When you are passionate about fishkeeping, you always want to try something new. You want your tank to look perfect, your plants healthier than ever, and your fish the center of attention.
There are, of course, some animals more interesting than others that can bring life to your tank. The dwarf crayfish are quite attractive and, unlike other species of crayfish,they can share a tank with other fish without attacking or disturbing since they will spend most of their time on the bottom of the tank.
Dwarf crayfish can live in small tanks, which is an advantageous for many aquarists. Other species of crayfish can mature to a large size crowding even a medium tank. However, dwarf crayfish can grow up to 1.5 inches long when mature with a lifespan of up to three years.
These creatures look like small lobsters with a grayish color with brown or darker stripes though they do have other shades. When young, they are completely clear and acquire their color as they mature. They do not have special requirements regarding the tank you will keep them in, but you have to make sure there are enough hiding spaces for everyone, especially if you have multiple fish in the tank since the crayfish might feel disturbed by all the activity in the tank and will search for a place to hide.
As many other species of crayfish, the dwarf crayfish is not demanding to care for, but they can not survive in high levels of nitrites and ammonia. It is not recommended to try to cycle your tank with them nor to bring a new filter into their tank. As long as you kept the filter in a cycled tank for a few weeks, the strength of the filter will not matter. The dwarf crayfish will usually eat most of the food it is given,thus,heavy filtration is not needed. In addition, a strong filter might disturb them, as they are usually calm creatures.
Many people keep these creatures in their tanks to eat remaining food left from the fish, which will result in the water remaining cleaner for a longer time. If fed separately, they will enjoy frozen worms or mosquito larvae considering they are omnivores. If these foods are difficult to find in your per store, they also eat peas and several other vegetables you can find around the house and they will consume fish food as well.
This species of crayfish might entertain you more than some dwarf shrimp if they don’t have other fish in the tank. They jump when they come across each other and defend their territory when you get close to the tank.
If you only have a few of them and want to breed them, you may end up with hundreds of babies. As a matter of fact, as long as you maintain the water in the tank at the right temperature (around 64 degrees Fahrenheit) and you feed them often enough, they will breed. The females keep their eggs under their tail, which will hatch after three or four weeks; the warmer the water, the faster they will hatch.
When you buy a dwarf crayfish,choose ones that seem active and don’t hide in a corner of the tank immobile. If some individuals are missing a leg or two, don’t worry; their legs will grow again the next time they molt.
To decorate their tank,use plants and stones. You don’t have to worry about keeping more luxurious plants with them; they will have a great place to hide and will not eat them. Even more, if you have any dead plants in your tank, they will consume the dead parts for the plant to grow healthy again. Dwarf crayfish are a great addition to any aquarium!