Do Crayfish Sleep On Their Sides? 7 Reasons Why

Do Crayfish Sleep On Their Sides

Crayfish is a hardy creatures, but sometimes they seem to act funny like sleeping on their sides. This is one of the problems some people have while trying to raise or keep a crayfish. The fact is, crayfish lying or sleeping on their side is not natural, so there must be something wrong if yours behaves that way. In this article, you will learn the possible reasons why a crayfish might be sleeping or lying on its side.

Do Crayfish sleep on their side? Crayfish don’t just sleep on their side unless there is something wrong

Although crayfish are funny creatures, they don’t for any reason sleep on their side, unless they are not alright.

By lying or sleeping on their side, it could only mean one thing, the crayfish is helpless and lack the stamina to stand upright, here are the common reasons why they might do that.

Reasons Why Crayfish Could Sleep On Its Side

There are some reasons why this might happen, so if you happen to find yours doing this, then here are the reasons:

Wrong Water Parameters

Crayfish sleeping or lying on their side is not common and if they do, there is something wrong. Wrong water parameters are one of the reasons they might do that.

Every aquatic animal has their specific water type and water condition which they fit in very well.

So, Crayfish do need some specific water requirements too to stay active and healthy.

They need hard water to be fully active and healthy, so, their water must be hard or slightly hard, but not very hard.

Their ideal pH level should be 6.5-8.0.

Their water temperature should be 60-75°F.

These are the ideal water parameters for a crayfish to be happy and healthy, although they are hardy creatures, they could be easily affected by wrong water parameters which could cause them a lot of problems.

For instance, they are tropical creatures and don’t need cold water, so, getting them in cold water will only end up harming them.

Wrong water parameters might be the reason your crayfish is lying on its side.

Apart from wrong water parameters, another real problem for them is poor water quality.

Poor water quality is a real problem such as having a high level of toxicity in the water such as ammonia, nitrate, chlorine, etc which could only harm these creatures.

This is why it is always advisable or should I say compulsory to have water testing kits at home to always monitor your aquarium water and know when it is not in the right condition for your aquarium creatures.

All these chemicals are caused by water source, dirty water as a result of poops and decaying matters, un-cycled tanks, etc, so get a filter to help keep your aquarium clean which could in return reduce these chemicals and also do a change of water for your crayfish at least once in a month at least 20% water change.

The Crayfish is Dying or Dead

This is the sad or painful truth people don’t want to hear.

The truth is, one of the signs they display when they are dying or already dead is to flip themselves upside-down or on their side.

This happens because, at that stage, they don’t have the ability or stamina to hold themselves again to stay upright. After all, they are close to death or already dead.

The only way to be sure is to poke them and see if they could move, if not or they just move because of the water current, then they are dead.

Crayfish don’t sleep sideways and if it does, then there is every possibility that they’re dead.

It is Molting

The molting process is the time they could behave funny and show all kinds of weird behaviors you have not seen before.

These behaviors might involve staying sideways etc.

Although this is very strange behavior, and they could rarely exhibit it, all the same watch out for it because you never can tell.

If your crayfish is sleeping on its side or lying on its side, then check out if it is about to Molt by checking to see if it’s cracking or moving or not as it should be, then know that your crayfish is ready to Molt.

The strange behaviors that normally accompany Molting could throw you off balance, so watch out for them, lying sideways could be one of them.

It Is Sick

Another possible cause of this strange behavior is sickness.

Crayfish laying or sleeping on their side could come as a result of sickness because at this point, the crayfish might not have enough strength and will to stand or stay upright, so they tend to stay anyway they could including lying on their sides.

Naturally, the crayfish is an active and agile creature, but when they are sick, they will become very weak and zero active and could exhibit many behaviours such as flipping over, laying on their side, etc.

Poor Diet

As the saying goes, ‘ we are what we eat this is very true, not only for human beings but for animals too and a poor diet could be the main reason why your crayfish is lacks total strength to stand upright.

There are some kinds of foods that you give your pets that could be very harmful to them, instead of nourishing them, such includes expired foods, and poor quality foods.

This is why it is very important to get your pet foods From a trusted dealer or follow the recommendation of a trusted person.

The issue of food is delicate, as giving your pet crayfish expired food will cause some problems which could even lead to death, so be careful.

Apart from food quality, your feeding schedule might be the reason your crayfish is lacking the strength to stand normally or might even be sick.

They are scavengers and could eat a lot of things, so, feed them properly and remove toxic plants from their tanks before they eat them.

Poor Oxygen

Another important thing to check is the quality or level of oxygen in a crayfish tank if it starts to flip sideways or upside-down.

This is because when there isn’t enough oxygen to breathe properly, it might suffocate and die.

So, avoid adding too much water in a crayfish tank, 2-to 4 inches above the crayfish is okay to make sure oxygen gets to the bottom and the air pump might help here.

It Might be Stressed

One funny thing about crayfish is that they are susceptible to stress, but they love stressing other animals.

Stress might come in many forms such as the type of tank mates they have, the type of water they are in and the temperature, etc.

Getting stressed could have a devastating effect on crayfish which includes a total lack of strength to stand upright and so they might have to flip upside down flip sideways.

Crayfish sleep on their side and if yours do and it’s not dead, then there is a chance that it is very stressed and needs enough time to get back up.


Crayfish don’t sleep on their side, although decided to stay that way for some reasons such as Molting etc.