Do Cherry Shrimp Eat Algae Effectively: The Shocking Truth!

Red Cherry shrimp (Neocaridina heteropoda), known for their vibrant red coloration, are famous inhabitants of freshwater aquariums. But Do cherry shrimp eat algae Successfully?

They are wondering if cherry shrimp are effective at eating algae. Dive into this detailed article to uncover the truth about their algae-eating abilities, preferences, and role in maintaining a balanced aquarium ecosystem.

Beyond their aesthetic appeal, these tiny crustaceans offer a unique benefit to aquarium enthusiasts: they are natural algae eaters.

Red Cherry Shrimp with Eggs

This comprehensive article will explore the intriguing world of cherry shrimp and their ability to consume algae. Are they effectively controlling various types of algae in the tank, or is their reputation overstated?

Let’s uncover the shocking truth about cherry shrimp and their algae-eating habits. 

Do Cherry Shrimp Eat Algae Effectively?

Do red cherry shrimp eat algae efficiently? Yes, cherry shrimp do eat algae effectively. They are omnivores and will consume various foods, including algae, biofilm, and decaying plant matter. They especially love soft green algae but will also eat brown algae and diatoms.

Cherry shrimp are less effective at eating hair algae than other algae-eating shrimp, such as Amano shrimp. However, they can still help to control hair algae if there is not too much of it.

How Long Do Cherry Shrimp Live

It is essential to provide them with a planted tank. To keep cherry shrimp healthy and help them eat algae effectively, Plants will help to keep the water quality good and give the shrimp hiding places. You might also supplement their diet with algae wafers or other foods.

If you have a problem with algae in your aquarium, cherry shrimp can be a helpful addition. They are not a cure-all, but help keep your tank clean and free of unsightly growth.

The Algae-Eating Champions

Algae: The Unwanted Guest in Your Tank

Algae, a diverse group of photosynthetic organisms, is a common occurrence in aquariums. While some algae can be beneficial in controlled amounts, excessive growth can lead to an unbalanced and unsightly tank. Various factors contribute to algae proliferation, including light, nutrient levels, and water conditions. This is where the algae-eating abilities of dwarf shrimp come into play.

Cherry Shrimp: Nature’s Clean-Up Crew

Cherry shrimp have gained a reputation as nature’s clean-up crew due to their voracious appetite for algae. Their small size and constant grazing behavior make them excellent candidates for maintaining a balanced aquarium ecosystem. But how effective are they, and what types of algae do they consume?

The Variety of Algae Consumed

– Hair Algae: A Common Foe

Hair algae’s long and thread-like appearance is a nuisance for many aquarium owners. The good news is that cherry shrimp are known to be influential consumers of hair algae. Their meticulous grazing habits help keep this pesky algae in check, creating a cleaner and healthier cherry shrimp tank environment.

– Green Algae and Beyond

Cherry shrimp aren’t picky eaters when it comes to algae. They readily consume various types of green algae, including green spot algae and soft green algae. This diversity in their diet showcases their versatility as algae eaters.

– Brown Algae: A Not-So-Favorite Treat

While cherry shrimp are excellent at controlling some types of algae, brown algae (diatoms) might not be their favorite treat. Diatoms often appear as brown patches on tank surfaces, and cherry shrimp might not consume them as eagerly as other algae.

The Cherry Shrimp Diet: More than Just Algae

– Supplementing Their Diet

In addition to algae, cherry shrimp also benefit from other sources of nutrition. They are scavengers that feed on biofilm, residue, and decaying plant matter. Providing a balanced diet ensures their overall well-being and longevity.

– Algae Wafers and Fish Flakes

To support the health of your cherry shrimp, consider offering specialized algae wafers or fish flakes formulated for shrimp. These supplements can provide essential nutrients that might not be in the tank’s algae alone.

The Cherry Shrimp’s Preferences

– A Taste for Biofilm

Cherry shrimp have a strong affinity for biofilm—a thin layer of microorganisms on surfaces. This biofilm contains bacteria, algae, and other organic matter, making it a nutritious and sought-after food source for these shrimp.

– The Attraction to Soft Algae

Soft algae, such as green spot algae and soft green algae, appeal to cherry shrimp. Their relatively delicate structure makes them easy for shrimp to graze on, contributing to their role as effective algae eaters.

Cherry Shrimp in Action: Maintaining Your Tank’s Balance

– A Delightful Sight: Cherry Shrimp Grazing

Observing cherry shrimp grazing on algae-covered surfaces is entertaining and reassuring. Their constant activity helps prevent algae overgrowth and contributes to a healthier aquatic environment.

– Contributing to a Planted Tank’s Success

Cherry shrimp can play a vital role in planted aquariums. Controlling algae growth creates a more favorable environment for aquatic plants to thrive. As a result, your planted tank can achieve a balanced and visually appealing appearance.

Amano Shrimp vs Ghost Shrimp: Which Is Better?

Amano shrimp and ghost shrimp are famous freshwater shrimp often kept in aquariums. They are both relatively easy to care for and make good additions to a community tank.

However, some critical differences between the two species may make one a better choice for you than the other.


Amano shrimp are larger and more colorful than ghost shrimp. They might grow up to 2 inches long and have a translucent body with brown, green, or red markings. Ghost shrimp are much smaller, only growing up to 1.5 inches long. They are also more transparent, with only faint markings on their bodies.


Amano shrimp are primarily algae eaters, but they will also eat some plant matter and fish food. Ghost shrimp are more omnivorous and will eat various foods, including algae, fish food, and even dead fish.


Amano shrimp are more hardy than ghost shrimp. They can bear a broader range of water conditions and are less sensitive to environmental changes.


Amano and ghost shrimp are peaceful and make good tankmates for most fish. However, Amano shrimp are more significant and may be more aggressive towards smaller shrimp.


Amano shrimp are typically more expensive than ghost shrimp.

Which is better?

The best shrimp for you will depend on your individual needs and preferences. If you are looking for a more giant, colorful shrimp that is a good algae eater, then Amano shrimp is a good choice. If you are looking for a smaller, more affordable shrimp less sensitive to water conditions, then ghost shrimp is a good choice.

Here is a table summarizing the key differences between Amano shrimp and ghost shrimp:

FeatureAmano ShrimpGhost Shrimp
SizeUp to 2 inchesUp to 1.5 inches
ColorTranslucent with brown, green, or red markingsTransparent with faint markings
DietPrimarily algae eaters, but will also eat some plant matter and fish foodOmnivorous, will eat a variety of foods, including algae, fish food, and even dead fish
HardinessMore hardyLess hardy
TankmatesGood with most fishGood with most fish, but may be more aggressive towards smaller shrimp
CostMore expensiveLess expensive

Ultimately, the best way to decide which shrimp is right for you is to research and choose the species you think would be the best fit for your aquarium.

What Type Of Algae Do Cherry Shrimp Eat?

Cherry shrimp (Neocaridina davidi), a popular freshwater aquarium species, are known to have an omnivorous diet. They consume various types of algae and other organic matter in the tank. Some of the types of algae that cherry shrimp will eat include:

  1. Green Algae: Cherry shrimp are known to graze on soft green algae that might grow on surfaces in the aquarium. This could be in the form of thin, soft algae coatings.
  2. Hair Algae: Cherry shrimp can effectively manage hair algae problems in the tank. Hair algae are long, thread-like algae that can sometimes overgrow and become a nuisance. Cherry shrimp will eat hair algae as part of their diet.
  3. Brown Algae: While cherry shrimp primarily feed on plant matter, they might also consume brown algae if it’s present in the tank. Brown algae often appear as a thin film on surfaces and decorations.
  4. Black Beard Algae: Similarly, dwarf shrimp have been observed to eat black beard algae, a black or dark brown algae that forms tufts resembling a beard. This helps keep the algae growth in check.

It’s worth noting that while cherry shrimp consume algae as part of their diet, they also require a balanced diet that includes other sources of nutrients. Overreliance on algae as their sole food source might provide only some of the necessary nutrition. A varied diet that contains specialized shrimp pellets, blanched vegetables like spinach or zucchini, and occasional protein sources like brine shrimp or daphnia will help ensure their overall health and well-being.

Other shrimp species, such as Amano shrimp (Caridina japonica), are also known to be voracious algae eaters and can help control algae in the aquarium.

How Do Algae Invade An Aquarium Tank?

Algae can invade an aquarium tank through various means. One common way is introducing a contaminated plant or substrate into the tank. Algae spores can easily hitch on these items and quickly colonize the tank.

Another way is through poor water quality, specifically if there is an imbalance of nutrients or excessive light exposure. Algae thrive in nutrient-rich environments, so if the tank is overfed or there is excessive fish waste, it can lead to algae overgrowth.

Additionally, if the aquarium receives too much direct sunlight or the light intensity is too high, it can create favorable water conditions for algae to grow.

Finally, certain types of algae, such as brown algae, can even feed on fish food particles in the water, further contributing to their rapid growth and invasion of the tank. Therefore, it is crucial to maintain a balance in the aquarium environment and regularly clean and monitor the tank to prevent algae infestation.

The 3 Best Algae-Eating Shrimp

When preserving a healthy aquarium and managing algae growth, algae-eating aquarium shrimp can be excellent additions to your tank.

Here are three of the best algae eating shrimp varieties:

  1. Amano shrimp (Caridina japonica) is the most popular algae-eating shrimp in the aquarium hobby. They are hardy and adaptable and can eat a variety of algae, including hair algae, green algae, and brown algae. They are also relatively large, making them easy to see and care for.
  2. Cherry shrimp (Neocaridina davidi) are another popular choice for algae eaters. They are smaller than Amano shrimp but are just as hardy and algae-loving. Cherry shrimp come in various colors, including red, blue, and yellow.
  3. Ghost shrimp (Palaemonetes paludosus) is the least expensive of the three algae-eating shrimp. They are also the smallest and can be easily overlooked in a planted tank. However, ghost shrimp are still effective algae eaters and can help keep your tank clean.

Here are some additional things to consider when choosing algae-eating shrimp:

  • The size of your tank. If you have a small tank, choose smaller shrimp, such as cherry or ghost shrimp.
  • The type of algae you have. Some shrimp are better at eating certain types of algae than others. For example, Amano shrimp are better at eating hair algae, while cherry shrimp are better at eating green algae.
  • The other inhabitants of your tank. Some shrimp can be aggressive towards other shrimp or fish. Make sure to choose shrimp compatible with the other animals in your tank.

No matter which type of algae-eating shrimp you choose, they will be a valuable addition to your aquarium. They will assist in keeping your fish tank clean and free of algae and add a touch of beauty to your tank.

Here are some tips for keeping algae-eating shrimp healthy and happy:

  • Provide them with a planted tank. Plants will help to keep the water quality good and provide the shrimp with hiding places.
  • Feed them a variety of foods. In addition to algae, you can feed them fish food, vegetables, and spirulina.
  • Keep the water temperature at a constant level. Shrimp are sensitive to changes in tank water temperature.
  • Test the water quality regularly. Make sure the water is not too acidic or alkaline.

With proper care, your algae-eating shrimp will thrive and help to keep your tank looking its best.

Commonly Asked Questions about Shrimp Tank Algae Eaters (FAQs)

Do cherry shrimp eat algae effectively? 

Does cherry shrimp eat algae? Cherry shrimp are effective algae eaters, particularly in hair and soft green algae.

Can cherry shrimp eat black beard algae? 

While cherry shrimp may consume blackbeard algae, they might be less efficient at controlling it than other algae types.

Do cherry shrimp eat other foods besides algae? 

Cherry shrimp consume biofilm, residue, and decaying organic matter.

Can cherry shrimp survive solely on algae? 

Cherry shrimp can survive on algae but will thrive with a balanced diet of algae, biofilm, and other foods.

What kind of algae do Cherry Shrimp eat?

Cherry Shrimp eat various types of algae, including hair algae, staghorn algae, and soft green algae.

Can Cherry Shrimp survive on algae alone?

Neocaridina Shrimp cannot survive on algae alone. While they love to eat algae, they also require other food sources for proper nutrition.

What else do Cherry Shrimp eat besides algae?

Besides algae, Cherry Shrimp eat detritus, biofilm, and various plant matter. They can also be fed commercially available shrimp food, such as algae wafers.

Are Cherry Shrimp great algae eaters?

Yes, Cherry Shrimp are considered to be great algae eaters. They can help control algae growth in aquariums.

Do Cherry Shrimp eat blue-green algae?

Yes, Cherry Shrimp can eat blue-green algae, also known as cyanobacteria.

What happens if Cherry Shrimp eat too much algae?

If Cherry Shrimp overeat algae, it can lead to an algae explosion in the tank. It’s crucial to maintain a balanced diet for the shrimp.

Can Cherry Shrimp and Amano Shrimp eat the same algae?

Yes, Cherry Shrimp and Amano Shrimp can eat similar types of algae. However, Amano Shrimp are generally considered to be more efficient algae eaters.

Do Cherry Shrimp eat all types of algae at the bottom of the tank?

Cherry Shrimp have a preference for certain types of algae. While they eat a variety of algae, there may be some types they won’t eat.

What color is Cherry Shrimp?

Cherry Shrimp are bright red, which adds a beautiful aesthetic to the aquarium.


So, do neocaridina eat algae? Cherry shrimp are a popular choice for freshwater aquariums because they are colorful, peaceful, and easy to care for. They are also known for their algae-eating abilities. Cherry shrimp will eat a variety of algae, including green, brown, and diatom algae. They can also help to control the growth of hair algae. If you are looking for a shrimp to help keep your aquarium clean, cherry shrimp are a great option. They are not only beautiful, but they are also beneficial to your tank.

Do cherry shrimp eat algae? Yes, cherry shrimp do eat algae. They are omnivores, and their diet consists of various things, including detritus, algae, and biofilm. They are especially fond of soft green and brown algae. Cherry shrimp can help to control the growth of algae in your aquarium. However, they are not a magic bullet and will not eliminate algae. You will still need regular water changes and maintain good water quality.

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About Me

I am the founder of, a devoted wife and mother, and an avid fish enthusiast. My aim is to assist fellow fish lovers worldwide in understanding how to properly care for and breed their pet fish.

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