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Thread: Blue crayfish trying to escape?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2007

    Default Blue crayfish trying to escape?

    We have our blue lobster (actually a crayfish) in a 5.5 gallon tank. He's about 4 1/2" total right now.
    We had him for about 5 months and he has molted twice so far. When we first got him he was about 2" and in the 55 gallon aquarium, until we caught him catching and eating the other fish haha!

    He has been perfectly fine in the 5 gallon for the past few months, but is suddenly the past few days going out of his way to try and escape.
    He has a leafy plant and a hide cave in the tank, as well as a filter and air pump.
    We have a screen lid secured on top so he can't actually succeed at getting out. He eats a nice variety of foods- fish pellets, shrimp, bloodworms, and random pieces of fresh meat.

    He has more than enough room in there to wander around, and his secure hide spot for if he wants to go in there.
    Is there any reason why he would suddenly be going out of his way to constantly be climbing the sides of the walls, and trying to get up the plant and filter to the top? He's still wandering around right now trying out different escape paths as I type this.
    Does he just need a bigger tank? Or can there be some kind of health or discomfort problem making him want to get out of there?
    4.4.10 Crested Geckos (Deku, Charmander, Zebes, Scampi, Gemron, Mocha, Tiramisu, Chozo, & the hatchlings)
    Eggs currently in incubation: 8

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Good Ole' Nutley, NJ


    I had a similar issue when I was younger with a blue lobster (crayfish...same thing) who tried to escape on countless occasions. He succeeded once or twice, but was always found immediately right next to his tank, looking around confused and somewhat bewildered. I'm not sure anyone really knows of a specific reason that they do this. They're somewhat curious animals, and their curiousity seems to be what leads them to go merrily-a-wandering when they've already got the perfect set up available. They like to climb, and if they find something in the tank worth climbing, and then an area that they can climb out of....viola! You've got an escaped crayfish.

    I also found this link that may be helpful:

    Good luck with him! They're such interesting animals!
    Proud slave to...
    I'll meet my match when I'm dead. - Steve Irwin

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006


    Animals typically don't think like people do. They don't rationalize that their tank is a nice home and they ought to be content. You have to consider that the natural territory of a crayfish in the wild is much much larger than a little aquarium within ones home. So to him, it's perfectly natural to explore and crawl around. If he happens to escape, he can't forsee that being a negative and him possibly dying. He just knows he found an area to explore and he wants to wander.

    With that said, while the tank size may be adequate, it sounds a bit on the small side. Seems like you could make just a smidge more room and upgrade him to a 10g, which would make a big difference to him and likely not take up much additional room for you. Just something to think about.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Carnation, WA


    Hey, just be aware of what they can climb to escape. (SOmeone posted a great caresheet in the Blue crayfish thread, did you check it out?)

    We had one years ago that escaped our 30 gal, and was gone for months. (he had apparently climbed up the filter at the back and gotten out through a small hole in the lid!) I finally him found 4 months later across the room, under the couch near the heating vent. He was completely dried out/mummified. It was a sad sad day. . .
    Help! Crested Geckos! 0.1.Leachie, 2.1.1 Gargs, 1.0 Chahoua, 2.1. Blue Tongue Skinks, 1.1. White Lined Geckos, 1.3. African Fat Tails, 2.2.0 Tokay Geckos, 1.0. Giant Day Gecko, 2 tarantulas

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    New York


    Do you know what your NitrAte, Nitrite and Ammonia readings are in that little tank?

    These guys are great escape artists, and yes, they should be kept either alone or in a species only tank because of "eating" fish.

    Other than being an escape artist, he may be trying to climb out if the water parameters are out of check.

    If the tank wasn't cycled before you put him in there, then he was exposed to a large amount of ammonia and nitrites. If he's in the 5g and you are doing partial water changes on it weekly (25% a week would be ideal), then he should be ok, but the water should stay in line. You should have absolutely no Ammonia readings and no NitrIte readings. NitrAte readings would be normal, and I like to keep all of my tanks under 20parts for NitrAte, lower than that being ideal.

    I would recommend moving him to a 10g tank if possible, but he shouldn't be the one to cycle the tank. If you were able to use some of the filter media from your 55 to cycle it, that would be great, especially if that tank has been established for some time!

    I have 15 fish tanks and I use seeded media from older tanks to get newer tanks started. Good luck with him. It sounds like you're doing well with him so far!


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