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Crawfish question


Staff member
Moderator (Staff)
Nov 20, 2002
Dallas Texas
Several people have mentioned feeding their octopuses crawfish. I'd never seen a crawfish before, but when my seafood store advertised them, I decided to buy one for my bimac.

I was very surprised to see it - it was very sturdily built, about 6 inches long with quite substantial claws. I thought it was too big for Ollie.

So are you finding smaller crawfish, or do you give your octopuses these large crawfish? I understand some people clip off the claws before offering the crawfish as food.

Thanks for the info,

I don't think it is necessary to clip off the claws...perhaps a smaller specimen would be better...you should be able to pick up some subadults from a local store...since crawfish are usually found near/in estuaries ( at least the ones that are sold here) you will have a nice saltwater friendly food item!
Good luck!
I have cought crawfish that are about ½" in size, and the females have smaller pinchers. As far as claws go, ive been pinched a few times (never broke this skin) but then again my hands are alot tougher than the body of an octopus. I dont think i would feed any unless the octo is a fair deal bigger than the crawfish.
Don't feed crawdads I keep them as pets and find that they are just as interesting to me as an octopus is to ya'll. I think it is incredibly cruel to clip off the crawdads claws. I have evidence that they feel pain. Me pet crawdad had shell rot on one leg and I had to pull it off. He hated me until he died. :x
If crawdads taste as good to an octo as the Popeye's spicy crawdads do to me, I'd say they're in for a treat. That's one thing I do miss eating from living in the south (don't miss the grits a bit tho)... Of course, I ate them cooked and not live and I too wonder if they could pose a danger to an octo.
The ones that I saw were very large (probably farmed) and had large claws that would make short work of a baby octo. This was in a high end fish store. When I went to the Mexican market, they had quite a different type of smaller crawfish with smaller claws. They were also in horrible shape - I don't see how humans would do well eating these half-dead animals, either.

Later I had some shipped to me, but discoved that they're so aggressive they attack each other along the way, and they all arrive missing parts like legs and tails.

So I've abandoned crawfish as octo food.

Just a bit of a FYI on Crayfish..

Yes they are territorial and Will attack each other when in cramped quarters. If a crayfish is missing a leg or claw....it will regrow. They slough their shell every so often and then when the new shell hardens the new claw is there. ....Males normally have larger claws than females in the CFs that I have seen...As far as using them for Octo food I think its alright...though I can understand why someone might end up keeping one as a pet. My boss has one in a large ciclid breeder tank, and its quite fun to watch actually. It begs for food runs around and also is a bottom feeder cleaning up after the fish.....Oh, from what I've heard they are not too hard to breed...
I just fed Wasabe a crayfish about 2 hours ago, It was nearly the same length as him. well, anyway, he seemed to be waiting for the crayfish to turn its tail to him. I guessed he kinda got impatient and went to its back then pounced on it grabbing it by the tail which is far from the claws reach.

He does the same thing to crabs and if you look at the video in the gallery, you can see him waiting for the crab to turn around. Maybe octopus will do the same thing?
If your going to order crawfish (or crawdads as they are called here in utah) Why not just order saltwater shrimp? no claws and my baby bimac just love's them. I got well over 100 delivered to me for around 90 dollars.
I just got done feeding one to my new baby bimac (Otis) It is great fun to watch him "stalk" it around the tank and they can't hurt him. :wink2:
:welcome: Belegnole,
I used to have a blue crawfish that was almost six inches long and it nearly killed my eel.
I'm not even going to try feeding Pudge one since A. He can barely handle fiddler crabs and B. They cost $25 and I can't find any in our lake or the stream in town, since they're frozen over.
Nice one to octopus_reef!!!! Ive been wonderin what a crawdad was!!! A crawfish....which i presume is the same as a crayfish?!?! (maybe im spellin it wrong an its the same i.e. crwa/cray?)

Anyway since your all on the subject of feedin, ive been givin this some thought an have produced a list of possible foods. Does anybody have any thoughts on these and anymore that can be added?

Obviously were i say frozen i mean defrost first!!

shrimp - river, blood, cleaner, mantis
live fish (not always and not keen on, also poss fatty)
chopped up fresh fish
frozen prawn
crawfish (crawdads!)
frozen krill
frozen/live mussels
frozen/live clams


other than small portions of the above any ideas of baby octo food?

Also as a footnote, anyone any ideas on cheap live food sources in the uk?

Nice one

Hi scouse, i can set up a deal for you for live crabs no problem.. so dont worry about that! much cheaper than buying from the LFS!!!

yeah we call them crayfish over here but its the same thing...

you ready to set up yet?
Alright Colin,

Absolute quality nice one mate!!!

Am i set-up? That is the ever lastin question an im gettin stick off my mates left right an centre for havin a dry tank!!!!

The answer is no not yet, I still need a fair bit of equipment (paused buyin as my partyin took over slightly!), but i have a formulated a list down to the last tube of milliput!!!! Also had to stop whilst studyin for my chartership interview.

Anyway you'll see a load more questions appearing from me since Ive been re-readin info i never fully understood at the beginining and i wanna ensure i know all there is even the simple things.

I'll be settin up some time after chrimbo, its all a bit slow at the mo!!!!!

On a side note, it was intresting to read your signiture about cod, as even thou i love it, i refuse to eat it on principle, its a scandle!! But not in the same sense as that Mis-teeq :arr: :D scandle buisness!!!

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