What Do Ghost Shrimp Eat:? A Quick Guide

Are you curious about what ghost shrimp eat? These fascinating freshwater creatures are not only easy to care for but also play a vital role in your aquarium ecosystem by keeping it clean and helping maintain its balance.

Ghost shrimp are omnivores, which means they eat both plant and animal matter. 

In the wild, they feed on algae, detritus, and small aquatic organisms like worms and insect larvae. 

In captivity, they can be fed a variety of foods including algae wafers, pellets, flakes, and frozen or live foods like brine shrimp, daphnia, and bloodworms.

In this article, we will explore the dietary needs of ghost shrimp, including what to feed and what not to feed to your ghost shrimp.

What Do Ghost Shrimp Eat?

What ghost shrimp eats

Ghost shrimp are fascinating little creatures that can be a great addition to your aquarium. 

As omnivores, these shrimp have a diverse diet that keeps them healthy and happy. 

Let’s explore the various types of food ghost shrimp enjoy!


Algae form a significant part of the ghost shrimp diet. 

These tiny crustaceans love munching on algae found on the substrate and aquarium surfaces. You can often spot ghost shrimp searching for algae around your tank. 

Healthy algae growth creates a natural food source, keeping ghost shrimp satisfied and contributing to tank cleanliness.

Plant Materials

Ghost shrimp also enjoy feasting on aquatic plants in your tank. 

Some popular plants that serve both as decorative elements and tasty snacks include Java Moss, Java Fern, red root floaters, water wisteria, and pearl weed. 

Including these plants in your aquarium will provide ghost shrimp with extra options for munching alongside algae.

Smaller Organisms

These shrimp can’t resist small organisms like brine shrimp, daphnia, and insects that happen to share their tank. 

Ghost shrimp are happy to feed on any critters smaller than themselves. This makes them efficient hunters and adds a sense of excitement to your aquatic environment.

Commercial Foods

To ensure a well-rounded diet, provide your ghost shrimp with flake foods, shrimp pellets, and even frozen foods. 

Varying their food sources will ensure they get all the nutrients they need. You can even try offering boiled vegetables and fruit to spice up their diet.


Detritus is organic matter that accumulates at the bottom of aquariums and can be harmful to the health of aquatic organisms if not properly managed.

Ghost shrimp are known for their ability to consume detritus, making them an excellent choice for aquarium cleaning and maintenance. 

They have a keen affinity for uneaten food, dead plant material, and other debris, which they consume to keep the tank clean.

By consuming detritus, ghost shrimp play an important role in the ecosystem of the aquarium, helping to maintain a healthy balance of nutrients and reducing the risk of harmful bacteria growth. 

What Foods Ghost Shrimp Can’t Eat?

While ghost shrimp are natural scavengers and can consume a variety of foods, there are certain items they should avoid. 

Feeding these shrimp the wrong types of food can lead to health issues or even death.

Foods ghost shrimp shouldn’t eat include:

  • Copper: Keep an eye out for foods containing copper, as it is toxic to shrimp. Be cautious when using fish food that contains trace elements of copper.
  • High-fat foods: Avoid feeding your ghost shrimp foods high in fat, as they can’t properly digest them. This includes processed foods, such as chips or cookies meant for humans.

Remember to provide a balanced diet for your ghost shrimp, consisting mainly of algae, pellets, and live foods. This will ensure their continued health and happiness in your aquarium.

How Much Food Do Ghost Shrimp Need?

how much food do ghost shrimp need

Feeding your ghost shrimp properly is essential to keep them healthy and thriving and you might wonder how much food they actually need. 

A group of four ghost shrimps can eat one algae wafer every other day. This ensures your shrimp get enough nutrients and avoid overfeeding.

However, it’s important to pay attention to the algae levels in your tank. More algae in the tank mean you can feed ghost shrimp less food. 

You also have the option to substitute algae wafers with other types of food such as:

  • Lettuce
  • Cucumber
  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Sweet potato

Feeding your ghost shrimp a balanced diet consisting of various foods promotes their overall health. 

By monitoring their diet and adjusting it as needed, you’ll have happy, well-fed ghost shrimp.

How Often You Should Feed Your Ghost Shrimp?

How often you’ll feed your ghost shrimp depends on the amount of algae in your tank.

If there’s a lot of algae in the tank, you can feed less food to ghost shrimp. 

In an average tank with four ghost shrimp, you’ll need to feed them 1 algae wafer every other day.

You can experiment by substituting algae wafers with other foods like fish flakes, vegetables, and worms. 

Remember, overfeeding may lead to poor water quality, so be cautious. 

FAQs About What Ghost Shrimp Eat

Do I Need to Feed My Ghost Shrimp?

Yes, you need to feed your ghost shrimp to ensure their well-being. Ghost shrimp are omnivores and can eat different types of food. 

They usually consume fish, snails, molt, fries, weeds, insect larvae, fish poop, and plant matter based on their habitat. You could also provide them with algae wafers for an easy source of nutrition.

Can You Feed Ghost Shrimp Carrots?

Yes, you can feed ghost shrimp carrots, and other boiled vegetables. Ghost shrimp love to eat various foods like plankton, algae, and detritus.

Boiled vegetables can also be a part of their diet, but it is important to provide them with a balanced diet containing other essential nutrients as well.

How Long Can Ghost Shrimp Go Without Food?

While it’s best to feed your ghost shrimp regularly, they can survive without food for a short period of time. Ghost shrimp are known to feed on algae and small particles in the water, so they might find food sources in their tank environment.

However, it is not recommended to leave them without food for an extended period, as it may affect their health negatively. Regularly feeding your ghost shrimp ensures they get adequate nutrition.