Cherry Shrimp Breeding [Everything You Need To Know]

Breeding cherry shrimp is fun and easier than breeding other shrimp species. If you provide the basic things that cherry shrimp need, they’ll breed automatically, and you don’t have to provide any extra care.

However, for optimum breeding and the maximum number of shrimp offspring, you’ll need to follow some guidelines. In this article, I’ll provide the exact cherry shrimp breeding guidelines.

This guideline combines my years of shrimp-keeping experience with lessons learned from hundreds of books and articles. I’ll explain everything in easy words so that you can understand and follow it to the T.

Also, for your convenience, here I am attaching a printable version of the guideline so that you can print it out and study more conveniently. The guide will be long and packed with information, so if you can’t finish reading in one sitting, bookmark the page and come to where you finished later on.

Enough with the introduction. Let’s get started with how to breed cherry shrimps.

I have divided this guide into two parts: Essentials and Factors that increase the survival rate.

red cherry shrimp overview and facts

Essentials for breeding cherry shrimps

Under the essentials, I have described all the factors that are a must for breeding cherry shrimps. Not only for breeding, if you want to provide a healthier life to your cherry shrimps, you’ll have to ensure each of these factors.

I’ll explain each of them in detail:

1. Filter

Many shrimp keepers make the mistake of not buying a filter for their shrimp tank. They think that as shrimp are tiny creatures, they won’t need a filter. A heavily planted tank will be able to filter the shrimp tank. The truth cannot be any further from the truth.

Cherry shrimp do need filters. In fact, filtration is more important for cherry shrimps than for many other species. Shrimps are delicate creatures, and they are susceptible to slight changes in the water parameters.

So, we’ll have to ensure the water parameters are in the correct range and consistent and that the water quality is excellent overall. For these, we’ll definitely need a filter in our shrimp tank. It is more important for breeding cherry shrimps.

Fortunately, for a shrimp-only tank, there is no need to invest a fortune in a filter. For shrimp tanks, a good sponge filter is enough. Sponge filters are preferable for shrimp tanks because of the following reasons:

  • Sponge filters don’t create any strong current that can suck the baby shrimps like a Hang On Back or Canister filter
  • The sponges have a great surface area for growing biofilm over them. The cherry shrimps love to graze on these biofilms over the sponges.
  • Sponges are a great medium for growing beneficial bacteria colonies that break up the ammonia and quicken the nitrogen cycle.
  • Also, sponge filters are not expensive like a HOB or Canister filter, and they do the required job perfectly

For all these reasons, a sponge filter is a perfect choice for a shrimp-only tank. There are hundreds of sponge filters in the market from different brands. You can choose either one you like, but ensure the filter is good enough to cope with the tank’s load.

If you ask me, I’ll recommend getting the sponge filter from Powkoo. Why? Here are the reasons:

Powkoo Sponge Filter

This sponge filter from Powkoo offers some exciting features that most other brands don’t. Here are some of the features you’ll get with it:

  • Most sponge filters can only provide biological filtration, but this one from Powkoo can also provide mechanical filtration.
  • The sponges are designed with a double 10-layer shape that offers a considerably larger surface area than other sponge filters.
  • It can be suitable for tanks up to 30 gallons.

That’s why I always recommend starting filtration with a Powkoo sponge filter if you have a shrimp-only tank. The price is a lot cheaper, too! Click here to check out the latest price on Amazon.

Matten Filter

matten filter

I absolutely love matten filters for shrimp tanks. If you have a shrimp-only tank, there is no better option than a matten filter.

Matten filters come with a large square sheet of sponge block. This sponge block offers a significantly larger surface area than sponge filters. It accumulates food particles and grows beneficial bacterial colonies. The sponge also grows microorganisms over its surface, which is an excellent natural food source for shrimp.

However, matten filters are rare, and you can’t find them in many fish stores. Fortunately, FlipAquatics sells top-notch quality matten filters according to various tank sizes. They are the ones to go if you want a professional-grade Matten Filter for your shrimps!

Hang On the Back filter

I have already told you that a sponge filter will be perfect for a shrimp tank. There is no need to get a hang-on back or canister filter. However, if the tank is not shrimp-only and there are other tank mates, then a simple sponge filter might not be able to do the job perfectly. In such cases, you’ll need a hang-on back filter.

Hang-on-back filters are a bit pricier than sponge filters, but they are worth the cost. Like sponge filters, they don’t sit inside the tank, taking up a considerable amount of space. As the name suggests, they are placed behind the aquarium or on any of the sides.

There are many HOB filters on the market. If you ask me, I’ll recommend the penguin model from Marineland. I have been using it for years without any problems.

Note: If you are using a Hang On Back filter in your shrimp tank, cover the inlets of the filter with a layer of filter media. It is required to prevent the baby shrimps from getting sucked inside the filter.

2. Water

The water source for cherry shrimps can be versatile. You can use tap water, well water, or even RO water (reverse osmosis). As cherry shrimp are not as demanding as Caridina shrimps, they will do perfectly fine in tap water.

See also  Can Cherry Shrimps Live Without A Filter?

However, for breeding purposes, I’ve seen better results with RO water. RO water basically means that it is pure water. No minerals or anything is added to it. Now, shrimps don’t like this type of distilled water. For a shrimp tank, you’ll need to mix some shrimp minerals with the water. This mineral is also called shrimp salt.

It will ensure the water contains enough of the important nutrients for the optimum breeding of cherry shrimps.

I am telling you again that this RO water + shrimp mineral mixture is not needed for breeding cherry shrimps. However, if you can do that, you’ll be surprised at the number and the quality of the offspring.

Water Parameters

Water parameters are extremely important for keeping shrimps. Before explaining them, here is a chart that shows the required water parameter ranges for cherry shrimp:

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

Temperature

Temperature is extremely important for cherry shrimp. Although they can withstand a wide range of temperatures, the ideal range for them is between 70 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

If the temperature is any more or less than that, then it can affect the shrimp’s life in many ways. Here is a chart that shows how temperature affects a cherry shrimp’s life:

Higher TemperatureLower Temperature
Shorter lifespanLonger lifespan
Eats more oftenEats less
Molts more frequentlyMolts less frequently
Breeds quickerBreeds slowly
Lower offspring qualityHigher offspring quality

pH

pH stands for Potential of Hydrogen. It measures how acidic or alkaline the water is. pH is measured on a scale from 0 to 14. 7 means a neutral value. 0 means extremely acidic, whereas 14 means completely alkaline. The ideal range for cherry shrimps is 6.5 to 7.5

If you need a test kit for measuring the pH, I’ll recommend the 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!

GH and KH

GH stands for General Hardness, and KH stands for Carbonate Hardness. GH measures the amount of dissolved magnesium and calcium in the water, while KH indicates the stability of the water’s pH.

The older an aquarium is, the lower the KH value will be. Both GH and KH are measured in ppm (Parts Per Million).

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

TDS

TDS stands for Total Dissolved Solids. It measures the total amount of substances dissolved in the water, except for the H20 molecules. A higher TDS value indicates that the shrimp tank needs a water change.

You can measure the TDS value with this TDS meter.

Some Tips

  • When it comes to water parameters, it is more important to be consistent than hitting the ideal range. If the range in your shrimp tank is off by some value, it won’t be the end of the world. However, if the water parameters are not consistent and they spike every now and then, you’ll face a massive problem.
  • It is helpful to get a bigger tank to keep the temperature consistent. A two-foot tank will make it easier for beginners to breed cherry shrimps than a one-foot tank. That’s why, unlike many beginners who make the mistake of buying a small shrimp tank, you should go for one as big as your budget allows.

3. Tank Mates

cherry shrimp tank mates

Tank Mates are extremely important for cherry shrimps. Their survival depends on it. I’ll talk about tank mates in two senses:

If you are a shrimp keeper

If you are an average shrimp keeper, try to keep the tank mate number as low as possible. Shrimps are small creatures, and they are hunted down by almost all other fish.

Even the small schooling fish is seen bullying the shrimp babies. So, try to keep the tank mate as low as possible. Also, before getting any tank mates, do proper research and see which tank mates are suitable for keeping with cherry shrimps.

Here is a table that I’ve made to show the suitable tank mates for cherry shrimp:

Good Tank Mates Bad Tank Mates
Other shrimp speciesDiscuss
Dwarf suckersCichlids
Small rasborasDiscus
Small TetrasAngelfish
SnailsFishes with a large mouth to gulp the shrimp in a single instance

As you can see, any fish that has a mouth large enough to fit the shrimp inside can try to eat the shrimp. Also, look out for fish that are territorial, aggressive, or temperamental.

If you are a shrimp breeder

If you consider yourself a shrimp breeder, then I’ll definitely recommend that you do not get any tank mates. Tank mates will create terror in your baby shrimp’s life, no matter how careful you are choosing them. Some shrimp breeders even observed Otocinclus fishes trying to eat a baby cherry shrimp.

However, you can keep some snails with the shrimp. Snails are perfect companions for a shrimp tank. Later on, I will talk about why you should keep snails in a shrimp tank.

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!]

Factors That Increase Survival Rate of Baby Cherry Shrimps

The factors that I’ll be describing under this section is not a must for breeding cherry shrimps. Your cherry shrimps will breed without ensuring them.

See also  Can Cherry Shrimp Survive On Water Plants Alone?

However, if you want optimum-quality offspring and the maximum number of babies, then I recommend you pay close attention to each of these factors. They are necessary for creating the optimum breeding environment for cherry shrimps and considerably increasing the survival rate of the babies.

So, here are the factors explained in detail:

Moss & Plants

cherry shrimp tank

Moss and plants are extremely important for a cherry shrimp tank. I talk about this in detail in my cherry shrimp care guide. They are even more important for breeding cherry shrimps.

Here’s why you need lots of moss and plants for breeding cherry shrimps:

  • Both moss and plants provide an excellent hiding spot for the baby cherry shrimps. After hatching, during the first few days, the babies like to hide and don’t come out in the open. It is required for their safety and survival.
  • During this period, having lots of moss and plants will benefit the babies as they will be able to hide within them. Also, these increase the survival rate of the baby shrimps. Without the presence of enough moss and plants, your baby cherry shrimps can fall victim to other tank mates.
  • However, if they can hide within the plants, the other tank mates won’t be able to hunt the babies down.
  • Moss and plants provide a good surface area for algae and biofilm to grow. Though we don’t want algae in our tank, they are an excellent source of food for the shrimp.
  • Even baby cherry shrimps live on these biofilms and algae for the first few days. So, a good amount of biofilm in the tank is necessary, and plants and mosses ensure that.
  • The other benefit of having lots of plants and moss is that they help to filter the water and keep it clean and pristine. Also, plants oxygenate the water, which is crucial for the health of the baby shrimp.
  • Plants break down ammonia into less harmful chemicals and speed up the nitrogen cycle. All in all, plants and moss are very important for ensuring a higher survival rate for baby cherry shrimps.

For most, I’ll recommend Java Moss without any doubt. They are cheap, and shrimps get crazy over them. Also, click here to learn my recommendation about the best plants for cherry shrimp.

Driftwood

cholla wood shrimp tank

Driftwood is not only an awesome decorative piece for a shrimp tank but is beneficial, too. Here are the benefits of keeping driftwood in the shrimp tank:

  • Driftwood is perfect for hiding baby shrimp. Its surface has lots of holes, so the babies can easily hide there.
  • Driftwood has a good surface area for growing biofilm. As I mentioned earlier, biofilm is a staple food source for babies and adult cherry shrimp. So, by having a piece of driftwood in the shrimp tank, you can ensure a good food source for the shrimp.
  • Driftwood leeches tannin with time. The tannin can be beneficial as it lowers the pH value.
  • I like this Natural Driftwood for hiding places. It is natural and looks extremely good, and shrimps love these types of woods, too! They grow biofilm over them, which is a natural food source for shrimps.

There are some drawbacks to keeping driftwood, as well. It can considerably increase the TDS value, which, as I explained earlier, means you’ll need to perform a water change.

Also, too much driftwood can release an excessive amount of tannin, which can harm rather than benefit the baby cherry shrimp.

Leaves

inidan almond leave shrimp tank

Leaves are also a very popular choice for the shrimp tank. They have almost similar benefits to driftwood, including the release of tannins. However, leaves offer a much larger surface area to grow biofilm. If you ask me to choose between leaves and driftwood, I’ll go with leaves.

Some of the popular leave choices for shrimp tanks are:

  • Indian Almond Leaves or IAL
  • Nettle Leaves
  • Guava leaves
  • Walnut leaves
  • Spinach leaves, etc.

Among all these options, the most popular one is Indian Almond Leaves. They cost next to nothing, and if you are lucky, you can find them for free around your neighborhood. Shrimps love Indian Almond Leaves in the tank, and they are great for baby shrimps, too.

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

Shrimp keepers also put spinach leaves in the shrimp tank. But its purpose is not the same as the Indian Almond Leave. The spinach leaf is provided as a direct food source that shrimps love to eat.

Once or twice a month, I get a small piece of spinach leaf (about 5 x 5 cm in size). I boil it for a couple of minutes and then place the spinach on the feeding dish. The shrimp get crazy over it. Spinach adds a nice change to the diet and has more nutritional value, too. After about 10-20 minutes, I remove the leftover spinach so that the water quality doesn’t deteriorate.

Snails

I have said many times that shrimp tanks do not prefer tankmates. However, one tankmate is not only preferable but also recommended for shrimp tanks: snails.

Snails are very important for a shrimp tank as they help to create an ecosystem. Many types of snails provide many benefits.

However, for a breeding cherry shrimp tank, our choice is limited. We can’t choose any snail as some snails, like Assassin Snails, can become a threat to the baby cherry shrimps.

For my cherry shrimp tank, I like to keep Malaysian Trumpet Snail and Nerite Snail.

Malaysian Trumpet Snails are really helpful because of the following reasons:

  • They aerate the substrate
  • eat dead plant and animal matters
  • clean algae by eating them
  • The shrimps eat snail poop which creates a good ecosystem

I also love to keep Nerite Snails, as they are wonderful algae eaters. If your cherry shrimp tank has lots of algae and the shrimp can’t seem to eat it all alone, you can consider adding some Nerite snails.

See also  Cherry Shrimp Selective Breeding Guide For Beginners

Quality Food

Cherry shrimps mainly eat 3 types of foods:

  1. Algae and Biofilm
  2. Commercial Shrimp Food
  3. Blanched Vegetable

You don’t have to do anything for the first one. Algae and biofilm grow naturally in the shrimp tank. So, there will be plenty of that automatically.

Also, blanched vegetables are not a must. Providing some blanched vegetables once in a while offers a good change in the diet and is good for their nutritional value, too. But you don’t have to provide that on a daily basis.

We need to concern ourselves with offering good commercial shrimp food. Cherry shrimps don’t get all the nutrition they require from algae and biofilm alone. They also need something extra that can provide them with protein, minerals, and the required vitamins for proper growth. And that’s where commercial shrimp food comes in.

There are lots of options on the market, but I love Bacter AE for my cherry shrimps and their babies. Bacter AE is a complete shrimp food solution. It has all the minerals and vitamins that your baby shrimp will need for proper growth.

The other thing I love about Bacter AE is that the food comes in powder form. When you dump the required amount in the tank, the food particles spread all over the tank. This gives the shrimp babies a chance to look for the food and eat it. Otherwise, they won’t be able to compete with the adult shrimp for a single piece of food.

Some other good options for commercial shrimp food can be:

  • Shrimp dinner
  • Mineral Junkie
  • Shrimp King Complete
  • Shrimp King Mineral

Here is a tip while feeding cherry shrimps:

Always feed less than the amount instructed in the food container. It is absolutely okay. Your shrimps won’t starve. Feeding less amount ensures the water remains clean and healthy for a longer amount of time.

Also, if you can, use feeding dishes. This makes the whole feeding process much more organized and less messy.

Water Changes

Water changes are crucial for maintaining a healthy environment in the shrimp tank. I perform 20-30% water changes weekly, which helps to keep the water parameters consistent.

You can also use the TDS meter to check whether the tank needs a water change. If the TDS value reads more than 250ppm, you’ll need to perform a partial water change.

Whenever changing water, if you are using RO water to replace the old one, don’t forget to mix Shrimp Minerals with it. This is necessary for the healthy growth of the shrimps.

Light

Lighting is not necessary for breeding. The shrimps also don’t need lighting for anything. Lighting is mainly for us and the plants. Here are a couple of pointers you should keep in mind regarding lights:

  • Don’t keep the lights ON for too long. It’ll disrupt the lives of the shrimps. In my cherry shrimp tank, I keep the lights ON for 7-8 hours.
  • It is better to use a light timer so that the light turns on and off at the exact time every day. This way, you won’t have to worry about the light remaining ON for too long.

Mineral Stones

Personally, I don’t use mineral stones in my shrimp tank, but I heard they are beneficial for the baby shrimp as well as the adults.

If you are using RO water and mixing it with shrimp minerals, there is no need for you to get mineral stones.

Personally, I am not a big fan of these because they don’t last long, and I don’t think they are an absolute necessity for shrimp.

Plant Supplements

Planted tanks and shrimps go hand in hand for many of us. As shrimps require plants in their tank, many of us set up planted tanks for the shrimps.

In a planted tank, we have both the plants and the shrimps. However, we need to keep in mind that the health of shrimps is always more important than that of plants.

If you want to use plant supplements like liquid fertilizer or root tabs for the plants, check the label clearly. Anything that contains iron or copper is not safe for the shrimps at all. Even a tiny amount can prove to be deadly for the shrimps.

Also, no matter how safe a plant supplement is, regularly dosing it can have an adverse effect on the health of cherry shrimp.

cherry shrimp tank

Tips From My Experience

Now, I’ll share some tips that I have learned from my years of shrimp breeding experience:

  1. If you are a serious breeder and want to pursue breeding as a business, pay attention to the species. Never mix different types of species in the tank. It will result in lower-quality offspring with dodgy color. With more generations, the color will soon turn transparent or undesirable.
  2. For monetary purposes, always keep your breeding tanks specific to each species.
  3. Many new shrimp breeders think that breeding shrimp can turn their fortune around. I am sorry to break it to you: breeding shrimp will not make you the next Bill Gates. It even hardly covers my shrimp-keeping expenses. Yes, you’ll get some money selling the babies, but it is not enough to replace a full-time job.
  4. Don’t start with expensive shrimp breeds. I have seen many shrimp breeders make this mistake. The more expensive a shrimp is, generally, the harder it will be to breed it.
  5. That’s why, when you are new and don’t have any personal experience with shrimp keeping, start with an easy species. Cherry shrimps are perfect for beginner shrimp breeders to start their shrimp breeding journey.
  6. Lastly, always be consistent. Consistency is the key to breeding shrimps. Keep everything consistent, including the temperature, pH, GH, KH, feeding schedule, etc. This is what ultimately makes a difference.

Conclusion

As you can see, breeding cherry shrimp is not difficult. If you follow the guidelines in the cherry shrimp care guide, your shrimp will breed automatically.

But if you can go the extra mile and give the cherry shrimps special care, they will offer you the maximum number of babies. So, it’s up to you what you want to do. But I always recommend giving your cherry shrimps the special care they deserve.

Muntaseer Rahman

About Author

Hello, I’m Muntaseer Rahman, the owner of AcuarioPets.com. I’m passionate about aquarium pets like shrimps, snails, crabs, and crayfish. I’ve created this website to share my expertise and help you provide better care for these amazing pets.

Disclaimer

This site is owned and operated by Muntaseer Rahman. AcuarioPets.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. This site also participates in other affiliate programs and is compensated for referring traffic and business to these companies.