Do Ghost Shrimp Eat Brown Algae? (3 Surprising Benefits!)

Are you a passionate aquarium enthusiast striving to strike the perfect balance in your underwater ecosystem? If you are, you’ve likely encountered the age-old struggle of dealing with algae growth in your tank. But do ghost shrimp eat brown algae in your aquarium?

Algae can be a persistent problem, affecting both the aesthetic appeal of your aquarium and the health of its inhabitants.

Enter ghost shrimp world, these tiny aquatic wonders known for more than just being bottom feeders.

care of ghost shrimp

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the intriguing world of grass shrimp and explore the question: will ghost shrimp eat brown algae? We’ll unravel the mysteries surrounding these aquatic helpers and discover the three surprising benefits they bring to your tank.

Ghost Shrimp: Nature’s Cleanup Crew

Ghost shrimp (Palaemonetes spp.) are fascinating freshwater crustaceans that offer more than meets the eye.

These semi-transparent creatures range from 1.5 to 3 inches in length and make an excellent addition to any community tank. Let’s examine how ghost shrimp can help maintain a balanced aquatic environment.

Can ghost shrimp eat brown algae? Yes, ghost shrimp do eat brown algae. They are one of the most effective algae eaters in the aquarium hobby.

They will eat a variety of algae, including brown algae, green algae, and hair algae. They are also scavengers and will eat dead plant matter, fish food, and other organic debris.

Do Ghost Shrimp Eat Brown Algae?

Yes, ghost shrimp do eat brown algae. They are one of the few aquarium shrimp that will actively seek out and eat this type of algae. 

Brown algae is a good food source for ghost shrimp because it contains trace amounts of copper, essential for their reproductive system. Grass shrimp will also eat other types of algae, such as green algae and diatoms. However, they seem to prefer brown algae the most.

Whisker Shrimp vs Ghost Shrimp

Ghost shrimp are less effective at eating algae than some other types of aquarium shrimp, such as amano shrimp or nerite snails.

However, they can still be a helpful addition to an aquarium with a brown algae problem. If you have a lot of brown algae in your tank, you may need to supplement the ghost shrimp’s diet with other food sources, such as algae wafers or fish flakes.

Here are some tips for keeping ghost shrimp in your aquarium:

  • Provide a tank that is at least 10 gallons in size.
  • Add a variety of aquatic plants to the tank, providing the shrimp with hiding places and food.
  • Keep the tank water temperature between 72 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Use a water filter to keep the water clean and free of algae.
  • Feed the shrimp a diet of algae wafers, fish flakes, or other food designed explicitly for shrimp.

With proper care, ghost shrimp can make a great addition to any aquarium. They are not only beautiful creatures, but they can also help to keep your tank clean and healthy.

The Relationship Between Ghost Shrimp and Brown Algae

What is Brown Algae?

Brown algae, scientifically known as diatoms, are a common nuisance in aquariums. They often appear as unsightly brown or greenish-brown patches on tank surfaces, including glass, substrate, and decorations. These algae thrive in the presence of excess nutrients and can quickly overtake your tank if left unchecked.

Can Ghost Shrimp Eat Brown Algae?

Can shrimp eat brown algae? Yes, they can! Ghost shrimp are natural scavengers with a hearty appetite for various types of algae, including brown algae.

While their primary diet consists of detritus and other organic matter, these diligent cleaners will readily consume brown algae if available in your tank. This characteristic makes them a practical and eco-friendly solution to your algae woes.

3 Benefits of Ghost Shrimp Feeding on Brown Algae

  1. Natural Algae Control: By feasting on brown algae, ghost shrimp actively contribute to controlling its growth. Their constant grazing helps keep your tank surfaces clean and free from the unsightly patches that algae can create.
  2. Improved Aesthetic Appeal: A tank overrun by brown algae can be an eyesore. With ghost shrimp in the mix, you can enjoy a more visually appealing aquarium where the beauty of your aquatic plants and fish can shine through.
  3. Enhanced Water Quality: Algae growth can contribute to imbalances in water chemistry. Ghost shrimp’s algae-consuming habits assist in maintaining optimal water quality, creating a healthier environment for all your tank inhabitants.

Ghost Shrimp’s Dietary Habits

– Omnivorous Appetite

Ghost shrimp are omnivorous creatures, which means they consume a varied diet. While their algae-eating prowess is impressive, they won’t stop there. These shrimp will happily devour other types of algae, such as hair algae and green algae, further contributing to the cleanliness of your tank.

– Feeding Mechanisms

Ghost shrimp have specialized mouthparts that allow them to scrape and nibble on algae and other food sources. They use their front claws to manipulate food and convey it to their mouths. This unique feeding behavior makes them highly efficient algae eaters.

Other Types of Algae Ghost Shrimp Eat

Black Beard Algae

Black beard algae, notorious for its dark appearance and stubborn growth, is no match for ghost shrimp. These diligent scavengers will happily devour black beard algae, helping to prevent its proliferation and maintaining the overall health of your tank.

Blue-Green Algae

Blue-green algae, also known as cyanobacteria, can quickly overtake your tank if not managed. Ghost shrimp’s appetite for this algae contributes to its control, ensuring a well-balanced aquatic environment.

Hair Algae

Hair algae, characterized by its long, filamentous strands, is another potential problem in aquariums. Ghost shrimp’s preference for hair algae makes them influential allies in the ongoing battle against unwanted aquatic greenery.

Will Ghost Shrimp Eat Algae Off Glass?

Ghost shrimp are known for their ability to consume algae off glass surfaces. Algae can quickly accumulate on the glass of an aquarium, causing it to appear green and dirty.

However, ghost shrimp are natural scavengers and feed on this algae, helping keep the glass surface clean. These shrimp use their specialized mouthparts to scrape the algae off the glass, consuming it as a food source.

This behavior is beneficial for aesthetic purposes and helps maintain a healthy environment for other aquatic organisms living in the tank. Ghost shrimp are small, typically 1-2 inches long, perfect for maneuvering around the glass to access and remove the algae.

Overall, ghost shrimp play an essential role in maintaining the cleanliness of the aquarium by eating the algae off the glass.

What Kind Of Algae Do Ghost Shrimp Eat?

Ghost shrimp are great omnivores and will eat a variety of algae, including:

  • Green algae
  • Brown algae
  • Hair algae
  • Blue-green algae
  • Diatoms
  • Detritus
  • Dead plant matter
  • Uneaten fish food

They are especially fond of hair algae, which they will happily eat from the bottom of the tank. Ghost shrimp are scavengers, so that they will eat any other organic matter in the tank.

It is important to note that ghost shrimp are not as effective at controlling algae as other types of shrimp, such as amano shrimp or otocinclus catfish. However, they can still help keep your tank clean by eating any algae they can find.

If you are looking for a shrimp that will help to control algae in your tank, amano shrimp or otocinclus catfish are a better choice. However, ghost shrimp are a good option if you are looking for a hardy and low-maintenance shrimp.

Here are some tips for feeding ghost shrimp:

  • Please provide them with various algae, including hair, green, and brown algae.
  • You can also give them algae wafers or other prepared food.
  • Feed them enough food so they do not become hungry and start eating your plants.
  • Overfeeding can also lead to water quality problems, so it is crucial to find a balance.

With proper care, ghost shrimp can live for several years and make a great addition to any freshwater aquarium.

Adding Ghost Shrimp to a Tank for Algae Elimination

Adding ghost shrimp to a tank can be a great way to eliminate algae. Ghost shrimp are known to be excellent algae eaters and can help maintain a clean and healthy tank. When adding ghost shrimp to a tank, it is essential to consider their specific needs.

Ghost shrimp are bottom feeders, meaning they typically scavenge on the tank’s substrate for food. Glass shrimp will eat dead plants or decaying matter in the tank.

This makes them particularly effective at reducing algae grow as they consume the nutrients that algae thrive on. However, it is essential to remember that ghost shrimp should not be solely relied upon for algae control.

They should be considered part of a comprehensive tank maintenance plan that includes regular cleaning, proper lighting, and balanced nutrient levels. Adding ghost shrimp to a tank can significantly reduce algae, resulting in a cleaner and more visually appealing aquarium environment.

How Cherry Shrimps Feed on Hair Algae

Red Cherry shrimps are omnivorous creatures known to feed on hair algae. Hair algae could be a common problem in aquariums, causing an unsightly appearance and negatively affecting the tank’s ecosystem.

However, cherry shrimps offer a natural solution to this issue. They are efficient cleaners and will actively graze on hair algae, keeping it in check and preventing an algae infestation.

In addition to hair algae, cherry shrimps eat other algae, such as green algae. They also scavenge for food, feeding on dead fish and decaying plant matter.

Although amano shrimps are more renowned for their algae-eating abilities, cherry shrimps are also effective in maintaining a balanced aquatic environment. Overall, having cherry shrimps in the tank can help control and reduce the presence of algae, resulting in a healthier and visually appealing aquarium. 

FAQs About Ghost Shrimp and Algae Control

Can ghost shrimp eat other types of algae besides brown algae?

Yes, ghost shrimp are versatile eaters and consume various algae, including black beard algae and blue, green hair algae.

Are ghost shrimp the best algae-eating shrimp?

Do shrimp eat brown algae? While ghost shrimp are excellent algae eaters, other species like Amano shrimp also play a significant role in algae control.

Will ghost shrimp eat dead fish or other tank inhabitants?

Ghost shrimp primarily feed on algae, residue, and organic matter. They are unlikely to consume live fish or other tank inhabitants.

How do ghost shrimp contribute to algae control?

Ghost shrimp’s constant grazing on algae helps prevent excessive growth, which can lead to water quality issues and aesthetic problems in your tank.

Can Ghost Shrimp Eat Amano Shrimp?

Ghost shrimp may eat Amano shrimp if they are more extensive. It is essential to watch the shrimp population and ensure enough food for everyone.

Do Ghost Shrimp Eat Black Beard Algae?

Ghost shrimp can eat black beard algae. They are known to be effective in controlling algae growth in the tank.

Will Ghost Shrimp Eat Red Cherry Shrimp?

Ghost shrimp will not eat red cherry shrimp. They are generally peaceful and do not exhibit aggressive fish behavior towards other freshwater shrimp species.

Can Ghost Shrimp Eat Hair Algae?

Yes, ghost shrimp love to eat hair algae. They are one of the best algae-eating shrimp and can help keep your tank clean.

Are Ghost Shrimp Good at Eating Blue-Green Algae?

Ghost shrimp may eat blue-green algae, but it is not their preferred food. They are more likely to consume other forms of algae.

Do Ghost Shrimp Eat Green Hair Algae?

Ghost shrimp can eat green hair algae. They are known to keep the algae in check in your tank.

Can Ghost Shrimp Eat the Black Beard Algae?

Yes, grass shrimp can eat black beard algae. They are great at controlling this type of algae in the tank.

Do Ghost Shrimp Eat Green Algae?

Ghost shrimp will happily consume green algae. They are excellent at keeping the algae levels in check.

Can Ghost Shrimp Eat Algae Wafers?

Do shrimp eat brown algae wafers? Ghost shrimp can eat algae wafers. They like to have a varied diet, and algae wafers might be a good source of nutrition for them.


So, do ghost shrimp eat brown algae? In conclusion, ghost shrimp can be valuable to your aquarium ecosystem. These tiny crustaceans possess a voracious appetite for various types of algae, including the notorious brown algae. Introducing ghost shrimp into your tank lets you enjoy the dual benefits of having a visually appealing aquarium and a natural solution to algae overgrowth. These little scavengers diligently scour the tank, devouring algae and keeping it in check. Their constant activity adds a dynamic element to your aquatic environment, creating a mesmerizing display for you and your fish.

So, if you’re struggling with brown algae taking over your tank, consider adding some ghost shrimp to the mix. Not only will they help maintain a cleaner, healthier aquarium, but they’ll also add a touch of intrigue and diversity to your underwater world. So, why not let these tiny, diligent cleaners do their job and bid farewell to brown algae once and for all?

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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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