4 Dec 2002

Electric Blue Lobster Tips

Dear Blue Lobster:

Hello, I have just recently bought an Electric Blue Lobster , and I am trying to find out how to care for it better. The pet store in which I bought him at was not very helpful. I have him in a 5 gallon tank filled with water (I got the gallon sized bottled water) with some rocks, and his food, which are some shrimp (go shrinp) and a feeder fish. I got the e-care book, but it only gives refernce to Crabs. What size tank should I get, does he need heated water, a misting bottle, air pump. I don't know much from what they told me at the pet stor. What is molting also. I know this seems like a lot but, I have been everywhere for this kind of information. Please help. Thank you. Happy Holidays!!

Dear Gentle Sir:

Generally, the larger an area you can give your Electric Blue Lobster (probably actually either a procamabrus alleni or an orconectes immunis), the better. That being said, for practical purposes a 10 gallon take will suffice for the single specimen and a 20 gallon tank would be ample.

The water in the tank, which optimally should be seasoned for a few weeks before you introduce the cray, must be free of all sanitary chemicals. Chlorine and chloramine, often found in tap water, are cray-killers. A temperature of 70 degrees with a pH of 7.0, or neutral, will make for a very stable and comfortable environment for your blue lobster. An air pump of some sort should be used in the tank, if not a substratum filter. Oxygen is important to crayfish.

As for molting, good sir, it is the natural process by which crayfish (as well as other crustaceans) shed their hard exoskeleton in order to grow. The process is preceded by strange eating behaviors and activity patterns. The shell will split at the carapace and the cray usually escapes through the top of the tail. During this stage the lobster is vulnerable and will hide for a few days, and is why it is important that there is plenty of space and hiding places in the tank: predacious fish species as well as other crays will consider the molted lobster as prey! After hardening the new, larger exo-skeleton, the crayfish should begin eating normally. You may also notice that any missing or injured limbs have reappeared in some manner after the molt.