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911! Help! Crayfish Looks So Bad!


gialeigh

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I dont know what is wrong with this poor guy! He just molted yesterday and yesterday he just looked weak, not nearly as active as he normally is and no interest in food. He normally goes NUTS when I drop food in the tank and he chaces after it. Yesterday....nothing...he just stood there. I dont know if crayfish take gulps of air or not, but I assume that is what he was doing...otherwise his whole body looked like it was rhythmicly ticking... He looked almost like a dog lying on the ground panting heavy. Or else he was convulsing...I dont know. I just changed his water and took the food out that I put in yesterday and he freaked out. He started swimming and flicking his tail and then he sat at the bottom again and was just flailing his limbs and just moving every little leg he had, but not with any purpose I guess besides maybe trying to scare me.

Well, I added salt to the tank to try to get rid of the parasites...but I know now that they are harmless and I wont do it again. Could it have been the salt that made him feel so bad? I dont know what to do.... I really know nothing about crayfish, my hubby wanted one...and I dont think he knows anything about them either....

Please help

Nitrate-20

Nitrite-0

Hardness-75

Total alkalinity-180

PH-7.2

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Hi Gia, I wonder if you have ever experienced crayfish moulting before?

It is quite normal for them to not eat or move very much for 2-3 days after moulting. They are very vulnerable as their new skin expands and hardens into the exoskeleton.

Another point, crayfish don't usually moult unless water conditions are favourable, so it is unlikely that your water is the problem, however disturbing him/her with water changes would definately upset him/her.

The most salt I have ever used with crayfish is .1% or 1 teaspoon per gallon. How much did you add? I don't know how well they tolerate salt but it is possible it is irritating his raw, new skin.

I would suggest a very gentle, gradual water change to remove the salt, cover his/her tank to allow him to rest quietly. Don't attempt to feed for another 2 days. I hope he is ok.

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Hi Gia, I wonder if you have ever experienced crayfish moulting before?

It is quite normal for them to not eat or move very much for 2-3 days after moulting. They are very vulnerable as their new skin expands and hardens into the exoskeleton.

Another point, crayfish don't usually moult unless water conditions are favourable, so it is unlikely that your water is the problem, however disturbing him/her with water changes would definately upset him/her.

The most salt I have ever used with crayfish is .1% or 1 teaspoon per gallon. How much did you add? I don't know how well they tolerate salt but it is possible it is irritating his raw, new skin.

I would suggest a very gentle, gradual water change to remove the salt, cover his/her tank to allow him to rest quietly. Don't attempt to feed for another 2 days. I hope he is ok.

Oh thank you so much. Oh and your right. I have never seen them molt before..I didnt even know they did that until a few days ago. Thank so much for that information about his behavior. Obviously I didnt know that it was normal for him to act that way. I put about 1 tablespoon salt for every gallon (5 gallons). I did a water change today though so hopefully that removed most of the salt. I feel so much better now reading your post. Thank you. I guess I need to start researching about crayfish a little more. Do you know of a good website that explains it all? I would be most grateful for any info on crayfish also. Any other surprises to look forward to? lol. Whew. Ok I feel better. Time to surf the net and see more about this little guy.

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The link Sandy provided is a good one, it has lots of other sites linked to it as well. Good luck, crayfish (we call them yabbies) are cute little critters. Don't you love the way they stand on their tails and beg for food? :lol:

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hhaha! When I brought it home I was just like "Ick! What is this nasty looking thing my husband wanted!" He told me he had one before and it was so "cool", so I got one for him. He said it would be fine in the tank with the goldies and as soon as he got in the tank he started hunting the fish!!! He grabbed the tails of two before we even had a chance to get him back out of the tank! He has his own little home now. And actually, despite the first bad impression...I really do like him now! I think he is so cute and I think its neat how they eat.

He seems very vicious though. When we would come close to the tank he starts challenging us, tapping his claws on the glass like he's saying "you want a piece of this"? lol.

Anyway he is still kind of timid somtimes. He startles easily sometimes and I wonder if he will always be like that? Or will he eventually learn to trust us like the goldies have?

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I interpret that 'claw tapping' as food association behaviour. He sees you and he's saying, 'feed me, feed me'. :lol:

I think they startle when we wake them suddenly from a nap. If my yabbie is still I have no way of knowing if he is awake or asleep.

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Aw! Maybe your right! Maybe he's just hungry! lol. I sure hope he starts feeling better soon. I hate to see him slumped at thebottom of the tank like that....I did take the shell out...and people where saying to leave it in because they will eat it eventually and it will give them the extra calcium they need. I also saw that some people give their crayfish eggshells. Should I do that since I took his shell out?

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I always take the shell out (weird isn't it?). Once I left the shell in, it took 8-10 days before they ate it. This might be ok in a large tank but in my small 5g & 6g tanks it only causes water pollution.

You could certainly try eggshells and see if they eat them but if you are feeding them a commerical food it should contain all the calcium and nutrients they need.

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I did not know there was a commercial crayfish food! The guy at the pet store said they would eat anything, it didnt matter.

I have been feeding him fish flakes, tubifex worms, gel food with veggies, flakes, and worms in it.

The flakes dont say anything about calcium. Oh man I think Im in over my head!

Oh and btw that website mentioned above is really not that helpful. i had come across it before and I dont really like it. Using crayfish as bait and learning about there eggs and such is not really helpful at this point. I would like to find a website about crayfish that is as helpful as koko's! I honestly am having trouble finding one though.

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Wow! Thanks for the link! Very helpful!

Im so excited to go into town on Tuesday. First Im going to find a thrift store and find him a PROPER aquarium. He is in an aquarium made for lizards right now. It has a net screen top with a hold cut for the filter. lol. Very makeshift but Ill find something nicer for him. If I cant find one at a thriftstore Ill have to buy a new one. Oh well. I will try to find him something to hide in too. Like a log aquarium decoration. And I need gravel.

Thanks for the information you guys! Im actually getting so excited about this pet that I didnt even like at first!

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They are quite personable when you get to know them. :lol:

A hiding place is a good idea, I use small terracotta flower pots.

I used gravel for a long time but recently removed it in favour of a few small river rocks. The bottom of the tank is mainly bare and they like to move their rocks around and build towers. I found it too hard to keep the gravel clean and the water was always smelly.

Keep us posted on your new crayfish habitat. B)

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How big is your tank and how many crayfish are in it?

Mine is a 5 gal, I hope I dont have that same problem...I will try to find a 10 gallon when I get him a new one.

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Oh ok. So hopefully if I get a 10 gallon maybe I wont have the same problem. I would really like gravel in it because when he walks on the bare ground it looks like he's just slip-slidding everywhere lol.

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