Why Is My Crayfish Floating?

Why Is My Crayfish Floating

This site does not constitute pet medical advice, please consult a licensed veterinarian in your area for pet medical advice.

Many people love to keep aquarium filled with fish in their house, and it is a great hobby as far as keeping pets goes. Many people keep the usual goldfish and fishes as such. But you might be different, and maybe you have crayfish in your tank.

If you have kept the crayfish for some time and noticed some floating by now, then you might have asked yourself, why is my crayfish floating in the aquarium? In this article, you will find out why this happens and a little more about your pet friend, the crayfish.

Why Is My Crayfish Floating?

The reason behind why your crayfish floats could be the crayfish is molting, or it is going to molt. The reason is not known why they float like that, but they do it mostly either because they are molting or they are going to molt. If you are curious about when they molt, then read the next part.

When Crayfish Molts?

Crayfish need to shed their shell now and then, periodically. The outer layer does not grow while their insides grow bigger. That is why they molt. In the first year, they molt up to 6-10 times, and it slows down as they age. The key symptoms are:

  • Spending all day in the burrow
  • Feeding is avoided
  • Comparatively inactive and also motionless.

Before the exhausting period, they need to conserve energy, and during the process of exhausting, they will seem to be ill. The molting process can take minutes to hours to complete.

The molting period is very sensitive for the crayfish as they are unprotected without their shells. The hunter becomes the prey, and the unthreatening fish becomes their predator. Even the crayfish could be a threat to each other if either one were molting.

Solutions To Crayfish Floating Problem

As the crayfish mainly stay in their burrows while they molt, there is not much you can do while they are molting. But if you are concerned, then you can keep the other fishes in another tank. But the important thing for you to see is that while the crayfish molts, the temperature, pH, ammonia, and nitrate levels are at the right level.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How do you tell if a crayfish is going to molt?

If the crayfish is ready for molting, it will find a hiding spot and move on its back. After that, it will start fanning its pincers, swimmerets, and legs to get oxygen.

Q. Can a crayfish drown?

If you keep your crayfish significantly over the fish’s head for more than 3-6 hours without giving oxygen, the fish can drown. To prevent this, air bubblers are mandatory, and if you have long bubble walls, that is the best possible scenario.

Q. How long does it take crayfish to molt?

The time needed for the crayfish to molt is dependent on its size. The usual amount is 24 hours for small ones and 3-5 days for the big ones.

Q. What is the lifespan of a crayfish?

Amazingly enough, the crayfish can live for 20-30 years, and they reach adulthood in 4 years when in the wild.

Q. How long can a crayfish survive out of water?

As the crayfish has specialized gills, that is why it can breathe the normal air and can live for many days out of the water so long as the gills remain moist. If they are in humid conditions then they will be able to survive for months.


This article was a concise one trying to answer the question “Why is my crayfish floating?” while informing a bit more about the crayfish as a species. This article should help you get a bit more knowledgeable about your aquarium pet and help you understand the fish better, along with taking better care of the crayfishes you have now or you might have in the future.

About Muntaseer Rahman

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