Shrimp food, what kind? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-07-2019, 11:33 AM Thread Starter
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Shrimp food, what kind?

Have had my 10 gallon Cherry red shrimp tank up and running for about 8 to 9 months now.

Things are going great with them, started out with three and now there is probably over 40, sort of hard to count.
After a bit of research, I learned they like leaves, as they seem to be eating holes in some giant hygro that is in the tank.

I am working on getting together food specifically for the shrimp tank, they seem to be mostly vegetarians.

Is there an online source for the proper leaves to feed them? Or will anything work?
Anny certain kind to avoid?

Been feeding some:
New Life Spectrum Algaemax, herbivore diet sinking pellet.
Algae wafers that are for a bristle nose Plecostomus that is in a different tank, but they seem to have fish meal in there, although they are green.
And some New Life Spectrum flake food that is for a different tank, every now and then

Anything else that I should be adding to the shrimp food list?

I was reading up that a bit of zucchini every now and then is good.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-07-2019, 12:22 PM
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I put these in the tank for my Neocaridina at various times in the week. I do feed them on alternate days tho.

1. Mullbery leaves
2. Indian Almond leaves
3. Shrimp Lollies - assorted
4. Hikari Crab cuisine
5. Hikari sinking wafers
6. Hikari mini algae wafers
7. Shrimp King Spinach-Hokkaido-Loops



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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-07-2019, 01:44 PM
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Shrimp are detrivores and will eat anything, so it can be tough to know what's good and what isn't. You don't need shrimp-specific foods - and that's coming from me. (People whom have been on the forum for a bit can figure out why that's a big deal.) Just things like organic spinach, kale, zucchini, anything (aquatic foods specifically) that's 100% vegetable matter. Clean, safe leaf litter is also ideal. All those things are stable enough to hold up in a tank without breaking down for several hours.

Pretty much anything you're feeding that's for fish is going to contain a ton of animal protein, which can cause shrimp to develop too quickly and have molting issues. A little bit here and there is fine but I wouldn't feed them more than maybe once every 3-4 weeks. I feed that sort of thing even less. They'll get enough animal protein from the tank itself when they eat microcritters, when snails die, when fish die, when other shrimp die.

Most every algae wafer from major manufacturers available for fish in the hobby is primarily animal protein. Even some spirulina tabs are majority generic fish parts. Fine for fish but not so fine for shrimp on a regular basis.

Anything from Hikari is pretty much a no-go for shrimp because it's all loaded down with animal protein. Even Fluval's shrimp-specific food is terrible for shrimp because it's mostly protein. Anything imported that doesn't include a specific ingredients list should be thrown away. Don't feed it if you don't know what's in it, as it's likely just wheat germ, soy meal and a tiny bit of whatever they claim is the primary ingredient.

You asked for an online source and you're on it. This forum. Use the search function and you'll found thousands of shrimp food threads. Alternatively, read through tank journals of successful shrimp keepers to see what they're using and how they use it. Just keep it simple, feed 2-3 times per week -- only what can be consumed in an hour -- and you'll be fine.


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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-07-2019, 03:39 PM
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I wouldn't think your shrimp are eating the giant hygro, they aren't known for eating healthy plant growth. The holes are likely from a deficiency. Any dying tissue is relished though, so that might explain them picking at those spots. As for brands of foods, most of what I purchase comes from the poster above me. Most of what I feed however, comes from my backyard. I use a lot of oak leaves, which can be left in the tank until completely deteriorated. Lots of other leaves are safe too, that's just what grows where I live. For years I bought cattepa and Indian almond leaves and so forth marketed for shrimp, but as far as I can tell they offer nothing that oak doesn't. I will use tiny amounts of vegetables from my garden, usually blanched, but anything uneaten is removed at the end of the day with those.

While they are constantly picking at food, these things eat an almost inconsequential amount. If they don't swarm the food that I offer, I am of the belief that they shouldn't have been fed that day. There's a YouTube video that goes over their anatomy and when you see the size of the stomach on a shrimp, it offers some perspective.

My biggest advice is to just leave them alone most of the time and make every change gradual. Like many people I struggled with shrimp when I first started out. Now that I've tweaked things a bit and treat them less like fish, I have much more success. I don't use heaters, they are fed very little, water changes are small (10% max), and new water is slowly dripped back in the tank rather than poured. Fertilizers are kept to a minimum or not used at all in sensitive strains of shrimp. My hands go in the tanks as infrequently as possible. I think it's a benefit to provide as much oxygenation as you can (one reason I like cool temps). Shrimp tanks require a lot of patience and a different approach than we might be used to with fishkeeping. But if you've gone from 3 to 40, you're doing something right!
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-09-2019, 12:50 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info.

I ordered up some Indian Almond leaves.

I am trying to get some appropriate food together as they are going to be moved to a new tank in a few weeks.

Thanks again for the info.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-10-2019, 03:21 PM
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Something else that may prove helpful: I ball up pieces of spinach into pea-sized portions and store them in a freezer. That helps break down plant cell walls is a convenient way to prevent stuff from going bad. Just drop them into the tank when you're ready to feed. No need to thaw.

Also works well for other leafy greens and zucchini/squash/et al.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-10-2019, 07:47 PM
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Considering your neck of the woods, it might be too late in the year but my shrimps prefer oak leaves. I pull the off a tree after they've turned brown, boil them, and feed after cooling. Just my 2cents...
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-14-2019, 03:44 PM Thread Starter
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I just received some Bacter AE, and Snow Flakes, along with some shrimp algae lollies.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-14-2019, 04:46 PM
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One thing to keep in mind is that Bacter AE has a huge scoop and the feeding recommendations on the jar are about 50x the amount most shrimp keepers actually feed.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-14-2019, 05:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Ridge Reef View Post
One thing to keep in mind is that Bacter AE has a huge scoop and the feeding recommendations on the jar are about 50x the amount most shrimp keepers actually feed.
That is so irresponsible of this company to advertise such a huge feeding recommendation. No wonder new shrimp keepers over-feed.

But, general rule--- like anything you need to do a great deal of reading and cross-referencing before keeping livestock of any sort. And, of course, always remembering that most of these big food companies answer to stock holders whose bottom line is increasing profits.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-14-2019, 11:54 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the heads up on the Bacter AE, the scooper in there seemed crazy big.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-16-2019, 03:14 AM
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Excellent video I learned a lot, thank you

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Ridge Reef View Post
I wouldn't think your shrimp are eating the giant hygro, they aren't known for eating healthy plant growth. The holes are likely from a deficiency. Any dying tissue is relished though, so that might explain them picking at those spots. As for brands of foods, most of what I purchase comes from the poster above me. Most of what I feed however, comes from my backyard. I use a lot of oak leaves, which can be left in the tank until completely deteriorated. Lots of other leaves are safe too, that's just what grows where I live. For years I bought cattepa and Indian almond leaves and so forth marketed for shrimp, but as far as I can tell they offer nothing that oak doesn't. I will use tiny amounts of vegetables from my garden, usually blanched, but anything uneaten is removed at the end of the day with those.

While they are constantly picking at food, these things eat an almost inconsequential amount. If they don't swarm the food that I offer, I am of the belief that they shouldn't have been fed that day. There's a YouTube video that goes over their anatomy and when you see the size of the stomach on a shrimp, it offers some perspective. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e6eLHJDVTi8

My biggest advice is to just leave them alone most of the time and make every change gradual. Like many people I struggled with shrimp when I first started out. Now that I've tweaked things a bit and treat them less like fish, I have much more success. I don't use heaters, they are fed very little, water changes are small (10% max), and new water is slowly dripped back in the tank rather than poured. Fertilizers are kept to a minimum or not used at all in sensitive strains of shrimp. My hands go in the tanks as infrequently as possible. I think it's a benefit to provide as much oxygenation as you can (one reason I like cool temps). Shrimp tanks require a lot of patience and a different approach than we might be used to with fishkeeping. But if you've gone from 3 to 40, you're doing something right!
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