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Can Crayfish Live In Cold Water? | Find The Answer With More Facts |

Yes. Generally, crayfish can survive in a wide range of water conditions, including cold water. But you should be concerned about the type of crayfish species in your tank. Because some crayfish are tropical, while other crayfish love to live in cold water. For instance, cold-water crayfish are commonly distributed in the Eleven-point river in the Ozark region in southern Missouri and Arkansas. 

crayfish in cold water

What Temperature Can Crayfish Live In?

You should maintain the temperature level of the tank water between 65-77 oF temperature range or 18-25 oC. Because this temperature range is ideal for the growth of most crayfish species. The crayfish live in both temperate and tropical zones. So, the temperature of the water depends on the crayfish species that you are keeping in your tank. Moreover, try to keep your aquarium temperature at a stable level.

In addition to this, you should always use aged, conditioned water. Also, it would be best if you kept the water depth around 15 cm. Do not exceed this limit. Further, crayfish prefer to live in water with a neutral pH level. It means you should maintain the pH level around 7.0

Can Crayfish Survive Without A Heater?

Crayfish can live without an aquarium heater. However, you have to use an aquarium heater if the climate is so cold. Because it helps to keep the correct temperature level in your aquarium.  Also, you can maintain a stable temperature by using a heater. But in general, you should consider the crayfish species in your tank and their temperature requirement when placing a heater. For instance, some North American crayfish species can live without a heater. Also, the crayfish species from the Southern United States can thrive in water temperatures up to 82 oF ( 28oC)

The North American crayfish species such as Procambarus alleni and Procambarus clarkia are famous among aquarists. However, other North American crayfish species do not have much available in the trade. But when considering the general rule of North American crayfish species, it is better to keep them in cool water than too much warm water. In addition to that, Australian crayfish species prefer tropical temperatures around 77 oF ( 25oC)

So, you should decide whether your tank needs a heater or not after concerning the type of crayfish species you want to rear. Further, it would be best if you considered the climate and weather of your living area. 

crayfish in cold water

Can Crayfish Survive Outside In A Pond?

Yes. Crayfish can survive outside in a pond due to their special gills. Crayfish are able to survive around 5-7 days out of water. Moreover, if the environment is humid or marshy, this time will be extended to a month. The breathing mechanism of crayfish is very special. Crayfish gills are different than fish. Generally, crayfish can absorb oxygen from the water through their gills. The special thing about their gills is, that they can absorb oxygen from the atmosphere too. But gills should be moist to absorb oxygen from the air.  That’s why the crayfish can survive for around a month in mushy or humid areas without any issue. 

Special Note: Most probably, crayfish try to get out of the water when they do not have enough oxygen to breathe in the tank. Therefore, when you rear a crayfish, you should highly consider the oxygen level. However, you can increase the oxygen level of the tank by using an air pump. It also increases surface agitation. 

Can Crayfish Live In Hot Weather?

Generally, crayfish like to live in cold and ample clean water. Moreover, crayfish do not prefer to live in warm water. So here, if you place an aquarium under hot weather, you may see abnormal behaviors of crayfish. Normally, crayfish show sensitive behaviors towards high temperatures. Similarly, crayfish try to avoid high temperatures constantly. But they do not try to avoid low temperatures constantly. Thus, the temperature is the main factor when you rear crayfish. Because temperature affects the whole life cycle of the crayfish.

How to reduce water temperature 

you can reduce the water temperature by using several ways. Here I mentioned some of the most common methods. 

  • Remove the lid 
  • Turn off the aquarium lights
  • Keep a table fan or stand fan near the aquarium 
  • Use a cooling fan. 
  • Put an ice cube into your tank
  • Put a frozen water bottle in the aquarium 
  • Move the aquarium to a place that does not have direct sunlight 
  • If your tank has a heater, you should turn down the heater
  • Also, you can lower the temperature by perfuming partial water change. Here you should change from 30% TO 50% water in your aquarium. 
  • When the weather is hot, you can keep your aquarium in a room that has a good air conditioner. 
  • Increase the surface agitation 
  • Install a drip water system
  • If you wish to plant aquatic plants in your aquarium, it also helps to decrease the temperature of aquarium water.
  • Use an aquarium chiller to decrease the temperature 
crayfish in cold water

Can Crayfish Freeze And Come Back To Life?

Generally, some crayfish can tolerate a temperature that is close to freezing. But they cannot tolerate that condition for a long time. So, if you can keep crayfish at a preferable temperature before their survival time expires, most probably, they will recover or come back to life again. But if you are late, you will have to say goodbye to your crayfish. However, my recommendation is, do not to give this type of experience to your crayfish. Instead, always try to maintain a stable and preferable temperature level in your crayfish aquarium. 

Can Crayfish Live In Tap Water?

Yes. Crayfish can live in tap water. But before you put crayfish into the tap water, you should treat your tap water. Tap water contains chlorine or chloramine and ammonia. So, it would be best to neutralize the chlorine and ammonia before adding that water into the tank. 

Further, you can use a dechlorination solution to dechlorinate the water instantly. If not, you can dechlorinate tap water without using any chemicals. To do that, you should fill the aquarium with tap water and hold that water for 1 -2 days in a separate tank. Another method is Reverse Osmosis. You can install a Reverse Osmosis unit in the tank and filter the tap water through it. But you should make sure the RO unit is a quality model and have the ability to remove chlorine, chloramines, and ammonia from the water. 

Read More: How Long Does Water Take to Dechlorinate? 7 Best Ways

Can Blue Crayfish Live Out Of Water?

Yes, blue crayfish can live out of the water. Because the gills of blue crayfish can absorb the oxygen from the air. But to function this correctly, one condition should be met. It is crayfish gills should be kept moist. So, you can get out your blue crayfish from the aquarium. But it would be best if you kept crayfish gills moist unless they will die. However, I am not recommended to get them out of your tank. Further, you can make sure they’re safe by covering the back of the aquarium using a towel or some sort of cover. Moreover, it would be best if you covered all opening places in your aquarium. 


Can Blue Crayfish Live In Cold Water?

The answer depends on the species that you are keeping. It means if you have the blue crayfish as a Procambarus alleni, it can survive the cold water or cooler temperature. But if you have Cherac species, they can not tolerate the cold water or cooler temperature. So here also you should highly consider the blue crayfish species and their preferable water temperature level. 

Can Dwarf Crayfish Live In Cold Water?

Yes. Dwarf crayfish can survive in cold water. For instance, some dwarf crayfish like Dwarf Mexican crayfish can tolerate temperatures from 59 to 87 oF or 15 to 31 oC. But you should maintain the ideal water temperature between 60 to 75 oF. Because it helps to reach a better growth and healthy life. 



When you rear crayfish, you should highly consider the water temperature. Because it directly affects the whole life cycle of the crayfish. However, when you set the temperature in the aquarium, you should concern about the crayfish species that you are keeping because the preferable temperature can be varied in each crayfish species. At last, always try to create an environment for all species that are similar to their natural habitat. It will help them to feel the natural experience and live happily and healthily. 

Read Next: Can Pleco Fish Survive In Cold Water? Find The Answer With More Facts

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About Dr.Chamika

Hello, I'm Dr. Chamika. I am a Researcher in Water quality, Aquatic organisms, and Environmental chemistry. I am a passionate fish keeper, with10 years of experience. My mission is to help other aquarists experience the joy of fish keeping.