How to care for crawfish

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Crawfish, crayfish, crawdads, also known by many other names, are aggressive creatures. I rescued a crawfish from Green River, Wyoming, in a spot that is over-polluted. Hope you enjoy this page!

General info: Crawfish are highly aggressive crustaceans, freshwater by name. These usually extend to 2-3 inches, but can grow even larger. They are very messy, but don't let that fool you! They require surprisingly little space, like 10-15 gallons. These freshwater guys require a lot of care, though, so be prepared.

Tank decor: Crawfish usually eat just about anything, so don't put any real plants in the tank with them. They will eat them. I've never tried plastic plants, but that's mostly because I'm afraid that the crawfish will choke on them. A simple rock cave will work, real rocks (just cleaned) or decor. A bare tank will work too, but it's just not as "safe" to a non-trusting, secretive mini lobster.

Food: Our little guys eat almost anything solid, but nothing shredded. Feed them 2-3 shrimp pellets, the kind that sinks, at night if they are mature, and during the day if they are young. They will eat much more, but they honestly only need that much.

Cleaning operations: Cleaning happens twice a week, and they live for 2+ years, so be prepared for 104+ water changes. Simply take the crawfish out into a pre-filled water area (bathtubs come in handy). Remember to pick it up by its back. Then, start filtering the gravel and pour out the collected water (it should be about 1 gallon of water), but not into the place where the crawfish is! Decor will be cleaned about every 2 weeks, filter is changed as necessary, and while tank is partially empty, swab the insides for algae. Re-pour the 1 gallon of clean water. The outside can be cleaned by an aquarium-safe glass cleaner. After cleaning is over, don't bother your crustacean. He is probably really stressed right now.

Be careful that crawfish are master escapers! Make sure you have a tight lid for the tank. You may develop a habit of waking up really, really early and examining the room of the fish!!!