Cherry Shrimp – Habitat, Care, Feeding, Tank Size, Breeding

Having fish as a pet is something that has been the in-thing for years now. People are past the days where all you could keep in your home is a cat or a dog. With that being said, there are some vital things that come with keeping fish.

One thing you need to know is that every fish type has different needs. Therefore you need to know the fish you want, and then understand everything around them. Here we are going to focus specifically on cherry shrimps. Let us now dive into the world of cherry shrimps.


Cherry shrimp is a freshwater invertebrate that originates from Taiwan. Its natural coloration is usually green-brown. You may also find other cherry shrimp with a wide range of colors. Some are red, others yellow, others orange and even violet. That is why they are usually graded into four main categories. The grading ranges from the deepest red color to paler colors with red spots.

  1. Painted Fire Red – These have the deepest red color with no transparent sections on their bodies at all.
  2. Fire Red – These cherry shrimp are completely red.
  3. Sakura – Here the shade of red is slightly less as compared to the fire red cherry shrimps. You will also find some with some clear patches.
  4. Red Cherry – These cherry shrimp are transparent and only have red spots.

The normal cherry shrimp can grow up to 1.6 inches. The females are the ones that can reach such lengths. Males, on the other hand, tend to be a bit shorter. It is usually difficult to differentiate the male and female cherry shrimps.

However, on top of being longer, female cherry shrimps are also more colorful. Furthermore, during breeding, females develop an orange saddle on their stomach. It is used to hold the eggs before fertilization takes place.

Different types of shrimp have different appearances, and they might also need other tank conditions and water parameters.


As earlier stated, cherry shrimps survive only in freshwater. Basically water with neutral pH and with zero ammonia and nitrate. That is why, in Taiwan, they are mostly found in streams and ponds.

You will mostly find them in areas that are packed with plants. The plants provide great cover for them to hide in case they are in danger. That is why you will find them sitting on such pants most of the time.


Feeding cherry shrimps is probably one of the easiest tasks. Here are some of the things that cherry shrimps eat;

  1. Fish Pellets – fish pellets are feeds that are in the form of granules. They provide nutrition in concentrated and stable forms. This allows cherry shrimps to consume them efficiently. This then enables them to develop to their full potential.
  2. Algae Wafers these are disc-shaped algae feeds. They usually come with high levels of vegetable matter which they love.
  3. Fish Flakes – these are special fish feeds that contain a wide range of things. Some of its contents are earthworms, squid meal, fish meals and minerals.

Cherry shrimps are also algae eaters. They love feeding on the soft brown or green algae that normally grow on hard surfaces.

Water and Tank Requirements

When it comes to the water requirements, stable parameters are integral. By stable, we mean that the pH should range between 6.0 and 7.6. The temperature of the water is also critical in this case. Basically, it should range between 65 and 80-degrees Fahrenheit.

Ensure that the amount of water is directly proportional to the number of fish you keep. One particular criterion you can use is adding 2-5 shrimps per every gallon of water.

Make sure that you have a well-functioning filtration system in your fish tank. This will go a long way in eradicating some elements that are harmful to cherry shrimps.  Some of these elements are ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate.

You will also need to have algae at the bottom because that is what they love to feed on. To facilitate the growth of algae, you will have to install a proper aquarium light. Lighting also makes the cherry shrimps feel more comfortable and less stressful.


Finding the right fish to stay with the cherry shrimps is critical. This is because they are usually a source of food to many predators.

Good Tank Mates

These are the fish/aquatic life that can coexist with cherry shrimps.

  1. Almost all algae-eating fish.
  2. Small non-aggressive fish – for example, danio fish, corydoras, and otto catfish.

There are other fish that are compatible with older cherry shrimps. Dwarf gourami and boraras are good examples of this kind of fish.

Bad Tank Mates

These are the fish/aquatic life that cannot coexist with cherry shrimps.

  1. Large / Predatory fish – for example, cichlids, angelfish, tiger barbs, discus.


Breeding here occurs in three stages namely,

  1. Inducing breeding
  2. Carrying of eggs
  3. Raising the young

In order for inducing breeding to occur, there needs to be male and female shrimps in the tank. Water parameters also need to be at the optimum level. Furthermore, you should always provide enough food supply during this time.

Once they are both sexually mature, they will breed. Breeding, in this case, occurs right after the female sheds its exoskeleton. It is at this point that she releases pheromones and then he breeds with her.

The female will then carry the eggs until they hatch. Once they hatch, the young ones eat the same foods as the adults do as they grow and develop. It is from here that the adults raise the young ones.


For you to keep cherry healthy and alive, you should always do research on things pertaining to them. Just understand the food the shrimp eat and those that they do not consume.  Also do not just add any fish into the tank without knowing whether or not it is compatible.

Also, take note of the appearances of the fish. This way if any changes occur (probably when it is unwell), you can take immediate action. Make sure even when you are leaving someone with the fish, he/she knows the instructions to follow. If you put such things in place, you are definitely going to have a pleasant time keeping your shrimp.

Updated: February 24, 2020

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