Fishkeeping For Kids

The Tale of Doo-Dad, the Brilliant #1 Escape Artist

Meet Doo-DadDoo-Dad

I got Doo-Dad on December 17, 2021, as a christmas gift. Doo-Dad is a female Australian redclaw crayfish. You can tell they are female by the claws- only males have the classic red claws that make the species so recognizable. Instead, females have deep blue claws. I got her along with some snails and shrimp at a local aquarium store.

This species is more likely to be found in a supermarket than an aquarium, being one of the most popular crayfish species to eat. This species grows between 8” and 12” with 8”-10” being the norm. I bought her to keep temporarily in my 10 gallon, with plans to upgrade her tank later (disclaimer- I 100% absolutely do not recommend this. While in theory this is fine, in reality less than 20% of creatures actually end up in their final, proper sized home.)

When I bought Doo-Dad, she was around 3” (I didn’t measure her before her first molt). She went unnamed for the first couple weeks, with many names being suggested. Eventually, my mom suggested the name Doo-Dad, with the logic being she was a craw dad who was always doing something. Hence the name Doo-Dad. Her first molt was at the end of December, right before the new year.

For the first molt, she grew up by 1”. As she was new to the tank, I was carefully monitoring her behaviors and noticed immediately when she stopped eating. After that, I continued monitoring her for a few days and actually recorded around ¾ of her first molt. She was a total of 4” at the end of her first molt. As you can see in the photo below, she didn’t necessarily grow much in length, but her body became much deeper with this molt.



At the beginning of the new year, she had her first escape. A few days earlier she had climbed into the filter, and I had been covering the main gap with a towel at night to keep her from getting out. I had forgotten to put the towel on this particular night. I woke up and she was gone. She was found in my room behind a bag on the floor a few minutes later, covered in dust and slightly traumatized, but unharmed.

Small tip- if you own a crayfish that escapes and a quick 2-minute search does not reveal your crayfish, put a container of water in the corner of every room, with a lid nearby. Crayfish will die if dehydrated for too long.

Her second molt went completely missed. I had been sick during her pre-molting period and hadn’t been doing much fish tank monitoring. I came in one morning, and she was a little bigger and it turns out she had molted. This time she had only grown ½ an inch.

A few nights ago, Doo-Dad kept crawling in the filter and I had to keep taking her out of it. The next morning my filter was broken. I had assumed it was broken (not a rare occurrence among cheap Walmart filters), but during cleaning today I found out she had pulled a vital part out of place, and moving it back fixed the filter. She also escaped again on the cord of a new airstone I have added.

By now, the new tank is nearly done. I have already built the stand, and I have the 55-gallon aquarium with sand, a filter, a lid with a light, and plenty of decorations to climb on. As of a few days ago, she is in the tank.

Read more about Australian redclaw crayfish here.

For a list of aquarium resources, check out my resource list here.


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