. I hear a clink at the glass when I pass by my blue crays tank.. He's tossing his claws up and defending his territory from the big human .
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If you saw my tank you wouldn't think it was so fun to watch, you would be cringing...But then again, they are fun to watch. The tank was set up for platies with hiding for young in mind...it's pretty plant-y. lol
We have a creek nearby and they use the slower moving, shallower pool under the bridge as a breeding ground. I used to go sit and watch them for hours. There are usually what seem to be hundreds in the early Summer just hanging out and bouncing around in all the wider areas that have slower moving currents and more hiding places. Even the youngsters at two inches or so are pretty full of themselves. One snagged my mothers dog by the lip, now THAT was funny. Think Chance from Homeward Bound. xD It was just a little guy and Gizmo was picking on it(he was trying to grab it when it popped its claws out of the water when the dog went to grab a drink). Safe to say he never did it again and I was laughing too hard to help. I almost fell in the creek. I did get the little brat back with no visible injuries and pop him back in his pool though. He blasted off to a hidey hole. Gizmo though, Gizmo now fears the shallows...As well he should.
Haha.. Poor dog.. But I'd have been laughing too!
I used to play with local crayfish as a kid. They were fun to catch in the streams around here.. Having played with them I was still shocked at the aggressive behavior of the blue crays. I love plants so I know what you mean .. Seemed impossible for me to not plant a tank .. So I just experimented with plants in the cray tank. It became a funny game. The best one was the banana plant.. It lasted maybe even half a year. The two crays drug that thing around and even where caught often snipping it small enough then shoving it into their rock hide haha. They would steal it from eachother . I'm down to maybe half an anubias on a rock . Oh.. I forgot how fun the water sprite was for the boy cray. He did some intense decorating with that stuff haha.. I should put more in again for him to play with
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Oh yeah, we used to go out almost daily to watch and sometimes catch them in the creeks near here. We have minnows too, among other odd critters and the occasional turtle...
And then one day I happened to catch one just a TAD too low on the back. It turned around when I was showing off the biggest crayfish I ever caught(it was huge, I'd wager it was around eight inches or more and...just huge and buff)...it turned around and snagged me on the thumb. I seriously thought he broke it, and he would not let go. T_T I don't think I've ever screamed over ouch befo---well ok, there was that time I stepped on a yellow jacket nest, but that was totally appropriate at the time. Anywho, yeah...I've actually been kinda scared of them since. I like them from a distance, no touchy if I can help it. lol I got over the gut wrenching fear, but I will forever respect those claws.
And then, when I was just getting over said gut wrenching fear...I was eating my lunch by the creek and kept feeling like a bush was poking me in the back, but couldn't reach it...and then a pretty good sized one, not nearly as brilliant as the thumb killer, climbed over my shoulder. I swear it said "Hey, how's it going? Nice weather, eh?" And then fell in my lap and went about his way to the creek. That one...I'm not sure about that one. I could never tell if I was freaked or impressed, or both. o-o;
Anywho, I love to watch them, they're so cool. And the youngsters can't hurt you as much, so they're ok. Occasionally I will scoop up the tiny cute ones but still leave them in the water and watch them check out their new area. I love them when they're like that, inch long, can't do any damage...but they don't know it. :3
Take your heater out,room temp is plenty.Keep a TIGHT lid on the tank.I've found mine going nose to nose with our Pomeranian.Mine would eat snails and anything meaty.
Ah, I think I'll leave the heater in as a just in case. Got it set around 72F which I hope is alright. It kept wanting to go lower when I turned it off.
The reason I want to keep the heater in is because...well, it's Winter here in Colorado and we get some random severe cold(sometimes not, ben a weird year. But most years we go into the teens and twenties and stay there...witht he occasional thirty, but this year we've already had a few weeks of sub-zero temps going as low as minus thirty degrees Fahrenheit!). If I take the heater out of there the temp will likely go from 72-74 during the day to 60-65 or less at night. I'm afraid that'd be too big of a jump for the little fella. =(
Oh yes, I should also ask this! It does get rather hot in the summer sometimes, usually in that particular room even with AC on and fans a blowing it can get 90-100+ degrees in my room. I've never had my tanks get hot before, usually they don't go past their normal 80-82 degrees, but those are tropical tanks. If it starts getting too hot, how would I safely keep the tank cooler?
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