Crayfish aren’t fish-they’re shellfish. Other types of crustaceans include crabs, lobsters, and shrimp. There are several species of both freshwater and saltwater crayfish.
Freshwater ones are also referred to by the names crawfish, crawdad, and crawdaddy. Use of these terms varies by region.
Crayfish mostly consume decomposing plant waste that enters their water supply, such as grass, weeds, and tree leaves, but they are not fussy when it comes to nourishing their bodies. We have previously looked into crayfish diets and whether they eat shrimp, frogs/tadpoles and each other.
But this time we will look into the preferences of crayfish when it comes to snails.
Just like other crustaceans, crayfish consume almost anything they find in the wild. They consume both live and dead creatures, including as fish and shrimp, as well as plankton, algae, and even worms, snails, and other molluscs.
In many ways, the preferences of crayfish resemble that of their crab cousins, which also gladly embark on snail dining (but mostly in the sea!).
As seen from the figure above, the diet of crayfish can vary dramatically between species, and while the Louisiana crayfish rarely eat snails, the Northern Clearwater Crayfish do eat a large proportion of animals in its diet. If you are more interested in precisely what these crayfish eat, I have written about it here.
Will Crayfish Eat Nerite Snails?
In recent years, Nerite Snails has risen to become one of the most popular freshwater aquarium snails, and they are almost always accessible in local pet stores as well as chain retailers.
While most Nerites are sold as freshwater aquarium snails, there are a few saltwater types available as well as freshwater. Nerite Snails has a well-deserved reputation as excellent tank cleaners and as one of the most effective algae-eating snails available.
Nerite snails only eat vegetable matter, most notably algae.If a tank has plenty of algae and just a few snails, the nerite snails should be able to survive without supplementary feeding.
You will normally be safe placing dwarf crayfish in a tank with Nerite snails. Larger crayfish will soon eat snails they come across.
It is not a problem for a crayfish to slice through a snail shell. Some suppliers keep crayfish and snails in the same very large tank, but if you look at the snails shells, most of them show signs that they have been attacked.
Enthusiasts that have been able to place nerite snails and crayfish in the same tank all reported that they have plenty of other potential food sources like guppies for the crayfish’s needs.
Do Crayfish Eat Pond Snails?
Pond Snails are the most common species of freshwater snail. They are considered both useful and a pest. They tend not to eat vegetation, unlike Ramshorn snails which can damage pond plants.
Pond snails are omnivores and will eat food that is intended for other pond occupants, given the opportunity. Pond snails are very easy to breed and where there is plenty of food, overpopulation can become a problem with the pond snail becoming a pest.
Most crayfish will eat snails. The larger the crayfish, the larger sizes of snails they will devour. The pond snail’s population may well benefit from some culling by the crayfish, which is opportunistic rather than a serious campaign.
Will Dwarf Crayfish Eat Snails?
The dwarf Mexican crayfish is a hardy species that is tolerant of a variety of conditions and reasonably easy to breed.
They will not severely restrict your alternatives in the same way that their larger counterparts do. Indeed, they can be one of the most suitable alternatives for beginners in specific situations.
However, if you intend to keep Dwarf Mexican crayfish in a communal tank with other fish or shrimp, you should be aware that the possibility of violence exists.
According to most information available about the Dwarf Mexican crayfish, they are not aggressive creatures but are renowned for their gentle disposition. This is true compared to many other crawfish… but only to a certain extent.
Despite their size, these creatures are highly territorial in nature, and they will defend their territories and threaten each other if they venture too close to one another. It’s not like they have claws for nothing!
The Dwarf Mexican crayfish should be kept in groups of only two in a 10-gallon tank and no more than four in a 20-gallon tank. Since this variety of crayfish is not overly aggressive, if they have plenty of space and multiple food sources, they may do nothing more than give snails the occasional nip.
Most Dwarf Mexican Crayfish guides will tell you they are compatible with just about anything and everything. Despite this, it is critical to note that each Dwarf Mexican Crayfish has a distinct personality, so some people have had success keeping crayfish with snails, while others have experienced their Mexican crayfish eating snails in their aquarium (see video below!).
They do not restrict your selections to the same extent that their larger cousins do. It is possible to keep small fish, snails, and other water plants in the same tank as the dwarf Mexican Crayfish.
They can, for example, coexist peacefully with guppies, mollies, boraras, dwarf swordtails, and snails, and even the offspring of these species have survived in their presence.
Only sick and weak specimens are removed from the population by the crayfish, which helps to maintain the overall health of the entire group.
Will Electric Blue Crayfish Eat Snails?
Electric Blue Crayfish (Procambarus alleni) are one of the most popular invertebrates in the freshwater aquarium market, and this is mostly due to their eye-catching color.
These critters, which are also known as the Blue Crayfish, Sapphire Crayfish, and Florida Crayfish, are a striking addition to any aquarium.
This species of crayfish are only found in Florida. Many bodies of water all around the state are home to these aquatic creatures. They are, however, most frequently found east of the Saint Johns River, which is the country’s longest river by length.
Electric Blue Crayfish tend to share a tank more successfully with fast-moving fish. Snails will very quickly become crayfish food if the crayfish is so minded.
That is the key point. Crayfish have distinct personalities and while some will routinely attack snails, others will just totally ignore them.
Will Crayfish Eat Snail Eggs?
Crayfish will certainly eat snail eggs and in doing so make a contribution to keeping down snail populations. Snails can become too abundant if they have no predators. It is just a matter of finding the balance in the tank.
Do All Crayfish Eat Snails?
All crayfish will eat snails, including mystery snails, mollusks, bladder snails if given the opportunity and they are big enough to tackle them.
Large crayfish just instantly slice through shells with one swift move. Smaller crayfish may need to work a little harder.
Just like crabs, crayfish are opportunistic and if the snails are easily available, then the crayfish will take advantage, but if other food is abundant, they may not bother to go for them.