Diet of the Crayfish

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Crayfish eat just about anything.
Crayfish eat just about anything. (Image: cooked crawfish image by AGphotographer from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>)

Crayfish, regionally referred to as crawfish or crawdads, are small, freshwater crustaceans popular in several culinary traditions throughout the world. While many enjoy snacking on these small relatives of the lobster, the crayfish has some favorite foods of its own.

Omnivorous Diet

Like their lobster cousins, crayfish have an omnivorous diet. They are indiscriminate in what they eat and will consume plant and animal matter including small fish, underwater vegetation, insects, snails, plankton, and even other crustaceans.

As Pets

If you have a crayfish as a pet, it is best to feed it decomposing plants or leaves such as wilted lettuce or spinach, which they love. Some owners purchase small fish for the crayfish to hunt and consume in the tank.

Tank Mates

Because crayfish will eat just about anything, owners who keep other kinds of fish in a tank along with the crayfish must be wary of what the crayfish considers food. While it may eat the minnows that you intended for it to eat, it may also consume some of its tank mates as well.

For Breeding

Those attempting to breed crayfish should maintain their diet of soft lettuce, shrimp, food pellets, and the occasional dose of fish meat. This regimen should provide sufficient energy for the crayfish to spawn.

Larval Crayfish

In their early stages, the spawn of crayfish are very minute in size. These crayfish larvae survive on proportionately tiny food sources such as plankton.

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