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Do Cherry Shrimp Eat Copepods?

Do Cherry Shrimp Eat Copepods

Indeed, cherry shrimp are one of the most mesmerizing arthropods you can have in your tank. But it’s the feeding part that brings the challenges in. Yes, they do eat shrimp pellets, algae wafers, and so much more. But what about copepods? Do they eat them, too?

Cherry shrimp eat copepods, a fine source of essential vitamins, proteins, and lipids. But they eat it only when it’s of the right size. That’s why lots of the young cherry shrimp seem to skip this food, especially when it’s too big for them.

But what about adult shrimp? What kind of benefits can copepods bring in for them? Well, the answer is wait below.

Key Takeaways

  • Cherry shrimp eat copepods as they’re a perfect source of essential vitamins, proteins, and lipids.
  • Copepods also promote the natural behavior of cherry shrimp and control unwanted biofilm growth.
  • It’s suggested to use copepods as supplementary food, not primary food.
  • The right size, quality, and feeding ratio matter the most when using copepods as shrimp food.
red and yellow cherry shrimp on snail
Owner: Maryanne Young

How Copepods Fit Into the Diet of Cherry Shrimp?

Worrying about whether you should let copepods be in your shrimp’s diet? Well, this table might clear up that confusion a bit.

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Types of FoodBenefits
Shrimp PalletBalance the growth and improve natural grazing behavior
CopepodsInfluence color enrichment and improve reproduction
Blanched VegetablesMake digestive health better and ensure molting support

Why Is It Beneficial for Cherry Shrimp to Eat Copepods?

Unlike most of your tank inhabitants, cherry shrimp can’t have a bite of every food you throw at them. But when you’re getting them something like copepods, it’s more than beneficial for them. Why? Well, for the following reasons, of course.

High in Nutrition

One of the best things about copepods is that they contain useful vitamins, proteins, and lipids. So, once you add it to the diet of your cherry shrimp, you won’t have to worry much about letting them have a balanced nutrition intake.

Variation in Diet

Copepods are your catch if you hate monotony in your shrimp’s diet. It will keep the nutrition on point and bring diversity in the food options.

Creating a Natural Atmosphere

While living in the wild, cherry shrimp don’t have to worry much about having small organisms on their plates. Yes, I’m talking about small invertebrates and microorganisms, including copepods. So, having copepods in the tank will make the shrimp feel like they are in their natural atmosphere and will promote their natural feeding behavior. 

Improving Coloration

Who doesn’t like cherry shrimp with a better color? I bet you do, too. Well, copepods help in enhancing the coloration of cherry shrimp. The credit here goes to the carotenoids of copepods, which influence the shrimp’s exoskeleton pigmentation and make them more vibrant than ever.

Improving Reproductive Health

You can call a food the right one when it’s contributing to the reproductive health of your shrimp. Thankfully, copepods are among them. Their nutritional content can potentially boost reproductive health and contribute to breeding success.

See also  Cherry Shrimp Feeding & Diet [The Ultimate Guide]

Things to Keep in Mind While Feeding Copepods to Cherry Shrimp?

Indeed, the benefits of copepods are undeniable. But there are certain things you need to keep in mind before serving it to them.

The Right Size

Like your shrimp, copepods can come in different sizes as well. So, some of them can surely be too big for your juvenile cherry shrimp. That’s why it’s suggested to pick copepods that go with the size of your shrimp so that the consumption can be easier.

Using As Treats

Don’t get so impressed by copepods that you forget to use the other diet options. It’s a must to get the shrimp a varied diet to let them have a better growth pace. So, use copepods as a treat. To fulfill their nutritional needs, use other foods, such as blanched vegetables, shrimp pallets, or algae wafers.

Copepods Quality

Low-quality copepods will never be good enough for your shrimp. It’ll lack the nutrition you want to add to shrimp’s diet. So, ensure the ones you’re getting come from a well-maintained source and don’t contain any contaminants.

Feeding Ratio

Overfeeding them with copepods is one of the easiest ways to spoil the water quality and shrimp’s health. After all, copepods are decomposable and can easily mess with the water parameters. So, ensure you’re providing the food in the right proportion without giving overfeeding a chance.

Observation

The best way to detect the need for any alteration in the cherry shrimp tank is observation. So, when you start feeding them copepods, make sure you’re observing them regularly. It will help you skip overfeeding and determine the right proportion of feeding copepods.

See also  19 Cherry Shrimp Facts That Will Surely Amaze You!

Skip Natural Source

Collecting copepods from a natural source might sound like a good idea, but it’s not. They might come with potential contaminants. Yes, I’m talking about pollutants and pesticides. So, stick to a controlled and reliable source.

group of yellow red cherry shrimp feeding
Owner: Maryanne Young

Tips to Feed Copepods to Cherry Shrimp

Okay, it’s established that copepods can be a good source of nutrition for cherry shrimp. But what is the best way to feed them? And what about the frequency? Well, let’s clarify that part with a few tips you might love to know.

  • Don’t count copepods as the primary food. It’s only as good as supplementary food. Ensure you use them not more than 2-3 times a week.
  • Provide an amount that your shrimp can consume within a few hours. Otherwise, the excess amount will decompose and deteriorate the water quality.
  • Determine the copepod size based on your shrimp’s age and size. If you’ve got juveniles in the tank, pick smaller ones.
  • Be more observant while feeding copepods. Adjust the quantity in the next session if you see uneaten copepods often.
  • Make the diet a balanced one where you use algae-based food, biofilm, and shrimp pellets along with copepods.
  • Use frozen copepods if you want convenience. But use fresh ones if you want them to be more beneficial for your shrimp.

Before We Go….

If you’re a beginner, it will be a bit tough to find the right diet for your cherry shrimp. So, I thought of making it easier for you with a blog. Check out the Shrimp Feeding & Diet Infographic, and you won’t have to worry twice about planning your shrimp’s diet.

Shrimp Feeding & Diet: Infographic

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

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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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