Cherry Shrimp – A Complete Guide (Care, Diet, Facts)

At times aquarium owners find themselves branching out beyond fish for new pets. But what about shrimp? Shrimp may not seem like a common choice for a pet, but they actually make a great addition to any aquarium! Especially the bright red Cherry Shrimp.

Coming from Taiwan, the Cherry Shrimp is an invertebrate that is nice to look at. They can add some nice color to your aquarium. Their vibrant, red color looks great among the aquatic plant life in your aquarium. There are also some great tank mates to include with your Cherry Shrimp. These animals are perfect if you like to have a variety of docile aquatic pets.


What is the best Cherry Shrimp habitat?

The typical recommendation is that your Cherry Shrimp have their own aquarium. Keeping them with the right plants is key. But that’s not to say there aren’t other creatures that can live with the Cherry Shrimp

When choosing pets to live with your shrimp, rest assured the shrimp won’t cause any conflict. Being a very gentle, docile creature, the Cherry Shrimp will be peaceful in your aquarium. We will cover some of the best choices for animals to house with your shrimp. There are also some other options we will cover that are best to stay away from.

Cherry Shrimp tank mates

Choosing other animals to live with your shrimp can be tough. Let’s look at some of the best choices to live with your Cherry Shrimp:

  • Fresh Water Snails: Aquatic snails are a great choice to live with your shrimp. They are also very docile. Snails will behave in a very similar way to Cherry Shrimp. Snails are a great choice for your shrimp aquarium.
  • Small Tetras: These small fish are vibrant and beautiful. Tetras are a very popular choice among aquarium owners. Their friendly nature and easy diet make them a great choice. They are also an ideal beginner fish for those looking to put together their own aquatic habitat.
  • Bristlenose Plecos: The Bristlenose Pleco is smaller than common plecos. Their diet is easy to maintain and they’re smaller. An added benefit is their ability to keep the algae levels low within the tank. They are very alike to aquatic snails and shrimp in this way.
  • Dwarf Gouramis: The Dwarf Gourami is a great addition to a shrimp tank. They are a very shy and non-threatening fish. If you have a pair of them, they will even become social and swim together! They can also have lovely, vibrant colors of red, orange and blue to brighten your tank even further.
  • Corydoras and Otocinclus Catfish: These two types of catfish get along great with Cherry Shrimp. They don’t eat algae, so they won’t be competing for it among the other marine life. They can also be a great beginner fish, as well, with tons of personality.

These species of fish can get along great with your Cherry Shrimp. But they can sometimes be mistaken as fish food. To prevent this, a good rule of thumb is the more plant life, the better.

It will allow your shrimp to feel more secure and give them places to hide when they feel threatened. A shrimp will instinctively want as many places as possible to help them feel safe in their new home.

Are there any animals to avoid in my Cherry Shrimp habitat?

There are plenty of great options when choosing animals to house with your Cherry Shrimp. But there are also specific animals to avoid. The wrong fish can attack your new shrimp and try to eat them. So, avoid these species at all costs when picking friends for your shrimp:

  • Oscars: Oscars originate from the cichlid family. The Oscar can end up being aggressive towards your shrimp. They can also be aggressive towards other animals you’ve housed in your aquarium. They do go well with other fish close in size. But the Oscar can end up attacking animals smaller and more docile than they are.
  • Arowanas: This particular species of fish is a freshwater bony fish. They come from the family known as Osteoglossidae. The Arowana Fish itself is an endangered species and difficult to come by. But related species with a gentle nature are as dangerous to other marine life. They have a set of teeth and know how to use them when attacking other animals.
  • Cichlids: Cichlids in general are a threat to the Cherry Shrimp. There are many different kinds, over 1,300 different species! Generating from the family of fish known as Cichlidae, they are great aquarium fish. Tons of people have them as pets. When it comes to finding tank mates for your Cherry Shrimp, steer clear of the Cichlids.
  • Discus: Discus fish have a scientific name of Symphysodon. It is another specific type of fish from the Cichlid family. These are great to mention because they are great aquarium fish. but they have to live with other fish like the ones we have mentioned in this article. They are beautiful with vibrant colors. But they have that same tendency to see your Cherry Shrimp as a food source.

Use caution when deciding how to set up your Cherry Shrimp aquarium. Gather all the information you can before moving forward. We’ve covered acceptable species of aquatic life in this article. And we covered the not-so friendly species to stay away from.

Nothing brightens up a nice aquarium quite like many species with varying colors. This can definitely work by picking the right animals.

What does the Cherry Shrimp eat?

Feeding your new Cherry Shrimp is a cinch. By nature, they are scavengers. This means they will eat pretty much anything they can find that is edible to them. And they’re omnivores! So, they will consume both vegetation and animal matter.

There are options when deciding what to feed your new pets. Giving them a variety in their diet is something they will enjoy.

Cherry Shrimp are scavengers. A shrimp will search for food and ingest microscopic organisms and plant life. The Cherry Shrimp will help to be on cleanup duty in your aquatic habitat. Aquatic snails also behave in a very similar way when cleaning aquariums.  Cleaning up algae through consumption is a guarantee for them, and it will help to keep the tank clean.

But what about the living organisms they hanker for? These are tiny, living creatures. They get produced throughout an aquarium. They come from other aquatic life and the biological balance within the aquarium. This provides them with another food source depending on what else is in their aquarium.

There is no way to tell what kind of food your shrimp is getting from this source. So, another great option that is a must is pellets. High-quality food pellets are the perfect sustenance for your Cherry Shrimp. This will make up most of their diet. Pet stores will actually sell specific products for shrimp and other invertebrates.

You can also feed your new Cherry Shrimp certain vegetables that they will love. Remember that when feeding them vegetables, you must blanch them first. This means the vegetables need boiling before feeding to your shrimp. This serves to soften and sterilize the veggies before feeding your shrimp.

Always remember that shrimp do not need a lot of feed. They are tiny creatures, so they don’t need a lot to eat. It may take some time to determine exactly how much to feed your Cherry Shrimp. If any wasted food remains in their tank two hours after feeding, it is best to remove the remaining food. Any leftover food can cause pollution within the aquarium, so always remove what’s left.

Vegetable options to feed your shrimp are spinach, carrots, lettuce, cucumber and zucchini. A Cherry Shrimp will also shed is exoskeleton, which you will want to leave in the tank for them. The reason being that the shrimp will consume their shed exoskeleton. It will replenish a lot of the nutrients they lose in the process.

Cherry Shrimp Breeding and Special Care

If you would like your Cherry Shrimp to multiply, the process could not be any easier. As long as there is at least one male, one female and the conditions are right, your Cherry Shrimp will breed.

We mentioned having adequate plant life in the aquarium for your shrimp. Well, it is even more imperative for breeding purposes. The Cherry Shrimp has to feel safe before it can be comfortable with breeding. The more plants they have to protect themselves with, the more sheltered they will feel.

To create the ideal breeding grounds for your shrimp, the water has to be the perfect temperature. To mimic early summer temperatures, (their ideal time of year to breed) keep the water temperature as close to 82°F as possible. This will provide a biological signal to let them know it’s time to breed.

A shrimp can take up to half a year to mature and will not begin to reproduce until it acclimates to its new home. This can take up to five months.

Once your female is carrying inseminated eggs, it will be very easy to tell. The female carries her eggs beneath her belly. It will perform a fanning motion to oxygenate the eggs. After about one month the eggs will begin to hatch, producing new Cherry Shrimp!

One thing to keep in mind is that shrimp are very sensitive to copper. Avoid it in the tank at all costs. Some aquatic medications contain copper. Sometimes a medicine needs adding for some of the other animals in the tank. It’s best to remove the Cherry Shrimp for protection from any copper.

They can also be very sensitive to spikes in ammonia within the tank. To prevent this, a bigger tank can be very helpful to keep those levels low. Always test the levels of your aquarium to make sure healthy levels are being maintained. It will help to keep your marine life healthy.

What does the Cherry Shrimp look like?

We mentioned that Cherry Shrimp are very popular as aquatic pets. Due to their vibrant, red coloring they add a nice touch. But these animals are actually graded by their coloring. The redder they are across their bodies, the higher the grade. Each grade actually has its own, unique name:

  • Cherry Shrimp: Our article is about the Cherry Shrimp. But there are actually a number species of them to choose from. The typical type of these shrimp are the Cherry Shrimp. These have the least amount of red, having a mostly clear body with spots of red. 
  • Sakura Cherry Shrimp: The Sakura Cherry Shrimp still has a fair amount of clear across their body. But these do have a higher amount of red on their bodies compared to the typical Cherry Shrimp.
  • Fire Red Shrimp: This species of Cherry Shrimp has its body is completely covered in red. It will have no clear spots showing.
  • Painted Fire Red Shrimp: These little guys are the highest grade of Cherry Shrimp. Their signature, deep-red coloring is identifiable. The fact that they also have red legs makes them easy to spot. There will be no transparency on the body of these shrimp.

One thing to note is that the coloring can vary between genders. The female Cherry Shrimp will be more colorful than its male counterpart. Females will also be larger in size than the males.

The female Cherry Shrimp also has specific, identifying characteristics. As the female matures, she will develop what is a “saddle” on her belly. This will be orange in color. It serves to hold the female’s eggs before she fertilizes them.

Cherry Shrimp Behaviors

The Cherry Shrimp is docile and quite peaceful in nature. The right conditions will allow for a more active group of shrimps within the aquarium. To achieve this, make sure that there are no predatory animals living with them in the tank, as we have mentioned. The less threatened they feel, the more active the Cherry Shrimp will be in their home.

If a pregnant female feels threatened, she will abandon her eggs and leave them behind. Then they will never hatch! A pregnant female will spend the majority of her time in hiding among the plant life. She does what is necessary to protect her new offspring, so the most natural way to do so is to hide in dark places.

It’s fun spending time watching your new Cherry Shrimp. A lot of the time you can expect to see them grazing on the algae life throughout the tank. They also spend plenty of time searching the tank gravel for detritus, or waste. This also provides the nutrients they thrive on.

Your Cherry Shrimp will remain active throughout the day. As long as there are no predators present. You can watch them in all their vibrant, red glory as they move around in search their next meal.

Is the Cherry Shrimp Right for my Aquarium?

There are plenty of informative facts in our article. They are to help influence your decision in buying Cherry Shrimp for your aquarium. These little creatures are a great addition if you enjoy peaceful aquatic life in your tank.

Even when starting out your new tank, the Cherry Shrimp is a great choice. It’s actually the best environment for them. Nothing suits these animals quite like a tank completely to themselves. Make sure they have some Cherry Shrimp friends to socialize with!

And for the enthusiast who loves to have different kinds of aquatic life in their aquarium. Not for only Cherry Shrimp. We hope we have given you some great options to choose from.

There are plenty of beautiful fish options that will be friendly with your shrimp. Use care when picking which fish to add to the mix so everyone gets along in the best way possible.

We hope this article has helped to provide all the important facts. The Cherry Shrimp is a lovely addition to your aquarium. It’s bright, red coloring provides a lovely animal to observe and enjoy in your new or existing aquarium.

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