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Electric Blue Crayfish Care
Why a Pet Crayfish Anyway?
If you would have told me a couple of years ago that one day I'd have a pet crayfish, I would have laughed at you. However these days I have an aquarium with an electric blue crayfish and quite a few fish.
I became interested in the critters a couple of years back when I simply saw a picture of one on Amazon.com. They were so blue I didn't think it was real. So I took a trip to the pet store to have a look for myself. Sure enough, these things were a ridiculously bright blue color. So I decided I would have to have one.
Other than the beautiful blue color of the electric blue crayfish, I eventually began to appreciate them in the way they lived in the tank and interacted with other fish... If they didn't eat them.
Crayfish can be pretty methodical and analytical it seems for such a little creature. I've watched mine carry rocks across the fish tank to build a place to burrow. I've also watch him climb to the tops of ornaments in my tank to reach a level where he could have a better chance at catching a fish that swims higher up in the tank.
Electric Blue Crayfish Care
If you decide to get an electric blue crayfish, you will of course want to know about electric blue crayfish care. This will ensure that your crayfish lives a quality and healthy life.
Proper electric blue crayfish care includes, choosing the right tank, keeping the water clean, feeding your crayfish and finding the right tank mates for your crayfish.
Buy a Live Electric Blue Crayfish
The electric blue crayfish is a pretty amazing little creature. At first glance you may think that there's not much to him other than a pretty color, but honestly these guys can be lots of fun as you watch them daily. Often times it's pretty cool just too sit in front of the tank and watch a crayfish move rocks as they build places to burrow and try and catch your fish... This can be funny, but every now and then they do get lucky.
Finding the Right Tank
For your crayfish I suggest purchasing at least a ten gallon tank. I also recommend getting a fish tank kit. - Especially if you are a beginner. Because if you decide that crayfish just aren't your thing, you will not have invested much into the hobby.
A fish tank kit will come with everything you need to get started with your crayfish aquarium. This means not only do you get your aquarium, but you will also get your fish tank pump, filter, heater and water conditioner all in one package.
Gravel, Ornaments and Hideouts
You will want to add gravel to your aquarium. If you have a ten gallon tank, you will want to add two five pound bags of gravel.
Also you will want to add an ornament or two. Adding ornaments to your tank will give it personality and provide fish and crayfish with places to hide and/or burrow. However a very important part of electric blue crayfish care is to provide the little guy with a hideout.
A hideout can be nothing more than a piece of PVC pipe, or a store bought hideout. Hideouts allow for, well, crayfish to burrow and "hide out" when they need to. For example, when a larger and more aggressive crayfish is around. If you watch the video below, you can see what my two crayfish did before I had two separate hideouts.
Another reason why hideouts are so important for crayfish is because they moult. - And when they moult and shed their shell, they become very soft and become vulnerable to other fish and crayfish.
A Good Fish Tank Kit...
This is the fish tank I originally bought for my electric blue crayfish. I bought it because it was affordable and well made. Also, once I got it home I quickly realized it was not designed by IKEA as it was very easy to put together.
The tank comes with your pump, filter and heater. You will need to buy your gravel, ornaments and hideouts separately.
Water for the Tank
Add the Water But...
Once you have your tank, keep in mind that you can't just go home, fill up the tank with water and chunk in your crayfish. You will need to condition the water and cycle the tank (see "How Do You Set Up a Crayfish Tank").
You have to do these two things before adding any fish or crayfish to your tank. These are essential parts of electric blue crayfish care.
Conditioning the Water
Before you add any water to your tank, you will want to condition it. This is easy to do. Simply take your water conditioner and add it to any water you put in the tank. Read on your water conditioner bottle how much should be added. For a ten gallon tank it's around one cap full.
Start Cycling the Water
There are so many ways to cycle your water, but this is without a doubt the most important step of setting up your crayfish tank and is critical for electric blue crayfish care. If you do not cycle your tank properly, any fish and even your crayfish may die. So be sure to cycle your tank properly.
I'm not going to tell you all of the ways that you can cycle your tank, but I'm going to tell you how I cycled my tank.
First though, what is cycling a tank and why do it? Cycling a tank basically creates an environment that fish can live in. It creates the system needed to remove waste and toxins from the tank. This is done by creating healthy, beneficial colonies of bacteria.
When fish eat and do their "business" in the tank, ammonia is produced. Ammonia can kill fish. For this reason the ammonia has to be eliminated. - And that's what the bacteria does.
So here's how I cycled my tank after adding conditioned water to my tank.
First I added bacteria and fish food to my tank to start the cycling process. I also added two feeder fish. (If you do this, expect these little guys to die.) Putting feeder fish in will help the tank cycle faster.
On day two, the feeder fish died. By this point though they had produced enough waste to help the cycling process. Note: When you notice a dead fish in your tank, immediately remove it if your crayfish doesn't eat it.
For the next five days I added a small amount of fish food and bacteria to the tank. However on day five I also added two more fish to my tank. If the fish lived through day seven, I decided I would add my crayfish. Well, they lived. So on day seven I put my crayfish into the tank.
Note: After your first week of cycling, a ten gallon tank will not be capable of holding too many fish. Too many fish will stress the fish by creating too much waste and often cause them to die. So to start, just add your crayfish and keep him for about a week.
Keeping the water in your tank clean is also important for electric blue crayfish care. You will want to change your water on a regular basis.
If you change your water weekly, change 10% of the water. If you change the water monthly, change 25% of the water. Remember though, always condition any water that you add to your tank... or you may kill your fish and make the kids cry. I'm sure you don't want to make the kids cry.
What to Feed Your Crayfish
Crayfish are omnivores. They love eating everything pretty much. You can feed them cheap feeder fish from the store or a sinking wafer every day or so.
If your crayfish does get a hold of one of your fish, I don't suggest you feeding him the next day. Also keep in mind, the more you feed your crayfish, the more waste he puts out. This can have an effect on your water's chemistry.
Crayfish Tank Mates
Okay, crayfish love to eat fish. But of course when it comes to electric blue crayfish care, you probably want to add some friends to the tank. - And this can be done.
Here are some basic tips on what fish to add to your crayfish tank.
You want to add fast moving and/or fish that swim at the top of the tank. If you add slow moving and/or fish who stay at the bottom of the tank, they will most likely get eaten at some point.
Also, just go ahead and prepare yourself. One day you might very well walk in from work and find one of your favorite fish eaten. It happens.
As for types of tank mates. Currently I have a red tail shark, tiger barbs, a molly and a danio in my tank. And it's working out very well... So far.
When it comes to adding other crayfish to your tank, this can be done as long as the crayfish are of the same species. Also make sure that both crayfish have their own hideouts. Note: NEVER put crayfish from separate continents together.
There all types of crayfish. My favorite of course the electric blue crayfish. However there are red crayfish, ghost crayfish and the white crayfish.
I once owned a white crayfish. It's very interesting looking and has zero pigment. Because of this you can virtually see into his body.
One time my white crayfish, who was way too aggressive, got a hold of one of my blue crayfish and let's just say it ended badly. It was interesting though since he was see through. (You can imagine.)