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Discussion Starter #1
So I did the foolish thing of following my impulse rather than first doing my research like I should have.

I have a well-established 10 gallon community tank with:
  • 2 black neon tetras
  • 3 fish that were sold to me as black neon tetras but upon closer inspection clearly are not (though they are almost identical to black neon tetras and school with them)
  • 2 red plattys
  • 1 blue dwarf gourami
  • 1 algae eater (brown body with wide dark brown/nearly black vertical striping)
Blithely trusting the staff at a new store that "oh, a 10 gallon community tank is plenty big to add a blue lobster," I bought one and brought him home a couple of weeks ago (yes, yes, I've since learned my lesson - he needs a bigger tank). I even added some rocks leaning against each other to create a cave of sorts for him.

The first few days all was well - he was exploring all over, climbing on the rocks, hanging out in the cave etc. I was watching him closely to make sure he wasn't going after the fish (and he hasn't) and eating the shrimp pellets I got (he seems to love them). But the last few days he's hiding. Even cowering. Leaping violently backwards when any of the fish approach. Hiding in the corner under the heater behind the rocks. I've also noticed that the algae eater has taken over the cave (and seemingly evicted the lobster).

I know he is vulnerable when molting but I haven't seen any indications he's done so - no remains of a shell, he looks exactly the same as when I brought him home, etc. He doesn't look injured or sick (that I can see). I haven't seen any of the fish "go after" him. But he's definitely different from the first week he was in the tank.

Are any of my fish commonly predatory toward crayfish? Is the size of the tank freaking him out? Is my algae eater bullying him for territory? (One weird thing - before I added the rock cave, the algae eater was the one hiding - up behind the heater - and the lobster was roaming all over. But now it's the reverse - the algae eater hangs out in the cave and the lobster cowers in the corner.)

I'm planning to expand to a 29-gallon tank in the next few weeks. But I'm worried he may not survive that long.

Appreciate any thoughts or insights.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
So I'm obviously still learning about blue lobsters - he did in fact molt today. His shell remains are in the same corner where he's been hiding. He looks bigger and is a much darker blue than before. He's still a bit skittish, but he's moving around more now.

Would still love to hear from folks more knowledgeable than me, but now hoping that this was just pre-molt behavior.
 

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o_O the only thing I know about lobsters is that sooner or later he'll have a fine meal of your fish!
 
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