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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi
I'm thinking of redoing my crayfish tank. Current residents are a crayfish, red-tailed black shark, banded loach, feeder guppies and chinese algae eaters. It has silk plants, but I'd like to have some live plants and I want to get rid of my resin logs. Any suggestions?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Well, I have decided to do mostly driftwood and rock. What kind of rock do you think that would look better, granite, slate, or other broken or river smoothed? I'm thinking of doing a truck stump like root as the center focus and other pieces scattered about with a few rocks. What kind of plants would look good in this type of tank? It has to be low needs and easy and cheap if the crayfish decides he doesn't like plants that much in his tank. He's a neat critter, but he is limiting as what I can do in the tank though I'd never get rid of him. :)
 

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Interesting project.

Around here (mid-atlantic) and in New England, the crayfish hide from predators under flat rocks and wood. I don't think it matters what type of rock you use, but try and create caves and nooks for the Crawdad to hide in.

As far as plants go, I'd try Java ferns and moss first. The moss may be eaten, but it's cheap and low maintenance, I doubt the critter will develop a taste for the fern. Floating plants like Hydrocotyles, or Limnobium will also be interesting and safe from the beasty.

It may or may not help to keep the plants away from the substrate. The Crayfish will spend most of its time on the bottom, so might keep its attention away from the plants long enough that they can survive if you put them on top or around the tops of your wood/rocks.

To give the plants a little more of a sporting chance, you may want to bubble ina little CO2 via a yeast reactor occasionally. It's cheap, and it'll extend the life/beauty of your plants for sure.

HTH :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'm planning on posting pictures after, but that'll be a while. I've to prep the driftwood and that can take over a month I've found. One piece I'm doing right now is sunk at one end, but weighted at the other. I actually got mad after 6 weeks and just stuck it in my one tank with a rock on the floating end. I'm hoping these other pieces don't take as long but... The only thing I know for sure is that I've got a lot of work to do before the tank is presentable.
 

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I've heard stories of crayfish eating java moss. I wouldn't trust them with java fern either. The plants I would try would be hornwort(hey, its cheap, and I don't think those hard leaves would have any meat on them) and floating plants.

Best to make a couple rock caves, preferably so that you can look into them, as the crayfish will hide most of the time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'll have to see what I can find for rocks when I go searching this spring/summer. Hopefully I'll find some flatter rocks. Most of the occupants of this tank like to have hiding places, so this will be very interesting to arrange. I have yet to decide what plants to put in, but a lot of them will be my excess plants I think so hopefully I won't get too upset when he eats, uproots or pulls apart. Floating plants or very cheap plants are a must if I have to buy them.
 

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I believe that the crayfish is mostly a meat eater. Yes, they are omniverous, but I believe they prefer meat. At least when ever I have cought them it was sith a piece of meat tied to the end of a string (as a kid) I would assume that if you keep the littel guy satisfied as far as food goes he probablt wont go after your plants. I would try some of the tougher varieties as others have already mentoned. Java ferns, moss on rock or wood and maybe some anubias species. These are all plants that you will not have directle in the substrate so the may stand a better chance if he decides to forage a bit. Some floating lpants would look nice to. Hornwort (Certophylum submersom) has already been mentoned and is a nice looking plant and a wonderful nutrient sponge. It also seems to make some epaphyte (correct word and spelling?) proberties which means that it secretes a chemical into its surroundings that inhibits the growth of other things. In this case it seems to have that effect on algae. Other plants do not seem to be affected bby it. Hydrocotyle leucophalia is another great floating plant that looks nice planted as well. Sylvania is a beautiful floater too. Elodea is interesting, easy to find and a good nutrient sponge also, plus, it would be biotypical for your crayfish.
I have a suggestion that might save you soem money. Actually 2. First, it seems that you like to go out searching in nature to find things. I do aswell, but thats another story. You could find some nice plants inthe late spring early summer but that is a bit to wait. You can also try those Pet???? places. They ofter have decient plants at cheaper prices and often you can find something neat that got thrown in a mis-id'ed for a very cheap price. If you hit them right after they get a shipment of p[lants they are usually in pretty good shape. I have found that to be a great way of finding anubias sp. They are a tough plant to so mabey thats why you can find them. Often an anubias from Pet??? is only $3 and it is almost as nice as the $6-7 one from the lfs.

Any way I ramble, so luck to you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I've kinda got it set up, wood is weighted by rocks though. Right now I've got Java Fern, small vals, Java Moss. I might put some wisteria, bigger vals and dwarf sags in. Possibly some giant hygro. If I could find some Egeria densa I'd like to put that in. I'm just waiting until morning to see how many floating plants/leaves I have.
 

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True that they probably prefer meat, as it is harder to get. However, I spent quite some time outwitting crayfish I had added to my pond. They enjoyed climbing the lily pads and lopping the stems off! Sometiems they would ride the floating leaf until nothing was left.

Depending on what kind of crayfish you get, the vals will probably be bulldozed. You are most likely to encounter Procambarus clarkii, which grows to 6 inches. I kept a few in my 46 gallon bowfront a few years ago...lovable, yet nasty, critters.
 

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I had a similar ecperience. I had a crayfish that lopped off all the stems of my large Hydrocotyle at the base. These plants all died. But he did not touch any of the other plants. He loved Wardley shrimp pellets. (So does my cat!)

Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well I put in some biggers vals and wisteria in yesterday. Nothing floating yet. He's hiding behind the vals so we'll see.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
He didn't seem to be bothering the plants too much(Wisteria, Jungle Val(giant I think), Java Fern, Java Moss and dwarf sag). Goes through the dwarf sag like he's on a mission though. I think the secret is to make sure that he can fit through the areas, not real densely planted. I'm planning on adding a few more plants, so we'll see how that goes. I take pictures when I get my new camera and post them. It could be just my fellow as well, the next crayfish I get could destroy plants just because.
 

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Good luck!
I have lots of them out in my pond and when there isn't enough dead critters to eat they will eat plants. They often lop of the tenderest pieces first. My waterlilies are always loaded with claw damage. I've even seen them come out of the water to pull tender bits of plant in to the water to eat. Really the only reason I tolerate them out there is because they eat a ton of dead plant and animal material.
On warm rainy nights I've even found them out in the lawn.
 

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LOL I've had crayfish dissapear like that too. One of them got lucky and I found it on the lawn one dewy spring morning.


Able_Ranui: Sounds good! Have you been feeding him? What has he eaten?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
He gets Hikari Crab Cuisine, but also has a chance to get those sinking Wardley shrimp pellets and tetramin Tropical Tablets. Once a week my tanks get frozen brine shrimp and bloodworms. He is well fed, though he hasn't molted in a while. I think he maybe near mature size though.
 

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How big is he/she anyway? Have you confirmed the sex of the crayfish?

For P. clarkii(most common crayfish available) the max is about 6 inches. They would be pretty formidable creatures at that size if they weren't so clumsy...lol. You still gotta be quick to nab them with your hands and not get pinched though!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I think it is a male, but I'm not totally sure. He/she is about 6/7 inches long when counting the claws. Body is about 4 inches, maybe a little more. Pretty big critter compared to what I bought(half that).
 
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