10 Foods Shrimp Love To Eat! (& How Often To Feed Them)

If you’re wondering what to feed your shrimp, then you’ve come to the right article! In this article, not only will you find out all the different things you should feed your shrimp, but you’ll also learn how often, what different shrimp require, whether you can overfeed shrimp, how to tell when they’re hungry and much more!

So keep reading to find out everything you need to know!

Betta Fish Care Guide
Betta Fish Care Guide

What Do Shrimp Eat?

If you’re wondering what shrimp eat, then here’s a useful guide for most shrimp. However, remember each shrimp may have their own diet requirements, which will be discussed later in the article! As for now, any of the following is going to be great for the shrimp in your tank!

Biofilm

Believe it or not, one of the main things in the tank that shrimp eat actually grows naturally. Biofilm is a layer of bacteria and microorganisms that grow all over your tank, and it’s essentially invisible to the naked eye.

One of the reasons it’s a good idea to let your fish tank cycle completely before adding shrimp or other tank mates is to make sure enough biofilm is in the tank for them!

Algae

Of course, no list would be complete without adding algae, but it’s important to know that shrimp won’t eat all algae. In most cases, shrimp are only going to eat hair and string algae while ignoring other forms of algae.

So if you do need to get rid of other forms of algae, it can be a good idea to add a couple of snails to your tank! 

And lastly, if you do want shrimp to eat more algae in your tank, then you need to make sure you’re not feeding them too much else.

Algae Wafers

If there aren’t enough algae in your tank, you can also feed your shrimp algae wafers. While algae wafers are often marketed for bottom feeders, shrimp are going to love them as well!

In fact, some of the bigger shrimp in your tank will even steal algae wafers and take them to a hidden area in your aquarium.

Shrimp Pellets

In most cases, you’ll also end up using shrimp pellets to feed your shrimp as well. The best thing about shrimp pellets is that you know you’ll be balancing your shrimp’s diet and that they’re getting all the nutrients they need.

If you’re not sure which shrimp pellets you should feed them, then I’d recommend Hikkari Shrimp Pellets.

Dead Plants

If you have plants in your tank, then shrimp will also eat the dead parts that have fallen off. You can think of them as your cleanup crew. In fact, the person that named Amano shrimp used to add them to his planted tanks purely thanks to how good they were at keeping it clean.

Indian Almond Leaves

If you were thinking about adding Indian almond leaves to your tank, you should also be aware that shrimp will love to eat them as they start rotting.

And as well as providing a food source for your shrimp, Indian almond leaves will also provide them with hiding places as well as releasing tannins into the water, which are antifungal and antimicrobial. 

So if you don’t have any yet, you should definitely add some!

(Find out more about Indian almond leaves.)

Snowflake Food

You can also use snowflake food which is packed full of protein and is particularly helpful for shrimp that have molted and need to re-grow their skeleton.

As well as this, snowflake food is the perfect growth media for Mycelia, which is the vegetative part of the fungus, and which is also full of protein, amino acids, fat, and a whole bunch of other nutrients!

And the best part is snowflake food doesn’t rot, so you don’t have to worry about it increasing the amount of ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates in the tank!

Blanched Vegetables

There are also a whole bunch of blanched vegetables you can add to your tank, which shrimp are going to love! Some great vegetables to choose from include:

  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Broccoli
  • Zucchini
  • Cucumber
  • Carrots
  • Peas
  • Sweet Potato

To blanch vegetables, you should boil them for a couple of minutes and then place them into cold water to halt the cooking process.

Cuttlebone

Cuttlebone is another food source you can add to your tank, which is great for shrimp! It’s made of calcium carbonate, which is the same nutrients that will help shrimp grow their shells back. 

So if you think that your shrimp need more calcium carbonate, then it’s the perfect supplement for them!

Bee Pollen

Believe it or not, bee pollen is also a great supplement for your shrimp’s diet as well! If you want to use bee pollen, just drop a few milliliters into the tank once a week.

Bee pollen is extremely high in protein, and too much can actually become unbeneficial to shrimp.

What Do Ghost Shrimp Eat?

If you’re housing ghost shrimp, then they’ll mostly eat any algae, detritus, plant material, and any commercial food that you feed them. Fortunately, as far as shrimp go, they are extremely easy to feed.

(Find out more about what ghost shrimp eat.)

What Do Cherry Shrimp Eat?

Similar to ghost shrimp, cherry shrimp will eat any algae, detritus, and plant material in the tank, as well as uneaten fish food, blanched vegetables, and their own commercial shrimp food as well!

(Find out more about what cherry shrimp eat.)

What Do Amano Shrimp Eat?

Amano shrimp are some of the best shrimp you can add to your tank if you want it clean. They love most kinds of algae other fish won’t eat as well as leftover fish food and dead plant matter.

So if you’re looking for a cleanup crew, Amano shrimp is your best bet!

(Find out more about what Amano shrimp eat.)

What Do Bamboo Shrimp Eat?

Unlike other shrimp, bamboo shrimp filter feed instead of foraging around your tank for food. Because of this, they tend to eat small organic matter and organisms that are floating through the tank.

Thankfully, because of this, you can be a lot more passive with feeding them. But if you do need to feed them, adding powdered food to the tank is the best option.

What Do Vampire Shrimp Eat?

Contrary to what their name may suggest, vampire shrimp will also eat plant matter in the water. On top of this, they’ll also eat any uneaten fish food in the tank, as well as any microorganisms that are floating in the water too!

If you think that they’re not getting enough food in the tank, then you can also supplement them with ground fish pellets, shrimp pellets, and algae wafers too!

What Do Yellow Shrimp Eat?

Oftentimes, yellow shrimp are going to need to have their diet supplemented with shrimp food, algae tablets, and blanched vegetables. On top of this, they’ll also eat the algae in the tank as well as any detritus and biofilm as well.

What Do Shrimp Eat In The Wild?

Shrimp are mostly scavengers and forages, so they’ll mostly eat anything they can find in the wild. Most of the time, this will consist of algae, decaying plant matter, dead fish and shrimp, detritus, and biofilm.

What Do Young Shrimp Eat?

If you have young shrimp in your tank, then you may need to use a different approach to make sure they’re getting fed enough. During the early stages of their life, they’ll mostly eat anything that is floating in the water.

To make sure they’re getting fed enough, you should add powder food to the tank for them. When you add the powdered food to the tank, it will float around the water, and the baby shrimp will eat whatever passes close enough to them.

What Should You Feed Shrimp In A Community Tank

If you’re keeping your shrimp in a community tank, then you won’t need to feed them too differently. In fact, most of the time, the food available in the tank combined with the food you’re feeding your fish will be more than enough.

However, if you think they’re not getting enough food, you can always add some algae wafers or shrimp pellets to the tank as well.

How To Feed Shrimp In Your Aquarium

Now you know all the different foods you can feed your shrimp, the next step is actually feeding them! 

Use A Feeding Dish

One great way to feed shrimp is with a feeding dish. Feeding dishes allow you to keep the tank cleaner a lot easier as they allow any excess food to stay in one place, so removal isn’t an issue.

Drop The Food Into The Tank

You can also just drop their food into the tank as well. This works when there are only shrimp in the tank. However, if you have greedy fish, they may try to eat your shrimp’s food as well.

If this is the case, then you should drop your fish’s food on one side of the tank and the shrimp’s food on the other side of the tank.

How Much Should You Feed Shrimp?

The amount you should feed shrimp will depend on how many shrimp you have in the tank. But when you’re first starting out, you should feed them a little bit at a time and monitor how much is being eaten.

If all the food is gone within an hour, then you know next time, you’ll need to feed them a little bit more. Keep doing this until you notice after three hours, there is still some food in the tank. And then, after three hours, remove the food from the tank.

How Often Should You Feed Your Shrimp?

How often you need to feed your shrimp will be based on how established your tank is. Tanks that are well established won’t need the shrimp fed as much because they’ll be able to eat the algae and biofilm growing in it.

But of course, if you plan on growing your shrimp population, then it’s a good idea to give them an excess of food to maximize growth.

Should You Remove Uneaten Food?

Unless you’re using something like snowflake food, it’s always a good idea to remove uneaten food from the tank to reduce the amount of waste and ammonia buildup in the tank. 

As well as this, if you notice old food in the tank, then you should also avoid adding new food to the tank, as the waste and decay will only build up faster.

How Can You Tell When Your Shrimps Are Hungry?

There are two tell-tale signs that your shrimp are hungry. The first sign is that they’re eating the food you eat straight away without leaving any waste. This shows you’re not feeding them enough.

Another sign that your shrimp are hungry is that they’re no longer grazing peacefully but rather swarming around the tank, looking for food. So if you notice this happening, make sure you drop some more food in the tank for them.

Can You Overfeed Shrimp?

While it’s unlikely you’ll overfeed the shrimp themselves, it is possible that you’ll add so much food that you’ll increase the risk of infections, parasites, and ammonia buildup due to the decaying waste.

How To Make Sure You Don’t Overfeed Your Shrimp

The best way to make sure you don’t overfeed your shrimp is to simply remove any food in the tank that hasn’t been eaten after 2-3 hours. And if you notice that the shrimp in your tank is always leaving food, then you should reduce the amount you’re feeding them in the future.

Remember, most of the time, it’s better to underfeed your shrimp than overfeed your shrimp.

FAQ

Here are some more frequently asked questions that people have about how to feed their shrimp!

What Do Shrimp Eat That Fish Eat?

Shrimp are scavengers, so they’ll mostly eat anything that you put in the tank for your fish as well. This includes fish food, algae wafers, other dead shrimp, and anything else they can forage.

Do You Need To Feed Shrimp

Sometimes, it’s not completely necessary to feed shrimp, especially if they’re able to forage enough from the tank itself and the food you’re feeding fish in your tank. However, if you have a dedicated shrimp tank, then it’s still best to supplement their diet.

Will Shrimp Eat Algae Off Rocks?

Depending on the type of algae, it’s entirely possible that they’ll eat the algae off rocks in your tank. If it’s hair or string algae, then definitely; however, it’s much less likely that they’ll eat slime algae.

Are Shrimps Or Snails Better For Eating Algae?

Generally speaking, snails are better at eating algae than shrimp. But if you’re looking for something to eat hair and string algae, then there is nothing better for your tank than a few Amano shrimp!

Will Shrimp Eat Each Other?

It’s unlikely that shrimp will kill and then eat each other. However, oftentimes, if a shrimp has died in the tank, then the other shrimp will have no issue eating it. In fact, if you keep shrimp for long enough, you’ll see them eating their own molten shells.

Will Shrimp Kill And Eat Your Fish?

If a fish has died in your tank, then a shrimp may eat it. But it’s extremely unlikely and almost impossible that a shrimp would be able to kill a fish in your tank, so you don’t have to worry about that!

Recap

As you can see, feeding shrimp isn’t difficult, and as far as animals you can put in a community tank, they’re one of the easiest to look after. So if you’re not sure what to feed your shrimp, just make sure you’re cycling your tank so there’s enough biofilm and algae, and when necessary, supplement their diet with pellets and other goodies!

And if you liked this article, make sure you check out the rest of the website. Otherwise, have a great day!