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How long can I keep crayfish alive?

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Old 07-05-2013, 06:39 AM   #1
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How long can I keep crayfish alive?

I am going to the lake next week for a little fishing and r&r. We usually catch some crayfish a day or two before and use them for bait. They keep great for a few days in a bucket with a bubbler

Unfortunately this weekend is the only time I can go cray hunting, and it will be at least a week before I can get out to the lake. Anybody keep them alive that long?

I guess I would need to feed them

Any thoughts?
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Old 07-05-2013, 06:59 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DR007 View Post
This could be option 2.

Oh good, someone sensible shows up
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Old 07-05-2013, 07:21 AM   #4
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That's a great option that has been done many times before. But when I can add some nice bass to that pile..... Life is good

I googled keeping the bastards alive and there is a bunch of stuff about aquariums and the like, but I have no intention of setting up a entire habitat for bait
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Old 07-05-2013, 07:35 AM   #5
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The biggest thing is to keep the water they are staying in clean, and oxygen rich. A simple aquarium airator will work well to help them live longer. We would keep a small foam cooler with big holes in the lid for bait that we needed to last. Then used a small airator that can run on 12v. Keep the air oxygenated and they will last a lot longer. Don't change out the water quickly either. Fast temperature changes of even 5-10 degrees can quickly kill them as well.
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Old 07-05-2013, 07:59 AM   #6
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+1 to what Bama said.

They need to be treated like maintaining a fish tank. In particular, crustaceans are some of THE most sensitive creatures that live in water.

Lots of airflow, some current, and frequent water changes will keep them alive. I would first store them in the bucket with water from their original source, and add a bubbler/powerhead to the bucket. When doing water changes, make sure the water is the same quality as the water in the bucket by making sure temp is correct (use a heater), and if you have any handy, use some de-chlorine/chloramine/ammonia treatment.

As far as feeding, you probably only need to feed them once in the middle of the week, and don't feed much. Too much food will cause an ammonia spike, which will quickly kill the bucket.

Good luck, and happy fishing.
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Old 07-05-2013, 08:15 AM   #7
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My buddy kept one a live for a year in a 2.5 gallon aquarium with a small air pump.
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Old 07-05-2013, 09:50 AM   #8
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I do have a bubbler and even a aquarium heater. I will get them set up and see what I can do
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Old 07-05-2013, 10:28 AM   #9
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It will also help if you have something that they can crawl outside of the water for a bit if they want to. They are not truly aquatic animals, and will like to perch up on a piece of wood that is sticking out of the water.
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Old 07-05-2013, 04:53 PM   #11
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I kept one alive an entire summer in a kiddy pool by adding new water every once in a while as needed and then feeding it tuna fish.
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Old 07-06-2013, 03:53 AM   #13
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I do have a bubbler and even a aquarium heater. I will get them set up and see what I can do
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Old 07-06-2013, 03:54 AM   #14
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The hunting trip got completely busted so no life bait for me yet
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Old 07-06-2013, 04:44 AM   #15
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I've fed a crawfish feeder fish, triops, giant caterpillars, spiders, fiddler crabs, smaller crawfish, small African frogs, earthworms and brine shrimp. They'll even eat their old exoskeleton after they molt.
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