One of the most common questions I get from shrimp keepers is, when to feed cherry shrimps. So, I decided to do some research and see what experts are suggesting. Here’s what I found:
Many expert shrimp breeders suggest to give food only every other day. Otherwise, you can skip food once every week.
Cherry shrimp’s feeding timetable depends on many factors. I’ll describe everything you need to know here:
Shrimp Feeding Timetable
As I have already mentioned before, it is a good idea to feed your cherry shrimps every other day. However, maintaining a feeding timetable is also very crucial.
A constant feeding routine helps shrimps to grow properly. So, how should you make that feeding timetable?
There is no ONE way. You can do it in any way you prefer. Personally, I don’t feed my shrimps every day. I feed them every other day. You can follow this approach.
Or else, you can skip feeding your cherry shrimps once every week. The amount to feed will also vary depending on how much stock you have in the tank.
For a regularly stocked shrimp tank, I feed them about a pinch of commercial shrimp food. I offer my shrimps Sinking Pellets from Aquatic Arts.
Here’s what my shrimp feeding timetable looks like:
|Sinking Pellets||Sinking Pellets||Sinking Pellets||Blanched Vegetable|
What To Feed Cherry Shrimps?
Cherry shrimps mainly live on 3 types of foods:
- Algae & Biofilm
- Commercial Shrimp Food
- Blanched Vegetables
Let’s talk more about each of these foods:
Algae & Biofilm
Algae and biofilm is the primary source of food for cherry shrimps when they are in an aquarium. Fortunately, we don’t have to provide these to the shrimps. Every aquarium grows algae and biofilm naturally.
We all know what algae are. Algae is the green stuff that grows off plants, driftwoods, and glasses of the aquarium. Biofilm is not that much visible. It is the slimy stuff that you can feel when touching the interior side of the aquarium’s glass, or a piece of driftwood, etc.
Shrimps love to graze on these. In fact, most of the time, cherry shrimps will move to and fro and graze on algae and biofilm. So, a healthy shrimp tank should have some algae and biofilm.
Remember, algae can be of different types. Shrimps only love the ones that are soft. There are some algae that are stringy and hard, like hair or thread algae. Also, green spot algae is also a hard one. Cherry shrimps don’t eat these types of algae.
So, if your aquarium has hair algae, don’t expect your cherry shrimps to clean them up.
When scraping the aquarium glass, leave one or two sides unscraped. This will allow the glasses to have enough biofilm for the cherry shrimps.
Commercial Shrimp Food
Cherry shrimps can live on the algae and biofilm, especially if yours is a heavily planted tank. However, they won’t grow properly the way they should. In order to ensure all the necessary nutrients and minerals in your shrimp’s diet, you’ll have to feed them a reliable commercial shrimp food.
Many people feed their shrimps fish flakes or fish pellets. Personally, I don’t recommend this. Shrimp needs a very special type of nutrients that you can get from only a reliable shrimp food. So, don’t buy cheap fish flakes for your shrimps.
A good shrimp food can cost a bit of money. However, if you have a normally stocked tank, a pot of food will last you months, or even years. So, try to invest in a good quality shrimp food. Don’t cheap out on this.
For my cherry shrimps, I feed them Sinking Pellets from Aquatic Arts. Aquatic Arts is a renowned brand in the fish keeping world. Their products are very reliable and appreciated.
If you search on Amazon, you’ll find hundreds of shrimp foods available. However, hardly any other received as much 5-star review like this one. Seeing this kind of positive feedback, I decided to try out this food.
Just after placing the food inside the food bowl, my shrimps came to it like crazy. They absolutely loved the food. Also, since I’ve been feeding Aquatic Art’s sinking pellets to my shrimps, they grew much larger, healthier and more colorful.
This is because Aquatic Art’s sinking pellets contain the following ingredients in their food:
- Spirulina algae
- vegetable matter
- 35% protein
- copper sulfate (only in trace amount)
All these ingredients are extremely important for the growth of cherry shrimps. For example, a tiny amount of copper sulfate is crucial for shrimps as it helps to produce blood cells in invertebrates.
The food comes in an 8 oz pot. So, if you are having 10-15 shrimps, this pot will easily last a year.
I think by now, you get how much happy I am with this shrimp food. I’ll absolutely recommend it to any shrimp keeper.
Click here to check out the latest price on Amazon.
You can offer blanched vegetables to your shrimp more as a treat. I do this once a week. Shrimps love this change in their diet very much.
Some good vegetables for cherry shrimps will be:
- Carrots etc.
I don’t feed the same vegetable every week. I try to rotate the vegetables and mix up the diet as much as I can.
How To Prepare Blanched Vegetable For Shrimps?
- First, take a piece of vegetable. Don’t take too big of a piece. Think how much your shrimps can eat in a 3-4 hour time frame. After that time, you’ll have to take out the uneaten vegetable piece and throw it out.
- Take a pot of rapidly boiling water. Put the vegetable piece in the water. Boil the vegetable until it is fairly soft. For hard vegetables like carrot and zucchini, you may need to boil a bit longer. On the other hand, leafy vegetables will be ready in 2-3 minutes.
- After the vegetable is boiled, take it out and place it under running water. Once the piece is cooled down, put it on the food bow. Now check out how crazy your cherry shrimps get over that vegetable piece.
Some other great additions to your cherry shrimp tank can be:
Cholla Wood & Catappa Leaves
Both these are an awesome food source for cherry shrimps. In fact, they work as long-time food storages. So, if you are planning to go on a vacation, just leave a couple of catappa leaves in your shrimp tank. Your shrimps will do just fine.
So, how can these work as a food source for shrimps?
As time goes by, bacteria starts to grow and break the cholla wood as well as the catappa leaves. Shrimps love to feed on these bacteria. So, they can enjoy a long term food storage in the tank.
For a moderately stocked shrimp tank, a single catappa leave can last for even a month.
Though these two will cost some extra bucks, they are really essential for a shrimp tank.
What Happens If You Overfeed?
Overfeeding is dangerous for cherry shrimps. It can lead to many disastrous problems, such as:
- Overfeeding will deteriorate the water quality. For cherry shrimps, crystal clear water quality is extremely important.
- If you are overfeeding constantly, soon more and more bacteria will start to grow. It will cause various problems including diseases in shrimps.
- In wors case, the shrimp can even die due to overfeeding.
Good Practices When Feeding Shrimp
Here are some good practices when feeding cherry shrimps:
- Put the food on a bowl. It will help to keep the water fresh and clean for a longer time. Also, this way, the food won’t get scattered all over the tank. So, you can check out almost all of the shrimps when they come out of the hiding place to eat. This will allow you to check if every shrimp is healthy or not.
- If there is any uneaten food in the tank, take it out immediately. After feeding your shrimp anything, wait for 3-4 hours. After that time, if any food is left on the bowl, take it out and throw it away.
- It is a good practice to skip feeding your cherry shrimps once a week. This ensures the shrimps are not overfed.
I hope by now, you have a clear idea of when to feed cherry shrimps and what to feed them. Diet is extremely important for your cherry shrimps. Don’t mess it up.