Cherry Shrimp

Cherry Shrimps (scientific name: Neocaridina denticulata sinensis) is one of the color morphs that they occur in nature. The other colours can be bluish, brownish, reddish, grey or transparent). Of all the colours, red is the most popular because they stand out prominently and vibrantly against a backdrop of green and brown of a planted aquarium.

It is sometimes hard to choose nice red colouration cherrys from the fishshop because they can quickly lose their colours under stress (and just as quickly regain the colours). For those shrimps that don't lost their colours significantly under stress, they have been fed with artificial colour enhancers. In the long term if you do not feed them colour enhancers they will lose their redness. If you do, they may have shorter lifespan due to the corruption.



All shrimps are very sensitive, very much more than fish! In fact, there are some commercial fish farmers who got burnt when they swiched to shrimp farming thinking they are the same. As a result, whole seemingly healthy stocks literary dropped like flies overnight! If you are there to witness it you can see how it is shocking. If you are the owner then it is a nightmare!

Of the shrimp species, the cherry shrimp is one of the most hardy. If cherry shrimps are dying in your tank, then there is something seriously wrong with your water. Most of the time, the downfall of cherry shrimps is chemicals or temperature. If you did not add chemicals in your tank, then it must be the temperature!


Water Conditions

There should be no ammonia or nitrite present in your cherry shrimp tank. If you do not have an already cycled tank, do not even think about it.

Optimum Temperature: 25 to 27 degrees celcius.
Can tolerate up to 30 (but only with strong aeration and non-overcrowded density.)

Optimum pH: 6.2 to 7.0
Can tolerate to 7.5

Water changes: 30% weekly with well aerated,dechlorinated and dechloraminated water. If pH of your new water is varies from your tank water, introduce it to tank slowly using a scoop.



They should be constantly 'busy' and active. If a large proportion of your shrimps starts keeping still and not behaving or eating as normal, check the water! If you see them swim up and then open up and 'freeze' motionless and let themself get carried by the current then your water is in a state of emergency.

Shrimps moult on a regular basis. This is a process where they shed their outer shell so they can grow bigger. A new shell will be formed which in time will be also be shed and replaced in time. This is like if you can grow T-shirts, you need to keep throwing them away as you get bigger. So, if you see an empty shrimp shell, you don't have to be alarmed. In fact, just leave it alone and it will be eaten back as a source of calcium.



They should be fed a varied diet rich in vegetable matter. It is also good to have moss or riccia in the tank so that they have a ready snack when they are hungry so they never starve. They also eat algae but there should not be algae in your tank because if so your nitrates is too high. Algae tablets/pellets for botom feeders are available at most aquariums. You can also feed them food meant for plecos (sucker/janitor fish), corydoras or crabs.


A planted tank is best because there is always some food for them. They will not destroy your healthy plants, preferring to eat decaying plant matter or algae which is softer and easier to pull apart with their tiny claws. If you are using CO2 injection, be careful that pH does not drop too low for them.

Lightning should not be on for 24hrs continously unless there is dense plantings that provide shaded areas.

Bare tank floor without gravel is ok if water current is not strong.

At no time should any parasite killer or any kind of 'super magic cloudy water clearer' chemicals be used in any shrimp tank, especially a crystal red shrimps tank.

For mass cultivation,

The ground level should be at least 1 meter above mean sea level and be near waterways such as rivers and streams for drainage and water pumping. The site should have electricity and freshwater supply.

The soil is extremely important. Too porous foundation like sand is to be avoided because it can lead to erosion and/or water seepage. Before setting up ponds, the soil should be analysed by collecting samples from 5 spots at the surface and 5 spots at one metre deep to check for pH, texture and toxicity.



If you keep up with taking care of cherry shrimps, it will not be long before you will see tiny cherry shrimplets appear. These babies are tiny and cute! It is great to see them eat because you everyday they are growing to become the beautiful adult cherry shrimps that they have come from.



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