Will Crayfish Eat Snails? {Why Snails Make Great Crayfish Food}

Are you wondering if your crayfish will eat snails?

Can they coexist or will the snail be caught and eaten?

In this article, we’ll find out if snails are the next meal for your crayfish.

Will Crayfish Eat Snails?

Yes. Crayfish in captivity are aggressive and may try to eat anything they can catch. A slow moving snail is easier to catch and eat compared to shrimp or fish. The nutrition and calcium keeps your crayfish healthy and strengthens its own shell.

Do Crayfish Eat Pest Snails?

Snails can quickly become a nuisance and multiply rapidly. Pest snails can be controlled by adding crayfish. Dwarf crayfish are less aggressive, but remain weary of keeping them close to your treasured aquatic life.

Add pest snails or add crayfish to the tank with pest snails to watch them get eaten. You can also help by crushing the bodies of the snails for the crayfish to consume it with more ease.

Keep in mind that crushing snails releases extra and sudden amounts of ammonia. Since these pest snails are usually smaller in size, you can crush more than a few with a properly cycled tank or crush them outside of the tank.

Can Snails Live With Dwarf Crayfish?

Dwarf crayfish grow an average of 1.6-2 inches in length. Their smaller size makes them more peaceful than full sized adult crayfish. You may try to include these dwarf crayfish in suitable community tanks.

Snails are never safe around crayfish of any size. Your dwarf crayfish will still be able to get close enough to make contact with a snail. They may pick on snails or small fish.

A dwarf snail could become entranced with a particular snail. Even if it can’t kill the snail, it will try to smash its shell against the glass. If the snail is exposed, the dwarf crayfish may attack or try to eat parts of it. Snail eggs will also get eaten by dwarf or adult sized crayfish.

Will Crayfish Eat Trumpet Snails?

Trumpet snails spend most of their time under the substrate. Your crayfish may dig one up and eat it with a ferocious appetite that matches that of a scavenging trumpet snail.

Crayfish may uproot some plants in the process when they realize they can uncover snails from the substrate. It’s best to get hardier plants like Anubias or Java Fern.

The shells may also get ingested if your crayfish is big enough to break them. The added calcium inside the shell is more than useful to help harden the shell of the crayfish.

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What Do Crayfish Eat?

Anything! The unofficial rule with crayfish is that they can eat anything edible that they are able to catch or fit into their mouths. The following list of foods are all acceptable and common for crayfish to eat:

  • Algae wafers
  • Sinking pellets
  • Shrimp food
  • Standard fish food
  • Mashed peas
  • Frozen foods
  • Bloodworms
  • Brine shrimp
  • Zucchini
  • Carrots
  • Spinach
  • Decaying plant matter
  • Algae
  • Fish
  • Insects
  • Plankton
  • Snails

Most crayfish focus their diet mainly on plant matter. Snails are always on the menu if they are available because they are slow movers and easy to catch. Otherwise a 3/4 standard sized fish or shrimp pellet is all you need to feed a crayfish per day.

Do Crayfish Eat Assassin Snails?

Assassin snails can extend their mouth and rasping radula into the shell of another snail to scour it. They feed off any snails they can catch. The same goes for crayfish.

The assassin snail will most likely survive in a tank with dwarf crayfish if there is enough room. Adult crayfish will definitely choose assassin snails as their most convenient prey if they get close enough to it.

Can I Feed My Crayfish Snails?

Yes. If you want your crayfish to grow quicker and display a harder shell, feeding it snails would be a great choice. Snails provide the protein with their meaty bodies and calcium with their shells. Raise snails in a separate tank for crayfish food.

Crushing the snails prior to offering them to your crayfish will make it easier for their consumption. Crushing the snails outside of the tank is better than doing so in the tank.

The slight ammonia explosion from crushing a snail is better to be avoided for the sake of your tank water with additional tankmates getting stressed as a result.

Are Crayfish Aggressive?

Crayfish are considered extremely aggressive and hard to keep with other aquatic life. Larger snails like mystery or apple snails stand no chance next to a crayfish at the substrate. Dwarf crayfish will also try to catch any fish or invertebrate that is near the middle or bottom of the tank.

Mollies, guppies and plenty of other fish have fallen victim to crayfish that we didn’t think would be able to catch them. Ghost shrimp seem to get caught more often, but snails top the list of the easiest meal that should not even be considered as a tankmate.


Crayfish will eat snails. If you want them to coexist, you will need plenty of substrate space in a long and heavily planted tank. Dwarf crayfish may not attack a snail if they are kept full with their attention on smaller meals.

No snail should be considered safe from any crayfish that doesn’t discriminate when it comes to eating anything it can catch. Snails are an excellent source of nutrition for an omnivorous crayfish who mostly eats plant matter.


Thank you for stopping by at HelpUsFish.com. We have plenty of articles on a wide variety of aquatic life that may also pique your interest. See you again soon!

Brian Arial

Brian Arial has kept fish for leisure and worked with fish stores for most of his life. He enjoys writing and caring for aquariums and ponds.