Crayfish Tankmates

Discussion in 'Crayfish - Crawfish' started by Crazy Crays24, Apr 15, 2010.

  1. Crazy Crays24Valued MemberMember

    Hello, I just got a new 20 gallon freshwater tank almost a week ago and I have 2 red crayfish (Male and Female) one albino rainbow shark and a rainbow shark. I need to know what else I can put in there because it still looks empty. I was thinking about a small pack of about 3 tiger barbs but I am not sure... Any ideas?
  2. JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    first off, make sure each crayfish has its own cave. really though, each one needs 20 gallons. the redtailed shark could eat the crays when they molt if the cray caves are big enough to let it in. conversely, they crays will undoubtedly harass the sharks and will probably kill them. you cant keep anything that spends time on the bottom.

    tiger barbs are a good idea, but a 20 is a bit too small for them. I would recommend cherry barbs instead. barbs (non longfin) make excellent crayfish tankmates.

    my old 20 had 11 cherry barbs, a golden wonder killi and a blue crayfish. ive upgraded them to a 29, but they were fine in the 20.
  3. Crazy Crays24Valued MemberMember

    ok... I've heard from a few different websites and forums that rainbow sharks and red-tailed sharks are good tankmates for crays
  4. sirdarksolFishlore LegendMember

    The rainbow sharks alone are too much fish for a 20g, in my opinion. They grow to six inches long, and need quite a bit of swimming space. Add a pair of crayfish, which are incredibly messy critters and produce a ton of waste, and you're likely looking at needing to do a couple of big water changes a week to keep the nitrates down.

    In addition, keeping any fish, especially fish that like the bottom of the tank, with crays is essentially waiting for the crays to eat them. They're opportunistic, and will snag a napping fish if it's easy enough to do so.
  5. Crazy Crays24Valued MemberMember

    The rainbows are a lot faster than the crays, they even tease the male, and the female runs away from the sharks. Do you think that they'll be ok?
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2010
  6. JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    That doesn't matter - The crayfish are ambush predators that prefer to hunt at night while the fish are sleeping.

    Ive kept crayfish for several years. This is what happens. The crayfish will strike at a fish and miss....but it didn't miss - it made a little tear in the tailfin. Each missed strike tears the tailfin more and more. Each tear makes the fish slower and slower, until it gets slow enough to catch.

    The reason I said barbs make ideal tank mates is because they do not sleep on the bottom, they have small fins, and swim in a jerky manner that is hard to predict. I rarely lose any barbs to the crayfish, and if I do it's usually an old fish.

    Sorry, but I do not think your fish will be okay.
  7. sirdarksolFishlore LegendMember

    As long as they never slow down near the mouth of the cray's hiding spot, they won't get hurt by the crays. Unfortunately, this is bound to happen, even more because the tank is so small. As the sharks get bigger, they're going to start getting listless from having too little space to swim in.
  8. Sammyboi1993Valued MemberMember

    Rainbows Need A Bigger Tank And I Wouldnt Keep 2 in a tank becuase the weaker one may get picked on. Tiger Barbs Should be Okay.
  9. JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    Good point SDS - the smaller the tank, the larger the percentage of the tank that is within their...grasp :)
  10. Crazy Crays24Valued MemberMember

    ugh... not what I wanted to hear... Thank you all for the advice