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Anduie 03-21-2014 07:05 PM

Procambarus alleni and Algae
I've had my electric blue mudbug since December in a 75 gallon tank. Allen was the first thing that I put in the tank and I didn't read up too much on him beforehand (somewhat of a mistake, but I saw him and the girlfriend fell in love.) He's been alone for the most part, after he wrecked the plants that were originally in there. He is co-existing with some pearl danios and ghost shrimp.

I'm not particularly good with nutrient management or plants ( but I'm trying and I have a good swarm of najas grass and hornwort with anubias coming in. There is some light algae in the tank and I want to know what my options are.

It is my understanding that crawdads are fairly opportunistic and will try to get anything that is slower than its claws. What are my options here for algae eaters? Should I focus more on making sure that my nitrogen loads are optimal and do a manual scrub or can I drop a couple of farlowellas or plecos in there? (The girlfriend loves plecos.)

Sylverclaws 03-22-2014 02:23 AM

Uhm, you know I don't know about a pleco. A full grown one may kill your crayfish, I've seen the adults take down crayfish and eat them, or the pleco may even be pestered by the crayfish since he's a bottom dweller. ^^; They could very well be ok...I don't know, I think it's one of those maybe things since I have seen them eat crayfish. I've also heard of crayfish picking on plecos until they kill them finally and eat them. I don't think it's as common for plecos to eat crayfish, it's more like to be the other way around.

Hm, well it depends on your crayfish. Some will get along, some wont, they will often take whatever they can grab regardless of not doing so before. If he's co-existing with ghost shrimp, mine does as well but he WILL eat them if he snags one...your ghosts should help take care of the algae, though I admit they're not the best. You can also get a large colony of cherry shrimp, also called Algae Eating Cherry Shrimp, for good reason. He may eat some, they're smaller than ghosts and have a nice low bioload, but if you get a lot you may just keep some around that he wont eat, they're pretty quick when they need to be, but likely a few will become lunch. But cherries are small, fast though they can be and better off with good hiding even some of your fish will probably eat at them.

Do a little extra cleaning around the edges and wipe it down when you change water out. Algae can be a real...well, you know. lol Extra cleaning on the glass should help a bit, and don't forget to clean well around the plants. I use a turkey baster to clean around and in plants, less chance of disturbing or damaging the plants...though your crayfish will likely do that for you. =P Mine has yet to do any real damage, though he does seem to like snacking on my Java moss. o-o I didn't realize he was until I saw him do it, sitting around going "Why is my patch thinning...?" LOL They don't just need meat, they like plants and stuff like water lettuce too, it's good for them and they should be given it a lot. I'm in the process of trying to find a nice place to get a bunch myself, I'll grow it and feed it to him. =)

You can also try Malaysian Trumpet Snails. Nerite snails too...there is a risk of over-population with trumpets if there is a lot of food, and your crayfish wont be keeping up eating them all though he will likely snack on some(I have ramshorns and they clean well, but risk a bit of damage to plants, and breed way crayfish eats them often lol sickening and fun watching him pull snail bits out and eat them, the shell is his own little bowl ^^;). Nerites on the other hand are tough snails, wont hurt plants, and wont breed without brackish water(they may lay eggs but they wont hatch unless in brackish water). I do not know if your crayfish can get at them, but he likely can. They will not come out much if they are pestered by him or your fish either.

Anduie 03-22-2014 05:33 PM

I'm a bit hesitant to go with cherry shrimp because there is not a local pet shop that sells them. I probably can find them for cheap online, but shipping will probably be fairly expensive and by the time they get here, I'll be dropping, like, $30-45 on something that more or may not work. They are colorful, they are pretty, but they are a risk.

Sylverclaws 03-22-2014 10:07 PM

Ah, you hit on the problem I used to have. They are costly. I wish I still had mine, I'd have sent you some. =(

You know, look around on amazon and ebay, or google shopping stuff for them. SOMETIMES You can find free shipping on them. Rare for ones that cost less than $30 though.

There's a dozen for $24.99 with free shipping. Still not the best deal around really, they are hard to find cheap anywhere I should think. x.x I wanted to breed them but my colony crashed. Would have been lovely to make a profit if I could breed them though, even if I made mine cheaper than most, I could probably pay my rent with it and have left-over money for food. lol

Anduie 03-23-2014 01:42 PM

I mean, yeah, - Item # fwinverts1396045029 - 30 Fire - Sakura Shrimp! - Ends: Fri Mar 28 2014 - 05:17:09 PM CDT 30 for $35 or - Item # fwinverts1395772216 - 10+2 Rili Red Shrimp - Ends: Tue Mar 25 2014 - 01:30:16 PM CDT 10 for $42 (I like the rili versions better, you should seriously look at blue rili sometime).

It more comes down to I'm risk adverse to this. Neocaridina heteropoda will be a part of at least one of my tanks at one time, but giving Allen a $30-50 snack that won't take care of the algae gives me pause. Once I find out more about the compatibility of Procambarus alleni with other small decapods and the efficacy of the various shrimps' algae munching, then I will move forward.

peachii 03-23-2014 04:39 PM

I'm almost 100% positive RCS would be an expensive snack and a fairly quick disappearance of the shrimp after they go into the tank. I've seen notes where people feed their badly colored culls to make the crayfish a nice snack and a happy camper.

A bristlenose pleco that stays 4 to 5 inches long may be a nice option as well as snails. Nerites, mystery, ramshorns etc. There are some very, very awesome colors in Bristlenose and Ancestris plecos to choose from that do stay smallish.

Sylverclaws 03-23-2014 11:35 PM

That's true. They could become an expensive snack. x.x But if he's living with ghosts, there's less risk. Still, wouldn't go for it if you feel that way. They may be quick, but they're bright and easy to find.

I was once recommended red crystal shrimp for a betta tank. By a pet shop worker(this was for a five gallon, shoulda known better since his other suggestion was an oto or BN pleco). >____>; They were near $15 each and I think I got five of them. Yeah. o-o They actually survived for a few days, but in the end were lunch.

Try nerite snails, can't make babies without brackish water, though they can still lay eggs. They may become a snack, but they're not as costly usually. Trumpet Snails also risk becoming lunch, but you can get them for free at most pet shops since they consider the little pretties pests. I'd just recommend maybe five...unless you have a really bad algae problem five should do it, they'll likely breed, your bigger fish and crayfish may eat the kids, crayfish MAY keep population in check...but it's unlikely, you will have to figure something out.

jaysee 03-24-2014 12:50 AM

Any invert you keep with a crayfish will be eaten. Even MTS. Not exactly a bad thing for the crayfish. Any bottom dweller that is not big enough to defend itself will be eaten, and even then the stress of being constantly hunted will take it's toll. Any fish that sleeps near the bottom will be eaten.

In my experience barbs, danios, killis - anything that stays off the bottom will do just fine with a crayfish. Rainbows and hatchets are another couple of tank ate options that would likely work. Of course a tank has to be of sufficient size in order for there to BE an "off the bottom".

If you are wanting to keep the glass clean, then I would get an algae scraper.

Anduie 03-24-2014 05:01 PM

Yeah, I was afraid of that. I'll pick up a scrubber this weekend, although my girlfriend will hate hearing that plecos are off the table.

There is plenty of bottom, it's a 75 gallon tank, we are working with, what, like 8 square feet of bottom for Allen to stomp around.

I will look into killis, I think the girlfriend will love them and they have been a curiosity of mine.

jaysee 03-24-2014 05:07 PM

Procambarus alleni and Algae
In a 75 I think you could certainly try keeping a pleco with the crayfish. It's no guarantee of course, but there's a lot of room in a 75.

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