Do Shrimp Eat Seaweed? What Kind of Shrimp Can Eat Algae in My Tank?

Shrimp can make great additions to your home aquarium. They are very easy to care for, hassle-free, and are not particularly fussy eaters. They will not make a nuisance of themselves or pester the other fish in your tank.

Their appetite for almost anything means that they will happily hoover up little bits of leftover food. This means that they will help to keep your aquarium free of excess food and keep it clean. But although they are easy to keep it is important to know exactly what it is that they eat. 

So, do shrimp eat seaweed?

The simple answer is yes. Shrimp do eat seaweed. In fact, they will happily nibble away at any form of algae throughout the entire day. 

Seaweed is a great source of nutrients for your shrimp. Whether you are feeding them additional seaweed or they are munching away on the seaweed you are using to decorate your tank it does not matter. As long as the shrimp have a source of algae then they are more than happy.

If there is an abundance of seaweed in your tank then it is highly unlikely that you will need to provide your shrimp with additional food. You should only need to supplement their diet if you notice that there is little to no algae in your home aquarium. 

Can shrimp eat any type of seaweed?

Although they will eat any form of seaweed, it does not mean that they should. For example, fresh seaweed is a great source of food for shrimp. However, dried seaweed, seaweed snack, or any other form of seaweed that has been processed and packaged for human consumption should be checked before it is given to your shrimp. 

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This is because seaweed snacks can actually contain preservatives, additives, and colorings. These extra ingredients can be very harmful to your shrimp. If you are unsure whether or not something is safe for your shrimp to eat, check the actual percentage of seaweed in the snack.

If you are still doubtful about exactly what it is that they can eat, look for fish seaweed. These pre-packaged products will be shrimp friendly!

What do freshwater shrimp eat?

Aquarium shrimp will happily eat almost anything that they can find. They are not fussy eaters at all. They are omnivores, meaning that they will eat both algae, plant materials, and meat. 

If you need to supplement your shrimps’ diet, for example, if there is too little algae in your tank, then fresh vegetables are a great alternative source of nutrients. Carrots, sweet potato, and kale are good starting point. However, you cannot simply feed these to your shrimp raw; it will require a small amount of preparation.

To prepare the vegetables complete the following steps:

  • Peel the vegetables
  • Slice thinly
  • Blanch (place in boiling water for a few minutes)
  • Place in a bowl over ice (this stops them from cooking further and breaks down the fibers)

Your shrimp will also eat almost any meat that you give them. The following sources of meat are great for giving your shrimp protein:

  • Bloodworm
  • Dead fish
  • Mulberry leaf

However, meat proteins have been known to dirty home aquariums. This often counters the reason why people choose to keep shrimp in the first place: to keep their tanks clean!

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There are other sources of protein such as plant protein. So, if your shrimp have a limited supply of algae, or you wish to feed them alongside a meat-eating fish, then this may be a good alternative to look into.

What kind of shrimp eats algae?

If you are looking to buy shrimp to sort out an algae problem then there are many different types for you to choose from! A few species, in particular, are very good at getting rid of excess or unwanted algae, meaning that you will not need to spend as long scrubbing your tank.

By far the best type of shrimp for algae consumption is the Amano shrimp. They will eat almost any type of algae presented to them, even black beard algae!

However, you will need to make sure that they are hungry in order to eat the algae. If you are constantly adding food into your tank to feed other fish and creatures, then you may find that your Amano shrimp just are not eating the algae like you intended. 

Certain types of shrimp will have a preference for particular forms of algae. For example, if you have an abundance of hair algae in your home aquarium then ghost shrimp may be a good solution to this problem. They are very partial to this type of algae, although they will eat almost any type. 

However, just like many other species of shrimp, if there is a different food source available (such as fish food or meat), then your shrimp may forgo the algae in favor of this other food. So, make sure that you consider the dietary needs of the other creatures in your tank before considering shrimp as a solution to an algae problem. 

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Conclusion

In conclusion, shrimp can make a fantastic addition to your home aquarium in all respects. They are easy to maintain, will not become a nuisance to the other creatures in your tank and they will eat just about anything that you give them (or that is floating around in the water!)

They make a great choice for a natural tank-cleaning solution. They will eat any excess algae that you have and will happily eat seaweed, leftover food and other materials. However, if they have an option of food sources you may find that they will choose the algae last.

If you need the shrimp to have a good cleanup of excess algae, then make sure they are hungry! Do not allow them any other food source and then watch them go to town on cleaning your home aquarium! When powered by their appetites they will do a great job of cleaning up.

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