Crayfishes are a lot forgiving when it comes to feeding. They are omnivorous, which means they eat both plants and meats. On the other hand, crayfishes are very good scavengers. So, they explore, dig and eat all the uneaten foods, decaying organic matters in the tank.
Though crayfishes are not picky about their foods, it is our duty as the owner to give them a balanced diet. When you are keeping any pet, you are responsible for it. So, you should give it the highest quality food you can.
Along with good quality food, it is also important to include vegetables to the crayfish’s diet. No one likes to eat the same stuff everyday. We all love changes. Crayfishes do too.
That’s why it is important to spice up their diet with vegetables, occasional shrimps, etc. once in a while. Your crayfish will be very grateful for it.
At first, we can divide crayfish foods into two types:
- Commercial Foods: This type includes food that we can buy from a store like sinking pellets, algae wafer etc. These foods are a good option to form the base of your crayfish diet. Generally they will contain most of the nutrients that crayfish needs. The quality of the food will vary from brand to brand. I’ll talk about some of my favorites later on.
- Natural Foods: These foods are more like things we have in our home and can feed to the crayfishes once in a while. Some good options can be blanched vegetables, boiled shrimp, fish, etc.
Commercial Foods For Crayfish
As I’ve already said, commercial foods are great for forming the base of the crayfish diet. As they contain almost all of the nutrients crayfish need, it is vital to get a high quality food from a reputed brand.
Here are some of my favorite commercial foods for crayfish:
API Bottom Feeder Shrimp Pellets
If you are in the aquarium hobby for some time, you must’ve heard about API. API is one of the most reputed brands in the aquarium industry. Though they are mostly famous for their amazing test kits, API foods are very high-quality too!
This API shrimp pellets will be great for crayfish. As these are sinking pellets, you don’t have to go through the trouble of making the pellets sink. They’ll sink to the bottom automatically.
Here’s why I prefer API foods:
- Rich in naturally enhanced protein (good for bringing out bright coloration)
- Easy to eat for the crayfish
- Produces less waste as well as 30% less Ammonia than most other commercial foods
- Doesn’t contain a lot of filler elements like most of the fish foods these days
|Whole menhaden fish meal||Whole wheat||Pea Protein||Fish oil|
|Shrimp meal||Wheat Middling||Dried Seaweed meal||Hydrated sodium calcium aluminosilicate|
|Squid Meal||Dried grain yeast||Menadione sodium bisulfite complex (Vitamin K)||Inositol|
|Garlic powder||Cane molasses||Manganese amino acid chelate||L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (Vitamin C)|
|BHA/Citric acid/propyl gallate||Copper amino acid chelate||Manganese oxide||a-Tocopherol acetate (Vitamin E)|
|Vitamin D3 supplement||Copper sulfate||Zinc oxide||Nicotinic acid|
|Copper amino acid chelate||Vitamin B12 supplement||Vitamin B1 supplement||Iron amino acid chelate|
|Calcium iodate||Folic acid||Ferrous sulfate||Calcium pantothenate|
|Biotin||Vitamin A acetate||Zinc amino acid chelate||Pyridoxine hydrochloride|
There are lots of other sinking pellets in the market. You can choose any one you want. Just make sure you do a thorough research before committing to any brand.
I like API Shrimp Pellets for my crayfish like many other crayfish keepers do. So, I’ll suggest it for your crayfish!
Hikari Algae Wafer
As I have said before, I like to spice up the diet of my crayfish. That’s why I don’t just offer them sinking pellets. I like to mix things up with a good quality algae wafer too!
Though crayfishes are omnivorous, they prefer to eat vegetable stuff more. An algae wafer is great for that!
There are lots of algae wafer in the market. Why I love the Hikari Algae Wafer?
- Rich in vegetable matters
- contains pure cultured spirulina which is extremely good for fishes
- High in vitamin C
- Doesn’t cloud the water
|White fish meal||dehydrated alfalfa meal||dried seaweed meal||astaxanthin|
|krill meal||wheat flour||fish oil||garlic|
|spirulina||wheat-germ meal||dried bakery product||monosodium glutamate|
|enzyme||alpha starch||brewer’s dried yeast||vitamin C.|
Of course you can use any other algae wafer, but I love the one from Hikari and that’s what I’ll recommend!
Vegetables For Crayfish
Vegetables are important to bring a change to your crayfish’s diet. Also, it is not recommended to always feed your crayfish commercial foods. Sometimes vegetables offer the nutrients a good commercial food can’t.
Also, giving vegetables to your crayfish is practically free as you don’t need to buy any extra. Just take a piece of vegetable from your fridge, boil it for 5-10 minutes until softened and offer it to the crayfish! It’s that simple!
Here are some good choices:
- Lettuce, etc.
How Often Should You Feed Your Crayfish?
Well, it varies from one keeper to another. The important thing is to not overfeed your crayfish. Overfeeding can cause many problems in the future.
Also, crayfishes are natural scavengers. They’ll search for food and eat decaying organic matters. So, it is not important to feed them every single day.
I like to feed my crayfish every other day with altering foods. Here’s what the schedule looks like:
|API Shrimp Pellet||Hikari Algae Wafer||Blanched Vegetable/boiled shrimp/boiled fish, etc.|
Why High Quality Food Is Necessary?
Many hobbyists often think why they should purchase an expensive food when there are plenty of cheap options available. I get it. No one wants to spend more than necessary.
But, when it comes to pet food, more money generally refers to higher quality and we should provide the highest quality food we can to our pets.
Why you ask? Here are some compelling reasons:
- A good commercial food ensures that your crayfish is getting all the nutrients it needs for living successfully. In many times, lack of some nutrient can cause problem with the crayfish. For example, lack of iodine can cause problem in molting.
- High-quality food ensures good coloration in the crayfish. Also, your crayfish will be healthier.
- Crayfish generally tend to live longer when they are fed properly.
Why Is My Crayfish Not Eating?
Crayfishes generally are not picky about their food. As they are naturally scavengers, they’ll look for food themselves and eat.
However, if your crayfish is refusing to eat, there might be some reasons for that:
- You’ve just bought the crayfish from fish store and it is not yet adjusted to the tank’s water parameters. Just give it some time to adjust.
- The water parameters are not right and something is quite off the chart. You need to test the water parameters and see what is causing the problem.
- Crayfishes are more active at night. So, they might be eating while you are asleep.
- The crayfish might be wild caught. Wild caught crayfishes generally take more time to get accustomed to a tank. They are also not very familiar with commercial foods. So, try to give the crayfish more time to get adjusted with its new environment. Also, I’ll suggest giving more vegetables than commercial foods in such a case.
- If none of this seems to be your case and your crayfish is refusing to eat for days, then I think you should consult an expert to see what’s causing this type of behavior.