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Frankie and Franky: Crawdad Surprise

Updated: Oct 20, 2021

When we were living in Aurora, Colorado we had quite some enjoyment walking over to the local pond. John had an experiment he wanted to try after we picked up a free fish tank and supplies. Our apartment was awesome because if someone in the building didn't want something (that wasn't in really bad condition), they could leave it at the front door to the entrance of the building for one of the other residents to pick up.

We grabbed a lot of free items from this spot which helped our budget immensely. We were also able to try different projects only because of these items. Sadly, a year and some months later the new people in charge were upset about the pile and wanted to fine people for leaving anything there. Lame.

John was wanting to test out hydroponics and the possibility of growing something. At one point, a neighbor had left a full Aquarium set that included the large glass tank, some fish items, and water cleaning supplies. I forgot exactly what we were attempting but he wanted to get the water ready and it involved grabbing some brush and dirt from the pond. We just had to let it sit and grow for a few weeks. And it did!

When we were getting ready to start on that project, we realized there was a little more than just snails roaming around inside. We managed to pick up some crawdad eggs! We actually were able to keep them around for a few months until they reached this size. They managed to reach almost three inches in length.

Now we had two and they had very different personalities. We named Franky, with a 'y' to the one who was a little more aggressive. Constantly chasing the other crawdad. The other we named 'Frankie' with an 'ie'. They were a little more passive and would cling to the top to avoid confrontation. I don't know why I came up with that name but it stuck. I think it was a connection between two people I know with those names (one a real person and the other from Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends). We started looking into how to raise them and wondered how we were going clean and filter their tank properly.

One day, everything started out as normal. We woke up and went to go brush our teeth. And found one of them by our bathroom door. Keep in mind, their tank is on the other side of the apartment. They walked to almost the other side of the apartment, took a right turn, and left turn down to the bathroom. This was probably four yards of the house covered? I was really shocked at how far this little critter must have had to go on its own. Our floors weren't exactly clear of items (I was cleaning and organizing projects on the floor against the wall) so they would've had to either walk all over the stuff on the ground or walk around the mess. Sadly, this little guy didn't make it after being out of for so long. We put them back in the tank but they died shortly after.

I mourned. I was so proud we had grown these little guys and it was fascinating to observe them interact and grow. Sadly, a lot of our other photos of them growing up have been lost. If I happen to come across them again I'll put them in a scrolling gallery below.

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