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Keeping Cherry Shrimp Happy and Healthy

There's a reason Cherry shrimp are so wildly popular these days. 

It's hard to believe they are so good looking, yet so easy to care for!

This guide provides essential tips on caring for these peaceful creatures, setting up an ideal aquarium environment, selecting compatible tankmates, and even exploring the joys of breeding these delightful shrimp.🦐🌈



Cherry shrimp (Neocaridina heteropoda var. red) are captivating freshwater invertebrates that make a fantastic addition to any aquarium. Cherry shrimp, a selectively bred variant of the wild Neocaridina heteropoda, are native to Taiwan.

They have gained immense popularity due to their striking red coloration, although they can also be found in shades of orange, yellow, and blue, green, black, chocolate, and white. 'Cherry' Shrimp can also come striped!

These freshwater shrimp are relatively small in size, typically reaching a maximum length of about 1.5 inches (4 cm) as adults.

They are peaceful, non-aggressive creatures that thrive in a stable and well maintained aquarium environment.


Tank Setup:

To make your cherry shrimp feel like they're living the high life, here's what you need to do:

  1. Tank Size: Go for a 10 gallon tank or larger. Let them have some wiggle room!

  2. Substrate: This isn't just to look great or provide a growing medium for plants. Substrate can hide tiny- newly hatched shrimp when they are most vulnerable. Hiding in pockets in the substrate also allows them to graze in peace.

  3. Filtration: Install a sponge or sponge pre-filter on your filter intake. We gotta protect those little shrimplets from being sucked in!

  4. Temperature and pH: Keep things cozy between 68-78°F (20-25°C) and maintain a pH level of 6.5 to 8. Happy shrimp, happy life!

  5. Lighting: Give them some moderate lighting, like full spectrum or LED lights. Too much brightness can stress them out.



Tank Maintenance:

You gotta keep that shrimp paradise squeaky clean! Here's what you need to do:

  1. Water Changes: Swap out about 10-20% of the water every week. It'll keep things fresh and get rid of any gunk.

  2. Water Parameters: Keep tabs on the temperature, pH, and ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels. 

  3. Cleaning: During water changes, give the glass, substrate, and decorations a gentle scrub to get rid of any algae or debris. Careful during vacuuming!




These little neocaridina shrimp are not picky. Here's how to keep them 'picking' instead:

  1. Diet: A nice variety of foods is the way to go. Start with a diet of high-quality shrimp pellets, algae wafers, and blanched veggies like spinach, zucchini, and cucumber. Toss in some treats too, and always have the essentials: biofilms that grow on dried leaves like Catappa or just keep a soft algae patch growing for them.

  2. Feeding Schedule: Feed them actual shrimp food once a day, but don't go overboard! Only give them what they can chow down on in a couple of hours. We don't want any overeating or dirty tanks. Cherry shrimp are grazers, so they'll be picking and poking at other omnivorous edibles all day.




Picking the right buddies for your cherry shrimp is important. We don't want any tank drama!

  1. Peaceful Fish: Endlers, rasboras, and small tetras like neon tetras or ember tetras are excellent choices. These fish are small, non-aggressive, and won't bother your shrimp. Nano fish typically have smaller mouths, and that's what you'll want to look for.

  2. Shrimp-Friendly Catfish: Otocinclus catfish (Otos) and Corydoras catfish (Corys) are popular choices. These bottom dwelling catfish won't bother the shrimp and can help keep the tank clean by stirring up the substrate and eating leftover food and algae.

  3. Snail Buddies: Adding some snails to your tank can be beneficial. Nerite snails and mystery snails are peaceful and won't harm the shrimp. They also help with algae control. It's always hilarious to see a Cherry shrimp hitchhiking on the back of a cruising nerite.



Behavior and Enrichment:

Watching these shrimp in action is a blast. Here's how to keep 'em entertaining:

  1. Hide and Seek: Set up live plants, moss, driftwood, and rocks for hiding spots. It sounds counterintuitive, but if the shrimp are comfortable knowing they can retreat in any direction, they'll be more comfortable coming out in the open. Plus, Cherry shrimp are especially vulnerable when they molt.

  2. Easy Breezy: Cherry shrimp prefer gentle water flow, so adjust your filter or use a sponge filter to create the perfect environment. No water park slides, please!

  3. Leaf Litter: Drop in some fallen leaves, like Indian Almond leaves (Catappa), for them to graze on. It's like a little shrimp buffet!



Observation and Health:

Keep an eye on your shrimp buddies to make sure they're doing well. Here's what to look for:

  1. Happy Campers: Active and vibrant shrimp exploring their surroundings and socializing with each other is a good sign. If they seem lethargic, lose their appetite, or hide all the time, something might be up.

  2. Molting Marvels: Shrimp molt to grow, shedding their old exoskeletons. Keep an eye on this process and remove any leftovers if needed.

  3. Water Warrior: Regularly check water temperature, pH levels, and ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels. We want those numbers to be in the Neocaridina comfort zone. Note that it's better to find a place where your water naturally wants to be, and then keep it stable. Cherry shrimp can adjust higher or lower than the optimal, but it should always stay stable, no matter where the water parameters fall.



Breeding Cherry Shrimp:

Ready to grow your shrimp family? Here's the lowdown on breeding:

  1. The Right Conditions: Keep stable water parameters and a well seasoned, comfy environment with plenty of hiding spots and live plants. Romance is in the air!

  2. Boys and Girls: If you want to control the breeding, you can separate males and females until you're ready to make some magic happen.

  3. Mama Shrimp: Females carry eggs, which you'll spot developing as a saddle on the back of her head or as a berry-like cluster embedded under her tail if they have been fertilized. Make sure they have plenty to eat and maintain stable water conditions for successful hatching.

  4. Watch them Grow: After a few weeks, the baby shrimp (shrimplets) will hatch and start their journey. Give them a healthy diet and a stable home, and they'll grow up strong!



Taking care of cherry shrimp is a blast!

With a well designed tank, good food, happy tankmates, and a watchful eye, you'll create a thriving community of these colorful critters.

Happy shrimp keeping!

1 comment

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    algae control safe for shrimp

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