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CPO Dwarf Crayfish living peacefully with a betta?

23051 Views 11 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  RussellTheShihTzu
I'm new here, so here we go...

I have a wonderfully mild mannered male crowntail living ever so peacefully with 9 Glofish Danios and 5 ghost shrimp in my fairly heavily planted 20 gallon. I recently came across an interesting little creature known as a CPO Dwarf Crayfish. According to the seller, these guys only grow to about 1.5-2 inches, TOPS and they also say that they are very peaceful and get along with all small (non aggressive) fish as well as ghost shrimp. Now, I tried to do some independent research online and couldn't really come up with anything besides a YouTube video of a larger version of a crayfish that, as soon as the curious little betta went and investigated his new "tank mate", the crayfish ATTACKED AND KILLED AND THEN PROCEEDED TO EAT THE BETTA THAT HAD LIVED IN THAT TANK FOR GOD KNOWS HOW LONG!!! And, needless to say, I was HORRIFIED. Now, the crayfish in the video was at least as big if not a little bigger than that poor Betta, but was almost unbelievable to see and it completely traumatized me! Now, I was wondering if anybody out there has had any REAL experience with these dwarf crayfish living peacefully with their bettas? Considering, this variation of the species is apparently only the size of a ghost shrimp, I have a hard time imagining they could possibly hurt and kill something that is twice their size, but I couldn't bear being wrong about that and putting my beloved betta in danger is completely out of the question. Any first hand input would be greatly appreciated!
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I have one and I have definitely never had an issue like that haha . Mine gets along very well with my Betta; they really just leave each other totally alone . Dwarf Crawfish are much, much less aggressive than later onesones, and even if they did decide to attack aBetta, I don't see them ever being able to actually take one down .

(Sorry about typos by the way.way I can't even describe how crazy my phone is being . It won't let me change anything so when I said less aggressive than later Crawfish I definitely make larger . I'm going to go throw my phone into a wall now be guys)
well now its broke good job if you were trying to brake it if not oh well oww!! my fish just bit me
Well, THAT'S A RELIEF! Good to know. I did get a message from a lady who bought 2 (a mating pair) from the breeder I'm considering buying from, and she said she's had them for a couple years without ANY sort of incident. She said that at first, if the betta got too close, they would wave their little claws at them and it was hilarious to see. But after a few days, they learned neither was a threat to the other and they've been fine ever since. She said they even waved their claws at HER when she approached the tank! Lol! I really think that would be comical to see, first hand. Still, I'm a bit apprehensive... Hopefully more people will post here and help ease my mind a bit more...
But, thank you SO much for your reply! BTW, how long have u had them sharing a tank and is it true that they only grow to be about the size of a ghost shrimp??
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I've had mine for about two months and he hasn't grown at all done since then . So yep about the size of a ghost shrimp!

I would highly recommend getting one . They are so much fun to watch and if you hold a little pellet of Betta food with tweezers they'll take it right out of there and it's so cool to see . :)
Oh yeah, and what size tank are they sharing, just out of curiosity?
I have had CPO for quite a while. Currently five are sharing a 20 long community tank with a Betta and small Nano fish. The only thing that ever happens is they will latch on to a Betta's tail and go for a ride. I've had some that did and some that didn't.

They need caves or something in which to hide when they molt and are at their most vulnerable. If they don't have sufficient shelter the other fish will pick them to death.

I feed mine Hikari Crab Cuisine but they also like Shrimp wafers. They need some sort of invert food/supplement or they will eventually suffer from nutrition deficiency. Feeding them only Betta pellets will not do in the long run. Remember, they are trying to maintain a "shell" of sorts while a fish is not. ;-)

If you want to keep more delicate inverts like the CPO, I would suggest you invest $15.00 in a TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) meter. Different inverts have different requirements but if the TDS is too high they cannot molt their carapice and will die.

As an example, my tap water was 90 TDS for years. Then a couple of months ago my inverts appeared to be having molting problems and died. I checked the tap water and it was unstable and fluctuatedf 250-400 TDS.

This may be TMI, but you really need to watch water parameters/TDS if you want your little CPO(s) to live its expected 2-3 years instead of just a few months. Oh, inverts also cannot handle large water changes. Twenty-five percent is the maximum I do but mostly I do 15% twice a week. Even when lowering my TDS by adding distilled water, I did 10% five days in a row.

CPO are cute and funny and small. I think you will enjoy them...and Welcome to the Forum. :)
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I've kept CPOs with bettas as well - nothing more to add other than that they can cannibalize each other, so make sure there are plenty of small caves (that the betta can't get into) for the crays.
THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!! NO SUCH THING AS TMI WHEN IT COMES TO PROPER FISH KEEPING AND MAKING SURE EVERY ANIMAL IN YOUR CARE IS WELL TAKEN CARE OF! Personally, I can never see getting TOO much info when it comes to stuff like this...I like to have all bases covered and love to be well informed. Hate being caught off guard. So, thank u all for your input, it's much appreciated! Now, I am no longer completely opposed to the idea of a dwarf crayfish addition to my community, but I need to learn more about them. Anyone know if they do eat ramshorn snails? I just ordered some and I've heard that they will help control the population...but I have also heard that they don't. So, what is it? Oh, and since they are safe to keep with ghost shrimp, does that mean they are also safe to keep with red cherry shrimp (RCS), as well? I have read that the RCS are smaller than ghost shrimp.
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Do they do okay with ADFs? With the ADFs lounging around all the time does that make them easy to be picked on by them?
They should do fine with RCS and before I moved them, my ADF were in with the CPO with no problem at all.
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