What do crawfish eat?

In this brief guide, we will answer the question “What do crawfish eat?”, and discuss whether crawfish eat fish or not. We will also discuss the type of food that is toxic to crawfish. We will also discuss and enlist the type of foods you can use to feed pet crawfish. 

What do crawfish eat?

Crawfish eat plants and animal meat. They are omnivorous and can eat just about anything that comes their way. Their diet usually consists of shrimps, worms, insects, snails, eggs, tadpoles, plankton and dead and decaying plants and animals.

Crawfish also sometimes eat baby crawfish. Plant diet includes plankton, algae, and decaying vegetation such as leaves. When they molt, they also consume their shells as a source of calcium.

Pet crawfish or those kept in a farm have a slightly different diet since they do not have a lot of options in a controlled environment. They are fed vegetales, plankton, commercial pellets, dead animals/fish and decaying vegetation.

Baby crawfish usually only survive on algae. If they are kept in captivity then they are usually fed sinkable pellets and blanched or boiled vegetables.

Do crawfish eat fish?

Yes, crawfish eat live and dead fish. Commercial farmers also benefit from crawfish because they are decomposers. They can feed on all the dead and decomposing matter.

If you have a pet crawfish and you wish to keep fish as well, then consider getting a separate tank for your fish because the crawfish will end up eating your fish. Smaller fish are an easy target for crawfish if they swim too close to it. Larger fish may be able to survive but even then, do not risk it.

What type of food is toxic for crawfish?

Since crawfish feed on just about anything, especially dead and decaying matter, it can sometimes cause harm to the crawfish. 

Certain phytoplankton produce toxins and if the crawfish consume these toxins, it can be toxic to them. In addition, shrimp, fish or any other small animals that are suffering from parasite infestation or have died due to parasitic infections, can be harmful for crawfish if consumed. 

Find out the benefits of keeping crawfish as a pet in a tank here

What foods should be given to pet crawfish?

Crawfish are not picky eaters. As discussed above, they will eat just about anything so feeding them is not much of a challenge. In fact it is very easy. 

Firstly, when you are setting up the tank for the crawfish, add a lot of aquarium plants such as guppy grass and densa at the bottom. Crawfish like to eat these. 

You can buy commercial pellets that sink to the bottom so that the crawfish have easy access to them. According to research, crawfish really enjoy shrimp pellets but you can try other pellets as well. 

You can also give them vegetables. They will eat any type of vegetables. Slice up the vegetables in small pieces and drop them in the tank from above. Make sure that they sink to the bottom. You can give them diced carrots, broccoli stems, frozen peas and lettuce.

If you own baby crawfish then feed them algae and blanched/boiled vegetables. They also eat pellets. 

Small animals such as snails and tadpoles can be given to them. They also eat any type of meat so if you have extra beef, lamb or chicken lying around in the fridge, then feed it to them. They also feed on fish, live or dead.

Algae wafers, blood worms, insects, and plankton are also a great addition to their diet. You can buy fish food for them. Crawfish can also eat fruit like bananas and apples.

If you put food in the tank and do not see them eating it, do not worry about it. Crawfish usually eat at night. 


In this brief guide, we answered the question “What do crawfish eat?”, and discussed whether crawfish eat fish or not. We also discussed the type of food that is toxic to crawfish. We also discussed and enlisted the type of foods you can use to feed pet crawfish. 







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