Marble crayfish (lat.Procarambus virginalis) is a unique creature that you can keep in the aquarium. Each of them can reproduce on its own, almost in the same way that plants reproduce by seed without the participation of other plants.
Each individual marble crayfish is a female, but they reproduce by parthenogenesis, and can repeatedly hatch babies like two drops of water similar to their parents. The good news is that they are unpretentious in content and interesting in behavior.
Marble cancer is medium in size, reaches 10-15 cm in length. Due to their small size, most aquarists try to keep marble crayfish in small aquariums.
However, they create a lot of debris and dirt and it is better to plant marble crayfish in an as spacious aquarium as possible. Especially if you want to contain not one or two, but more crayfish.
The minimum volume for the content of marble crayfish is 40 liters, and then such an aquarium is quite difficult to care for.
In different sources there are different wishes for the volume for maintenance, but keep in mind that the more space the larger and more beautiful the crayfish and the cleaner they have in the aquariums. It is better that it was an aquarium of 80-100 liters.
It is better to use sand or fine gravel as the soil; it is easier for the crayfish to find food on such soil and to clean it after them is much easier. Be sure to add a lot of different shelters - caves, plastic pipes, pots, different snags, coconuts.
Since marble crayfish are river creatures and at the same time they litter a lot, it is necessary to use a powerful filter, and create a flow in the aquarium. Additionally, it is better to use aeration, as cancers are sensitive to the oxygen content in water. The optimum temperature is 18-28 C, pH is from 6.5 to 7.8.
Regular changes of water in the aquarium are required, while you need to siphon the soil to remove rotting food debris. In this case, sand will come in handy, since the residues do not penetrate into it, but remain on the surface.
As for plants, the only plants that can survive in an aquarium with marble crayfish are floating on the surface or in the water column. Everything else will be trimmed and eaten. You can try putting Javanese moss, they eat it less often, but still eat it.
The aquarium must be carefully closed, especially if you use an external filter. Crayfish are very dexterous and easily escape through the tubes from the aquarium, and then die from drying out.
Feeding marble crayfish is quite simple, as these are very unpretentious creatures that eat everything that they can reach.
Their main food is vegetable. You need to give herbal tablets for catfish, various sinking granules and vegetables. From vegetables, you can give corn, zucchini, cucumbers, spinach leaves, lettuce, dandelions. Before feeding vegetables scalded with boiling water.
Although marble crayfish mainly feed on plant foods, they also need protein. You can feed them about once a week, fish fillet, shrimp meat, live food, snails, slices of the liver.
Of course, you can feed it with pellets alone, but for normal molting and growth, marble crab requires a varied diet.
Marble crayfish can be kept with fish, but you should avoid large and predatory fish that can hunt crayfish. For example, cichlids, some of which are simply fed with crayfish (for example, flower horna, you can even find a video on the link). Smaller fish for adult crayfish are not dangerous, but juveniles can eat.
It is impossible to contain marble crayfish with fish living at the bottom, with any catfish (tarakatum, corridors, antsistrus, etc.), since he eats fish. You can not keep with slow fish and fish with veil fins, it will break off the fins or catch fish.
Can be kept with inexpensive livestock such as guppies or swordsmen and a variety of tetras. But, sometimes he will catch them.
All cancers periodically fade. Before molting, marble crayfish eats nothing and hides for a day or two. If suddenly you see a shell in the aquarium, do not throw it away and do not be alarmed! The cancer will eat it, it has a lot of calcium needed for it. After molting, the cancer is very vulnerable and it is necessary that there are a lot of shelters in the aquarium, where it could sit out.
Marble crayfish will very quickly divorce to such an extent that you will not know where to put them. In Europe and the USA, they are even banned for sale, as they pose a threat to local species.
One female can carry from 20 to 300 eggs at a time, depending on her age. After 5 months, a young female is capable of breeding. If you want to get little crustaceans, then decide in advance what you will do with them.
To increase survival, you need to put the female with caviar in a separate aquarium, since the crayfish are not averse to eating their own children. When the first crustaceans appear, they are very small and immediately ready for life and feeding.
But, do not rush to plant the female as soon as you see them, she gives birth to them gradually, during the day, after the expiration of which she can be planted. You can feed the crustaceans with the same feeds as adult marble crayfish, only it is better to grind the tablets.