Red Cherry Shrimp are among the most widely distributed species of crustaceans, found almost throughout the world. Thanks to the ever-growing aquarium industry, the Red Cherry Shrimp was added to the list of Ornamental Aquatic collections sometime back in 2003.

Red Cherry Shrimp is generally considered to be a sturdy organism that can thrive well in a broad range of environmental parameters-temperature, pH, and salinity. Despite its hardy nature, there are optimal conditions that can be fulfilled to ensure their maximum longevity.

Through this article, we shall look into Cherry Shrimp Temperature requirements and best home care practices based on research findings and breeder’s experiences through the years.

Species Overview

Quick Facts
Phylum Arthropoda
Family Atyidae
Genus   Neocaridinadavida
Lifespan 1-3 years
Maximum Length 3-4cm
Color Reddish Pink
Maintenance Easy/Minimal
Type Freshwater

How do we Differentiate Red Cherry Shrimp From Other Shrimp?

There are several varieties of shrimps but Red Cherry Shrimps are relatively easy to identify due to their radiant reddish color. It is believed that most of the color variation occurring today has its origin in a common ancestry comprising brown and grey.

Circumstantially, if there is interbreeding among different varieties, their offspring can return to the ancestral morphology(brown/grey).

Fire Red Shrimp Vs Red Cherry Shrimp Difference?

The Fire Red Shrimp has deeper coloration compared to the Red Cherry Shrimp, which is brighter. These two varieties shouldn’t be taken into confusion because they are the same species except for their color contrast.

Can Red Cherry Shrimp Survive in Higher Temperature?

In nature, Red Cherry Shrimp is found inhabiting warmer temperatures of water. Experimental data suggests that their growth rate and breeding efficiency improve at a higher range of temperature i.e., 28°C is the maximum limit at which the results are shown to be the best, while an upper temperature of 33°C can have an inhibitory effect.

The optimum temperature(28°C) of the water for Red Cherry Shrimp can shorten the duration of the incubation period of fertilized eggs. Normally, it takes about 16 – 19 days for the eggs to hatch.

Although these positive effects of temperature are beneficial in the commercial aspects of the human food industries, it is not advisable when we keep them for ornamental purposes because they come at a price. Increasing the temperature to accelerate their development process can result in a shorter lifespan for Red Cherry Shrimp due to physiological exhaustion.

Most breeders prefer to keep their Red Cherry Shrimp at a lower temperature to enhance their longevity and keep their population under control.

The lifespan of Red Cherry Shrimp

Most shrimp breeders would agree that they can live up to 1 – 3 years in a home aquarium. Having a maximum lifespan of up to 3 years is fairly on the higher side, but I suppose, it can be achieved by slowing down their metabolism (with a lower temperature of 22°C) in conjunction with giving the best care possible.

Determination of Gender in Red Cherry Shrimp

It can be done after they reach sexual maturity at about 60 – 75 days post-hatching. The female is larger than the male, and the coloration is more brilliant for females.

The larger size of the female shrimp is a physiological adaptation for the body to accommodate the fertilized eggs, which remain attached to their bodies till they hatch.

If you are a beginner and cannot confidently determine between male and female, it is better to get them more in numbers and increase the chances of both the sexes.

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They should be easily available in most aquarium stores at a nominal rate of less than $3per piece.

Confirming with your aquarist whether they are quarantined and acclimatized to your region for at least 7 days would increase the chances of getting non-fatigue Red Cherry Shrimp.

You can also purchase it from Certified Online Aquarium Stores conveniently.

Care Guide

What Do Cherry Shrimp Eat?

Shrimp can stay alive by eating what is accessible in their immediate environment. This adaptability in their feeding habits ranges from detritivore(scavenging) to omnivores(vegetarian and carnivorous), which is great for their maintenance at home. In the simplest term, let’s say they can eat almost all organic substances

What Do Shrimp Need to Survive in Home Tanks?

In routine feeding practices, Red Cherry Shrimps can be reared with the following list of food items-

  • Algae – They are among their favorite food items because of their easy accessibility in tanks. A Shrimp uses its filter feeding technique (Straining food particles with appendages) to feed on smaller particles.
  • Grass – Examples include Guppy and Hornwort. Red Cherry Shrimp can effectively chew on it with their extraordinary feeding habits.
  • Commercial feeds – Dietary sources include biofilms, snowflakes, shrimp wafers pellets.
  • Mulberry Leaves – Shrimp are known to relish these plants. They can be a cheap source of feed if you have one in the garden.
  • Vegetables– Bulbous veggies such as squash and cucumber, plus smaller ones like carrots, broccoli, spinach, and kale, are a good source of carotenoids.

How Much Should You Feed Your Red Cherry Shrimp?

There is no hard and fast rule for a concrete quantity of feed. Ideally, on a rough estimate, one gives about 4%-6% of their body weight in two shifts. If you have enough plants in the tank, this amount may be more than enough.

Feed Supplement

A study has suggested supplementing Astaxanthin@200mg per kg body weight boosts their pigmentation and weight gain.

Aquarium Shrimp Life Cycle in Home Care

Their life cycle has a short duration, with the offspring attaining sexual maturity in about 75 days. Female shrimp don’t lay eggs directly into the tanks but carry the fertile egg in their abdomens till they hatched out as miniature juveniles. This process takes less than 3 weeks depending on the external environment, especially, the temperature.

Up to 60 days after hatching, they are considered juvenile. The concept of calling these juveniles, “larvae” can be debated because they resemble mature shrimp regardless of their sizes.

How to Breed Red Cherry Shrimp

Red Cherry Shrimp are easy to breed with minimal effort. They reproduce sexually and can breed so well in an aquarium that sometimes they can become a ‘pest’. Indeed, it is true that they are an invasive species in a thermally altered environment.

Temperature is known to be a determining factor in controlling the level of reproduction in addition to other survival parameters. The higher temperature will induce them to breed indiscriminately.

Housing both male and female shrimp together in equal numbers can allow them to produce a good number of young ones in a relatively short period. Female shrimp are prolific breeders and can produce up to 21 – 51 Juvenile per hatch after mating.

One may not require a separate breeding chamber for the hatchlings if some precautions are taken in this regard. Let’s find out.

  • Feeding Schedule- Shrimp have the potential to cannibalize their young ones if they are starved. Feeding them at least twice a day regularly will keep them stuffed.
  • Hiding Spots- Providing a lot of cover in the form of aquatic grass, rocks, shelter caves (Hollow PVC pipes), and driftwood can serve its purpose.
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How to Produce Fire Red Shrimp from Red Cherry Shrimp

We can certainly give it a try at home by following the two simple steps mentioned below.

  • Selective Breeding- Choosing the deepest color of Red Cherry Shrimp as a parent for producing offspring would help in further color expression. Their progenies can further be selected for the next breeding process until the desired characteristic is fully realized.
  • Color Enhancer- Experimental data have indicated that both artificial and natural carotenoids have done a good job of enhancing the Red Cherry Shrimp color. The inexpensive carotenoid source that can be conveniently accessed in a home setup is Marigold Petals which can be supplied to them at @200mg per kg body weight

Do Red Cherry Shrimp Suffer From Diseases?

Recent data indicates the outbreak of a multifactorial disease(several etiological agents involved). This condition is characterized by the involvement of the algae Cladogonium sp. in Dwarf Cherry Shrimp (same as Red Cherry Shrimp).

The parasite(Algae) attacks the body surface of the shrimp by penetrating through their chitin shell and causing subcutaneous infection. Mortality can be seen during such outcomes.

Viral infection viz. Spawner cherry shrimp virus and bacterial infection Vibrio alginolyticus and Photobacterium damselae are known to infect Red Cherry Shrimps.

Diagnosis and Treatment Methods for Red Cherry Shrimp

There is no obvious diagnosis method for diseases in shrimps. The fact is even if one may observe any abnormal symptoms, you will still require a dedicated specialized laboratory to confirm it. One apparent sign that can prompt you to take steps is the mortality rate i.e., if your shrimps are dying out at an unprecedented rate.

The treatment method includes…

  • Water quality control- Change the water in your tank entirely to reduce the infectious agents. A test kit for Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrates, and pH is a requisite.
  • Rich Foods- It provides high-quality fresh feed. Moldy feed is likely to contain aflatoxin (fungal toxins) and should be avoided.
  • Increasing salinity- To some extent, adding a tablespoon of Epsom salt will help in tackling parasitic organisms in the water.
  • Decrease Stocking Density- Further spread of mortality in other shrimp can be reduced by housing them in smaller numbers.
  • Eliminate Stress- In the majority of the outbreaks of diseases, stress factors play a role in the development of diseases. Commonly expected stress in your tanks can include deteriorating water, aggression by unsuitable tank mates, accumulation of toxic substances, and so on.

Is “Sound” Harmful for Red Cherry Shrimps?

One interesting study was conducted on the effect of continuous sound exposure to Red Cherry Shrimp in a laboratory setting which demonstrated the negative effects of anthropogenic sound pollution. Shrimp exposed to a higher level of noise show that it takes more time to find their prey. This study suggests that they might be susceptible to starvation.

Coincidentally, if your shrimps are dying for some unknown reason and you realized that your sound speaker was around the same room with your tanks, remember this experiment!

Red Cherry Shrimp Tank Set-Up

Quick Reference
Tank Size 14 – 15 Gallons (Approx. 75-100 Shrimps)
Water Temperature 22°C -28°C
Lighting Required
Water pH 6.5-8.0
  • The pH of Water- Cherry Shrimp can adjust well from acidic to alkaline waters. One thumb rule that can be applied to select the perfect pH is to consider their tank mates’ pH requirements while adhering to the limits of 6.5 to 8.0.
  • Lighting- Moderate to high-intensity white light can be provided. Maintaining at least 10 hours of darkness is recommended.
  • Water- Maintain negligible levels of Ammonia, Nitrates and Nitrites regularly. Other water parameters before introducing them in tanks are:-Total Dissolved Solids(TDS):105, Carbonate Hardness(KH):2, and General Hardness(GH):4.
  • Plants- Aquatic plants such as Matogrossamil foil and aquarium moss are a beneficial addition for your shrimps as they provide food and cover.
  • Air Pump- Moderate capacity air pumps can do their job well if shrimps alone are living in the tank. Red Cherry Shrimp produces minimal waste, unlike other aquatic species.
  • Water Filter- The young juvenile hatchlings are small, with lengths of 1-2 millimeters, and they can be easily sucked away. A sponge type of water filter is a necessity. In addition, Chihiros Bio Ball Aquarium Filter Media is designed for shrimp care.
  • Water Heater- This apparatus may be required to keep the minimum temperature of water at 22°C, especially in colder regions.
  • Substrates- When it comes to keeping ornamental shrimp in an aquarium, the choice of black substrate is another important thing to comply with. Dark substrates in tanks increase the economic and aesthetic value of shrimp. Materials like Dark Aqua Soil and Lava Stone (both available commercially) are a good addition to your tanks. These items can act as pigment enhancers and enriched food sources.
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Red Cherry Shrimp Tank Mates

Red Cherry Shrimp are peaceful creatures and can live with most aquatic species if their habitat is similar. But it is not recommended to house them along with larger carnivorous fishes such as Cichlids, Peacock Eel, etc. Occasionally even suitable tank mates can be a nuisance to these peace-loving shrimps when they chase them.

A list of decent tank mates includes:-

  • Snails– Mystery and Nerites Snail. Nerite Snails are another species like Red Cherry Shrimps in terms of excessive breeding habits. Shrimps can feed on the unhatched larvae of Nerite Snails and control the proliferation of eggs to some extent.
  • Fishes– Small Tetras, Kuhli Loaches. These fishes are comparable in size to Red Cherry Shrimp so they do not pose a threat to an adult shrimp. Smaller juveniles might be prone to predation but on a positive approach, they can also move fast in water for flight.
  • Small InvertebratesAmano Shrimps and Assorted Fancy Shrimp belong to the same family as Red Cherry Shrimp. Interbreeding may occur if they are housed together, but overall, they can be good tank mates.

On the other hand, Candy Shrimp is from the family of Alpheidae and crossbreed can not occur with Red Cherry Shrimp.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Cherry Shrimp Edible?

Yes, they are edible! Shrimp, in general, are popular on restaurant menus in many Asian countries. They are a good source of protein. If you want to eat Red Cherry Shrimp, consider why they are considered an ornamental species-they are the result of careful selective breeding over several generations, which makes them unique.

Can Ghost Shrimp Live with Cherry Shrimp?

Yes, they can live together peacefully, though they will compete for the same food items. Providing an ample amount of food can overcome this competition.

Can Red Cherry Shrimp Live with Guppies?

Yes, adult Red Cherry Shrimp can be housed together with Guppies as they are comparable in size. We should also remember that immature shrimp are not safe from predation. We can assume that guppies can keep the population of Red Cherry Shrimp under control.

Do Red Cherry Shrimp Eat Hair Algae?

Yes, they can eat it, although we cannot expect them to rely on that diet alone because Cherry Shrimp are opportunistic feeders, feeding on the most accessible food items.

Are Cherry Shrimp Hardy?

Yes, they can adapt and survive to different components of habitats and food ingredients.

In Conclusion

Red Cherry Shrimp are simple organisms and relatively new in the aquarium industry which fits them to the context of an ‘evolving world’ and we like to follow the latest trends, don’t we?

Red Cherry Shrimp can also be like a good motion picture that we can continuously watch as they are busy creatures with a set of unique legs that move unceasingly.

Whether a beginner or a pro aquarist, the Red Cherry Shrimp wouldn’t fail to astonish us with their amazing ability to survive.

About the Author

Dr. Vituotsolie Kiso

Vituo Kiso is a budding Veterinarian and marine species enthusiast. He did most of his internships in several Pet Clinics, Wildlife centers, and Farms across India. He has a passion for learning new things and writings besides giving consultations and treating pets.

Career Highlights:

  • Almost 3 years of experience as a Veterinary Practitioner
  • Online Pet Health Consultant
  • Verified Tutor

Educational Highlights:

  • Attended Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Veterinary Education and Research
  • Currently learning Geography, History, Polity, Economics, Ethics, and International Relations.

Writing Experience

  • Wrote a White Paper on ‘The Aura of Pets and Humans’ for MaxCare Pets Inc.
  • Awarded the Best Article Writing on World Environmental Day 2020 on the topic, ‘Biodiversity.’

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