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Discussion Starter #1
New Guy here! First post!

I am familiar with keeping triops (Tadpole Shrimp), and I recently got a Blue Crayfish. I was just wondering if anyone knows whether it is safe for the cray to eat the triops? Assuming I only put one small (0.5 - 1 inch) triops in the tank at a time (I breed them in other tanks), and I remove the triops from the cray's tank when the cray is molting... anyone out there familiar enough with these two animals to know whether or not this is safe for the cray?

Triops are easy to breed, they have short lifespans (30-80 days), and they reproduce and grow quickly (plus they can reproduce asexually, and their eggs can be dried and stored for decades). They are also really cool, and I'd keep the largest ones as (short-lived) pets.

This way I know the food I'm feeding my cray is cheaper and healthier than petshop feeders. Plus, there's gotta be some good calcium in that triops shell.

What do you guys think?

Triops eating corn:
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Blue Crayfish (mine is probably just half this guy's size for now - possibly a different species):
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Prehistoric dinner, yum.

I dont see why not, is there any part of the triop make-up that is toxic?


We sell triops at work, was going to get them for my son but the "kit" is no more then a shallow bowl made of thermo-formed plastic. How are they and what do they do?
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Toxicity was one of the main things I was concerned about.

As far as triops go, I think they are pretty cool... they are bottom feeders with like 35-40 legs, and they rarely swim up in the water (if they do, you've got a low oxygen tank), but they are constantly moving around on the bottom. Like a lot of inverts, they eat just about anything, and they would make great custodians in a tank. The shallow tub that comes with the kits is really only good for raising the eggs/larvae... adults should definitely be transferred to at least a gallon fish bowl, but I recommend 5 gallons or more, as these guys can grow 1-2 times their size per day depending on the species. Filtration, regular water changes, and air stones help, but only the water changes are necessary (you might not even need that, if you are only doing a single generation). They are also cannibalistic, and what regularly happens is that 5 or 6 triops wind up being eaten by one or two that get HUGE by the end of the week. This is why I recommend separating them by size, but this is not necessary if you don't mind a little cannibalism.

Their method of reproduction is the most interesting thing about them. There are males and females, but in dire situations, the sex of a single specimen can change, and they can reproduce asexually. They generally live in temporary puddles, and in the wild, the eggs are carried to new puddles by wind or animals, or they get stuck in the mud where their parents lived. The eggs are constantly "testing" their surroundings, and if there are high levels of organic matter (indicating a higher risk that predators are about), or if it is too hot, or cold, or dark, or there are high levels of pollutants, etc, then the eggs will wait for up to 25 years to hatch.

Once the puddles dry up, and then fill with fresh rain water, and the conditions are right, the eggs will finally hatch, and the triops will live up to 100 days, producing eggs regularly the whole way through. This makes the breeding process pretty easy: wait for eggs to be laid, collect the substrate the eggs land on, dry this mixture of substrate and eggs for a week or two, add some distilled water and perhaps some nutrients, wait a day, and TRIOPS!

I think that these little guys could teach your son a lot about life cycles, and some interesting biology, but if he is young, beware. Although they may live 100 days in the wild, you'd be lucky to get 50 out of them in captivity, so make sure he doesn't get too attached. This is why I think breeding "experiments" could be better than thinking of them as pets. This way he understands there is an ongoing process that never stops, and that hasn't stopped for over 200 million years! Fossils are fun, and these guys are the oldest living fossils on the planet...

If you want some more info, there is some good stuff here: Triops Home Page
 

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Oh he knows about the life cycle, I breed guppies and a few other fish at home that he is very involved in. I like them because they are the oldest living fossils on earth, that in itself gives me more urge to get them, I got a 10 and 15g tank sitting idle running and conditioned right now.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
WARNING: This is brutal... do not watch if you feel sorry for prey animals. Turn down your speakers, as the music is loud and VERY lame.

Crayfish eating a triops:
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Just trying to keep the thread alive... apparently it has been done as the video above shows, but I still don't know if it can be considered safe. Toss in your two cents, por favor... My hunch is that its not a problem, and no more dangerous than a crayfish eating minnows or feeder shrimp. Anyone care to disagree?
 

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Nope, I got a pack of em today from my work and am going to give it a try, can I hatch them in a 15g tank, the tank is empty and cycled, no gravel ect. it is heated.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
We're gonna hafta agree to disagree on that terrible music....

I've never used a 15g aquarium, but I don't see any reason why it wouldn't work. Seems like a nice size for this kind of thing anyway... I don't use a heater, and you shouldn't need one assuming the temp in the tank stays between 72 and 86 degrees F. My upstairs tank room tends to stay at about 72, and with a light (desk lamps work, but if you have a hood/light definitely put it to use!), the water is generally around 75-77.

I would get some kind of substrate first if you are planning on doing more than one life cycle, as it makes collecting those tiny eggs a lot easier. And make sure the pH (and other levels) don't go crazy when you add your sand, soil or gravel.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
I'm really sorry, but I'm just now putting two and two together... You said "empty" and I read that, but for some reason when you said "cycled", I didn't even consider the fact that you already have water in there... from what I've read (and I've never tried otherwise), you should be using distilled water for hatching the eggs... once the triops have matured for a few days, tap water is acceptable (or a cycled aquarium).

If you did use a cycled aquarium with water, please let me know how it turns out... its annoying to have to buy so much distilled water. If it turns out bad, then I'm very sorry that I misread your post and accidentally gave you bad advice. Hopefully u saved some of the eggs?

If you haven't saved any eggs and/or are worried, and can see the eggs in the aquarium, you could try scooping them out, and then putting them in something like a clean spaghetti jar (no soap!), or the container from your kit filled with distilled water and the "nutrients" that comes with the kit. If that doesn't work, try drying the eggs out for a few days (up to 2 weeks if there is also substrate), and then add to distilled water+nutrients. It should take no longer than 3 days for eggs to hatch. Usually takes 1 for me, sometimes 2, rarely 3. I have once seen an egg hatch about 19 or 20 days later, but this is a very exceptional occurrence. This in mind, you might just wanna wait three days before drying the eggs, just to make sure the hatching process isn't going to begin in the cycled water.

Thankfully the eggs are pretty tough little guys... and a little switcheroo or a dry-out hopefully won't kill or harm them badly.
 

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I added a clay pot to the tank, empty I mean QT tank empty just water, a glass box, heater and established filter. I am going to fill the pot half way up with gravel and tip on its side as to "spill" out.

I figure if they can lay dormant for decades in the salt flats they will be fine in an aquarium, good thing is a dozen eggs are only 2 bucks.
 

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Until I read this post I hadn't heard anyone mention Triops in ages. Pretty neat little critters. Should be fine for your crayfish to eat; I've never read anything about them being toxic and after doing a quick literature search, didn't find anything that suggested otherwise
 
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