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What and how to feed the crayfish at home

River crayfish are very unpretentious in food and with equal ease absorb food of both vegetable and animal origin. Largely because of this picky in people there is a desire to do the breeding of arthropods at home.

However, in order for the venture to succeed, it is necessary not only to know how to feed the crayfish, but also to understand all the details of caring for them.

Arthropods can be grown in ponds or special aquariums. The type most suitable for breeding is selected on the basis of the proposed method of keeping:

  1. Crayfish hibernating with a significant decrease in temperature will feel much better in the pond, where conditions are as close as possible to the natural habitat. This method of cultivation is considered to be less costly: since any water body eventually becomes a formed, sustainable ecosystem, arthropods will be able to feed on what gives them a pond, allowing the owner to save on feed. Among other things, river crayfish are cheaper than their other relatives (and, if desired, they can be caught free of charge in water bodies).
  2. Large blue or lake species are not prone to anabiosis and are perfectly adapted to artificial conditions, so they can be grown even in an average apartment. But keep in mind that these varieties grow rapidly, reaching impressive sizes, and are distinguished by their thermophilicity.

Read more: blue crab content.

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To create a farm, it is better to buy mature individuals at least 8 cm long. For each male there should be two females – the latter are distinguished by an undeveloped upper pair of limbs and a wider belly.

Since crayfish are looking for food, relying on the senses, they should create conditions that are as close as possible to natural ones. An important parameter for good appetite and optimal development is the acidity of water: the optimum pH should vary in the range of 7-8. The acidic environment inhibits the growth of young and molting, as a result of which the shell softens and becomes thin.

The temperature in the reservoir can not fall below -15 ° C – if the pond freezes to the bottom, all its inhabitants will die.

To enrich the food supply, organic and mineral fertilizers are used – superphosphate, ammonium nitrate, various types of legumes. Such a technique allows to improve the composition of water and contributes to the formation of optimal microflora.

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Despite the omnivorous arthropods and their unpretentiousness in food, When feeding crayfish at home you need to consider a few nuances:

  1. Lime is essential for healthy shell growth. This is especially important during the molting period, when the crayfish shed the old shell and grow a new one. To fill the amount of “building material” will help algae that are rich in lime – for example, khololistnikik, elodeya and char species of plants. Very attractive for arthropod rhizomes of sedge, reed and cane.
  2. Various types of invertebrates (daphnia, cyclops), insect larvae, snails, waterworms, tadpoles and small fish are suitable as animal food. The daily volume of feed can reach up to 2% of the total weight of the individual.
  3. Crayfish have a very positive attitude towards phyto- and zooplankton – these species serve as food not only for the arthropods themselves, but also for their prey.

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In addition, you should be aware that the preferences of crustaceans vary greatly with age. In their natural environment, their diet is as follows:

  1. Very tiny fingerlings feed on daphnia and chironomids, and upon reaching two centimeters in length, the food of the larvae of various insects is included.
  2. Arthropods that have grown to three centimeters are beginning to eat mollusks, and four centimeters are already able to digest fish.
  3. The main diet of young (8−10 cm in length) are amphipods – up to 63% of the total amount of food consumed.

The content of arthropods in the apartment has its advantages – for example, the ability to control the life of pets, strictly adhere to temperature and minimize the time of wintering. However, it should be noted that in case of non-compliance with the rules of care, the water in the aquarium quickly deteriorates.

To avoid this, it is necessary to feed the crayfish at home from special square trays supplied with flanges, timely removing uneaten food debris.

The diet of the inhabitants of the aquarium will depend on their age:

  1. Juveniles and youngsters can be fed with fish or minced meat, boiled vegetables and feed for herbivorous fish. To speed up development, a variety of supplements are added to the main food. It is important to avoid fatty foods that degrade the quality of water and provoke a massive death of individuals.
  2. Soaked cereals, pieces of bread and vegetables, worms, shrimp granules, snails, bloodworms and young frogs are suitable as food for adult crayfish. It is useful to add to food alder, potato and nettle leaves. Occasionally, you can give spoiled meat and stale fish, while carefully monitoring the purity of the water.

The amount of feed needed by each individual is 2−4% of its mass. If it is difficult to calculate it, it is necessary to follow the simple rule: it is better to underfeed than to leave extra pieces of food (especially fish and meat) in an aquarium.

Decomposing food residues contribute to the proliferation of pathogens, which subsequently lead to a stale crayfish.

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In order for pets to grow and develop well, they should ensure the most comfortable conditions. And for this you need to know the main subtleties of care for arthropods:

  1. The water in which the crayfish live must be clean, therefore the content in the aquarium implies the presence of cleaners and oxygen supply devices. An artificial pond must also be equipped with a high-quality aeration system and filter. It is better if the reservoir is oval – this ensures optimum gas exchange. It is strictly forbidden to equip a pond in a sunny place.
  2. The amount of water for each arthropod is at least 20 liters. The number of pets per square meter should not exceed 350 pieces.
  3. A sufficient amount of pebbles and sand should be poured at the bottom of an artificial reservoir, as crayfish very much like to dig holes. In the aquarium, you can also place special caves – this will allow pets to hide and feel safe.
  4. Both in the natural environment and at home, river crayfish feed at night – respectively, they should be fed in the evening.
  5. Adults that are kept cool can not be fed in winter. Hibernating arthropods do not absorb food, and unused food residues become the ideal breeding ground for pathogenic flora.
  6. In one reservoir there can not be several types of crayfish – this will lead to competition and the destruction of the weaker species.
  7. Arthropods are extremely vulnerable during the molting period and can become prey for predators, so care should be taken to ensure their safety.
  8. It is impossible to place artificial plants in the reservoirs, the crayfish that ate them will surely die.
  9. Young-yearlings are better to grow in an aquarium separately from mature arthropods in order to avoid unnecessary stress and disease.
  10. Crayfish are very susceptible to fungi, so the owner must constantly monitor the quality of the water in which pets live.

Keeping crayfish at home is not as expensive as it may seem at first glance. Their diet hits the wallet is much less than the food for most species of aquarium fish.

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