Cherry Shrimp Care, Tank Setup, Diet & Tank Mates

Cherry shrimp care is an enjoyable and rewarding aspect of the freshwater aquarium hobby. 

These small, colorful creatures not only enhance the overall aesthetics of your tank but also help maintain its cleanliness by feeding on algae. 

The hardy nature and easy care requirements make cherry shrimp perfect for beginner and seasoned aquarists alike.

Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about the essential aspects of cherry shrimp care, including tank setup, dietary needs, and suitable tank mates.

Cherry Shrimp Overview

Scientific Name:Neocaridina davidi
Common Names:Red cherry shrimp, cherry red shrimp, fire shrimp, fire cherry shrimp
Size:1.5 inches
Life Expectancy:1 – 2 years
Color:Various shades of red
Minimum Tank Size:5 gallons
pH:6.5 – 8.0
Water Temperature:65 – 85°F (23 – 29°C)
Hardiness:4.0 – 14.0 dGH
Care Level:Easy

Appearance and Size

Cherry shrimp, also known as red cherry shrimp, are small freshwater crustaceans with a striking red color. 

The intensity of their color can vary from pale pink to deep red, depending on factors like age, diet, and stress levels. 

They typically grow to a size of around 1.5 inches in length, with males being slightly smaller than females.


These delightful shrimp have a fairly short lifespan, generally living for 1-2 years. 

Proper care and good water conditions can help them reach their full potential and even breed successfully in your aquarium.

Behavior and Temperament

Cherry shrimp are peaceful and active creatures that enjoy exploring their environment. 

They are known for getting along well with a variety of tank mates and are especially beneficial for keeping algae in check, thanks to their constant grazing habits.

Tank Setup and Environment

Tank Setup and Environment

Setting up the perfect environment for your cherry shrimp is crucial to ensure their health and happiness. 

By mimicking their natural habitat, you can promote their well-being and vibrant colors. 

In this section, we’ll discuss the ideal tank size and requirements, substrate and decorations, plants and lighting, and water parameters for your cherry shrimp.

Aquarium Size and Requirements

First, let’s talk about the aquarium size. A 5-gallon tank, like this one, is the minimum recommended size for housing cherry shrimp, as it provides ample space for them to swim and forage. 

If you plan on having a larger colony, consider a bigger aquarium to ensure that your cherry shrimp have enough room to thrive.

As for equipment, invest in a sponge filter, like the one sold on Amazon. Or cover the filter input with a pre-filter sponge to prevent baby shrimp from being accidentally sucked up. 

In addition, a heater is necessary to maintain a stable water temperature.

Substrate and Decorations

Cherry shrimp are more vibrant and active when they feel at home in their environment. 

A dark-colored substrate such as black sand or gravel will not only help accentuate their red color but also mimic their natural habitat.

Decorations such as driftwood and shelters give your cherry shrimp hiding spots to feel safe while also offering surfaces for biofilm growth, a vital food source for your shrimp. This driftwood and this hidden cave are highly recommended and available on Amazon.

Plants and Lighting

Live plants like Java moss provide a suitable habitat for microorganisms that cherry shrimp feed on and offer shelter for the baby shrimp. 

Other popular live plants for a shrimp tank include Anubias, Java fern, and moss balls.

A moderate level of lighting will not only support plant growth but also aid in biofilm development, giving your cherry shrimp more feeding opportunities. 

However, you don’t want to encourage excessive algae growth – find a balance between promoting biofilm and keeping the algae in check.

Water Parameters

Maintaining proper water parameters is essential for the well-being of your cherry shrimp. 

The ideal water temperature should be between 65°F and 85°F, with a pH level ranging from 6.5 to 8.0. 

Keep the hardness between 4.0 to 14.0 dGH, and ensure ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels remain low for optimal shrimp health.

Consistently testing and adjusting your water parameters is crucial for providing your cherry shrimp with a comfortable and healthy environment.

Diet and Feeding

Cherry shrimp are omnivorous and require a varied diet to thrive. 

In their natural habitat, they feed on algae, plant matter, and small organisms. In an aquarium, cherry shrimp can be fed a variety of foods.

Feeding Requirements

When it comes to feeding your cherry shrimp, consistency and moderation are key.

You should aim to feed them once per day, with enough food that they can consume within 2-3 hours. 

It’s important to monitor their feeding habits and adjust the amount as necessary to prevent overfeeding. 

Remember that cherry shrimp are natural scavengers, so they’ll also be consuming small bits of organic material found within the tank.

Types of Food

Cherry shrimp are opportunistic omnivores, which means their diet consists of both plant and animal matter. 

Here are some dietary options for your cherry shrimp:

  • Algae & Biofilm: Algae and biofilm are the staples of the cherry shrimp’s diet. These are essential for the health of your shrimp, as they contain vital nutrients.
  • Vegetables: You can also supplement your cherry shrimp diet with small pieces of blanched vegetables, such as spinach, zucchini, and cucumber. These can provide additional vitamins and minerals but should be removed after a few hours to prevent water pollution.
  • Algae Wafers: Commercially available algae wafers, like these ones, are an easy way to provide your shrimp with a balanced diet. Additionally, these wafers can help promote healthy molting, as they contain essential minerals like calcium.

Cherry Shrimp Tank Mates

Cherry Shrimp Tank Mates

Cherry shrimp are an excellent addition to your freshwater aquarium as they’re easy to care for and have a knack for getting along well with their tank mates. 

When choosing suitable tank mates for your cherry shrimp, it’s essential to pick fish and animals that won’t harm them. 

Suitable cherry shrimp tank mates are:

  • Small tetras
  • Catfish
  • Dwarf gouramis
  • Small plecos
  • Mystery snail
  • Ivory snail
  • Nerite snail
  • Malaysian trumpet snail
  • Ghost shrimp
  • Amano shrimp
  • Vampire shrimp 

Some of the worst cherry shrimp tank mates are:

  • Cichlids
  • Goldfish
  • Angelfish
  • Bettas

By selecting the right tank mates for your cherry shrimp, you can create a peaceful and harmonious environment for your aquarium’s inhabitants. 

Just keep in mind the above lists, and you will ensure a safe and happy home for your shrimp and their tank mates.

Breeding Cherry Shrimp

Breeding cherry shrimp is relatively easy and can be done in a home aquarium.

Follow these steps to breed cherry shrimp:

  • Create a suitable environment: Cherry shrimp require a well-maintained aquarium with stable water parameters. Provide plenty of hiding places, such as plants and decorations, to help reduce stress and provide places for the shrimp to retreat.
  • Introduce a breeding pair: Introduce a male and female cherry shrimp to the aquarium. The female will carry the eggs.
  • Provide a varied diet: Provide a varied diet that includes protein-rich foods such as brine shrimp and bloodworms to help promote breeding.
  • Monitor water parameters: Monitor water parameters, including temperature, pH, and water hardness, to ensure that they are within the suitable range for cherry shrimp.
  • Wait for breeding: Cherry shrimp will breed on their own when conditions are suitable. The female will carry the eggs for around 30 days before releasing them.
  • Care for the eggs: Once the eggs are released, they will hatch within a few weeks. The baby shrimp will require a suitable environment and a varied diet to grow and thrive.
  • Repeat the process: Cherry shrimp will continue to breed on their own as long as conditions are suitable. It’s important to monitor water parameters and provide proper care to ensure the health and well-being of the shrimp. 

FAQs About Cherry Shrimp Care

Are Cherry Shrimp Easy to Care for?

Yes, cherry shrimp are considered easy to care for as they have low maintenance requirements. 

These adaptable creatures can thrive when their basic needs are met, making them perfect for beginners and experienced aquarists alike.

What Do Cherry Shrimp Like in Their Tank?

Cherry shrimp prefer a well-planted tank with plenty of hiding spots for them to roam, explore, and feel secure.

They thrive in a stable environment, with a temperature range of 65-85°F and a pH level between 6.5 and 8.0. Provide adequate aeration and filtration to maintain water quality.

How Many Cherry Shrimp Should be Kept Together?

Cherry shrimp are social creatures, so it’s best to keep them in groups of at least 10-20 for their comfort and well-being. 

Keep in mind that a larger group requires more space, typically 1-2 gallons per shrimp. 

Their social nature also makes it crucial to maintain a balanced male-to-female ratio in your tank.

Do Cherry Shrimp Keep the Tank Clean?

Cherry shrimp are efficient scavengers and can help maintain a clean tank by consuming algae, leftover food, and organic debris.

However, they should not be solely relied upon for tank maintenance. 

It’s crucial to perform regular water changes, monitor water quality, and maintain proper filtration to ensure a healthy environment for your cherry shrimp and other tank inhabitants.

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