What Do Brine Shrimp Eat? (Beginners Guide)

Hatching and raising brine shrimp is a great way to provide supplemental food for your fish.  It’s especially helpful if you’re wanting to condition adult fish before or after breeding. 

But, as a beginner, you may find yourself asking, what do brine shrimp even eat?

Never fear, there are lots of options out there and I’ll be glad to go over them for you today.

What Do Brine Shrimp Eat?

Brine shrimp super close up

In the Wild

Brine shrimp are planktonic filter feeders. They exclusively eat tiny particles suspended in the water column around them. 

As they swim, they constantly move water through their mouths in order to catch microscopic algae, their primary food source.

In the Aquarium

Super close up brine shrimp

There are a variety of powdered foods that you can give brine shrimp in the aquarium. They don’t really have a preference, they’ll eat anything that’s floating around. 

But the more nutritious the food is that the shrimp eat, the more nutritious a food they’ll be for your fish.

  • Spirulina powder – spirulina is a blue-green algae (technically a cyanobacteria) that is extremely nutrient rich. It’s a source of protein, calcium, iron, magnesium, thiamin, riboflavin, phosphorus, potassium and  folate. You can find spirulina powder at health food stores or online. This would be my first choice to feed brine shrimp. 
  • Powdered egg yoke – Egg yolk is an excellent source of protein and vitamin B12. It also contains calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium. This stuff is a good food source, and there are plenty of places to order powdered egg yolk online, but it is often twice as expensive as spirulina powder. 
  • Brewers yeast – you can pick this up at most grocery stores. It’s the spent yeast used by breweries to ferment beer. Brewers yeast is rich in B vitamins and protein.
  • Soy flour – made from ground roasted soy beans, it’s probably easiest to order this online. Soy flour has lots of protein and potassium and contains calcium and iron.  
  • Wheat flour – good old all purpose flour can also be used. Definitely not as nutrient diverse as spirulina or egg yolk, but gluten is a protein and it’s rich in folate. Wheat flour also has the advantage that you’ve likely already got it laying around the house.

Final Thoughts on Feeding Brine Shrimp

Brine shrimp aren’t too picky about what they eat. They just constantly filter out whatever is floating in the water. As long as the particles suspended in the water column are small enough to fit in their mouths, they’ll eat it.

When you compare nutritional content with the price, spirulina powder is the clear winner. It’s cheaper than its next nearest competitor and closely resembles a brine shrimp’s natural diet. 

I hope you find this article helpful.

I wish you and your fish the very best!

Katherine Morgan
Katherine Morgan

Hey, there! I'm Katherine from Northwest Florida. An aquarium specialist, I've kept tanks for over two decades, enjoy experimenting with low-tech planted setups and an avid South American cichlid enthusiast.

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