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Do Cherry Shrimps Need Feeding Dish?

red yellow shrimp feeding dish

As an avid aquarium enthusiast, I’ve had my fair share of experiences caring for Cherry Shrimp. However, one question that often comes up in the aquarium community, and one I personally grappled with, is whether Cherry Shrimp truly need a feeding dish.

It’s a question I’d like to explore further in this article, drawing from my own experiences and insights, to help fellow aquarists make an informed decision about the best way to nourish their cherished Cherry Shrimp.

Pros Vs Cons Of Using Feeding Dish In Shrimp Tank

Deciding whether or not to use a feeding dish in a shrimp tank influences various factors from waste management to the health of cherry shrimp.

I’ve found that this choice impacts growth, molting, and even water quality.

Makes monitoring food intake easierMight not replicate shrimp’s natural environment and foraging behavior
Helps prevent overfeedingRisk of overcrowding and aggression around the dish
Simplifies maintenance by removing uneaten foodTakes up valuable space in the tank
Helps keep substrate cleanerAdds another variable for novice aquarists to manage
Maintains pristine water conditions for molting and healthThe feeding dish needs regular cleaning
group of yellow red cherry shrimp feeding
Owner: Maryanne Young

Read More: Do Cherry Shrimps Eat Each Other?

See also  Can Cherry Shrimp Survive On Water Plants Alone?

Benefits Of Using A Feeding Dish For Cherry Shrimp

Using a feeding dish in a cherry shrimp tank comes with notable advantages.

For one, it makes monitoring food intake easier. When I place algae wafers or other food directly on the dish, I can tell how much the shrimp are eating, which helps prevent overfeeding.

This also simplifies maintenance because any uneaten food can be promptly removed to maintain optimal water parameters. From my experience, a feeding dish helps keep the substrate cleaner and reduces the potential for poor water quality due to decaying organic matter. 

Molting is an essential process for growth in cherry shrimp, and maintaining pristine water conditions by containing food waste is critical for their health.

Additionally, a feeding dish can lessen stress factors since shrimp know where to find their food, which can contribute to more vibrant coloration.

Drawbacks Of Using A Feeding Dish For Cherry Shrimp

On the other hand, there are some disadvantages to using feeding dishes.

The primary concern is that it might not replicate the cherry shrimp’s natural environment, which could affect their foraging behavior.

Shrimp often graze on biofilm and algae growing on surfaces, which is a source of nutrients essential for their growth and development. By providing a feeding dish, I risk altering their natural feeding habits.

Furthermore, if the dish is not appropriately sized or placed correctly, it can become overcrowded and create a hotspot for aggression among shrimp competing for food. This can increase stress levels, potentially leading to issues with molting and growth.

Another consideration is that any dish takes up valuable space in the tank, which might cramp the environment, especially in smaller aquariums.

See also  What Do Red Cherry Shrimp Eat In The Wild?

For novice aquarists, introducing an additional piece of equipment like a feeding dish also adds one more variable to manage, which could complicate their maintenance routine.

Read More: Can Cherry Shrimp Survive On Water Plants? 

amano shrimp and blue cherry shrimp feeding on cucumber
Owner: Natalie Skinner

Alternative Feeding Approaches

When I keep cherry shrimp, I consider various feeding methods that cater to their omnivorous diet, ensuring they receive all the nutrients they need for optimal health.

Hand-Feeding Cherry Shrimp

I find hand-feeding to be a personal and controlled way to feed my cherry shrimp. By gently placing small amounts of shrimp food or blanched vegetables directly into the tank with tweezers, I can prevent overfeeding and observe their behavior up close.

This method helps me ensure they consume protein-rich foods as well as the algae and biofilm they graze on naturally.

Scattering Food In The Tank

Alternatively, I sometimes scatter food across the substrate to mimic their natural foraging behavior.

Cherry shrimp will enthusiastically search for tiny food particles, consuming both the nutrients and microorganisms they encounter. This approach requires me to keep a close eye on uneaten food to maintain water quality.

Incorporating Natural Substrate And Live Plants

In my tank setup, I integrate natural substrate and live plants like moss, driftwood, and rocks, which facilitate the growth of biofilm and algae.

This creates an environment that allows cherry shrimp to graze as they would in the wild, maintaining a varied diet and reducing the need for supplemental feeding.

Planted aquariums bring them closer to their natural habitat, ensuring they receive a balance of nutrients.

Read More: Do Cherry Shrimp Eat Plants?

blue cherry shrimp with amano shrimp eating cucumber
Owner: Natalie Skinner

Factors Influencing The Feeding Dish Decision

Aquarium Size And Layout

In larger tanks, the spread of food can affect the feeding efficiency of cherry shrimps, potentially leading to waste and poor water quality.

See also  Raising Cherry Shrimp Babies: A Step-by-Step Guide [DOs & DONTs]

I’ve found that a feeding dish helps to contain food, making it easier for shrimps to access and reducing waste.

Tanks with complex layouts and plenty of hiding places can benefit from a centralized feeding area to ensure all shrimp get a chance to feed.

Population Density Of Cherry Shrimp

A higher population density can lead to increased competition for food. By using a feeding dish, I make sure that there’s a designated spot where food can be monitored, and the shrimps can feed without stress.

This also aids in observing their growth and breeding patterns, as well as adjusting the feeding amount accordingly to prevent leftovers.

expert quote canned carrot slices are the second favorite vegetable for cherry shrimp, and feeding them more often may enhance their red coloration 10

Read More: When Should You Feed Cherry Shrimps?

Types Of Food Used For Feeding

I often rotate between vegetables like zucchini, spinach, and cucumber, and occasional protein-rich foods like bloodworms.

Certain foods like pellets and algae wafers are more compact and stay together, which is less of a hassle.

However, if I’m feeding plant matter that tends to disperse, a feeding dish ensures it doesn’t scatter and affect the water parameters negatively.

Water Quality And Filtration System

Water quality is paramount in my shrimp tank. Overfeeding and leftover food can lead to spikes in ammonia and deteriorate the water parameters.

To maintain a clean tank, I tend to use a sponge filter – it’s gentle on the shrimps and doesn’t suck up small shrimp or their food.

A feeding dish complements this by localizing food residue, making it simpler to remove and thereby helping maintain the water quality.

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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