Lobster ate pleco??

MissMTS
  • #1
I added a small pleco into my tank two days ago. Already living in the tank are 2 juvenile firemouths, 3 swordtails, and 1 lobster. He was only about 1.5 inches long. Since that first night, I can't find him anywhere. The only decorations that I have in the tank are flat rocks to form caves that are siliconed to the bottom of the tank and two live plants. I have checked up and down all sides and corners of the caves and inside the filter and there is no sign of him. I know that plecos are known to disappear and reappear days later, but I can't even think of where he would be hiding. I don't have anything in the tank that he could crawl inside or anything like that. Here is what I think:

He got eaten my by 5 inch long lobster!

I asked the guy at the LFS and he said that he highly doubts it. He said that plecos are good at getting away and that I would see evidence such as bones in the tank. There is no evidence to support my theory, but I don't know what else could have happened. Any ideas?
 
mumzy50
  • #2
pleco

How small was he?.I hate to say it but if he was only a baby, he was probley dinner.Have you checked behind your tank in case he got a fright and jumped out.
 
Tavel
  • #3
Plecos are good at getting away??? My turtle didn't think so!

My plecos wouldn't move until the turtle actually bit them, and then they'd scoot up about 2 inches and stop until they got bit again. they're lucky they have armor, they're too dumb to rely on wit and cunning to get away.
 
sirdarksol
  • #4
Every fish has to sleep at some point, so even the fastest fish risks being eaten by the lobster (crayfish probably?). Plecos do not rely on speed to survive, they rely on camouflage. Like Tavel's turtle discovered, they generally don't move until actually disturbed.

Any type of crayfish is a dangerous addition to any community tank. It's not guaranteed that they'll be violent, but they're capable of hurting even a large fish (especially if they don't feel like they're getting enough food). It's a gamble that I wouldn't want to take.

Just one more example of LFS employees being less than knowledgeable.
 
MissMTS
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
Wow. Yeah, I have checked everywhere and I think he was dinner.....poor little guy. He was just a baby (under 2 inches long). The lobster (may be a crayfish but was labled "red claw lobster" at the LFS) used to be very shy, but he is now getting much more bold. He cost fifty dollars and I don't really know what to do with him. I don't want to just take him back because of the money I spent. I thought I might put him into my 80 gallon with my oscar, but I am afraid he will end up as lunch. I could put him in a 10 gallon by himself. Where do you think he would be happiest? I have started to notice that the other fish in the tank do not swim in the bottom level of the tank or go in the caves anymore, cause that is where the lobster likes to hang out. I am afraid that the rest of my fish will soon end up as lunch too. Before I replace the pleco, I need to figure out what to do with this guy ???
 
sirdarksol
  • #6
Does the description on this page sound right?


How big is the crayfish? (Just using the term I'm comfortable with. The term itself is largely a matter of semantics, as crayfish are just freshwater lobsters )
If it's big enough that it won't fit in the oscar's mouth, it might live well in the 80g. Make sure random bits of food reach the bottom of the tank, particularly at night (when the oscar is less likely to go after it) a small piece of uncooked fish, a shrimp pellet, whatever. If it is fed well, it will be less likely to go after moving prey (the ones in the above article are detrivores, which pretty much means they prefer their food already dead).
Also, if your Oscar tank doesn't have a lot of hiding places (rocks, driftwood, whatever) on the bottom, you would want to add them. Anything that makes the crayfish more comfortable will make it less likely that one or the other gets hurt.
It would likely live okay for awhile in a 10 gallon on its own, but most crayfish will outgrow a 10g. (not sure about these. Wikipedia doesn't list a length) If it's small right now, you might want to allow it to grow a bit in the 10 gallon before putting it in the Oscar's tank.
 
MissMTS
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
He's probably about 4-6 inches. It's hard to tell. Here are a couple pics of him. I am not sure how big he will get. My Oscar is only about 5 inches right now, so he should be okay in the 80 gallon at least for a while. I still can't figure out what he is though. The link sounds like him, but its hard to tell without a pic to match
 
sirdarksol
  • #8
Yep, I just found a site saying that the Red Claw Lobster and the Australian Red Claw Crayfish are the same critter.
At that size, he should be okay to go in with the oscar. I cannot promise that the crayfish won't hurt the oscar, but the oscar shouldn't be able to permanently injure the crayfish (it might be able to pull a leg off, but they regrow those, and the crayfish will probably give the oscar reason to think twice about ever trying it again).
It should be non-aggressive, but small, slow-moving fish can become fair game. Further reinforcement that the oscar should be an excellent tank mate.
They can get to be a foot long, though usually cap out at 8".
They prefer a moderately planted tank, and absolutely need rocks/driftwood/root tangles too hide in.
They need vegetable matter as well as meat. They will get sick otherwise, and their colors won't be as bright.

Lastly, you might want to see if you can get your hands on another of these (from a different source). They're supposedly super common in Australia, and they breed easily. If you can get them to breed, you might be able to sell them to the first fish store (who I think ripped you off) at a huge profit. Females shouldn't have red on their claws, if I'm reading things right. Searching enough at aquabid might turn up a cheap buy.

Good luck with everything. Hope this is helpful.
 
Angela_96
  • #9
Its pretty! Even if it did eat your pleco....
 
MissMTS
  • Thread Starter
  • #10
Yep, I just found a site saying that the Red Claw Lobster and the Australian Red Claw Crayfish are the same critter.
At that size, he should be okay to go in with the oscar. I cannot promise that the crayfish won't hurt the oscar, but the oscar shouldn't be able to permanently injure the crayfish (it might be able to pull a leg off, but they regrow those, and the crayfish will probably give the oscar reason to think twice about ever trying it again).
It should be non-aggressive, but small, slow-moving fish can become fair game. Further reinforcement that the oscar should be an excellent tank mate.
They can get to be a foot long, though usually cap out at 8".
They prefer a moderately planted tank, and absolutely need rocks/driftwood/root tangles too hide in.
They need vegetable matter as well as meat. They will get sick otherwise, and their colors won't be as bright.

Lastly, you might want to see if you can get your hands on another of these (from a different source). They're supposedly super common in Australia, and they breed easily. If you can get them to breed, you might be able to sell them to the first fish store (who I think ripped you off) at a huge profit. Females shouldn't have red on their claws, if I'm reading things right. Searching enough at aquabid might turn up a cheap buy.

Good luck with everything. Hope this is helpful.

Thanks so much for all of the info! Everything you said was really helpful I think I will look for another one and try to breed them. Maybe I can find one on aquabid or something. I am bummed that that store charged me so much. I have to say though....they do have a ton of fish that you can't find anywhere else. I will transfer him to my tank tonight and let you know how it goes. Thanks for the help!
 
MissMTS
  • Thread Starter
  • #11
Its pretty! Even if it did eat your pleco....

Thanks He's really fun to watch too! He is such a climber. Good thing my tank is tall, or I think he could climb out.
 

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