Keeping Crayfish

You can keep crayfish in a community aquarium if you choose appropriate tankmates.

Q. I’m a 10-year-old FishKid, and I really like Aquarium Fish International magazine. I have a crayfish about 1.5 inches long that is in a 10-gallon aquarium. I’m feeding it stunned goldfish and flake food. What other foods will it eat? I plan to move the crayfish to a 30-gallon hex, and would like to have blue gouramis, cories, a small pleco, dwarf gouramis and a school of larger-type tetras. Can these be kept with the crayfish?
Lee C. Romich

 A. Crayfish are really cool animals! When I was a kid, there was a little creek behind our house, and I could always go down there and catch some crayfish. They are very easy to keep.

The short answer to your question is that you are best off keeping your crayfish in its own 10-gallon aquarium. If you try to put some fish in with it, you will have a very happy crayfish and no fish — it will eat all of them eventually.

You say you are feeding your crayfish stunned goldfish, but if the crayfish gets hungry enough, it will catch live ones. Crayfish are scavengers and opportunistic feeders, which means they will eat anything and everything. Instead of sacrificing a goldfish, you can feed it bits of shrimp or regular fish that people eat. Flakes or pellets are also good, and every so often, offer some green algae pellets.

If you want to try to keep your crayfish with some of the fish you mentioned, your best chances would be with some tetras and maybe the gouramis. The cory cats and plecos spend most of their time on the bottom and would easily fall prey to the crayfish. If you do put the crayfish and fish together, make sure you give the crayfish a few caves or flowerpots. Usually, the crayfish will make one place its home, and stay there most of the time. Feed it just after you turn the lights out, and make sure that the food sinks to the bottom.

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Fish · Freshwater Fish