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Crayfish, Crawdads, Yabbies, Ditch Bugs Nutritional Disease

FAQs on Crayfish Disease: Crayfish Disease 1, Crayfish Health 2, Crayfish Health 3, Crayfish Health 4, Crayfish Health 5, Crayfish Health ,
FAQs on Crayfish Disease by Category: Diagnosis, Environmental, Trauma, Infectious, Parasitic, Social,

Related Articles: Forget Crawfish Pie, Let's Make a Crawfish Tank! By Gage Harford, Invertebrates for Freshwater Aquariums by Neale Monks, Freshwater Shrimp, Crayfish, "Lobsters", Prawns Freshwater to Brackish Crabs

Related FAQs: Crayfish 1, Crayfish 2, Crayfish ID, Crayfish Behavior, Crayfish Compatibility, Crayfish Selection, Crayfish Systems, Crayfish Feeding, Crayfish Reproduction, Freshwater Invertebrates/Use in Aquariums, Freshwater Crustaceans for the Aquarium, FW Crustaceans 2, Fresh to Brackish Water Crabs, Hermit Crabs,


Help for crayfish 8/21/08 I've searched the site for additional information on this topic and haven't found anything that could help me at this point. Maybe you can help me. I have a rusty crayfish that I recently collected from the local lake. He was fine until he molted. I found him repeatedly upside down. Since then, his claws don't seem to work right. They hang under him and when he lifts them (took him two days to do this), it looks like he's punching himself in the face. He also has white feathery things hanging out from the sides since he molted. He eats the goldfish flakes and bloodworms that make it to the gravel. Is there anything I can do for him? -Nate <Nate, assuming water chemistry and water quality are good, then the thing that may be critical is diet. German aquaristic company JBL produces an excellent leaflet on crayfish you can download from their web site, here: http://www.jbl.de/factmanager/index.php?lang=en  Among other things, it makes the point that crayfish that are given too much protein in captivity moult prematurely, and this fails, causing problems. So what you've described is not at all uncommon. The key thing is that we often give crayfish the wrong food: they are HERBIVORES more than anything else. High-protein food like fish flake and bloodworms may seem nice, and they certainly eat them, but they are VERY BAD for them. Instead concentrate on plant matter, or better still, foods formulated expressly for crayfish (JBL make a couple of such products, and so likely to other manufacturers). Also remember not to feed them daily, but perhaps every other day. These animals have a low metabolism, and during winter especially may be hardly eating at all. Sabrina (another member of the WWM crew) recommends adding iodine (sold for marine tanks, e.g., Kent Marine Iodine) to the water as well. Iodine is related to the moulting process, and may be another way to help regulate moulting frequency and make sure that when it happens, it happens in the right way. She recommends a rate of one drop per ten gallons each week. Hope this helps, Neale.>
Re: Help for crayfish
8/21/08 Thank you so much! -Nate <Happy to help. Cheers, Neale>

Crayfish, Claws, and Complications - 04/20/2006 Hello. <Hi.> I am hoping this is the email I send my FAQ's to. <It is.> If not, please help me figure out where I do ask the questions. :-D <Right here, matey.> Anyways...I have a red freshwater crayfish. <Probably Procambarus clarkii, if you're in the US. These are common at pet shops, and make awesome pets.> He is in a 55 gallon tank with: 7 guppies, 2 five inch long feeder fish, and 3 hatchet fish. <Do please be aware that any of these fish *might* become midnight snacks - but hopefully are "fast" enough not to get snatched up.> I was reading through the other FAQ's to find some info on crayfish not molting. When I got my crayfish, he molted instantly. In the process of molting, he pulled off his own claw. <Ouch!> His claw then began to grow back again. Then he/she molted again and pulled the newly grown claw off AGAIN. <Disconcerting....> Now he hasn't molted for a couple months, and its claw is not growing back. <VERY disconcerting....> You requested others with the same problem to add iodine to the water. <Yes. Urgent.> Would that affect my other fish that are in the tank? <Nope. Just use the rule of thumb I usually recommend - one drop of Kent marine iodine per ten gallons weekly. Note that this is NOT the marine dose printed on the bottle. In this fellow's case, for the first couple/few weeks that you do this, I'd use two drops per ten gallons, then in a few weeks, go to one drop per ten. This won't affect your fish.> I also don't really feed the crayfish. <A problem.... especially since if he's hungry, those guppies are going to start looking very tasty to him....> He just eats the extra fish food that floats to the bottom. <That's good. Also offer him bits of frozen (then thawed) raw human-consumption shrimp, preferably the tails.> I tried feeding him uncooked bacon strips, but the guppies would eat it and keep the crayfish away. <Don't offer any land mammal or poultry meats - not only are these bad for the Cray, but bad for the fish, too.> Could a bad eating diet be keeping him from growing his claw too? <Yes.> He sometimes eats the fish that die, but my fish don't die too frequently. <Probably only once, I imagine! Dead fish are pretty much "okay" for him to eat, just not so okay to leave in the tank.> If I should be feeding the crayfish something healthier than left over fish food, what do you recommend? <As above, shrimp is good, also frozen/thawed human consumption fish meats, or sinking meaty foods. You can give him these things just after you turn the lights out so he'll have a better chance at finding it than the fish.> How would I keep my other fish from eating the food that is meant for the crayfish? <Whups, I jumped the gun. Feed him just after lights-out on the tank.> Oh yeah, just something to add in real quick. My fish had ick recently, so I added "Kordon Rid Ich+." Is it unhealthy for my crayfish to be in the tank when I am treating the fish for ick? <Yes, VERY.> The crayfish is still alive, and the crayfish has been in the tank every time I have treated the fish for ick, so I cant imagine it being TOO harmful for the crayfish. <It is *very* harmful for him, and may be part of the reason he's not moulting well for you. Please, please read on WWM regarding quarantine tanks - please quarantine any new livestock for two weeks minimum *before* adding them to your tank; this will keep your other fish safe from ich and you should not have to ever treat ich in your main tank again.> Have a nice day <You as well, thanks.> *A crayfish owner needing help. <-Sabrina>

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