What Should I Do Now? Dwarf Orange Crayfish tank?

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by TanksbyTim, Aug 6, 2015.

  1. TanksbyTimValued MemberMember

    Hello, everyone! I have a well-established 20 gallon high tank. It has 12 Golden Cloud Mountain Minnows and 3 Golden Mystery Snails. The tank is lightly planted and has been doing well for a while. Recently, I stumbled upon Dwarf Orange Crayfish (CPO), and started to research them. It seems that one would do well in my tank as I have many hiding places available and nothing that would bother the CPO. I placed the CPO in the tank before I went to work, and when I came home (12 hours+ later) all of the inhabitants, including the CPO were fine. I was watching the tank today and noticed that it came out of a terracotta pot that it normally hides in, and wandered over to one of my Mystery Snails and started to attack it. I immediately removed the CPO with a net before any harm was done to the snail.

    Now, I have a CPO in a Tupperware dish and no idea what to do with it. I don't have room for another tank right now, and wouldn't have made the investment had I known that it wasn't the peaceful crayfish that I had read about. I'm thinking about setting-up another tank. Due to my more-limited-than-you-can-imagine space, this would most likely be one of those terrible 1-2 gallon tank kits. It would be a temporary tank for about two months before I could move the CPO to something larger.

    Just to clarify exactly what I witnessed for those wanting a detailed explanation:

    The CPO was in one of the terracotta pots I have placed horizontally in the tank to function as a cave. This is normally where the CPO spends most of its time when the lights are on, and then it wanders around more often when the lights are off. I was relaxing and watching the tank when I noticed that it was starting to emerge from the pot. The CPO moved from the pot and traced the perimeter of the tank multiple times before coming to a Mystery Snail (approximately 2" in size) burrowed near a Moss Ball. The CPO moved passed the snail as though it was not interested and then returned later and watched the snail up-close. As the snail began to emerge from its shell, the CPO attempted to nip one of the tentacles of the snail. The snail immediately hid in its shell and I figured the worst was over (my overly-curious minnows are known to occasionally nip their tentacles and the snails seem fine). Then the CPO began to move closer to the snail as it retracted back into its shell so I removed the CPO from the tank.

    Did I over-react to the CPO behaving the same way as the minnows? Do you think a very, very small tank as I described above would work short-term for the CPO? What should I do?

    I'm not interested in selling or re-homing the CPO.

    Thanks for any and all advice given! :)
  2. happyfins14Valued MemberMember

    I would probably add more hiding places or plants like java moss for the snails.. I think the attacks only matter if they happen frequently or snip off a snail's antennae or something. If the CPO can't find the snails very often he can't attack them.

    Also I just googled them and you're right, it says they're peaceful... hmm.... Are you absolutely sure it's a CPO?

    Personally I wouldn't really worry. Snails are tough, but make sure they're not getting constantly attacked. If the CPO threatens a fish, I would take it out and rehome it.
  3. TanksbyTimValued MemberMember

    I re-homed the CPO. I'm 100% positive that it was a CPO, but I decided to do another test with it in the tank. I replaced it in the tank and watched. After about 30 minutes of wandering around, the CPO would wait beneath a spot on the wall where a snail was crawling. As the snail would descend, the CPO would raise its claws and prepare to snip. I removed the CPO again and re-homed him quickly thereafter. Thanks for the help! :)

    I just want to mention a few things about my experience. I have read many things on the internet about CPO's being peaceful crayfish that can co-exist with snails and other fish as long as the fish didn't pose a threat to the CPO. In my experience, this isn't true. Obviously we all have different experiences, but this was mine. If I was to keep a CPO again, it would be in a species-only tank.
  4. happyfins14Valued MemberMember

    No prob :) Glad to be of service. And I'm glad you worked everything out! I really don't like re homing fish (had to give one to a LFS because of an interstate move) but sometimes it's just better for everybody.

    Yeah, everything I looked at online said CPOs are fine in an community tank. Maybe yours was particularly violent?

    I'm glad everything worked out. And I'm sorry you had to lose the CPO, but at least the snails are okay!

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice