Aquatic Goodness: Pet Crayfish T-Minus…

Posted in Decapods!, Nature on July 12th, 2010 by badhex

Well, as it appears topical at the moment and my last aquatic post did so well (my blog got over 4,000  hits for the 24 hours it was featured on freshly pressed – thanks guys!) I thought I’d carry on in the same vein.

As I mentioned before, I’d really like to get a pet Octopus but from the research I have done, it seems like a lot of hard work, expense and messing about – not to mention the short life span of small Octopodes. So, instead, I have opted for my second most wanted aquatic pet: a Crayfish.

There is of course the first question to get out of the way: Why a crayfish? Most people think I’m a little weird for this. I’m fascinated by underwater life, and nature in general; throughout my entire life, David Attenborough has been the golden-voiced guide in my quest for knowledge of the natural world. I will probably never meet him, which saddens me somewhat, but I will always remember what he has taught me. Endless evenings and lazy Sundays have been whiled away in front of my 50″ television, basking in the glory of expertly delivered facts.

Forgive me, I digress. So insects and crustaceans have, to me, always been nature’s robots – another subject for which I have an extreme fascination – but I had not ever really considered having one as a pet, until the arrival of Colin McCrayfish. Colin deserves a post of his very own, but that’s another story for another day. Rest assured however, I learnt a lot on the subject of keeping Crayfish as pets.

Basically in the UK, there’s only one type we can keep, aside from our native ones, and that is the Red Claw Crayfish, Cherax quadricarinatus, pictured above.

As you can see, they are pretty little buggers.

I’ve started the setup for my tank as it needs to have matured for 2-4 weeks before it will be ready. Here’s a few pictures of it before and during setup:

I hope he/she will like it. I may have to reorganise as and when he or she turns up, depending on how suitable the current setup turns out. Trial and error, I guess. The tank maturing process is quite interesting; I’ve added the ‘good’ bacteria, and definitely seen a bacteria bloom in the last few days. Apparently, that’s all the good bacteria and the bad bacteria having a fight. I wish I could see this epic biological battle! Despite the fact that my vision isn’t microscopic, I can’t help but keep peering in!

So, aside from checking the pH, Ammonia and Nitrate levels and some other bits, I just have to wait – then I can order my Red Claw. I’m going to keep checking over the next few weeks, but provided nothing disastrous happens, I’m plumping for 3 weeks. I’ll keep you updated, and I’m sure to be banging on about it on twitter.

I suppose that gives me plenty of time to think of a name… suggestions on a postcard! (or comment box)

Meanwhile, have a look at a young Red Claw:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gymdHGd0Ckk]

Tags: , , , , ,