How Do You Care for Crayfish?


Quick Answer

Most crayfish prefer a 5-gallon tank, hard to very hard water that ranges from 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. However, some species do not follow these general parameters. Crayfish should be fed primarily sinking shrimp pellets, with additional vegetables and frozen foods such as cabbage leaves, zucchini medallions, shelled peas, frozen brine shrimp and frozen fish for required nutrients. Crayfish should be alone in a tank, as they have a nasty habit of eating any neighbors.

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Full Answer

No fish, regardless of size, should share a tank with a crayfish. Even if the crayfish does not eat the fish, the fish may eat the crayfish during its defenseless malting period if the crayfish is unable to hide. Crayfish should not share a tank with others of their own kind either, as the animals are extremely cannibalistic. This extends to mating crayfish, so the mother should be separated from her young before she decides to make a meal of them. Finally, decorative aquarium plants are also potential meals for crayfish, so no important ones should be in the tank.

Crayfish like to hide during their molting period, so any good crayfish tank includes caves, corners and other hiding places to indulge them. If another creature is in the tank, the hiding place can protect the crayfish during its molting period and the other creatures the rest of the time. Larger tanks also help fulfill this goal.

A crayfish tank should have a hang-on-back filter, because crayfish can escape easily through the air line of a sponge filter. Crayfish are skilled escape artists, so any other tank imperfections are also likely to be exploited. Crayfish frequently hoard food, reducing the water quality. Therefore, regular tank cleanings are essential.

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