MALACCA: At a time when the cost of living is high and many families are having difficulties making ends meet, going into a venture that requires only a small investment that yields a substantial monthly return would be a good option. Breeding crayfish for sale is one such business that you can do even at home. To start breeding crayfish, which is also known as crawfish, crawdads or mudbugs, one will need a little guidance on how to start farming these freshwater crustaceans, like having the right tank, water and feed. The beauty of this venture is that you can undertake it for extra income, family consumption or as a hobby. More than 200 Malaysians have embarked on crayfish breeding are reaping good returns. One of them is Effendy Halily, 42, who left his job as a bank officer to go into the venture, which is bringing him a good yearly income. The father of seven children attributes his success to his brother-in-law from Australia, who brought in a few hundred hatchlings in a bottle, in October 2012. "I initially left it aside, not knowing how to handle the (hatchlings). But a few months later when I looked inside the bottle, I was surprised to see some of them still alive. That got me interested and I started doing my own research and also studied aquaponics and aquaculture." With a little investment, he got a suitable tank and PVC pipes as crayfish love to burrow and hide in the dark to create an environment that is conducive for breeding. "With a little effort and time, the number of crayfish in my tanks multiplied into thousands and I was soon selling them to interested customers who came from far and near," said Effendi, who also teaches people how to invest in the business and gives them the initial stock to start their project. During the month of Ramadan, he sold more than 2,000 crayfish to customers and hopes to sell more during the festive season. A kilogramme costs RM60 for frozen ones while each live crayfish, with is about 6 to 8 inches, costs RM15. Effendy feeds his crayfish with special home-grown plants. His tanks are filled with specially designed PVC pipes to allow the crayfish to hide and breed. For a fee, he gives a four-hour training session to those who want to go into the crayfish business and provides the necessary tools, apart from 15 male and 30 female crayfish for breeding. "I keep in touch with my customers all over the country," he added. 0ne of them is Mohd Nor Ibrahim, 48 (pix), who left his job to venture into the crayfish business. "My five children are also helping me. I am really excited, especially when I see the fries grow and multiply," he added.