dwarf cajun crayfish - ID help needed - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-27-2013, 01:29 AM Thread Starter
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dwarf cajun crayfish - ID help needed

So my younger sister wanted crayfish with a planted tank, so we brought some dwarf cajun crayfish, because we were told that they are plant friendly. We asked both the breeder and the nice invert people here at tpt, and everyone agrees that they are plant friendly.

I ordered 2 pairs, but one of the females sadly DOA'd. And now we are left with 2 males and a female. I have been feeding them everyday, with a variety of food (BW color, spinach, frenzy, algae walfer, meat walfers, blanched zucchini), in the hopes that they would leave the plants alone.

But they have been destroying most of the plants i put in the tank. Including rotata colorata, hydro sp japan, banana plant, hornworts, purple cabomba, tiger hygro, ludwigia, peacock moss, and lace java fern. The picture below (2 days ago) is after they ate all of the lace java ferns and hornworts, lol. Most of the plants in that picture is gone now =< or... partially eaten..

Am i not placing the right type of plants with them? What kind of plants do you guys keep with them?

Anyone can suggest any non appetizing plants or super fast growing plants i can keep with them?

My little sister is coming home in about a month so i would like to have this ready for her.

Oh another question, i have 2 males and 1 female (because one female doa), would there be agression issues because of the 2 males? I have seem them steal food and nip each other but no real fights.

anyways thanks!

Last edited by aluka; 11-03-2013 at 01:03 AM.
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-27-2013, 01:55 AM
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Had much of the same plants in my tank with 3 cajuns, they never touched anything other than the food I offered them.

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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-27-2013, 12:01 PM
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MOSS. I have kept and raised CPOs over the years many times...first off you will lose your males if you keep them with the females. The females are bigger and get territorial with space, and when not in breeding mode they get very aggressive and will attack and kill any other cray in their area (including another female) Best to keep only one in a tank this size, bigger tanks you might get away with 2 or 3, but only if you have enough driftwood/caves, rocks etc for them to hide in.

Moss is ideal as the crays can hang in it (something they like to do) and it helps keep them separated. Ive never had any eat plants. I feed my crays only Hikari Algae wafers small ones every day. I often break one apart and only give 1/4 or so to each cray (they don't need to be overfed)

Babies I feed squished pond snails which I allow to live in their tanks for this purpose...the meat from the snail is full of protein, which helps the babies grow fast. Lots of moss (almost a tank full) will keep them from killing one another as they grow.

PS: that tank is WAY too bare for 3 of these crays.....you will wake up one morning and see dead crays. Get some small pieces of driftwood and put them in all the corner areas of the tank, get rid of the clay pots (they won't stay in there anyway, Ive tried that!) get moss that will sit on top of the driftwood, makes it look nice, and some nice rocks, build a cave structure with openings so they can climb in and out as they choose.

Main problem with bare tanks is crays will molt, and when that happens their bodies are soft...if they can't hide away till the shell hardens, the other crays will make fast work of killing them and eating them, driftwood and rocks, allow them to get in underneath and be able to defend themselves with their claws against attack.

CPOs are very hard to raise, but it can be done if you give them lots of room, lots of hiding places, and keep the food to a minimum....more chocies of food only means more muck left in the tank which means more bacteria growing and that's what will kill the young ones.
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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-27-2013, 01:43 PM
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I agree with pinoyghost2, I have my female CPO in a heavily planted ten gal with java moss, foxtail, strapped leaved sag., driftwood, and three clay pots. She has never bothered any plants, and she has been eating crushed snails, fresh veggies, and any dead plants she may find, the only thing she will not eat, other than live plants, is the moss. she will not even look at the dead parts!
anyway, good luck with tank =)

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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-27-2013, 02:42 PM
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The real problem in the tank is that the line of sight is not broken.

I have 40+ in a tank full of moss. there are times when juvies and adults are centimeters away and not aware of each other until i pull the moss away revealing no less than 4 in the vicinity.

Stem plants dont really do much good to promote security. If you wish to use stems plants, stick with fast growers as they would server the tank better to soak up waste.

You are certainly doing the right thing to offer a variety in their diet. Most of my cajuns just look at each other and flutter away after a brief raising of claws. add more moss... a lot more moss! i love these guys and have a tank just for them...

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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-27-2013, 03:26 PM Thread Starter
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These are dwarf cajun crayfish, not CPO? i thought they are different. from what i was told by the breeder they are okay with being together in a group, and he even raise them with a RCS colony.

Most of the plants in there are testers to see if they will eat them. There is actually a big moss rock in the tank, next to one of the craypots. It justs looks like a rock now because they cajuns mowed the moss off. It use to be pretty bushy, i grew it for 2 months in another tank with high light, and co2, and ferts. They actually love the pots, they have each claimed one and all retreat into one after i feed them to hide their food.

but yes i will put in more moss. Need to go buy some java moss, lol. They already ate 40 dollars worth of peacock on that moss rock, lol =D
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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-27-2013, 03:35 PM
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Cpos and cajuns belong to the same genus and will interbreed. I have cherry shrimp with my cajuns and the only plants in the tank are java moss and fissidens. Neither of which they pay attention to. I do feed heavily due to the dense population as this would avert some of the hunger driven aggression.

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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-27-2013, 03:41 PM Thread Starter
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Ah icic. yea its the same reason why i feed them everyday too, but they just love my plants, lol

But yes i'll go buy some java moss and try to jungle up the tank.


thanks =D!
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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-27-2013, 04:13 PM
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If they are the small 1" size orange ones, then they are indeed CPO
Very cute, cool looking and adorable! I Love them You just need to
give them places to hide away to keep them happy.

Now IF you've got the cambarelllus shufeldti (another dwarf cray) usually a darkish brown, but can be blueish cray, then YES these are totally different in their attitudes.

I bred them for a year, left them all together in one 15 gallon tank with lots of driftwood and cholla wood/moss and couldn't believe how many I had when I went to sell some off.....musta been 40-50+ They don't as big as the orange ones, and seem to like being all together.

Either way you will have fun watching them.
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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-27-2013, 04:36 PM Thread Starter
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Yea, that is what they were listed as cambarelllus shufeldti dwarf Cajun crayfish. they are brownish with some blue hue.
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post #11 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-27-2013, 06:22 PM
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I concur, CPO's i had pretty much went after each other. the female actually killed both mates... so now I strictly keep shufeldti's and they are awesome community crays. You'll likely find these more interesting than any cherry or crystal shrimp could be... I had originally kept a keen eye out for dwarf shrimp being legless or injured but that has never been the case.

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post #12 of 27 (permalink) Old 05-03-2013, 02:11 AM Thread Starter
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So, i'm starting so suspect that my crayfish are not cajun =/ i was told that they are plant friendly and that their claws stays pretty small so they can't catch shrimps O.o.

My female has molted a few times and she is HUGE, her claw is 1 inch now!O.o.

So i have up my feeding to twice a day and they are still eating all the food and all the plants =/ They ate all the tester plants in the picture from post 1, even the marimo moss ball!! They mowed down all the peacock moss and even ate the ones under the mesh!

lol i brought some new plants and replanted it, this time alot more plants. hopefully they will stay.

But i am really starting to think the males are cajun dwarf crayfish, but the female is not. Her colorings are different too. The males are a light brown with some blue hue. the female is redish/orange/brown with some brownish black spots =/

here is some pictures. Sorry if its a bit cloudy, i just replanted some plants

Picture 1: tester plants in
Picture 2: 4 days later, all plants eaten or half eaten and floating.
picture 3 : new plants in
picture 4: Male in the open, female in pot to the left, male in pot to the right.
picture 5+6: the female

Last edited by aluka; 11-03-2013 at 01:04 AM.
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post #13 of 27 (permalink) Old 05-03-2013, 02:14 AM
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That is NOT a CAJun

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post #14 of 27 (permalink) Old 05-03-2013, 02:15 AM Thread Starter
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all of them or just the female?
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post #15 of 27 (permalink) Old 05-03-2013, 02:49 AM
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I just snapped some photos of an adult dwarf cajun. i just happen to be changing the water and this guy was just hanging out on the plant so i placed him in to a box to photograph for yo. his claws never exceed a few millimeters.







Pregnant momma


shot of the 10g tank. notice how many cajuns you can spot in the photo.... and that's just on the front glass. you cant imagine how many you find just by dipping your hand in to pull some moss out ... they are extremely easy to keep.


I dont think any of the crays in your photos are dwarf cajuns. some of the queues where they werent plant safe. To be frank, cajuns are fairly scarce. i had to look several months before sourcing these guys. they are more rare than one might think. even CPOs though more common due to their orange color also are rarely offered at the LFS... so that should also be an indication.

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