As a kid, who didn’t like romping through a stream looking for crayfish? They were a bit scary with those pinchers, yet they weren’t quick enough to actually pinch you very often. I must have caught several thousand when young. When I got older, I found out they were good to eat – better than lobster – really! I always had an appreciation for them, but never really sat back and watched them where they were comfortable in their habitat.
Well, let me tell you, after having them for several months while raising and observing them, I’ve come to appreciate them on a different level. They are fascinating animals! They are territorial predators – they even eat each other in the wrong situation. However, provided with hiding places and ample food they are more than happy to co-exist among themselves and with most fish. We’ve even put baby guppies in their tank, so they could eat them, and as far as I can tell, they haven’t eaten any, or at least not many. Anyway, it’s their behavior that captures your attention. Watching them is really a lot more interesting than watching most fish.
It’s always been a chore recommending a fish for a young child to keep and care for. They seem to want a goldfish bowl with a goldfish, but few understand how difficult and poor of a choice that it. Sometimes they can be successful with a couple guppies or a betta in the bowl, but only if the environment is warm enough and they are very good at feeding correctly. Now, my recommendation would be much easier – get a crayfish. Most species can handle temps that are very low. Feed fish food lightly and they’ll eat it all. Keep fine leafed plants with them and they ‘ll eat those if they get hungry. Stuff the plants in the bowl and go on vacation, and chances are the crayfish will be fine when you get back – with no attention whatsoever. They are very active, though often slow and deliberate in their movements. They grow fast, very fast, and as they grow, they molt. The shell cannot grow, so the crayfish regularly sheds it and a new one forms over it’s soft inner body. The whole process is quite interesting. The orange on these is so bright and intense, they practically glow. Who doesn’t want a brightly colored, easy to care for, interesting pet?
So, it you want to try something new and fun or would like an animal that stands a good chance in the hands of your child, then pick up a crayfish or two and experience a really neat creature.