Your Step By Step Guide On How To Raise Crawfish In A Tank!

Last Updated on January 14, 2022 by Fabiola L.

Crawfish are a great addition to any home aquaponic system.  If you want to get started, we have created this perfect guide on how to raise crawfish in a tank!  

Crawfish are more popularly known as crayfish.  They are crustaceans.  Members of the Crustacea family are aquatic arthropods which have a hard outer shell. 

Some other species that are in this family include shrimp, crab, barnacles, and lobsters.  In fact, the crawfish is often described as a small lobster.  However, while lobsters survive in saltwater, crayfish live in freshwater.

It is eaten in many cuisines around the world and can be a little expensive.  If you choose to raise it in your aquaponics system, you can save money on this delicious treat!  

Not only are crawfish good for eating and selling, but they provide many other benefits for your tank system.  Continue reading now to find out everything you need to know on how to raise crawfish in a tank!

Steps On How To Raise Crawfish Indoors

As with any aquaponics system, before you start raising a fish you need to understand everything about it.  There are many different kinds of crawfish varieties.  Once you choose a specific variety, you can research to understand its specific conditions.

According to the South Regional Aquaculture Center in America, the most common crawfish varieties being commercially produced are the Red Swamp Crawfish and the White River Crawfish.  While crawfish is popular in Southern states of the U.S.A like Louisiana and North Carolina, it is also raised around the world.  You can find crawfish production in Spain, China, and many other places! 

As mentioned before, crawfish have a hard shell on the outside which is called an exoskeleton. An exoskeleton is useful to protect the fish and also give it structure.  

The exoskeleton is shed as the crawfish grows larger.  Some people like to eat crawfish that recently shed their exoskeleton because the shell is softer.  

You can buy crawfish babies from the store to put them in your tank.  If you do not want to spend money, it is possible to catch crawfish in a local river and put it into your tank system.  However, if you choose this option be careful to create similar conditions as they had in nature.

They like to hide under large rocks and branches during the daytime.  You can put some of these into your tank to ensure they are comfortable and happy.  

Once you have located your crawfish source, you can begin to take care of them.

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Crayfish Care

As with any fish, you will have to do many things to take care of them.  The nice thing about crawfish is that they are not picky eaters.  They are omnivorous which means they eat meat and plants.  

Typically, crawfish are considered to be bottom feeders.  They will eat anything from plant algae, other small fish, and insects.  You can simulate their natural diet in your tank. 

You can use food scraps, fresh veggies, minnows, or guppies.  They like to eat vegetables like lettuce, carrots, and cabbage. You need to feed them on a daily basis.

Observe how much and how fast they eat to determine the right balance. Molting is when the crayfish shed their exoskeleton.  During these times, you need to provide them with more specific nutrients.  This is a good time to feed them high protein sources like guppies and goldfish.

Crawfish are very territorial.  This means they will fight over food if there is not enough.  The fighting could result in death or even cannibalism.  

Crawfish are very territorial

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In order to prevent this from happening you can try to place feed on opposite sides of the tank.  Also, ensure you give plenty of food so no one is left hungry.  If your crawfish are very territorial you may need to put a physical divider in the tank during feeding times.  

As with non-crustacean fish, crawfish use their gills to breathe.  So you will need to make sure to aerate your fish tank using an air bubbler or plants.

Make sure the water PH remains balanced.  Crawfish prefer a slightly alkaline water PH.  Try to keep your PH range between 7-8.5.

If you want to make your operation sustainable, you may want to continue to breed more crawfish.  

Details Of Crawfish Breeding 

Crawfish live between 2 and 3 years.  It is best to maximize your opportunity for breeding during this time.  In order to breed, you need to have at least one male and one female crawfish.

Male crawfish are distinguished by longer claws.  They also have a genital opening behind the last set of legs.  

Females have their genital opening after the third set of their legs.  They also have a wide tail which is used for storing eggs.

When you want to breed crawfish, put the male and female together until you start to see eggs appear.  Crawfish usually produce at least 20 eggs per litter. 

The eggs take around 4 weeks to hatch. For the first few days, you can leave the female crawfish with the babies to take care of them.  However, if you leave them for much longer, the mother will begin to eat the fry.  

So you need to separate the female and the babies a few days after the eggs hatch.  In order to prevent the small crawfish from eating each other, make sure you have a large tank. Do not put more than 20 baby crawfish together in one tank.  

This will ensure that they grow up healthy and safe. Make sure you have enough space to move the crawfish as they grow.  Prepare everything ahead of time to ensure this operation goes smoothly.  

Hopefully, after reading this article you will understand how to raise crawfish in a tank. Generally, they are pretty easy to fish to raise in an aquaponics system.  

Try to start with a few crawfish to get familiar with their patterns.  Once you have mastered it, you can keep adding more crawfish to your tank!

Feel free to comment and ask questions below! 

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