Cherry Shrimp – Care, Feeding, Tank Mates & Full Details!

Belonging to the Atyidae family, cherry shrimp are small, lively invertebrates that delight aquarists with their rich hues, affordability, and beneficial tank-cleaning habits.

If you’re an aquarium enthusiast on the lookout for a vibrant, engaging addition to your underwater community, look no further than the stunning Cherry shrimps. These delightful, small creatures are known for their striking red color, playful antics, and their knack for keeping your tank spotless.

They bring life and movement to any aquarium while offering a unique visual appeal. Let’s dive in and get to know the Cherry Shrimp, exploring their appearance, natural habitat, growth, and much more.

Caring for cherry shrimps in your aquarium can be a delightful experience, thanks to their vibrant aesthetics and the enriching eco-balance they provide.

As a detailed resource for aspiring and seasoned shrimp keepers, our comprehensive cherry shrimp care guide offers essential insights into this fascinating species.

Here, we delve into critical aspects including cherry shrimps facts, appearance, behavior, habitat requirements, care, diet, breeding, and potential tank mates.

Quick Stats About Cherry Shrimp

Scientific name: Neocaridina davidi
Common names: Cherry shrimp, red cherry shrimp, cherry red shrimp, fire cherry shrimp, fire shrimp
Distribution: Taiwan
Size: 1.5 inches
Life expectancy: 1–2 years
Color: Various shades of red
Diet: Omnivore
Temperament: Peaceful
Minimum tank size: 5 gallons
Temperature: 65–85°F (23–29°C)
pH: 6.5–8.0
Hardness: 4.0–14.0 dGH
Care level: Easy

Appearance of Cherry Shrimp

Cherry shrimp, scientific name Neocaridina davidi, are named for their radiant hues, which range from light pink to a deep, intense red.

The vibrancy of their color significantly depends on their diet and overall health, with healthier shrimp boasting more vivid colors.

They possess a signature shrimp-shaped head, topped with a pointed rostrum, akin to a nose, and four antennae, of which one pair is typically longer.

Cherry shrimps have stalk-like protruding eyes that add a touch of endearment to their overall appearance. Their bodies are covered by an exoskeleton comprising six overlapping shell segments, and they have ten legs.

Cherry shrimps color grades, based on their color intensity, include standard cherry shrimp, sakura cherry shrimp, fire red cherry shrimp (both low and high grades), and painted fire red cherry shrimp.

The latter boasts the most intense red shade, covering not just their bodies, but also their legs.

Female cherry shrimps generally present with more pronounced coloring than males and are typically larger in size.

Additionally, they develop distinctive saddles to carry eggs once they reach sexual maturity.

Natural Habitat of Cherry Shrimp

Cherry shrimps thrive in serene, freshwater environments. They hail from Taiwan, where they inhabit the calm waters of rocky streams and ponds swathed in lush vegetation.

These natural habitats offer them plenty of places to hide and scavenge for food, which in turn contributes to their ease of care in an aquarium setting.

The serene ambiance of Taiwan’s freshwater streams and ponds is what you should aim to replicate in your aquarium.

Incorporating elements such as fine pebbles and driftwood will provide a safe and comfortable environment for your cherry shrimp.

You can also add live plants to mimic their natural habitats, which can provide an excellent source of food and act as a perfect hideout when the shrimp are molting or feel threatened.

Cherry Shrimp: Origin and Distribution

As earlier mentioned, cherry shrimps are indigenous to Taiwan, adding an exotic allure to their charming aesthetics.

In their natural habitat, these shrimp have mastered the art of survival, navigating through rocky streams and lush ponds.

In modern times, the popularity of cherry shrimp has soared among aquarists worldwide, leading to an increased availability in pet stores and aquarium-focused e-commerce platforms.

Despite their expanded global presence, they maintain an intrinsic link to their Taiwanese roots, making them a captivating addition to any aquarium.

Growth, Size & Lifespan

Cherry shrimp grow up to 1.5 inches long, with females typically larger than males. The male cherry shrimp usually reach a length of about 1 inch. Their growth is directly influenced by the quality of their diet and the general conditions within the tank.

The average lifespan of a cherry shrimp is approximately 1-2 years. This lifespan, while relatively short, can be influenced by factors such as water quality, temperature, diet, and stress levels.

It’s worth noting that significant changes to their environment can cause stress, leading to a decreased lifespan.

Cherry shrimp are surprisingly hardy creatures, able to thrive in a wide range of conditions.

However, maintaining a stable environment that closely mimics their natural habitat will significantly contribute to their growth and longevity.

To sum up, cherry shrimp are not only fascinating in appearance, but their easy-care requirements, coupled with their remarkable adaptability, make them an excellent choice for both novice and experienced aquarists.

They bring a splash of vibrant color and valuable biodiversity to any aquarium they inhabit.

Cherry Shrimp Behavior and Temperament

Known for their peaceful temperament, cherry shrimp can make a delightful addition to any community tank.

They are very active creatures and spend most of their day scavenging for food, cleaning up the tank, and interacting with their kind.

They have a fascinating social behavior, often seen in groups when feeding or exploring their surroundings.

However, don’t be alarmed if your shrimp occasionally seek solitude, especially during molting periods when they feel vulnerable and prefer hiding to protect themselves.

Now, let’s dive into the essentials of setting up an ideal tank for cherry shrimps.

Types of Cherry Shrimps

Cherry shrimps are famous among aquarium enthusiasts worldwide for their small size, unique coloration, and relatively low maintenance.

Their vibrant colors bring life to your tank while offering exciting opportunities to observe their fascinating behavior.

This article will focus on two specific types of cherry shrimps – the Fire Red Shrimp and the Fire Yellow Shrimp.

Fire Red Shrimp

Fire Red Shrimp, scientifically known as Neocaridina davidi, are a captivating variant of cherry shrimp. Their dazzling red coloration, reminiscent of a crackling fire, makes them a striking addition to any aquarium.

Appearance and Characteristics

Fire Red Shrimp are characterized by their deep, vibrant red color that extends from the tips of their antennae down to their tails. Unlike other cherry shrimp, their color is solid and covers the entire body, including their legs.

They usually grow to about 1.5 inches, with females being slightly larger and more vibrantly colored than males. Despite their size, they have an impressive lifespan, often living up to two years in optimal conditions.

Care and Maintenance

Fire Red Shrimp are quite hardy and adaptable, making them a good choice for beginners. They prefer clean, freshwater environments with a pH between 6.5 and 7.5 and a temperature between 70 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit.

These little creatures are scavengers, helping to keep your tank clean by consuming algae and leftover food. However, a balanced diet that includes specialized shrimp food, blanched vegetables, and occasional protein can help them thrive.

Fire Yellow Shrimp

Fire Yellow Shrimp are a breed of cherry shrimp that dazzle with their bright, lemon-yellow coloration. Like their red counterparts, they are a variant of Neocaridina davidi.

Appearance and Characteristics

Fire Yellow Shrimp stand out with their strong, sunny-yellow color. Like Fire Reds, the color covers their entire body. Their solid yellow coloration is what distinguishes them from other yellow-colored shrimp.

They share the same size and lifespan as Fire Reds, reaching about 1.5 inches and living for up to two years. Females often display a more intense color and are slightly larger than males.

Care and Maintenance

Fire Yellow Shrimp also require freshwater habitats with similar pH and temperature ranges as Fire Reds. Their diet is the same as well, and they can feed on algae and organic matter in the tank.

They are efficient cleaners, but a balanced diet will help maintain their bright color and overall health.

These shrimp are non-aggressive and coexist peacefully with other non-predatory species. They’re also prolific breeders, so you might see your shrimp population flourish over time!

Cherry Shrimp Tank Setup

Creating a suitable tank environment for cherry shrimp requires careful consideration of various factors, ranging from the tank size to the water parameters, to ensure these fascinating creatures thrive.

Tank Size

Cherry shrimp are small but love having ample space to roam around. The minimum tank size recommended for cherry shrimp is 10 gallons.

This size allows a good colony to form while ensuring each shrimp has enough space to explore and scavenge.


A darker substrate is an ideal choice for cherry shrimp tanks as it helps accentuate their vibrant red color. Sand or small, rounded gravel can work well as they allow the shrimp to forage comfortably.

Decorations and Hiding Spots

Cherry shrimp appreciate the addition of decorations like driftwood, rocks, and caves which can act as hiding spots, particularly during their molting periods.

Planting mosses and live plants not only replicates their natural habitat but also serves as a rich source of biofilm, a favorite food for cherry shrimp.

Water Parameters: Ensuring Stability

For cherry shrimp, the water temperature should be kept between 65-85 degrees Fahrenheit, with a pH level of 6.5 to 7.5. The water hardness should range from 3 to 15 dKH.

Regular testing is essential to maintain these parameters and keep your shrimp healthy.

Filtration and Aeration: Clean and Oxygen-Rich Water

A sponge filter is an excellent choice for a cherry shrimp tank as it provides efficient filtration without the risk of shrimp getting sucked in.

Additionally, an air stone can be used to increase oxygen levels, mimicking the aeration found in their natural habitat.

Lighting: Mimicking Natural Light Cycles

Lighting should emulate a natural day-night cycle. A moderate level of lighting encourages plant growth, which in turn provides food and hiding spots for the shrimp.

However, it is essential to balance this with periods of darkness to prevent stress and provide rest periods.

7Tank Mates: Choosing Compatible Companions

Peaceful, small fish species make the best tank mates for cherry shrimp. Avoid any fish that could see the shrimp as a meal. Snails, smaller rasboras, and tetras can cohabit well with these shrimp.

Feeding: A Balanced Diet

While cherry shrimp are excellent scavengers, their diet should be supplemented with high-quality shrimp pellets, blanched vegetables, and occasionally, small amounts of meaty foods.

In conclusion, cherry shrimp’s peaceful behavior and adaptable nature make them a delight in a well-set aquarium. By adhering to the guidelines above, you can ensure a vibrant, healthy environment for your cherry shrimp to thrive.

Tank Maintenance for Cherry Shrimp

Maintaining a cherry shrimp tank can seem daunting, but with the right knowledge, it’s a manageable task. After setting up your tank, ongoing maintenance is crucial to ensure a healthy and thriving environment for your shrimp.

Let’s dive into the key aspects of tank maintenance, including water changes, cleaning, filter upkeep, and monitoring shrimp health.

Regular Water Changes

The first step in tank maintenance for cherry shrimp is regular water changes. It’s recommended to change about 20-25% of the water every two weeks.

This helps to remove any harmful toxins or waste products that may have built up over time, maintaining a healthy and safe environment for your shrimp.

Always make sure the new water is of the same temperature and matches the pH and hardness levels of the existing tank water.

Cleaning the Tank and Decorations

Another essential part of tank maintenance is cleaning. Algae can build up on the sides of the tank and on decorations, which, in moderate quantities, provide a good food source for your shrimp.

However, excessive algae can harm the water quality. Cleaning the sides of the tank with an algae scraper and scrubbing decorations with a soft brush during water changes can help maintain balance.

Remember, it’s crucial to avoid using any soap or chemicals for cleaning, as these can be harmful to your cherry shrimp.

Filter Maintenance

The filter in your cherry shrimp tank plays a vital role in maintaining water quality. Over time, it can get clogged with debris, which reduces its efficiency.

Regularly cleaning the filter (approximately every month) ensures it works at its best.

It’s important to rinse the filter media with tank water during water changes to preserve the beneficial bacteria that aid in breaking down waste.

Monitor Shrimp Health

Lastly, but most importantly, continually monitor the health of your cherry shrimp. Healthy shrimp will be vibrant in color, active, and frequently foraging.

If you notice a shrimp behaving unusually or looking pale, it may indicate stress or disease. Early detection of any potential issues allows you to adjust the tank conditions or seek professional help promptly, preventing harm to the entire shrimp population.

In conclusion, regular and thorough tank maintenance is fundamental to keeping your cherry shrimp healthy and happy. By following the outlined steps, you can ensure a thriving environment for these vibrant creatures to call home.

Acclimating Cherry Shrimp

When you first bring your cherry shrimp home, it’s crucial to take the time to properly acclimate them to their new tank. This process helps shrimp adjust to the new water conditions, minimizing the risk of shock.

First, float the bag with the shrimp in the tank to match the temperature. After about 15 minutes, start adding small amounts of tank water to the bag every 10 minutes.

This way, the shrimp gradually get used to the new water parameters. Continue this for about an hour. Once the acclimation is complete, gently net the shrimp and place them into their new home.

Avoid adding the bag water to the tank to keep out potential contaminants.

Cherry Shrimp Diet and Feeding

A balanced and varied diet is key to keeping your cherry shrimp healthy, colorful, and active. Cherry shrimp are omnivores and excellent scavengers, feeding on both plant matter and tiny organisms in the tank.

Here’s what you can include in their diet:

Natural Food Sources

Cherry shrimp will naturally feed on algae and biofilm in the tank. This forms an essential part of their diet. It’s one reason why you don’t want to keep your tank excessively clean!

Commercial Foods

  • Shrimp pellets: Specially formulated shrimp pellets can be an excellent food source for cherry shrimp, providing balanced nutrition. Feed a small amount that they can finish in 2-3 hours to prevent overfeeding.

  • Algae wafers: Algae wafers are another great option, as they’re rich in plant matter.

Occasional Treats

  • Vegetables: Blanched vegetables like spinach, zucchini, or peas are a tasty treat for cherry shrimp. Remember to remove any uneaten vegetable after 24 hours to prevent it from spoiling the water.

  • Protein-rich food: Occasionally, offer small amounts of protein-rich foods like brine shrimp, daphnia, or bloodworms.

Feeding Schedule

Feed your cherry shrimp once a day, providing only as much food as they can consume in two to three hours. Overfeeding can lead to poor water quality, so it’s essential to monitor this closely.

In conclusion, a varied diet is essential for the wellbeing of your cherry shrimps.

With a good balance of commercial food, natural food, and occasional treats, your shrimp will have the nutrition they need to thrive.

Cherry Shrimp Tank Mates: Friend and Foes!

Selecting the right tank mates for your cherry shrimp is an important task. You want to create a harmonious environment where all inhabitants can live peacefully.

Here are some ideal tank mates, as well as ones to avoid:

Ideal Tank Mates

Cherry shrimp are peaceful and get along well with many different types of aquatic creatures. Here are some options:

  1. Neon Tetras: These small, peaceful fish make excellent companions for cherry shrimps. They tend to stay towards the top of the tank, leaving the bottom free for shrimp.

  2. Guppies: Known for their vibrant colors and peaceful demeanor, guppies are another great choice.

  3. Endler’s Livebearers: These tiny, active fish are peaceful enough to coexist with cherry shrimps.

  4. Otocinclus Catfish: Otocinclus are excellent tank mates because they share the shrimp’s love for algae without posing a threat.

  5. Other Dwarf Shrimp: Consider species such as Amano shrimp or Crystal Red shrimp. They have similar needs and temperaments.

  6. Snails: Species like the Nerite snail or Mystery snail can peacefully coexist with cherry shrimps.

Tank Mates to Avoid

It’s best to avoid aggressive or predatory species, as well as any fish large enough to view shrimp as a snack.

  1. Betta Fish: While beautiful, bettas are notorious for their aggression and may harm cherry shrimps.

  2. Cichlids: Many cichlids are large and aggressive, posing a threat to the shrimp.

  3. Goldfish: Goldfish can grow large enough to see cherry shrimp as food.

  4. Barbs: Some barb species, like Tiger Barbs, can be fin nippers and might harass the shrimp.

  5. Large Catfish: Species like the Pictus Catfish can prey on shrimp.

Breeding Cherry Shrimp and Fry Care

Cherry shrimp are one of the easiest aquatic creatures to breed, making them great for beginners. Here are some steps to help you breed your cherry shrimp successfully:

Breeding Conditions

  • Mature shrimp: Your shrimp should be fully grown, about 4-6 months old.

  • Healthy diet: A balanced diet is key for breeding. Healthy, well-fed shrimp are more likely to reproduce.

  • Adequate hiding places: Providing plenty of hiding places will make the shrimp feel safe and promote breeding.

Mating and Egg Care

Once conditions are right, male shrimp will pursue the female after she molts. After mating, the female carries the eggs in her swimmerets for about 30 days until they hatch.

Fry Care

  • No need for a separate tank: Unlike many other aquatic creatures, cherry shrimp fry can safely stay in the same tank as the adults.

  • Feeding: Feed the fry the same foods as the adults. Finely powdered shrimp food can be a great option.

  • Plenty of hiding spaces: Providing plenty of hiding places can increase the survival rate of the fry.

With these tips, breeding cherry shrimp can be a rewarding experience. With proper care, your shrimp colony can flourish for generations!

Signs of Stress in Cherry Shrimp

In cherry shrimp, stress often presents as a change in behavior or appearance.

It’s crucial to spot these signs early to keep your shrimp healthy:

  1. Color Loss: Cherry shrimp may lose their vibrant color when stressed, often becoming translucent.

  2. Less Active: If your shrimp are hiding more than usual or not moving around as much, they might be feeling stressed.

  3. Molting Issues: Frequent or irregular molting can indicate that something is wrong.

  4. No Appetite: If your shrimp are eating less or refusing food, it’s a sign of stress.

Common Health Issues and Treatments

Like all aquarium inhabitants, cherry shrimp can experience health problems.

Here are a few common issues:

  1. Molting Problems: Cherry shrimps shed their exoskeletons to grow. If they struggle with this process, ensure your water has enough calcium and iodine.

  2. Bacterial Infections: These can cause your shrimp to become lethargic and lose color. If you suspect a bacterial infection, consult a veterinarian who specializes in aquatic pets for suitable treatments.

  3. Parasites: Parasites can cause a variety of symptoms. Anti-parasitic treatments are available, but you should always get a professional diagnosis first.

Additional Tips for a Healthy Aquarium

Keeping a healthy aquarium is the best way to prevent disease.

Here are some tips:

  1. Water Quality: Regularly test your water to ensure it has the right pH, hardness, and temperature.

  2. Clean Regularly: Remove waste and uneaten food to prevent harmful bacteria from thriving.

  3. Feed a Balanced Diet: The right food will keep your shrimp healthy and vibrant.

Should You Get a Cherry Shrimp for Your Aquarium?

Cherry shrimp can be a wonderful addition to your aquarium. They’re beautiful, active, and help keep your tank clean by eating algae. They’re also peaceful and can live harmoniously with many other species.

However, like any pet, cherry shrimps require commitment. They need a well-maintained environment and balanced diet. If you can provide these things, cherry shrimp can be a rewarding addition to your aquarium community.

Always remember to introduce new shrimp to your tank slowly and carefully to ensure they acclimate properly to their new home.

Cherry Shrimp: Conservation Status

As of the current data, cherry shrimps are not listed on any endangered or threatened species list. Their population in the wild remains stable.

But this doesn’t mean we should take their presence for granted. Conserving their natural habitats and maintaining responsible breeding practices is crucial to the species’ continued success.

Availability & Pricing

Due to their popularity among aquarists, cherry shrimps are readily available in most pet stores and online marketplaces. Prices can vary, but generally, they are affordable, making them a good choice for those new to the hobby.

Depending on factors like size, color intensity, and the retailer’s pricing, you can usually expect to pay between $2 and $6 per shrimp.

Frequently Asked Questions About Cherry Shrimp

Q1: How long do cherry shrimps live?

A: On average, cherry shrimp live for 1-2 years.

Q2: Are cherry shrimps easy to care for?

A: Yes, cherry shrimp are considered one of the easiest shrimp species to care for, which makes them ideal for beginners.

Q3: What do cherry shrimps eat?

A: Cherry shrimp are omnivores. They will eat algae, plant matter, and small pieces of meaty foods.

Q4: Can cherry shrimp live with fish?

A: Yes, but only with small, non-aggressive fish. Larger or predatory fish might see them as food.


Cherry Shrimps are a delightful addition to any freshwater aquarium. Their vibrant color, active behavior, and easy care make them a favorite among aquarists of all experience levels.

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced hobbyist, cherry shrimps can bring a splash of color and fun to your aquarium.

Remember, their care requires commitment, but the reward is a lively, beautiful, and balanced aquatic environment.