New to crayfish - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 11 Old 10-03-2014, 02:25 PM Thread Starter
New to crayfish

I have just dug out 3 Crayfish from ditches. One has babies attached and falling from her. She's red. I know nothing about crayfish. I have another red one that's younger. I have the smallest one which looks grayish blue. Can anyone help me on how to care for them. Thus far I'm using hob filters a diy filter, rocks and live plants that came out of their environment.
There is also minnows in each tank. Both tanks are 10g ea
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post #2 of 11 Old 10-03-2014, 02:41 PM
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If these are those common crayfish you find in most creeks....they can get get 5-8 inches long. Ten gallons wont cut it, not even close. You will want 25-30 gallons each as a minimum.

Pest-type crayfish....oh boy there are a lot of types. In Louisiana likely the same type as we have here and it's the same, they get big. Knowing the type otherwise would help, otherwise I just assume it's the pest-type(Procambarus clarkii) variety. They can be red, they can be blue, they can be brown, they can even be white, and multi-colored(I've seen red and whites AKA ghosts I think who can have more than two colors, and reds and blues too) I believe....they come in a variety of colors, though finding colors other than brown/red is kinda rare.

These little guys, though they have claws, need some veggie in their diet. They like to eat plants, mine liked java moss and najas grass. Bits from algae wafers are good. You can give them worms. Also frozen foods like emerald entree, mysis shrimp, brine shrimp, glassworms, bloodworms etc. They will eat those live fish if they can snag them too. =) Heh, almost forgot to mention, their favorite food is other crayfish. If you have the stomach for live feeding you could try catching much smaller crayfish, MUCH smaller ones, and feeding them to yours, or larger ones and kill them yourself as it does risk damaging your caught pets.

The female dropping eggs...unfortunately any eggs that fall off of their tails are usually dead. However you did catch a berried female and she could be stressed and dropping live ones, or aborting the brood itself because of stress and change.

Are your tanks cycled? If not, you may kill them just popping them in there.

You will want to keep the tank temp around...oh, 72-75 degrees or so. Stable, so you'll need a heater.

When they shed, don't remove the sheddings. They will eat them eventually and regain some lost nutrients from the shed. Removing it prevents them from getting that and in some cases can harm their calcium levels....their shells from the shed may stay soft longer, always dangerous. They do often hide after shedding.

Speaking of hiding, they'll need hiding places. Caves or tunnel-like things they can get in and feel secure.

Water changes and cleaning, about the same as fish, though more is needed with crayfish in smaller tanks as they will create a ton of waste. So instead of doing 20-25% changed you'll be doing 35-45% changes weekly. At the minimum, absolute minimum for these guys, I'd at least recommend you get a 20 gallon for each of them. It's still too small, but it'll be much easier on the crayfish and the bioload than a ten gallon would be. Now if they're under three inches, it's ok temporarily...but they really should be out of there by the next shed.

Turning on the Aquarium lamp in the morning is MY cup of coffee.

Last edited by Sylverclaws; 10-03-2014 at 02:47 PM.
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post #3 of 11 Old 10-03-2014, 03:14 PM Thread Starter

I don't believe these get 8 in. And I dint have larger tanks. The mom has dropped live babies. It does appear there are eggs still attached. Photo hopefully helps
First 2 pics are mom
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post #4 of 11 Old 10-03-2014, 03:18 PM Thread Starter
the smallest

This is the smallest it's more blue n direct sunlight
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post #5 of 11 Old 10-03-2014, 03:24 PM Thread Starter
the smaller red one

This is the smaller red one
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post #6 of 11 Old 10-03-2014, 03:26 PM Thread Starter
The boiled crawfish that we eat down here isn't even 8 inches. At least I've never eaten one or seen one that Big
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post #7 of 11 Old 10-03-2014, 07:57 PM
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Red Swamp Crayfish. For your red one, the others are just normal swamp crayfish. Also the invasive Clarkii(there are five hundred species of the clarkii variety, but the ones you usually catch to eat are either the Red Swamp Crawfish or the White River Crawfish...the red swamp ones can be a multitude of colors mind, and that's what you have on the red one and probably the other two as well) as mentioned. lol Yeah, they CAN get that big, actually...but when you have massive amounts of them in every area, the chances of that are slim to none, and all the larger male ones will fight and kill the others leaving a dominant male in the area. I've found a few larger ones, but we don't have massive amounts in our creeks like that. Starting to again, but they're kicking each others tails, so normally you find one or two large males per pool.

The Red Swamp Crayfish USUALLY stay between 3-5 inches....however in captivity and well fed, expect it to get larger as they can actually get pretty big. Of course this doesn't mean it will get bigger than five inches. lol That's the average and most common size for this species.

Care is roughly the same. Space needs are still more than ten gallons even if you had one that only got 3-4 inches.

They're neat little monsters. I used to have a blue one. After he died I moved on to a different kind(marbled self-cloning crayfish), however I do like to catch wild crayfish like yours and raise them up for a while. You will notice they grow fast provided good food and space. Much faster than they would in a packed creek/swamp filled with many other crayfish fighting for the food and stealing from, and even killing the smaller ones for food. So without all that risk and fighting, they'll get all they want to eat from you, the more they eat the more they grow.

That pregnant one, is she fully red, or does she have blue and white on her? If so, her color type is called Ghost(I think that's right, might be a whole other species, having trouble finding more info on that particular bit). And that'd be pretty cool.

Turning on the Aquarium lamp in the morning is MY cup of coffee.

Last edited by Sylverclaws; 10-03-2014 at 08:01 PM.
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post #8 of 11 Old 10-04-2014, 09:36 AM Thread Starter
I wish I knew 100% what they were though. The neighbors are all in the ditches in the summer collecting add many as they can catch bc their plentiful in the ditches. I only assumed they were catching them for the fun of it with all the kids

Last edited by resa; 10-04-2014 at 09:39 AM.
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post #9 of 11 Old 10-04-2014, 09:40 AM Thread Starter
Their solid red. Like the kind we eat. Except smaller.
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post #10 of 11 Old 10-04-2014, 02:34 PM Thread Starter
Well I was talking to the neighbor he said they are the kind we eat lol
That pregnant female was fairly small compared to the ones I've eaten. Theire claws are even small. The ones we eat have much bigger claws and we actually can eat meat from them. (Very small meat n the claw)
Also they haven't eaten any of the minnows. Don't come up when flakes are given or freeze dried worms... and we searched the ditches again today for more grayish blue ones and only found red
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