What do crawfish eat? Let’s learn the food types that this favorite seafood eats before we eat them.
Crawfish, also called crayfish, freshwater lobsters, crawdads, yabbies, mudbugs, or mountain lobsters are freshwater crustaceans that are similar to small lobsters, in which they have some relation.
Just like lobsters, they have pincers and are colored brown, gray, and red. They are members of the family Parastacoidea and family Astacoidea. Crawfish breathe through feather-like gills.
Some of them could be found in streams and brooks where freshwater is abundant, while others live in ditches, paddy fields, and swamps. Many crawfish cannot thrive on polluted water, although a few of them are hardier.
Crawfish eat plants and animals, either decomposing or living and detritus. There are three families of crawfish, two in the Northern Hemisphere and the other in the Southern Hemisphere. In the Southern Hemisphere, they can be found in Australasia, South America, and Madagascar.
The rest can be found in Eurasia, North America, and Japan. This should be enough to satisfy our curiosity about where do crayfish live so we should go next to what do crawfish eat.
What Do Crawfish Eat?
It is somewhat strange to ask this question because crawfish are served as delicacies and dishes in restaurants and on special occasions just like lobsters. However, because of their unusual appearance, unique characteristics, and hardiness, pet lovers have come to love them as, well, pets.
So, if you are one of the pet lovers and wonder what do crawfish eat because they have a variety of diets that is rather easy to get. They prefer food such as vegetables, shrimp pellets, algae wafers, regular fish food, and small fish which could be captured by their claws.
So, if you are wondering do crawfish eat algae? Well, apparently, they do. Do crawfish eat worms? They also do just like regular fish food. What do crawfish eat in the wild are a lot because they’re omnivorous creatures and like to scavenge a lot.
What do crawfish eat in freshwater? Just like in the wild, they are opportunistic feeders and eat insect larvae, amphibian eggs, tadpoles, plants, insects, and algae. Obviously, what do crawfish eat in freshwater is the same as what do crawfish eat in the pond.
Crawfish are also cannibalistic and if they are left alone for a while without any food, they will try to eat each other. For vegetables, you can feed your crawfish, carrots, zucchini, and frozen peas. They also eat java moss. Young crawfish are quite aggressive feeders.
How To Take Care of Crawfish
To take care of crawfish, all you need is the right kind of food and the right information about what do crawfish eat, the right tank, and love and dedication. People are fond of crawfish as pets because they are so lovable to watch, when they move around the tank, eat other fish, and build little mounds and hills.
- The first thing you need to do for your crawfish pet project is to set-up a 10-gallon aquarium where it is going to receive natural light and the water remains at room temperature. The best water temperature for your crawfish depends on the kind of species that you have. In general, 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit is a good temperature range.
- Try to copy the natural habitat of crawfish. You can do this by putting 3 inches of aquarium gravel on your aquarium. Try to arrange the gravel at the bottom of your aquarium so that it has hills and valleys. Crawfish love to hide in cracks, crevices, and holes in the wild so add safe stones and logs of the right size to your set-up. A PVC pipe can also be a good substitute for logs as long as the diameter is big enough for the crawfish to crawl in. Make sure that you don’t overdo your decorations and allow the crawfish to escape from the aquarium. You may or may not add fishes to your aquarium. If you do, you can have neon tetras, platies, mollies, small catfish, and swordtails for small crawfish. For bigger crawfish, you can keep smaller fish like Malawi, Tanganyika cichlid fish, catfish, South American cichlid fish, barbs, goldfish, and labyrinth fish. In general, the pincers of the crawfish are too big to let them catch small fast fish.
- Place a clear lid or mesh screen top on your aquarium just to make sure your crawfish cannot get out. Lighting is not recommended because crawfish don’t like too much light in their environment.
- Add water to the aquarium until the water is at least 6 inches deep. You can arrange the tank with material that juts out of the surface in case your crawfish wants to stay on dry land.
- Set up a filter. A hanging filter that has a stream of water going into the tank with the uptake immersed will give a water flow that benefits the crawfish. Run the filter for 24 hours before you proceed.
- Place your crawfish in a bag or container in the aquarium for 1 hour so that the water levels will acclimate. Then, release your crawfish.
- Feed your crawfish once a day.
- Clean the aquarium regularly and perform partial changes of water once every week.
Interesting Facts about Crawfish
- Crawfish can drown.
- There are 500 species of crawfish but only two of them are harvested for food.
- A cave-dwelling crawfish exists that are colorless and do not have eyes.
- Crawfish feed at night.
- A crawfish has four pairs of walking legs and four pairs for swimming.
- Some species of crawfish can love between 20-30 years.
- Male crawfish fight each other for female crawfish during mating season.
- Crawfish walk forward and swim backward.
- Crawfish can eat hot dogs and cat food.
- Crawfish are oviparous. After the mating process, the female crawfish keeps the eggs in the swimmerets close to her tail, just right under her belly. When the eggs hatch, the small baby crawfish stay on the mother’s tail until they are old enough to swim on their own.