• Lobsters

    Lobsters

    Everything you need to know to raise Lobsters

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Lobsters

Lobsters

Raising Lobsters
So, how good are you at solving riddles? Are you a regular Sherlock or would you rather just go fishing? Either way, you should get the answer to this one! What has two pincers, lives in the water, waits patiently for dinner to swim by, and is so yummy, it sometimes even finds its way into your tummy? I knew you'd guess it right! Yes, it's a lobster, an animal that is often called a 'crayfish' in parts of the world like New Zealand and Australia. I know the question that's simmering on the tip of your tongue: "What? A lobster as a pet?" And why not, I ask. I know people who've kept grasshoppers and preying mantises as pets! Trust me, lobsters are every bit as entertaining as any irregular pet, and make a great wet subject for when the conversation has dried up at a party!

A name for your hamster

Lobsters are such unique creatures, coming up with a name for your new pet is full of crazy possibilities! You can name it after its huge claws, its inquisitive eyes, its beautiful shell, or even its grumpy expression. Go crazy is my suggestion!

Here are some names for boy lobsters:

  • Groucho
  • Clawd (Claude)
  • Lobby Lobberstein
  • Daryl of the Deep
  • Trapper McDonald
  • Caveman Crayg

Some interesting names for girl lobsters:

  • Clawdia (Claudia)
  • Primrose Pincer
  • Eight-legged Alice
  • Handshake Hattie
  • Granny Green
  • Oyster-loving Olivia

Before you buy

Before we go on, you must know that your pet lobster won't be as big as the ones they sell at the fish market, and are more likely to span the length of your palm, so don't go to the pet store expecting to find a big-pincered, mean looking, grouchy old crustacean.

Buy a book that teaches you about lobsters (or crayfish), and set up its tank after reading the book and the tips I've provided in the Care and Feeding section, before you take it home.

Basically, you will need a ten gallon aquarium with a filter and a tight-fitting top, among other things. The tight-fitting top is important because lobsters are the Harry Houdinis of the seas - they are excellent escape artists. If not with the help of their pincers, they can escape by jumping out of the aquarium like fish sometimes do!

Choosing your pet

They say your home is a reflection of you. This is true for lobsters as well, and dirty, badly filtered water could mean that your lobster could be infected and ill. Look out for 'annelid' parasites which often appear as tiny white leech-like worms on the shell of the lobster. Also look for cysts or flat or round white worms on its shell and tail. You should be watchful for other types of fungal and bacterial infections, and a knowledgeable pet store attendant will be able to help you choose a healthy lobster.

The one you choose should be alert, although there's no real way of telling just how alert he is because they often lie motionless in their tanks.

Make sure you choose just one li'l critter for your tank, because they are very territorial, and their parents never teach them to share anything, least of all their homes. If kept together, they will often fight to the death, and a lobster without a claw is a sorry sight.

Care and feeding

Water

Keep the water level in the aquarium an inch or two lower than the brim. Use well-filtered water, and remember that temperatures of 65 - 75 degrees Fahrenheit are best. Also make sure that the pH level of the water is always between 7.2 and 8.4, and you'll know if it is within this range or not with the help of a pH gauge or meter. If the pH drops below 7.2, take eggshells that have been dried, and pop them in the microwave for a minute or two to kill any bacteria. Crush this and then add about one teaspoon to every ten gallons of water. This helps the lobster create internal 'calcium stones' that are used to form its hard exterior or 'exoskeleton', especially during moulting. Another simple way is to use sea shells in your aquarium, which naturally raise the pH levels of the water.

You will also learn how to 'cycle' your aquarium from the book on caring for lobsters, and this is essential measure you must take if you want to keep your lobster clapping its claws!

Substrate

Gravel and large rocks in cave-like formations are ideal, and you can use ornamental or real plants as well. Lobsters are as sure-footed as mountain goats (it's a wonder they don't trip over their own feet!), and it's a treat to watch them climbing over the rocks, so use interesting rock formations.

Feeding

Although they look grumpy, lobsters aren't actually very fussy when it comes to food. In the wild, they eat aquatic plants, algae, rotting vegetation that falls into the water, snails, fish, and even the decomposing flesh of animals that die in or near the water.

The trick is never to over-feed them, as uneaten food could contaminate the tank quickly. Fish flakes are great for baby lobbies, while shrimp pellets are perfect for adults.

Two large crushed flakes a day are plenty for babies, one in the morning and another in the evening. For adults, a large pellet for breakfast and then another for dinner should do it. You can also try feeding them water lettuce, water hyacinth, water cress and romaine lettuce. Don't try other kinds of foods, such as meat or such other types of food meant for humans.

Lobster Trivia

  • Lobsters can 'amputate' their own legs, claws, and antennae when in danger, and then grow them right back!
  • A nervous system of a lobster is like that of a grasshopper
  • Pregnant female lobsters carry thousands of eggs of which only about one percent survive
  • Lobster blood is a clear fluid
  • A lobster cannot feel pain
© 2004 - 2019 Leonard Rego