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Aquarium crayfish: types, maintenance and care

Attempts by avid aquarists to diversify the fauna of their aquarium sometimes lead to unexpected experiments. One of these cases will be the sharing of various types of aquarium crayfish with small fishes. These unpretentious and peaceful creatures will help make changes to the aquarium and become good neighbors for some species of fish.

But before you make a similar friend, you should know the types of aquarium crayfish, compatibility with fish and the rules of maintenance.

Aquarium crayfish can be good neighbors for fish

Currently, small crayfish for the aquarium have become widely known. This is due to the exotic appearance of individuals and miniature size, which allow them to be kept in a small aquarium.

There are several types that are allowed to contain in artificial environment, but not all of them are suitable for close proximity with fish:

  1. The marble look in length quite often reaches 13 cm. It got its name due to its unusual color, resembling a marble pattern of brown or black color. In young specimens, the pattern is poorly expressed or completely absent, but adults can boast a beautiful pattern. Differs unpretentious and peaceful nature. As a rule, the activity shows at night. For normal development requires periodic inclusion in the diet of protein foods. Keeping crayfish in an aquarium is simple, and this variety is often chosen by those who decide to make exotic animals for the first time.
  2. The California species has a bright color, which usually has a red color. Another feature will be adaptability to different conditions of detention and food. The length of this individual rarely exceeds 14 cm. When kept in an aquarium, it should be covered with a lid to prevent cancer from escaping.

Not all types of crayfish are suitable for aquarium content.

  • Louisiana cancer is small in size and belongs to the dwarf species. In its natural environment, it can be found in the lakes of America. The largest number of individuals lives in the state of Texas. To distinguish the arthropod can be on the characteristic spot of a small black color, located on the back. Due to the small size of the individual is considered safe for fish. The louisian cancer feeds on algae or dead fish. The approximate life span of an individual is 2 years.
  • Blue crayfish from Florida does not exist in the natural environment and is artificially bred. This species has a brown color in the wild. The body has a rich blue tint, which is closer to the tail turns into a calmer tone. The maximum body length is no more than 10 cm. This species is distinguished by its aggressiveness, especially during the breeding season. You should not keep blue crayfish along with fish, as these individuals feed on small species, as well as shellfish.
  • Do not contain more than 3 individuals of any kind in the same aquarium. This will avoid collisions between them and the destruction of neighbors.

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    In the past few years, the number of varieties for home keeping has increased significantly.

    The following representatives also suitable for home content:

      Mexican cancer has an unusual and bright color, which is dominated by orange color.

      Individuals unpretentious to the conditions and food. A female raised in captivity is larger than a male. Arthropods refer to crayfish that eat plant food and do not hunt for fish, as well as other members of the reservoir or aquarium.

      This allows you to keep individuals along with many small fish.

    In recent times, the number of people willing to keep aquarium crayfish has increased significantly.

  • Crayfish can be kept only in a separate aquarium, since it feeds exclusively on food of animal origin and can eat all its neighbors. For him, the soil in the aquarium is very important, as it prefers to be at the bottom most of the time. With a lack of animal feed can eat plants. There are cases when individuals got along in a large aquarium with fish, but this is extremely rare.
  • Australian cancer has a blue color with a mixture of green. Prefers fresh and warm water. In the natural environment grows up to 20 cm in length. Its food is mixed, with the presence of vegetable and animal feed. An individual can be distinguished by the presence of a red strip on the claws.
  • Cuban cancer can change color from blue to brown

  • Cuban, or blue, cancer has an interesting color feature. It depends on the habitat and can be light blue and even brown. The maximum length of an adult individual is no more than 15 cm. Such a cancer lives for about 3 years. For sharing with the fish, it is necessary to provide individuals with high-quality and varied food. This will minimize the possibility of conflict.
  • One of the rare species is white crayfish that lives in freshwater bodies of the western part of Europe. Individuals eat vegetable food, but in artificial conditions they can eat moths and even raw meat in small quantities.

    Most of the representatives of the species have a white color, but there are also red, orange and yellow individuals. The male usually has a brighter color than the female.

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    After selecting a suitable representative for home maintenance, it should provide him with the necessary conditions. On this depends on the life span of the individual. The aquarium should be spacious, with a volume of at least 60 liters.

    A smaller volume will provoke clashes between individuals. In some cases, lack of space provokes cannibalism between crustaceans.

    A prerequisite is considered the presence of soil at the bottom of the aquarium, whose layer must be at least 6 cm in height. It is necessary to add not only fine sand, but also small stones that the crayfish will use to build a shelter.

    Decorative shelters are also necessary, since individuals spend most of their time in them.

    A special role is played by plants planted in an aquarium. They must have roots, so that arthropods can build near their homes.

    Crayfish prefer plant roots because they consider them safe and suitable for living.

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    The approximate amount of water for each individual is 15–20 liters. This indicator differs depending on the arthropod species.

    Replacing the third part of the water in the aquarium is carried out at least 1 time per week. The mode depends on which fish live with the crayfish, as well as their number and frequency of feeding.

    In the care of an important role played by the indicator of water hardness. If it turns out to be quite soft, the shell of the arthropod will gradually dissolve and the individual will die.

    Lighting does not play a big role if the crayfish are the only inhabitants of the aquarium. Individuals are accustomed to nightlife and hunting in low light conditions, and therefore undemanding to light.

    If, however, along with the crustaceans live fish, lighting must be provided depending on their needs.

    Water temperature also should be monitored depending on the needs of the inhabitants of the aquarium. Crayfish do not tolerate very warm water.

    When selecting neighbors, it is necessary to take into account this fact. In order for individuals to live long enough, you should take good care of them and avoid conflicts.

    In order to determine the fish for the neighborhood with crayfish, you should consult with a specialist. As a rule, crayfish are allowed to contain with guppies, neon iris and other peace-loving fish.

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    Most of the diet of crustaceans should consist of food of plant origin. Overfeeding with protein foods is highly undesirable.

    This increases the aggressiveness of individuals several times.

    Algae, carrots, zucchini, cabbage, apples and other similar products are eaten by crustaceans with great pleasure. Specific recommendations about the diet does not exist, as crayfish belong to omnivorous arthropods.

    Among meat products, preference is given to raw meat, minced meat without various additives.

    Allowed to give protein food no more than once a week. Feeding is carried out once a day.

    It is better to choose the evening when individuals go hunting. It is especially important to comply with this condition in the presence of other neighbors in the aquarium.

    Fish in the evening significantly reduce activity, which provides crustaceans free access to food.

    Protein foods can be given to crayfish once a week.

    Currently, there are many specialized feeds intended for this species of arthropods. During the breeding and molting period, the amount of food for individuals should be doubled to provide a weakened pet organism with necessary substances.

    Aquarium crustaceans begin to multiply when they reach the age of three months and end the molt period. When creating the necessary conditions, individuals can quite successfully reproduce offspring in captivity.

    For each sexually mature male there must be at least 2 females, since in some cases, after mating, the male eats the female. This phenomenon is unique to the animal world, because the female usually shows aggressiveness.

    Under conditions of keeping, crayfish may breed in captivity.

    Mating occurs as follows:

    • At the end of the molt, females begin to secrete special substances that attract males.
    • Mating can last for several hours, it resembles a dance.
    • Individuals touch each other with antennae and move in a circle.
    • After the end of the process, the male leaves the female.

    At this point, it is recommended to resettle the female in a separate aquarium, since the offspring in the total capacity often suffers. This is also necessary, since the female is quite aggressive during the period of gestation of the offspring and is capable of killing everyone whom he considers a potential threat.

    Eggs are attached under the belly of the female by means of a special adhesive substance, which she releases. After hatching, babies remain for a long time near their mother.

    As a rule, begin to eat independently after the first molt.

    It is possible to remove cubs from mother only after 2 molts. Previously, they are not ready for independent existence.

    It should not be removed in a general container, but in a separate one, where it is necessary to frequently change water. As they grow, the babies become crowded in the aquarium, and they are resettled to other representatives of the crustaceans.

    It is very important in the container, where the kids are kept, to install a large number of decorative covers. This is necessary so that weaker individuals can hide during the molting period.

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