What Do Shrimp Eat?

Shrimp eat different algae, plants, and bacteria. Freshwater shrimp, common in the aquarium trade, need food that mimics their natural diet.

Overview: Foods Shrimp Like To Eat

What Type Of Food Do Shrimp Eat?

Shrimp are scavengers and look for bacteria, algae, and other tiny organisms to eat. Shrimp are excellent algae eaters. They also eat decaying plant matter and even eat dead fish and other dead shrimp.

When keeping shrimp in your fish tank, try to feed them a diet of plant-based food with bits of animal protein. A diet varied in both plant and animal food provides most of the nutrients shrimp need to thrive.

Wild shrimp eat plant matter, dead fish, clams, snails and crabs, worms, and other decaying organic matter. Aquarium shrimp get food the same way, but their tanks don’t contain all the different sources of food as the wild shrimp.

Best Food For Shrimp

These are the best food for shrimp to eat:


The best food to feed shrimp is algae. So, when adding shrimp to an aquarium, there should already be algae for the shrimp to eat.

Brand new tanks won’t have enough algae to feed shrimp. So, it’s best to wait for the tank to age a bit. Once there are algae in the tank, shrimp will go about scraping it off plants, decorations, and the glass of the aquarium.

Decaying Leaves

If you have a planted aquarium, shrimp will eat the leaves that fall to the bottom of the tank. Once bacteria start to break down the leaves, the shrimp will eat them up to get the bacteria.


Vegetables are healthy plant-based food for shrimp. Cucumbers, spinach, and broccoli supplement their diets, but you need to prepare them. Fresh veggies give shrimp a healthy plant-based supplement to their core diet of algae.

Peel the skin off the vegetables and slice them into small pieces. ½ inch is a good size. Add the pieces to a pot of boiling water and let boil for 2 minutes. After 2 minutes, take the pieces out of the water and put them in a bowl of ice water. Doing so breaks down the vegetables making it easier for shrimp to eat. With that, you have easy homemade food for shrimp.

Commercial Foods For Shrimp

Commercial shrimp food that’s plant-based is best for shrimp. For example, Shirakura Shrimp Food. Always look for plant-based food and avoid animal-based foods. Here are some highly-rated commercial shrimp food:

How To Choose Food For Freshwater Shrimp

Scavengers like shrimp eat different foods. Shrimp will eat anything that sinks to the bottom of the tank. To ensure that your shrimps get proper nutrients, try to mimic the diet they would have in the wild.

Plant-based foods like vegetables and algae are the best things to feed shrimp. Shrimps love to eat algae and biofilm. The biofilm that grows on decaying leaves is also an excellent food source for shrimp.

Do Shrimps Eat Poop?

Shrimp do not eat fish poop. But, in an aquarium, biofilm can break down feces and shrimp sometimes eat the biofilm. Shrimps do not eat the feces itself.