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Beginners Guide

9+ Best Foods for Freshwater Aquarium Shrimp

by Nguyễn Hoàng Anh Tuấn 08 Apr 2023 0 Comments

The Ghost Shrimp and Red Cherry Shrimp are freshwater shrimp known for their unique and attractive behaviours. To keep them healthy and happy in your aquarium, providing them with a balanced diet that meets their nutritional needs is essential. You might think putting the shrimp in the tank will eat up the leftovers and solve the algae problem in your aquarium. Still, the reality is that red cherry shrimp need a proper diet. They are not only a cleaning crew that will consume leftovers while they consume algae. This blog will show you the best foods for ghost shrimp and red cherry shrimp, so you can give them the nutrition they need.

Algae and biofilms

Catappa leaves

Algae and biofilms are a natural food source for shrimp in the wild, and they will make up a significant portion of their diet in captivity. You can provide algae for your shrimp by introducing live plants into your aquarium or adding algae sheets to their diet. Biofilm can grow naturally on the surfaces of your aquarium. Still, you can also purchase biofilm supplements to add to their diet.

Catappa leaves or Indian almond leaves are dry plants commonly used in aquariums because they release brown tannins into the water with a mild antibiotic and antifungal properties. Shrimp farmers have always loved them because the leaves develop a thin biofilm as they decompose. This biofilm contains bacteria, algae and other nutritious microorganisms for the baby shrimp to graze on throughout the day. We recommend adding one leaf for every 20 gallons of water and a new leaf once the old leaves show signs of rot. There is no need to remove the old leaves as the shrimp will eat them completely.


Canned chickpeas

Canned chickpeas and canned or blanched vegetables are ready-to-eat foods that help increase the vegetable content of the shrimp's diet. One of their favourites is canned chickpeas because of their nutritional content, soft texture, and ability to sink instantly. Canned sliced carrots are a popular vegetable to feed shrimp because beta-carotene naturally increases the red-orange colour in shrimp. You can also try blanching the zucchini slices to make them soft enough to provide the shrimp. Just be careful not to put too much food in the tank, as uneaten vegetables will spoil and cause water quality problems if left to rot.

Shrimp are omnivores and enjoy a variety of plant-based foods, such as spinach, zucchini, and cucumbers. These vegetables can be blanched or boiled before being added to the tank, making them easier to eat. Another popular vegetable for shrimp is broccoli, which is high in calcium and helps promote healthy moulting.


Protein is an essential component of shrimp diets, and providing them with various protein sources is necessary. Some familiar protein sources for shrimp include fish feed, pellets, and live or frozen brine shrimp. You can also give shrimp small pieces of cooked chicken or fish for a treat.

Fluval Bug Bites Shrimp Formula

Fluval Bug Bites Shrimp Formula

Protein in shrimp and fish feed usually comes from fish and crustaceans. However, remember that insects are also a natural part of a shrimp's diet. Fluval Bug Bites Shrimp Formula consists of sustainably processed, nutrient-rich black soldier flies larvae and is fortified with calcium and vitamin D3 to promote a strong exoskeleton. These 0.25-1 mm seeds also include other delicious ingredients like salmon, chickpeas and alfalfa for healthy growth and easy digestion.


Calcium is vital for shrimp because it helps promote healthy moulting. Calcium-rich foods include cuttlefish, which can be added directly to the tank. You can also purchase calcium supplements designed explicitly for shrimp.

Zoo Med Nano party food block

Food blocks are a specialty you only feed if you go out of town for a while and don't want to hire someone to take care of your pet. This block food will release slowly over time without clouding the water. They contain large amounts of calcium sulphate, magnesium sulphate and other essential minerals needed for shrimp moulting. These blocks are also filled with nutritious plankton and spirulina that your shrimp, snails, and fish will enjoy. If tap water is very soft and low in minerals, consider dropping Nano party food blocks as part of their regular meal rotation.


Spirulina is green algae rich in vitamins and minerals. This is a common food source for many fish species and is suitable for shrimp. You can buy spirulina flakes or pellets to supplement your shrimp's diet.

Powdered food

Powder feeds are another popular choice among shrimp farmers as they are easy to feed and provide a complete diet. These foods typically contain protein, vitamins and minerals and can be added directly to the tank. Some popular brands of shrimp feed powder include Shrimp King and GlasGarten.

Hikari shrimp cuisine

Hikari shrimp cuisine

These products from the Hikira brand will be the best choice for cherry and ghost shrimp. The texture of these tiny food particles that will sink to the bottom is perfect for growing crystal shrimp and cherry shrimp, as they are small enough for juveniles and adults to enjoy.

Hikari Shrimp Cuisine is a holistic shrimp diet containing botanicals such as seaweed and spirulina and natural colour enhancers such as krill. It also provides calcium and other vitamins to promote moulting and healthy growth. Beginner shrimp farmers often fear that the copper in shrimp feed can harm their invertebrates. Still, many shrimp meals, such as Shrimp Cuisine, contain small amounts of copper needed for shrimp—hematopoietic or hemocyanin.

Xtreme Shrimpee Sink Stick

Xtreme Shrimpee Sink Stick

Although most shrimp feeds dissolve quickly into small particles to ensure the fry can bite, all the excess nutrients in the aquarium can lead to dangerous turbidity problems if you are not careful. If you keep adult shrimp in a community tank and are not focused on spawning for profit, then Xtreme Shrimpee Sinking Sticks may be a better choice for your shrimp tank. These 3mm rods are built to hold their shape underwater for long periods, giving your shrimp plenty of time to graze without their food seeping into cracks in the substrate. This staple shrimp food can be fed daily as it contains quality ingredients, calcium and high vitamin content.

In summary, providing a balanced diet is essential for the health and well-being of your ghost shrimp and red cherry shrimp. You can ensure that your shrimp are happy and healthy in your freshwater aquarium by including various foods that meet their nutritional needs, including algae, vegetables, protein, calcium, spirulina—and powdered food. So if you can’t wait to set up a tank with red cherry and ghost shrimp. Micro Aquatic Shop has the best shrimp for you to choose. Let’s check it now.

Read more about the article on how to set up a Red Cherry Shrimp tank, foods, breeding, and water. Here.

Good luck to you!

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