What Do Crayfish Eat?

If you are a fish lover who has no idea about what crayfish is, you need to know that they are tiny crustaceans that have a similar look to mini lobsters.

They are usually found in freshwater and hence you can find them living in ponds,  streams, and marshes. Crayfish is a great burrower and this is why it chooses to stay in waters that are not brackish. A crayfish is also considered one of the most beloved pets in the majority of households.

How to Take Care of Crayfish – Things Crayfish Like to Eat Most

What Do Crayfish Eat

These fishes are also known as crawdads in a few parts of the United States and this crustacean is a typical omnivore that has a varied diet of both plant and animal food. However, their diet is a bit different when they live in the wild than what it is when they live in captivity. Read on to know everything about a crayfish and what it is in the wild and as pets.

What do crayfish eat when kept in the wild?

If you keep a crayfish in the wild,  you will find it eating anything that it comes across. They eat dead animals like plankton, other fish, shrimp, dead worms and insects, and algae. At the same time, crayfish can also eat plant matter that they get through the water that they live in. Decomposed with grass and tree leaves is also eaten by a crayfish. It can be easily said that crayfishes are never choosy about their food; they can have anything to satiate their hunger.

What do crayfish eat when kept as pets?

It is extremely easy to feed crayfish as pets since they can eat just about anything. If you think you have to search ponds or go out fishing in order to decompose plant matter for your crayfish, you are wrong. There are sinkable pellets that you can find online which include things like algae, kelp, and other fishes like salmon that you can use as the main diet for your crayfish. Carrots, frozen peas, stems of broccoli, slices of zucchini, and various plants like Java Moss can also be added to the fish tank to feed your crayfish.

These crustaceans will always try to consume any other fish that you put inside the tank with it and hence live feeding can also be a great possibility for this pet owner.  If you are highly serious about the natural feeding methods of a crayfish, you can include other fishes for them. However, one thing to Remember is that grey fishes don’t require too much protein and hence a diet full of fish is probably not the ideal thing for them. You can instead give them commercial pellets so that they can get the main source of nutrients.

What are the benefits that a crayfish can bring to your fish tank?

Since crayfish can eat different types of foods, there are numerous benefits to keeping these creatures in your fish tank. To start off with, crayfish will consume several things that you wouldn’t want to keep in your aquarium. As soon as you put them inside the fish tank, they will start consuming all sorts of aquarium algae including bacteria.  A crayfish also eats away the algae that develop on the glass of the aquarium. Isn’t this a great thing for the aquarium owner?

Among many of the six hundred species of crayfish,  there are several that also filter feed.  The meaning of filter feed is when they filter the water and eat bacteria that could otherwise hamper the tank conditions.

A crayfish’s preference to eat undesirable things can help keep your aquarium in a good condition and maintain its daily cleanliness.  Well, this might not replace your regular maintenance duties or filtration system, but you can certainly find your tank looking purer when you have crayfish in it.

Apart from eating undesirable things in and around the aquarium, crayfish can also accept various types of planned foods. As already mentioned above, crayfish is never choosy about its food and hence you can be assured that it will have anything that you provide it.

Even if you want to, you can give dried food to a crayfish.  since their swimming abilities are not as strong as other fishes, sinking food pellets can be a good option. At times, you can also find your crayfish consuming leftover fish flakes that remain at the bottom of the aquarium. This is also beneficial for your fish tank as leftover food can turn the water sour.

Moreover,  crayfish can also eat protein-based snacks and vegetables. There are several Aquarists who prefer to provide tiny minnow fish or fried fish to their crustacean so that they have something to hunt. Some others will stick to prepared veggies and other commercial foods.

Tips to Feed Crayfish properly

Crayfish usually have sharp claws that can injure and also pinch human skin. Hence, there are tinier pieces of food that need to be dropped into the fish tank from above to make sure the fingers don’t touch the crayfish’s claws. You can try giving longer foods like green beans, and carrot sticks as they can be directly fed to a crayfish. This is often seen to be a fun activity for the kids.

In case there is any food that is left over inside the tank the next day, it should be taken out before a new meal is offered. If you keep the leftover food, the tank might get dirty and make the entire atmosphere unsanitary and unhealthy for the crayfish to live in.

Things to watch out for when you have a crayfish as a pet

So,  after reading the entire article,  you now know what crayfish eat when kept in the wild and also when kept as a pet. Nevertheless,  there are always a few things that you need to keep in mind before getting one. Their ferocious appetite might lead to problems in a fish tank when you are not mentally prepared.

Since these fishes can eat slow-moving and small fishes too, this also means that you can invite problems when you think of stalking your aquarium with other daring fishes. If these fishes are not able to escape away from the grasp of a crayfish, they will soon become its prey.

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