A Simple Guide To Cherry Shrimp Care
Cherry shrimp is a type of freshwater shrimp that comes from the Atyidae family. These Cherry Shrimp can be graded on the basis of their colours which are Cherry–shrimp, Sakura Cherry-Shrimp, and the Fire-Red Cherry-Shrimp. Cherry shrimp is the lightest red and Fire-red is the darkest red colour.
These guys are easy to care for, they come in vibrant red but all of them are small in size. They have been popular among the fish-keeping or aquascaping community due to their easy care and tank-cleaning habits.
Cherry Shrimp size
Cherry shrimp grow to their maximum size of 1.5 inches within a year, depending upon the food, and the water condition of the tank. These guys are known to crawl among the most plants and hardscapes in the aquarium. They love Indian Almond Leaves and their tiny claw-like hands help them nibble on food leftovers and algae of other fish.
Their tiny size makes it easy for them to hide in small spaces and areas within the tank, so make sure you add in a lot of hardscapes, driftwood, rocks, live plants, and so on for them to find hiding space while moulding (i.e. shedding their skin for a new one).
What do Cherry Shrimp eat?
Cherry Shrimp are omnivorous. As they are scavengers, they eat any kind of leftover food from other tank mates, including algae and tiny micro-organisms, decaying plant matter, Catappa leaves, boiled veggies, and fish food.
Make sure that you give them a very small pinch of fish food maybe once or twice a week. Avoid overfeeding them as it would result in the growth of planaria, and other bacteria in your tank. You can always encourage algae growth in your aquarium, maybe on one side of your glass or over some hardscape as it would provide a sustainable source of food not only to your cherry shrimp but also to other algae eaters in your tank.
Typical behaviour of Cherry Shrimp
Cherry Shrimps are known to be very shy but get along well with the aquascape in your aquarium when they are kept in groups of 15 to 20. You will not see them if you keep them in a small quantity as they will hide in caves and other areas inside the tank. But however, once they are used to your aquarium they will start exploring and colonising a certain area in your aquarium.
And don’t forget that they love eating algae on the walls, rocks and other hardscapes like driftwood in your tank on which algae grow. This also helps in balancing the water and maintaining the nitrogen cycle in your aquarium.
What are the Basic tank requirements for Cherry Shrimp?
Make sure you Set up our tank that is a minimum of 5 gallons and add 10-15 cherry shrimps in your tank and create a set-up that has natural substrate along with the artificial substrate which can be used to grow a natural habitat as closely as possible for the cherry shrimp. Don’t forget to add on some Driftwood, sponge filter, and live plants like Java Fern, Vallisneria, Bacopa, and other beginner Plants for the aquarium.
Other than these basic tank requirements for cherry shrimp, these essentials are needed to create a natural habitat:
This Moss is a great addition to your cherry shrimp tank as it creates an ideal hiding space and source of microorganisms for the shrimp. In addition, Java Moss grows rapidly Under most conditions, and extra Moss moves can be easily cut off and sold at your nearby pet store or online stores.
Make sure you add in some aquarium light for the aquarium as it helps in the rapid growth of live plants and Moss. Which creates more hiding space and a source of food and algae for the cherry shrimp.
These filters are mostly silent and add to the aesthetics of your cherry shrimp tank. It enables a better water cycle and maintains a steady flow of water throughout the aquarium.
Indian almond leaves
Indian almond leaves Will only improve the quality of the water but also facilitate fewer changes in the water parameters. Reduce the create scale and create a brownish river ambience for your cherry shrimp. It acts as an excellent source of food for the shrimp as it disintegrates very slowly and will stay in the tank for a very long time compared to other sources of food. The cherry shrimp love it and you can always find them nibbling upon them.
Don’t add aggressive fish
Make sure that you do not add any kind of aggressive fish along with the cherry shrimp. Some of the aggressive fish might include – All cichlids, Betta fish, Arowana, Angelfish, large Catfish, and Oscar.
In addition, make sure you have a lot of hiding spaces within your tank to protect your shrimp/give them their private space during moulting and breeding time.
For more information, read our article on the Top 11 Tank Mates for Shrimps.
How many Cherry Shrimp should you add to your tank?
You can add anywhere between 10 to 15 shrimps per 5 gallons. Cherry shrimp are very small in size and tend to produce a smaller amount of metabolic waste, they can be kept in a smaller tank ranging from 4 to 5 gallons minimum, but it would be really great if you were able to set up a 20-gallon tank for your cherry shrimp. 20 gallons is ideal for reading them.
Check out our shrimp calculator here.
If you are dedicated to shrimp breeding, make sure you only keep one variety of shrimp within the tank. The tank needs to be heavily planted with Moss and other beginner plants to help in the survival and growth of the shrimplets into an adult.
The life span of Cherry Shrimp
Depending upon the water parameters, Cherry Shrimp can live from 1 to 2 years and can grow up to 1.5 inches long. More often than not they live up to a year, for them to survive up to 2 years is very difficult to achieve in an aquarium as they should not have major fluctuations in the water, such as even a simple water change.
This might be difficult for more people as they would have other fish in the aquarium and would need to do a water change every few weeks. This does not mean that cherry shrimps are not hardy, they can live in almost any kind of water. It’s just that once they are introduced to that particular water parameter, it must be held constant to prevent them from getting stressed out. And if it needs to be changed, the acclimation must be done very slowly.
How often should you feed your Cherry Shrimp?
You can feed your cherry shrimp every now and then maybe once or maybe twice a week, all depending upon the number of shrimps you have in your aquarium. Most of the time cherry shrimp tend to dwell upon leftovers, dead plants, and algae for food.
So it is not necessary for you to feed them on a daily basis but it would be great if you are able to add in some boiled vegetables or algae wafers, and fish food every once in seven days to keep the cherry shrimp happy and thriving.
Make sure to remove the extra veggies after a few hours. You do not want it to decay in the water which can cause the growth of planaria that can kill your shrimp. As long as you remove it within a few hours, everything will be fine.
How to breed Cherry Shrimp
The cherry Shrimp shall be able to start breeding once it reaches a sexual maturity age of 4-5 months. Once the female shrimp starts to moult, she will start going under hiding where the male will find her and breed along with her. Once the breeding is done the female will carry the eggs under her tail till the hatching time. Here are the conditions required,
- Make sure that your tank is a minimum of 20 gallons (90 Litres)
- Add Java Moss
- Add as many as life plants possible
- Add Indian almond leaves and other botanicals
- Create a lot of hiding spaces for the female during moulting and breeding time, which might include adding coconut shells, driftwood, rocks, and other hardscape hideouts.
For a more detailed guide check our article on how to breed cherry shrimps, I explain in depth how what kind of filter to use to prevent the shrimp fry from getting killed, what diet to follow and so on. I highly recommend giving it a quick read at least.
Cherry Shrimp fry care
Make sure there are a lot of hiding spaces available for the shrimp fry or shrimplets. Add in some botanicals or Indian almond leaves to create a natural habitat. Make sure you feed them from time to time by adding some boiled vegetables, algae wafers, and Tetra bits. Most of the time, the baby Cherry Shrimp are able to grow into adulthood naturally by feeding upon algae on the driftwood, leftover food, and dead plant remains. But however, they need the right amount of hiding space like that of Java Moss and other hardscapes in order to survive and hide from larger fish and other tank mates.
If you want more information on shrimp care, check out our article on the 7 Tips for Keeping Shrimps.