The last thing us crayfish lovers want is to have something happen to our little critters. Crayfish are not exactly ninjas or MMA fighters, so how do crayfish protect themselves from the cray-zy world of tank life?
How Do Crayfish Protect Themselves
Snap, Crackle, POP!
It helps to be smart if you are a crayfish and you want to survive. Crayfish however, although very cool, don’t always use the best judgement. So their front line of defense from a predator is of course their front claws.
Crayfish use their front claws for catching fish, digging around and moving rocks. However, more importantly they also use those things to intimidate and to fight off threats (see “When Crayfish Fight“). Heck, when I get too close to the glass of my aquarium, they raise their claws at me!—That’s no way to treat the guy that feeds you.
I myself have two crayfish. They are very territorial. When they come face to face. They raise their claws to try and intimidate one another. Sometimes they will stand there for a full minute or so with their claws raised up. Most of the time they end up going claw to claw and then “craw” away (bad joke I know.) In the below video you see one of the smaller fights I’ve recorded.
You’ll NEVER Find Me!
Crayfish will also use “hideouts” to protect themselves. In a tank this can be as simple as a fake log, a rock or a piece of PVC pipe, which works really well.
Crayfish love to burrow and hide. That’s just what they do. So it’s important if you have crayfish in your aquarium, that you give them a place to hide.
Hideouts can of course be purchased online or at any pet store.—Be sure to give your pet crayfish a home. This is a great answer for the question of how do crayfish protect themselves.
When Crayfish Molt
How do crayfish protect themselves when they molt? Crayfish become very susceptible to attacks, especially from other crayfish, when they are molting (learn to tell if your crayfish is molting). This is because they become very soft and weak. For this reason, they need to have a place to hide out until their exoskeleton develops and becomes harder. This way they won’t become dinner for someone else. (Like another crayfish!)
When breeding crayfish, babies have a high risk of being killed. So just how do crayfish protect themselves? Well they are going to need your help.
When you first notice that a female crayfish has eggs. You will need to remove her from the main tank and put her in a separate tank. When the babies finally hatch, be sure to remove the female crayfish from the tank after about three days. If not, since crayfish can be cannibalistic, there is a really good chance she will start eating the babies. (Not good.)
Also note that you will need to remove the bigger babies from the tank as they grow.—Or they too will eat the smaller crayfish.
First, depending on the size of your tank will determine the number of crayfish you should have. I have just a 10 gallon tank presently, so I have only two crayfish.—And I will not add another one or things could get pretty ugly.
If you do have more than one crayfish, be sure to get a hideout for each one. I have a log for one of my crayfish and another ornament for the other in the corner of my tank. This gives each crayfish a place of their own.
Another tip is to keep your crayfish fed. Keeping them hungry I’ve noticed makes them more aggressive. Kind of like people. We get pretty moody when we don’t eat.
Well, I hope this info explains how do crayfish protect themselves.