Cherry Shrimp is more popular for a beginner aquarium. Its vibrant color, and easy to keep make it more popular.
|Minimum Tank Size:||5 Gallons.|
|Tank Set-Up:||Freshwater, Heavily Planted.|
|Compatibility:||Other Shrimps and Snails.|
Cherry Shrimp Overview
The Cherry Shrimp is also known as Red Cherry Shrimp or RCS, is a dwarf freshwater shrimp native to native to Taiwan. It is a freshwater Shrimp that is incredibly peaceful and renowned for its algae-eating capabilities. Suitable for both beginners and experienced aquarists, it is one of the hardiest and easy to keep shrimp available. They will add color into any tank which they are placed in and very undemanding requiring very little upkeep.
Interestingly in the wild, they come in a variety of colors, however, in the aquarium trade, you will generally only find them in red. Their deep red is due to years of the selective breed; in fact, they are now graded depending on the shade and depth of red. This inveterate is very hardy and will survive in nearly all freshwater aquarium setups. It will thrive in heavily planted setups with lots of shelter and hiding spots. You should expect your Cherry Shrimp to live between one to two years.
They are known for their peaceful and non-aggressive behavior. If you watch them you will see that they spend large periods of their day grazing on whatever is in your aquarium; plants, moss, substances, etc. They are very active and will be busy during the day night.
Cherry Shrimp Appearance
Females will typically grow up to 1.5 inches long, the males being slightly shorter. Without a doubt, the most important part of their appearance is their color. The grading can range from the deepest part through to paler colors with red spots.
- Cherry Shrimp: These are known as regular cherry shrimp and lowest grade. They tend to be mainly clear in color with red patches.
- Sakura Cherry Shrimp: These are slightly redder in color but still have clear patches on their body.
- Fire Red Shrimp: At this grade, the Shrimp is completely red.
- Painted Fire Red Shrimp: These are the most expensive and highest grade. They are solid deep red in color with no transparent areas.
Regardless of their grading, females will always be more colorful and larger. As young Shrimp, it isn’t possible to tell the difference between the males and females however as females mature they will develop a saddle on their stomach. This saddle can be orange In color and is used to hold her eggs before they are fertilized.
Cherry Shrimp Habitat
In the wild, it originates from Taiwan. They live in streams and ponds surrounded by densely packed plants and a rocky substance, So far in your aquarium, you should try to emulate their natural conditions in the wild as closely as possible. They thrive in densely planted aquariums that have lots of hiding crevices and moss; you can also include some driftwood which can make up a reasonable part of their diet.
Moss is needed in the aquarium as they will groom themselves and hide within it; you can also use java moss. Remember when your shrimp feels safest they will present themselves with the brightest coloration. In terms of substrate, you can use small pebbles to replicate the rocky substrate they are used to.
For equipment, generally, a heater isn’t needed. If you want to keep the water temperature very stable then you can always add a heater, Now onto perhaps the most controversial piece of equipment when keeping Shrimp; filters! A common problem with filters is that they are too powerful and your shrimp can be sucked into them. You can prevent this by using a song filter. If you are using a more powerful filter, such as a canister, you can use the inlets with foam to reduce the flow. Just makes sure that your filter isn’t sucking your Shrimps up! If you still want to oxygenate the water and are worried about less filtration you can always use an air stone.
Generally, the lower grade shrimps can tolerate poorer water conditions. However, the higher grade shrimps need better water conditions. The pH level should be between 6.5-8.0, and you should maintain a temperature between 65-85oF. Just as a reminder though, you should not place them in an un-cycled tank because they are very sensitive to nitrites.
What Size Aquarium Do They Need?
Cherry Shrimps can be kept in an aquarium as small as 5 gallons. However, the size you will need depends on the number you intend to keep. As a good rule of thumb, you can add 2-5 Shrimps per gallon. Just remember though that they will breed quickly so make sure to get an aquarium that is slightly too big rather than too small. If you are intending to have a colony, make sure you have at least a 20-gallon tank.
Cherry Shrimp Tank Mates
Like other shrimps, Cherry Shrimps are very peaceful inverts. it’s safe to say they will never hurt other fish as they don’t have any real way to defend themselves. This is why important to choose their tank mates carefully. With little to no defense capabilities, your shrimp can quickly turn into food for other fish.
Ideal tank mates include:
- Freshwater Snails (Ivory, Mystery, Gold Inca, Nerite, Malaysian trumpet).
- Catfish (Cory and Otocinclus)
- Small Plecos.
- Dwarf Gouramis.
- Small Tetras
Remember even with the fish mentioned above, occasionally your Cherry Shrimps might be mistaken as food. To provide more security to your Shrimps you should make sure your aquarium has lots of plants and hiding spaces.
As for fish you should avoid:
For rule, do not place any predatory fish or large species within same tank.
Keeping Cherry Shrimp Together
It is not recommended you keep a cherry shrimp on their own, the most popular way to keep cherry shrimp in a species-only aquarium. When keeping them together it is recommended that you keep at least 10; this will help limit dominant behavior. Also, the larger the group the more confidence they will have and you will get to see their more natural behavior.
As for stocking your tank, you should add 2-5 shrimp per gallon. You can not overstock with them as their bio-load is almost non-existent. In terms of male to female ratio, they are fantastic to breed so you do not need to worry about this too much; just ensure more females than males. If you want to add other shrimp and snails. Shrimp such as the Ghost Shrimp, Vampire Shrimp, or Amano Shrimp, will be a good match.
Cherry Shrimp Diet And Feeding
In the wild, Shrimp are scavengers and will eat pretty much anything they come across. They are Omnivores, so will eat both meat and plant matter; this will typically take the form of algae and other tiny organisms. Due to their scavenger nature, it means feeding them is fairly straightforward as they are not fussy.
As always we recommend that a high-quality pellet makes up the core of their diet. You will find several brands that make feed specifically for Shrimp and Invertebrates. In addition to this, you can supplement their diet with frozen foods and vegetables. If you are planning on feeding them vegetables, make sure they are boiled and blanched first. Ideal veggies include Spinach, Carrots, Lettuce, Cucumber, and Zucchini. Remember they are tiny and do not require lots of food; it is very easy to overfeed them and pollute your tank.
Now as mentioned above they are scavengers and have a reputation of being algae eaters. They will eat most types of algae found in an aquarium, and make an excellent cleanup crew. Whilst they do not consume as many algae as large fish, they will play a part in keeping your aquarium glass clean. Finally, just as a reminder, when feeding them make sure to remove any excess feed from the tank to maintain your water chemistry. You should remove the feed within 2 hours after eating.
Cherry Shrimp Special Care Advice
One thing you should be aware of is they are incredibly sensitive to copper. Copper can be found in lots of medication and fish feed so always check the label. Also periodically, as they grow, they will shed their exoskeleton. it is important you leave this exoskeleton inside the tank as they will consume this to restock on essential minerals.
Finally, the last thing you need to know about caring for them is that are also very sensitive to ammonia spikes. So you should ensure your water parameters stay stable at all times. The larger your aquarium the easier it is going to be for you to maintain this.