Cray Suddenly Acting Strange?

  1. macfontaine

    macfontaine New Member Member

    ive been reading around for a while, but this is my first time actually posting here, so sorry in advance if i do something wrong or dumb, haha..

    i have a male electric blue crayfish who seems to be sick or otherwise anxious. i'm admittedly relatively new to the hobby, but ive been doing my research and for the first month things went really smooth, his first molt went down without a hitch, he was active and healthy and really fun to watch, huge personality-- up until a few days ago.

    about a week ago, there was a good few days where i wasnt checking on him as often, as i was recovering from wisdom teeth removal and his tank was in a room that wasnt easily accessible for me. within those four days, he molted a second time, grew back his missing leg (the pet store i got him from kept him with cichlids, of all things...) and antennae chunks, but, especially of the past four days, now absolutely refuses to eat a single thing or leave his cave at all. ive had to stop offering food because everything i gave him went bad and im afraid the constant cleaning scares him even more-- he hates the gravel vacuum with a passion, so ive been removing the big chunks and what's left of his shell with feeding tongs, and even that seems to really bother him.

    he's about 3-ish inches long (havent measured him since last molt, obviously), he's in a long 5 gallon right now (temporarily... im currently saving up for a 10) with a filter, bubbler, some driftwood, one moss ball (which im contemplating removing, all it's really doing is collecting food and getting gross), and no heater. i just did a full water test and while i dont remember the numbers off the top of my head, i know everything was well within ideal crayfish parameters.
    he had a couple of cobra guppies in there with him for a few days-- that was a misstep on my behalf, and they were immediately removed once i realized he was actually afraid of them (theyre perfectly happy in my father's 36 gallon, and one of them is actually pregnant! so there's some good news out of this fiasco).

    this is my cray-- his name is captain crunch. the left was taken on his fourth day of living with us (and probably my favorite picture to date-- this was his reaction to seeing me first thing that morning), and the right was taken four days ago. this was the farthest i've seen him exit the cave since molting.

    up until the recent molt, he was acting nothing like this, even with the guppies around. unfortunately, even though theyre now long gone, he's still just as reclusive as ever. is there anything i can do to make him more comfortable? is there a possibility something went wrong with the molt, or he's sick? if so, is there anything i can do? he really means a lot to me, and i want to do everything i possibly can to keep him happy and healthy.
  2. OP

    macfontaine New Member Member

    UPDATE: today i did a partial water change (about 1 gallon) just to get rid of the rotten food and stuff. when i lifted his cave to see what was inside, he darted out and was acting totally fine without it! but the moment i finished cleaning and put it back in, he just went back to sulking. it's even worse now, he's wedged himself into the tiniest corner of it, claws facing out, and won't budge. earlier he took an algae wafer i offered him on tongs, but didn't eat very much of it.
  3. kuhlkid

    kuhlkid Valued Member Member

    Quick check, have you been measuring GH and KH with your other water parameters? KH especially is important when keeping inverts.