What Do Freshwater Shrimp Eat?

Freshwater shrimp in their natural environment are omnivorous scavengers that consume algae, infusoria, decomposing plant matter and even scraps of dead fish. Try replicating this diet in your aquarium to ensure happy and healthy shrimp!

Vegetables are another essential part of a shrimp’s diet. Lightly-boiled veggies such as okra, spinach and zucchini provide essential minerals, vitamins, and proteins for growth and health.


Freshwater shrimps are predators in their natural environment, so they eat whatever is available to them. They feed on algae, infusoria, plant matter such as leaves from living plants and decomposing organic material as well as bacteria and other microorganisms; to mimic this natural diet best use both homemade and commercial foods to mimic it.

Making your own food for shrimp can be an excellent way to ensure you know exactly what they’re consuming, while purchasing various products can also be useful, though make sure they dissolve quickly into the water and contain high quality nutrients for proper functioning. A diet rich in only certain kinds of nutrients could harm their development over time.

Steamed veggies are one of the easiest meals you can make at home for your shrimp, such as zucchini, spinach, kale and carrots. Wash and peel these before cutting into slices or chunks for your shrimp to consume more easily and more nutritiously than giving raw produce with potentially harmful pesticides or chemicals present. Feed these multiple times every week!

One effective option for feeding shrimp is using commercial food that contains both plant- and algae-based feeds, with additional meaty offerings as a source of additional protein once or twice each week.

Consider offering homemade treats, like cucumber slices. Freshwater shrimp often enjoy these as it offers them something different from pellets and granules.

Most people notice that when their shrimp have access to a varied diet, their activity and vibrancy increases, as do their colorful fins. Plus, this way of feeding helps prevent overeating which lowers the chance of digestive issues arising as well as ensure they receive all of the essential vitamins for long-term life.


Freshwater shrimp are predators by nature and in their natural environment they will scour waterways for algae, bacteria and microorganisms, decaying plant material as well as dead fish or any other small organisms they come across. Because of this it’s important to provide various food sources in an aquarium.

Infusoria are microscopic unicellular organisms that serve as food for newly hatched shrimp. Cultured at home using tank or freshwater pools, Infusoria are easily cultured by placing them in sunlight until clouded water surfaces appear with lots of tiny, slimy creatures known as infusoria – once this density threshold has been reached they’re ready to feed on baby shrimp!

If you don’t want to bother cultivating infusoria yourself, an alternative method for feeding shrimp would be using fresh chopped greens that have been lightly boiled (without seasoning), such as zucchini, spinach or other leafy vegetables such as lettuce. Once softened, place into a feeding clip near the bottom of your shrimp tank so they will naturally gravitate toward them and graze as it sinks.

Dried Indian almond leaves provide ample surface area for infusoria and other bacteria to flourish on, making them an invaluable addition to any shrimp tank. While these leaves can be found at most fish stores, I do not advise collecting fallen ones from outside as there is always the risk of parasites or chemicals entering your aquarium through these channels.

Many aquarium owners also choose to add baby snails as an infusoria food source, as a form of decomposer and decoy decomposer in order to help clean and clear up their tank’s substrate from uneaten fish food and dead shrimp. Just ensure you purchase healthy snails as breeding them too rapidly can create problems in your tank.

Frozen Food

Freshwater shrimp in their natural environments are scavengers that spend most of their time feeding on algae and decaying fish food that falls to the bottom of waterways. They may also consume microbes, small dead fish, and plankton as food sources.

Aquarium environments allow you to recreate their natural diet by providing a wide variety of foods, while making sure that shrimp have plenty of green growth to graze on – something they should have during molting periods too!

Your aquarium fish need fresh, green vegetable matter such as okra, kale, spinach or zucchini that has been lightly boiled to feed on. Make sure not to overfeed as this could create extra waste that rots away into the water, polluting its quality further. Adding some tiger shrimp or daphnia shrimp could help to clean up excess.

Commercial flakes or pellets are another effective means of feeding your shrimps, and there are numerous choices on the market. Many contain added plant matter and vitamins; we particularly like TDO Chroma Boost as its protein levels are high while Haematococcus pluvialis (commonly referred to as PE Mysis shrimp) top dressing adds even further appeal.

Other commercial shrimp food consists of animal proteins like bloodworm, brine shrimp and daphnia; these should be used only as supplements to plant-based foods in your tank. When keeping more aggressive species like Asian macrobrachium genus shrimps it may be advisable to utilize meatier commercial foods more sparingly.

Dried cuttlefish bones make an excellent addition to the shrimp diet. Available at pet stores’ bird section, these cuttlefish bones can be broken up and placed at the bottom of an aquarium as grazing surfaces for your shrimp to enjoy while helping purify water by absorbing toxins. However, be wary of overfeeding the aquarium as this will attract snails which could overpopulate and stress out its inhabitants as well as create ammonia levels in excess.

Live Food

Shrimp are aquatic scavengers that act more like the cockroaches than predatory fish in terms of feeding on other organisms. As such, they require a diet rich in plants but with occasional meat sources; such as fresh greens such as spinach, kale and zucchini/courgette. Blanched vegetables also make great treats; Indian almond leaves (which can last in a tank for approximately one month) provide another good option that shrimp will readily devour.

Frozen animal proteins are also extremely popular with freshwater shrimp, and they will quickly devour brine shrimp, bloodworms, daphnia tubifex and black worms – they even enjoy snacking on dead fish pieces – though live black worms might prove harder for them as they might only consume one at a time and leave others behind.

Some owners of shrimps feed them special pellet foods designed to meet all their nutrient requirements in one convenient meal. These meals typically consist of algae or spirulina as the main ingredients and contain other goodies like calcium, potassium, iron and protein for an ample diet. It can be an excellent supplement until they can access more varied sources.

If you decide to introduce new foods for your shrimps, be mindful not to overfeed them. Only give as much food as they can consume within a few hours or the excess will end up degrading into waste in your tank and creating issues. For best results it may be beneficial to introduce the food slowly first and gradually increase how much of it you feed each day; once this is accomplished then establish a schedule suited for you using weekly calendars or by creating daily plans tailored specifically for you and your tank.

Lisa Thompson

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