- [20:02 14/05/2004] <@craig> Good evening everyone!
- [20:03 14/05/2004] <@craig> Welcome to this weeks installment
of Live! Fishchat!
- [20:03 14/05/2004] <@craig> Tonight's topic, Crayfish and
Blue Lobsters will be presented by Badmans very own Andrew, aka Crash.
- [20:03 14/05/2004] <@craig> As is usual, please hold your
questions until after the presentation.
- [20:03 14/05/2004] <@craig> Andrew, when ever you are ready.
- [20:04 14/05/2004] <+Crash> Alrighty, thanks a million Craig.
- [20:04 14/05/2004] <+Crash> Two facts about me: I love aquatic
critters, and I love the color Blue. Mix the two, and I'm in heaven.
- [20:04 14/05/2004] <+Crash> As some of you may know, I've
worked at Petco since January. And as some of you may also know, Petco
carries 'Blue Lobsters.'
- [20:04 14/05/2004] <+Crash> These are $20 blue crayfish, and
since the first time I saw them, I was intrigued. Fish are cool; don't
get me wrong, but not nearly as interesting as these crayfish.
- [20:05 14/05/2004] <+Crash> I immediately decided that I needed
a blue crayfish. Their claws looked vicious so I knew I had to do
some research to see if they're compatible with fish.
- [20:05 14/05/2004] <+Crash> Uh oh, looks like they like to
eat small fish, and can even injure larger fish with their claws!
So looks like my crayfish needs a tank to himself, well, except for
the few feeder fish I'd have to toss in for him to munch on.
- [20:06 14/05/2004] <+Crash> The next thing I wanted to figure
out was how big he got. A found a few contradicting lengths, because
there are a few varieties. The one I ended up getting (which turns
out isn't the same one that Petco sells) is a Procambarus alleni.
They get to be about 6 inches, so a 20l or larger tank would be the
perfect home for my crayfish.
- [20:06 14/05/2004] <+Crash> The other types of popular crayfish,
Cherax Teniumanus (Cobalt Blue Lobster, Kind at Petco) and Cherax
Plebius (Black Lobster, also available at Petco) can get to be 15
inches. These guys would need a much larger tank at that size; a 40
breeder would be minimal.
- [20:07 14/05/2004] <+Crash> There are crayfish in many different
types of locals, such as ponds, lakes and rivers. So the next thing
I wanted to figure out was what substrate and decorations would make
my crayfish happiest.
- [20:07 14/05/2004] <+Crash> They like to burrow and dig, and
they absolutely need a cave of their own, just barely big enough for
them to crawl into. They eventually dig out their cave more and more
to make it more comfortable.
- [20:08 14/05/2004] <+Crash> Substrate can be either gravel
or sand, so nothing special. I have a lace rock cave for mine with
Petsmart gravel. A layer of about 3 inches is probably the best, allowing
them to dig as much as they'd like.
- [20:08 14/05/2004] <+Crash> Filtration was the next of my
concerns. I started out with a Whisper, which worked fine for a while.
I have since switched to an internal sponge filter because the Whisper
was just clogging with plant particles every day.
- [20:09 14/05/2004] <+Crash> I was happy when I found out that
crayfish don't need heaters. They're happy from 70 to 75 degrees,
which is usually the temperature of most houses, but can tolerate
anywhere from 65 to 86 for short periods of times.
- [20:10 14/05/2004] <+Crash> One last thing to consider when
setting up a tank for a crayfish is that crayfish LOVE to climb. So
much so that they tend to crawl up the filter intake and out onto
your floor. Because they have legs, they can easily waltz over to
some nook or cranny in your house and hide there while you search
frantically for it everywhere else.
- [20:10 14/05/2004] <+Crash> They can live out of the water
for some time, probably for a few hours. But of course, they have
gills and need to breathe water. IF you want to take your crayfish
out to play, that's ok, just keep it in a shallow bowl of water.
- [20:10 14/05/2004] <+Crash> Back to my point, when setting
up a crayfish tank; take every precaution you can to make sure there
are absolutely no ways out. I use masking tape.
- [20:11 14/05/2004] <+Crash> Now that the crayfish is set up
in his nice little home, there were a few more things to figure out.
Mainly, the diet. Crayfish are opportunistic eaters. In other words,
they eat whatever they can get their hands...er...claws on. They need
both plants and animals in their diet.
- [20:11 14/05/2004] <+Crash> My crayfish loves Anacharis and
Mondo Grass. He also gets a treat of Comets or Tuffys a few times
a week. Further more, I feed him some shrimp pellets and algae wafers,
especially after he's molted because he can't catch fish for a few
- [20:12 14/05/2004] <+Crash> One last thing, they should NOT
be fed live shrimp because they can catch any disease the shrimp have.
It's along the same lines as feeding live fish to another fish; your
prized fish may be able to get diseases like ich.
- [20:12 14/05/2004] <+Crash> Which brings me to my next topic:
Molting. Mine molts about every 3 weeks. The first time it freaked
me out. I woke up in the morning and there was my crayfish, all dead
and rotted away on his side. A second look into the tank and I could
see him hiding in his cave.
- [20:13 14/05/2004] <+Crash> After they molt, they are pretty
defenseless. They just hide in their cave and eat their old skeleton
for about 4 or 5 days. It's usually best to leave the crayfish alone
during this time, I mean, don't put any feeder fish in with it. The
feeders scare the crayfish, it's quite humorous, but it stresses the
- [20:13 14/05/2004] <+Crash> They molt to grow. After the last
molt, I could see a HUGE difference in the size of my crayfish, especially
his claws. Actually, I have a video of that molt which he was so kind
to let me tape here: http://www.2cah.com/crash/pokey.mpg
- [20:13 14/05/2004] <+Crash> It's large, 37 megs. Craig was
kind enough to host the file for me, make sure you all thank him for
letting me share this with you.
- [20:14 14/05/2004] <+Crash> I'm going to continue with my
talk, but feel free to watch the video
- [20:14 14/05/2004] <+Crash> As crayfish get older and full
grown, they start to molt less frequently, until they molt only about
once a year. The lifespan is, according to the Petco caresheet, 5
years. I am not sure of the accuracy of this figure, but I would say
that it is at least 5 years.
- [20:15 14/05/2004] <+Crash> So I had a happy little crayfish
crawling around my tank. I wondered "Do I have a boy crayfish,
or a girl crayfish?" Well, I can't really explain it, so here
are some pictures that do: http://www.bluecrayfish.com/gender.htm
- [20:17 14/05/2004] <+Crash> The male crayfish tend to hang
out and about the tank, climbing on stuff and hunting. The female
crayfish tend to be a little more laid back and hide in their cave
more often, but they do come out to eat and explore, just not as much
as the male. Males do also have a tendency to defend their cave, so
they can just hang out defending it if they feel the need to.
- [20:17 14/05/2004] *** Guest69 (~Guest__@rdu26-21-173.nc.rr.com)
has left IRC (Badmans Rules!)
- [20:18 14/05/2004] <+Crash> Mine turned out to be a male,
and he spends lots of time out of his cave exploring his little territory
and climbing all over everything.
- [20:18 14/05/2004] <+Crash> A few more random facts that didn't
really fit in anywhere else: The blue 'lobsters' in Petco are, of
course, Crayfish. Lobsters are saltwater critters. Crayfish are basically
the freshwater version of a lobster.
- [20:19 14/05/2004] <+Crash> Secondly, a blue crayfish is a
blue color morph of the common brown papershell crayfish. It is the
lack of a gene that causes them to be blue. They are not hybrids or
genetically modified or painted. They do actually exist in the wild
with other 'normal' crayfish. Procambarus alleni (the one I have)
is bred in ponds in Florida for the aquarium trade.
- [20:19 14/05/2004] <+Crash> Lastly, the one thing you have
to look out for crayfish disease wise are little worm like critters.
They are a parasite common to crayfish. They are a type of worm, or
Annelid, a commensal organism, meaning that they live on, but do not
harm the crayfish.
- [20:20 14/05/2004] <+Crash> The specific scientific name for
these is Branchiobdellida. They are members of the leech family. There
is more specific data on the net, just type commensal worm in any
- [20:20 14/05/2004] <+Crash> To remove them, simply rinse them
under cold water while scrubbing with a fine toothbrush. Use the edge
of your fingernail to get the ones around the eyes. You can rinse
them off in chlorinated water with no ill effects to the crayfish.
- [20:21 14/05/2004] <+Crash> That's all I have for you tonight,
lets see if i can answer any of your questions!
- [20:21 14/05/2004] <@craig> Excellent presentation Andrew!
- [20:21 14/05/2004] <+Crash> Thank you craig
- [20:21 14/05/2004] <@craig> If you have a question, please
type: /query craig I have a question
- [20:22 14/05/2004] <@Jessica> you mentioned rinsing them...
is there a trick to holding them and doing this?
- [20:23 14/05/2004] <+Crash> you hold a crayfish by its back,
lemme get you a pic
- [20:23 14/05/2004] <+Crash> http://www.bluecrayfish.com/pix2/rightway.jpg
- [20:23 14/05/2004] <@Jessica> ah, thanks
- [20:24 14/05/2004] <@craig> Geoff..
- [20:24 14/05/2004] <+Noname> Hey, I was wondering if you knew
where certain crayfish originate in the wild, or know where I could
find this info.
- [20:24 14/05/2004] <+Crash> there are crayfish in just about
every body of freshwater
- [20:26 14/05/2004] <+Crash> I know I've caught buckets full
in a river, and I've netted some in a nearby pond. The guy at bluecrayfish.com
gets his out of ponds near his house and sells them online. The blue/black
crayfish from petco come from australia
- [20:26 14/05/2004] <@craig> Andrew, if you don't mind, I'd
like to post a link to a Google search to help Geoff with his answer..
- [20:26 14/05/2004] <+Crash> go ahead
- [20:26 14/05/2004] <@craig> http://www.google.com/search?q=crayfish+origins&sourceid=mozilla-search&start=0&start=0&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8
- [20:27 14/05/2004] <+Noname> Thanks both, ^_^
- [20:27 14/05/2004] <@craig> Sam..
- [20:27 14/05/2004] <@samantha> K... I know Pokey uproots your
plants and munches on anacharis and such. I'm wondering - are there
any plants that he doesn't disturb and uproot and/or eat?
- [20:29 14/05/2004] <+Crash> Well theres still one stalk of
frill thats planted, but the rest is floating now. He's munched on
the frill a little, but not a lot. I don't think he's very fond of
it. He loved my apongenton and swords too.
- [20:29 14/05/2004] <@samantha> K, thank you :)
- [20:29 14/05/2004] <+Crash> no problemo :)
- [20:29 14/05/2004] <+Crash> Anyone else? russ?
- [20:29 14/05/2004] <@craig> Are there any other questions?
- [20:30 14/05/2004] <russ> yes
- [20:30 14/05/2004] <russ> I 've got two actually
- [20:30 14/05/2004] <russ> First...great presentation
- [20:31 14/05/2004] <@craig> Folks, looks like the moderator
bit never got set tonight, so the floor is open, even if unintentionally.
- [20:31 14/05/2004] <JP> You slacker.
- [20:31 14/05/2004] <JP> Great presentation Andrew.
- [20:31 14/05/2004] <+Crash> craig you're lucky i didn't get
- [20:31 14/05/2004] <+Crash> thanks russ, jp
- [20:32 14/05/2004] <JP> You mean I could have made obscene
- [20:32 14/05/2004] <russ> I realize that marine inverts are
not tollerant to nitrates, but Ive never considered freshwater inverts.
How about nitrate build ups for these guys?
- [20:32 14/05/2004] * @craig can still +m the channel :-D
- [20:32 14/05/2004] <JP> :P
- [20:32 14/05/2004] <+Crash> they do not tolerate bad water
conditions, weekly water changes are required to keep the nitrates
- [20:33 14/05/2004] <+Crash> They are freshwater critters,
and freshwater critters LOVE freshwater ;)
- [20:34 14/05/2004] <russ> Thanks. You mentioned about commercial
breeding in Florida...this reminded me of a program I saw about 2
years ago where some albino morphs were discovered residing in undergraown
cavern pools that were estimated to be 50 years old.
- [20:35 14/05/2004] <russ> There were only traced to a few
- [20:36 14/05/2004] <+Crash> wow cool, so they were all white
with red eyes?
- [20:36 14/05/2004] <russ> Pink eyes:-)
- [20:36 14/05/2004] <@samantha> wow
- [20:36 14/05/2004] <+Crash> i need one of those lol
- [20:36 14/05/2004] <@craig> Andrew, I am going to ask the
stupid question of the evening, just how did you come up with the
- [20:36 14/05/2004] <@samantha> oooo
- [20:36 14/05/2004] <+Crash> sam named him ;)
- [20:37 14/05/2004] <@samantha> :D
- [20:37 14/05/2004] <@craig> Okie, fess up. :-D
- [20:37 14/05/2004] <russ> Must be a Garfield fan ;-)
- [20:37 14/05/2004] <@samantha> lol cause he always pokes me
I guess... and those big claws are um... pokey?
- [20:37 14/05/2004] <@samantha> um.
- [20:37 14/05/2004] <@craig> Good enough.. ;-)
- [20:37 14/05/2004] <russ> that sounds fair
- [20:37 14/05/2004] <@samantha> Okay so I have a bit of a question
- [20:38 14/05/2004] <+Crash> a bit of a question is only going
to get a bit of an answer ;)
- [20:38 14/05/2004] <@samantha> I've got this summer-lair all
set up for Pokey as you're well aware, and I've got a penquin something
or other on it... would it be better to get a different kind of filter
or put some kind of sponge over the intake to prevent clogging?
- [20:39 14/05/2004] <+Crash> a sponge would be fine, but it
will get covered in plant particles in no time
- [20:39 14/05/2004] <@samantha> okay, what would you recommend
- [20:40 14/05/2004] <+Crash> the radio shack microphone thing
- [20:40 14/05/2004] <@samantha> lol seriously?
- [20:40 14/05/2004] <+Crash> yea
- [20:40 14/05/2004] <@samantha> k
- [20:41 14/05/2004] <+Crash> anyone else? dinner is smelling
awfully good right now
- [20:41 14/05/2004] <+Crash> we're having *gasp* fish
- [20:41 14/05/2004] <@samantha> lol
- [20:41 14/05/2004] <@samantha> ewwww
- [20:41 14/05/2004] <JP> Mmmm.
- [20:41 14/05/2004] <@samantha> eww.
- [20:41 14/05/2004] <JP> What kind?
- [20:41 14/05/2004] <@Jessica> andrew, it was excellent, thank
- [20:42 14/05/2004] <+Crash> electric blue hap
- [20:42 14/05/2004] <+Crash> thanks jess :)
- [20:42 14/05/2004] <JP> That's the best.
- [20:42 14/05/2004] <@samantha> Andrew, great job :D I really
- [20:44 14/05/2004] <Squishy> Pass around the bibs and melted
- [20:44 14/05/2004] *** Crash is now known as Crash-Food
- [20:44 14/05/2004] <@Jessica> lol
- [20:45 14/05/2004] <+Crash-Food> Thanks for ocming everyone!