Cherax destructor
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Cherax destructor

Common Names: Yabby
Dam Yabby
Blue Claw
Fresh water crayfish
Salinity: Freshwater
Distribution: They are found throughout Australia.
Marron generally found in Western Australia, others found in New South Wales and Victoria.

Yabbies are very often found in area of high turbidity. They enjoy mud flats or silty bottoms, very much like the habitat of a lake or dam, as it provides protection against predators. They are rarely found in clear water habitats. However, for tank situations, clear water is suitable, provided the tank substrate is at least 5-10cm thick and is composed of a silty sand.
Care: Just because the Yabby enjoys turbid waters, does not mean the water quality can be poor.
As dissolved oxygen decreases, feeding and therefore growth, also decreases. Good feeding activity and optimal growth are achieved when salinity levels are lower than 8 ppt and are dependent on healthy, well oxygenated waters.
When a Yabby gets too big for its current shell, it has to shed its shell and grow a new one. During this time, the yabby is quite vulnerable and may be eaten by its own kind. The shell should be left in the aquarium so that the yabby can eat it and regain calcium. This can be encouraged by not feeding the yabby for 2-3 days after moulting or until the shell is eaten. If the shell has not been eaten in this time, it should be removed to prevent water fouling. It is recommended to give them a few hiding places such as small caves to hide from other Yabbies to give them a better chance of survival through this stage. Cannibalism should not be allowed as this can spread Porcelain (White tail) disease.
Feeding: Yabbies are generally considered detrivores, eating dead and decaying plant material. They are opportunistic feeders and in an aquarium environment where detritus is impractical, they can be considered omnivorous. They will eat anything from rotting leaves and wood to live fish, earthworms and other aquatic organisms. They are rather skilled hunters, so any other fish or creatures that are kept with yabbies should be considered expendable.

In an aquarium situation they are best fed on blanched vegetables such as peas, carrots and zucchini, and occasional meaty foods such as earthworms, bloodworms and brine shrimp.

Avoid mammalian meats and offal as, although your yabby probably will eat them, their digestive systems are not designed to cope with those meats.

They are crepuscular, being at their most active at dusk and just before dawn. Feeding is best done at these times, however they will generally eat whenever food is offered.
1°C - 35°C
34°F - 95°F
Potential Size: Male: 25cm (9.8")
Female: 25cm (9.8")
Image Credit: Jimbooo
Submitted By: Jimbooo
Contributors: Jimbooo, Natalie, Jay Hopper, lifeofcrimeguy, Callatya
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