Cherry shrimp are small sized carnivores that originate from eastern China and northern Taiwan. They rely on both plants and animals for their survival. Interestingly they act as the cleanup crew. They clean the water because they mostly eat the substances that pollute the water like algae and uneaten or wasted fish food.
Things That Cherry Shrimps Eat
Cherry shrimps eat a lot of things present in the water. It is a general saying that cherry shrimps eat all the things that do not eat them first. Some of the most common things that cherry shrimps consume are algae, uneaten fish food, dead plant matter, blanched vegetables and plankton. Let’s have a brief overview of them:
Presence of algae in excessive amounts can be harmful to both human beings and aquatic creatures. There are several methods people use to reduce or remove the algae from the ponds and rivers to make the eater clean and clear and healthy for the aquatic creatures that live inside. Interestingly, algae is one of the favourite foods of the cherry shrimps. The cherry shrimp eats the algae and eventually removes it from the water making the water clean. So, the cherry shrimps are known to be the shrimps that cleans the water wherever they live. Cherry shrimps eat all kinds of the algae whether they exist in the form of strings or hair or in matted form.
Leftover or Uneaten Fish Food
The cherry shrimps also eat the uneaten or leftover fish food that settles down in the water. The uneaten fish food not only creates pollution in the water but it also increases the amount of ammonia and nitrate levels in the water making the environment very unhealthy and stressful for the fish. Moreover, when the fish food is stuck at the bottom in the substrate, it releases toxic gases that move upwards eventually and can sometimes become even life threatening for the fish.
Dead Plant Matter
Cherry shrimps also consume dead plant matter and dead plants also make aquatic animals and fish sick. Moreover, it is very difficult to take every matter of the dead plant out of the water to make the environment cleaner for the fish and animals. This also yet another benefit of the presence of the cherry shrimp is that it not only removes the algae by eating it, but it also eats the dead plant’s leftover substances.
Cherry shrimps also eat blanched vegetables. To feed the cherry shrimps in any pond or a river, you can throw some boiled vegetables in it. The blanched vegetables that the cherry shrimps like the most include boiled carrots, spinach, lettuce and zucchini. Blanched vegetables are calcium and vitamin rich food for the cherry shrimps.
Cherry shrimp also likes to eat plankton present in the water. Planktons are basically a diverse collection of different organisms present in the water. Not only cherry shrimp but also many other aquatic creatures like to eat planktons like fish and whales. Some people purchase and throw planktons themselves in the ponds and rivers to feed the cherry shrimps.
What Eats Cherry Shrimp?
As cherry shrimps prey on different plants and small living things, there are also some fish and animals that prey on cherry shrimps. Angel fish, rainbow fish and cichlids are more likely to eat the cherry shrimps.
The Bottom Line
Cherry shrimps being carnivores eat a variety of different kinds of plants and small animals that exist in the water. Majority of the things that cherry shrimp prey on results in a clean and healthy water environment for the other aquatic creatures because they eat the substances that pollute the water. The most common food for the cherry shrimps is algae, uneaten or leftover fish food, blanched vegetables, dead plant matter and plankton.