We have all been there, you get a new tank, you're in the early stages of getting your shrimp, and then you realize what do I feed them!? Naturally you begin to wonder what exactly do they need.
Our answer to this question is simple - LEAVES.
Why do we recommend leaves, well easy, they provide a constant source of anti-bacterial benefits and an area to "grow" biofilm. Leaves decay over a much longer time so they are a constant source for shrimp to graze on, provide safe haven, release vitamins, and tannin. Plus, leaves add to a more natural environment akin to a river you would find out in the wild where freshwater shrimp live in.
Look for pesticide free leaves. If any sort of pesticide touched the leaf you'll introduce that to your aquarium and hurt your shrimp. So what leaves are recommended?
Before adding them to an aquarium Take your leaves and boil them about 30 - 40 seconds. This helps remove any pests, dust, or bacteria not visible to the eye, plus it removes some of the tannin if you don't want to discolor your aquarium water. Boil less time if you want to retain some of the tannins.
Once your leaves are boiled, make sure they are cool to the touch including the water residue. Only introduce a couple at a time and observe how your shrimp react. Then gradually increase the amount of leaves you add throughout the week. You want to do this because you don't want to shock the shrimp by adding them all in one swoop, so start slow and the pay off will be happy shrimp.
In the end, your freshwater shrimp food will change and vary over time but leaf litter should be a constant to maintain a healthy aquarium eco-system.