Crayfish In Aquaponics
When setting up an aquarium for an aquaponics system, there is an introduction of crayfish. Here’s a guide on how to use crayfish in aquaponics.
Though you may not end up thinking of the various creatures similar to home aquariums and inhabitants, crayfish will be offering many beneficial qualities to the aquaponic system.
While looking for the most appropriate crayfish, going local is the best way to get your crayfish. Local crayfish will be best suited to your climate.
You can also buy them online which brings in the risk of them dying or not being suited for the temperatures you may have.
Benefits of Crayfish
Crayfish can be known to be very dirty and are frowned upon by many pond owners. However, crayfish can be a great addition to any aquaponic system.
Crayfish are highly beneficial and have been added into tons of thriving aquaponic systems.
While the waste produced by crayfish is great for the plants, it is not enough to completely run an aquaponic system.
It is recommended that you have a small population alongside a population of crayfish.
Additionally, the only fish that do end up eating crayfish are ones that are twice their size and omnivorous.
It should be noted that nearly all fish will try to eat baby crayfish, that’s why you will need to place hiding spots all-around your aquaponic system.
Crayfish can also be farmed and used as bait. If you want to get the most out of you crayfish you can either use them for yourself or sell them to local bait shops for a profit.
Crayfish are also edible, just in small amounts. You shouldn’t just have a plate of crayfish for dinner, this can be unhealthy.
Things worth Remembering
Crayfish are pretty much known for their dirtiness. So just the filtration from the plants might not be enough. Your filters may be working overtime trying to clean these creatures.
While making an order online, ensure you are ordering Marbled Crayfish since they shall be free from both germs and diseases.
Crayfish are inexpensive and add a new touch to the aquaponics system.
You can add crayfish in the tank, the grow bed or both. Wherever the crayfish are, they will be beneficial to the whole aquaponics system.
It is highly amusing observing them climbing around in a plant, while at the same time trying to swim around the tank acting like fish.
The addition of crayfish is a great way to reduce the uneaten fish food or sludge left at the bottom of a tank.
Farming crayfish for a profit can be a great addition to aquaponics. Once you notice there are a few too many in a tank, take out a few dozen and sell them to a fish store or bait shop.
The mainly red swamp crayfish which is raised with the white crayfish and the red crayfish.
If you are already farming shrimp in your backyard or aquaponic system, these will make a great addition as shrimp and crayfish will stay away from each other.
The aquaponics system is usually designed to cultivate fish in a house already having freshwater crayfish.
Besides, the crayfish will not be providing any value in the form of food when harvesting is done.
As a result, many of the different species will not get into a large size.
Tankmates for Crayfish
Crayfish in any body of water will be found at the lowest part. They like to hide under rocks and other covers they can find.
This means that they will not be taking up that much room within an ecosystem.
It is not advisable running the aquaponics system depending entirely on crayfish. If you wish it to be efficient, there is a need for adding aquaponics fish using benthos crayfish. Besides, there are very many limitations to doing so.
With this said, fish are a must in aquaponics but that could cause some problems. Any fish species will attack and try to eat young crayfish. In fact, small crayfish are a popular bait choice for anglers.
Most of the aquaponics hobbyists will be keeping crayfish with perch or tilapia. Both of these fish species have relatively small mouths and will not be able to eat a grown crayfish.
Keeping crayfish with other fish should not be a problem as long as there is plenty of room for the crayfish to hide until they reach a large enough size.
Stocking of Densities
Crayfish live at the bottom of the benthic zone, which means they roam around the floor of a tank or pond.
Since crayfish are a benthic recycler, they eat food that sinks to the bottom, any dead fish, and small water insects they can find.
When stocking an aquaponic system with crayfish, you want to do less rather than more. Crayfish can easily take over a pond or tanks.
A female crayfish that is pregnant is able to produce at least 100 offspring at one time. This means that if you start with ten crayfish, the chances of you having an explosion in the population is very high.
Now, not all 100 crayfish will survive, but you can expect at least 20-30 to reach adulthood.
If you are looking to sell the crayfish, and you want that number to be higher, add in hiding spots.
I recommend putting in more hiding spots than you thought you would ever need to have the highest number of crayfish survive.
Crayfish Feeding Habits
Crayfish are omnivorous, meaning they will eat pretty much anything they can find.
Not only are they eating waste and plant matter but also hunting worms, leeches, mussels, and snails.
Crayfish are opportunistic meaning they will not go out searching for food, rather than scavenge around for something to eat.
You won’t have to worry about them eating small fish such as mosquitofish. But you might have to be careful with the plants. Crayfish will eat the stalks of many plants meaning the plant you are growing could become food for a crayfish.
While in the aquarium or pond you should also be feeding them dried food and vegetables, tablets, wafers, and flakes.
Red claw crayfish has a less cannibalistic nature as a result of the provided shelters making it easier for the various producers to end up establishing its hatchery.
In many areas, crayfish are subjected to various government laws which are regulating the number of species and the place in which they will be legally harvested.
Also, some states require a license on state fish and crayfish. That means you have have to get a license in order to keep or sell crayfish.
The crayfish used in the form of fish bait and crayfish introduction into streams and natural lakes is illegal in many different states.
The transport and importation of crayfish is regulated to limit the nonnative species introduction, which will end up eliminating the fish and native crayfish, Similar to Red Swamp Crayfish, they are considered as being invasive species which are prohibited in some states.
The requirements on water quality and the optimum temperature ranges and varies greatly among the various crayfish species.
In general, they require dechlorinated water, around 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit.
Crayfish grow best if the water they are in is around 7.1 to 8.1 pH. I like to use this Pond Master Test Kit, which tests for ammonia, pH, phosphate, nitrates, and nitrites.
Other species of crayfish will end up thriving in 6.4 to 8.1 pH. When you choose what Crayfish to get, read up on them and figure out what pH is right for them.
Therefore, you will be having to opt for pH and a shallow range with the aim of getting high efficiency.
Poorly additions in monitored water, chlorinated water, and various nitrogen spikes will result in the killing of crayfish.
There is a need for ensuring that biological filtration is bearing the required potential in dealing with nitrite and ammonia.
The crayfish, which is suffering from nitrite and ammonia toxicity, will end up becoming sick and could lead to death.
Many of the aquaponics systems have tilapia, perch, or goldfish that are much easier to keep rather than crayfish.
You will require to test the water frequently to ensure the nitrite and ammonia levels are in the concentrations that are accepted.
You may also end up raising different fish species, which will end up accumulating in given water which increases the water toxicity.
Having good aeration and circulation in the tank or pond is necessary. If the water is too stagnant it causes disease or algae growth in the body of water.
Many individuals who are raising various edible fish will be sticking to the growth of tilapia in different aquaponics systems.
Besides, it will assist in the mixing of freshwater shrimp delicacy and crayfish, which are in other terms, usually referred to as aquaponics systems.
Additionally, aquaponics is combining various conventional aquacultures, including and other various hydroponics.
Though a person may end up thinking of these creatures as if they are typical to the different home aquariums, the crayfish will be offering many beneficial qualities to add up on aquaponics systems.
You now have the main factors making raising crayfish in aquaponics to be challenging. However, the benefits of raising crayfish in aquaponics is well worth spending the time overcoming these challenges.