How to Catch and Raise Crawdads (Crayfish)

Crawdads are small, lobster-like crustaceans that can be found in most freshwater sources across the United States.

They are opportunistic scavengers, territorial, mildly aggressive, and the favorite snack of painted turtles. Most people use them as bait, or as food for their pet turtles. Some fish owners us them to help keep their tanks clean, but I will be telling you how to keep them as pets. They can be very interesting and entertaining animals for those who take the time to appreciate them.

Catching

You can find crawdads in most pet stores, but if you’re like me and enjoy catching your pets, this should help you out. Crawdads can be found in most rivers and lakes near the shore. They like to hide under rocks and logs until nightfall when they venture out to hunt, but they will greedily eat anything that comes close enough for them to grab. There are several methods for catching these animals, but my favorite is probably the easiest. Just take a fishing pole with a piece of worm on the end of it, or even a simple piece of string with meat tied to one end of it. Lower it into the water in front of several rocks and wriggle it a bit.

If there is a crawdad present, it will come out and grab hold of the bait. Most crawdads are too greedy to let go of a meal. you can usually pull them right out of the water and lower them into a bucket. If this is too boring for you and you like to get you feet wet, you can also go around turning over rocks with a butterfly net or mino net in hand to scoop the little guys up. Keep in mind that crawdads can swim backwards very fast using their tails. You can also lure them out of their hiding spots with bait and then use a net to catch them; this is a much less destructive method.

Housing

Any aquarium bigger than 5 gallons should be fine for a single crawdad. Make sure the water is at least 3 or 4 inches deep, (deeper water won’t bother him) and provide hiding places for your new pet; crawdads are very shy creatures and may become stressed if there is no shelter. You also need a good lid with no large holes. Crawdads are surprising climbers and can even jump out of the water like a dolphin when they want to, so you have to escape-proof your setup. One of the biggest problems in keeping crawdads is the PH level of your tank, it needs to be neutral, or 7. An easy way to regulate this is with eggshells. Just take a few bits of eggshell from your breakfast, sterilize it by boiling or microwaving, and put it in the tank.

If the tank gets acidic it will dissolve the eggshell and balance the tank again. Your crawdad will also eat the shells to replenish its own minerals and stay healthy. For substrate, gravel seems to work well, and it helps to have at least one tank decoration that sticks out of the water. Crawdads love to climb at night and can venture out of the water for short periods of time. You also need to keep the temp between 70 and 80 degrees for a healthy pet. Crawdads breath with gills, so you will need to aerate the water just like with a fish. Crawdads will eat aquatic plants so keep this in mind when making your setup. I also recommend getting a piece of driftwood or a rock from a river as it will have bacteria necessary for a well balanced tank.

Feeding

Crawdads will eat nearly anything they can get hold of, but they don’t actually need that much food. If you are keeping a crawdad by itself, a small amount of sinking fish food twice a day should be plenty. You don’t need to place the food near your pets hiding spot as it will smell the food and go out looking for it. If you are keeping it in a tank with fish, then it will eat the leftovers from when you feed them.

Friends

Crawdads are very solitary animals and don’t like others of their own kind in close proximity. If you are going to keep more than one of these territorial little guys, make sure you have a large tank, hiding spots on opposite ends, and food dropped in different places so they don’t fight each other. Even with these precautions there is the possibility that they will fight and injure or even kill each other. As for other animals such as fish, crawdads will kill anything they can catch and overpower, but if your fish are large and healthy they should be able to stay away from crawdads on the bottom. Algae eaters, despite being slow bottom feeders, seem to get along well with crawdads for some reason, so you shouldn’t have to worry about that, but any fish that is sick or weak will probably be eaten by the crustaceans. What ever you do, do NOT put you crawdad in with turtles unless you want him to be a snack. Painted turtles love to eat crawdads.

Handling

Crawdads are not the kinda pet that you pet. They are aggressive and will pinch you hard if they get the chance. The best way to pick them up is with your thumb and forefinger gripping them just behind the head where their pincers can’t get you. Don’t grab the tail as this is the most flexible part of the animal’s body, and it can whip around and get a hold of you.

Breeding

For the most part I recommend against breeding your pet crawdads, as it will take a serious effort to raise the babies, but if you are prepared for that you must first raise the temp in the tank to about 80 degrees. Maintain this temperature and keep an eye on your pets. When the male wants to mate, he will grasp the female’s pincers and flip her over. About 20 days later, the female will lay eggs and gather them up under her tail. When this happens, you should transfer her to another tank as she will be vulnerable to the male during this time. Don’t use a net since you might lose some of the eggs. just corral her into a small container with some water in it and transfer her that way. In this new tank, have several layers of hole-filled- bags like the kind you get potatoes or fruit in, this will give the babies some hiding places.

You should also give the mom a place to hide so she feels safe. She might not eat much, but give her some food every other day just in case. Maintain the temp at about 80 during this entire time to help the eggs hatch and babies mature. When they do, the babies will still cling to mom for awhile. When you see them crawling about on their own, it’s time to separate mom as she will now eat them if she gets the chance. Gently wiggle her in the water to make sure all the babies have been dislodged, and return her to her normal tank. Now the really tedious part. The babies will hide in the bag holes from each other for some time. Crush up and sprinkle fish flakes around the tank about 3 times a day so they don’t get hungry and eat each other.

After a few weeks, you are going to have to split them up into small groups of about 20 in different containers. this is to prevent overcrowding and cannibalism. Make sure you provide enough hiding places in the new containers for them to hide from each other. After a month or two, repeat this process, now breaking them down into groups of about 10. Even in ideal conditions, only about 70% of the babies will grow up. Once they get to be about an inch and a half long, it’s time to give them all their own place, or sell them

Other Considerations

Like all arthropods, crawdads shed their skin as they grow old, but don’t remove this from the tank. Your pet will eat it to replenish minerals in its body. Most health issues with crawdads have no cure, but they can be avoided by keeping a clean tank with ideal temp and ph. Crawdads live from 3-20 years depending on the species and how well you take care of them, and can grow pretty big. Crawdads are nocturnal animals and primarily come out at night, but if they feel safe in a tank, you may see them wandering during the day as well. Crawdads will often take the gravel in a tank and make hills around their homes in order to make it more difficult for predators to get them. They have limited regenerative capabilities which means they can re-grow limbs when they shed their skin. Crawdads are fascinating pets that liven up any aquarium, and I highly recommend them.

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  1. emilly

    On January 25, 2009 at 10:08 am

    wow youre so helpfull! mr. glover, my craw is sooooo happy

  2. Harlan Bloom

    On February 1, 2009 at 8:19 am

    I live on a canal here in FLA., and would like to raise crawdads for fishing. The canal is stagnant for the most part, but have caught several in a minnow trap. Would a screen box tied to the dock be good enough? They should get enough to eat from normal water actions, and I have to pull weeds constantly. Some of them could be put in the box? Algae grows heavey on anything put into the water such as the minnow trap. Could I be informed via email?Thanks,
    Harlan hbloom@tampabay.rr.com

  3. Gabby

    On March 30, 2009 at 7:19 pm

    i thank you soooooooooooooooooooooooo much i really neeeded this nformation im doing a research paper and youthe only site that i got REAL info from

  4. jona

    On April 25, 2009 at 9:09 pm

    i just got a crawdad”how i got he crawdad”my dad was geting water from the creek near by for his horse and by luck when he brought the bucket back up there was a crawdad in it.so he gave it to me and i have it in a old acwariem and theres only a lit bit of water in it just enougth to walk in . my dad says that the crawdad will be fine. is this all true and if not have any ideas for the crawdad to live good.

  5. Togot

    On April 26, 2009 at 8:17 am

    Jona, crayfish breath with gills, but they can take oxygen from the air as long as their gills are kept wet, however I would recommend getting an air pump just to be safe. You should also provide your new pet with a place to hide so it feels safe.

  6. person

    On May 16, 2009 at 9:53 am

    I found my crayfish under a rock, If i brought that rock home and put it in his/her habitat would that be fine. Later today I am going to get some other things that u recomended uptop.

  7. Togot

    On May 16, 2009 at 1:03 pm

    Person, that should be fine, though you might want to sterilize the rock by putting it in boiling water first to kill any bacteria that might come with it. just make sure to let it cool down before putting in your aquarium or the rock will shatter

  8. person (again)

    On May 17, 2009 at 5:36 am

    For the ph level, could I just use ph tablets that I saw at a local store. I was also wondering if i could feed the crayfish dried shrimp that i also saw at the store.

  9. Togot

    On May 18, 2009 at 3:38 pm

    Person, those should work just fine. i use boiled egg shells myself, and i don’t see a problem with feeding your pet shrimp.

  10. jodie

    On May 22, 2009 at 7:51 pm

    any known reason why my crayfish is just lying on its side(its not dead,just looks like its resting)? she moulted today, could she just be resting or dying?

  11. Togot

    On May 22, 2009 at 8:27 pm

    Jodie, your pet is probably resting and rehardening its exoskeleton. crayfish are very vulnerable and exhausted after molting.

  12. jenny

    On June 4, 2009 at 10:41 am

    can i use regular tab water for the crawdad? i found it this morning on the ground and i didn’t know if it lives in salt water or fresh water, so i put little bit of salt in a basket.
    oh.. i hope it still alive when i get home…

  13. Togot

    On June 4, 2009 at 11:44 am

    Jenny, crawdads are freshwater animals, so salt could be harmful too them. tap water has chlorine which is also harmful to them. the best water to use is dechlorinated fresh water

  14. misty

    On June 16, 2009 at 10:06 pm

    How can you tell if it is a boy are girl.

  15. Togot

    On June 17, 2009 at 2:53 am

    Misty, males have narrower tails and smaller swimmerrets, the little things on the bottom of their tails

  16. Morgan

    On June 22, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    This website really helped!

  17. anna

    On July 5, 2009 at 11:44 am

    i really liked your description and you rock!!!!!!

  18. RidgeRunner

    On July 6, 2009 at 10:15 am

    This information was SOOOO helpful! Thank you for posting it. We have a lil guy named Pinchy that we caught last week. One cool thing we do is to drop a frozen pea in the tank each night and watch him come out to grab it. The kids love it! Ours is in a 1 1/2 gallon tank right now with a little “house” from our original fish tank. Is that too small of a habitat for him?

  19. RidgeRunner

    On July 6, 2009 at 10:43 am

    P.S. I LOVE the tip about the eggshells. I’m going to try this in our regular aquarium to help balance the ph. Thanks! :)

  20. Togot

    On July 6, 2009 at 1:12 pm

    RidgeRunner, crayfish don’t need a lot of room since most of them prefer to remain in their houses except for when they forage for food, but if you want more entertainment with your pet, a larger tank lets you hide food further away from his den so he will have to look around for it more while you watch.

  21. RidgeRunner

    On July 6, 2009 at 2:12 pm

    Awesome. Thanks for your reply. I will admit that it would be fun to watch him a little more. Hopefully we’ll upgrade to a 5 gallon soon, but in the meantime, he seems quite content in the 1 1/2. :)

  22. Angie

    On July 8, 2009 at 1:41 am

    Thanks for the info! My boys caught one in my mom’s irrigation water today. He is really cute and tried to eat their snake.

  23. bscron

    On July 13, 2009 at 7:11 pm

    If anyone knows how much times do crawdads breed a year

  24. Matthew

    On January 6, 2010 at 9:15 pm

    Good info..Have had mine for about 2 1/2 months now..
    seems to be doing good was wondering if the water really needed heating..The stream I got him out of was pretty cold water in early november..been feeding him sinking shrimp pellets need to get something else..Meal worms maybe?? I use Strezz Zyme in the tank and he has plenty of alge on his house he stays under..did notice him piling the gravel up under there as well..I was thinking of putting small top feeding fish in there with him any suggestions??
    Tetra? Molly?

  25. Togot

    On January 7, 2010 at 1:24 am

    Although crawdads can survive in colder temperatures, 70-80 is ideal for their health. They will also eat just about anything you give them. I feed mine a small earth worm once a month. I keep mine with comet goldfish

  26. Shandy O

    On January 28, 2010 at 7:06 pm

    I have had this crawdad since November and he has appeared to thrive in my 10 gallon tank.
    Today I dropped in a very small piece of ham and he munched it down
    Now, hours later (And this may be unrelated) he appears to not be moving. His rear tail is curled under and he is just out in the open.

    Any ideas..? Is this what they do when they are going to shed their skin?

  27. Togot

    On January 30, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    Shandy O, It’s possible, but if he is you shouldn’t bother him until he is finished. If he is still in this position after a day, then something is probably wrong. i don’t think ham should be harmful for him to eat

  28. megan

    On March 14, 2010 at 12:38 am

    how many 1 inch crawdads would be comfortable in a, hexagon shaped, 2 gallon fish tank????????? PLZ RESPOND!!!!!!

  29. Togot

    On March 15, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    Megan, crawdads are both territorial and cannibals. If you put more than one together, there is a good chance they will try to kill and eat each other eventually.

  30. Ace_equist

    On March 31, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    Hey Togot How Many Crawdad do u recommend for a 55 gallon tank? and what kinda fish do crawdads get along with most?

  31. Togot

    On April 6, 2010 at 11:50 pm

    Ace_equist, crawdads are both territorial and cannibals. If you put more than one together, there is a good chance they will try to kill and eat each other eventually. As for what fish they can live with, anything that isn’t predatory won’t eat them, and anything that is quicker or larger than your crawfish won’t be eaten by them. I keep mine with comet goldfish and haven’t had any problems

  32. lola

    On May 3, 2010 at 7:44 pm

    i have a pond that we built for our goldfish. i was thinking about putting some crawdads in to make it more lively. I know they cant eat any of the goldfish because they are to big. But im not sure if the crawdads can live in the pond because it freezes over in the winter. Does anybody know if they can live in a pond that freezes??

  33. Corey Smith

    On May 3, 2010 at 10:16 pm

    Hello, I got some crawdads from a lake, about 26, 7 died, and so out of the 19 crawdads, 5 have eggs. i got the 5 in a 10G tank and took my fish out of it, and have 1 turtle in it for a shelter. can i get any tips on how to make all of em successful in hatching most of the eggs? also should all 5 be in 1 tank? And what can i do to em to make em more happy, like just by feeding them and such?

  34. Togot

    On May 5, 2010 at 3:16 am

    Lola, rivers and lakes that crawdads live in freeze over every year. They should be ok, as long as you have deep enough soil and enough organic mater in the pond for them, though I honestly have little experience with keeping these animals outside during winter months.

    Corey Smith, most aquatic turtles love to eat crayfish, so I recommend removing him. Crayfish are cannibals and you shouldn’t keep so many in a confined space as they are also territorial. They will almost certainly eat the hatchlings. As for the baby crawdads, just read the breeding section above.

  35. Corey Smith

    On May 6, 2010 at 4:56 pm

    I mean the turtle is a decoration from my fish tank. but there is 4 crawdads with eggs in a 5 G tank…. then there’s around 16 or so crawdads in a 6 G bucket that i have and it at least 22 in. or so. but i was wondering what or you talking about for baby crawfish to go hide in? i cant get an immage in my head. Also, if i went to another lake where i didn’t catch the crawfish, would it matter what type of plant i picked out for them to eat as long as its from the lake?

  36. Corey Smith

    On May 6, 2010 at 4:56 pm

    I mean the turtle is a decoration from my fish tank. but there is 4 crawdads with eggs in a 5 G tank…. then there\’s around 16 or so crawdads in a 6 G bucket that i have and it at least 22 in. or so. but i was wondering what or you talking about for baby crawfish to go hide in? i cant get an immage in my head. Also, if i went to another lake where i didn\’t catch the crawfish, would it matter what type of plant i picked out for them to eat as long as its from the lake?

  37. Corey Smith

    On May 6, 2010 at 5:04 pm

    Another question, one of the crawdads that i have that has eggs, has little fuzzy things on some of the eggs.Is that normal? also can you tell me what should happen with the eggs during the 7 weeks? Thank you so much!

  38. Togot

    On May 7, 2010 at 3:21 am

    Corey Smith, Basically I’m referring to a net-like sack that the tiny babies can crawl through and live in like a giant jungle gym. It makes it easy for them to hide from each other as they will cannibalize each other if they get the chance. Crayfish will eat just about anything, so plants should be fine. Just make sure the lake you get it from isn’t too polluted. Nothing much should happen to the eggs other than them darkening slightly depending on specific species. I can’t be sure without seeing it myself, but the fuzz could be anything from mucus to algae

  39. kristin

    On May 25, 2010 at 6:19 am

    I love owning a pet crawdad, they are so entertaining,But a BIG WARNING LivingAquatic.com has recently scammed me on my giant red claw as he has never arrived. There is many other complaints on this company calling it a complete scam, the bbb and attorney general is involved. this isn\\\’t just living aquatic, watercritter.com and many others are linked, and the same exact site and people own them all. Who ever has came up with this scam has put LOTS of time and effort into this. Thieves, just a fyi comment,Be Careful

  40. Angela

    On November 1, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    my son brought home 2 crayfish from school on Friday. we set them up a habitat and they were settling in. Saturday, we were gone for most of the afternoon. when we got home, neither crayfish was in the habitat. we believe that our cat got ahold of them. I found both crayfish and put them back in their habitat, but they weren’t moving very much. I’m guessing they were out of the water for atleast 3 hours, if not more. I continued to watch them and I thought they were still alive. However, today, they are both on their sides, kind of curled up and not moving. I’ve done a lot of searching on the internet, but can not find the answer to my question-are they dead? how can I tell? did being out of the water kill them or perhaps the fall from my cat knocking them down? I had them on top of the entertainment center and found them on the floor…

  41. Togot

    On November 2, 2010 at 3:26 am

    Angela, they are likely dead. It is possible that they climbed out on their own. Crayfish are notorious escape artists. They probably dried out and suffocated. Although crayfish can survive out of water for a time, three hours would be pushing it.

  42. Laura

    On March 26, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    I found a young crayfish in our creek and brought it home. I put him in my fish aquariam where I had a goldfish [a small, fancy one]. I left him in therre overnight [he only had tiny pincers] and the next morning the fishs’ FINS were GONE! But the fish was fine! It was soo funny but a little bit sad for the fish…. he had a hard time propelling himself around the tank for a few weeks until they grew back.

    Of course I moved him out after that as I was certain he would eat the fish once he grew a little. Now I have him in a five-gallon tank with two hiding places on top of my piano and whenever I play the piano he always comes out. Also he is very, very curious and whenever I put something foreign in his tank or clean it a little or move some rocks around he always comes out of his house and investigates. He is very at-home and comes out in full daylight all the time.

    One question I have is, do crayfish turn the colour their habitat was in? Because when he was younger he wasn’t really blue, but for a while I had him in a tank with very blue gravel…. and he grew up a faded blue. Is this possible it was from the gravel?

    Anyway I love animals and its really interesting having a crayfish. People may not consider them “pets” but I certainly do! He has molted about four times now – maybe more- over these 5 months and really grown. I always have eggshells in there, both for maintaining the tank and for him to nibble on.

    I’m 19 and a girl :) Thanks for this article!

  43. Togot

    On March 29, 2011 at 3:06 am

    Laura, Yes, some crawfish can change their color a bit to match their surroundings, though mine never have. There are other factors that can also influence the color of your pet such as the chemicals in the water and minerals in its diet.

  44. Jenkins

    On April 4, 2011 at 5:49 pm

    Hey i live in Ohio and i have been wanting to take some of the crayfish i get out of lake and place them in a man made pond. I want to use them for bait when i fish. Any suggestions about pond size, how many fish, or weather the fish will become cannibals because not under constant care? Great article. U actually respond to peoples comments. nice. and what do i do to keep the fish in, and raccoons out. please keep it relativly cheap. Thx sooooooo much! :)

    P.S. what would make a successful food web in the pond?

  45. Togot

    On April 7, 2011 at 8:12 pm

    Jenkins, Well that’s a doozy. The pond size depends on how many you want, but if you want a whole mini ecosystem it’s be at least the size of a kiddie pool. You’ll need to go to a lake or river and collect some rocks, aquatic plants, and dead plant matter for your pond. The plants will help oxygenate the water. You can also collect any water bugs, snails, and small fish you can see. Crayfish eat almost anything, so feeding them shouldn’t be hard. As long as they have enough hiding places, food and room, they shouldn’t try to eat each other. How many fish you keep depends on the size of the pond, and what kind they are. I recommend smaller fish like goldfish, minnows and guppies so they don’t eat your crayfish. Keeping raccoons out could be tricky. They are intelligent and very stubborn. You could try making a low chicken wire fence with a cover to try and keep them out, but keep in mind that having a water source in your yard will attract animals to try and come to drink from it. You can also try looking up a site called backyard habitat that specializes in creating ecosystems in peoples yards.

  46. LOTS OF PETS!!!!

    On April 9, 2011 at 12:31 am

    JUST GOT SOME CRAWDADS TODAY THERE ARE 12 AND I WANTED TO KNOW WHAT WOULD BE A GOOD SIZE TANK FOR A LOW COST

  47. Jenkins

    On April 9, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    Thx Togot. Ya it kinda was a lot. Ok thx for the advice. There is a large lake about 30 feet away so i dont think they will drink from it. THXXX SOOOOO MUUUCCCHHH! :)

  48. nulish

    On May 19, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    just wanted to say thanks for this guide, i caught two baby crawdads the other day. they’re about one inch big, they’re so cute.

    this guide is really helpful, i look forward to raising them :)

  49. tonia

    On May 19, 2011 at 9:38 pm

    luv your site! I have an elec blue crayfish that we got a month and a half ago or more, and last week she laid eggs! There were quite a lot attached to her underbelly at first, but now there are fewer and fewer it seems. Is it possible that she is burrying them under the gravel? I\’ve seen her covering \’something\’ and she seems to be laying on them. All other behavior seems to fit with pregnancy according to what I have read. She wont move from one spot, not eating much, etc… If she does infact hatch craybies do I need to be concerned with water levels? I heard they can float to the top and die if the tank is full. Also should I worry about the filter? Its a fully submerged filter that hangs from the side of the tank. (I heard covering w/nylons works.)
    Thanks

  50. tonia

    On May 19, 2011 at 9:41 pm

    uv your site! I have an elec blue crayfish that we got a month and a half ago or more, and last week she laid eggs! There were quite a lot attached to her underbelly at first, but now there are fewer and fewer it seems. Is it possible that she is burrying them under the gravel? I’ve seen her covering ’something’ and she seems to be laying on them. All other behavior seems to fit with pregnancy according to what I have read. She wont move from one spot, not eating much, etc… If she does infact hatch craybies do I need to be concerned with water levels? I heard they can float to the top and die if the tank is full. Also should I worry about the filter? Its a fully submerged filter that hangs from the side of the tank. (I heard covering w/nylons works.)

  51. adawadapea

    On May 19, 2011 at 9:48 pm

    uv your site! I have an elec blue crayfish that we got a month and a half ago or more, and last week she laid eggs! There were quite a lot attached to her underbelly at first, but now there are fewer and fewer it seems. Is it possible that she is burrying them under the gravel? I’ve seen her covering ’something’ and she seems to be laying on them. All other behavior seems to fit with pregnancy according to what I have read. She wont move from one spot, not eating much, etc… If she does infact hatch craybies do I need to be concerned with water levels? I heard they can float to the top and die if the tank is full. Also should I worry about the filter? Its a fully submerged filter that hangs from the side of the tank. (I heard covering w/nylons works.)

  52. J and O and B

    On May 20, 2011 at 2:56 am

    I have a new crayfish. I have an aquarium but I am confused. Is he supposed to be in a full water setting with the water to the top and the filter going? Or in more of a terrarium setting with shallow water? So far he is just in a little water and we have a bridge he can hide under. but am i supposed to fill the tank up to the brim, do the ph and have him be all the way under? thanks for letting me know! …j and b and o

  53. Togot

    On May 21, 2011 at 1:28 am

    Tonia, crayfish females keep their eggs and young under their tails. I’m not sure why she would be losing them. I don’t see why the young would float in a full tank and not a shallow one, but you might want to be more concerned with mom eating them after they start going off on their own. If you do notice them floating on the surface, you can try anchoring a stick so it stick up. That way the young will have something to grab onto and climb back down. A filter shouldn‘t poser too much of a danger to them as long as they have someplace to hide and something to grip onto, but a nylon cover over the intake wouldn‘t be a bad precaution for awhile.

  54. Togot

    On May 21, 2011 at 1:29 am

    J and O and B, crayfish breath with gills, so deep water is preferable over a shallow pool. Make sure you have an air pump as well to oxygenate the water. Crayfish can climb out of the water for brief periods, but they need their gills wet to breath.

  55. noah

    On June 9, 2011 at 11:49 pm

    hey can you put a snail shell in th tank with them and tell if the ph level is too high like the egg shells??? and will they eat the shell well anyway good info and thx for it!

  56. Togot

    On June 10, 2011 at 3:53 am

    Noah, I can’t be certain, but I believe snail shells are made out of different materials. I’ve never tried to use them before in this way, though I have kept aquatic snails and their shells never dissolved.

  57. Clark Davis

    On July 6, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    how deep is too deep? For the water

  58. Togot

    On July 6, 2011 at 7:51 pm

    Clark Davis, there isn’t really a too deep for crayfish.

  59. Nuu

    On July 28, 2011 at 11:51 pm

    Hi Togot, thanks for this wonderful guide. I caught two baby crayfish a month or so ago and have been raising them in a tank until they got bigger, so I could put them in my pond.

    Now that they are in the pond I worry about the water temperature. It’s regularly 110 degrees here, and in parts of the pond the water level is only 3-4 inches deep. Should I place them in the deeper end of the pond, where it’s around 3-4 foot deep? I don’t want them to bake!

  60. Togot

    On July 29, 2011 at 4:10 am

    Nuu, varying depths will help them move around to where they are comfortable, and giving your pet options is always a good idea.

  61. Jackie Lewis

    On July 31, 2011 at 11:13 pm

    Need to know??? I have a pond out in my back pasture and discovered it is full of lovely crawdads. The pond is about 3 foot deep right now and 20 foot by 20 foot, but in the spring it is way larger, and by the end of this summer, it may totally dry up. What I am worried about is the temperature of the water being too hot, tho there are a few shade trees on the west side now to shade it in the afternoon. The pond is turning green with alge, and I worry that it will eventually dry all the way up. Will any of this kill my crawdads? Also I see about 100 crawdad holes everywhere, some large enough to stick my fist into. Will they survive if it dries up all the way, and should I take some out and keep in tanks to restock if necessary. I caught and released about 100 today that were 2 inches long, using a stick and hot dog meat. And saw many others that were smaller and a few that were about 4 inches long… They were very hungry and battling for the hot dog meat, so by what I have been reading, I may be losing lots of crawdads by not feeding them. There are no plants in the tank, nor fish because it does dry up. Please help give me some advice. Plus, I will be having surgery soon and will not be able to walk that far out to feed them. What should I do> Harvest some??? Raise some in tanks. I have a lot of ideas, and raised a Blue one before in an aquarium and he did great until making an escape. You are welcome to email me with advice. Thanks. Oh and how much do they sell for??? I also do not mind eating them.

  62. Togot

    On August 7, 2011 at 4:34 am

    Jackie Lewis, during times of very low water levels, crawdads can burrow deep into mud to keep their gills wet, or travel across land in search of another water source, but if you suffer a serious enough drought they will likely die. If you wish to keep a few indoors, that would be fine. As for food, being outdoors means there will be insects and worms that go into the water for the crawdads to eat. They are scavengers, and they eat just about anything. They used to sell for 15- 20 dollars at my local pet store until they stopped carrying them.

  63. Marianne

    On September 2, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    Okay, two times this week we have found one of our pond crawdads in our front yard in the early morning (different one each time). They traveled about 80 feet from their pond. Apparently they are climbing out of the pond and escaping for some unknown reason. We have had crawdads for years, and this is the first time we have had this experience. The only difference this year, from previous years, is our pond plants (water hyacinth) have poliferated, to almost out of control. We have been removing the plants by the trash bag full every week to make a little more ‘breathing room’ and to allow some sunlight. The only other items in the 600 gallon pond are some koi, trapdoor snails, bull frogs (small/young), and a few water lilies. The water is very clear with no hair/string algae, like we have experienced sometimes in past years. I read on another posting that crawdads are escape artisits…but this is a bit out of the ordinary for us. Aside from removing the plants from the sides of the pond, to prevent escape, does anybody know of another reason they might be escaping? Thank you in advance.

  64. Togot

    On September 5, 2011 at 2:51 am

    Marianne, it might have actually been the removal process that disturbed them. Pulling out the plants that some of the crawdads may have been living near could have frightened them enough to make them want to move.

  65. Trey

    On September 5, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    I caught 7 crawdads to day. I’ve been feedin them chopped up hot dog and lettuce. Im keepin them in a kiddie pool in my back yard and the water keeps gettin warm. How do I keep the water cool? There are tons of the little crustaceans in this big pond in the field behind my back yard. Ive been catching them by movin my hand really quick and grabbing them from the water. There is no mud or anything like that so they can did but there are a couple of hiding places. Im only 12 years old so i dont have a lot of money so how do i aerate the pool without purchasing anything? Also, how do u clean a kiddie pool without draining it? I loved reading your article it helped me take care of them better. Will u please answer my questions? Thanks and bye!!

  66. Trey

    On September 5, 2011 at 3:59 pm

    I also put the eggs that were microwaved. For the hiddie holes i put bricks and rocks i found at my pond. I was looking under the rocks and 2 crawdads were under there together. Is that normal?

  67. Togot

    On September 10, 2011 at 12:09 am

    Trey, keeping it in the shade is the only practical way I can think of. I don’t know how to clean it without a filter or changing the water, especially still water in a pool. If there is limited space, and the crawfish are younger, they will share space, but the moment one senses weakness it will likely eat the other.

  68. Jayro

    On September 11, 2011 at 8:18 pm

    Togot, First of all thank you sooo much for such a great wealth of info! Following your advise has helped me enjoy my pets for some time now. Crawfish are excellent pets and I would recommend them to anyone who wants a unique pet with a lot of quirky attitude. Thanks again!

  69. Marianne

    On September 12, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    Thank you Togot for your reply and the information. We removed some of the water hycanith ‘after’ we found them escaping from the pond. We figured we remove some of the plants from the edges of the pond to lessen they chance for escape. Again this morning we found another one crawling on the front lawn…and quickly scooped him up and placed him back in the pond. We’ve had crawdads for many years, and this is a first for us. We are baffled, to say the least.

  70. alex

    On October 1, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    i am getting a crawdad today and like 2 years ago my old one died he lived for 6 years without a pump do you think if i get a new one it will last long to without a pump

  71. Togot

    On October 1, 2011 at 9:35 pm

    Alex, do you mean an air pump or are you referring to a filter? I’d recommend both for most aquatic animals. Air pumps help keep the water oxygenated which is a good idea for any animal that breaths with gills, and filters help keep the water clean, though they can be a problem for smaller creatures that can get sucked into them

  72. alex

    On October 2, 2011 at 11:43 am

    i know that it helps the water have air in it but dont crawfish just come up and get air i mean thats what mine did

  73. DC

    On December 5, 2011 at 4:14 pm

    Togot,
    I have enjoyed your site. I have looked hard at constructing fresh shrimp ponds, but have recently been interested in the possibility of crawfish.

    How durable do you believe crawfish can be growing indoors in large kiddie pools. Do they suffer not having mud to dig in?

    Thank you for any information you can share.
    DC

  74. Togot

    On December 6, 2011 at 7:14 pm

    DC, As long as you have the netting a mentioned for them to hid in and crawl around, they do rather well. You will have a few losses to cannibalism, but there’s no practical way to avoid that.

  75. craw

    On April 7, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    i have caught a male crawfish in a streem behind my house and bought a crawfish. They look like they are the same type and i want them to mate. Is there any way to get them to mate?

  76. craw

    On April 7, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    i have caught a male crawfish in a streem behind my house and bought a crawfish. They look like they are the same type and i want them to mate. Is there any way to get them to mate?

  77. craw

    On April 7, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    i have caught a male crawfish in a streem behind my house and bought a crawfish. They look like they are the same type and i want them to mate. Is there any way to get them to mate?

  78. craw

    On April 8, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    1day later wich is today i woke up and my crawfish in in a huge snail shell in the tank. She wont come out and i dont know if she is stuck what should i do?

  79. craw

    On April 8, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    1 day later wich is today i woke up and my crawfish in in a huge snail shell in the tank. She wont come out and i dont know if she is stuck what should i do?

  80. craw

    On April 8, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    1 day later wich is today i woke up and my crawfish in a huge snail shell in the tank. She wont come out and i dont know if she is stuck what should i do?

  81. ginger

    On April 9, 2012 at 9:03 pm

    Togot, I read your site and I do have some questions. I went to the OC today and I caught 4 crawdads. There were tons and I thought they were going to pinch my toes once they started checking them out. I caught them in a section about 5 in deep, clear water, and there were tons of holes that they were popping out of. It was very funny watching them swim after my toes when I wiggled them. But there was also a lot of algee. I want to keep them as a pet, but I do not know where to put them. I do have a fish tank that I have about 5, 1 in or smaller ghost shrimp in, but I do not know if they will eat them. One crawdad, the biggest, is about 3 in, but he is extreamly shy and he has a lot of battle wombs on him. The other 3 are about 1 1/2 in long and are a little fisteyer, but they havent done much. Right now they are in a bucket that is about 6 by 12in and the water is about 2in deep, and in tap water. I really like them and I need all of the suggestions that you have. I am 12 and I really love animals. I don’t want to see them die. I will take all of your comments and suggestions that you have.

    P.S. I have about 1in of blue gravel in the fish tank. Will that be enough?

  82. ginger

    On April 9, 2012 at 9:03 pm

    Togot, I read your site and I do have some questions. I went to the OC today and I caught 4 crawdads. There were tons and I thought they were going to pinch my toes once they started checking them out. I caught them in a section about 5 in deep, clear water, and there were tons of holes that they were popping out of. It was very funny watching them swim after my toes when I wiggled them. But there was also a lot of algee. I want to keep them as a pet, but I do not know where to put them. I do have a fish tank that I have about 5, 1 in or smaller ghost shrimp in, but I do not know if they will eat them. One crawdad, the biggest, is about 3 in, but he is extreamly shy and he has a lot of battle wombs on him. The other 3 are about 1 1/2 in long and are a little fisteyer, but they havent done much. Right now they are in a bucket that is about 6 by 12in and the water is about 2in deep, and in tap water. I really like them and I need all of the suggestions that you have. I am 12 and I really love animals. I don’t want to see them die. I will take all of your comments and suggestions that you have.

    P.S. I have about 1in of blue gravel in the fish tank. Will that be enough?

  83. Bran

    On April 10, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    how do you tell when your crawfishes are going to mate and my male crawfish just molted what should i do with his molt ?

  84. Togot

    On April 18, 2012 at 4:55 am

    Craw, you can’t really make them mate, but if they are male and female, just having them in the same tank should do the trick. Just make sure there is enough room and hiding spots for both of them. As for the female stuck in a shell, I doubt that she is stuck. Try providing larger hiding spots to see if that coaxes her out

  85. Togot

    On April 18, 2012 at 5:03 am

    Ginger, first you need a detoxifying agent as tap water is not good for crawfish. Second, crayfish will eat anything that they can over power, including shrimp, so I don’t recommend mixing them. They will also eat each other in a confined space, so I recommend getting them a larger tank to themselves. The depth of gravel is less important than providing them hiding places such as rocks in corners, sunken ships and so forth. Have at least as many hiding spaces as you have crayfish. I hope that helps, and if you have any more specific questions, feel free to ask

  86. Togot

    On April 18, 2012 at 5:06 am

    Bran, as long as they are both mature, they will likely mate if you follow the described breeding section above. As for his molted skin, you can just fish that out with a net.

  87. ginger

    On April 22, 2012 at 11:00 am

    OK. So here’s the thing. My tank is right over my kitchen sink and my biggest crawdad, I named him Hodini, had escaped and landed in the sink. So we put him back and ever sience, he has been tring really hard to get out. Well, this morning I woke up and he was not there. Me and my parents have looked everywhere, but he is no where to be found. Where do you think he is? He likes to climb up the bubbler tube. I think he got out around 12 last night and it’s 10. Is that to long for being out of the water for a crawdad? Please help.

  88. Bran

    On May 10, 2012 at 7:27 pm

    How can you tell if my crawfishare mature

  89. craw

    On May 10, 2012 at 7:28 pm

    if i have all the right condisions how lond does it wsualy take for the crawfish to start mating

  90. RObbie

    On May 12, 2012 at 9:51 am

    if i cought a male crawfish in the wild is it possible for it to mate with a female crawfish i bought.

  91. ahmed elridi

    On June 4, 2012 at 12:09 am

    hi umm today i \”fished\” out 6 crawdads and im keeping them in a 10 gallon aqaurium with an oxygenator and a filter. i have done the eggshells but do i have to have the temperature at 70\’-80\’ F? PLZZZ anyone respond to this on my email thehoodzboy@yahoo.com thank you.

  92. kris cros

    On November 23, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    great thanks i put 3 in my uncles 10?gallon one of them jumped out and died but the other 2 have been there for almost 6months (ive covered the hole)

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