Can Crayfish Live With Goldfish? Find Out If These 2 Popular Species Wish Each Other Well

Last Updated on May 16, 2022 by admins

Can crayfish live with goldfish? Find out all the details about these beautiful aquarium pets.

Whether they know them by the name “crayfish,” “crawfish,” “crawdad” or even “mudbug,” most people have encountered these aquatic creatures at least once in their lives. Moreover, many people have even eaten them. The crayfish is a respected freshwater crustacean.

A type of carp, goldfish has for centuries been considered a symbol of luck and fortune. This species of fish is best known for its bright colors and patterns, and its breeding began in China more than 1000 years ago.

Today, both of these specimens are favorite pets around the world. Aquarium owners often think about experimenting when choosing their aquarium pets. Therefore, today we will offer you the answer to the question “can crayfish live with goldfish”. Stay with us and find out everything that might interest you.

A Few Sentences About The Main Characters

Crayfish, also called crawfish or crawdad is considered to be any of the numerous crustaceans constituting the families Astacidae, Parastacidae, and Austroastracidae. This freshwater crustacean is closely related to the lobster.

As for their appearance, they are recognizable by their joined head and thorax, or midsection, and a segmented body that is most often in sandy yellow, green, red, or dark brown. Furthermore, their head has a sharp snout, and the compound eyes are on movable stalks. These aquatic creatures have five pairs of legs, and the first pair have large, powerful pincers (chelae).

Goldfish, (Carassius auratus), is a famous ornamental aquarium and pond fish that comes from the carp family (Cyprinidae). Although reminiscent of carp, this beautiful fish differs from its relative in having no mouth barbels.

The goldfish is omnivorous, feeding on plants, but also on small aquarium animals. When grown in captivity, it adores small crustaceans, as well as chopped mosquito larvae, cereals, and other foods. Prussian carp, from which goldfish were domesticated, was originally in boring and dull, grayish tones, however, mutations and breeding over the years created goldfish ‘signature orange, red, and yellow pigments.

Now would be the time to answer your question “can crayfish live with goldfish”, so let’s move on step by step.

 Are crayfish aggressive to fish?

Crayfish; Behavior & Temperament

Did you know that crayfish are the first invertebrates found to show anxiety? Namely, according to research published by a team of French scientists, these freshwater crustaceans can experience anxiety just like humans.

Crawfish are curious creatures and are quick to explore their surroundings. However, it is important to emphasize that they also like to stay in the safety of the dark. What will prevail depends on the individual.

Furthermore, they are bottom feeders which means that they will spend most of their time investigating and scavenging at the bottom of the aquarium tank. They are by no means shy; in fact, Crawfish are very active and will move around the tank constantly. It will be a real pleasure to watch them play, trust us.

Unfortunately, these freshwater crustaceans can definitely be aggressive and territorial. This actually means that they will eat anything they can catch, even fish in their vicinity if the fish is not careful enough.

Goldfish; Behavior & Temperament

Goldfish are generally thought of as being fairly simple creatures and their personality can vary from fish to fish. Namely, they are typically non-aggressive to other goldfish, but also to many other species of fish found in the aquarium. However, during the mating season males tend to become a bit aggressive and “chase” the female.

In addition, goldfish tend to become aggressive towards each other and start biting other fish when exposed to more stress. This most often happens when they are not eating well and don’t have enough room to move around.

 Do crayfish eat other crayfish?

Can Crayfish Live With Goldfish?

We have not-so-great news, namely, experts don’t recommend the coexistence of crayfish and goldfish. Namely, even some larger species of goldfish will not be able to resist the claws of crayfish.

Accordingly, when looking for Crayfish tank mates, it would be best to avoid bottom-dwelling fish at all costs. You can make an exception only for those species of fish that are large and aggressive enough to defend themselves against these crustaceans.

In addition, it is important to emphasize that almost every fish will eat anything that fits in its mouth. Accordingly, if you have a big goldfish and a small crayfish, there is a good chance that your goldfish could eat it.

Fish That Can Be Kept With Crayfish & Goldfish

Now that you know the answer to the question “can crayfish live with goldfish”, it’s time to tell you which are the best tank mates for these two types of aquarium pets.

As for smaller types of crayfish, feel free to opt for neon tetras, mollies, platies, and swordtails. Larger species will feel comfortable living with bigger fish like Aulonocar, catfish like Ancistrus, Gibbiceps, South American cichlid fish, barbs, etc.

Goldfish can be kept with most community fish provided the other fish are larger than the size of the goldfish’s mouth, accordingly you can opt for Rosy Barb, Bristlenose Pleco, Hillstream Loach, Cherry Shrimp, Mystery Snail, etc.


Unfortunately, most aquarium owners will not support the coexistence of these two pets. There are exceptions where these two species of fish get along well, but we would not recommend playing roulette with their lives.

That would be it, now you know the answer to the question “can crayfish live with goldfish”. We hope you found this article useful. If you have any questions, let us know in the section below.

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Which Fish Can Be Kept With Crayfish?

Feel free to choose some of these aquarium pets: Malawi and Tanganyika cichlid fish, Gibbiceps, South American cichlid fish, as well as barbs, neon tetras, mollies, platies, swordtails, etc.

Are Crayfish Aggressive To Fish?

Yes, unfortunately, crayfish can be too territorial and aggressive for many fish.

Do Crayfish Eat Other Crayfish?

Under normal circumstances, these freshwater crustaceans usually eat plant material, but may also eat other animals such as frogs, snails, crabs, etc. Accordingly, we must inform you that very aggressive and in addition cannibalistic towards their own kind, especially if there is a significant size difference.