Can Betta Fish Eat Dried Shrimp? Freeze-Dried Or Dehydrated?

It is well-known that your Betta will attack and kill any small shrimp you keep in the tank. It’s just a delicious treat to them. So, if you are planning to add shrimp to your Betta’s diet, just know that they are going to be more than happy. But do they love dried shrimp as much as the live ones?

Bettas love eating shrimps even if you offer the dried ones. But one major recommendation is to soak the freeze-dried shrimp for a while. That will increase the moisture inside the shrimp which helps with digestion.

The problem is there are many forms available for feeding shrimps; including frozen, free-dried, and dried. We will try to explain how dried shrimps perform as Betta food. So, if you are on board with the idea, let’s get started.

 Key Takeaways

  • Freeze-dried shrimps are easy to digest if you soak them well beforehand.
  • Freeze-dried shrimps can contain the majority of vitamins and minerals, unlike dehydrated ones.
  • Freeze-dried and sun-dried shrimps have similar percentages in dry matter.
  • Freeze-dried shrimps have more crude fat than dehydrated shrimps.
  • You need to soak the dried shrimp before serving your Betta.

Can Betta Fish Eat Dried Shrimp?

Betta fish love, love, and love shrimp. It’s like candy no kid can refuse. But whether they feel the same about dried shrimp is another question. You see, to free-dry a shrimp, manufacturers freeze the shrimps till they are rock-hard and covered with ice. The next thing they do is insert the shrimp in a cold vacuum.

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The machine sucks away any remaining moisture within the shrimp. The final result is a hard substance with no moisture in it. The size is significantly smaller than an average frozen shrimp and also lightweight. That means you can store as many dried shrimps as you want in a small container without worrying.

And, the best part? Freeze drying doesn’t manipulate or change the taste of the original meal whatsoever. So, you are saving lots of time and effort by switching to freeze-dried shrimp. For example, you no longer have to keep a separate aquarium to cultivate shrimps for your Bettas.

As for your Bettas liking, we have never seen a Betta rejecting shrimp just because it has been freeze-dried. It’s almost the same.

gorgeous blue betta
owner: Jenna Marder Grenier

Is Freeze-Dried Shrimp Better Than Dehydrated Shrimp?

We have briefly explained how manufacturers free-dry shrimp. However, if we simply talk about dried or dehydrated shrimp, the process is a bit different. Dehydrated food is kept under sunlight till all the moisture naturally evaporates. Slowly the orange color in a shrimp gets darker and the size gets smaller.

That’s how you know it has been dried perfectly. But if we consider the moisture level, freeze-drying does it more effectively. there is still some moisture left after you dehydrate a shrimp the natural way.

Now that you have two options for dried shrimp, let’s see the nutrition level for both forms. That might help you decide quicker.

NutrientsLive ShrimpFreeze-DriedDried/Dehydrated
Moisture80%Near zero9 to 10%
Vitamins & MineralsB12, Phosphorus, selenium & calcium.B12, Phosphorus, selenium & calcium.Most are lost due to heat.

 The table makes it pretty clear that Freeze-dried shrimps are richer in nutrition. You get 80% of the moisture component in a live shrimp. However, when it is freeze-dried, there’s none. The protein is somewhat similar in both forms. So, if your main concern is providing food that is rich in protein, you can go either way.

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Next comes fat; which is around 2% in most shrimps. When freeze-dried, the fat portion in shrimp increases up to 2.1% (thanks to the shrunken body matter). However, we see a decrease in dehydrated shrimps (1.5%). It might be due to exposure to sunlight. Some of the fat might have evaporated with moisture.

After that, we see the change in minerals and vitamins like A, D, and B12. Thankfully, shrimps don’t lose any of the vitamins and minerals if you can freeze-dry accordingly. Most of the other nutrients stay exactly the same. However, dried or dehydrated shrimps lose most of the vitamins that are vulnerable to heat.

Taking all of these matters into consideration, we suggest sticking with freeze-dried shrimps over sun-dried ones. Another important thing is the change in taste. Once you soak the freeze-dried shrimp in a bowl, the taste goes back to its original state. So, it’s going to be more delicious as well.

How Often Should I Feed Dried Shrimp To My Betta?

No matter how much your Betta loves having shrimps in its diet, it shouldn’t replace fish pellets. Regular food like pellets has more nutrients than shrimp. Even though a shrimp is way yummier, it can’t provide all the elements needed for an aquarium fish to grow. Experts recommend you don’t treat your Betta with shrimp more than two to three days per week.

The feeding schedule is the same as frozen or even live shrimps. It’s good when given moderately. You don’t want to repeat it every day. shrimps as fish food can be extremely filling causing Bettas to reject every other type of manufactured food. However, it’s important for your carnivore fish to have all the essential nutrients in fish- pellets for strong bones.

gorgeous white betta
Owner: Jessica Spivey

What’s The Right Way To Serve Dried Shrimp?

Frozen shrimps are okay to eat once you defrost the cubes. But freeze-dried shrimps need to be soaked in room-temperature water first. It’s important not to put shrimps into boiling hot water though. That might affect the vitamins those dried shrimps contain.

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Once you see the shrimps expanding due to the increase in moisture level, you can chop them up into smaller pieces. Now, drop those pieces into the tank. Make sure the meal portion doesn’t exceed your betta’s daily eating habits. Yes, we fear you might overfeed the Betta seeing its appetite.

Another important tip is to pick up any leftover pieces of shrimp. The pieces will rot if left unattended for a long time inside an aquarium. Unlike fish flakes, rotten shrimps can increase the toxin level inside water. So, be careful about that.

Before You Go!

Do you know what’s more available than dried shrimp? Yes, frozen shrimp. Almost every pet store has frozen shrimp packets. However, the frozen shrimp’s nutrients are slightly different than the dried ones. To learn more, check out our article on frozen shrimps as Betta food.

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Muntaseer Rahman

About Author

Hello, I’m Muntaseer Rahman, the owner of I’m passionate about aquarium pets like shrimps, snails, crabs, and crayfish. I’ve created this website to share my expertise and help you provide better care for these amazing pets.


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