Unexpected Benefits of Seed Shrimp

Are seed shrimp a pest or another great addition to your aquarium? Over recent years many people have viewed these creatures as some kind of pest. However, there are many advantages to having these critters in your tank that people don’t realise. In this article we de-bunk myths and dive into the pros and cons of having seed shrimp in your tank.

 

But firstly, a quick introduction…

Otherwise known as their scientific name, ‘Ostracoda Podocopida’ belong to the major group Crustacea. This also includes some of our favourite aquaria food sources and pets like; Amphipods, Daphnia, Triops and all types of shrimp. They have a round or egg shape, vary in size from 0.2 to 1mm and can be found worldwide but mainly in Africa and Australia. Australian Seed Shrimp occur in both fresh/marine water and can be found in or just below the substrate.

 

A completely natural food source for your inhabitants

These shrimp are a great food source and a very natural one for most fish found in their natural habitat. If this is the case, especially considering how quickly they multiply, it’s hard to decline such an abundant food source. The fish that love to feed on seed shrimp include: Guppies, Platies, Bristlenose Pleco, Corydoras Catfish and Botia Loaches and more. Plus, you’ll also find that Blackworms, Ghost Shrimp and Grass Shrimp will enjoy eating these regularly. If, on the other hand, you don’t have any fish that are interested in eating them, it’s understandable that they may become a pest to you and your aquarium as they multiply without anywhere to be consumed. A quick solution to this is to include some kind of larger shrimp into your aquarium, which will eat the seed shrimp and become a great food source for your aquaria!

 

One of nature’s best clean-up crews

They are filter feeders with their main food sources being organic detritus and algae. Controls the balance of your tank, natural pond or pool. Just like copepods, these creatures are filter feeders and use their antennae to filter and search for their food. It can be a great idea to have seed shrimp thrive in your aquarium as they are natural in  self-regulating and don’t need much food source to thrive. It is also common for them to seem to ‘disappear’ and then re appear in your tank at a later date. Contrasting common beliefs of these creatures as ‘pests’, many people even use seed shrimp as an indicator that their tank and water parameters are healthy, as this is when they thrive!

 

Do seed shrimp pose a threat to your plants?

One of the main reasons that seed shrimp have become considered pests is when they are found eating plants. However, it’s important to know that they only eat plants that are already rotting (detritus) and will not feed on healthy plants.

 

We hope this article helped deepen your understanding and debunked ideas that you may have had about these interesting creatures. We hope you can make the best of any seed shrimp you have in your aquarium! If you have any questions feel free to contact us via email media@aquaticlivefood.com.au or via our socials/website chat.

 

Also, check out this video by Water Worlds on Youtube ‘Seed Shrimp: Friend or Foe?’