Why Do Crayfish Die In Freshwater? 6 Reasons Explained

Why Do Crayfish Die In Freshwater

Naturally, Crayfish are strong animals that are hardly affected by many conditions that could kill many other aquarium animals, but upon that, they sometimes die mysteriously in their freshwater. A crayfish cannot just die for no reason, so if your freshwater crayfish died mysteriously, there are some possible causes of the sudden death, and if you are reading this article, it means you are interested to learn the possible causes of crayfish death in a freshwater. I assure you will be much more knowledgeable about this if you read to the end.

Why do Crayfish die in freshwater? There are many reasons why a crayfish might die in freshwaters such as wrong tank mates and wrong water parameters.

The truth is, it is not common for a crayfish to die in freshwater water unless something is wrong which must have been overlooked.

So, if your freshwater crayfish died in its tank, then check out the most likely causes of the death below.

Why Do Crayfish Die In Freshwater

Some common reasons why crayfish might die in freshwater are:

Old Age

I know this is the commonest reason why they might die.

Every animal has its lifespan, including crayfish. Although crayfish have some species and each one of them has its lifespan.

So, having their specific lifespan specifies how long they could be able to live before dying.

When freshwater crayfish are aged or have reached their lifespan, they will lack the strength and energy to Molt and will die in the process.

Molting is the normal way some many aged crayfish die, so if yours died mysteriously or while Molting, you might have to check the life span of that particular specie and find out if it died because of old age.

So, one of the reasons crayfish might die in freshwater is because of old age.

Inability To Molt Successfully

Molting is the process by which crustaceans such as crayfish, crabs, and others grow by shedding off their old shell to gain more growth.

Although they grow by Molting, they can still die in the process if everything goes wrong.

This is because crayfish use a lot of strength and energy to go through this process, and when they lack the required strength and energy, they might pass away while doing it.

This is very common in freshwater crayfish, and that’s why they require enough food that has a lot of energy.

If you don’t provide your crayfish with enough energy food, especially when they are showing some signs of Molting, they might not have enough energy to pass through the process and might die in the process.

High Temperature

Another reason why your crayfish might die in its freshwater is because of high temperature.

Although they are very hardy and could pass through a lot of conditions, staying in cold water could lower their metabolism, which could be harmful to them.

Naturally, freshwater crayfish are tropical and need to be in temperate water.

This is why I always suggest getting a heater for your tropical aquarium animals, especially if you happen to live in a cold region.

So, keeping your crayfish at normal temperature is a sure way to avoid its sudden death.

The ideal temperature of crayfish is 68-78°F and any temperature cooler than this might not be very nice to them.

Wrong Water Parameters

Water Parameter is very important in the lives of every aquatic animal, including crayfish.

Being in water that is not conducive enough for them could lead to death.

The ideal pH of crayfish is 6.5-7.0 and staying in the water with the wrong pH could be harmful to them.

Again, their tanks should be free from toxins and harmful chemicals such as ammonia, nitrates, alkalinity, and chlorine.

With these chemicals in the tank, any animal in such a tank could die mysteriously or become very sick and might die as a result of it.

This is why you must have a water testing kit to always test your aquarium water to be sure everything is okay.

Another thing is keeping your crayfish in an uncycled tank.

An uncycled tank could be as dangerous as anything you might think of for all animals, so give your new tank the time it needs to cycle before getting any animal in it because it is deadly if it is not fully cycled.

Unsuitable Tank Mates

One costly mistake many people make is to keep their animals in a tank that has aggressive animals in it.

This could be very deadly and costly in the sense that your animal might start dying or getting lost mysteriously as they eat each other.

When it comes to crayfish, they are aggressive and do not tolerate many tank mates, including each other too, so they might fight and kill themselves.

Crayfish might die because it was killed by a tank mate, I mean anything could kill them when they Molt, including their kind too.

So, if yours mysteriously died in its freshwater, you might have to check the tank mates first before any other thing.

Again, your crayfish might be Stressed to death by its tank mates such as fish.

One funny thing about crayfish is that they could stress other animals by pinching them, but they don’t like being stressed.

So, getting stressed by fish and other animals could kill them or make them sick.


Another reason why a crayfish will die in freshwater is, that it is sick.

Many diseases and viruses could infect crayfish, which might kill them.

Here we don’t give medical advice, so contact a vet if you happen to be sick.

How Long Do Freshwater Crayfish Live?

As I mentioned above, every living thing has its lifespan, including crayfish, so how long on average do freshwater crayfish live?

A crayfish will live up to 2-3 years if it is well cared for.

Although many variables determine or can affect the life span of any animal, including crayfish, so the exact lifespan of a crayfish hugely depends on how it is being cared for and the type of specie.

Some species stay much longer than others, so it depends on the nature of the crayfish you have or you want to have.

Can Crayfish Live In Still Water?

Crayfish love staying In still water, for fact it has enough oxygen.

Although they can stay in any water, whether still or water with a current, it could be very stressful for them to stay in water that has current or flowing water, so they prefer living in calm and still water.