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Can Cherry Shrimp Survive On Water Plants Alone?

Last day I saw my cherry shrimp hunting down loads of snail eggs. Suddenly, I don’t know why, it started on the plants. After seeing this, the first thing that came into my mind was – what if the eggs weren’t there? And what if there’s nothing meaty at all? Can Cherry Shrimp survive on water plants alone then?

Cherry shrimp can’t survive on water plants alone. They need a balanced diet and that includes a good source of calcium and other nutrients. But water plants are not capable of providing all of it at the same time. In case there’s nothing but water plants, the shrimp will eat them up but that won’t be enough for long-term sustainability.

But which plants are the best for them to eat? And what kind of nutrients they can get there to live a bit longer without meat? Well, let’s find out.

Key Takeaways

  • It’s not possible for cherry shrimp to live solely on plant nutrition.
  • Some of the plants like Java Moss, Java Fern, Anubias, and Water Wisteria can provide lots of the required nutrients for the shrimp.
  • Plants like Amazon Sword, Water Sprite, and Cryptocoryne can lead to digestive issues and even death.
red cherry shrimp overview and facts

Major Nutrients That Cherry Shrimp Get From Aquarium Plants

It’s true that one of the most essential parts of the required nutrients for cherry shrimp comes from animal matter. But that doesn’t give any room to underestimate the plants. They can also contribute to cherry shrimp’s health significantly with the following nutrients.

See also  Do Cherry Shrimp Eat Detritus Worms?
Vitamin AHelps in making vision better. Improves reproductive health and immune support
Vitamin CBuilds better stress resistance. Makes disease resistance and longevity better
Vitamin DHelps in building strong exoskeletonLeads to successful molting
Vitamin EEnsures better cellular protection. Improves overall health
Vitamin KLeads to proper molting. Lowers the chances of of injury and stress
B VitaminsBoosts energy and growth. Assists in make reproductive capabilities better
Vitamin HImproves metabolism and digestion

Copper is toxic to shrimp. It’s essential to ensure that any food or supplements given to cherry shrimp are free from copper. Always check the ingredient list of any commercial food or fertilizer you add to the tank.

Read More: Why Are My Cherry Shrimps Fighting Over Food?

Which Plants Are The Best For Cherry Shrimp To Eat?

Thanks to the omnivore nature of cherry shrimp, they are free to have a taste of both animal matter and plants. That’s why, not only do you see algae and biofilm on their menu but also small pieces of plant matter, including leaves or stems.

Now the question is, which plants are considered the best veg dishes for cherry shrimp? Well, the list starts with –

1. Java Moss

In the race for popularity among aquarium plants, it’s tough to beat Java Moss. The good news is, they can be the perfect source of food for cherry shrimp as well. They’re filled with nutrients and vitamins and the soft texture makes it easy for the shrimp to eat.

When it comes to nutritional value, they can provide the shrimp with protein, which is a must for the arthropods’ growth and development. Plus, the fiber in them can be a great help for regulating digestion and promoting healthy bowel movements. And yes, they’ve got A, B1, B2, and C covered as well, which protects against diseases.

See also  Do Cherry Shrimps Eat Algae?

On top of that, Java Moss has minerals like calcium, magnesium, and potassium that serve on the muscles, bones, and other bodily functions.

And let’s not forget the antioxidants that shield against cellular damage and take down the chances of chronic diseases.

2. Java Fern

There’s no way to underestimate the popularity of Java fern either as the aquarium plant. Not only they’re used for making the aquarium beautiful, but they are a good source of food for cherry shrimp as well.

What they’re good at is covering the need for protein in cherry shrimp. You already know how important protein is for the growth and development of these arthropods.

But these plants have a pile of vitamins A, B1, B2, and C, that do a perfect job in maintaining good health and preventing disease.

3. Anubias

Indeed, Anubias is a slow-growing plant. But that doesn’t keep it away from being a useful plant for cherry shrimp. Not only the soft biofilm it produces is perfectly edible for them, but the plant itself works as a food.

It brings in calcium, which plays a vital role in the exoskeleton development and molting of cherry shrimp. And the Potassium? It helps a lot with making general metabolic functions better. Plus, the Iodine it comes with plays a vital role in molting processes. However, eating this plant too much can lead to digestive issues.

4. Water Wisteria

If you’re asking for a fast-growing plant for your aquarium, this is your catch. But that’s not the best part of this one. It’s got a pile of trace minerals within. Yes, I’m talking about  Zinc, Manganese, and Iron, which are amazingly useful in various physiological and metabolic functions.

Not only these but they’ve got a load of vitamins as well. Thanks to vitamin A which boosts the growth and development of the shrimp.

See also  13 Different Cherry Shrimp (Neocaridina) Types: More Than Just Red!

And with Vitamin B, your shrimp will get extra help in energy metabolism and other metabolic processes.

Read More: Do Cherry Shrimps Eat Brine Shrimp?

Which Plants Can Be Dangerous for Cherry Shrimp to Eat?

Hold on a second! Who said all plants in the aquarium are going to be your shrimp’s friend? Some of them cause serious health issues and even can kill the arthropods. So, no matter what you do, make sure your shrimp does not eat up too much of the following plants.

1. Amazon Sword

Like the sword, this one can also be lethal, but for cherry shrimp. But most of the water pet enthusiasts love having them in their aquariums, counting them harmless. Yes, it’s true that they’re harmless unless your shrimp decide to have whole lots of them. It can lead them straight to digestive issues and can even kill them

Cherry shrimp need calcium for healthy shell (exoskeleton) development. If they don’t get enough calcium, they can have issues during molting. Crushed coral, cuttlebone pieces, or specialized shrimp mineral supplements can be added to the tank to ensure they get the necessary minerals.

2. Water Sprite

It’s one of the most common plants used in aquariums and you’ve probably got one or two of them too. A smaller amount in the food list shouldn’t be harmful. I can’t say the same for larger consumption. Eating them too much can trigger digestive issues. And the worst-case scenario? It might even kill the shrimp. 

3. Cryptocoryne

Initially, there’s no reason to count this slow-growing plant as a threat to your cherry shrimp. However, this one too, can make the tummy of your shrimp upset under excessive consumption.

Shrimp Feeding & Diet: Infographic

If you want a printable version of this infographic, click here!

Before We Go…..

You already know cherry shrimp have a taste in animal matters too, just like the plants. But do they prefer taking a bite of fish eggs your fish are laying? We bet that triggered some curiosity in you too, like it did in me. So, I think taking a peek at my blog ‘Do Cherry Shrimp Eat Fish Eggs?’ might get you some answers on that.

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Muntaseer Rahman

About Author

Hello, I’m Muntaseer Rahman, the owner of AcuarioPets.com. 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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