There are many species of shrimp available for your aquarium, which can make it difficult when you are ready to choose.
This species is a particular favourite among breeders. Aquarists often extensively breed them to produce the highest quality individuals that they can.
You don’t need to be a breeder to get some though, everyone will enjoy watching them scuttle around the tank on their endless search for food.
Maximum size: 4cm
Ideal number kept together: 4+
Hardness: 200-800 ppm
Temperature: 16–28 °C
Ease of care
You need to keep the tank as clean as you can. A filter can handle this day today, but you will need to perform regular water changes and wipe away any excess algae.
Keep the substrate clear too. This might mean removing discarded shells from molting or getting rid of uneaten food sat on the surface.
A water testing kit is an important tool to have. Using this each week will help you to spot problems quickly before they can have adverse effects on your shrimps.
If you ever need to add chemicals to the water (e.g. medications), always check that they don’t contain copper. This should be indicated on the bottle. Copper is toxic to virtually all aquarium invertebrates.
As omnivores, Cherry Shrimp will plant and animal matter. Most of their time is spent scavenging around for food, even if they’ve just been fed.
Calcium is an important component of what they eat because it helps them to grow and develop strong exoskeletons.
In the wild, their diet might include small insects, larvae, plant detritus, and algae. This is an easy diet to create for your shrimps at home.
Aim to buy the highest quality foods possible to ease the strain on their digestive systems.
You have the choice between starting a species tank or a peaceful community.
Cherry Shrimp are well suited to a species tank because their small size lets you fit many in the tank, and they are very attractive which keeps the tank interesting.
Species tanks are particularly common when keeping higher grade individuals.
A community tank is another great option because you can have activity in all areas of the tank. You must pick tank mates carefully though.
Dwarf shrimp are viewed as snacks by fish that are big enough to eat them (which is a lot of them). You must pick small, peaceful species that will leave your shrimps alone.
There are many options, you could try Zebra Danios, Neon Tetras, Otocinclus, Cherry Barbs, or Guppies, to name a few.
You can mix Cherry Shrimp with other invertebrates too. Most shrimp species make good tank mates, as long as they don’t have a reputation for attacking other shrimps.
Most snails are generally harmless, so could be a good fit for your aquarium.
Breeding / Sex
Cherry Shrimp is one of the most common species to be added to breeding tanks. Aquarists often enjoy trying to produce the highest grade of shrimps they can.
If successful, the high-grade shrimps can be sold from your home to offer a small income.
This species is simple to breed. If the conditions of the tank are right, then they should start mating with little encouragement.
It’s your job to keep the tank clean and monitor the water parameters. Not only do poor conditions affect a shrimp’s health, but they’ll be less likely to breed too.
Make sure that you have a mix of males and females in the tank. Females are slightly bigger and have larger scales on their abdomen. Luckily, males won’t fight so you can have lots of each sex in the tank if you have space.
When ready to mate, the female will release pheromones into the water, which will attract the males.
Before long, females will be carrying eggs around until they hatch after about 30 days. The baby shrimps will emerge fully formed, just much smaller than the parents.
They should be able to look after themselves, but you can feed them some foods specifically designed for baby shrimps if you want to help them develop. These usually come in powdered form.
You’ll need to wait for them to get a bit bigger before you can grade them. Allows the colours and patterns to come through.