Bringing Mini Dinosaurs Into The Present: How To Breed Prehistoric Crabs

Prehistoric crabs are the oldest living creatures on this planet. They have existed on earth for over 350 million years and have even survived the dinosaurs.

Surely you know them also under the names Triops, Tadpole Shrimps, Dinosaur Shrimps or Turtle Shrimps. Do you want to breed Triops? Then you can make a valuable contribution to the fact that they will not die out so quickly in the future.

Special Crayfish That Stand The Test Of Time

Primeval crabs are often speckled dark brown and are exceedingly calm and apparently serene contemporaries. Children and adults alike love to observe the “relics of times long past.”

Furthermore, it is extremely easy to breed prehistoric crabs, because these crab species do not have particularly high demands on their living conditions. Therefore, not much technique is required when breeding Triops.

Making The Primeval Times Tangible When Breeding Artemia

If you want to breed Triops, you will get a deep insight into the prehistoric cosmos and the history of life.

Because Triops already existed when the dinosaurs still roamed the earth. Today, however, Tyrannosaurus Rex and Co. are waiting to be excavated by archaeologists and naturalists, while you can watch the spectacular prehistoric crayfish in the aquarium while breeding Artemia.

Prehistoric crayfish are dorsal shellfish and are also called living fossils. It is extremely fascinating and very exciting to watch these crabs.

They have 3 eyes, 2 of which they use primarily to look for food and protect themselves from enemies. The third eye is located on the back of their head and plays an important role in light detection.

The fact that prehistoric crabs have 3 eyes is the reason for their name: Triops comes from the Greek language and means something like”three-eyed”

Crab Species Of A Special Kind – 3 Eyes And Breathing Legs

Prehistoric crabs have a carapace called an exoskeleton. This is a skeletal variant that – unlike us humans – lies outside the body. Thus, the skeleton of these crabs has 2 basic properties:

  • It protects against enemies and helps ward off predators.
  • It is flexible and thus supports the crabs in their mobility.

Did you know that prehistoric crabs breathe with their legs? In fish, the respiratory organs are located on the side or back of the head. Prehistoric crabs, on the other hand, have their gills on their legs. In general, prehistoric crustaceans have a completely different structure and their way of life is completely different from that of other creatures.

If you are interested in buying parrots or canaries, you usually buy either the young or the adult specimens.

However, when it comes to breeding primeval crayfish, the situation is completely different. To breed primeval crabs you buy the Triops eggs and not the crabs themselves.

The eggs are tiny, dry, misshapen “balls” with a protective shell. These extremely robust eggs can survive up to 15 years without water . This is due to evolution

Note: Some of the crayfish species do not even need a mate to lay eggs. This asexual reproduction is also known from the fascinating world of snails.

Before you start to breed prehistoric crayfish, you should inform yourself about the providers of Triops eggs. In many countries certain crustacean species are highly endangered, and it is illegal to take the eggs without further ado.

Therefore, you are well advised to buy the eggs from reputable facilities that have been engaged in breeding and caring for the parent animals for years.

Breeding Triops Or Artemia?

There are different types of primordial crustaceans. Triops and Artemia are the best known of them. The former are gill-feet with a filigree but strong shell, belonging to the genus of turtles.

Their long forked tail, which seems “huge” in relation to their body size, is also striking. Artemias are so-called brine shrimps. They also belong to the primeval crustaceans. Unlike Triops they feel – as the name suggests – particularly well in salt water.

Fairy crayfish are among the crayfish species that are at home in freshwater. On average, they grow to about 2 to 4 centimeters in size. Unlike Triops, fairy crayfish do not have a carapace.

This makes them extremely fast and persistent swimmers. Then there are the clam shells. They do not grow bigger than one centimeter and have two shells on their back.

This surrounds them like a kind of belt from the left and the right side. They like to swim for their life, but just as often they lie lazily in the sand buried up to their eyes.

Breeding Triops With Ease

The different crayfish species all have a certain similarity in terms of their physique. Only in terms of their size and coloration there are differences.

If you want to breed Triops, you should know that they need particularly long light phases per day, which should not fall below a duration of 12 hours. The ideal water temperature is 22 to 29 degrees Celsius.

Even if the living conditions of your Triops are perfect, you should know that they will not live beyond 7 to eight 8 weeks. However, some specimens reach an age of up to 15 weeks.

No Reason For Sadness

In general, people deal with breeding animals because they wish to enjoy them for as many years as possible. With primeval crabs it is different. They die very early.

But if you take a look at their prehistoric history, you will see that they have adapted evolutionarily to their short life span in an excellent way. They lay a lot of eggs very quickly. These are so robust that they can easily survive dry periods lasting for years.

This so-called dry period is called diapause. This refers to the delay in the development of the species, which makes it possible to reproduce despite the most adverse living conditions and to preserve them literally for eternity.

You can easily hatch the eggs that your primeval crabs lay during their short life. Care for them carefully so that they develop as splendidly as the parents. With good care, they grow extremely fast.

Given their small size, the eggs can hardly be distinguished from the grains of sand in the aquarium. Within a very short time they reach a body size of about four to eight centimeters, depending on the species. Unless you want to breed Artemia. They grow to a maximum of one centimeter.

The Ideal Equipment For Breeding Primeval Crayfish

For the beginning you need a rectangular, translucent container with a capacity of about 10 liters. Approximately 6 to 8 days after hatching, the small primeval pets are transferred to a larger tank.

Equip the aquarium with a special light, which you can get in a well-stocked pet store. Normal daylight is not sufficient for the primeval crabs, but they need a lot of light or long light phases to be able to grow and thrive. You will also need an aquarium thermometer so that you can always keep a perfect eye on the water temperature.

Do not fill the (first) tank with plain tap water, as the primeval crayfish will not hatch in it. Use rainwater or distilled water instead.

Tip: Get a small stirring rod so that you can check whether all eggs sink to the sandy bottom and do not float on the water surface. In addition, you should stir the water regularly to support the oxygen supply.

Now it will not take much longer. After you have placed the eggs in the warm water, you should check whether they are actually all in the sand. Then point the aquarium light at the small eggs around the clock for a period of about 3 to 4 days.

Special hatching food makes the water more nutrient-rich and ensures that your primeval pets hatch after about two to three days. Spirulina algae powder is the ideal nutrient when breeding Triops.

All in all, the primeval crabs are quite undemanding, so that you can observe them eating already after a few days after egg laying.

Have fun breeding primeval crayfish!

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