7 Best Foods for Freshwater Aquarium Shrimp
It doesn’t matter if you don’t want to breed champion-quality shrimp. Finding the best food for freshwater shrimp is easy. Because ornamental shrimp are so popular, aquarium companies spend a lot to market their products. Dwarf shrimp are the last in the food chain. They eat dead animals, decaying plants and algae. Their diet consists of both proteins and vegetable matter, so the key is to provide a wide variety of foods to ensure that they don’t lack in essential nutrients and minerals. 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 is a comprehensive shrimp diet that contains vegetable matter like seaweed and spirulina algae, as well as natural color enhancers like krill. It provides calcium and vitamins that support healthy growth and molting. Beginner shrimp keepers often fear that the copper in shrimp foods can harm their invertebrates, but many shrimp foods such as Shrimp Cuisine contain trace amounts of copper that are necessary for the shrimp to make blood or hemocyanin.
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 may be a better option if you have adult shrimp and aren’t so focused on breeding profit. 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
In the aquarium hobby, we often try to simulate an aquatic animal’s original environment and diet as closely as possible. That’s why Sera came out with the Sera Shrimps Nature Food that uses a mixture of natural ingredients with no dyes or preservatives. 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 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 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 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’s gel food is a great choice. You can mix the powder and hot water to make a nutritious gel-like food that will keep for up to 24 hours. The gel food is still soft enough for shrimps to eat. 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 has a high amount of algae and plant matter such as pea protein, alfalfa leafs, seaweed, and spirulina. Repashy Community Plus is an omnivore blend that includes krill, alfalfa and squid. 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. 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. If your tap water is very soft and low in minerals, consider dropping in a Nano Banquet Food Block as part of their regular meal rotation. 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. Cantoned green beans are a popular choice for shrimp because of their nutritional content, soft texture, ease of sinking, and easy accessibility. Canned sliced carrots are another popular vegetable to feed because the beta carotene naturally enhances the red-orange coloration in shrimp. You can also try blanching slices of zucchini so that they are soft enough for shrimp to graze on. 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. They are a favorite of shrimp breeders because they produce a thin layer biofilm from the leaves as they fall. 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. One leaf should be added to 20 gallons of water. Once the old leaf begins to develop holes, a new one should be added. It is not necessary to take out the leaf, as your shrimp will eat it.
In our experience, most shrimp are not that picky and will eagerly eat any food that you drop into the aquarium. Learn more about keeping, feeding and breeding shrimp in our Overview of Freshwater Dwarf Shrimp.