Are you thinking about purchasing some shrimp for your fish tank? Are you hoping they’ll help clean up? Cleaning an aquarium can be a lot of work. It would be nice to have little critters that can reach the poop you might miss.
But that begs the question, do shrimp eat fish poop? Despite what many people think, shrimp don’t eat fish poop. Let’s find out why.
Do Shrimp Eat Fish Poop?
Shrimp are amazing cleaners and make great additions to any tank. But, they will not eat fish poop. We know this is probably disappointing. It’d be really helpful if they did eat poop, but there’s no benefit to them doing so.
Why Don’t Shrimp Eat Fish Poop?
Shrimp are bottom-feeding scavengers. They will eat just about anything they can get their claws on. This is why many people mistakenly think that shrimp will eat poop when they don’t.
But, why don’t they eat poop?
The simple answer is that it doesn’t contain enough nutrition. Shrimp are the “clean-up crew” of the aquarium, but they’re still animals. They need the proper nutrients like any other animal in the aquarium.
Fish poop is devoid of most of the nutrients that shrimp need, so they have no reason to eat it.
The only time that a shrimp may begin eating fish poop is if there is no other food source and they are starving.
You Need To Clean Your Tank!
It’s important to remember that you need to clean your tank regardless of how many shrimp you keep.
This is even more important now that you know shrimp don’t eat poop. Leaving poop in the aquarium will cause ammonia and nitrates to build up in your aquarium.
Too many people buy shrimp, assuming that they eat poop. They think that if they buy enough shrimp, they will do all the cleaning for them, and they won’t have to clean. This is detrimental to both your shrimp and your fish.
If you want to have a fish tank, you need to prepare to put in the work for it. This includes cleaning it on a regular basis. Ideally, you should clean your aquarium every 1-2 weeks. The smaller your tank, the more often you’ll need to clean it. You should also use a good gravel vacuum to remove the poop that your shrimp won’t eat.
What Do Shrimp Eat?
Although shrimp won’t eat shrimp poop, they’re still wonderful tank cleaners. Shrimp will help take care of algae — the bane of any aquarium keeper’s existence. They will eat decaying plant matter and uneaten food that your fish left behind. Some may even eat parasites and worms living in your tank.
It’s also important to note that shrimp will eat dead shrimp and fish. You should avoid letting them do this for a couple of reasons.
The first reason is that feeding will take a long time unless you have a lot of shrimp. You want to get the dead animal out of the tank as soon as possible. If you don’t, it can cause a toxic ammonia spike.
The other reason is that it can be bad for your shrimp. If another animal has died, it may be because that animal was sick. If that’s the case, your shrimp could catch the sickness by feasting on their dead body. You want to remove any dead animals as soon as you can to prevent the spread of disease.
Do You Need To Feed Your Shrimp?
Unless your tank is very dirty, you’ll still need to feed your shrimp. This is especially important if you have many shrimp in the tank because they’ll compete for food. Some shrimp species may even attack each other, or the other animals in the tank if there isn’t enough food to go around.
So, what should you feed them?
The best thing to feed your shrimp is a nice bottom-feeder pellet or shrimp pellets. These are designed specifically to contain the nutrients your shrimp need.
Despite what many people think, shrimp don’t eat fish poop. The simple reason is that it doesn’t contain many nutrients, so there’s no advantage to eating it.
Shrimp can still be really helpful with keeping the tank clean, though. They’ll clean decaying plant matter, leftover food, and algae.