7 Best Foods for Freshwater Aquarium Shrimp
If you’re not trying to breed champion-quality shrimp, then finding the “best” food to feed freshwater shrimp is not as hard as you may 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 which foods are on our top 7 favorites list 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. These tiny sinking pellets are great for breeding crystal and cherry shrimp because they’re tiny enough to be eaten by both babies and adults. (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 contains calcium and other vitamins that promote healthy growth and molting. Shrimp keepers are often concerned that copper in shrimp foods may harm their invertebrates. But Shrimp Cuisine, Shrimp Cuisine, and many other shrimp foods contain trace amounts.
2. Xtreme Shrimpee Sticks for Sinking
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 are a better choice if you’re not as concerned about breeding for profit and keep adult shrimp in community tanks. The 3mm sticks can be held in place underwater for long periods of times, allowing shrimp to enjoy their food without it settling into the cracks. This staple shrimp food can be fed every day because it contains quality ingredients, calcium, and high levels of vitamins.
3. Sera Shrimp Natural Sinking Granules
We often try to recreate an aquarium animal’s environment and its diet in the aquarium hobby. That’s why Sera came out with the Sera Shrimps Nature Food that uses a mixture of natural ingredients with no dyes or preservatives. 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 Bite 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. These 0.25-1 mm granules include salmon, green beans, and alfalfa, which promote healthy growth and ease of digestion.
5. Repashy Gel Food
Shrimp, tiny scavengers that have small stomachs, prefer to graze constantly throughout the day. Repashy gel food made it to our list. Simply mix the powder with hot water to form a nutritious gel food that stays water stable for up to 24 hours and yet is soft enough for shrimp to easily grab a bite. Because newborns don’t swim a lot, they can’t compete against adults for food. You can even put the powder into the water column. Repashy Soilent Green contains a lot of algae and plant material, including spirulina and alfalfa leaves and seaweed. Repashy Community Plus is an omnivore blend that includes krill, alfalfa and squid. Read this article to learn how easy it is 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. They contain large amounts calcium sulfate and magnesium sulfate to slowly release food into the water without causing it to cloud. This is essential 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 are another popular vegetable to feed because the beta carotene naturally enhances the red-orange coloration in shrimp. Also, you can blanch zucchini slices so they are soft enough to be able to be grazed by shrimp. Be careful not to feed the tank too many vegetables. They will eventually become brittle and could cause water quality problems.
Bonus: Catappa Leaves
These dried botanicals are also known as Indian almond leaf. Because the leaves form a thin biofilm, shrimp breeders love them. Biofilm is made up of nutritious bacteria, algae and other microorganisms. This biofilm can be used by baby shrimp as a snack throughout the day. If the old leaf is beginning to show holes, we recommend that you add one leaf per 20 gallon of water. You don’t need to remove the old leaf as it will be eaten by your shrimp.
We have found that shrimp are generally not picky and will eat anything you put in their aquarium. For more information on keeping, feeding, and breeding shrimp, read our Overview of Freshwater Dwarf Shrimp article.