Select the pool size. Crawdads are territorial animals and are cannibalistic under the right circumstances. The pool must be at least 1 foot deep. Purchase a large plastic pool with plenty of room if you plan to raise more than one crawdad at a time. One square foot per crawdad is the minimum. Larger species may require as much as 2 square feet per specimen.
Place hiding places and visual barriers in the pool. Visual barriers and hiding places make easier for the specimens to survive in a group. Provide at least one rock, broken clay pot or similar per specimen. This allows them to claim their territory and feel protected. Place several decorative aquarium plants in the open areas to further increase their sense of isolation.
Pour a thin layer of medium grade aquarium gravel into the plastic pool.
Place a sponge filter with an air pump in the pool. Verify that the unit is capable of filtering the volume of water contained in your pool. Large pools may require multiple pumps.
Fill the pool with dechlorinated water. Fill the pool to a depth of 5 inches. Use a pH test kit to test the initial pH of the water. Crawdads require water that has a pH of between 7.2 and 8.2 to survive. Plug in the sponge filter and air pump.
Maintain the water temperature between 72 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a submersible heater or ice packs to raise or lower the temperature as needed.
Introduce the crawdads into the environment. Do not mix species. Introduce all of the specimens at once.
Feed the crawdads. Use tropical fish flakes or sinking fish food pellets. Feed the crawdads at night when they are more active. Sprinkle a small amount of food near each hiding spot to avoid fights.
Maintain the water conditions. Check the water level, pH and temperature at least twice a week. Optimum conditions combined with proper feeding guarantee a steady growth rate and healthy specimens.