Raising Cherry Shrimp Babies: A Step-by-Step Guide [DOs & DONTs]

ow to take care of baby cherry shrimps

This site does not constitute pet medical advice, please consult a licensed veterinarian in your area for pet medical advice.

Cherry shrimps are pretty delicate creatures. Cherry shrimp babies are much more delicate than the adults. So, we’ll have to take some special care of the cherry shrimp babies. In your shrimp keeping life, at some point, you’ll obviously see little shrimp babies jumping around in the tank. So, it is always necessary to know how to take care of these little devils.

Taking care of cherry shrimp babies is pretty much the same as the adult ones. Along with clean water and ideal water parameters, the babies also need lots of hiding places, plants, moss, and a stress-free environment.

In the rest of the article, I’ll go through each of the factors that you’ll need to make sure for taking proper care of the cherry shrimp babies. So, let’s get started!

Proper Water Parameters

Like the adult cherry shrimps, the baby ones also prefer specific range of water parameters. If the water parameters are not right, then the babies can feel stressed out. Also, the temperature plays a very important role here.

Before discussing more about the water parameters, let’s take a look at what the water parameters should be for baby cherry shrimps:

Temperature70 to 75 Degrees Fahrenheit
pH6.5 to 7.5
GH6-8 ppm
KH1-4 ppm
TDS150-250 ppm

The temperature is the first and most important thing to look at. Though adult cherry shrimps can withstand a wide range of temperatures, such is not the case for baby shrimps. They prefer the temperature range between 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you want to target a more ideal temperature, aim for 72 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the most ideal temperature for babies as well as adult cherry shrimps.

After temperature, we need to talk about the pH of the water. As you can see, The ideal pH range for baby cherry shrimps is 6.5 to 7.5. For those of you who don’t know, pH is a measurement that indicates how much acidic or alkaline the aquarium water is. pH is measured on a scale from 0 to 14. 7 is the neutral value. So, we can see that cherry shrimps prefer a pretty neutral pH value in the water.

If you need a test kit for measuring the pH, I’ll recommend API Master Test Kit. With this master test kit, you can measure ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH and many other water parameters. It is certainly a worthwhile investment for any shrimp keeper!

After pH, we need to tackle GH and KH. GH stands for General Hardness whereas KH stands for Carbonate Hardness. GH mainly measures the amount of dissolved calcium and magnesium ion in the water along with some other minerals. KH indicates the stability of the pH in the water. The older the shrimp tank is, the lower the value of KH will be.

With this API GH & KH Test Kit, you can measure both the GH & KH of your shrimp tank water. There is no need to buy two separate test kits. Certainly a handy test kit that will help you a long way!

Lastly, we need to look at the TDS, or Total Dissolved Solids. TDS measures the total dissolved molecules in the water except for the H20 molecules. I generally keep an eye on the TDS value to know if my shrimp tank needs a water change or not. The ideal TDS range for baby cherry shrimps is 150 to 250 ppm. If the value exceeds that, I try to perform a 20-25% water change.

This is all about water parameters for baby cherry shrimps.

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Lots of Plants and Moss

After proper water parameters, the one thing that baby shrimps need most is lots of plants and moss. There are several reasons for that, such as:

  • After being hatched, the baby cherry shrimps like to hide themselves for the first few days. This is the time they are most vulnerable. For hiding, nothing can be better than a bush of plants or thick moss. The babies feel safe and home among these plants.
  • During the first few days, the baby shrimps don’t eat any commercial food. They live on biofilm and algae. Plants and moss are wonderful for growing algae and biofilm. Also, plants and moss are perfect for accumulating food particles. The babies love to graze on these food particles all day long.
  • During the first few days, the babies generally stay stressed. A good bush of plants can relieve them from their stress. Also, if for any reason the babies feel threatened, they can always seek shelter among the plants and moss.

In my best plants for cherry shrimp article, I have already mentioned some of the best plants for cherry shrimps. Even if you are on a tight budget, I’ll highly recommend you to get at least a good bunch of Java Moss for your shrimp tank. Trust me, your shrimps will love this.

Stress-free Environment

Cherry shrimps, in general, need a stress-free environment to fully thrive. So, it is needless to say how important this is for the baby cherry shrimps. The #1 thing that contributes to baby shrimp’s stress is bad tank mates.

In this site, I have always recommended to go for a shrimp only tank while you can. Shrimps generally don’t do well with other tank mates, except for snails.

However, if you really desire to have a couple of other tank mates in the shrimp tank, you’ll definitely need to research well beforehand.

Here is a chart that simply shows some of the good and bad tank mates for cherry shrimp:

Good Tank Mates Bad Tank Mates
Other shrimp speciesAny fish that are aggressive such as Barbs, Mollies, Serpea Tetra, Betta, etc.
Dwarf suckersCichlids
Small rasborasDiscus
Small TetrasAngelfish
SnailsFishes with a large mouth to gulp the shrimp in a single instance

As you can see, most of the fishes are not suitable for cherry shrimps. While some small schooling fish can live with cherry shrimps, but they might nib at the babies. So, the babies are generally not safe from any tank mates.\

That’s why your shrimp tank needs to have lots of hiding places for the baby shrimps to stay safe.

Presence of Algae and Biofilm

Baby cherry shrimps mainly live on Algae and Biofilm. This is the primary source of food for them. So, your tank needs to have a decent amount of algae and biofilm.

Fortunately, that doesn’t become an issue for most of the cases. Most tanks grow algae and biofilm naturally. There is nothing you’ll have to do additionally for that.

Biofilm mainly grows over the surface of other objects, leaves, glass, etc. While cleaning the aquarium glass, you can always leave one or two sides unscratched. It will ensure there is enough biofilm all the time for the baby shrimps.

Also, baby shrimps don’t eat all types of algae. Any type of hair or thread algae, hard spot algae, etc. are not preferred by baby as well as adult cherry shrimps.

Baby Shrimp Food

When the baby shrimps start to grow a little bit older, they’ll need something extra than the algae and biofilm. At this stage, the babies need a protein-rich balanced diet for proper growth and healthy exoskeleton.

Fortunately, there are lots of shrimp foods in the market that promises to offer that. In my long years of shrimp keeping, I have tried almost every brand of shrimp food there is out in the market. But nothing made me and my shrimps happier than the Bacter AE.

Bacter AE is a very popular shrimp food manufactured by GlasGarten. This is very suitable for baby shrimps as the food comes in powdered form.

You may wonder among hundreds of shrimp food brands, why am I choosing Bacter AE? Well, here are some reasons:

  • helps to produce biofilm in the tank
  • contains all the essential bacteria that are vital for a shrimp tank
  • Shoots up the survival rate of baby shrimps. This is because the food is in powdered form, which the baby cherry shrimps can easily consume
  • The Aquatic Arts shrimp breeding facility uses this food in all of their shrimp tanks. So, you can imagine how reliable this food is!

Here’s how much you should feed this food to the shrimps:

  1. If you have a low-stocked shrimp tank (less than 10 shrimps), then half of the measuring spoon a day will be enough for all the shrimps.
  2. If you have a moderate-stocked shrimp tank (10-25 shrimps), then one full measuring spoon a day will be enough for all the shrimps.
  3. If you have a high-stocked shrimp tank (greater than 25 shrimps), then one full measuring spoon twice a day will be enough for all the shrimps.

If you want to know more about Bacter AE and check its latest price on Amazon, click here.

Creating A Safe Environment

As baby cherry shrimps are very delicate, we’ll have to create a safe environment for them. Your shrimp tank probably has a sponge filter or a Hang On Back Filter.

In the case of Sponge filter, there is nothing you’ll need to do. However, for Hang On Back filters, you’ll have to cover the inlet pipe with a thin layer of filter media.

This will ensure that the baby shrimps don’t get sucked into the filter. I have seen many shrimp keepers making this mistake. As baby shrimps can’t swim well, the current produced by the filter can prove to be too much for them.

Thus, covering the inlet pipe with a layer of filter media provides an extra layer of security for the baby shrimps.

This has another benefit too!

The filter media that you’ll use to cover the inlet will start to grow biofilm over it, which the shrimps will absolutely love to enjoy!

Adjusting Water Flow If There Is Any

If the shrimp tank has any instrument that creates water flow, check if it is too much for the baby shrimps. Baby cherry shrimps can’t swim well, especially in the presence of a strong current.

So, make sure there is nothing in the tank that is creating a strong current of water. This also makes the baby shrimps stressed out.

However, a little bit of water flow throughout the tank is never a bad thing.

Cholla Wood & Indian Almond Leaves

Cholla Wood and Indian Almond Leaves are not a must for your shrimp tank. However, I can guarantee that your baby cherry shrimps will love you if you provide these too! Almost every experience shrimp keepers keep these in their shrimp tank.

Cholla wood has lots of holes over it. The shrimps love to hide under this wood. It also allows a good growth of biofilm over the surface. So, the shrimps enjoy hiding and grazing on the biofilm at the same time. Moreover, they are extremely cheap to get. So, why not get one for your baby cherry shrimps?

Flip Aquatics has the most amazing looking cholla woods in their stock. Just have a look at their Cholla Woods and order one for yourself! You’ll be happy and so will your shrimps! 

Like cholla woods, Indian Almond leaves also offer a very good surface for biofilm to grow. If you have this in your shrimp tank, you’ll see most of the shrimps are often grazing over the leave. Also, Indian Almond Leaves secrete a type of leach which is thought to be beneficial for the shrimps. For a couple of bucks, you’ll get a handful of these leaves from the market. Also, if there are any Indian Almond tree around your neighborhood, you can get loads of them for absolutely free!

If you are looking for a good deal on Indian Almond Leaves, check it out. You’ll get 10 packs of Indian Almond Leaves which will last you a lifetime!

In a moderately stocked shrimp tank, one piece of the leaf can last for about a month easily.

Things Not To Do

Till now, we’ve learned everything we should do to take care of the baby cherry shrimps. In this section, we’ll take a look at some of the things that we should never do. Here are some examples:

  • If you have children in your home, make sure that he/she can’t get her hands in the tank. Children often try to hold the shrimps in their hands, which can turn out to be deadly for the shrimp.
  • Don’t think that baby shrimps don’t need any extra food other than algae and biofilm.
  • Never buy any tank mate for your shrimp tank before doing proper research. This will bring deadly effects not only for the baby shrimps but also for the adult ones.
  • Using a power filter in the shrimp tank that creates very strong current. This will make the lives of your baby cherry shrimps much harder.

What Do Baby Shrimp Look Like?

From a distant look, people often mistake baby shrimp for worms that swim around your enclosure at a lightning speed. When you look at these baby shrimp closely, you’ll find them as a miniature versions of adult shrimp.

The newborn baby shrimp remain colorless for a short period. Gradually, different types of color appear on the body of baby shrimp according to their species type.

These babies are as small as 4-5 mm. Since baby shrimp are almost similar sized to rice grains, it becomes difficult to identify them. Although these baby shrimp do not have any coloration, you can identify these babies by their iconic black spots.


So, this is my detailed guide on how to take care of cherry shrimp babies. Cherry shrimp babies are extremely delicate, and they need proper attention from you for a better survival rate.

After all my years of shrimp keeping knowledge, I shared everything I know about baby shrimp care in this article. Follow the guidelines mentioned here and I do believe you’ll see a pretty good success rate with the baby shrimps.

Happy Shrimp Keeping!

My Top 5 Shrimp Products To Make Your Life Easier! (And Your Shrimps Happier!)

1. API Master Test Kit

When keeping shrimps, you’ll often need to monitor the water parameters to check if everything is alright. With API Master Test Kit, you can check Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate, and pH right away. I think this test kit is a must have for any aquarium owner. Check the latest price here at Amazon.

2. Matten Filter

Among hundreds of filters, I think Matten Filter will be the best choice for keeping shrimps. These filters are generally a broader version of sponge filter and comes with a large square sheet of foam. This foam is perfect for growing beneficial bacterial colony as well as other microorganism for the shrimps to eat.

3. Bacter AE

Bacter AE is one of the most sought after shrimp foods among shrimp breeders. It is a powder type food especially suitable for the baby shrimps. Bacter AE helps to develop biofilm in the tank which is essential for shrimps. It also astonishingly increases the survival rate of baby shrimps.

4. Substrate for Neo Caridina shrimps

Eco Complete Planted Tank Substrate doesn’t alter the water parameters and perfect for growing live plants inside the shrimp tank. The soil is mainly rich in magnesium, calcium and iron. This is always my #1 recommendation for neocaridina shrimps like cherry shrimp.

5. Substrate for Caridina shrimps

Brightwell Rio Escuro is specifically designed for keeping caridina shrimps like Crystal Red/Black Shrimp, Tiger Shrimp, etc. It lowers the pH and creates a soft water which caridina shrimps prefer. You can check out the latest price on Amazon.

About Muntaseer Rahman

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