7 Best Foods for Freshwater Aquarium Shrimp
If you aren’t trying to breed champion shrimp, then finding the “best” food for freshwater shrimp will not be as difficult as it may seem. Aquarium companies know that ornamental shrimp are very popular right now, so they spend a lot of marketing dollars trying to convince you that shrimp have very specialized needs that only their brand of shrimp food can meet. Dwarf shrimp are the last in the food chain. They eat dead animals, decaying plants and algae. The diet of dwarf shrimp includes both vegetable matter and proteins. To ensure they get enough nutrients and minerals, the key is to give them a wide variety. 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. These tiny sinking shrimp pellets are perfect for breeding cherry shrimp and crystal. (If you prefer a larger pellet size, Hikari Crab Cuisine is a very similar food for shrimp, snails, crayfish, and crabs.)
Shrimp Cuisine includes a variety of vegetable matter, such as seaweed, spirulina, and 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 Sinking Sticks
While most shrimp foods dissolve quickly into tiny particles to make sure the babies can get a bite, all the excess nutrients floating around in the aquarium can lead to cloudiness and dangerous water quality issues if you’re not careful. Shrimpee Sinking Sticks could be a better choice to keep adult shrimp in a communal tank. They aren’t focused on breeding for profits and can be used for a variety of purposes. The 3mm sticks can be held in place underwater for extended periods of time so that shrimp have plenty of time to eat without food getting stuck to 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 Granules
We often try to recreate an aquarium animal’s environment and its diet in the aquarium hobby. Sera Shrimps Nature Food is a blend of natural ingredients that are free from preservatives and dyes. All your shrimp’s favorite ingredients, including spirulina or stingingnettle, alder cones, herbs, and alder cones are included in the sinking granules. Boost the growth, coloration, and breeding of your shrimp colony with healthy ingredients that won’t pollute your water.
4. Fluval Bug Eats 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 Bites Shrimp Formula is made from sustainably harvested black soldier fly larvae. They are rich in nutrients, and fortified to provide strong exoskeletons. These 0.25-1 mm granules are also rich in other delicious ingredients such as salmon, greenpeas, and Alfalfa for healthy growth, easy digestion, and good taste.
5. Repashy Gel Food
As tiny scavengers with tiny stomachs, shrimp prefer to constantly graze all throughout the day. Repashy Gel Food is on 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. 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 a good omnivore blend made with krill, alfalfa, squid, and seaweed. Learn how easy it is 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 are high in calcium sulfate (magnesium sulfate) and other essential minerals required for shrimp moulting. Consider adding a Nano Banquet Food Block to your regular meal rotation if your tap water is extremely soft or low in minerals. The blocks are also packed with nutritious plankton and spirulina that your shrimp, snails, and fish will enjoy.
Canned or blanched veggies are an easy way to increase your shrimp’s plant intake. One of their favorites is canned green beans because of the nutritious content, soft texture, and ability to sink immediately. Canned sliced orange carrots are another popular veggie to feed, as the beta carotene naturally increases the coloration of shrimps. You can blanch zucchini slices to make them soft enough that shrimp can eat. It is important to not overfeed the tank. Uncooked vegetables will eventually fall apart and cause water quality issues.
Bonus: Catappa Leaves
These dried botanicals, also known as Indian almond leaves are used in aquariums. They release brown tannins that have mild antifungal and antibiotic properties. The leaves produce a thin layer called biofilm that is beneficial to shrimp breeders. Biofilm contains beneficial bacteria, algae, as well as other microorganisms. This biofilm can be used by baby shrimp to graze throughout the day. One leaf should be added to 20 gallons of water. Once the old leaf begins to develop holes, a new one should be added. The old leaf will not be completely eaten by your shrimp, so it is best to leave it alone.
Our experience shows that most shrimp are not fussy and will eat almost any food you throw at them. Learn more about keeping, feeding and breeding shrimp in our Overview of Freshwater Dwarf Shrimp.