Caring for Cherry Shrimp

Cherry shrimps come in all kinds of colors, but red cherry shrimp is the most popular type of shrimp. Cherry shrimp got its bright red color as a result of their specific breeding. Cherry shrimps are a very nice addition to any aquarium as they stand out really nicely among substrates and plants with darker colors.

When compared to other types of shrimp, cherry shrimps are very tolerant to different conditions. This makes them an ideal choice for people who are thinking about keeping shrimps as their pets. Cherry shrimps do not require complex maintenance, they breed easily and they successfully hide from larger fish and other predators. Consider the following advice for cherry shrimp care if you want your cherry shrimps to be healthy and to live a long life. I will discuss aquarium maintenance, tank setup, best substrate for shrimp tanks, acclimation, and also the best food.

Aquarium Maintenance

The optimal aquarium temperature for keeping cherry shrimp should be between 25 and 28 °C (77-82°F). Any temperature higher than 28 °C will lead to faster reproduction of cherry shrimp. Red cherry shrimps can also survive if the temperature in the aquarium is lower than 25 °C, but at those temperatures they will not be able to breed and they are also more prone to getting some disease.

According to Planetinvert, the pH for cherry shrimp aquariums should be between 6.0 and 8.0 to ensure optimal health. If the acidity is over 8.0 then you need to use some type of commercial substrate that will lower down the pH value and that will provide darker substrate for the cherry shrimp.

Another thing to remember is that Ammonia and Nitrite levels should be down at zero. This is because cherry shrimp are very sensitive to these substances, so make sure they are always at zero. When it comes to Nitrate values they need to be less than twenty parts per million, but it is advisable to be closer to zero. You can easily and efficiently reduce the nitrate levels by adding some plants and frequently changing the water of the aquarium. If the Nitrate values are above 20ppm then your cherry shrimp may become infertile or catch a disease.

When it comes to water changes, it is advisable for you to change at least thirty percent of the aquarium water every week. Adding a de-chlorinator in the water is a must because cherry shrimps are very sensitive to heavy metals and chlorine.


Things to Do Before You Add the Cherry Shrimp

  • Ensure there is good water chemistry in the aquarium because cherry shrimps are sensitive to some substances and to sudden changes in the chemistry.
  • Make sure the aquarium is properly tested, so you will avoid shocking the cherry shrimp. Before you add your cherry shrimps in the aquarium add them in a larger bowl with water and then pour them into the aquarium.
  • The water quality must be at optimal levels so you will avoid stressing out your cherry shrimp. After you put them in the aquarium observe your cherry shrimps for unusual behavior. If they are not moving fast or if they swim or float near the surface, that is usually a sign that the water quality is not optimal. You can avoid this if you do several water tests before adding the cherry shrimps into the aquarium. Use an adequate de-chlorinator and make sure the tank has finished cycling.
  • If there is a problem with the water, do an immediate water change and find out the source of the problem. If you have a reserve aquarium, put your cherry shrimp in that one while you try to fix the problem with your primary aquarium. It is better to place your cherry shrimp in a reserve aquarium with less than optimal conditions than keeping them in a toxic tank that can damage their health.

Types of Food to Give To Your Cherry Shrimp

  • Cherry shrimps require feeding like any other domestic pet. Shrimps usually eat the algae and bio-film that grows in the aquarium, but they require other supplementary food as well. If you want your cherry shrimp to be healthy and fertile then you should feed them at regular intervals.
  • It is recommendable for you to give your shrimps different types of chopped vegetables as well as some processed foods. Spinach, cucumbers, peas, and zucchini are ideal for maintaining their good health. However they should be boiled and chopped to very small pieces in order for them to fall down to the bottom of the tank and not float on the water surface.
  • Processed foods that you can give to your cherry shrimp include pellets, fish flakes and specialized shrimp foods. Providing your cherry shrimps with balanced and healthy diet ensures they will live a healthy life and that will maintain their beautiful red color.