What to Feed Shrimp


infofraphic of the different foods shrimp like

One of the top questions I receive is “What do shrimp eat?”  Well, shrimp are naturally scavengers and eat a surprising number of things.  I thought it would be helpful to make an info-graphic of some of the best wholefoods for shrimp.  It’s so easy and fun to learn things from drawings and comics!

If you are looking for a food that contains a variety of USDA certified organics ingredients, I recommend trying Gigi’s Wonderfood.  It contains organic green beans, peas, kale, carrots, alfalfa leaves, stinging nettles and spirulina algae and nothing else!  You can buy Gigi’s Wonderfood online at Nature Invincible or at a growing number of fantastic fish stores.

Nature Invincible sells sustainably collected guava leaves and wild-crafted stinging nettles too.



Catappa Leaves

Nature Invincible catappa leaves

The leaves of the Terminalia catappa tree are respected throughout the world for their enzymatic complexity and overall benefit to aquariums. Also known as Indian Almond trees, these large trees can be found throughout Asia, Africa and Australia.

Catappa leaves contain humic acids and tannins, which are naturally anti-parasitic, anti-microbial and anti-fungal. These properties help adult fish and shrimp recover from illnesses or injuries. [1] In breeding tanks, adding catappa leaves lessens the likelihood of egg fungus. [2]

Catappa leaves can help lower your aquariums pH without the addition of any harsh or unnatural chemicals. If you keep Amazonian fish, adding catappa leaves to the water will help recreate your fish’s natural habitat. For those breeding Betta fish, adding catappa leaves often induces spawning.

As the catappa leaves begin to disintegrate, they will begin to form biofilm on the surface of the leaf. Biofilm is naturally occurring beneficial bacteria and microorganisms that are live food for fish fry, plecostomus and shrimp. [3]

We carry pesticide free catappa leaves sustainably sourced from Malaysia at our store here.

Anti-microbial / Anti-fungal Agent
Reducing pH
Replicating Blackwater Conditions
Spawning betta fish
Production of Live Food – Infusoria

How to Use Catappa Leaves
Rinse leaves thoroughly before use. Leaves can be added directly to the aquarium, crushed and put inside a filter bag (for HOB filters) or crushed and put inside the bottom tray (for canister filters). Leaves can also be steeped in hot water in a separate container to create “tea”. We do not recommend this method as it strips leaves of many beneficial properties. Leaves can remain inside of the aquarium until they fully disintegrate, usually 3 weeks to 1 month.

Community tanks: Add 2 or 3 large leaves or 4 to 6 small leaves per 25 gallons.

Spawning betta fish: Add 2 or 3 small leaves or ½ a large leaf. If using ½ a large leaf, it is recommended to cut the leaf again so one piece is floating at the water surface and one sinks for the female to take cover under. Leaves can also crumbled onto the surface of the water to help the male to form his bubble nest. Resulting eggs and fry will be protected by the anti-fungal and anti-microbial properties of the catappa leaf.

[1] Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, http://rmbr.nus.edu.sg/dna/organisms/details/30

[2] C. Chitmanat, K. Tongdonmuan, P. Khanom, P. Pachontis, and W. Nunsong (2005). “Antiparasitic, antibacterial, and antifungal activities derived from a Terminalia catappa solution against some Tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) pathogens“. Acta Horticulturae 678. pp. 179–182.

[3] Hellweg, Michael. (2008) Culturing Live Foods: A Step-by-Step Guide for Culturing One’s Own Food for the Home Aquarium. TFH Publications.

Which Fish Eat Gigi’s Wonderfood?

food with card
Gigi’s Wonderfood is loved by all sorts of freshwater aquatic animals.

Freshwater Shrimp
Catfish Family
Community Fish
Specialty Goldfish
Aquatic Snails
Fish That Don’t Eat Gigi’s Wonderfood

Freshwater Shrimp | Crystal Red Shrimp (CRS) & Cherry Shrimp (Neocaridina)
Shrimp enjoy grazing on the freshly blanched organic peas, green beans, kale and carrots in Gigi’s Wonderfood.  These vegetables contain natural vitamins, minerals and astaxanthin for beautiful healthy color and strong carapaces.

Gigi’s Wonderfood also contains organic alfalfa leaves, spirulina algae and stinging nettles foods which have been proven to be beneficial in breeding and raising of shrimplets.

Shrimp are invertebrates and can be harmed by pesticides and herbicides used in commercial farming.  Gigi’s Wonderfood is made of 100% USDA Certified Organic ingredients.

Catfish Family | Plecostomus & Corydoras
Plecos like “Bristle” or “Bushy Nose”  ancistrus are a great way to help control unwanted algae in the aquarium.  Most aquariums do not have enough algae for the growth and development of a young pleco.  Gigi’s Wonderfood contains organic spirulina algae, which is a suitable replacement for algae in the home aquarium and an excellent food for raising thriving pleco fry.

Plecostomus and many types of catfish need a diet high in fiber and low in protein.  Most commercially available algae disks contain mostly wheat products and high protein fish meal with very little vegetable matter.  Gigi’s Wonderfood contains 4 different types of gently blanched organic vegetables: peas, green beans, kale and carrots.

Community Fish | Tetras, Barbs, Rasboras, Gouramis & Danios
It can be challenging to feed community tanks with many types of fish.  Different species can become competitive sometimes causing bottom feeders to miss out on a food opportunity.  Gigi’s Wonderfood can easily be fed in larger quick sinking crips for bottom feeding fish or crumbled into smaller floating pieces for top feeders.

Community fish are omnivorous and need vegetable matter in their diets.  Most commercial fish foods substitute vitamins for real vegetables, which are not the same thing.  Gigi’s Wonderfood provides 4 different types of organic vegetables: peas, green beans, kale and carrots plus nutritious organic spirulina algae, alfalfa leaves and stinging nettles.  Gigi’s contains natural astaxanthins for vibrant healthy color in fish.

Livebearers | Guppies, Endler’s, Mollies, Platys & Swordtails
Livebearers are omnivorous and should be fed a varied diet that includes plenty of vegetable matter.  Gigi’s Wonderfood contains 4 different types of gently blanched organic vegetables: peas, green beans, kale and carrots.  Gigi’s also contains spirulina algae which helps discourage fish from nibbling on live plants in the aquarium.

Gigi’s Wonderfood is great for both adult and juvenile fish because it can easily be crumbled into small pieces.  Try crushing Gigi’s Wonderfood Veggie Crisps into fine powder to feed new born fry!

Specialty Goldfish
Goldfish are prone to bloating and constipation, which can cause health problems like swim bladder disease and lack of appetite.  Speciality goldfish types like oranda, ryukin, ranchu, panda and black moors are specially at risk because of their unusual body shapes. The main cause of bloating and constipation in fish is the consumption of flake foods that contain wheat products and very little dietary fiber.  Gigi’s Wonderfood contains nutritious organic peas that are high in fiber – never any “bakery remnants” or other wheat products.

Aquatic Snails | Nerites, Ramshorns, Malaysian Trumpets, Apple & Mystery
Aquatic snails are known for eating uneaten fish food, algae and plant detritus in the aquarium but can’t survive on this alone.  Gigi’s Wonderfood contains USDA Certified Organic spirulina algae and kale, both potent sources of calcium needed for healthy shells.

Fish That Don’t Eat Gigi’s Wonderfood
Gigi’s is a part of a balanced diet for fish that naturally have some plant matter in their diet.  Truly carnivorous fish, that only eat other animals, will not eat Gigi’s Wonderfood.  Gigi’s Wonderfood is not appropriate pufferfish, freshwater eels, loaches, leaf fish, pipe fish and certain types of South American cichlids.

Buy Gigi’s Wonderfood Organic Veggie Crisps Online

The 7 Essential Ingredients

so fresh
This is the age of aquariums. As we expand our understanding of natural habitats to keep increasingly exotic freshwater fish, it’s also time to expand our knowledge of diet and nutrition for our aquatic friends.

It’s simple. Most commercial fish foods substitute vitamins instead of real vegetables, which are not the same thing. Wheat flour, bakery remnants, MSG and fake colors just aren’t food.

Gigi’s Wonderfood is a minimally processed whole food. My ingredients are not denatured of their naturally occurring vitamins, minerals, digestive enzymes and phyto-chemicals. My Veggie Crisps are made with 100% USDA certified organic vegetables, free of pesticide or herbicide residues.

I want you to know what ingredients are in Gigi’s Wonderfood, why they are included and where they are from.

Organic Peas
Organic Green Beans
Organic Kale
Organic Carrots
Organic Alfalfa Leaves
Organic Spirulina Algae
Organic Stinging Nettles

Organic Peas
Source: Washington State | USA
We use non-genetically modified organic peas as an alternative to soybean meal. Peas contain plant based proteins that are essential for growth and development. Peas are high in Vitamin C which is necessary for the production of collagen in shrimp carapaces and scales and bones in fish. Vitamin C is also important for disease prevention and immune system function. Peas are high in fiber and prevent constipation in tropical fish.

Organic Green Beans
Source: Washington State | USA
Green beans contain Vitamins A & C. In addition to Vitamin C, Vitamin A is also necessary for the production of collagen in shrimp carapaces and scales and bones in fish. Green beans are a healthy source of plant based fiber essential for healthy digestion.

Organic Kale
Source: California | USA
Kale is a natural source of the mineral calcium, which is essential in bone and shell formation. Kale contains Vitamin B 1,2,3 & 6 which promote healthy slime coat in fish, help with the absorption of protein and protects nervous system function. Kale is a source of Potassium which helps fish and shrimp overcome stress and disease. Kale also contains Vitamins A & C.

Organic Carrots
Source: Washington State | USA
Carrots contain carotenoids, natural pigments that are found in brightly colored fruits and vegetables. One of the carotenoids found in carrots is astaxanthin. Astaxanthin are important for brilliant colors in fish and shrimp. Astaxanthin is also a type of antioxidant which prevents cell damage and disease. Carrots are also high in Vitamin A in addition to dietary fiber.

Organic Alfalfa Leaves
Sources: Varied | USA
We use cut and sifted organic alfalfa leaves as an alternative to the rabbit pellets many shrimp keepers feed their shrimp. Rabbit pellets are often made with compressed pieces of stem which are not eaten by shrimp and can create a mess in the aquarium. Rabbit pellets are formulated for rabbits and often contain ingredients that are not suitable for shrimp. Alfalfa leaves contain 8 essential enzymes that help fish and shrimp absorb vitamins and minerals in their bodies. Alfalfa is an excellent source of Vitamins A,C,E and K4 in addition to minerals like calcium, potassium, phosphorous and iron.

Organic Spirulina Algae
Sources: Varied | USA
Spirulina algae is a complete protein source, meaning it contains all 9 essential amino acids. Amino acids are necessary for building and repairing muscles and tissues. Scientists have found that spirulina algae is a superior to other plant-based proteins and is comparable to meat based protein sources. Spirulina is a potent source of many vitamins and minerals including calcium, magnesium, manganese, potassium, iron, Vitamin B – Complex and Vitamin K. We use only cultivated organic spirulina to ensure it has not been contaminated by pollution.

Organic Stinging Nettles
Sources: Varied | USA
Stinging nettles contain 25% protein, which is very high for a leafy vegetable. Stinging nettles are also high in vitamins A, C, iron, potassium, manganese, and calcium. We include stinging nettles as they are a favorite food of shrimp and fish fry.

Buy Gigi’s Wonderfood Organic Veggie Crisps Online