Crayfish are fond of eating different foods, including insects, vegetables, larvae, worms, and many more. But snails are thought to be one of the favorite foods of many fishes, and hence many aquarists and fishkeepers have asked the question, do crayfish eat snails?
Crayfish love to eat snails without any hesitation, and whenever they get a chance, they will prey on them and fulfill their foods requirement by eating snails. You can also feed them snails if you follow the proper feeding method.
Are Snails Safe For Crayfish To Eat?
Yes, snails are safe for crayfish to eat. Maybe you know that crayfish like to feed on snails and can’t resist the opportunity to munch on them.
Some people think that this is true because if a snail gets in your mouth and down your throat, it might be hard for you to cough it back out. So, when a crayfish sees a snail, they will do what they think will be best for them to eat it!
Do Crayfish Like To Eat Snails?
Yes, they do like to eat snails, and snails are hard-shelled. Crayfish want to eat snails, so they lop off the top of it with their mouthparts when they come across one.
The snail makes this easier by opening up the spiral shell for them. There are two different species, so there can’t be any evolutionary reason for them to like each other.
However, their activity in eating each other has made snails and crayfish inseparable in some places around the world.
Crab-eating crayfish are very popular in many countries, with some cultures even eating them as a staple diet. They have a distinctive flavor and texture that makes them perfect for fish tanks, where they can be fed on anything from shrimp to small fish.
How To Feed Crayfish Snails?
Various methods are used to feed snails to crayfish. Some of them are below:
Helping Hands Method
A small amount of flake food is placed in the palm of one hand, with the fingers extended. The snails are picked up by their shells or pulled by their antennas and placed on top of them.
The operator then brings both hands together. This technique is useful when feeding crayfish too large for a ‘hand to mouth’ technique.
Finger to Mouth Method
A small group (a few) of snails will be picked up by one finger while another fingertips them into a crayfish’s open mouth, which swallows them whole.
Hand to Mouth Method
This method is useful for feeding one or two crayfish when not many snails are available. A few snails are picked up and placed in the open mouth, and it is repeated until they consume all the snails.
Hand to Hand Method
A small group (usually 3 to 6) of snails will be picked up and transferred from hand to hand until they reach a hungry crayfish.
Rod and Spoon Method
The “Rod and Spoon Method” involves using a rod-shaped device consisting of an aquarium air hose attached to an empty plastic medicine syringe with the plunger removed.
A small amount of snail food is placed in the syringe and then submerged. The plunger is slowly depressed, and the snails are sucked up into the syringe. They are then transferred to the aquarium and fed to the crayfish using a pair of forceps.
This method works well with 300 mm (10″) and larger crayfish tanks with a substrate thick enough to hold the tubing in place when inserted into it.
The tubing is cut at an angle so that one end has a long point and the other end has a shorter point. A small amount of food can be placed in a container and pushed into one end of the tube.
How Often & How Much To Crayfish Snails?
Crayfish can eat snails daily or every other day, but they will eat regularly. They also need to be fed every day to increase their lifespan. So you can feed them every other day, or twice a week.
They also may eat the snails’ eggs, if any are visible. They also need plenty of water to carry out waste from the body, which will help them stay hydrated when it’s dry outside.
When feeding crayfish with snails, you might not know that the frequency is largely up to you.
Feed crayfish snails two times per week, and keep the rest of your tank clean. Don’t forget that it is safe for your crayfish too!
It is easy with a few tips like avoiding overfeeding, removing uneaten food from the water as soon as it’s eaten, and using sand instead of gravel for overhead decoration.
The food requirements of crayfish snails vary greatly depending on their size, health status, and other factors.
Generally speaking, they will require high protein sources like insects or worms. Ideally, this should be a diet made up primarily of fresh vegetables.
The snails can consume all their alkalinity needs for calcium to properly absorb their shells.
Will Crayfish Eat Snail Shells?
Yes, crayfish love snails and will even go after their shells if given the opportunity. Snail shells are packed with calcium, an important mineral for their diet, as it helps form their exoskeletons.
Though certain snails might have different reactions to being eaten by a hungry crayfish, the majority of snails won’t mind giving up their shell as long as they can still enjoy some nutritious crayfish meat.
Will Crayfish Eat Snail Eggs?
Yes, crayfish will eat snail eggs. It is not an uncommon problem for people who raise snails for food.
The reason is that crawfish will eat almost anything organic, including eggs of the mollusk. There are ways to prevent this, like putting a barrier between them or separating the crawfish tank from the snails’ tank with wire mesh.
Can Mystery Snails Live With Crayfish?
Yes, Mystery snails can live in harmony with crayfish. Mystery snails are easy to care for and can be housed in 10 gallons or more tanks.
Keep the water temperature at 76-80 degrees Fahrenheit for Mystery snails to thrive, and they also prefer higher oxygen levels in the aquarium.
Crayfish are considered bottom feeders but require an area where the waste will not collect, like plants positioned near the bottom of the tank.
It is important to provide Mystery snails with lots of hiding places, such as rock ledges or live plants; they also enjoy leaf litter on the floor of their tank for cover.
Do Crayfish Eat Small Snails?
No, crayfish eat mainly insects and worms. There is speculation that some crayfish species may occasionally eat small snails, but it goes against the norm.
Full-grown crayfish are powerful enough to crush snails in their shells with their pincers, but they typically would not be able to digest them due to the lack of protein. So you can safely say that crayfish do not eat small snails.
Do Crayfish Eat Pest Snails?
Yes, of course, crayfish eat pest snails. They are very opportunistic eaters, and they will quickly take advantage of any available food.
It is not uncommon to see them chowing down on seashells, pebbles, and even the occasional small fish. As long as it is not too big for them, they will consider anything edible.
Suppose you have ever had a garden with pest snails (or seen someone else’s). You might know that pest snails can be a nuisance, and crayfish make for perfect exterminators.
Crayfish were introduced in many areas to help control populations of pest snails because these crawlers love eating their smaller cousins.
Do Crayfish Eat Earthworms?
Yes, crayfish enjoy eating earthworms. Earthworms are among the most popular food sources for crayfish, so it is not uncommon to ask for a giant bowlful of worms handed over by someone next door.
Crayfish eat earthworms because they contain calcium vital in developing their shell and exoskeleton armor.
So while they will never turn their nose up at a worm-based meal, they should be given a healthy amount of other types of food alongside this meal.
No doubt that crayfish eat snails whenever they get a chance but keep a few things in mind before serving them snails.
Do not serve them snails regularly so that they may get bored of just one food, and also overfeeding them with the same food for a long time may cause severe health problems.