Cherry Shrimp: Ultimate Guide (Care, Diet, Breeding & More)

Cherry Shrimp in aquarium.

Cherry Shrimp, also called Neocaridina davidi, is a freshwater shrimp that belongs to the Taiwanian region.

These shrimp are aquarium shrimps and do not require a lot of care to survive. Plus, they are one of the most popular invertebrate species with beautiful colors.

This guide will teach you everything you need to know about cherry shrimp care. We cover habitat requirements, water parameters, tank mates, breeding, and much more!

Species Overview

The red-coloured shrimps add more beauty and colour to the aquarium, especially if a water tank has green plantations all around.

While these shrimps are mainly from Taiwan, most of the Cherry Shrimp you will find in the market come from breeding in captivity.

The prices of these shrimps depend on their colour, size, and visual appeal, as these species are available in a wide range of colours, including red-orange, blue, green, etc.

CategoryRating
TemperamentPeaceful
Care LevelEasy
Lifespan1-2 years
DietOmnivore
FamilyAtyidae
Tank Set-UpFreshwater, heavily planted
CompatibilityShrimps /snails
Minimum Tank Size5 gallons
Colour FormRed
Size1.5 inches

The Cherry Shrimp is a dwarf freshwater shrimp famous for its algae-eating characteristics. These shrimps are ideal for beginner-level and intermediate-level aquarium owners who want a low-maintenance species.

Bear in mind that these shrimps require very little maintenance and do not have many demands. You can find these shrimps in a wide variety of colours if they are wild.

However, tank-bound ones are usually red. These shrimps settle best in heavily planted areas and require a lot of shelter and hiding spots.

Lifespan

Cherry Shrimps do not live very long despite being low maintenance. On average, they may survive for 1-2 years, depending on the water conditions.

Most of the shrimps that die immediately as soon as you keep them in a water tank are because of stress due to changing water conditions.

These shrimps can also die because of transportation stress, making them relatively sensitive to their water conditions.

Appearance

Appearance is one of the biggest factors for Cherry Shrimps as it helps determine not only their differences but their prices as well.

Most of these shrimps have a morph colour, and the females usually have a darker colour than the male Cherry Shrimp.

The female shrimp has an almost transparent body with large patches and bright red dots. On the other hand, males usually have a completely transparent body with a few red clusters/spots and dots.

Cherry Shrimp swimming in fish tank.

However, both male and female Cherry Shrimps have transparent legs, which help them move around.

It is easy to view the internal organs of these shrimps and you can even see the females carrying their eggs inside. All of this still makes Cherry Shrimps the lowest of Neocaridina davidi.

Types of Cherry Shrimp

Neocaridina davidi has various types depending on their colour brightness and overall look. We also use the opaqueness of these shrimps to determine their differences.

The following are some of the most common members of this family.

Sakura Cherry Shrimp

Sakura shrimps have brighter legs as compared to cherry shrimps but still have large patches of a transparent shell (more common in male members of this group). It is easy to see their organs or eggs, and they have transparent legs and antennae.

Painted Fire Red Shrimp

The Painted red shrimps are the most appealing ones with bright colours and no transparent patches on their bodies. The antennae and the legs of the painted red shrimp also have a red colour. It is fairly difficult to tell if a female is carrying eggs or not.

These shrimps have a metallic red lustre, especially on their backs which makes them stand out from the other variants.

Other Colour Varieties

You can find these shrimps in other colours as well besides red which helps us differentiate between them.

Green Jade: The green jade shrimps have a bright green shell with a yellow stripe down their back that makes them visible in the water.

Blue Velvet Shrimp: As the name suggests, they have a blue exterior but do not seem transparent unless viewed in bright light.

Yellow Sakura: The Yellow Sakura shrimp has a bright yellow colour, and they can have both transparent and opaque bodies.

Orange Sakura: The Orange Sakura has a transparent body with tiny orange spots on it, which makes it stand out.

Size

The Cherry Shrimp is a small invertebrate species that generally grows up to 1.5 inches (4cm) long. The male is smaller in size as compared to the female and has a less wide tail.

While checking for internal eggs through their transparent bodies helps differentiate between male and female shrimps, people judge these shrimps by their overall size in most cases.

Cherry Shrimp Care

The Cherry Shrimp does not require much care as it is quite low maintenance. New and intermediate aquarists can keep these shrimps as pets in their water tanks.

However, these shrimps may not survive if there are sudden changes in the water.

Red cherry shrimp.

Following are some of the things you need to keep in mind while caring for your Cherry Shrimp in the aquarium.

Tank Size

While Cherry Shrimps do not have specific tank requirements, it is still important to avoid over stalking. They have a habit of living in groups and thrive best in densely populated aquariums with lots of greenery.

You can keep them in small aquariums with as low as 5-gallon volume, but increase the volume with the number that you keep.

You can add 3-5 shrimps per gallon of water. So, if your water tank has 10 gallons of water on average, you can add 30-50 shrimps to the tank.

It is best to keep a slightly bigger tank than a smaller one as these shrimps breed quite rapidly. Similarly, if you plan to set up a Cherry Shrimp colony, you need to have at least 20-gallons of water in the tank.

Water Parameters

The water parameters of freshwater shrimp differ, and having the right water conditions is just as vital as a water filter inside your aquarium.

The following are the basic water parameters that you need to meet before you can keep them.

pH

Cherry Shrimps need a certain range of water pH to survive. The pH levels inside the aquarium need to stay between 6.5 and 8.0.

Temperature

The water temperature inside the tank needs to meet the range of 65-68F, as deviation from this range can instantly kill the shrimp. It is the most important factor, especially when replacing the tank water.

Always make sure not to place the Cherry Shrimps into un-cycled water as the nitrites in the older water can kill the shrimps.

Close up image of a cherry shrimp.

What to Put In Their Tank?

Cherry Shrimps are social creatures and survive in groups. While these shrimps do well with most other species, you should still focus on adding the right tank mates for them.

Lower-grade shrimps are best to live with these species and are very easy to breed.

An ideal Cherry Shrimp tank needs to have:

  • Small Tetras
  • Small Pelcos
  • Dwarf Gouramis
  • Catfish
  • Freshwater snails

Cherry Shrimps are non-aggressive and adjust well with other creatures, but their tank mates can mistake the shrimp for food.

However, you can provide them security by adding roofs and hiding spaces with loads of plants inside the tank. Crevices and moss are also essential for keeping them as the shrimps can nibble on the algae and survive.

Never add fish such as:

  • Arowanas
  • Oscars
  • Discus
  • Cichlids, if you don’t wish to see your Cherry shrimps become food.

Common Diseases

Cherry shrimps are low-maintenance invertebrates but can encounter various diseases. Following are some of the diseases that your Cherry Shrimp might develop over time.

  • Parasitic dinoflagellates & ellobiopsids
  • Bacterial Infections
  • Leeches
  • Dragonfly Nymphs
  • Muscular Necrosis
  • Fungal Infections
  • Scutariella Japonica
  • Chitinolytic Bacterial Diseases
  • Vorticella

Cherry Shrimp develop diseases because owners release them in tanks with other shrimps, and parasites can infect older, healthier shrimps. The aquatic plants can also carry parasites and diseases, which can impact your Cherry Shrimp’s health.

Higher temperatures, lack of water minerals, etc., all cause the above-mentioned common diseases in Cherry Shrimps.

What do Cherry Shrimp Eat?

Wild Cherry Shrimps eat anything they find. These shrimps have an omnivorous nature and can feed on plants such as algae and other tiny organisms.

The shrimps have a scavenger nature, which is why feeding them is easy. You can add frozen vegetables and other foods to the aquarium to boost their diets.

However, always make sure to boil and blanch the vegetables before you feed them to the shrimp. Zucchini, carrots, lettuce, and several other vegetables are all good options for Cherry Shrimps.

However, keep in mind that these shrimps do not eat much, and you might pollute your tank by overfeeding them.

The Cherry Shrimps love munching on algae; while not in large quantities, it can still help you keep your aquarium clean. We also suggest removing any excess food before feeding them to maintain the water conditions.

Behaviour & Temperament

Cherry Shrimps have a non-violent behaviour and will spend a large part of the day moving in the water and munching on whatever you have in your aquarium. It can include plants, moss, substrates, etc. Nonetheless, these shrimps stay active throughout the day.

You do not have to worry about these Cherry Shrimps attacking the rest of the inhabitants in your tank. Just make sure you provide them with plants and vegetation to hide from potential predators.

You can find more about the behaviour and temperament of these Cherry Shrimps in the video below:

Cherry Shrimp Tank Mates

Experts suggest that you should never keep Cherry Shrimps in an aquarium alone. A species-only aquarium can help your shrimp thrive the most (with at least 10 Cherry Shrimps in a single tank).

Adding several Cherry Shrimps helps reduce their dominant behaviour and increase their confidence as a group.

If you want to add more shrimps to the aquarium, we suggest you start with Ghost Shrimp, Amano Shrimp, or Vampire Shrimp.

Breeding

Breeding Cherry Shrimps is fairly easy since these species do not have high requirements and needs, especially when they have suitable conditions. Let’s break down the breeding process into three.

  1. Pre-Breeding
  2. Breeding
  3. Hatching

Pre-Breeding

The first stage starts with preparing the aquarium with the right breeding conditions. These include heavily planting the aquarium to protect the Cherry Shrimps.

Try to add more protein to their diets during this period and maintain the water temperature at 82 F. It is the usual summer water temperature, which is the mating season for these Cherry Shrimps.

Breeding

Mature Cherry Shrimps (6 months old) start to breed once they have settled, which can take 3-4 months. Once the shrimps mate, the female will carry the eggs, which we call a “berried shrimp.”

The female fans its tail during this time to ensure that the eggs get sufficient oxygen, and the hatching takes around 30 days to complete.

Hatching

The baby shrimps look like their parents but only have smaller sizes.

You should keep a matured tank because a newly-cycled aquarium does not have small organisms on which the baby shrimps feed. You can also plant something leafy to ensure that the babies have enough food supply to survive.

Adult shrimps do not take care of their babies and leave them to survive on their own. However, this isn’t something to worry about since Cherry Shrimps lay 20-30 eggs on average.

Final Thoughts

Cherry Shrimps are an ideal option for aquariums as they do not require extensive care and have high survival rates.

You do not have anything to worry about as long as you provide them with the right pH levels, water temperature, and plantations to survive.

The Cherry Shrimps are undoubtedly a fantastic option that will help you add more colour and beauty to your water tank and keep unnecessary algae and moss out.

So, if you are looking for the best fish choices, get these shrimps today.

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