Mamma with babies

Discussion in 'Crayfish - Crawfish' started by Jsigmo, Jun 5, 2016.

  1. Jsigmo

    JsigmoWell Known MemberMember

    One of the guys who works here did a bit of crayfish trapping the other day, and came up with a mamma loaded with eggs that seem to be quite far along.

    For now, she's in a 5 gallon aquarium with filters set up to NOT suck in the tiny babies when they swim free, and nobody else in with her and her brood.

    The last time we had a mamma with eggs, we weren't paying attention, and when they swam free of her, we didn't notice. So most of them were sucked into filters, eaten by fish and other crays, etc. We did manage to save a few of them when one of the people who works here's daughter saw them (all of us are older, and have crummy eyes, I guess).

    Anyhow, this time we shall do things differently.

    Here she and her babies are:






    I'm not sure how much time we've got until they break free and start cruising around on their own.

    I'm thinking of setting up another 55 just for the babies. If we do that, maybe we need to provide it with some kind of special insert for the bottom to provide separation between them so they don't all eat each other right off. I'm thinking of something that will provide a lot of individual hiding places.

    Perhaps an array of short pieces of PVC pipe all glued together to make kind of a honeycomb setup.

    We won't have time to do a long, drawn-out cycle, so I'll probably steal a lot of gravel from another tank's undergravel filter along with some filthy pads from that tank's two HOBs as well. And we'll just do enough water changing to keep things under control. Fortunately, we have what amounts to "pond water on tap" whenever the water plant is running, so it's easy to obtain perfect preconditioned water for them.
  2. Protim Sarkar

    Protim SarkarWell Known MemberMember

    I am seeing the crayfish babies for the first time . Thank you.
  3. OP

    JsigmoWell Known MemberMember

    OK. The babies are now free!

    The babies have now detatched from mamma, and are free in the nursery aquarium. Here are some photos of a few that I put into a small Petri dish.

    The green background on some is the linoleum desktop in my office (strange, but true, they used to make desktops out of actual linoleum). The blue background on the others is some craft foam that I just used to give a more pleasing background.

    I put a small plastic ruler below the dish for some shots. The units are millimeters.






  4. Protim Sarkar

    Protim SarkarWell Known MemberMember

    What are you feeding them ?
  5. OP

    JsigmoWell Known MemberMember

    So far, we're giving them finely ground regular fish food.

    As they get older, they love sinking shrimp pellets and earthworms. But when they are tiny, we grind up a mixture of shrimp pellets, flake food, and algae wafers. I have a mortar and pestle that I can grind the stuff very fine with.

    Initially, they actually seemed to be eating what was left of the shells of their eggs, which appeared to have stretched into some kind of membranes over them as they grew.

    But it may be that they were just hanging around with those membranes. It appeared that they liked to just stay together in groups, clinging to each other the way they had been when still attached to the mother.

    Now, today, they are spreading out more, and covering more territory in their tank.

    I've used egg yolk from hard boiled eggs before, mixed with water using a blender, to feed tiny fish fry. And those fish fry go nuts for that. I'm not sure it would sink well enough for the crayfish, though. But I may try a bit of that, too.

    But really, they seem to do well on the finely ground regular fish food. They really love the earthworms very soon. They don't have to get very large before they're loving the worms!

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