​ Shrimp and Leaf Litter

28th Jul 2019

Shrimp and Leaf Litter

by Bill Southern

Important: Please make sure that any leaves you may use in your shrimp tank are completely free of any pesticides and/or harmful chemicals.

I keep leaves in all my shrimp tanks for a couple of reasons. First off the shrimp feed on the micro organisms that in turn feed on the leaves as they decay in your tank. These same organisms are the ones that most types of shrimp would feed on if they were in their natural environment and just plain good stuff to a shrimp.

Secondly a few leaves on the bottom give young shrimp a place to feed and feel safe while eating these same organisms which are essential to have readily available for them after birth. Yes these same critters are already present in any well matured tank, but the leaf litter offers a place where these micro-organisms will thrive and concentrate making them readily available to young shrimp.

Most any fallen dry brown leaves from hardwood trees will work well, but as you see below shrimp like some fruit tree leaves better than others. The larger leaf to the left is Mulberry and the one being mobbed is Peach...

Both were soaked together for about 2 days in aquarium water to get the tannins out as well as start the micro-organisms colonizing on the leaves. All my shrimp mob any new leaf dropped into the tank, but the ones they like best they go for first. The Peach leaves are gone in a few days, Mulberry about 2 weeks, Ash and Oak last months sometimes. The leaves are always fully comsumed except for skeletal remains.

Just a couple is fine for smaller populations and replace when gone, but I use 4 or 5 in some tanks with large populations. Be sure you get your leaves from a safe chemical free source and soak them until they sink completely and they will feel a little slimy when you take them out, don't worry thats the stuff your shrimp will thank you for.

Yes and snails like them as well....