A Crawfish for a Pet?

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Trying to find a cheap pet for your child? How about a crawfish.

So many people may think that this is funny, but, it is a great inexpensive way to set up a new pet for a small child.  Let's face it, we spend quite a bit of money on pets, this can get rather old quickly, however, if you live on the coast or in an area where live crawfish are sold in your local grocery store, you are set. 

A Few Facts

In the lower half of the United States there are over 300 species of Crawfish.  Many are fresh water, which makes having them as pets a little easier on the budget. 

Crawfish are related to the lobster, they are in the crustacean family.  The oldest fossil that has been found for a crawfish is over 115 million years.  Pretty long living critter, if you ask this writer. 

How much does a crawfish cost?

Depending on where you live, you can pick up a single crawfish for under ten cents.  That's a pretty good bargain for a new pet.

Establishing an aquarium for your new pet Crawfish

If you live near a river, it is easy enough to go and get a decent amount of river water, after all the water is fresh and lively with many of the nutrients and such that a crawfish is used to.  You can also gather a few rocks for the crawfish as well, and this will make the crawfish feel more at home.

If you do not live close to a river or other fresh body of water, that's okay, however, it will take a little longer to establish a new home for a pet crawfish.  You can use tap water, however, you will need to let the water rest for at least 24 hours, and this will help establish room temperature and such for the crawfish. 

Add small rocks or pebbles in the bottom of the tank and create a little place for the crawfish to hide, they love to hide. 

What size tank should I use?

It is recommended that you use at least a ten gallon tank to start off with, and this will provide plenty of room for your crawfish to move around in.  However, if you can not afford the cost of a ten gallon tank, that's okay, start off with something a bit smaller, this will be sufficient until you can get a bigger tank.  Just keep a close eye on the crawfish. 

What to feed the crawfish

In nature the crawfish is a bottom dweller and lives on many different things that fall to the bottom.  For your new pet, you can get shrimp pellets to feed the crawfish.  If you can't find any to start off with, you can also feed them, lettuce, bits of carrot, even cucumber.  If you house the crawfish with other fish, watch out, they are known to eat small fish.  So it is best to make sure they are in a tank with much larger fish.  You still may end up with issues though, so be careful.

How do you put a crawfish into a new home/tank?

You may think that it is okay to simply drop your pet crawfish into a tank and it will be okay.  This is not true.  This can actually be harmful to the crawfish and it won't live very long.  A good way to help the crawfish is by doing the following.

  • Pick up the crawfish in the middle of the back, so that the crawfish can not pinch you. 
  • In the water turn the crawfish onto its back for about 10 to 15 seconds. 
  • Slowly turn the crawfish over and release.
  • The crawfish will then swim to the bottom.  You will see bubbles come out of the gills of the crawfish.

If your crawfish doesn't take well to its new environment, it might be because he was on ice for to long in the store or the drastic change in the environment was too much for him.  Given that you can purchase one for literally pennies, as the saying goes, try, try again.  You will eventually be successful with one.

1 comment

Ginae McDonald
Posted on Jun 5, 2011