Cherry shrimps are species that breed very simply and easily in aquariums. If you are considering breeding your cherry shrimps then you need to pay attention to few important things. The entire process involves breeding, carrying eggs, and raising small shrimps. If you properly take care of all phases then your cherry shrimps will easily grow inside your aquarium.
In order to induce breeding of your cherry shrimps you need a pair of shrimp, proper water factors, and good source of food. Male and female cherry shrimp are different from one another. Male shrimp are a bit smaller than female cherry shrimp and their color is not as brightly red as the females. Also the female cherry shrimp have yellowish saddle where the eggs are growing in the ovaries. Interestingly, it is very tough to determine the shrimp`s sex when they are babies or juveniles. Another difference between male and female cherry shrimp is that females have longer tails and rounder shape.
When it comes to the water in the aquarium, all parameters must be met in order to create a stable environment for breeding. The ideal water temperature should be around 25°C, while the pH values should be in the range between 6.0 and 7.5. This will create a stable environment, ideal for breeding of cherry shrimps. The hardness of water should not be extreme, so it should be somewhere in the middle – not too soft, but not too hard.
Important thing to remember is that cherry shrimps require regular food source in the period of breeding. If you do not have a large population of cherry shrimp in your aquarium, then algae and biofilm are usually enough source of food for your shrimps. If your shrimps are a bit bigger then you can add some supplements like boiled and chopped varieties of vegetables. These should be small enough so the shrimp can easily swallow them.
When the initial requirements like the mentioned above are met, then the breeding process can start. Male and female cherry shrimp are usually sexually mature when they are around six months old. Breeding happens when the female cherry shrimp starts to molt. Molting process is the period when the shrimp starts to shed its exoskeleton. During this time the female shrimp grows new exoskeleton, and in this period the female cherry shrimp is extremely vulnerable. In this period she goes into hiding and releases pheromones for the male cherry shrimp to follow, find her and then start to breed. Released pheromones are a sign that the female is ready to breed, so the male shrimp starts to swim and search for the female. Usually male cherry shrimps lay low near the bottom of the tank or near aquarium plants, but during period of breeding they swim rapidly in search for female partner.
When the male cherry shrimp meets the female shrimp they start the breeding process. During this process the male cherry shrimp deposits sperm inside the female shrimp. After breeding is over, the female cherry shrimp carries the eggs below her tail until eggs start to hatch. Eggs are always being fanned by the swimming legs of the female cherry shrimp in order to keep them clean and well oxygenated.
Caring for the Young
When the shrimp eggs hatch, the young cherry shrimps are exactly alike like the adults. Cherry shrimps do not go through larval stages as other types of freshwater shrimps. They usually eat the same things as the adult shrimps. With help of their front leg claws they are ripping off the small pieces of food they found in the aquarium.
If you are raising young cherry shrimp, an important thing to remember is to keep them alone without any other fish species in the tank. This is because almost all types of fish will try to eat the baby shrimps because they see them as food. You can also put some hiding rocks or other things in the aquarium to prevent fish from attacking the shrimp, but the best thing to do is to keep them alone in the tank during the raising process.
Another thing you can do to ensure your young cherry shrimp are growing as they should is to install some slow-growing plants in the tank. This will contribute towards better development of young shrimps. The slow-growing plants contain microscopic nutrients and food sources for the small cherry shrimp and they will help in growing healthier cherry shrimp.
These were the things involved in the cherry shrimp breeding process. Pay attention to all phases, keep an eye to the way things are going and you will see that breeding of cherry shrimp is done very easily. Follow the advice when it comes to maintaining the aquarium and feeding the shrimp and you will have no problems in growing healthy cherry shrimp.