Do Shrimp Eat Poop?

You may come across every weird aspect of fish keeping and when you get a shrimp in the tank, your questions certainly increase. What do shrimp eat? What do these shrimps prefer in the tank? Do shrimp eat poop?

Few shrimps might feed on poop, but most of them don’t. Even when some do, those shrimps will be getting no nutrients from the poop. So, it will come down to you to clean the tank as well as provide the proper diet to your shrimps.

Here are details you need to know whether shrimps eat poop or not. And if they do, why do shrimps eat poop?

Do Shrimp Eat Poop?

Here is when it gets tricky and with no evidence to prove either way. Some believe they saw their shrimp eat poop whereas few aquarists believe in contradiction.

Generally speaking, your shrimp won’t eat poop even when they are starving. They might put it in their mouth but will spit it out immediately after knowing it is not food.

Even if these shrimps eat poop, they will be getting no nutrients out of it and you have to provide the proper diet.

These shrimps are opportunistic omnivores and will eat anything that lies on the bed of the tank. So, if you see them nibbling feces it is probably because of their scavenging nature.

So, as far as it is known, most of the shrimps do not eat poop but there are few exceptions. These exceptions might also be an illusion but there is high talk about them that we can’t let it pass.

What Kind Of Shrimps Might Eat Poop?

There are, basically, two types of shrimp that are known for eating poop. Most of these shrimps tend to ignore poop and even when swallowed unknowingly, they will spit it out.

And these two listed below may eat it but will not get any nutrients from it. Although they are not likely to feed on poop, many people keep on saying they have seen their shrimp feeding on the poop.

Ghost Shrimp

Although there is no exact evidence, few aquarists believe these shrimps eat poop. They even believe that 20 to 30 ghost shrimp can act as a tank cleaner in terms of poop.

Amano Shrimp

Amano Shrimp are quite talked about when it comes to clearing the large quantities of food or even poop.

They do eat poop present in the tank but leave their own without even touching it.

Why Would Shrimp Eat Poop?

Most of the time, your shrimp will scavenger on the bottom of the tank and eat anything that can fit in their mouth.

They go from dead fish to dead plants, decaying food to even poop. These shrimps, however, spit out the poop as soon as they know it isn’t food.

They do eat poop sometimes when they are underfed. Shrimp will eat anything they find to survive and save themselves from starving.

These shrimps may nibble the feces when they are hungry but won’t swallow it. They will immediately stay away from any fecal matter present in the tank.

Will Poop-Eating Clean Your Tank?

Well, if you have a living being as the cleaner, then sorry to say, you’ll never have a poop-free tank. Even if they eat all the poop present in the tank (which they won’t), what will happen when they poop.

So, poop-eating is never a solution to cleaning your tank problem. You need to find other ways to do that.

Are There Any Other Fish That Eat Poop?

Yes, there are few fish that are known as the poop-eaters of the tank. Pleco and Corydoras feed on poop present in the tank.

But can you rely on them to clean all the poop from the tank? No, Of course not, it is common sense, as a fish that eats poop will definitely excrete too.

It is a never-ending cycle, so it is never good to rely on any fish to clean the tank for you. The fish excretion is the main reason for ammonia production, so it is necessary to remove it as soon as possible.

How Can You Clean Poop From The Tank?

It is a quite simple thing you need to remember and do. You need to do it yourself and can’t go searching for fish to do your job.

You can scoop it out from the tank once a week or have a filter with sponges to clean it. Keep cleaning the pre-filter sponges so that they can do their work properly.

You can go old school here and use the appropriate old’ siphons. Make sure there is no waste present in the tank as fish excretion is a major factor for toxicity.

Shrimp Diet: An Overview

In the wild, you can see shrimp feeding on algae, bacteria, decaying plants, dead fish, dead shrimp, and other microorganisms.

They are scavengers and find food on the bottom of the tank. These shrimps can go without food for several days in the wild, and they are the same in the home aquarium.

You can feed them 3 to 4 times a week and they will survive well. Feed them what they can eat within 20 minutes.

Likewise, you need to remember to not overfeed them. They will keep on eating all the food given without knowing when to stop.

What Do Shrimp Prefer In Its Diet?

Shrimp ask for variety in their food and it is good to provide them food with different nutrient value. You need to look for food that doesn’t break down easily in water whilst the shrimp can easily feed on them.

A large amount of protein is a big no for these Shrimps. While feeding your shrimps, you need to feed them food with 35-40% protein.

Here are a few of the things your shrimp prefer in its diet:


If you have algae in your tank, then that’s all these shrimps will need. You can rest and watch your shrimp nipping microalgae or biofilm from the tank ornaments.

Fish Pellet

The uneaten pellet lying in the bottom of the tank will easily catch the eye of these shrimp. These shrimps will feed on these remaining foods with no complaints most of the time.


They will happily feed on vegetables you provide them as long as they are boiled and well-rinsed for 2 minutes.

You can go from spinach to zucchini and even cucumber. Vegetables free from harmful chemicals do wonders for shrimp.

You can even go for Indian Almond leaves; you can put them in the tank for one or two months. These shrimps will completely break them down and devour them.


Anything that can feed in their mouth is easily eaten by these shrimps. Eggs and larvae that are lying on the bottom of the tank will, no doubt, be food for these scavengers.

Dead Plants

These shrimps are also known for feeding on the dead plants in the form of detritus. And when they are underfed, they nibble the live plants as well.

Dead Fish

So, this is a buffet right in the tank for the shrimp. Shrimp devour dead fish leaving only their bone to decay on the bottom of the tank.

You will need to probably vacuum the tank to remove all the remains of the dead fish.

Manufactured Foods

You can go from processed food that is specially manufactured for your shrimp. There are lots of them you can choose from.

Expense and quality might come off as an issue here but the way these foods work for your shrimp is wonderful.

A few of the best foods you can get are sera catfish chips, bacter AE, Hikari Shrimp cuisine, etc. Hikari shrimp is, although, expensive, these are great for your shrimp.

How Often Do Shrimp Eat?

Shrimp is known for its capacity to go for days without food but that doesn’t mean you can neglect their feeding time.

They eat very less and depend on you when it comes to feeding them. few aquarists believe feeding them twice or thrice a week will suffice whereas some feed them 5 to 6 times a week.

So, as it is said, you know your shrimp better, feed them as your preference, but remember to at least feed them twice or thrice a week with a variety of food.

Once a week, keep spinach leaves that can last for whole 24 hours in the tank. Your shrimp will slowly nip it off and feed on it, however, you need to remove the uneaten leaves the next day.

Also, you only need to keep them food what they eat within 20 to 30 minutes. They are slow-eaters and will keep on eating with no idea when to stop.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Fish Poop Good For Aquarium Plants?

Yes, fish poop is high in nitrogen that is one of the essential nutrients that plant root absorbs.

Do Live Plants Help Keep An Aquarium Clean?

Yes, they do. These live plants take up all the ammonia present in the tank and consume it giving back clean water for the fish.


In conclusion, your shrimp will only feed on poop if it is underfed. Make sure you feed them well so that they don’t go for the waste present in the tank. Even there is a lot of argument about shrimp feeding on poop, you, the owner, can’t keep them as tank cleaners.

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