Cherry shrimp (Neocaridina davidi), also known as red cherry shrimp, are a popular freshwater shrimp that are often kept as pets in aquariums. They are native to Taiwan and are known for their bright red color. Cherry shrimp are small, reaching a size of about 1-1.5 inches in length as adults. They are generally peaceful and do well in a community tank with other non-aggressive species.
Cherry shrimp are relatively easy to care for and are a good choice for beginner aquarists. They prefer a pH of 6.5-7.5 and a temperature of around 70-78°F. They also need a source of food and a place to hide, such as plants or rocks. It’s important to maintain good water quality and make regular water changes to keep your cherry shrimp healthy.
Cherry shrimp are also relatively easy to breed, and many aquarists enjoy breeding and raising them as a hobby. They are known to be particularly prolific breeders, and it’s not uncommon for a small group of cherry shrimp to quickly turn into a large colony. As a result, Cherry shrimp can be a colorful and interesting addition to a home aquarium. It can also play a useful role in the aquarium ecosystem by helping to keep the tank clean by eating algae and other debris.
|Scientific name:||Neocaridina davidi|
|Also known as:||Cherry shrimp, red cherry shrimp, cherry red shrimp, fire cherry shrimp, fire shrimp|
|Life expectancy:||1-2 years|
|Color:||Shades of red, depending on rarity|
|Minimum tank size:||5 gallons|
Where are Cherry Shrimp from?
In the wild, cherry shrimp are found in Taiwan’s streams, rivers, and ponds. They are a type of freshwater shrimp known for their bright red color. In the wild, cherry shrimp feed on algae, plant matter, and small aquatic animals.
Cherry shrimp are native to Taiwan, and many cherry shrimp sold as pets are commercially farmed in Asia. Farming cherry shrimp involves breeding and raising them in controlled environments, such as tanks or ponds, until they are large enough to be sold.
Farmed cherry shrimp are generally considered a more sustainable option than wild-caught shrimp, as they do not require the removal of shrimp from their natural habitat. However, it’s important to ensure that the shrimp are being farmed responsibly and sustainably and to choose a reputable supplier when purchasing cherry shrimp as pets.
Cherry Shrimp Care
Cherry Shrimp are relatively easy to care for and are a good choice for beginner aquarists. Here are some tips for caring for cherry shrimp:
- Choose a suitable tank: Cherry shrimp need a tank with a volume of at least 5-10 gallons. Cherry shrimp are small and do not require a large tank, but it’s important to provide them with enough space to move around and hide. A tank with a volume of at least 5-10 gallons is a good size for a small group of cherry shrimp.
- It’s also important to make sure that the tank has a secure lid, as cherry shrimp are good jumpers and may be able to escape from an open tank. A lid with a tight-fitting mesh or screen can help to prevent the shrimp from jumping out of the tank.
- Set up the substrate: Cherry shrimp like to burrow, so a fine gravel or sand substrate is a good choice. Cherry shrimp are known to be burrowers and will appreciate a substrate of fine gravel or sand in their tank. A fine gravel or sand substrate will allow the shrimp to easily dig and burrow, which can help keep them active and healthy. It’s important to choose a substrate that is suitable for the size of the shrimp and does not have any sharp edges, as the shrimp’s exoskeletons are delicate and can be easily damaged. It’s also a good idea to avoid using substrate materials that may release toxins or other harmful substances into the water, as these can harm the shrimp.
- Add decorations: Cherry shrimp need places to hide, so include some plants, rocks, or other decorations in the tank. Cherry shrimp are small and timid animals, and they will appreciate having plenty of places to hide in their tank. Providing the shrimp with plants, rocks, or other decorations will give them a sense of security and can help to reduce stress.
- Live plants are a particularly good choice for cherry shrimp, as they will provide additional oxygen for the shrimp and help to maintain good water quality. Live plants will also add a natural and visually appealing aspect to the tank. Many plants can be grown in a cherry shrimp tank, including low-light plants such as Anubias and Java fern and medium-light plants such as Hornwort and Water Wisteria. It’s important to choose plants that are suitable for the size and lighting of your tank and to keep the water conditions within the acceptable range for both the plants and the shrimp.
- Install a filtration system: A good filtration system is essential for keeping the water clean and healthy for cherry shrimp and other aquarium inhabitants. A filter will help to remove waste, toxins, and excess nutrients from the water, which can help to prevent the build-up of harmful substances and keep the water clear.
- When choosing a filter for your cherry shrimp tank, it’s important to select one that is suitable for the size of your tank. Overpowering the tank with a too-large filter can create too much current and make it difficult for the shrimp to swim. On the other hand, using a too-small filter may not be able to filter the water effectively and can lead to a build-up of toxins. It’s also important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installing and maintaining the filter. Following the manufacturer’s instructions will help to ensure that the filter is operating properly and efficiently and can help to extend its lifespan. In addition, regularly cleaning and maintaining the filter and replacing the filter media as needed can help keep the water clean and healthy for the shrimp.
- Test the water: It’s important to regularly test the water in your cherry shrimp tank to ensure that it has the proper pH and hardness levels. pH is a measure of the acidity or basicity of the water, and the optimal range for cherry shrimp is 6.5-7.5. Hardness refers to the concentration of minerals in the water. The optimal range for cherry shrimp is 5-15 dGH (degrees of general hardness).
- Maintaining the proper pH and hardness levels is important for the health and well-being of your cherry shrimp. If the pH or hardness levels are too high or too low, it can lead to stress and illness in the shrimp. Therefore, it’s a good idea to test the water regularly using a test kit or test strips and to make any necessary adjustments to bring the pH and hardness levels into the optimal range.
- Feed your shrimp: Cherry shrimp are omnivorous, which means they will eat various foods. In their natural habitat, cherry shrimp feed on algae, plant matter, and small aquatic animals. They will eat various foods in an aquarium, including algae, plant matter, and commercial shrimp food.
- It’s important to provide your cherry shrimp with a varied diet to ensure they receive all the nutrients they need. A diet that consists mainly of algae and plant matter is a good choice for cherry shrimp, as these foods will provide them with a range of nutrients and help to keep them healthy. Commercial shrimp food is also a good option and can be used as a supplement to a varied diet.
- It’s important to remember that cherry shrimp are small and have tiny appetites, so it’s important to feed them in small amounts and avoid overfeeding. Overfeeding can build up excess nutrients in the water, which can lead to poor water quality and harm the shrimp. Therefore, it’s a good idea to feed the small shrimp amounts of food several times a week and to remove any uneaten food promptly to prevent it from decomposing and contributing to poor water quality.
How to Feed Cherry Shrimp
Cherry shrimp are omnivorous, which means they eat both plant and animal-based foods. They require a balanced diet to maintain optimal health and growth.
Cherry shrimp need plant-based foods in their diet, such as algae, moss, and vegetables. These foods are a great source of fiber and essential nutrients for the shrimp. Algae wafers, spirulina, and blanched spinach are some of the excellent plant-based food options for cherry shrimp.
Cherry shrimp also need animal-based foods in their diet, such as small insects, crustaceans, and microorganisms. These foods are an excellent source of protein and minerals for the shrimp. Some of the recommended animal-based food options for cherry shrimp include brine shrimp, daphnia, and bloodworms.
Biofilm is a thin layer of microorganisms that grow on surfaces in an aquatic environment. Biofilm is an essential food source for cherry shrimp. It contains a variety of microorganisms that provide essential nutrients for the shrimp, including bacteria, algae, and fungi. Cherry shrimp often graze on biofilm in their natural habitat, and it is essential to provide them with a biofilm source in their aquarium.
To promote the growth of biofilm in your aquarium, you can add some aquatic plants, rocks, and driftwood. These surfaces will provide a substrate for biofilm to grow on, and the cherry shrimp will graze on it.
Cherry shrimp should be fed small amounts of food several times a day. Overfeeding can lead to water quality issues in the aquarium, so it’s important to provide them with only the amount of food they can consume within a few hours. A good rule of thumb is to feed cherry shrimp once or twice a day with a small amount of food.
In conclusion, providing a balanced diet for cherry shrimp is crucial for their optimal health and growth. A diet that includes both plant and animal-based foods, as well as a source of biofilm, will ensure that cherry shrimp receive all the necessary nutrients they need to thrive in an aquarium.
Cherry Shrimp Lifespan
The lifespan of cherry shrimp (Neocaridina heteropoda) can vary depending on several factors, including the quality of care they receive and the conditions in which they are kept. In general, cherry shrimp are considered a short-lived species, with a lifespan of around 1-2 years.
However, with proper care and good living conditions, cherry shrimp can live longer. Some cherry shrimp have been known to live for up to 3 years or more with good care.
To help your cherry shrimp live a long and healthy life, it is important to provide them with a suitable tank and living conditions and to maintain good water quality. It’s also important to feed them a varied diet of small food particles, such as algae, plant matter, and commercial shrimp food, and to avoid overfeeding. By following these care guidelines, you can help to ensure that your cherry shrimp remain healthy and thrive in their tank.
Cherry Shrimp Breeding
Cherry shrimp are known to be particularly prolific breeders, and it’s not uncommon for a small group of cherry shrimp to quickly turn into a large colony. To breed cherry shrimp, you must set up a suitable tank and provide the shrimp with good living conditions, including a suitable substrate, decorations, and food source.
Cherry shrimp will generally breed on their own, and it’s common for a group of cherry shrimp to produce offspring even if only one male is present. The females will carry their eggs in a brood pouch until they are ready to hatch, and the baby shrimp, or “shrimp fry,” will emerge from the pouch fully formed and ready to swim. If you are interested in breeding cherry shrimp as a hobby, here are some tips to follow:
- Set up a breeding tank: Cherry shrimp need a separate tank for breeding, with a volume of at least 5 gallons. The tank should have a secure lid, as shrimp are good jumpers.
- Provide the right water conditions: Cherry shrimp prefer a pH level of 6.5-7.5 and a temperature of around 70-78°F. They also need a source of food and a place to hide, such as plants or rocks.
- Select healthy shrimp: When breeding cherry shrimp (Neocaridina heteropoda), it’s important to choose healthy, mature shrimp for breeding. Cherry shrimp are generally ready to breed when they reach a size of about 1 inch or larger, and they should be at least 3-6 months old.
It’s also important to distinguish between male and female shrimp when selecting breeding stock. Male and female cherry shrimp can be distinguished by the shape of their genital openings, which are located on the underside of their bodies just behind the thorax (midsection). In males, the genital opening is a small, triangular-shaped opening. At the same time, in females, it is a larger, round, or oval-shaped opening.
It’s generally best to choose a group of shrimp that includes a mix of males and females, as this will increase the likelihood of successful breeding. In a group of cherry shrimp, it’s not uncommon for only one male to present, as cherry shrimp are known to be prolific breeders, and a single male can fertilize the eggs of multiple females.
By choosing healthy, mature shrimp for breeding and ensuring a mix of males and females present, you can help increase the chances of successful breeding and raising a healthy colony of cherry shrimp.
- Encourage breeding behavior: Cherry shrimp will breed more readily in a tank with plenty of hiding places and a suitable diet. Adding live plants to the tank can also help to stimulate breeding behavior.
- Watch for eggs: Female cherry shrimp (Neocaridina heteropoda) will carry their eggs in a saddle-like structure on their abdomen, which is known as a “brood pouch” or “marsupium.” The females will carry their eggs in the brood pouch until they are ready to hatch, at which point the baby shrimp, or “shrimp fry,” will emerge fully formed and ready to swim.
- Care for the larvae: The larvae will need to be fed small food particles, such as algae and commercial shrimp food. To help ensure the health and well-being of the shrimp fry, it is important to maintain good water quality and provide them with a suitable diet. The shrimp fry will initially feed on their yolk sacs, and after a few days, they will begin to search for food. It’s a good idea to provide them with small particles of food such as algae, plant matter, and commercial shrimp food to ensure they receive the nutrients they need.
By providing the shrimp fry with good care and a suitable diet, you can help to ensure their health and raise a healthy colony of cherry shrimp.
- Separate the adults: It’s generally a good idea to separate the adult cherry shrimp from the shrimp fry once the eggs have hatched and the shrimp fry is swimming freely. Separating the adults can help prevent the adults from preying on the shrimp fry, which can occur if the adults are hungry or if there is not enough food available.
Cherry Shrimp Tank Mates
Cherry shrimp (Neocaridina heteropoda) are generally peaceful and can be kept with a wide range of tank mates. However, it’s important to choose tank mates compatible with cherry shrimp and will not harm or stress them.
Some suitable tank mates for cherry shrimp include:
- Other peaceful fish species, such as tetras, rasboras, and danios
- Snails such as nerite snails and mystery snails
- Small aquatic invertebrates such as freshwater crabs and dwarf crayfish
- Other Freshwater Shrimp include Bamboo Shrimp, Vampire Shrimp, Ghost Shrimp, and Amano Shrimp.
It’s important to avoid keeping cherry shrimp with larger, more aggressive fish species, as these can stress or harm the shrimp. Larger, more aggressive fish species may bully the shrimp or compete with them for food and space, leading to stress and illness in the shrimp.
It’s also important to avoid keeping cherry shrimp with predators, such as larger crayfish or pufferfish, as these can eat the shrimp. Cherry shrimp are small and can be easily preyed upon by larger, more aggressive tank mates, so it’s important to choose tank mates that are compatible with cherry shrimp, and that will not harm or stress them.
Cherry Shrimp Molting
Like all crustaceans, cherry shrimp molt, or shed their exoskeleton, in order to grow. During the molting process, the shrimp will secrete a hormone that causes the exoskeleton to loosen and eventually break away from the body. The shrimp will then crawl out of the old exoskeleton and will be vulnerable and soft-bodied until its new exoskeleton hardens and fully covers its body. This process can take several hours to a few days to complete.
It is important to provide a safe and stress-free environment for cherry shrimp while they are molting. This includes maintaining proper water conditions and avoiding any sudden changes in the aquarium, such as adding new fish or changing the substrate. It is also a good idea to provide plenty of hiding places for the shrimp to retreat to during this vulnerable time.
Cherry shrimp typically molt every 4-6 weeks, and their rate of molting may increase or decrease depending on various factors such as age, diet, and environmental conditions. Molting can also be affected by the presence of predators, so it is important to ensure that the shrimp have a safe and appropriate tankmate.
We wish you the best of luck in your shrimp-raising future! Remember to always check ShrimpPro.com for the latest articles!