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What Do Ghost Shrimp Eat? Diet, Best Types Food and How To Feed

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Ghost shrimp are some of nature’s most interesting freshwater crustaceans.

But what do ghost shrimp eat?

Specific diets are sure to keep your pet ghost shrimp healthy and happy.

Ghost shrimp are a unique little pet that makes a terrific addition to a thriving aquarium.

They are small, transparent shrimp that shimmer like glass.

Feeding ghost shrimp and maintaining their health is quite simple.

Ghost shrimp can subsist off so many different things that you can find yourself keeping them around for months and even over a year.

What Do Ghost Shrimp Eat?

Ghost Shrimp are omnivores. They will eat anything small enough for them to break apart and chew.

Ghost shrimp are natural scavengers. They do a phenomenal job removing algae, detritus, and bits of food from the bottom of their habitat.

You can feed them algae pellets and other forms of fish food too.

In addition to feasting on decaying materials, they will feed on live bait if it is small enough. Typically, younger ghost shrimp are unable to hunt live bait.

What Kinds of Foods Do Ghost Shrimp Eat Naturally?

In the wild, ghost shrimp eat algae, dead plant bits, and tiny insect larvae.

They are also predatory towards smaller species of crustaceans and fish.

Groups of ghost shrimp will also gnaw away at living plants and vegetation.

Ghost shrimp will also eat fish eggs in the wild.

Types of Ghost Shrimp Food

Ghost shrimp eat food that is high in protein.

Their omnivore diet allows them to switch back and forth between food sources surprisingly easily.

Fish Food (Fish Flakes and Pellets)

You can find algae wafers at most pet stores online and in person.

Use powdered algae for feeding shrimp larvae.

The granules of algae are small and fine enough for these tiny shrimp to eat.

Store-bought algae for ghost shrimps is inexpensive and helps in the long run.

Store-bought pet food is high in essential nutrients.

Brands like Aqueon include blends of different ingredients like spirulina, fly larvae, and vegetable powders.

Pet food products can arrive in various shapes, like flakes or pellets.

There are many brands with different recipes.

Some even help harden the shells of ghost shrimp.

Homemade Food

Making your own ghost shrimp food works well for those who prefer to know what you’re feeding them.

You can use any of the vegetables we mention below and powdered algae to provide a good balance.

The easiest method involves blending your food choices and fan-baking them until dry.

Once dry, you should have a powdery pellet-like consistency to work with.

Make sure you research the ghost shrimp diet before making homemade food.

Your shrimp must get all the nutrients and vitamins they need.

Frozen Food

Most ghost shrimp food items are dried or contain preservatives.

Not many options are available for frozen shrimp food.

If you choose to make your own homemade food, you can freeze them, so it lasts longer.

Live Food

Ghost shrimp are less than an inch long.

They are some of the smallest pets you can have.

Despite this, they can feed on smaller insects, snails, worms, brine shrimp, and crustaceans.

Set aside live prey like cherry shrimp for adult ghost shrimp.

If you are not careful, they can even catch your baby fish.

Can a Ghost Shrimp Eat Human Food?

Ghost shrimp can survive off of many store-bought foods.

Vegetables and meat items both suffice.

Remember only to feed your ghost shrimp as much as they need.

Clean it out if they are not finishing all of their food in time.

What Kinds of Human Food Can a Ghost Shrimp?

Surprisingly, ghost shrimp can survive on certain human foods.

They have incredibly adaptable biology that lets them eat this way.


Spinach is high in protein.

It is also chewable and groundable, making it perfect for the mandibles of the ghost shrimp.

Ghost shrimp eat plant foods similar to spinach in the wild.

Spinach is also good for giving ghost shrimp the calcium they need.


Zucchini is a popular food item for ghost shrimp.

You should mash the zucchini into small pieces so that the shrimp can pick at it.

Zucchini is soft, and ghost shrimp can tear at it easily.


Ghost shrimp love eating fungus.

Wild ghost shrimp and pet ghost shrimp will eat mushrooms if offered.

They will eat flakes of dry mushroom or whole, fresh mushroom stems.

Fatty Foods

Shrimps love fatty foods.

Their bodies can balance the seemingly higher levels of fat found in some processed meat, poultry, and fish.

Cooked fish and shrimp make snacks for ghost shrimp, but they should not be overfed meat.

What is the Best Type of Food for Ghost Shrimp?

Overall, the best type of food for ghost shrimp is algae.

Whether naturally growing or bought in pellets, algae is tasty and nutritious for your pet ghost shrimp.

It is excellent for young and adult shrimp, and its malleability makes it something the shrimp can easily eat.

How To Feed A Ghost Shrimp

You feed ghost shrimp by placing food items into the tank.

You can do this with your hands or a net.

These foods will begin to sink to the bottom of the tank.

Ghost shrimp will spend most of their time around the bottom of their habitat.

How Often Do You Feed a Ghost Shrimp?

Each ghost shrimp needs about four hours to finish its food.

If they are leaving food behind, feed them less.

A group of four or more ghost shrimp should have an algae wafer every other day.

How Long Can Ghost Shrimp Go Without Eating?

Ghost shrimp that have not eaten for seven days or longer will starve and die.

It is hard to underfeed ghost shrimp, but always remember to record when you feed them.  

Can You Overfeed a Ghost Shrimp?

Yes, it is possible to overfeed a ghost shrimp.

You do not need to feed smaller groups of ghost shrimp daily.

If you only have one ghost shrimp, you should feed it less than a wafer.

Likewise, ghost shrimp will naturally feed on decaying materials in the tank.

Help, My Ghost Shrimp Isn’t Eating

Sometimes, shrimp can become unwilling to eat or move around.

This behavior is a sign that something is wrong with your shrimp.

Ghost shrimp might stop eating if you buy too many at once or enclose them too tightly together.

They can also get sick because of a high presence of nitrates in the tank.

Reasons Why a Ghost Shrimp Isn’t Eating

Ammonia concentrations in your tank may be too high.

If there is too much ammonia in the tank, this can poison the shrimp or make them lethargic.

Likewise, you may be overfeeding the shrimp.

Shrimps that eat too often or in overcrowded tanks will stop eating and die.

What to Do If a Ghost Shrimp Isn’t Eating

If your tank is too dirty, clean it after separating the ghost shrimp into another habitat.

Make sure to test the new water in the new, clean habitat.

You can also reintroduce the ghost shrimp to new diets.

Feeding them zucchini, peas, or algae wafers should liven them back up.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions about feeding ghost shrimp.

Do Ghost Shrimp Eat Fish Poop?

Ghost shrimp will likely not eat fish poop. If they eat fish poop, they will probably remove it from their mouths.

Feces is unlike other material at the bottom of the tank because it no longer has nutrients that the ghost shrimp can survive healthily on. You should remove fish poop when it becomes an issue.

Do Ghost Shrimp Eat Moss Balls?

Ghost shrimp will occasionally pick and tear at moss balls.

Fortunately, they are less than an inch in length, so they will be unable to ruin or damage the moss ball.

Moss balls are instrumental for your ghost shrimp health, as they use moss balls to eat food off of and rest under.

Wrapping Up

Ghost shrimp are excellent pets with a knack for cleaning up their environment.

They feed off of things that grow in your fish tank.

They also clean up the meals of larger pets.

That said, ghost shrimps often find themselves the prey of larger fish, so remember to balance their habitat wisely.

Betta fish and goldfish will eat and pick at your ghost shrimp.

Ghost shrimp are a fantastic organism that you can look more into by clicking here.

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