Crawfish Aquaponics – How to Do it Right

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Last Updated on January 31, 2023

Crawfish aquaponics is possible with the proper knowledge. Although we are more familiar with raising fish in aquaponics, other aquatic animals, such as crawfish, can also be included. You can easily raise crawfish alongside your aquaponics fish.

Although there can be some limitations to raising crawfish in aquaponics, you can work your way around it.

What Are Crawfish?

Crawfish are freshwater crustaceans. They belong to the group of organisms called Astacidea, which also contains lobsters. Crawfish are usually referred to as crayfish. Depending on the location, they can also be referred to as craydids, craybobs, crawdaddies, crawdads, freshwater lobsters, mountain lobsters, rock lobsters, mudbugs, bay bugs, or yabbies.

The word crayfish is more common in the northern parts of the Eastern United States, while crawdad is used in the central and southwestern regions. Crawfish is a term used farther south, although overlaps exist between the different regions.

Crawfish are commonly found in the USA, particularly in Mississippi through Louisiana as well as in different parts of the world.

How To Raise Crawfish In Aquaponics

Raising crawfish in your aquaponics will add a whole lot of diversity to your system. It is possible to raise crawfish alongside aquatic fish as they can live as good tank mates in your aquaponics system. However, there are things you need to put in place to prevent your fish from eating your crawfish.

Although not all types of fish will eat your crawfish, the fishes that might end up eating your crawfish are the omnivorous or carnivorous ones and the ones that are two to three times bigger than your crawfish. Also, note that almost all fish may try to eat baby crawfish. However, there are some things you can do to prevent this.

The good thing about crawfish is that they are bottom dwellers, unlike fishes that love swimming at the water’s top. Crawfish also love hiding places so that is an added advantage. This is why you have to create hiding spots for them in the fish tanks so they can avoid the fish. You can make use of big stones as hiding spots.

There is always a chance of fish-eating your crawfish. But don’t sweat it. Just try to follow the tips mentioned above to keep your crawfish safe.

Crawfish & Filtration

Although crawfish may help in terms of filtration, you will still need to get a filtering system as the plants in your system may not be able to take up nutrients, resulting in inefficient filtration sufficiently. The filtrating crawfish technique is not so superb. This is because as they are cleaning up your system by consuming this excess organic waste from fish, they are also producing their waste materials. Therefore, you will need to add a filtration system to clean your aquaponics system so the waste does not clog it up or cause your water quality to deteriorate.

Stocking Density Of Crawfish

Crawfish require a lot of space in aquaponics. As such, you can only raise a few of them in the system simultaneously. This is why it is not advised to raise only crawfish as the fish in an aquaponics system, as the few crawfish will not provide your plant with adequate nutrients. They should be raised with other fish so they both can produce enough nutrients for the plants.

Stocking Density Of Crawfish

As we mentioned earlier that crawfish are bottom dwellers. They are capable of taking over your fish tank which is why you need to raise a few of them. When a female crawfish can lay up to as many as 650 eggs at a time, this can cause a rapid increase in the population in your fish tank.

However, if you wish to sell them, you should help their survival by providing them with more hiding spots. This way, your fish will be limited from attacking the little crawfish and you can guarantee that you will have some for sale.

Crawfish Growing Requirements

Follow these crawfish growing requirements and enjoy a smooth crawfish aquaponics system:

  • Temperature:

Crawfish grow best in temperatures of around 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • pH:

They also prefer their water pH to be around 7.1 to 8.1. Other species of crawfish will do well with a pH of approximately 6.4 to 8.1. Therefore, make sure you are enlightened on the type of crawfish species you will be raising.

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  • Bio-filtration & Water Quality:

Ensure your filtering system cleans up excess ammonia and nitrite to a level your crawfish can handle. Ammonia and nitrite toxicity can reduce the survival chance of your crawfish. Therefore, always test the nitrite and ammonia concentration levels to make sure that they remain within the correct limits.

  • Maintain Low Stocking Densities of Crawfish:

Because crawfish require large spaces in the tank, try to maintain a reduced population. When they start producing offspring and their population gets high in the tank, try to take some out and divide them between tanks. You can sell the little offspring to a bait shop or fish store.

Crayfish need space to move around, so the ideal stocking density for them in a tank is 5 gallons of water per small crawfish. For larger ones, 15-20 gallons would be perfect.

Crawfish Feeding Habits

Knowing what to feed crawfish is very important if you are keeping them, mainly if you are farming them for commercial purposes. You need to provide them right so that they can grow optimally.

Crawfish are omnivores. They feed on snails, insect larvae, worms, and amphibian tadpoles; some eat vegetation. So they will help you hunt worms, snails, leeches, etc you might have in your system.

Crawfish don’t usually go out to search for food. They make do with what they have around them. Therefore, there’s no worry about them eating your little fish.

Crawfish Feeding Habit

How to Raise Crawfish in a Pond

If crawfish are raised in a pond, they need to be located in areas that are flat and open. The soils in these areas should be full of clay. An adequate supply of water is also essential for raising crawfish in a pond. You might need to perform regular water changes to maintain excellent water quality for your crawfish growth.

With regards to soil types, clay loam, and silty clay loams are suitable types for crawfish ponds. The clay is necessary to maintain the structure and integrity of the burrows that crawfish make, as well as important to hold water.

How to Raise Crayfish in Aquaponics

Raising crayfish in tanks may not be common, but it is absolutely possible. Here are the crucial factors to consider if you want to run a successful crayfish aquaponics system.

  • Maintain the correct stocking density of 5 gallons of water per small crayfish and at least 15 gallons per large crayfish.
  • Keep the temperature of the water in which they are kept between 70 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Do not expose them to direct sunlight. Crayfish do not require light in their environment. So make provide them with either shade or suitable hiding spaces in their tanks.
  • The ideal pH for crayfish in aquaponics is between 7.2 and 8.2. Maintain it at this range for your fish to thrive.
  • Make sure that the dissolved oxygen levels in the water never drop below two parts per million.
  • Feed crayfish a varied diet that includes mussels, worms, snails, and some vegetation. Feed them only one to two times a day. This should be enough for them. It will also help keep your water quality good.
  • Clean crayfish tanks at least once a week to limit the buildup of waste from uneaten feed and feces. This will further help to maintain good water quality in your system.
  • Suitable plants for crayfish include peas, celery, and herbs such as dill and marjoram. Pair your crayfish with these plants and you will have a tremendous and well-functioning aquaponics system.

Closing Remarks On Raising Crawfish

Raising crawfish in aquaponics may not be common but it is an exciting venture that a lot of people are currently trying their hand at. It will become more popular shortly as aquaponics farmers learn more about them and how to optimize their growth and production. 

If you would like to try your hand at this exciting farming method, you can use this article as a guide, and be well on your way to success. Happy farming!


Can you do aquaponics with crayfish?

The answer is yes. The crayfish will eat the algae, which in turn will give off oxygen and the bacteria that help break down the waste. And then the crayfish will eat the fish food, which will give off more oxygen and the bacteria that break down the waste. There are a few things to consider before you jump right in and start your own crayfish aquaponics system, though. Crayfish do not like to live in the same tank as other animals, so if you have a small aquarium, you should only put one or two crayfish in it.

If you have a larger tank, however, you can house more crayfish. The crayfish also need to be fed regularly, as they are omnivores. You will want to feed them a mixture of algae, fruit flies, and fish food. It is best to keep the crayfish in a separate tank from your fish, as crayfish are known to eat fish and even each other. This means that you will need to get two tanks – one for the crayfish, and one for your fish. If you are new to aquaponics, you may also want to invest in a water conditioner.

A water conditioner will help to remove excess nutrients from the water so that you do not need to add as much fertilizer. They are also helpful for keeping your water clean and clear. Aquaponics is becoming increasingly popular as people look for ways to improve their lives without relying on traditional methods. While there is still plenty of room for improvement, aquaponics is a system that has many benefits.I am a photographer. I'm working on an album right now with some very important people, and they have been giving me great advice.

How big should the tank be?

The tank can be either bigger or smaller than the grow bed. If you want a small aquarium, it can be as small as a 5 gallon or as large as a 55 gallon. You will want to consider the size of your fish. A very small tank won't hold much water and won't allow your crayfish to swim around.

If you are going to keep crayfish, you will need a tank that is at least 10 gallons, but larger would be better. As for the lights, a plant light is usually not strong enough for plants and fish. I use a couple of 10 watt aquarium bulbs for my aquariums. If you are going to use a submersible pump, make sure it has a good enough power supply to run it. I have used aquarium submersibles that cost about $40. You don't need a lot of lighting though, as long as it's bright enough for the plants and the crayfish. I use 3 aquarium bulbs for my lighting.

Can you feed crayfish to your fish in aquaponics?

In aquaponics, crayfish are used as a food source for fish and other aquatic animals. Crayfish can be used as fertilizer by adding them to the tank or pond.

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