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Discussion Starter #1
Hey folks! I have a 56-gallon tank whose primary occupants are two fairly large red-clawed blue yabbies (aka red-clawed blue crayfish, aka Cherax quadricarinatus). All fish in the tank have been carefully chosen to avoid becoming snacks for the crayfish: a giant pleco (the crays would love to eat him, but he's just too big), some overly skiddish silver dollars, and so on.

I really want to keep at least some live plants in the tank, both because I love the look and because with such large and messy critters in the tank, plants really help keep the water balanced. However, the thing with these particular crayfish is that they're, well, gardeners at heart. Landscapers, really. They like to dig and push the substrate around. And eat plants. I suspect what I really need is either something that grows fast enough that it outgrows their destruction, or else something with a nice thick stem (underwater tree?) that they can't snip with their claws.

Here's a picture of the tank planted with anacharis shortly before the crayfish decided that anacharis is exceedingly tasty. I think right now (a couple weeks later) there are two little stubby stems of it left.

Any suggestions on what kinds of plants might work for my tank? "Get rid of the crayfish" isn't an option, by the way. Oh, and I have a Current Dual Satellite 2x65-watt lighting fixture, if that makes any difference regarding your recommendations.
 

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robo, welcome to PTF :proud:
I'm sorry to have to tell you this from first hand experience, but yabbie's are a pain in the ass to keep around in a planted tank. I would stick with plants that will grow fine in tied bunches without being rooted, or something with a large deep root system. Large rhizome plant are OK, but nothing with an Onion bulb. most plants a yabbie will push around and pick at. Your's has wonderful coloration; don't be surprised if after a molt or two he loses it. Guard your plumbing from escape attempts. Even if the Pleco is large, the yabbie can still scratch him up. I recommend using a nail clipper and cutting off the 2mm hooked tip at the very end of each claw so he won't scratch anyone he grabs at. Just roll a tube sock up your hand and wrist, use your sock puppet hand to grab the little monster, and clip away. the immediate area you clip will turn white, but it does no harm at all to the crayfish. after every other molt it will grow back, so then you'll have to clip it again.
 

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Thanks for the reply. Are there any plants that they just won't eat? That taste bad or something?

As for their color, it's hard to tell from pictures without any scale, but both crays are a good 9" long from claw-to-tail and have gone through several molts, so I think their color is here to stay. Oh, and they only try to escape the tank when the water quality drops, and the best they manage is scaling the filter intake and waving their claws in the air, but I've made sure there aren't any holes actually large enough for them to escape out of.
 

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just from my personal experience they can catch silver dollars...even a three inch silver dollar can be caught by a two and half in yabby. Kinda bummed me out but it was impressive as hell to see. He just reached up and snag it passing like a cracker swimming by.

Sounds like some nice crays though, i'd expect them to demolish pretty much anything the put their mind too.

Jason
 
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