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What Do Ghost Shrimp Eat? – Feeding Guide

Ghost shrimp are not really your typical aquarium pet. They definitely have a different look from most shrimp. And, with their paleness and ghostly appearance, they stand out. But they also mesh nicely with other colorful fish or in their own tank.

Still, it is not just their visuals that are different. Your ghost shrimp will have a different diet as well. It’s not hard learning how to feed your new pets. But you want to have the right information on your ghost shrimp.

This way your shrimp can stay in good health and live as long as possible.

Ghost shrimp have a varied diet and their feeding habits can be a little different in comparison to your average fish. So in this guide, we will go more in-depth into ghost shrimp. You might be wondering what do ghost shrimp eat exactly.

By the end of this post, we will have an answer to this question for you. We will also talk about how you can properly feed ghost shrimp.

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Ghost Shrimp Eating Habits In Their Natural Habitat

Ghost shrimp feeding habits all depend on where the ghost shrimp are living. For instance, in nature, this type of shrimp will have a different type of diet. The majority of ghost shrimp are located in freshwater sources.

This includes places like rivers and lakes. Ghost shrimp are on the delicate side so they dwell mostly in the bottom of a lake or river. This way they can safely hide in the cover of plants and other coverage like rocks.

As a result, most of their diet consists of greenery. They eat many plants, but they will also have a hearty dose of algae during their mealtime. Ghost shrimp are careful and use sand to hide and search for food.

They are small so they could easily be eaten by predators if they are not stealthy. However, when they leave their homes in search of food, they aren’t picky. They even eat other dead creatures to fill their bellies.

And, while plants and algae make up a bulk of their nutritional habits. They also eat smaller critters that come their way. They could also end up eating the eggs of these creatures too.

In short, when thinking about what do ghost shrimp eat, you should know that they have a varied diet of both plant and protein-based sources.

Ghost Shrimp Eating Habits In An Aquarium

When you put any ghost shrimp in an aquarium, the environment is not going to be the same. You can put sand substrate in and try to mimic the natural home of ghost shrimp. This is actually a good thing to do.

But the conditions and food sources will not necessarily be the same. So the diet and habits of an aquarium-based ghost shrimp will be a little different. You still want to make an effort to have some variety in their diet.

But commercial foods can be used as an effective source of nutrition for these pale shrimps.

So what do ghost shrimp eat exactly in an aquarium setting?

It depends on your pet’s preferences of course. But we will discuss this topic in the next section. Still, before you acquire this information, one important thing should be kept in mind.

The Bottom Of Your Tank

At the very least you want to make sure that your shrimp has a place to search for food. Consider the habits of ghost shrimp that we mentioned before. They scavenge from the bottom of lakes and rivers.

So they will scavenge from the bottom of the tank naturally. You will want to ensure that the bottom of your tank is secure and safe as a result.

Again, ghost shrimp can be quite delicate. If you have many pointy and sharp rocks and edges at the bottom of the tank this can be a problem. Your shrimp will get hurt as they look for sustenance.

They will eat from this area of your aquarium primarily, so always keep this in mind. A sand substrate is ideal for the ghost shrimp. But other soft substrates can be used well in a ghost shrimp habitat.

Really you don’t want your shrimp to hurt itself and stop eating entirely. This can happen if their antenna is damaged by rough tank decorations and materials.

What Kinds of Food Can Ghost Shrimp Eat


Now, you know what kind of tank needs to be set up for your ghost shrimp. You also know the eating habits of your translucent shrimp. So we can talk about the next important matter of business when it comes to feeding ghost shrimp.

What do ghost shrimp eat, and what is the ideal diet for this species really?

Once again, you want to feed your ghost shrimp a full and nutritious meal. There are many options out there for shrimp in general and ghost shrimp specifically.

Ghost shrimp enjoy algae obviously, but you might not have enough of this in your tank. And if you have fish, it might not be good for there to be an abundance of algae in your tank for health reasons.

So likely you will have to resort to other choices during your shrimp’s mealtime. In terms of food, ghost shrimp don’t mind meaty foods. In fact, they can handle proteins and fats quite well. And this is good because many food sources have these components in them.

Ghost shrimp can eat almost any type of food really. You can go with more conventional store-bought food for shrimp. But try and mix things up for your ghost shrimp every now and then. Algae wafers are available for shrimp to munch on.

And live or frozen type critters can work as well. You can even get freeze-dried products for ghost shrimp. Still, protein-packed foods are more suited to younger ghost shrimp. You should focus on other nutrients as your shrimp age for better results.

Really, there are a ton of foods to feed shrimp so you are not limited. You can even feed them fish foods or vegetables you cut up.

Feeding Baby Ghost Shrimp Properly

Ghost shrimp will have to be fed differently depending on their age. Not everyone realizes that adults and younger aquatic pets have different nutritional needs.

But you have to consider that young shrimp need extra nutrients to keep up with their rapidly growing and changing bodies.

In addition, for your young ghost shrimp, the size of the food is especially important.

Young ghost shrimp have smaller bodies, and as a result, have much smaller mouths. The food you feed an adult won’t necessarily fit into a smaller and younger ghost shrimp.

This can seem annoying at first, but you want to carefully pick out the foods you feed baby ghost shrimp. This way they don’t choke or hurt themselves during feeding time.

Smaller Food Is Preferred

Your young ghost shrimp might also eat things that are in your tank already. They enjoy eating debris and floating organic materials, as do larger and older ghost shrimp. But you still need to go out and buy food.

In particular, we recommend going with flakes. You can actually crunch up the flakes and make them crumble to a smaller more appropriate size.

But we highly suggest going with food that is designated for young shrimp. Young ghost shrimp require higher levels of protein to grow. And baby shrimp food keeps this in mind and have upped protein levels as well as extra fats!

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These foods are actually ground up too. So you won’t have to crush anything yourself before feeding time.

In conclusion, smaller food is preferred. But in terms of what not to give your newborn ghost shrimp, we also advise against any type of live food. Young ghost shrimp don’t have the mobility to chase after prey.

And the critters you put in the tank can be too big for your pets.

Feeding Your Fully Grown Ghost Shrimp

Your older more mature ghost shrimps will be able to eat many more types of food. Flakes, freeze-dried food, and a ton of other options are available. Algae and waste in your tank are also up for the grabbing during meal time too.

Ghost shrimp-like live food, but think about preparation and possible contamination. Live food isn’t necessarily bad, but it can require more complex preparation. And there is a small chance your pets won’t be able to catch this food.

Ghost shrimp are agile, but they aren’t that fast. And remember they aren’t really predators.

Flakes Or Pellets

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Instead, it might be better to go with a common flake or even a pellet. Depending on the type of tank you have a pellet could be better. If you have other tank pets, the pellet will get to the shrimp faster.

Really, most shrimp won’t swim up to get food. And we talked about them before, but algae wafers are great for ghost shrimp. They have a tone of nutrients stored in them.

Frozen Foods

When you are thinking about what do ghost shrimp eat, you might also want to consider frozen foods. This could be preferable to live foods. As this source of nutrients won’t move and doesn’t require much in terms of prep.

Your ghost shrimp will like small larvae, mostly from insects. But you can also get brine shrimp as well. Other bite-size bugs are great too!


Lastly, try cutting up some veggies and putting them in your shrimp tank. Ghost shrimp need some plant-based food. If you can get veggies small enough they are a good way to give shrimp some fiber.

This also helps switch things up in their diet. On the whole, most foods will work for this species. Just try and avoid anything with copper during mealtime. This can be deadly for your translucent pet shrimp!

Feeding Routine And Other Considerations When Feeding Ghost Shrimp

Video: “FEEDING SHRIMP! How Much and How Often!”

The feeding routine for a ghost shrimp is not too difficult to follow. You just have to stick to a schedule and feed them throughout the week. Ghost shrimp aren’t pets that like to be fed with one big meal though. So try and spread out feeding.

Your shrimp are also eating algae and tank waste, so it’s okay to not feed them every day. In fact, you want to stick to feeding them every other day.

This might seem odd to you, but these shrimps do not have the biggest appetites. They are small and require fewer calories to stay energetic and functioning. And they are constantly foraging for floating material in the bottom of your aquarium anyway.

This all depends on your tank and its algae levels though. And some other factors should be thought about as well. If your tank has plant material in it, your shrimp might need less food. But if you have a lot of ghost shrimp, you might need to feed them more often.

To gauge appetite though, watch over your shrimp during feeding time. If they eat very quickly and eat everything then you can try giving them a little more food.

However, if they don’t finish their food during feed time, then you can give them a little less food. It’s not too hard to figure this out. Just be mindful of your shrimp and their activities during a feeding.

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You might be wondering what do ghost shrimp eat exactly. In this guide, we went over many different foods for your pet ghost shrimp. This should help you pick out the best options for your pale shrimp.

In addition, we also talked about the typical feeding habits of ghost shrimp in a few different environments.

Overall, ghost shrimp can eat many types of food. They will even eat the debris in your tank and make it cleaner. But you want to consider nutritional requirements and give them a wide range of meal options.

Keeping to this advice will prevent your ghost shrimp from becoming ill or dying too soon. So think about the tips and information we shared as you pick food and feed you shrimp.

And make sure you are giving them the best tank habitat to feed in!

Aaron Boyd
Aaron Boyd

Hello, I’m Aaron Boyd, the proud owner and author behind Aqua Movement. I hope my article was able to answer your questions. If you want to learn more about me, click the home icon above.

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