How to Tell if Your Crayfish is About to Molt

how to tell if your crayfish is about to molt

how to tell if your crayfish is about to moltIf you want to know how to tell if your crayfish is about to molt, let me tell you a short story and give you the tell-tale signs that your little buddy is about to shed his exoskeleton.

About four weeks back I bought my electric blue crayfish a new hideout, mainly for the purpose of giving him a better place to hide. This is especially important during molting.

Well ironically, as it turns out, my crayfish literally molted two weeks after buying the hideout—but here’s what happened leading up to when he actually molted.

How to Tell if Your Crayfish is About to Molt

The first thing I noticed about my electric blue crayfish that made me think something was going on was when he seemed to hide all day long under the hideout in my fish tank. He’d come out periodically to snag a sinking wafer, but that was pretty much it. Other than that, he was nowhere to be seen. He had become totally lazy.

My crayfish have for the most part always been pretty lively unless I overfeed them. Then they just go under a hideout or burrow somewhere.

After a couple of days of my crayfish doing nothing except burrowing in the same exact spot under the hideout, I became a bit concerned. I actually checked on him a couple of times to make sure he wasn’t dead. Luckily I saw movement.

On the very day that he molted, he actually came out briefly, but quickly went back into hiding. At this point I was watching closely because I had just dropped him a sinking wafer, but he was not going after it like he normally did when I fed him.

After watching for a little while, I stepped out of the room for just a second, maybe five minutes tops. When I came back, BAM… I saw the blue exoskeleton lying outside of the hideout. He had molted.

The Signs on How to Tell if Your Crayfish is About to Molt

Below is a summary on how to tell if your crayfish is about to molt. So if you think your crayfish is horribly sick at some point, just consider the fact that he may be molting.

  1. Your crayfish becomes withdrawn and less active.
  2. Your crayfish spends more time hiding out and burrowed.
  3. In the final states your crayfish may not come out at all during the day.
  4. Your crayfish stops eating.


  1. My crayfish is in a tank with very little enclosure. This morning, he was being VERY sluggish and tiny bubbles were forming on top of his shell, so I took out his companion beta fish, and covered my tank with a heavy blanket, so no light could get in. I have had him for about 2 months, and I was just wondering if he was about to molt, and if he was, was I doing the right thing?

  2. It’s off topic but I dropped my red baby crayfish. I found HER in fresh water.. if something is broken what do I do. And she is also about to

  3. I think you did the right thing. When they molt they’re very vulnerable. So by removing any possible threat he’ll feel safer…..and they prefer the dark so that’ll help as well. He’ll hide out for a few days afterwards and will eat his own she’ll as the nutrients will help his new shell. It’s pretty fascinating to watch. I’m currently waiting for my female to molt. She’s not eating much and has walled up the front of her cave….while digging out a rear entrance.

  4. I’m concerned because I am almost sure my lil buddy is dead. It is head first into the ground and hasn’t moved for a couple of weeks. Anyone know if it’s dead?

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