Cherry shrimp have always fascinated me as a fish enthusiast because not only are they impossibly cute, but they’re also super easy to take care of.
On top of that, learning about cherry shrimps has been an incredible experience.
As such, I’ve put together this guide to take you on a similar journey.
Cherry Shrimp: The Basics
To start off, learning about cherry shrimp, including its purpose and origins, is an essential step in understanding the basics of this beautiful fish.
What Is Cherry Shrimp?
A Cherry shrimp, otherwise known as Red Cherry shrimp, is a beautiful breed of the Atyidae family of fish.
What is the Purpose of a Cherry Shrimp?
Fun fact: Cherry shrimps have amazing scavenger skills.
As a result, they can clean up your tank from debris and uneaten food.
What is the Origin of Cherry Shrimp?
Cherry shrimp is a fish that’s native to Eastern China and was then introduced to countries nearby, such as Taiwan, Japan, and Hawaii.
Similar Alternatives to Cherry Shrimp
While most shrimp species won’t share the bright, red color of Cherry shrimp, some alternatives have a few qualities in common with this fish.
- Amano Shrimp: Another native of Asian waters is the Amano shrimp. They also prefer freshwater bodies to salty ones.
- Ghost Shrimp: Ghost shrimps are roughly the same size and live in similar regions to Cherry shrimp as well.
- Golden Bee Shrimp: The slightly orange-colored Golden Bee shrimp has its origins in Hong Kong and Southern China.
- Vampire Shrimp: While being a freshwater species, vampire shrimp actually comes from Africa instead. They both share the filter-feeding purpose, though.
How Much Do Cherry Shrimp Cost?
Cherry shrimp cost anywhere from $2 to $8, depending on their grade and breed.
Higher ones will typically be more expensive.
Cherry Shrimp Behavior & Lifespan
You have a rough idea of Cherry shrimp basics now, so let’s get into how they behave and what their lifespan is like.
Cherry Shrimp Behavior
Cherry shrimps are gentle, easy-going creatures.
They keep to themselves and get nervous pretty quickly too.
What Do Cherry Shrimp Do For Your Tank?
In your tank, you’ll find your Cherry shrimps scavenging the bottom day and night.
They graze on algae and clean the water as often as possible.
Is a Cherry Shrimp Dangerous?
Due to their small size and delicate personality, Cherry shrimps are safe to handle.
It’s not recommended, however, because you might harm their fragile exoskeleton.
Cherry Shrimp Lifespan
As with most shrimp species, Cherry shrimps don’t stick around for too long.
How Long Do Cherry Shrimp Live?
Generally speaking, Cherry shrimps are omnivores that can live up to two years and nothing more—provided they’re staying in ideal conditions.
How Fast Do Cherry Shrimp Grow?
Given a high-quality diet, a Cherry shrimp will grow into its adult size once 120 or 150 days have passed since its birth.
How Big Can a Cherry Shrimp Get?
Relatively, Cherry shrimps are rather small.
Their weight increases by 2.60 grams every week and their maximum length range from one to one and a quarter inches long.
Cherry Shrimp Tank & Water Requirements
Now, let’s jump into the most important section in this guide.
What does your Cherry shrimp need from you?
Best Tank Size for Cherry Shrimp
While Cherry shrimps will do fine in 2-gallon tanks, it’s better to keep them in eight to 12-gallon aquariums to allow for a more active colony.
Best Water Parameters & Conditions for Cherry Shrimp
Your water parameters and conditions should meet these requirements:
- Temperatures should be from 65°F to 75°F (or 18.3°C-23.8°C)
- Chloramines at a solid 0 ppm as they’re toxic to shrimp
- Ammonia and Nitrite content needs to be at 0 ppm too
- Nitrate percentage needs to be less than 20 ppm
- pH levels should range from 6.2 to 8.0
- The aquarium’s General hardness (GH) should be 4-8 dGH (or 66.7-133.4 ppm)
- The tank’s Carbonate hardness (KH) needs to be between 3-15 dKH (or 53.6-268.3 ppm)
Do Cherry Shrimp Need an Air Pump?
High oxygen content in the tank is essential to the survival of Cherry shrimps.
Air pumps are a good way to prevent diseases from spreading in the water as well.
Best Habitat for Cherry Shrimp
Cherry shrimp’s wild habitat has to include rocky bottoms and plenty of plants.
They keep to freshwaters, such as ponds and streams.
Do Cherry Shrimp Need Live Plants?
For an ideal environment, Cherry shrimps thrive best in areas and tanks that are heavily packed with plants.
Adding driftwood and multiple crevices won’t hurt either.
Cherry Shrimp Tank Mates
Thinking of getting more fish for your tank of Cherry shrimps?
This section has you covered as I tell you what species can be neighbors to your Cherry shrimps and which can’t.
How Many Cherry Shrimp Should be Kept Together?
The golden rule is to have two to five Cherry shrimps per water gallon.
The minimum recommended amount if you have other fish around though, is ten Cherry shrimps.
What Fish Make Good Tank Mates for Cherry Shrimp?
The alternatives we mentioned before can be good tank mates for Cherry shrimp.
Although, the ideal and safest tank mate is the Otocinclus catfish.
Which Fish Should Cherry Shrimp Avoid?
Cherry shrimps are small so avoid any medium or large-sized fish, such as goldfish, as they pose a threat.
Additionally, stay away from small-sized carnivores, like pea puffers, as well.
Cherry Shrimp Breeding & Reproduction
As a fish owner, you need to know the breeding habits of your aquatic pets so you can keep up with their reproduction seasons.
The same goes for Cherry shrimp, too.
Do Cherry Shrimp Breed Easily?
Cherry shrimps are easy to breed because they’re a hardy species and can tolerate extreme conditions.
This makes them great fish for beginner owners, too.
How Long Does it Take for a Cherry Shrimp to Have Babies?
It takes at least two months before female Cherry shrimps lay their 20 to 30 eggs.
The outer shell will continue to darken until the baby shrimps hatch after two to three weeks.
How Long is a Cherry Shrimp Pregnant?
A pregnant Cherry shrimp is referred to as ovigerous and you’ll notice a little, yellow bump around her belly too.
She’ll carry the eggs for at least 25 to 35 days before laying them.
How to Care for Cherry Shrimp
Finally, and yet another important section to go through, is how you can care for your new Cherry shrimps.
General Care for Cherry Shrimp
Luckily, Cherry shrimps are rather easy to take care of.
They’re pretty low-maintenance so long as you keep the tank’s conditions ideal and continue to feed them a high-quality diet.
It’s just as essential too that you don’t put Cherry shrimps in the same aquarium as other dangerous, meat-eating species, such as cichlids, oscars, and discus.
Cherry Shrimp Diet and Feeding
As we briefly mentioned before, Cherry shrimps are omnivores, meaning, they need both meat and plants to thrive.
In other words, you should make sure their diet includes plenty of protein content.
Among the few common aquatic food Cherry shrimp would happily feed on are the following:
- Algae wafers
- Snowflake pellets
- Decaying plant matter
- Small dead animals (clams, fish, snails, crabs)
- Tiny fish and invertebrates
As a final rule, make sure that you feed your Cherry shrimp at least twice a week.
Depending on how many of them you have, you may need to add food five times per week.
Just remember not to overfeed them.
While they’ll scavenge the tank for extra food on their own, the buildup of decaying toxins is a threat to your shrimp.
Common Problems With Cherry Shrimp
Cherry shrimp are rather sensitive.
Their diets should contain enough calcium and iodine or else they won’t molt, or shed their exoskeletons, and then die.
Another possible disease is copper posioning due to increased amount of decomposing algae or bacteria.
Poor water quality and not enough oxygen are other factors that’ll harm your shrimp as well.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will cherry shrimp clean my tank?
Yes, Cherry shrimp will clean out your tank from debris and uneaten food.
Don’t expect miracles, though.
They’re hard workers but they’re still small.
How fast do cherry shrimp multiply?
The breeding process of Cherry shrimps not only takes a long time, but it also depends on many other factors.
That said, Cherry shrimps take around three to five months to breed.
Cherry shrimp is a fascinating species to both own and witness the natural behavior of.
They’re inexpensive and easy to take care of as well.
Additionally, Cherry shrimps keep to themselves and can be kept with other docile, similar-sized shrimps and fish.
Just make sure that their tank closely imitates their habitat in the wild.