We received some crayfish as a gift shortly after our new pond was finished. Sadly we had no idea under which conditions they had to be kept and as the only hiding place was the covering shield above the tube that leads to the pump… well, we had crayfish soup in our filters, shortly after.

I am thinking about introducing crayfish to the pond again, after securing the death trap, of course. What else should I take care of to make the pond crayfish-friendly?

  • 6
    Please leave crayfish on this question and don't add fish. This question isn't about fish and crayfish are not fish (WP: Crayfish). I have a few other questions about crayfish in mind that I am likely to ask in the course of the next few days. If you still disagree or want a more general tag, please open a discussion on Pets Meta.
    – Baarn
    Oct 11, 2013 at 11:08

2 Answers 2


I'm no expert at crayfish (or ponds), but I know a little

  • The pond shouldn't be close to trees, bush or bush piles.

  • Provisions should be made to enable the pond to drain automatically.

  • The pond water should be dechlorinated, with a pH of 7.2-8.2.

  • Make sure to check and test pond water frequently to ensure ammonia and nitrite levels are not too high or low. Sudden death of crayfish are often due to an ammonia or nitrite excess.

  • Their water should contain a good amount of calcium.

Also check : How to Make a Crawfish Pond

  • If I recall correctly, crayfish, shrimp, etc, find copper toxic. So make sure no copper pipes feed into it.
    – Keltari
    May 21, 2014 at 19:12
  • I don't think ammonia and nitrite levels could be too low, since the optimal content of both is 0. I guess you wanted to mean just water parameters in general.
    – lila
    May 20, 2020 at 15:53

To keep crayfish in your pond you first need to create hiding places; you can use rocks to build these or use plastic tubes. The ones used for plumbing or drainage are good; they need to be 20-30cm long and have a diameter of about 10cm, you can make a cluster of 2-5 tubes and weigh them down to keep them in place. Be sure the materials you use do not leach chemicals into the water.

You will need to have at least one hiding place for each crayfish, as they will hurt each other if they are unable to hide.

Crayfish will try to escape from your pond until they have adapted to the water, so you will have to put them in a cage in your pond for one to two weeks before you let them roam free in the pond.

Crayfish are sensitive to copper, lead and zinc so be sure to use ungalvanized, corrosion resistant fittings in your pond.

The water needs to have a pH close to 7.5, but as long as the pH is stable the crayfish will be fine so do not worry if the pH deviates a bit from this. The water needs to contain some calcium for the crayfish to replace their shell; crayfish are able to store calcium in their body for later use, so you do not need to add large amounts of calcium to the water.

Crayfish are mostly active at night, so do not worry if you do not see them during the day; if you use a flashlight at night, you will see them searching for food, often close to the surface.

Be sure the pond is well cycled before you add crayfish, plants or fish into the pond.

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