7 Best Foods for Freshwater Aquarium Shrimp
If you aren’t trying to breed champion-quality freshwater shrimp, finding the “best” food for them isn’t as difficult as you might think. Because ornamental shrimp are so popular, aquarium companies spend a lot to market their products. Dwarf shrimp, which are found in the bottom of the food chain, are scavengers. They consume dead animals, plants, algae, and biofilm stuffed with microorganisms. They eat both protein and vegetable matter. It is important to offer a variety of foods so that they are not deficient in essential nutrients. Find out our top 7 favorite foods to feed Caridina and Neocaridina shrimp.
1. Hikari Shrimp Cuisine
Hikari is a long-lived company known for its excellent, delicious fish foods in the aquarium hobby, and their Shrimp Cuisine is no different. Because they are small enough to be eaten by babies and adults, these tiny sinking pellets can be used for breeding cherry and crystal shrimp. (If you prefer a larger pellet size, Hikari Crab Cuisine is a very similar food for shrimp, snails, crayfish, and crabs.)
Shrimp Cuisine, a comprehensive shrimp diet, includes vegetable matter such seaweed and the spirulina (algae) as well as natural color enhancers. It provides calcium and vitamins that support healthy growth and molting. Shrimp keepers who are new to the hobby often worry that copper in shrimp foods could harm their invertebrates. However, Shrimp Cuisine and Shrimp Cuisine both contain small amounts of copper that is necessary for shrimp to make hemocyanin or blood.
2. Xtreme Shrimpee Snatching Sticks
Shrimp foods are easy to dissolve into small pieces to ensure babies get a bite. However, too many nutrients can cause algae to form and cloudiness in your aquarium. Shrimpee Sinking Sticks may be a better option if you have adult shrimp and aren’t so focused on breeding profit. These 3 mm sticks are made to hold their shape underwater for long periods of time, giving your shrimp plenty of time to graze without their food melting into the cracks between the substrate. You can eat this staple shrimp food every day as it has high quality ingredients, calcium, vitamins, and is easy to prepare.
3. Sera Shrimp Natural Sinking Grules
We often try to recreate an aquarium animal’s environment and its diet in the aquarium hobby. Sera created the Sera Shrimps Nature Food, which is a mix of natural ingredients without any preservatives or dyes. The sinking granules contain all your shrimp’s favorites, such as spirulina, stinging nettle, alder cones, and herbs. Healthy ingredients won’t harm your water and will help to increase the color, growth, and breeding of your shrimp colony.
4. Fluval Bug Bites Shrimp Formula
The proteins in shrimp and fish food usually come from fish and crustaceans, but don’t forget that insects are also a naturally occurring part of a shrimp’s diet. Fluval Bug Bite Shrimp Formula contains sustainably processed black soldier fly larvae. These larvae are high in nutrients and fortified by calcium and vitamin D3 which promote strong exoskeletons. For healthy growth and easy digestion, these 0.25-1mm granules contain salmon, green peas and alfalfa.
5. Repashy Gel Food
As tiny scavengers with tiny stomachs, shrimp prefer to constantly graze all throughout the day. Repashy gel food made it to our list. Mix the powder with hot water and it will form a nutritious gel food. It stays water stable for 24 hours, yet is soft enough to be eaten by shrimp. You can even feed the powder directly into the water column for the baby shrimp to eat, since newborns do not swim around a lot and can’t compete with adults during mealtime. Repashy Soilent Green has a high amount of algae and plant matter such as pea protein, alfalfa leafs, seaweed, and spirulina. Repashy Community Plus is a good omnivore blend made with krill, alfalfa, squid, and seaweed. This article will show you how easy it can be to make gel food.
6. Zoo Med Nano Banquet Food Blocks
Vacation food blocks are usually thought of as a specialty fish food you only feed if you’re going out of town for a while and don’t want to hire a pet sitter. In order to slowly release food over time without clouding the water, they actually contain large amounts of calcium sulfate, magnesium sulfate, and other essential minerals needed for shrimp molting. A Nano Banquet Food Block can be added to your tap water’s regular meal rotation for those with very low mineral content. The blocks are also packed with nutritious plankton and spirulina that your shrimp, snails, and fish will enjoy.
Canned or blanched vegetables are a readily available food that helps increase the plant content in your shrimp’s diet. Canned green beans are a favorite of shrimp due to their nutritious content, soft texture and ability to sink quickly. Canned sliced carrots, which contain beta carotene, are another favorite vegetable to feed shrimp. It naturally enhances their red-orange color. You can also try blanching slices of zucchini so that they are soft enough for shrimp to graze on. Just be careful not to overfeed the tank because the uneaten vegetables will fall apart eventually and may cause water quality issues if left to decay in the tank.
Bonus: Catappa Leaves
Also known as Indian almond leaves, these dried botanicals are often used in aquariums because they release brown tannins into the water that have mild antibiotic and antifungal properties. Shrimp breeders love them because the leaves grow a thin layer of biofilm as they break down. This biofilm contains nutritious bacteria, algae, and other microorganisms for baby shrimp to graze on all throughout the day. We recommend adding one leaf per 20 gallons of water and then adding a new leaf once the old leaf starts developing holes. It is not necessary to take out the leaf, as your shrimp will eat it.
We have found that shrimp are generally not picky and will eat anything you put in their aquarium. Learn more about keeping, feeding and breeding shrimp in our Overview of Freshwater Dwarf Shrimp.