Top Food for the Shrimp – Bacter AE

glasgarten-glasgarten-bacter-ae top shrimp food

Today we are going to have a look at Bacter AE (link to check the price on Amazon). Personally, I believe that Bacter AE is the best shrimp food product on the market. It simply beats anything hands down. Bacter AE has become super popular very fast and I will tell you why it is a favorite food choice for the shrimp breeders.

  1. Bacter AE helps to significantly increase the survival rates of the baby shrimp.
  2. It will also keep your adult shrimp very healthy.
  3. There will not be any pollution of the water compared to most other powdered food.
  4. It promotes and boosts the growth of biofilm, which is crucial for the shrimp.
  5. Bacter AE will satisfy any shrimp picky eaters.
  6. Trusted Product: used at Alpha Pro Breeders Shrimp Breeding Facility, as well as all of the Shrimp Holding Tanks at Aquatic Arts.

So all in all, if you want proper results then it is most probably the one supplement that you have to have for your tank.

My overall number one reason why I like Bacter AE is that it increases the baby shrimplets survival rate by creating more biofilm. Biofilm grows everywhere in the aquarium this means that baby shrimp does not really have to search for food.  It will be found abundantly in the aquarium.

One of the problems with tiny shrimplets is that they do not move around the aquarium as adults do. Baby shrimp prefer to stay in their zones where they can hide and feel safe. This type of behavior can deprive them of access to food if it is on the other side of the tank.

Also, because of their size, they can be easily bullied by bigger shrimp. Bacter AE solves this problem. By spreading itself around the aquarium, tiny shrimplets can easily feast without worrying about larger shrimp. It also means that adults shrimp do not fight as much to get their share of food.

What is Bacter AE?

Spilled Bacter AEBacter AE is a bacterial supplement. Basically, it is dried biofilm in powder form that adds important microorganisms, amino acids, and enzymes to your tank. In addition, live probiotic bacteria enhance the nutrient uptake of the shrimp and affects their digestive processes in a better way.

The contained bacteria in powder form start working once they come into contact with water. These bacteria also help to get rid of toxic substances and, together with all the other carefully fine-tuned components, they provide your tank with a good microclimate.

Biofilm is a very fine layer of slime that consists of microorganisms. It is what shrimp eat in the natural habitat in rivers and streams. That is what your shrimp are actually grazing on as they go along in your tank and Bacter AE helps to generate a lot of it very quickly. In the wild, it is the shrimp’s main source of food. Replicate that in your aquarium and your little pets will thrive.

We generally cannot see biofilm with the naked eye as it is very thin but when biofilm multiplies like crazy. It is a type of white slime and this is a paradise for your shrimp.

What are the Ingredients of Bacter AE?

Amino acids, polysaccarides, xylanase, glucanase, amylase, protease, hemicellulase, Bacillus subtilis, Pediococcus acidilactici (Lactobacillus).

What is the Dosage of Bacter AE?

Official Dosage for 120 Liter (25 gallons)
• lowly stocked: daily 1/2 measuring spoon*
• normally stocked: daily 1 measuring spoon*
• heavily stocked: twice a day 1 measuring spoon*
We recommend when first using, add only half the dosage during the first week
* 1 measuring spoon = about 0.5g

I would like to say that if you do use the recommended dosage of Bacter AE as per the cover instructions your whole aquarium will be covered in this thin white slime very quickly.

That is why, regardless of how good the product is, ignore the instructions on the bottle. So basically the absolute majority of shrimp breeders just feed 1/8, 1/4 to 1/2 of what the manufacturer suggests (two or three times a week).  But this amount can also vary according to the amount of shrimp you have in the aquarium.  For example:

Tank volume Recommended
(potential overfeeding)
Practical dosage
1/8 First week
1/4 Second week 1/2 Subsequent weeks
20l (5-gallon)  0,09g 0,01g 0,02g 0,04g
45l (10-gallon)  0,19g 0,02g 0,04g 0,09g
90l (20-gallon)  0,37g 0,04g 0,09g 0,18g

In some cases, people even use less (anywhere between 1/16 to 1/32) depending on colony size and the aquarium’s ability to create the biofilm. Aquariums that are lightly stocked that have lots of driftwood and mosses usually do not need much, if any at all.

Tip # 1: few alder cones will give the Bacter AE a great surface to grow the biofilm. Eventually, it will help to reduce the dose to minimal as well. Shrimps will let you know if there is enough biofilm available. If you dose Bacter AE and they do not go crazy, then you should cut back on dosing because they have plenty to eat.

Tip # 2: you need to have good aeration when you use this product much like your nitrifying bacteria. Bacillus Subtilis and Lactobacillus are the two strains found in Bacter AE. These strains of bacteria are aerobic by nature and will start to consume O2 as soon as they become active.

How to dose Bacter AE

 Bacter AE is easy to feed and overfeed. Keep in mind all the time that it is better to underfeed than overfeed. All you have to do:

  1. Take the quantity that you want to feed and put it on the water. The particles of powder will spread throughout your aquarium and they will eventually fall everywhere. Do not worry if you see the powder on the top of the water, it will fall eventually.
  2. Pre-mix it. Dilute it in a bottle, shake it and let it diffuse throughout the tank.

There is no big difference between these two ways unless you have several aquariums. In this case, it will be a headache to calculate the proper dose especially than they are so small. With a bottle, you can mark how many ml you want to add for every aquarium.

Do not only feed the Bacter AE as a main meal for your shrimp. Combine it with other food, Shrimp dinner pads or some of the Shrimp Kings range of food.

The container

 It has an inner (double) seal. The top lid acts as an extra seal.

  1. You can put the scoop between them every time you are done the feeding. It prevents losing the scoop and you do not have to dig it out every time you decide to feed your shrimp.
  2. Unfortunately, the scoops that they give us are quite big though and then the recommended dosage is one scoop per day.

Some more official information from the representative of the company Carsten Logemann

The comment was taken from the German forum

“The Bacter AE is designed for shrimp and shrimplets. It can also be considered as rearing food, similar to the Biozyme and Polytase. Mainly it is to promote bacteria in the biofilm. An additional feeding does not have to be, but we would recommend it in combination with powder food. I would like to explain that. We offer three powder food products:

– Shrimp Baby Food
– Bacter AE
– Shrimp Fit

Powder food has a significant advantage, it spreads throughout the tank and everybody gets something off. Although some parts can be sucked through the filter, anyway it is good for the “feeding” of the bacteria contained there.

Above all, however, the fact that Bacter AE spreads on all surfaces of the aquarium and it is always good to see. This is very important for “functional feed” because we want all shrimps, snails and etc. get something, no matter where they are in the aquarium.

These powder foods are often intended as additional feeding because the basic supply is our Shrimp Dinner.

For example, when you give pads, then not all shrimp can come to the food. You can always see which ones are not that hungry, or that they are not able to compete against the hungry ones. Of course, this is often the case with the baby shrimp, hence the baby food is a powder food.

Even with the new Shrimp Fit, we want the active ingredients to be absorbed by all animals, not just by those who are still strong to get the food, but especially by those who may not be so fit. And with the Bacter AE, of course, it is clear why it must be a powder food. It should distribute itself to boost the growth of the biofilm because the pads feeding would be counterproductive.


Bacter AE is the product which is absolutely worth trying. It is a great product and highly recommended by many seasoned shrimp keepers. It will grow the biofilm quickly and your shrimp will go crazy for it!

I would definitely recommend it to anybody starting the hobby or anybody that is actually been in the hobby for a long period of time and have not seen the survival rating their baby shrimp. Also, it would be better to use ¼ (or less) the manufacturer’s recommendations every other day, then slowly scale it up until you reach your dosage, depending on your bioload.

The price should not scare you. Because the container lasts a long time due to tiny dosages.

Related articles:

How Often and How Much to Feed Shrimp

7 thoughts on “Top Food for the Shrimp – Bacter AE

  1. Thanks Michael, I bought Bacter AE a couple months ago but until now I’m confident to use it.

    1. Hi, Alexander Lüders,

      You are welcome!

      Best regards,

  2. Hi Michael,

    Great article as always. I saw one or two Youtube videos that some people spread Bacter AE at the bottom of the tank before adding substrate and some people spread on top of the substrate. I myself have never used it when setting up the tank but want to try it. Do you know if we are supposed to put Bacter AE under substrate or on top of substrate?

    Thank you,


    1. Hi Daniel,

      Thank you!
      I know about this practice and already mentioned it in some of my articles.
      The reason they do it – to add some minerals/trace elements that are good for the microflora of the tank. Basically, they are trying to boost the cycling process. However, instead of expensive Bacter AE, we can use ANY food for cycling the tank if we want to, with almost the same result.
      In my opinion, there is no need for that. Even more, for example, if you are planning to have a sandbed – nothing can go through it!

      Best regards,

  3. Hi Michael,

    I have a 5 gallon tank, that by judging what is in it, many would say it is overstocked: I have 9 fish total (a mix of guppies and tetras and a cory) and I have 3 amanos. However, we recently purchased 5 bumblebee shrimp and 3 black neos, and they have been hiding ever since we got them. I suspect this to be because of the fish, but there isn’t much I can do about that. I was wondering if this food, Bacter AE, would help improve their chances, or is there something else you would recommend for me to help my little newcomers?

    1. Hi Ishay,
      Well, I tend to agree that there is way too much activity in your tank.
      If it is possible, I would add some plants, PVC pipes, or whatever shrimp can use to hide. It might give them some more confidence.
      Bacter AE will definitely help! Even if shrimp are hiding they will be able to find and eat it.
      Best regards,

  4. Is it possible to age the tank quicker with this? Like after cycling instead if waiting a month to put shrimp in, to dose it with this and speed up that process?

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