Do Ghost Shrimps Eat Plant & Algae?

Do Ghost Shrimps Eat Plant & Algae

Many hobbyists mainly keep ghost shrimps for their algae-eating capability. However, they often wonder if the shrimps will try to eat the plants too! Eating plants can be a potential danger for planted tank owners. So, this is a matter of concern.

Ghost shrimps are great algae eaters. They also eat the plants that die inside the tank. Most of the time they won’t go for the live plants.

Ghost shrimps eat almost everything and you will see them picking food bits most of the time if you observe them for some time. And if you have algae in your tank then you will see them gazing and eating algae the whole day.

Below I am giving detailed information on what type of algae and plants ghost shrimps actually eat. So, if you are interested to know more please go through the whole article!

How Do Ghost Shrimps Eat Algae? 

Ghost shrimps are very effective algae grazers and they can live on algae if algae grow in your tank in a good amount. Ghost shrimps mainly love soft algae but you can also see them eating hair algae too. Algae mainly grow in the surfaces of stones, glass, and decoration stuff of your tank. 

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Ghost shrimps will roam around in the place where algae grow. They use their front legs to eat everything. They move their front legs so fast while eating that it is impossible to understand the movement. They sometimes attach themselves with the algae to get all of it.

If there are too much algae then they will peacefully eat those. But, if there is less you will see the ghost shrimps fight with each other to eat it. They are mostly seen in groups near an algae spot. 

Will Ghost Shrimps Eat Your Live Plants?  

Ghost shrimps only eat the plants that are dead. They generally don’t eat live plants. You may see them roaming and hiding near plants but they will not eat live plants. 

They search for food or debris near live plants as they are natural scavengers. And if any plant dies in the tank you will see them eating it very happily. So, do not take any dead plants out of the tank if any dies.

There have been some cases where shrimp keepers saw ghost shrimps eating live plants but this is very rare. If you keep them hungry for too long, they can end up eating the live plants because there will be no choice left. So, you better not keep the ghost shrimps hungry for too long. 

How To Feed Algae To Ghost Shrimps?

Algae naturally grow in a tank. If you have stones and other decorative stuff you will see algae growing on the surfaces of these things. Just leave the stones and one glass untouched when you clean your tank and you will see algae growing on the top of these things.

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Ghost shrimps will eat algae happily on their own. You don’t have to make them eat that. However, if algae naturally do not grow in your tank in that case you can feed them algae wafers. They will also eat algae wafers very happily. 

You can buy algae wafers and store them in your fridge. Then when you feel like feeding them just put one wafer in the tank. Algae is very good for ghost shrimp’s health. The ghost shrimps will eat algae continuously and it will not cause them any harm. 

Types Of Algae Ghost Shrimps Eat:

Type Of AlgaeDo ghost shrimps eat it?
Soft AlgaeYes, they love to graze on soft algae.
Spot Algae (ex: green spot algae)No.
Hair AlgaeSometimes
Thread AlgaeMostly No.

Ghost Shrimps Used For Lowering Algae Level In Tank: 

If you are having trouble in your tank because there are too much algae then ghost shrimps are the ones that will help you to lower it down. 6-8 ghost shrimps are enough to keep the algae level down in your tank if the tank is not too large in size. 

There are a couple of reasons if you see algae growing excessively in your tank. If you are not maintaining the bioload and you have species that make a lot of waste then the amount of ammonia increases in the water. The higher the ammonia level the more algae will grow in the tank. 

Excessive algae are not good for a tank environment because it makes the tank dirty and unhealthy. In this type of case, keeping some ghost shrimps will help a lot in keeping the algae level down by eating it continuously. 

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Do Other Shrimps Eat Algae And Plants?

Yes, like ghost shrimps there are many more shrimps, for example, cherry shrimps, Amano shrimps, cardinal shrimps are excellent algae eaters and almost every type of shrimps eat dead plants. Shrimps try to eat almost everything as they are scavengers. 

Shrimps that eat algae are widely kept in tanks to keep the algae level down. So, if you are facing algae problem you can buy any of them to get rid of excessive algae. These shrimps will keep your tank clean. The cheapest one among these shrimps is ghost shrimps. If you have a low budget you can easily get some ghost shrimps for your tank. 

Top algae eater shrimps:

Amano ShrimpMost Efficient algae eater9.5/10
Cherry ShrimpLow maintenance and effective9.2/10
Ghost ShrimpAvailable and inexpensive9.0/10

Shrimp Feeding & Diet: Infographic

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


Algae and dead plants are great foods for ghost shrimps. So, now that you know that ghost shrimps eat algae and dead plants, if you have any of these in your tank do not clean them up too much and let the shrimps eat it.

I hope this article helped you to know what you were looking for and also helped you with some additional information related to the topic.

Happy shrimp keeping!

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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