Fishing With Face

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December 5th, 2012 at 12:05:14 AM permalink
JB
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Member since: Oct 23, 2012
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Quote: Face
Iím not sure where you live, but here we have rusty crayfish (orconectes rusticus)

New England. Wikipedia's picture of the orconectes rusticus looks exactly like the kind we have here, although this page has a map showing where it can be found, and it does not include my state at all, so perhaps it just looks identical to our native crayfish.

Quote: Face
Have you ever caught one thatís just molted? It always freaks me out because Iím never expecting it. You grab it up expecting it to feel like a rock and it winds up feeling like a hot dog without the skin, just all soft and mushy. I donít catch them often, and itís always a shock when I do.

Yes, several times. I know exactly what you mean - they're slick and slimy as opposed to easily grippable, and you don't want to use as much pressure on their back as you normally would. They're usually a little bluer/grayer/more translucent than normal.

Quote: Face
Theyíll eat just about anything

Apparently they will sometimes even eat their own molted shells. It's always a little eerie to see a freshly-molted shell sitting at the bottom of the water.

Quote: Face
Iíve kept crayfish in captivity over long periods of time

Actually, since this thread, I've been considering catching one to keep as a pet.

I'm sure you've seen some that have different-sized claws, meaning that they lost one and a new one grew back to take its place. I've always thought that was a cool feature!
December 5th, 2012 at 12:42:41 AM permalink
odiousgambit
Member since: Oct 28, 2012
Threads: 75
Posts: 1605
one of my memories from childhood was this place that was a muddy crawdad heaven [in my neck of the woods, we said crawdad ]

anyway, the water line was right under the ground [of course] and the critters would build these mounds in the mud. Sort of like a termite mound or something; sometimes big, usually fairly small. There was something about it that was fascinating to me. They certainly thrived in the environment.
The light at the end of the tunnel is often a freight train coming the other way! per Fleastiff
December 5th, 2012 at 1:10:45 AM permalink
JB
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Member since: Oct 23, 2012
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Quote: odiousgambit
in my neck of the woods, we said crawdad

We have that term here too. Sometimes we call the bigger ones "grandaddy crawfish" or "grandaddy crawdads".
December 5th, 2012 at 2:49:34 PM permalink
Face
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Quote: JB
Actually, since this thread, I've been considering catching one to keep as a pet.


Well, if you do indeed have rustys, it shouldn't be that hard. Unlike other species like the ones that OG described, rustys don't make elaborate burrows or structures of any kind. As long as they have something they can hide in (like a castle-type decoration in an "in-the-home" tank) or under (like the big slab rocks I have in my outdoors tank), they'll be fine. Some things to consider...

Smell - While not as bad as, say, a turtle tank, they do cause a tank to smell more than if you had just fish. With one, you may not notice, and even with a few, you might not be able to tell unless your right up to it. It's not going to stink up your house, but they do make a slight difference.

Feng Shui - If you have a fancy tank with decorations just so, be prepared to have them moved. The slab stones I have in my tank are the size of t-bone steaks, and they been scootched and scooted all over the place as they move around underneath and try to cram in the little hollows.

Houdini - To this day I haven't been able to figure it out how they did it, but twice I've found one crawling down my hallway or on the floor of my garage. I'm not sure if they crawled up the fake plants or the tube of the filter, but they got out. It's not a frequent occurance (I've housed 80-100 in the last 3 years, it's happened twice), but they can be tricksy.

Murderers - Back when they were purely a food source for my bass and I didn't directly feed them, the "grandaddy" decimated my little fish. I threw about 20 juvenile bluegill in for the bass and perch I had inside; two days later they were all gone. I thought the fish ate them, but when I lifted the castle to do a crayfish count, I found the shredded remains of at least a dozen of them. You want to remember this if you plan on throwing in $20+ tropical fish in the same tank.

Feeding - While they'll eat about anything, you have to keep your tank in mind. I try to make my outside tank as true to life as the habitat I'm trying to replicate. If they catch a fat crick chub and shred it, clouding up the water for a day, then so be it. If they want to pick at the carcass for half a week, then I let them. If algae begins to grow on the sides of the tank, even better. You might not want the same as a centerpiece in your home ;) For the last two months or so, I've completely switched over to store bought algae wafers. They're nickle-sized little disks that sink, they grab them right up as soon as they sense them, and it doesn't affect water clarity or smell at all. Unless you plan on taking them out and hand feeding them or feeding them in a seperate dish, I wouldn't throw greasy dog food or anything like that in your tank.

I guess the last thing is to just remember that these things are nocturnal. If you're a 9-5 guy, you might not see them do much. They're not skittish so you might see them sitting in the open, but they'll just sit there. The late evening/early morning is when they come alive, and run all over the tank, and chase the minnows, and climb everything in sight with claws open waiting to snatch a fish. I find them very easy to take care of any definitely get enjoyment from them, so have fun!
Be bold and risk defeat, or be cautious and encourage it.
December 6th, 2012 at 12:50:04 AM permalink
JB
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Member since: Oct 23, 2012
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I don't have a tank or equipment or anything yet. I'm planning on moving come spring, and depending on where I move to, I might not have anyone who could care for the critter if I'm away, so it's probably best if I don't have any pets. But if I did get one, I'd have a tank just for the single crawfish, with a gravel base and several big flat rocks for him to hide under. Your advice for using algae wafers as food is good. I wouldn't have any fish or other live animals for them to kill, so that's not a problem.

That's funny about how you found one crawling down your hall! I'd definitely prefer to stumble upon a stray crayfish than a big-ass spider.

I'm just as nocturnal as they are, so that's not a problem. In fact, that might be why I like them so much, is that they're just like me - creepy looking, they like to hide, they come out at night, they eat just about anything, etc.
December 9th, 2012 at 11:16:34 PM permalink
Face
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Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 61
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Quote: JB
In fact, that might be why I like them so much, is that they're just like me - creepy looking, they like to hide, they come out at night, they eat just about anything, etc.


Lol, that's messed up man =)

Your original output to get started shouldn't be that much. For my giant tank (somewhere between 100 and 150gal, I forget exactly), two 75gal pumps, lights, etc, was around $160ish. You could easily get started for under a hundo, and if you supply your own gravel and rocks, even cheaper. Just make sure if you get your own rocks, you wash them off really well. It takes a ridiculously small amount of dirt and/or dust to cloud the tank up. It'll of course settle, but then anytime you move something, it kind of clouds again. I just put my gravel in a bucket, filled with water, shook it, drained it, repeat. The larger flat rocks I hand washed, making sure to get the mud out of the little nooks and crannies.

As far as "babysitters", you'd really have to go away a long time for it to be a concern. A week without feeding, even if kept in high metabolism, in-house temps, isn't a stretch. I'm sure I've forgotten and went more than 14 days, and they didn't eat each other or the chub I have swimming around. If it really concerns you, buy a couple of feeder fish from a pet store for a dime a piece (or catch some at the crick) and let it feed itself. The carnage probably isn't as bad as you imagine (or I led on). You won't have guts and blood and a fungus ridden corpse waiting for you when you get home, in other words ;)
Be bold and risk defeat, or be cautious and encourage it.
December 23rd, 2012 at 6:00:54 AM permalink
odiousgambit
Member since: Oct 28, 2012
Threads: 75
Posts: 1605
another picture; 2 geese apiece for 2 hunters, our limit.

The light at the end of the tunnel is often a freight train coming the other way! per Fleastiff
December 24th, 2012 at 3:51:37 PM permalink
Face
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Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 61
Posts: 3163
Quote: odiousgambit
another picture; 2 geese apiece for 2 hunters, our limit.


Those Canada geese? If they are, thank you. I have a hate / hate relationship with those jerks ;)

Something for the Xmas dinner table, or was this a while ago?
Be bold and risk defeat, or be cautious and encourage it.
December 25th, 2012 at 1:19:31 AM permalink
odiousgambit
Member since: Oct 28, 2012
Threads: 75
Posts: 1605
Quote: Face
Those Canada geese? If they are, thank you. I have a hate / hate relationship with those jerks ;)

Something for the Xmas dinner table, or was this a while ago?


Yes, Canada geese bagged on this last Saturday, a nice holiday surprise. Glad to cut down on the numbers for you. Where we hunt we do not have a big bag limit, which you might find odd. I don't quite understand it completely, but apparently the problem of excessive geese is the local population, and where we hunt there are a lot of the Migratory. The latter they are worried about a bit I think. There seem to be too many geese for our area, though, enough to have a grudge. But I still love to spot that "V" in the sky and hear the honking on some early fall day heralding the season change, makes me glad to be alive, without any thought of hunting them.

I haven't been much of a picture-taker in my life, but modern times now mean the ubiquitous cell phone and the camera in it and the easy send to the computer. So I take a picture once in a while now, apologies for the quality.

It has the effect of emphasizing successful moments, and it ain't always like that.

I'll have to start a thread on my hunting and quit stepping on yours, I think.
The light at the end of the tunnel is often a freight train coming the other way! per Fleastiff
January 8th, 2013 at 9:54:15 AM permalink
Ayecarumba
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 85
Posts: 1421
Quote: JB
I don't have a tank or equipment or anything yet. I'm planning on moving come spring, and depending on where I move to, I might not have anyone who could care for the critter if I'm away, so it's probably best if I don't have any pets. But if I did get one, I'd have a tank just for the single crawfish, with a gravel base and several big flat rocks for him to hide under. Your advice for using algae wafers as food is good. I wouldn't have any fish or other live animals for them to kill, so that's not a problem.

That's funny about how you found one crawling down your hall! I'd definitely prefer to stumble upon a stray crayfish than a big-ass spider.

I'm just as nocturnal as they are, so that's not a problem. In fact, that might be why I like them so much, is that they're just like me - creepy looking, they like to hide, they come out at night, they eat just about anything, etc.


If Crayfish don't work out, you could get a,"Supergiant Amphipod" hehe. These guys are supposedly related to the 1 cm sized "sandhoppers" that you come across digging in the sand at your local beach, except they are 20x larger:

photo from: bbc.com

I am constantly amazed at the stuff they continue to pull from the ocean. It is also somewhat unnerving that things so large are swimming freely in the same water as me. I guess I shouldn't be so worried about the giant sandhopper, as the thing higher up on the food chain, that eats them like me going through a can of smoked almonds....
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