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Do Cherry Shrimp Eat Snail Eggs?

I know snails can be a real pain while keeping them in an aquarium, especially when it comes to controlling their population. I’ve seen them laying up to 100 eggs that can hatch within a week. Just imagine – your aquarium getting filled with hundreds of snails just in 7 days! But can cherry shrimp help you out with that by just eating them?

Cherry shrimp do eat snail eggs. They count snail eggs among the perfect sources of their required protein. Not only that but Cherry Shrimps are known for eating dead snails and their crushed shells as well, which are also filled with nutrients and protein.

But is there any other reason that makes snail eggs so appealing to cherry shrimp? And are they prone to eating snail eggs only or like taking a bite of useful plants or fish eggs too? Well, you’ll have to dig a bit more with us to get the answer. So, keep digging, or should I say scrolling?

Key Takeaways

  • Cherry Shrimp eat snail eggs mostly to fulfill their nutritional needs.
  • They also eat dead snails and their crushed shells.
  • Snail eggs are a great source of calcium, protein, fatty acids, and Vitamins.
  • Cherry Shrimp help keep the snail population in control.
  • They also take down the chances of spread of disease and parasite infestations.
red and yellow cherry shrimp on snail
Owner: Maryanne Young

Why Does Cherry Shrimp Eat Snail Eggs?

Except for humans, every living being in the universe eats to fulfill certain needs only and the same goes for cherry shrimp eating snail eggs as well. They usually keep it on their menu for the following reasons.

See also  What Should You Feed Cherry Shrimp Babies?

1. Natural Foraging Instincts

It’s nature that has trained Cherry Shrimp to be foraging for food in their surroundings. So, clearly, they won’t be denying anything that they can call food. And guess what? Snail eggs fit the role perfectly.

Read More: Can Cherry Shrimp Survive On Water Plants? 

2. Small Mouthparts And Appendages

All the arthropods prefer picking up food that suits their physiology and cherry shrimp are nothing different. As they’ve got small mouthparts and delicate appendages, food like snail eggs suits them perfectly due to being small organisms.

Golden Apple Snail Eggs
Golden Apple Snail Eggs

3. Opportunistic Feeding

Most of the arthropods out there are opportunistic feeders and the list includes Cherry Shrimp as well. So, they’ll make a wide range of microorganisms and small particles, even if it’s something like snail eggs. Plus, due to the size and ease of accessibility, they perceive the eggs as nothing but food.

4. Omnivorous Diet

The one thing you can’t ignore about cherry shrimp is their omnivore nature. So, it’s obvious that they’ll try a bite on any of the food sources, whether it’s detritus, algae, microorganisms, or organic matter. And guess what? Snail eggs come on that list too.

On top of that, Cherry shrimp are considered the scavengers and foragers of aquatic ecosystems. So, they don’t hesitate to clean up snail eggs by consuming them.

Snails need a good amount of calcium to form their shells, and this starts even before they hatch. The eggs absorb calcium from their surroundings to strengthen the embryonic shell.

5. Population Control Of Snails

I know snails can be a big hassle when it comes to maintaining them in an aquarium, especially when it comes to regulating their number. I’ve observed them laying up to 100 eggs that can hatch within a week. Simply picture – your aquarium becoming filled with hundreds of snails in 7 days!

See also  How Long Can Cherry Shrimp Go Without Food?

This is where cherry shrimp come in handy. As snail eggs are the perfect meal for them, they clean them up before you know it. By the way, don’t worry, that doesn’t leave any impact on the existing snail population in your aquarium. So, don’t think this act will eradicate your snails.

Read More: What Do Red Cherry Shrimp Eat In The Wild?

Are Snail Eggs Good For Cherry Shrimp Health?

I guess you already know the answer – at least to a certain extent. Still, let’s clear that up. Yes, snail eggs are good for cherry shrimp. And that’s not only because they’re a delicious treat but also filled with a bunch of useful nutrients such as –

CalciumUseful for the growth and development of shrimp exoskeletons
ProteinHelps with the growth and maintenance of shrimp muscle tissue
Fatty AcidsContributes to overall shrimp health and enhances their immune system.
VitaminsVitamin A improves overall vision and immunity and vitamin B12 helps in developing the nervous system and increases red blood cell production.

Some aquatic snails lay their eggs in gelatinous masses, which can be seen attached to aquarium glass, decorations, or plants.

Shrimp Feeding & Diet: Infographic

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

Read More: How Long Can Cherry Shrimps Go Without Food?

Why Cherry Shrimp Eating Snail Eggs is Nothing Bad?

Anyone in their first thought might come up with this – how can be an arthropod eating the eggs of another living being good? Well, nature is an amazing place where balance takes place in unexpected ways.

Once Aristotle said –

“In all things of nature, there is something of the marvelous.”

And the cherry shrimp eating the eggs of snails? That’s nothing bad because –

Ramshorn snail eggs in the aquarium. Macro photo
Ramshorn snail eggs in the aquarium

1. Natural Pest Control

I call cherry shrimp the pest controllers and to a certain extent calling them scavengers shouldn’t also be wrong. After all, they help a lot with keeping the unwanted snail infestation in control. Plus, when they’re in that glass box, you need any chemicals or manual processes to get rid of the unnecessary snail eggs.

See also  Do Cherry Shrimps Eat Each Other?

2. Maintains Balance

If you’re really into keeping the health of your aquarium and its inhabitant’s health right on point, you’ve got no alternative to having a balanced aquarium ecosystem. And guess who can help you with that? Exactly – cherry shrimp.

In case you leave the snail population unchecked, they can explode before you know it. Clearly, this leads to the overgrazing of plants along with the overproduction of waste. But when you’ve got Cherry Shrimp in there, they’ll help you maintain a healthier balance as they won’t let the snails have a boom on the egg hatching.

3. Eliminating Diseases And Parasites

When it comes to being a carrier of diseases and parasites in an aquarium – snails can be considered the A-listers there. For obvious reasons, that’s not good for the other aquatic animals in the aquarium. So, when cherry shrimp eat up the snail eggs, they lower the risk of disease and parasite transmission.

do snails eat shrimp eggs?

It is plausible that, if given the opportunity, some snail species might consume shrimp eggs as they can be a source of protein and nutrients. However, this would likely depend on the specific species of snail and the availability of other food sources.

In aquarium settings, for example, snails might consume shrimp eggs if they come across them, especially if the snails are of a species that is more opportunistic or omnivorous in their eating habits.

Snails are generally detritivores, meaning they consume decaying organic matter, and they are also herbivores, consuming plant matter. However, some species of snails are omnivorous and may consume a variety of food sources, including animal matter.

Before We Go…

Indeed, cherry shrimp do a great job by eating up the snail eggs. But do these omnivores spare the plants? After all, it doesn’t seem they feel that much concerned about what coming their way. If it suits their taste, they’ll have a bite for sure. And about the plants? Well, we’ve got some answers on that in our blog –  Do Cherry Shrimp Eat Plants? Just click and get the answer.

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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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