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


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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!

How Small Are Baby Cherry Shrimp?

You can say that baby cherry shrimp look like the miniature form of grown-up cherry shrimp. These baby shrimp are so tiny that one can hardly see them. The size of baby cherry shrimp ranges from 2.3-2.4 mm. Also, their height does not cross over 1 mm.

red cherry shrimp overview and facts

Proper Water Parameters For Baby Cherry Shrimps

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.

Owner: Maryanne Young

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Baby Cherry Shrimp Care Infographic

baby cherry shrimp care dos and donts, proper habitat, feeding infographic

Want to get a printable version of this infographic? Click here! [If you want to use this infographic on your website, please link back to this post as the source!]

Baby Cherry Shrimps Need 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.
See also  Do Cherry Shrimp Eat Plants?

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.

Provide A Stress-free Environment For Baby Cherry Shrimps

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.

Owner: Maryanne Young

Presence of Algae and Biofilm Is A Must For Baby Cherry Shrimps

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.

What Is The Best Food For Baby Cherry Shrimps?

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.
See also  Do Cherry Shrimps Eat Their Babies?

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

Owner: Ricky Sales

Creating A Safe Environment For Baby Cherry Shrimps

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 For Baby Cherry Shrimps

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.

Baby Cherry Shrimps Love 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 If You Have Baby Cherry Shrimps

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.

See also  What Are The Best Plants For Cherry Shrimps?
Owner: Natalie Skinner

Do Cherry Shrimp Eat Their Babies?

Since cherry shrimp are omnivores, there’s a myth about their being cannibalistic. After all, cannibalism is a common trait in all shrimp species.

If the eggs are attached to the mother shrimp, the shrimp will not eat those eggs. Your cherry shrimp will not harm their eggs as long as these eggs are healthy. Also, cherry shrimp do not prefer to eat healthy eggs of other shrimp.

But, not all shrimp eggs get fertilized due to various reasons. There might be no male cherry shrimp to fertilize the eggs. Also, improper water parameters can cause unfertilized eggs in cherry shrimp. In such cases, cherry shrimp choose to drop their unfertilized egg clusters.

These dropped, undeveloped, or unfertilized eggs are a good source of protein for cherry shrimp. No wonder your cherry shrimp will not hesitate to eat those dropped eggs. Besides, cherry shrimp can eat those eggs on which fungus is grown.

How Many Babies Do Cherry Shrimp Have?

If all environmental parameters are alright, your cherry shrimp can reproduce every 3-4 months. Within 3-5 months, you can experience your cherry shrimp multiply.

Generally, cherry shrimp can carry around 20-30 eggs on average. But, the number of laying eggs varies according to the age and health of the cherry shrimp.

In the case of young and inexperienced cherry shrimp, these shrimp do not lay many eggs at once.  On the other hand, the larger and older cherry shrimp tend to lay up to 51 shrimplets per hatchling.

How To Introduce Shrimp To Babies?

You might have noticed that the experts strictly forbid keeping baby shrimp with adult shrimp in a similar tank. But, some hobbyists love to experiment with keeping them together by taking risks.

If you want to introduce shrimp to babies, you must maintain some requirements. The first thing to remember is that hunger is the main reason for killing shrimp babies by adults. So, you must provide an abundance of appropriate foods for both adult and baby shrimp.

Besides, you must provide lots of hiding places for the baby shrimp. Your baby shrimp should find places to hide if they feel threatened by the adult shrimp.

Lastly, you should keep the water parameters right to keep the baby and adult shrimp healthy. However, you should separate baby shrimp from adult shrimp in case the number of your baby shrimp decreases.

Cherry Shrimp Baby Survival Rate

Although you might notice 20-50 eggs in your cherry shrimp abdomen, only 50% of these eggs get hatched. So, you might see only a handful of cherry shrimp fry.

On the other hand, only 10-20% of these cherry shrimp babies can make up their adulthood. To increase the survival rate of cherry shrimp babies, you should offer them an abundance of food. You can also use powdered food for your cherry shrimp baby.

Besides, you should provide lots of hiding corners in their tank for their safety and shelter. An algae-based tank may help your cherry shrimp babies have plenty of food.

Sometimes, an unsafe filtration system can suck up your tiny cherry shrimp babies. So, you need to be careful in filter selection to increase the survival rate of cherry shrimp babies. Lastly, the most significant responsibility is to keep the water parameters ideal.

What Do Baby Cherry Shrimp Look Like?

When your cherry shrimp eggs get fertilized, the eggs will become hatched. Afterward, you’ll get tiny cherry shrimp larvae from the eggs. Gradually, these cherry shrimp larvae will turn into cherry shrimp fry.

Baby cherry shrimp or fry are so tiny that you may not notice the babies with the naked eye. The bodies of these baby cherry shrimp are highly delicate and soft.

You might assume to have red-colored baby cherry shrimp. But, there will not be any small patches or drops of red coloration in these baby cherry shrimp. The baby cherry shrimp will look transparent or naturally clear-bodied.

You can also notice their internal organs through their semi-transparent body. When these babies start to develop, they will turn red.

Cherry Shrimp Giving Birth

Are Baby Cherry Shrimps Clear?

Baby cherry shrimps are typically transparent or clear when they are newly hatched. As they grow and develop, their coloration begins to develop, and they start to exhibit the vibrant red color that cherry shrimp are known for.

The process of their coloration becoming fully pronounced can take a few weeks, during which they gradually transition from transparent to red. So, while baby cherry shrimps may initially appear clear, they will acquire their characteristic red coloration as they mature.


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!

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About Muntaseer Rahman

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