What should you feed your shrimp?
Many people wonder what exactly they should be feeding their shrimp. The good news is the preferred food for shrimp is biofilm, which is literally grows on every surface in a healthy and cycled aquarium. Biofilm is a collection of microorganisms that is anchored on a surface in an aqueous environment. While biofilm is an excellent source of food for shrimp, particularly young shrimp, as the shrimp population grows there will come a time when m is no longer able to sustain the population. When this happens you will need to start feeding your shrimp.
Shrimp will eat a variety of foods. I have personally fed my shrimp the following:
- Various flake foods
- Hikari Crab and Lobster Bites
- Shirakura Shrimp Food
- Several varieties of Ken’s premium sinking sticks (see Kensfish.com)
- Pears (very small pieces)
- Mosura Shrimp Food
- BorneoWild Shrimp Food
Of the foods I have fed I prefer the Mosura, BorneoWild, and Shirakura foods the most. They are designed for shrimp and hold their form in water and don't break apart as quickly which will pollute the water. I also like cucumbers as a slice will stay good in the water for several days and the shrimp seem to enjoy them.
If anyone has any special recipes of their homemade shrimp food or any other types of food they have fed their shrimp please contact me and let me know and I will add it to the article.
How much and how often should you feed your shrimp?
The most important thing to remember when feeding shrimp is it is ALWAYS better to under-feed then over-feed. When the population of shrimp is small, you won’t need to feed them at all as they will feed off the available biofilm. If you try feeding your shrimp when the population is low and there is enough biofilm, your shrimp will probably completely ignore any food you add. As the population grows, you can try feeding your shrimp a small amount of food to see if they will eat it. Make sure to remove the food if your shrimp are not eating it within an hour. I would suggest trying Mosura or Borneowild to start because shrimp readily eat it once the biofilm runs out. Most importantly, these foods hold their shape for hours when submerged, allowing for easy removal of any uneaten portions. Hikari Crab & Lobster Bites and Kens premium sinking sticks both disintegrate in water quickly making them impossible to remove without a gravel vacuum. The tiny particles that get into the substrate will also lead to planaria, flat worms, and other undesirables.
Once your shrimp start eating the food you give them, you can start feeding them several times a week. You should only feed them what they will eat in a few hours. You will have to try various amounts to find out the right amount. I suggest starting low and slowing increasing the amount. Overfeeding will result in poor water quality and ultimately the death of the shrimp.