7 Jan 2004

The Case of the Upside-Down Crayfish

Dear Blue Lobster:

I have had my crayfish for just about two years. Today we found him laying upside down in the tank. When we went to get him thinking he was dead he started walking around. Then a few momoents later he was on his side again. I am guessing he is coming to an end? Anyone ever had this happen.


Dear Gentle Sir:

Remember dear old Dad, reclining in his hammock, content and at peace with the world after a hard day's work? He wanted nothing more than to just sit back and relax with a nice iced tea and the breeze to keep him company, cooling him in the dying glow of the summer sun. In many ways, your crayfish is behaving a lot like dear old Dad, reclining nude on its back, waving its legs gently. There is one thing, however, that differs sharply.

Your crayfish is about to die very, very soon.

How would you treat your dying father? Make your cray as comfortable as possible: monitor the water temperature and test the pH and water chemistry. Throw a live maggot or worm to him occasionally, even holding it with some sort of instrument up to its mouth-parts. Perhaps moving the cray to a softer spot might help, and covering him in water vegetation before you go to bed for the night would be appropriate too. Fortunately your crayfish needs no bed-pan, but be sure to knock loose any feces that may be trailing from its anus.

Concerns after your crayfish die are much different. You will have to decide on disposal. Some choose a simple flush down a toilet, while others opt to stuff and mount the cray for continued enjoyment throughout the years. One little girl who wrote in claimed that she buried her crayfish under her back yard in a shoe box, complete with eulogy! Though frowned upon my most serious crustaceanists, cooking and eating the dead crayfish is an option too, but be sure that the cray is either still alive or freshly dead as dead crayfish harbor many disgusting bacteria that don't belong in the human gut!

As for your own grieving, I suggest getting a new crayfish as soon as possible. Perhaps it would feel good to start with a crayby or maybe to go out and buy that exotic that yabby you've always fantasized about. Whatever the case, grief is often overcome while keeping busy and there's no better way to keep busy than with a new cray. Even a fiddler crab harem or some ghost shrimp might be a good way to get back on the crustacean horse after this crushing personal blow to you.

With much sympathy I wish you luck.


Anonymous said...

Actually I am thinking about going and buying another Blue Crayfish. I can't believe I actully miss the stilly little thing and he just died an hour ago.

Anonymous said...

We bought two blue lobsters last week and they are both on their back..
Not sure what happened.. One lost it's shell and died the next
day.. The other one died a day later...Not sure why they died..
Water temp was 70 degrees...

Anonymous said...

mine was upside down for 2 days. i put it in an inch of water in a new container and 2 days later it started walking around in the container. put it back in the tank and when i got home from work the next day it was upside down again.... I tried to pick it up and it jumped away. odd.

Panos said...

my female lobster was upside down for 4-5 hours and something like cotton was under her belly. meanwhile the male one was next to her avoiding the fish who were approaching her, then she changed her shield and become more brown :)

Anonymous said...

i had one blue one, and all that its been doing is laying on its back fiddling, i put it in a separate tank to see any changes, but still remains on his back. he has been on his back for 2 hours, around the same area of the tank. any chances of survival or is death surely to come

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