Re: NANFA-- crayfish in aquaria
Wed, 30 Jan 2002 18:20:10 EST

In a message dated 1/21/02 8:34:04 AM US Central Standard Time, writes:

<< What would be the limit of crayfish you would keep in this situation, in
terms of numbers and/or size?>>

I've been told you can put several in if they have enough cover. I have a 10
gallon crayfish tank set up at a public library branch. Originally occupied
by one very large crayfish ("Chuckie"). Later I added a lot of cover and
several other much smaller crayfish. "Chuckie" doesn't like roommates and
eliminated all but one who stayed hidden. When I vacuumed the gravel and
moved cover around, "Chuckie" would ignore the siphon and my hand and go
hunting the lone survivor. I nicknamed it the "Survivor Tank."

<<What have you found to be the best food?>>

I think Josh once told me they need meat and salad. Seems like the younger
ones eat more veggies and the older ones tend to eat more flesh. I partially
bury excess pond plants and dark green lettuce (iceberg lettuce has almost no
nutritional value I am told). For meat I use crushed snails, canned tuna,
dead fish, live worms and meal worms. When I have plenty of live daphnia, I
throw some of that in too. Moon once told me crayfish will eat daphnia and
it does disappear.

Overfeeding by well intentioned library staff has been a problem. For some
reason, it is worse in the crayfish tank than the native fish tanks.

<<What fish species would you recommend (or avoid) to minimize fish/crayfish
conflict? >>

I don't have fish in mine. I was told the fish would get eaten, particularly
at night.

<< Anything else? I know probably the most important issue with crayfish is
"cover, cover, cover", so I will see that they take that into account when
setting up the tank. Has anyone had any problems with crayfish attempting
to burrow in the gravel? >>

In my experience, it depends on the individual crayfish or perhaps different
species. The current two excavate extensively. I position slate and rocks
carefully so if they burrow under it and he shifts, it won't break the
aquarium glass. All the prior ones did minimal renovation to whatever I put
in there.

Chuck Church
Indianapolis, Indiana USA

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