Cherry Shrimp Care Guide: Grades, Tank Conditions, Tank Mates, Diet, and Breeding • Aquarium Fishes (2023)

Aquarists keep invertebrates, especially shrimps, for different purposes, and freshwater Cherry Shrimp is the most famous among them. These red cherry shrimp (Neocaridina shrimp) originated from Taiwan and are quite hardy, which makes them a popular choice among beginners. They are available in many shades of red, and their vibrant colors add attractiveness to the tank.

In this article, we will talk about everything from their appearance, diet, tank conditions, tank mates, and breeding, etc. Before going to description, let’s take a brief look at the table given below –

Scientific nameNeocaridina heteropoda
Lifespan1-2 Years
Care LevelEasy
Color FormRed
Tank Set-UpFreshwater, Heavily Planted
Size1.5 Inches
Minimum Tank Size5 Gallons
CompatibilityOther Shrimps and Snails

Contents hide

Cherry Shrimp Overview

How Long Do Cherry Shrimp Live?

Cherry Shrimp Behavior

Cherry Shrimp Tank Conditions and Habitat

What Size Aquarium Do Red Cherry Shrimps Need?

Cherry Shrimp Tank Mates

Keeping Cherry Shrimp Together

Cherry Shrimp Diet and Feeding

(Video) Cherry Shrimp Care Guide! - Everything You Need To Know!

Cherry Shrimp Care

Cherry Shrimp Breeding

Is Cherry Shrimp for you?

Cherry Shrimp Overview

Cherry Shrimp Care Guide: Grades, Tank Conditions, Tank Mates, Diet, and Breeding • Aquarium Fishes (1)

Cherry Shrimp are freshwater dwarf shrimps. These red shrimps belong to the Atyidae family of invertebrates with 20 other varieties. These algae eaters are native of Taiwan and are known for their non-aggressive nature.

Apart from this, cherry shrimps are easy to maintain and look after. They will add color and keep the tank clean as well. Their qualities make them perfect for a beginner.

How Long Do Cherry Shrimp Live?

Cherry shrimps are hardy and can sustain in harsh water conditions. They need heavy plantation in the freshwater tank with lots of shelter and caves to hide. If the water conditions are suitable, the cherry shrimp can live up to 1-2 years.

In the wild, many color variants of shrimps are available, but you will find only red one from the aquarists. Its dark red color is the result of selective breeding over the year. Now, they are graded based on shade and brightness.

Cherry Shrimp Behavior

Cherry shrimp, like others in the family, are non-aggressive. If you look at them, you will find them quite busy.

They spend most of their time at the bottom of the tank in cleaning and looking for food. Red Cherry Shrimp will add attractiveness from their appearance and keep you engage from their active movements.

Cherry Shrimp Appearance

Cherry Shrimps have a red-colored appearance with different shades. The color ranges from the deep, bright red colored body to the paler color body with red spots on it.

Red Cherry Shrimp Size

The female red Cherry Shrimp can grow up to 1.5 inches (approx. 4 cm) while the males are slightly shorter than them.

Cherry Shrimp Care Guide: Grades, Tank Conditions, Tank Mates, Diet, and Breeding • Aquarium Fishes (2)

Types of Cherry Shrimp

There are several cherry shrimp grades. Some types of cherry shrimp are given below-

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  • Cherry Shrimp: These shrimps have the lowest grade of red and are known as regular cherry shrimp. They have a translucent body with red patches on it.
  • Sakura Cherry Shrimp: These shrimps have slightly paler coloration, but the patches are quite visible on it.
  • Fire Red Shrimp: These shrimps have red coloration on the whole body instead of patches.
  • Painted Fire Red Shrimp: These shrimps have solid deep red coloration, which is considered as the highest grade. Even their legs have red coloration, which makes them expensive.

The female cherry shrimps have more bright coloration and are larger than the males. But the difference can be determined only when they are matured. The females develop an orange-colored saddle on their stomach, which is used to hold eggs before fertilization.

Cherry Shrimp Tank Conditions and Habitat

Cherry Shrimps can be found living in densely packed ponds and streams in the wild. These ponds and streams have a rocky substrate. You have to replicate the conditions of their habitat in your aquarium for them to thrive.

Temperature65-85 °F
PlantationHeavy, Java Moss
Tank capacity5 gallons minimum

As we mentioned earlier, they need heavy plantation to breed and hide. You can also include crevices, moss, and driftwood for them to hide. They are very sensitive to water conditions, so make sure to avoid any rapid change.

Cherry Shrimp Care Guide: Grades, Tank Conditions, Tank Mates, Diet, and Breeding • Aquarium Fishes (3)

The shrimps with lower grades can still be able to survive poor water conditions, but a higher graded shrimp won’t. In equipment, you can add a heater to stable the temperature, which is optional but having a filter to cycle water is a must. The increased amount of nitrite can cause difficulty for them.

They are small and can be sucked by the filter. So, to avoid this from happening, use the sponge filter. If you are using a canister filter, then add foam on the inlets to keep the flow of water low.

They have a bright red appearance when they feel safe in their surroundings or when the water conditions are suitable.

What Size Aquarium Do Red Cherry Shrimps Need?

5 gallons aquarium is enough for keeping shrimps. But they breed quite quickly, and there will be a colony in your tank before you know it. So, buy a tank which is slightly bigger than this to avoid last-minute situations.

How Many Cherry Shrimp Per Gallon?

You can keep 2-5 shrimps per gallon. But if you are planning to keep the colony, then the size of the aquarium should not be smaller than 20 gallons.

Cherry Shrimp Tank Mates

Shrimps are non-aggressive, whether it is Red Cherry Shrimp or any other member of its family. They won’t harm or cause trouble to other fishes and will be busy all day minding their own business. Another reason for this is they don’t have anything to defend themselves.

But this weakness can make them prey to other fishes. To avoid this, don’t keep them with any fish that has a mouth big enough to swallow them. The other way is to create a lot of space for them to hide. But, don’t put higher grade shrimps with another tank mate.

Ideal Red Cherry Shrimp Tank Mates

The mates that can be kept with lower grade tank mates include – Catfish (Cory and Otocinclus), Small Tetras, Freshwater Snails (Ivory, Mystery, Gold Inca, Nerite, Malaysian Trumpet), Small Plecos, Dwarf Gourami, etc.

Enemy Red Cherry Shrimp Tank Mates

The mates you should avoid at all costs are – Oscars, Cichlids, Arowanas, Discus, etc.

Keeping Cherry Shrimp Together

Cherry shrimps should not be kept alone in the tank. They can get stressed and won’t show any activity as they will feel unsafe. You can keep a group of 10 shrimps as the more the number, the more confident they get. They will thrive and show their different behaviors as well.

(Video) 75 Gallon Red Shrimp Tank - How To Breed 100s and 100s of High Grade Red Cherry Neocaridina Shrimp

For male and female ratio, make sure the number of females is more than that of males. To add variety, you can keep other species of shrimp with Cherry Shrimps like Vampire Shrimp, Amano Shrimp, or Ghost Shrimp. You can also add snails in the tank.

Cherry Shrimp Diet and Feeding

Cherry Shrimps are omnivores and act as a scavenger in the wild which makes them easy to feed. They are algae eaters but can feed on anything from plant debris to small organisms.

Cherry Shrimp Care Guide: Grades, Tank Conditions, Tank Mates, Diet, and Breeding • Aquarium Fishes (4)

You can also feed them from homemade food or premade food to live or frozen food. Many foods are available in the market that is made specifically for the shrimps. It is important to add pellets or wafers as a large part of their diet.

For vegetables, you can add boiled and mashes cucumber, carrots, spinach, lettuce, and zucchini in their diet. But make sure to add only a small quantity of food and remove any remaining food after 2 hours of feeding.

Like other algae eaters, a large proportion of their diet includes algae itself, which they look for the whole day. They can’t clean the tank as quickly as large fishes, but they will keep the glass and corner of the tank shinning.

It is important to feed them with high-quality food with the right amount. It will keep shrimps healthy and active but overfeeding will not only make them sick but pollute the tank as well.

Cherry Shrimp Care

Cherry Shrimp are easy to feed and care. They won’t demand a lot of care and maintenance from you, but still, some things can make them sick or even kill them. The things that can harm them are as follows –

  • Copper – They are very sensitive to Copper. It is found in many fish food items and lots of medication. So, check the ingredients before adding anything in the tank.
  • Ammonia – Ammonia and nitrites are other elements that can harm Cherry shrimps. The amount of these elements increases if the tank is not getting cycled or cleaned properly. Make sure to check the water parameters once a while.
  • Exoskeleton – The shrimps shed their exoskeleton as they grow. These are not harmful to them, but many people remove them as they see it falling on the surface. But it should not be done as the shrimps will feed on them to get essential minerals.

You will face fewer challenges if your tank is big, but you can face many of them when the tank is small.

Cherry Shrimp Breeding

Cherry shrimps are the species that are easiest to breed and don’t ask for much effort from the breeder. They get matured in 4-6 months and will start breeding as soon as they get comfortable in their surrounding.

Cherry Shrimp Care Guide: Grades, Tank Conditions, Tank Mates, Diet, and Breeding • Aquarium Fishes (5)

The process of breeding Cherry Shrimp can be categorized into three stages – pre-breeding, breeding, and hatching.

  • Pre-breeding – They breed in the summer season, but if you want to breed them in any other season, you can increase the temperature up to 82o

Also, make sure there is ample space for them to breed and feel safe. You also need to add more protein to their diet during the breeding season.

  • Breeding – As we discussed, they reach sexual maturity in 4-6 months. Once they mate, you will notice females carrying eggs underneath their tails(berried eggs) and regularly fanning them to provide oxygen.
  • Hatching – It takes around 30 days for the eggs to hatch. Once they hatch, you can keep them in the main tank to provide the necessary diet. The adult shrimps are not very considerate for their baby shrimps and leave them to fend for themselves.

To increase the chance of their survival or you don’t think they are getting ample food, you can plant Anacharis for them to feed.

Is Cherry Shrimp for you?

Cherry shrimps are beautiful little creatures who not only add beauty to the tank, but their activity will also keep one engaged.

They are dwarf shrimps found in streams and ponds of Taiwan. They are easy to care, feed, breed, and make an excellent tank cleaner as well. All these qualities make them ideal for a beginner.

What qualities of Cherry Shrimp did you like the most? Did you keep them in your tank? Let us know in the comments below.


What conditions do cherry shrimp need to breed? ›

The pH of the aquarium water should be with in 6.5-8.0. The temperature should be kept between 70-80°F. Water hardness is not important as long as it is not at either extreme, soft or hard. When breeding, the shrimp need a consistent food source.

What fish can be in a tank with cherry shrimp? ›

The best tank mates for your Cherry Shrimp will be those which match its small size. Various sea animals such as Thai Micro Crabs, Amano Shrimp, Otocinclus Catfish, Aquarium Snails, and Neon Tetras all make great cherry shrimp tank mates.

What fish to avoid with cherry shrimp? ›

Tank Mates to Avoid

Of course, say no to medium to large-sized fish — like goldfish, cichlids, rainbowfish, and bigger plecos. Also, small fish that are mainly meat eaters like to go after shrimp, so be wary of adding betta fish, dwarf cichlids, dwarf gouramis, and pea puffers.

What do you feed shrimp for breeding? ›

Hikari Shrimp Cuisine

These tiny sinking pellets are great for breeding crystal and cherry shrimp because they're tiny enough to be eaten by both babies and adults. (If you prefer a larger pellet size, Hikari Crab Cuisine is a very similar food for shrimp, snails, crayfish, and crabs.)

Do cherry shrimp need live plants? ›

The tank should include plenty of live aquarium plants. Its important for these shrimp to have lots of places to crawl on and explore. Live plants provide great hiding places and cover for these shrimp.

What plants go in a cherry shrimp tank? ›

  1. Moss. Aquatic mosses, such as Christmas Moss or Java Moss, are arguably the best plants for a shrimp tank. ...
  2. Water Wisteria. ...
  3. Java Fern. ...
  4. Anubias. ...
  5. Pearl Weed. ...
  6. Floating Plants. ...
  7. Dwarf Lily or Tiger Lotus. ...
  8. Hornwort.

What do cherry shrimp eat in a fish tank? ›

Red Cherry Shrimp are considered omnivores. That means they will eat both plant matter as well as meaty foods. When keeping Red Cherry Shrimp in the aquarium the three most common foods are algae, blanched vegetable, and prepared aquarium foods.

How many cherry shrimp should be together? ›

It's a good idea to start a tank with at least ten Cherry shrimp, as they adjust better in larger groups. The amount of water in the tank should be no less than five gallons. With every three additional shrimp added, there should be another gallon of water.

What is toxic to cherry shrimp? ›

Water changes of 20% a month is all that is necessary to keep Red Cherry Shrimp long as you do not over feed the tank. There are a few elements that are commonly found in an aquarium that are very harmful to Red Cherry Shrimp. Ammonia, Nitrite, and Nitrate are all very harmful.

What are cherry shrimp sensitive to? ›

It's very important to provide stable water conditions for your red cherry shrimp. They are very sensitive to ammonia and nitrite spikes.

What should I not keep with shrimp? ›

Avoid adding smaller crustacean species to a tank with large, boisterous and/or carnivorous shrimp – fish such as cichlids, angelfish and barbs; these larger fish will mistake the little shrimp for food. Some good tank-mates are danios, guppies, tetras, rasboras and other small community fish or shrimp.

What do I need for a shrimp breeding tank? ›

Moss & Aquatic Plants: Both moss and other aquatic plants are very important in a shrimp-breeding setup. Not only do they help filter out ammonia and nitrate, shrimp love hiding and grazing in them. Floating plants are great at absorbing harmful compounds and they also provide shade from bright-light.

How quickly do cherry shrimp breed? ›

If you have cherry shrimp of both sexes, you'd be hard pressed not to breed them. Cherry shrimp mature fast – a female is ready to have babies in 4-6 months.

How many babies do cherry shrimp give birth to? ›

They have 20–30 eggs, which take 2–3 weeks to hatch. The eggs are green or yellow, depending on the color of the saddle. They turn darker and darker until the young shrimp hatch after about three weeks.

What is shrimp Favourite food? ›

Shrimp like green food such as spinach and nettles, and vegetables such as kuri squash or zucchini are also suitable for feeding shrimp. Besides vegetable food, shrimp also need a certain amount of protein to keep them from assaulting younger or weaker conspecifics.

How often do you feed cherry shrimp? ›

You can feed your shrimp as much and as often as you like only if you DO NOT overfeed them! Depending on the tank set up, and how much natural food (algae and biofilm) there is, you can feed shrimp from 1 to 5 times a week.

What size tank is best for breeding shrimp? ›

If you want to breed shrimp seriously, then the best size can be about 30 – 40 gallons. If it is not possible to have a room for such a big tank, choose 20 Longs. The biggest reason why 20 Long tank is better for shrimp is that they have more surface area compared to something like 20 high.

Can cherry shrimp survive on just algae? ›

RCS are omnivorous. Simply put, they will eat almost anything. In a well-planted tank they will almost always have something to eat. However, it is wise to supplement their normal diet of algae with other types of food.

Do cherry shrimp need Gravel? ›

Neocaridina or cherry shrimp don't require an active substrate. They'll be absolutely fine with inert material instead, as their preferred water will be able to buffer itself with its carbonate hardness.

Do cherry shrimp need moss? ›

Red Cherry Shrimp also like feeding on some types soft green algae that grows on hard surfaces like aquarium glass and filter intakes. That's why it's good to keep them in tanks that have had a chance to mature. A Marimo Moss Ball is also a great addition to a Red Cherry Shrimp tank.

Do shrimp like floating plants? ›

Food. Adding more surface area for biofilm to grow is another useful benefit of floating plants. Biofilm makes up the majority of a shrimp's natural diet, so giving it the room to expand is very beneficial.

What is the best moss for cherry shrimp? ›

Vallisneria. Java moss (THE best plant for shrimp) Anubias. Pearl weed.

Do I need to cycle a tank for cherry shrimp? ›

Having a fully cycled tank is especially important for shrimp as they're highly sensitive to toxic elements like ammonia. It's recommended to let your tank cycle and mature for about 4-6 weeks before you add shrimp.

Are algae wafers good for shrimp? ›

The Best Algae Wafers

Fish, shrimp, crayfish, snails... all of them absolutely love this food! This food is particularly ideal for bottom dwellers, since the wafers quickly sink to the bottom of the tank once dropped in.

Can cherry shrimp survive ammonia? ›

How bad is ammonia for shrimp? Pretty bad. Any measurable amount of ammonia in the water will stress your shrimp, and cause chemical burns to their body. It's quite a common cause of death in new shrimp tanks.

What do shrimp like in their tank? ›

Tank vegetation helps improve water quality by removing ammonia and nitrates. Plants also provide cover and food surface for the shrimp. Moss comes highly recommended because it holds a lot of microbial flora and fauna that the baby shrimps feed on. Moss does not need any fancy substrate to thrive well.

How many cherry red shrimp per gallon? ›

Keep in mind that it's recommended to have no more than 5 shrimp per gallon of water.

Do cherry shrimp prefer light or dark? ›

Shrimp need both light and dark places in your tank. Light is the prime reason for the growth of algae, which the shrimp rely on for food. However, when they are not feeding, they tend to prefer darker places to hide. It makes them feel more comfortable and less stressed.

How often do you change water for cherry shrimp? ›

If you see your shrimp swimming all around the tank like fish after a water change, this means that they are not happy with the new water you have added. With that said, is important to do water changes at least once a week to avoid a buildup of waste (two 30 percent changes each week is better than one 50% change).

Can cherry shrimp live in tap water? ›

Tap water will almost always contain chemicals to make it safe for humans to drink, like chlorine. These chemicals are highly toxic to shrimp, even low doses can cause death. To deal with these chemicals, you'll need to use a dechlorinator, sometimes also called a water conditioner.

Do male cherry shrimp turn into females? ›

They change their sex. Specifically, they are protandrous hermaphrodites - the shrimp spends the early part of its adult life as a male and then changes into a female for the rest of its lifetime.

How do you know if shrimp is stressed? ›

Signs of Stress in Freshwater Shrimp
  1. Swimming around a lot.
  2. Not moving much.
  3. Not eating.
  4. Changing colour.
  5. Stunted growth.
  6. Staying at the water surface.
  7. Failed molts.
  8. Shrimp aren't breeding.

Are cherry shrimp good algae eaters? ›

Cherry shrimp/Sakura shrimp (Neocaridina davidi)

Like Amano shrimp, they will eat various types of algae - and they do it quickly. Cherries spend their entire day foraging, eating algae and biofilm wherever they can find them. Just introduce a colony of at least ten cherry shrimp into your aquarium and sit back!

How long can cherry shrimp go without food? ›

With careful preparation your shrimp should be able to go without food being added for up to two weeks. If you're leaving for more than two weeks, I'd recommend getting someone to help with feeding and maybe water changes, depending on the duration of your break.

What fish can be mixed with shrimp? ›


What can you combine shrimp with? ›

37+ BEST Side Dishes for Shrimp
  1. Sauteed Spinach.
  2. Sous Vide Asparagus.
  3. Roasted Delicata Squash.
  4. Elote-Style Carrots.
  5. Instant Pot Corn on the Cob.
  6. Zucchini Fries.
  7. Air Fryer Brussel Sprouts.
  8. Shishito Peppers.
Jul 12, 2022

How many shrimp can you have in a 10 gallon tank? ›

You can have up to 10 dwarf shrimp per 1 gallon of water. For example: A 10 gallon aquarium COULD house up to 100 dwarf shrimp. However, a great starting point could be 5 shrimp per 1 gallon of water.

What is the best rock for shrimp tank? ›

Lava rock in general is one of the best rocks to use in a shrimp tank. Lava rock is extremely porous which provides tons of surface area to grow biofilm and beneficial bacteria. Lava rock will create natural feeding grounds for shrimp and especially baby shrimp.

Do shrimp need a filter and pump? ›

Do shrimp need filters? Shrimp are very sensitive to ammonia and nitrite so it's widely recommended that you cycle your shrimp tank fully before introducing any livestock. This just means running the filter long enough to build a healthy amount of beneficial bacteria which will keep the ammonia and nitrite levels safe.

What is the easiest aquarium shrimp to breed? ›

Red Cherry shrimp (Neocaridina davidi var.

The Red Cherry shrimp is probably the most popular dwarf shrimp among both beginners and more experienced shrimp keepers. And for good reason! This red Neocaridina variety is not fussy about water values, very easy to breed and quite decorative.

How much money can you make breeding cherry shrimp? ›

By adding java moss to the breeding tank, you can also breed another species like red cherry shrimp. Start with a high-quality stock and you may be able to sell 25 shrimp each month at $1 a head. That brings your total monthly revenue to $70 a month or $840 a year with only one aquarium.

How many babies do shrimp have at a time? ›

Shrimp will typically carry between 20 and 30 eggs, and even if all of them hatch without problem, you will probably only see a handful of babies in the first few days.

Do cherry shrimp need crushed coral? ›

The Cherry Shrimp Diet

Since they're continuously molting and shedding their exoskeleton, you also want to make sure to include calcium in their diet. This can be done by adding small amounts of crushed coral to the substrate or filter. Shrimp are, well, shrimp! So, they'll be preyed upon by other fish.

What temperature do cherry shrimp breed? ›

The pH of the aquarium water should be with in 6.5-8.0. The temperature should be kept between 70-80°F. Water hardness is not important as long as it is not at either extreme, soft or hard. When breeding, the shrimp need a consistent food source.

What temperature do cherry shrimp like? ›

The optimum aquarium temperature for Red Cherry Shrimp is around 77-81°F (25-27°C). Higher temperatures will lead to faster growth and reproduction rates. However higher temperatures reduces dissolved oxygen and stocking will need to be lowered.

How do you trigger cherry shrimp to breed? ›

Red Cherry shrimps generally breed during the summer. Raising the temperature of the aquarium by a couple of degrees Farenheit induces their mating behavior. Since the eggs require minerals and calcium to mature, the hardness of the water can also be raised slightly using limestone chips to induce mating.

Why are my red cherry shrimp not breeding? ›

Well, there can be many reasons why shrimp do not breed in our tanks. For example, wrong or unstable water parameters, stress factors, inappropriate diet, diseases, age, gender ratio, wrong species, etc. In most cases, it is a combination of some of these factors.

How do you know if cherry shrimp are stressed? ›

Signs of Stress in Freshwater Shrimp
  1. Swimming around a lot.
  2. Not moving much.
  3. Not eating.
  4. Changing colour.
  5. Stunted growth.
  6. Staying at the water surface.
  7. Failed molts.
  8. Shrimp aren't breeding.

How long does it take to cycle a cherry shrimp tank? ›

It's recommended to let your tank cycle and mature for about 4-6 weeks before you add shrimp. In more technical terms, your shrimp will produce ammonia (NH4) as waste which can be toxic to them even in small amounts.

How many cherry shrimp do I need to breed? ›

Try to get a mix of clear (males can have some red as well) males and red females. If you get 10 shrimp, your chance of getting both males and females is pretty much guaranteed.

Can Red Cherry Shrimp change gender? ›

Specifically, they are protandrous hermaphrodites - the shrimp spends the early part of its adult life as a male and then changes into a female for the rest of its lifetime.

Do cherry shrimp need a heater? ›

Do Shrimps Need a Heater To Survive? In fact, shrimp can survive without a heater. However, you should pay extra attention to their water temperature to ensure it does not dip below the recommended range. Under ideal conditions, shrimp can withstand minor changes in temperature.


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