Red Cherry Shrimp Care – Diet, Tank Mates, Tank Setup, & More

    Male cherry shrimp in a planted aquarium

    Red Cherry Shrimp Care Guide

    Fishkeeping interest has been on a progressive rise over the past years. Special interests have been raised in different species of aquarium animals, particularly shrimps. Red Cherry Shrimp care is relatively easy compared to caring for other invertebrate species.

    Red Cherry Shrimp is one of the most prominent members of the dwarf shrimp. This species is a beneficial and fun addition to the tank. They can add a ton of color to your tank and can also aid in keeping it nice and clean!

    If you add Red Cherry Shrimp to your aquarium, brace yourself because you can’t help but love these exotic, interesting, and colorful creatures.

    It doesn’t matter if you are an amateur or an experienced aquarist; this Red Cherry Shrimp care guide will make the process of keeping Red Cherry Shrimp in the aquarium hassle-free and productive.

    Category Rating
    Care level Easy
    Family Atyidae
    Lifespan 1-2 years
    Size 1-1.6 inches
    Tank setup Freshwater, Heavily planted
    Tank size 2-5 gallons per shirmp
    Temperament Peaceful and active
    Diet Omnivorous
    pH 6.5-8
    Temperature 650F to 850F

    About the Red Cherry Shrimp 

    Red Cherry Shrimp is scientifically known as Neocaridina heteropoda, and is a dwarf species of aquarium shrimp. This species is native to Taiwan in Asia.

    This species belongs to the family of Atyidae, which are invertebrates, including about 20 other family members.

    The popularity of this species is due to the classy outlook, fun activities, and beneficial addition. Most aquarists often include them in their tank because of their algae-eating ability to keep the tank nice and clean.

    They are among the hardiest aquarium species due to their flexibility in environmental, food, and water requirements. They only require a little upkeep; therefore, it is an ideal addition for both beginners and experienced aquarists.

    Red Cherry Shrimp comes in a variety of shades of red with a relatively small body size.

    Lifespan of Red Cherry Shrimp

    Female cherry shrimp in a planted aquarium

    Red Cherry Shrimp has a relatively short but fulfilling lifespan. Their living conditions particularly influence the lifespan of this species.

    On average, these dwarf shrimps can live up to 1-2 years if all essential factors are in place and are at an optimal level. Their lifespan can be influenced by several factors that include but are not limited to:

    • Tank and environmental conditions
    • Feeding habit and diet
    • Tankmates
    • Presence or absence of parasites and pests

    If you want your shrimps to live long enough, you should ensure that their tank is clean at all times. Keep out all organic waste, chemicals, and supplements.

    Red Cherry Shrimp Appearance

    One of the basic things a good aquarist must learn to do is easily identify and spot different shrimp species types. Aside from recognizing different species, distinguishing male and female Red Cherry Shrimp is also of paramount importance.

    On average, Red Cherry Shrimp can grow up to 1.6 inches at full maturity. They have a slim body, and critical factors such as diet, tank conditions, and water parameters can influence this species’ growth rate.

    Red Cherry Shrimp have different shades of red, which forms the basis of their categorization. The different categories include;

    • Fire Red Shrimp: The shrimp in this category are entirely red, and they form one of the deepest categories of red for this species.
    • Cherry Shrimp: Cherry shrimp have a light-red color that forms the lowest grade of red. They mostly have a clear color with only a few small patches of red. Lower grade sakura and fire reds may shift colors in a generation or two. Losing their intense tones to look like regular cherry shrimp.
    • Painted Fire Red Shrimp: This group has the greatest shade of deep red. The shrimp in this category are completely covered in this deep shade of red.
    • Sakura Cherry Shrimp: This group is the closest to cherry shrimps just that they have a deeper red color with little clear patches on their body.

    Aside from the general coloration, Red Cherry Shrimp also have sexual dimorphism. While this sexual dimorphism is not noticeable in juveniles, you can easily observe the difference between the males and the females by merely looking at them once they are mature.

    Female Red Cherry Shrimp are fairly larger than the males. Depending on the grading category, female Red Cherry Shrimp also have a more intense shade of red compared to the males.

    Once mature, females also have another distinguishing characteristic compared to mature males in that they have a noticeable saddle on their stomachs. According to The Shrimp Farm, this saddle is useful for storing eggs before they are fertilized, and the color can range from yellow or red.

    Red Cherry Shrimp Care and Tank Setup

    Red Cherry Shrimp Group

    Red Cherry Shrimp are one of the hardiest species of aquarium shrimps. They are very flexible when it comes to their tank and water requirement, as long as it is not extreme.

    This species is mostly found in ponds and streams surrounded by rocky substrates and plants. Understanding the natural habitat of Red Cherry Shrimps will help you in simulating this habitat in your tank.

    Red Cherry Shrimp requires moderate temperatures. They can do well in temperature within the range of 65℉-85℉. This wide range is because of their hardiness and easy adaptability. If possible, aim for the cooler end of this water temperature range. 65-72℉ is ideal as a warmer water temperature tends to shorten freshwater shrimp lifespans.

    Red Cherry Shrimp also prefer near-neutral pH to thrive comfortably. They can thrive within the pH range of 6.5-8. The reason for this wide range is also because of their flexible adaptability.

    On a general scale, the lower the cherry shrimps’ grade, the more they can cope with poor water conditions. Higher grade shrimps will demand better water conditions for optimal performance.

    It is crucial to keep in mind that Red Cherry Shrimp are very sensitive to nitrates. Therefore, you should consider regular water changes and keep the tank clean at every point.

    Shrimp love plants in their tank. These plants provide a hiding place for them and also help them feel safe. They also feed on plant debris, and they can feed on the algae that grow around it. Plants also help cultivate the bacterial biofilm that shrimp love to eat.

    If you have baby shrimp, the young will be protected from any aquarium fish that might try to eat them by thick plants

    As recommended by Fishkeeping World, java moss is one of the best plants you can add to the Red Cherry Shrimp’s tank.

    The inclusion of other substrates like pebbles, rock, sticks, and gravel are also valuable additions to their tanks. Aside from simulating the rocky atmosphere in their natural environment, it will also be a growth platform for algae that can serve as a vital part of their diet.

    You might not need accessories like a heater and filters for your Red Cherry Shrimp’s tank. The reason for this omission is because the species is hardy.

    Like most other features, Red Cherry Shrimp only need a moderate tank size. You only need 2-5 shrimps per gallon of water. Therefore, a 10-gallon tank is suitable for about 30 or more Red Cherry Shrimps.

    Red Cherry Shrimp Food and Diet

    Red Cherry Shrimp is not an exception to the general nutritional needs of all living things. The good news is that Red Cherry Shrimps are not picky eaters. They often act as scavengers in the wild, eating anything small enough to fit into their mouth.

    One of the major reasons for the popularity of Red Cherry Shrimps among many aquarists is because of their remarkable algae-eating ability. They feed on algae to keep the tank clean.

    They love to have live plants in their tanks, not just because they want a hiding place, but because they can also feed on plant debris.

    However, keeping them in the aquarium means you can be more precise about their diet. You can feed Shrimps with high-quality pellets to form the foundation of their diets.

    Frozen foods and specific vegetables can also be a valuable addition to their diet. The best vegetables for Red Cherry Shrimp include cucumber, carrots, and kale.

    However, it is better not to feed them in excess. Feeding shrimp once or twice is enough to maintain a proper diet. It would be best if you also got rid of all leftovers from the tank almost immediately to prevent the buildup of nitrates and other organic wastes.

    Behavior and Temperament 

    Red Cherry Shrimps are peaceful species of freshwater shrimps. However, it would help if you didn’t confuse their activeness for aggressiveness.

    Red Cherry Shrimps are active swimmers, and they are mostly busy both day and night. This species spends most of their time grazing on whatever they come across in their tank.

    They will even swim freely in the middle of the tank. Something most shrimp don’t do since it exposes them to predators.

    They are moderate swimmers with a small body, and this puts them at a competitive disadvantage. Likewise, these features and their non-aggressive nature makes them an easy target for predators and tank bullies.

    Red Cherry Shrimp Tank Mates 

    Red Cherry Shrimps are hardy, peaceful, and active. These features together make them one of the most suitable species for community tanks. They can tolerate and accommodate different aquarium fish species, as long as they have a similar tank requirement, and they don’t pose a threat to their existence.

    While adding fish to the shrimp tank, you should bear in mind that they don’t hurt other shrimps, but they cannot, in any way, defend themselves as well. The only thing they can do to upset other tank members is their rapid breeding rate. This rate will help them to outnumber other members rather quickly.

    Keeping Red Cherry Shrimps together is relatively easier than keeping them with other species. It is easier to keep lower grade cherry shrimps together in the same tank and higher grade shrimps together in the same tank as a general rule.

    The suitable tank mates for Red Cherry Shrimps include

    These are all good tank mates, but you shouldn’t feel too comfortable because even these peaceful fish may decide to snack on one of your beautiful shrimp. You can still protect the shrimps by providing a lot of hiding places with the inclusion of plants and other substrates.

    Avoid the inclusion of bullying and aggressive fish species such as Oscars and Cichlids.

    Reproduction and Breeding 

    Pregnant Red Cherry Shrimp
    Pregnant Red Cherry Shrimp

    Breeding Red Cherry Shrimps is one of the easiest activities to carry out. Breeding Red Cherry Shrimps is relatively easier compared to many other species.

    Red Cherry Shrimps often start their breeding after 4-6 months when they are fully reproductively mature. If they are new in a tank, they usually need time to settle before their breeding processes.

    You might have to alter some features of the tank to make them suitable for the breeding processes. One way to start the preparation is by ensuring that the tank is heavily planted to ensure the shrimps’ comfort.

    You can also raise the tank’s temperature to about 81℉ to simulate summertime, which is the natural breeding season for this species.

    There should also be a slight alteration in their diet composition during breeding. It is best to feed Shrimps more with high protein foods. Keep only males and females that are ready to mate in the breeding tank.

    After successful mating, the female Red Cherry Shrimps will lay a lot of eggs beneath her tail. Egg carrying females usually fan their tail to ensure that oxygen reaches the eggs.

    It takes approximately 30 days for Red Cherry Shrimp eggs to hatch. The baby shrimps look very similar to the adults, just that they are much smaller and can’t be easily distinguished by gender.

    Red Cherry Shrimps does not show parental care, and they often leave their newly hatched fry to fend for themselves as soon as they become free living. The baby shrimp starts by feeding on the tiny insects in the tank.


    Red Cherry Shrimp care is relatively simple. These invertebrates are peaceful, exotic, and colorful species of aquarium shrimp. They don’t just add colors to the tank; they also ensure the tank’s cleanliness by feeding on algae. As a hardy species, they are flexible with their tank and environmental demands.

    Red Cherry Shrimp have a small body and can only grow up to 1.6 inches, the male is relatively smaller than the females, and they have lesser colors. Similarly, they are not picky eaters as they would eat almost anything that comes their way.

    This species can also cope with different tank mates as long as they don’t pose any significant threat. Their breeding process is also very easy. All you need to do is to ensure proper tank preparation and follow this guide. We hope that you have found this Red Cherry Shrimp Care Guide useful!


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