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Ahh! Inspired! (56K warning)


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I'm going back to my crays! :)

I have had yabbies ever since I was about 5 years old, when Dad caught one in our local river. He was grumpy. We called him Presto because he just kinda appeared out from under the rock ^_^ We got greedy though, and added two goldfish. In hindsight, I think he died from ammonia poisoning as it was only a 15L tank. :(

After that, we had Luke, who my brother caught at a fisheries expo at the boat show. He was big and chunky and used to grow algae on him like a rock (praise soft toothbrushes and tolerant creatures!). Luke taught me heaps, and had me in quite a tizz one day because he was laying upside down and quivering for hours. About 8 phone calls later, finally an aquarist at Sydney Uni cracked the case and I discovered that moulting is much harder when they get older. Luke lived for close on 4 years with is, not a bad innings considering he was probably at least 3 when we got him.

After that we moved to the pearl blue varieties, and got Jordan, JJ, Nippy and another little one who's name escapes me. The idea was to try breeding them, but JJ had other plans. We discovered her on day 2, with one of Jordan's nippers in her claw, and a little headless carcass. JJ was rehomed. Twice. She ate too many inhabitants in home #1. Jordan lived for close on 5 years in my parents' kitchen, and was the most docile creature. He's let you stroke his carapace and would crawl on your hand.


Some time in here I bought another feeder baby, Duckweed. He lived on my desk for years and kept me company. He'd even carefully take worms out of my fingers (usually they shoot backwards!)


After we lost Jordan and Duckweed, I bought a little feeder. She was brown and had pink spots. Turned out that she was a Red Claw yabbie (all of my others had been C. destructor/blue yabbies), and she grew incredibly fast. I'd never had a female before Spunky, and she was really an entirely different personality. She came into berry 3-4 times, and each time she'd hunker down in her pot house and protect those eggs for all she was worth. After a week, she'd mope, and pick the eggs off the underside of her tail and eat them. She'd be a completely different creature for the week around that, I always felt so sorry that I never had a male for her.

She died last year at around 6 years old, last May while I was on holidays. She got stuck in her shell during her moult and was too weak to get free.



So, for the past year, I've been yabbiless. They take up entire tanks, and don't play well with most fish, so I figured that I'd better leave them be. I tried. I really did.

I got my hermit crabs.

I got a brown backed crab. (little FW boy, very adorable!)

I kept up with the fishies.

But who am I kidding? I'm a cray person through and through. I feel lost without one. I love watching them groom their eyeballs and preen their antennae. I am fascinated by the ways they balance and the way they hunt. I like the way they blink :) Hermit crabs come close, but they aren't as cocky ;)

SO I'm getting more.

Pairs. Hopefully the females can restrain themselves from chowing down on their mates' heads this time and give me some young :)

I might have the opportunity to get my hands on a pair of blue marrons and a pair of black lobsters! Two species that you very rarely see down this way. In fact, I think I've only ever seen a true blue marron once outside of Sydney Aquarium. I'm planning on popping the marrons in my 4' display tank, and giving them a school of (sacrificial) platies to watch. I'm not sure where the blacks will go, but I'll find a spot! For now there is a smaller tank they can call home, at least until next summer :)

I am really excited! Yabbies! super dooper low maintenance, unkillable, pretty, fascinating yabbies!

Piccies of the ones I'm thinking of getting (not sure if they are from this farm):






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They're beautiful, especially the black ones! I wish you all the best luck with breeding them.

You've rubbed off on me and I love my yabbies :( Or should I say yabby, my two tiny red claws disappeared, I think they were eatten by my eel even though they've all co-habited for almost a year. My blue guy is happily living and constantly renovating his home.

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I used to have two - a dull coloured and a blue. Wasn't sure if they were marons or not. The came from a friend who got them for his girlfriend and they got too big for the tank she had them in so they gave me one and she got tired of the other and they gave it to me. The blue ate the other one one day and it lived happily for a long time. It died during shedding and not sure if we could have done anything to help but oh well.

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Really like the looks of the Blue Marron Abs :D

I had a yabby in my 3ft commy tank, and over a month, it ate bout 6 black widow tetras, around 10 female bettas and 7 hockey-stick/penguin tetras.

after I realised that it was the yabby eating them, I took him out and threw him in the goldfish pond :P where we've been pulling out baby yabbies, so they're breeding in there. But I just feed the babies to my Asian Bumble Bee catfish :D

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The black lobster ones are AWESOME! The male looks like a wet cockroach, he's really beetle black. I think it is a deep bluey black, whereas the female is a browny black. Female is quite the grump, but the male is as sweet as pie.

The marrons are quite small as marrons go, so they are still 'blue pearl yabbie' colour, and not that impressive marron blue, but I think the male is only one moult away from it.

I've got them in buckets and tiny tanks around the place at the moment until I can sort out their permanent accommodation. I'm quite nervous about having them all in together, especially the black ones after seeing how the girl reared up! I think they might get the larger accommodation, and the marrons can go in the smaller tank for a while until I'm sure of personalities!

SOOO tempted to find a nice pair of baby redclaws now too, but slow and steady :angry::)

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Duckweed is such a cool name :angry:

They had a huge and i mean monster sized, blue marron at everyday pets in flemmington for ages, gave me the creeps whenever i went in there.

Im thinking of trying some macro-shrimp, do you think theyd be a good stepping stone to crays? got this feeling that if i had them id be too scared to put my hand near the tank :)

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To be honest, I found the shrimp really difficult. I've tried M. australiense twice now, and both times were miserable failures. I'm really not sure what I'm doing wrong there. They seem to do much better in heated water than unheated, but they still seem to 'die' in parts for some reason. If I can find some small ones locally, I might try again, as I'm sure the trip from Brisbane did them no favours.

IMO, the difference between those shrimp and crays is much wider than you'd think. Definitely fun though, and if you are good at other shrimp, it might be worth giving them a try. Maybe you'll hit on the thing that I'm doing wrong :angry:

Crays are serious wimps mostly. if they have room to escape, they'll chose that over challenging you 99% of the time. That other one percent is generally just some exaggerated waggling, so you just nod and spile and shoo them away with the back of your net or something :) Picking them up can be awkward, but it isn't too hard to get the hang of, especially if you start with a young'un, as even if they do have a nip, they aren't able to do more than a hard pinch (don't get me wrong, it can hurt, but usually they'll let go when you put their feet on the ground underwater, and if you shake hard their nippers come off easily.) Besides, they are dead simple to net, they only go in one direction when they move - backwards, and fast!

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Female Gilgie (i think? wrong claws for a koonac)


Male Gilgie


Female Marron (looks remarkably like a destructor but for the big eyes, need to check ID on her as I'm not convinced)


Male Marron


If you want to have a shot at checking the IDs, here is the page I was using :)


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Guess who is miserable today.

Blue female is definitely a C. destructor "blue pearl". Not a bad thing, but it does mean that now I have to start tracking down a female blue marron, which is not going to be easy :unsure:

Male black is a C. preissii (Koonac), but not certain on the female.

If she turns out to be a whole other species, I'm calling in the Perthites! I've contacted a few breeders today, but as they are unlikely to do retail stuff, can you guys keep your eyes on the local fish shop tanks for any koonacs, gilgies or marrons? I know I can get male marrons through Livefish and Bay, but females of anything are a different story :cheer:

*sigh* I was SO looking forward to trying to breed. Now I've got to hunt down all the matching halves to these pairs :dontknow: At least I know I can get a male destructor around here, even if it is a different colour.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I am such a cray tart! Anything underwater with an exoskeleton, and I turn to a big pile of mush!

I came home yesterday with two unidentified yabbies (probably destructor colour variants, piccies soon) and today I found a male blue pearl (somewhat legless and minus a nipper) and a male red claw :sad::) That brings me to a grand total of 2 pair, 1 known male, and two unidentifieds :)

It is all coming together :)

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I had to take Sin to work to drop off some paperwork, and I found the male redclaw in the feeder yabbie tank (ordinarily shops object to you lifting up the skirts of their feeders, so this was great ;)) and I found the blue pearl in a tank right down the bottom with two large destructor yabbies that had plucked a lot of its legs off. Poor little thing was shooting around in circles!

I noticed a whole new shipment of HUGE blue marron and a handful of blacks around, so fingers crossed they get out and about soon!

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Blackworm shed. Hooooge. and they don't much care for being picked up, but will tolerate some light petting.

The blue one is now in my bucket-tank (Jerry is going to have me on toast if I keep going with this whole bucket bizzo!) and the redclaw is still bagged. He'll have to stay inside in one of the lounge room tanks as he's not so cold-tolerant. I think the bicoloured ones might be upgrading to a 2' shortly ;)

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OK, quick update.

My tank is cursed. It is obviously a more serious problem than overheating as I have now lost the marron, and now both bicolour ones. It will get stripped, disinfected, and run empty for a few weeks before I add a "canary" fish and then it will be home to the red claws.

The red claws ($2 feeders at almost every pet shop) are going to be my canaries for the 4' tank, which is being filled today. It won't be filtered for a week or two more, but it will have room to run and play, and since we are up to storing the poor bubs in polystyrene boxes (ran out of buckets and bowls), this can only be a good thing.

So fingers crossed, and hopefully by the end of next week, my musical aquariums game will have ended and all these creepy crawlies will have a good home :lol:

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