What does shrimp eat?

What does shrimp eat? | Do Shrimp Eat Algae?

What does shrimp eat? Algae, plants, and microbes are all favorites of freshwater shrimp.

I’ll describe what freshwater shrimp eat in this article, as well as how you can emulate their natural diet with various items.

What does shrimp eat?

Shrimp are scavengers who eat a wide range of items while traveling through their natural habitats.

Anything that doesn’t eat it first will be eaten by a shrimp. Algae, other dead shrimp, leftover fish food, living plants, and any decaying organic debris are all examples.

It’s your role as a shrimp keeper to ensure your shrimp eat food that closely resembles their natural diet.

Here are a few commercial shrimp foods that your shrimp will enjoy. I’ll go over the many things that freshwater shrimp enjoy in more detail below.

Remember that they’ll eat vegetables, plants, and other items as well, so make sure there’s plenty for them to graze on.

Shrimp Diet Requirements

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So, what are the diets of freshwater shrimp?

Freshwater shrimp in the wild are scavengers who scour their native waterways for algae, bacteria, and other microorganisms, as well as decaying plant matter.

They will also scavenge any dead fish or shrimp that they come across.

When creating a diet for your aquarium shrimp, try to imitate this.

This implies they’ll require a diet that’s largely plant-based with a little animal protein thrown in for good measure. It’s also a good idea to feed them a balanced diet that includes a wide range of nutrients.

It’s not always preferable to rely solely on commercially prepared diets, as many of them include far more animal protein than is recommended for most species of shrimp.

Fortunately, you can give your shrimp a wide variety of foods to keep them happy and healthy.

Best Food for Freshwater Shrimp

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Let’s have a look at how you can feed your shrimp a more natural diet.


The majority of your shrimp’s food should consist of algae. This is why it’s critical to only add shrimp to an established tank with plenty of algae.

There isn’t enough food for them to eat in a fresh new, spotless tank.

Shrimp will happily pick at algae all over the tank, day and night, as long as it’s there.

This is, without a doubt, one of the strongest reasons to keep shrimp. They’re a fantastic cleanup staff that can reach locations that other species can’t.

Your shrimp should be happily scrapping and munching around the aquarium. This indicates that they are content and have found food. This indicates that you can probably go a few days without eating.

If they’re zooming around the tank restlessly, they’ve devoured all the algae and are in desperate need of some extra food.

If your shrimp appear to be slackers when it comes to algae cleanup, it’s because you’re giving them too much other to eat. They’ll get back to work on the algae if you skip a day or two between feedings.

Fresh Veggies

Shrimp get a healthy plant-based complement to their algae-based diet by eating fresh vegetables.

Cucumber, spinach, kale, zucchini, sweet potato, carrot, and/or broccoli are all good options. Basically, whatever your mother tried to encourage you to eat when you were a kid.

Veggies do require some preparation, but it is very simple. You can also make a large batch ahead of time and freeze it for later use.

Sweet potatoes, cucumbers, and zucchini should all be peeled. The peel is not eaten by fish or shrimp, and peeling it removes any pesticides.

Cut your vegetables into 12 inches (1.25 centimeter) thick slices (broccoli can just be broken into small pieces).

Then, in a pot of boiling water, cook them for about 2 minutes. To stop the cooking process, remove them and immediately place them in a bowl of icy water.

The vegetables are broken down enough by boiling and cooling so they are easier for your shrimp to devour. It should also cause them to drop to the bottom of the tank, rather than float around.

Veggies can be served many times a week. It’s quite acceptable to leave a piece in the tank overnight and then remove whatever the shrimp haven’t eaten.

Leaf Litter

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Yes, I’m telling you to put leaves in your aquarium.

Because leaves fall into streams and collect on the substrate, this simulates a shrimp’s natural environment.

As the leaves decompose, infusoria, a collection of harmless bacteria and other microbes, will form on them. Shrimp adore this stuff and will gladly eat it.

I know, it’s revolting. However, since they’re shrimp, there’s no way to predict how they’ll taste.

You can gather clean, dry leaves from your local area, but make sure they haven’t been treated to pesticides or chemical fertilizers.

You can also buy Indian almond leaves (also known as Catappa leaves).

Indian almond leaves are ideal since they are huge leaves with plenty of surface area for shrimp to graze on or hide beneath. The tannins and flavonoids in these leaves have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory activities.


This one may seem strange at first but bear with me.

Dried cuttlefish bones can be found in the bird area of pet stores. You can take a small bit and put it in your aquarium.

It will sink on its own after a few days if you weigh it down with decor.

Cuttlebone is almost entirely formed of calcium carbonate, yet it’s also somewhat soft, unlike crushed coral.

Shrimp will graze on it, providing a supply of dietary calcium, which is necessary for shell formation. It will also leak small amounts of calcium into the water.

Shrimp Food Made at Home

The best part of making your own shrimp meal is knowing exactly what’s in it.

Preparing the food takes some time and work, but you can make large batches and freeze them for later.

There are hundreds of recipes and tutorials available online that will guide you through the process.

Foods sold commercially

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Commercial meals are listed last because they aren’t always the healthiest options for shrimp.

This is due to the fact that they are largely made out of animal protein, even if they are promoted as shrimp foods.

The basic line is that substances like fish meal or shrimp meal are far less expensive than algal meal or spirulina. As a result, firms choose formulas that are the most profitable, not always the healthiest.

To use as a staple, look for shrimp foods that are largely plant-based, such as Shirakura Shrimp Food or Repashy Super Green. Then, once or twice a week, for some extra protein, you can use meatier commercial foods.

What to Feed Your Freshwater Shrimp

Scavengers, shrimp are. As a result, as they migrate throughout their natural waterways, they eat a wide variety of things. Basically, they consume whatever they come across that isn’t already eating them.

As shrimp keepers, it’s our job to replicate what they’d consume in the wild.

Providing your shrimp with a diversified diet, primarily comprised of plant-based meals, will go a long way toward ensuring their happiness and health.

Before you add shrimp to the tank, make sure it’s old enough to have enough algae and nice biofilm for them to graze on.

Provide leaf litter to give them more surfaces to chew on, as well as a variety of blanched fresh vegetables to ensure they have enough plant material.

Cuttlebone is another pleasant addition that can help you get a little more calcium in your diet.

Making food from scratch, just as with human food, is sometimes the best option. This will take a little more time and effort, but you will be able to tailor the ingredients and know exactly what your shrimps are eating.

Plant and/or algae-based feeds should be your mainstay when it comes to commercial foods. Then, once or twice a week, serve meaty items to provide a protein boost.

It can be difficult to determine the ideal meal for your freshwater shrimp at first. However, once you’ve grasped a few fundamental ideas, you can experiment to see what works best for you and your tanks.


What does a cleaner shrimp eat?

Shrimp diet and food should be cleaner. Cleaner shrimp are carnivorous invertebrates, which means they eat meaty marine items for their nutrition. Parasites, skin, and mucus are added to their meals as a result of their cleaning activities/behaviors.

What is the difference between red and white shrimp?

White shrimp: These are sweeter than pink shrimp, but they have a nuttier flavor. The vivid red hue of royal red shrimp has led to comparisons to lobster because of their rich flavor and firm firmness.

What is the life expectancy of a shrimp?

They live for one to seven years on average. Shrimp are usually solitary, yet during the breeding season, they can form enormous schools.

Does shrimp feel pain?

Aquatic animals such as fish, lobster, prawns, and shrimp have been demonstrated to sense pain in numerous studies. As a strategy of self-preservation, evolution has given species on Earth the ability to sense pain. Humans quickly learn that getting too close to fire causes pain, therefore we avoid it.

Why should you not eat shrimp?

The high cholesterol content of shrimp is one potential source of worry. Experts once believed that consuming too many high-cholesterol foods was harmful to one’s health. However, new research suggests that it’s the saturated fat in your diet, not the amount of cholesterol in your meals, that boosts cholesterol levels in your body.

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