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Cherry Shrimp Care: Tank, Water & Food Requirements

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Did you know that Cherry Shrimp are much more active in aquariums where no predators are around?

So if you decided to get some Cherry Shrimp in your aquarium, you’d actually be doing them a favor.

The good news is that you won’t have to worry about the Cherry Shrimp care.

These creatures are so low-maintenance that you might forget about them sometimes.

Are Cherry Shrimp Easy to Care For?

Despite being small and delicate, Cherry Shrimp are relatively low maintenance.

They don’t require physical interaction, and they don’t need anything more than basic life needs.

These needs include but aren’t limited to food, clean water, adequate temperature, and suitable pH levels.

How Long Do Cherry Shrimp Live?

Cherry Shrimp can live up to two years if you provide them with ideal living conditions.

However, we have to be honest with you here.

Most Cherry Shrimp don’t live that long.

The ideal living conditions we just mentioned require you to ensure that you meet all the shrimp’s needs constantly.

However, most people rely on how low-maintenance the Cherry Shrimp are, which is why the shrimps don’t make it to 2 years.

Cherry Shrimp Tank Requirements and Basics

Let’s talk about the tank.

What Size Tank Does a Cherry Shrimp Need?

One Cherry Shrimp needs roughly a quarter of a gallon to live freely.

Still, Cherry Shrimp thrive best when they live in groups of at least 5 members of the same species.

So, in other words, if you have 5 Cherry Shrimp, keep them in a small 1-gallon tank.

Your golden rule would be to add a gallon for every 5 extra shrimp to the family.

What Do Cherry Shrimp Need in Their Tank?

Cherry Shrimp love to have some hiding places in their tank, which you can easily provide with plants.

These little shrimp have no defense mechanism, and hiding from time to time is their only escapism.

The shrimp also need some fine gravel on the bottom to simulate their natural habitat.

Do Cherry Shrimp Need a Filter?

Are filters a must-have for Cherry Shrimp to thrive?

No, they’re not.

Do we recommend using a filter?

Yes, we do.

Cherry Shrimp are scavengers that constantly eat any food and debris in the tank, which keeps it clean.

However, they still produce a tiny amount of waste that forms up over time.

A filter keeps the water cleaner and clearer, contributing to the 2-year mark lifespan you may seek.

Do Cherry Shrimp Need an Air Pump?

If the water is oxygenated, you don’t need an air pump in your Cherry Shrimp tank.

In other words, if you have a tank filter, it should be more than enough to keep the water oxygenated.

Do Cherry Shrimp Need a Heater?

If you can’t maintain the minimum 60°F temperature requirement that the shrimp need, then you should have a heater near the tank.

Conversely, you won’t need the heater if you live in an already warm environment.

Do Cherry Shrimp Need a Light?

Cherry Shrimp don’t require any sort of artificial lighting as they don’t have specific light requirements.

So mixing occasional sunlight and indoor light is alright for the shrimp.

Keep in mind that Cherry Shrimp can live in the dark as well.

However, they won’t breed as much if there’s too little light most of the time.

Do Cherry Shrimp Need Live Plants?

Cherry Shrimp need plants to explore, crawl under, eat, and hide behind.

Both live and plastic plants will do that.

However, we still recommend using live plants to provide oxygen for the shrimp to breathe and being a good food source if you forget to feed your shrimp once or twice.

Cherry Shrimp Water Basics

Getting the water right is essential for the survival of Cherry Shrimp.

Can Cherry Shrimp Live in Tap Water?

Tap water components differ according to where you live.

As a start, the pH of the water should range between 6.5–8.

Also, there should be no ammonia, nitrate, or chlorine in the water as they’re highly toxic to Cherry Shrimp.

If you’re sure that your home tap water meets these criteria, then you can safely use it for your Cherry Shrimp.

How Long Should Water Sit Before Adding Cherry Shrimp?

You shouldn’t add your shrimp to the water before you complete the nitrogen cycle.

This cycle takes around 6 weeks to finish.

The point of this cycle is to increase the number of beneficial bacteria in the tank to decompose waste material.

To start the nitrogen cycle, you need to place shrimp food in the tank every 12 hours.

What Temperature Should a Cherry Shrimp Tank Be?

The shrimp also need an average temperature of 60–86°F and a pH of 6.5–8.

You can keep the temperature within range by using a heater in cold weather and by keeping the tank in a cool room in summer.

How Often Do You Change Cherry Shrimp Water?

The water changing time varies depending on the amount of water and the number of Cherry Shrimp you have.

The point is to change the water before the nitrate levels get too high to prevent harming your shrimp.

You want your nitrate particles to be less than 20 ppm (part per million.)

How can you detect that?

Simply use a TDS (total dissolved solids) meter.

If you can’t get your hands on a TDS meter, then make a habit of changing the water every 3–4 weeks.

Cherry Shrimp Diet and Feeding

Time to understand the diet.

What Do Cherry Shrimp Eat?

Cherry Shrimp are omnivores, which means they eat meat and a plant-based diet.

You can always feed them their commercial omnivore shrimp food.

They will also feed on plant debris, algae, and bloodworms.

Additionally, you can feed them vegetable bits like carrots, spinach, and zucchini.

How Much Do You Feed a Cherry Shrimp?

The amount of food you’ll need to provide depends on the number of shrimp you have.

Usually, you get that amount with trial and error.

Start by putting a decent amount of food on their tank plate, then observe the tank from time to time.

If you come back after 3 hours to find some food remnants, it’s a sign that the food was too much.

We recommend removing that uneaten food to avoid decay.

How Often Do You Feed a Cherry Shrimp?

Typically, you only need to feed your Cherry Shrimp every 2–3 days.

Don’t worry if you leave them without food for a day or so.

They’ll often feed on food remnants and plants in the tank.

It’s much easier to overfeed Cherry Shrimp than to underfeed them.

If you overfeed them, they’ll produce more waste and increase harmful ammonia and nitrate in the water, which harms them.

Cherry Shrimp Tank Mates

Let’s see the suitable tank mates.

Can a Cherry Shrimp Live Alone?

A Cherry Shrimp can live alone but won’t be as active.

If you keep a Cherry pet on its own, he’ll be hiding most of the time and won’t eat as much.

Always aim for groups of 5 or more.

Can a Cherry Shrimp Live With Other Cherry Shrimp?

A Cherry Shrimp is a peaceful creature whose best potential tank mate is another Cherry Shrimp.

You can keep as many Cherry Shrimp as you like, as long as you’re maintaining the 5 shrimp per 1-gallon rule and keeping the tank clean.

Can a Cherry Shrimp Live With Other Types of Fish?

Cherry Shrimp will never harm any other fish.

However, fish with a mouth opening larger than the shrimp will feed on them.

So, while a fish may not eat adult shrimps, it may still eat the fries, so keep that in mind.

Here are 3 good potential tank mates for Cherry Shrimp:

  • Neon Tetras: Neon Tetras grow to around 1 inch. They are very passive and won’t attack your Cherry Shrimp.
  • Dwarf Gourami: Dwarf Gouramis love to swim near the tank’s surface away from the bottom-dwelling shrimps, so they’re relatively safe down there.
  • Harlequin Rasbora: Much like Neon Tetras, Harlequins are peaceful and passive. They’ll rarely if ever, attack your Cherry Shrimp.

How to Care for a Cherry Shrimp

Follow these simple steps to care for your Cherry Shrimp:

  • Don’t overfeed your shrimps
  • Keep the tank clean
  • Change the water when nitrate levels are higher than 20 ppm
  • Keep the temperature within 60–86°F

How to Feed a Cherry Shrimp

Every 2–3 days, put some of their commercial food (or any other food cut to the same pieces) in their tank plate.

Then, simply come back after 2–3 hours and scoop off any extra food, and you’re good to go.

How to Clean a Cherry Shrimp Tank

Cleaning the Cherry Shrimp tank is easy.

All you need to do is remove the excess hair algae and clean the tank from the inside using a clean sponge.

Be careful not to harm your shrimp as you do so.

They tend to get in the way.

Once you finish cleaning, drain half the tank’s water and replace it with fresh water to reduce the nitrate concentration.

How Can I Play With My Cherry Shrimp?

You can play with your Cherry Shrimp by having it climb or touch your hand.

However, keep in mind that Cherry Shrimp detect their surroundings by motion, not recognition.

In other words, the Shrimp will sense your movement but not recognize you as a person, not by sight, at least.

Yet, the shrimp may sometimes memorize your hand’s smell and come to it if you put it in the tank.

Cherry Shrimp Behavior Basics

Now let’s talk about how to understand your Cherry Shrimp.

How Do You Know if a Cherry Shrimp Is Happy?

You can tell that your Cherry Shrimp is happy when it keeps roaming around the tank and comes around for food when it’s food time.

No matter how much algae the shrimp may be eating, when it rushes to food during meal time, then it’s a happy shrimp.

What Does a Stressed Cherry Shrimp Look Like?

A stressed shrimp may lose some of its vibrant colors.

It’ll also hide a lot more often and won’t respond well to meal times.

How Do I Know if My Cherry Shrimp is Healthy?

We’ve already mentioned that an eating shrimp is a happy shrimp.

Another sign to look for in a healthy shrimp is the color.

Unlike a stressed shrimp, a healthy shrimp has that vibrant red cherry iconic color.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do cherry shrimp need caves?

Cherry Shrimp don’t necessarily need caves.

They might provide a better environment for molting and hiding shrimp, but it’s fine if you can’t provide the tank with caves.

What is the easiest shrimp to take care of?

Red Cherry Shrimp are arguably the easiest shrimp species to take care of.

They’re low maintenance, almost self-sustaining, and will eat anything.

Just keep their tank clean and give them some food and you’re pretty much done.

Wrapping Up

Getting an aquarium is a great addition at home, but if you don’t want to bother with the hassle of daily care, then using Cherry Shrimp instead of fish is a great alternative.

Cherry Shrimp care is one of the easiest.

You’ll hardly need to do anything to keep these beautiful-looking creatures alive.

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