Crawfish, also known as crayfish or crawdads, are crustaceans that live in fresh water. They can be found all over the world and are most commonly associated with Louisiana cuisine because of their importance to Cajun culture. Crawfish have a variety of uses including protein for humans and cat food for pets. One thing that people may not know is what do crawfish eat?
Yesterday, we talked about starfish’s diet, in this blog post I will go over what crawfish eat in order to better understand how they survive in the wild.
What are crawfish?
Crawfish or crayfish are crustaceans that live in fresh water. They can be found all over the world and they’re most commonly associated with Louisiana cuisine because of their importance to Cajun culture. Crawfish have a variety of uses including protein for humans and cat food for pets.
In home aquariums, crawfish are easy to take care of and are more docile than other types of crustaceans. But then again, if you plan to keep crawfish, you should always want to know the answer of “What do crawfish eat”!
How do crawfish hunt?
Crawfish are ambush predators, waiting for their prey to come within striking distance. They will have a burrow in the substrate with an opening that is under water and sitting at the edge of it they wait for unsuspecting food to pass by.
The crawfish waits patiently until its victim bends down close enough before lunging out from below and grabbing onto what it can get hold of – usually just fleshy parts such as fins or toes!
What do crawfish eat in the wild?
Crawfish are omnivores, meaning they eat both meat and plants. Their diet depends on what is available to them in their habitat. For example, if there are lots of aquatic insects around they will probably have a mostly insect-based diet. If the water has few nutrients then it’s more likely that crawfish will target vegetation like algae or diatoms for food rather than small animals higher up the food chain such as zooplankton (recent research suggests that this may even be an evolutionary development).
They can also supplement their diet with items from the water currents, such as small quantities of organic detritus or pollen. But this is not recommended in a closed system, as crawfish may attack other fishes to feed themselves.
What do crawfish eat in aquariums?
In home aquariums, crawfish can be fed a variety of foods, ranging from pellets to vegetables. The most popular food is crickets and mealworms. These insects can be bought at most pet stores. Even the common goldfish flakes can be used to feed crawfish.
Crawfish are also omnivores, meaning they will eat both plant and animal matter (like other crawfish). They may even steal from their tankmates’ food supply if it is not well guarded!
Will crawfish eat your fishes?
Crawfish are omnivores so they will eat the plants in your aquarium but don’t worry because crawdads only feed on about 17% of what is put into an aquarium. The other 83% includes detritus, vegetables and fruits that were consumed by fish or any meat-based food products.
Crawfish may also be attracted to commercial foods like flake (or pellet) dried shrimp, anchovies, krill meal or a variety of carnivorous aquatic invertebrates including mysid shrimp larvae and brine shrimp eggs. In general though, these little crustaceans prefer plant matter over anything else you can offer them as bait for fishing purposes.
Crawfish are unlikely to target large fishes like goldfish or koi. They will more likely go after smaller fish and invertebrates like snails, crabs, shrimp, crayfish and other crawdads.
So it’s best to keep crawfish if you have a closed system with larger fishes.
Is it hard to keep crawfish in your aquariums?
Crawfish are easy to keep in aquariums. They need a tank that has at least 25 gallons of water, and should be fully cycled so the crawfish don’t get sick. The food for the crawfish is either shrimp or crabs (or both). Try not to feed them too much fish as it can make their scent stronger than usual which will attract other animals into your aquarium.
Crawfish are notirously easy to keep, and suitable for beginners. They don’t have high upkeep & they’re not picky with their foods. But again, if left unfed, crawfish can be dangerous to other creatures inside your aquariums. So now, you know the answer to “What do crawfish eat“.