Lobster In Your Mini Aquarium

Lobsters or more accurately mini lobsters make a great addition to your mini aquarium. These mini lobsters that you can put in your fish tank are also more commonly known as crayfish, crawfish or crawdads. They are fun to watch with their numerous antics like constantly trying to grab the fishes but they pretty much never succeed. They are also fun to watch when they climb all over the aquarium and when they try to climb up the walls.

Crayfish are extremely easy to care for and can generally be left on their own without as much attention as regular fish.

Crayfish are solitary creatures and are more active at night. They prefer to hide under rocks in the wild while keeping their vulnerable backs protected as they sleep. Therefore, it is necessary to provide them with a hollow rock or decoration so they can hide in there and feel safe from other fish. Scatter some large gravel at the bottom of your mini aquarium. They will often pull these gravel into their holes as added protection. Crayfish are surprisingly strong in moving these gravel and pebbles around.

Crayfish are scavengers and will eat practically anything whether animal or vegetable so make sure you remove any sick fish before they swim too close to the bottom. In a mini aquarium, the best food for them is a shrimp pellet, or failing that, any sinking fish food which can fall to the bottom of the aquarium tank. Unfortunately, one difficulty in feeding crayfish is that fish eat shrimp pellets too, and these pellets are often eaten by the fish before they can sink to the bottom. Try to alternate their food by giving them some lettuce once in a while. As lettuce leaves will tend to float, you may need to weigh them down with some pebbles.

Crayfish do not need to be fed every day. A good feeding schedule would be one to two small pieces of food every two to three days. Remember to remove any left-over food after two hours.

Crayfish are fantastic escape artists and will often try to climb out of your mini aquarium, especially if an opening exists at the top that they can fit through. Make sure also that any cover you have over your aquarium is secure as crayfish are quite strong and are known to be able to move pebbles two or three times their size.

As crayfish are solitary creatures and very territorial, do not keep more than one in your tank as they will kill or damage each other if placed in too small a tank. This is especially so if the species is different. Each animal requires about 30-40 cm minimum area with places to hide from the each other. Even so, they will often fight when they meet in their various “walks” all over the tank. More often, the larger crayfish will eat up the smaller animal.

Crayfish like all arthropods shed or moult their outer skin in order to grow. This happens every three to four weeks in small crayfish and the length of time between each moulting increases as the animal get older to once a year in full grown animals. When nearing moulting, the crayfish will stop eating and reduce activity, until on the day of the moult it will appear motionless. Crayfish moult their shell by splitting their tail along the back and then flicking the old shell off. The head and claws are removed last. Once the shell is removed, the crayfish are very soft and vulnerable and will hide until their new shell has hardened. Do leave the old shell in the tank as the crayfish will eat it as a source of calcium. It is therefore essential to have some calcium pebbles in the tank to ensure a healthy shell for the crayfish.

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