Do Crabs Eat Shrimp? 7 Things You Need To Know About Them

It is a known fact that crabs do eat shrimp. If you are wondering, do crabs eat shrimp? What type of shrimp do crabs eat? You will find out in this article that they do indeed enjoy them! We also explore the benefits of eating shrimp for your crab needs, as well as whether or not there are any harmful effects to your crab’s health if it eats too many shrimps.

Do Crabs Eat Shrimp?

Crabs do eat shrimp, which means it is a good idea to include in your crab’s diet. There are several different kinds of crabs that will eat shrimps and other small crustaceans such as prawns or crayfish. However, there may be some consequences to feeding your crab a shrimp-only diet.

Crabs are very curious animals and love to investigate things if given the chance. Feeding them shrimps can be a great way to do this as their tiny legs move around frantically while eating the shrimp which often makes crabs look like they are playing with the shrimp.

Crabs do eat shrimp, but it is important to be careful when doing so as there are some negative consequences. It is also advisable that you do not feed your crab shrimps all of the time since this can attract parasites such as mites and lice.

Also read: Here is a complete list of food items you can feed your pet crabs!

Benefits of Eating Shrimp for Crabs

There are many benefits to feeding your crab shrimps – it is high in protein and low in fat, which can help with weight control or obesity prevention.

In addition, nutrients such as calcium and omega-three fatty acids may be easier for the crab to absorb in the form of a shrimp than from other foods.

Shrimp also do not foul the water as much and do not produce ammonia as many other foods do.

The other best benefits are that shrimp do not have any claws, so there is no chance of the crab getting injured when they eat them.

While some people do keep crabs and shrimps together in an aquarium tank, it’s important to note that only certain types of crabs can be kept with shrimp – such as flower or porcelain crabs – do not mix up crabs and shrimps, do not keep other types of crabs with shrimp.

Do you know: Crabs also eat starfish? Know here how they eat starfish?

Harmful Effects Of Eating Shrimp For Crabs

Do bear in mind that there are some unwanted side effects and potential dangers if your crab eats too much shrimp without enough exercise or outdoor time. 

Shrimp can also be high in cholesterol which may put added pressure on crabs who already have problems with heart disease, weight issues, and other health concerns. 

There is also the risk of overfeeding because shrimp do not contain a lot of protein and fat as other crabs do, so this could lead to malnutrition. This has been found when owners mix their own shrimp mixture for their pet crab by buying many types of frozen seafood and adding it together.

Shrimp also do contain a lot of water and do not have any fiber, which is why they do not keep crabs full for very long at all.

However there are some disadvantages to feeding your crab shrimp – they can carry diseases such as Red Tide which is harmful if eaten by a crab. Also, an excess of protein may lead to liver problems in crabs so it’s important to limit their access.

Also, do not feed your crab shrimp that have been treated with red dyes as these can be toxic for the crab and may lead to the death of your pet. Some people also believe that crabs do not digest shrimps well; others claim they do but benefit from the fiber content of the shell only.

PRO TIP: When choosing shrimp as good food for your crab to eat every now and again, do make the wise decision of buying wild-caught or sustainably farmed seafood. This will protect both you and nature because it means that no extra chemicals were used in the process of producing the final product. And remember to do all that you can in order to reduce your carbon footprint.

Also read: Do crabs eat fish? Know the benefits and the harms!

What Types Of Shrimps Do Crabs Eat?

There are many types of shrimps that do crabs eat. Crabs mostly love to eat small-sized crustaceans such as prawns and other similar-looking shellfish. These types of creatures have a soft fleshy body with thin shells, which makes them easy for the crab’s mouthparts to break and eat.

Crabs do not only feed on these types of shrimps but they also love to munch on marine worms, algae, zooplankton, and other smaller crabs as well. 

The types of shrimps that crabs love to eat are: 

  • Black Tiger Shrimp
  • Brown Shrimp 
  • Red Rock Shrimps  
  • White Shrimp 
  • Pink Shrimp  
  • Green Shrimp

How Do Crabs Eat Shrimps?

Shrimp do not have any bones or shells, so it is easier for crabs to eat them. Shrimps are also high in protein and low in fat which makes them a great food for all kinds of aquatic life including freshwater fish, saltwater fish, frogs, reptiles like turtles and lizards… crayfish too! Crabs do not have teeth, so they do not chew their food. Instead, they use their powerful pincers to break open the shell of a shrimp and eat it in small pieces.

Crabs do not actually only eat shrimps- there are many other foods that crabs will eat too! Crabs can be fed on a wide range of shrimp-based foods, including pellets and flakes.

Crabs do not need any special equipment to eat shrimp! Crabs are opportunistic scavengers who will eat almost anything that comes near them when they are hungry. If you have a crab in your house or an aquarium with shrimps, then the chance of food fights is high! A single crab can do a lot of damage to your shrimps, but there are ways you can avoid this.

Do you know: Crabs love to eat algae? These are the benefits!

Can We Keep Crabs and Shrimps Together?

Usually, they don’t do it together in the same tank but, you can do it if you have a very large aquarium with enough places to hide. If your crab is big, it could eat the shrimp but there are small crabs that might not be able to do this so you should do some research before keeping them together in the same tank.

Things You Need To Know about Crabs and Shrimps

The important thing you must know about crabs and shrimps are:

These two creatures can be kept together in an aquarium as long as they are not aggressive towards each other and you know how to take care of both. Crabs do enjoy eating shrimps but it is important for you to research which shrimps crabs do eat and which ones do not. 

It is also important to know that there are some shrimps out there that can harm the crab such as ghost shrimp, red cherry shrimp, etc. These types of shrimps will be able to nip on a soft area or pinch off a leg from your crab so make sure you do your research on shrimps do crabs eat before purchasing it for them.

Crabs do enjoy the taste of freshwater shrimp but they also need to be fed some vegetables and fruit too so that their diet does not lack nutrients. Freshwater shrimp do contain high levels of iodine which is good for a crab’s health however, you must do your research on the amount of iodine that freshwater shrimp do contain for it to be healthy.

It is important that you do not feed them shrimps with anti-coagulant chemicals in them because these types of chemicals are very poisonous to crabs and can kill them rapidly if consumed by mistake.

Crabs should only eat live shrimps and it should only be one or two shrimps a week. If you do not want to feed them live shrimps then you can purchase freshwater shrimp from the pet stores instead.

There are some other types of crabs that do enjoy eating shrimps such as hermit crabs, blue crab, etc. Crabs do not do well with brackish water shrimps because it can make them sick.

It is important to know that crabs do eat other small animals such as snails, fish and they do enjoy eating mealworms too however, you must always keep an eye on your crab when feeding him live food, or else he might try to catch another pet or a family member if you do not do it correctly.

Another important thing to note is that crabs do enjoy eating meat and they might try to catch other animals in your aquarium such as fish, snails, shrimp, etc. If this happens then there are two things you can do; either get rid of the animal or keep them separated from each other.


If you do decide to keep them separated then make sure that the crab has his own hiding places and is not aggressive towards any of your pets before doing so. Crabs do get very territorial when they feel vulnerable or threatened in any way therefore, it will be difficult for the fish and shrimp to escape from a hungry crab if he does not want to share his food.

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