If you are keeping cherry shrimps for a while now, you might wonder how big they can actually get? That’s a fair question. So, I decided to do some research and find out actually how large can these shrimps get.
Cherry shrimps usually get about 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) long. However, under optimum conditions, they can grow up to 1.6 inches (4 cm) too.
Cherry shrimp’s size depends on many factors. To have an idea about how big they can get, we’ll need to take a look at each of these factors closely.
How Fast Do Cherry Shrimps Grow?
If you can ensure the optimum environment, then cherry shrimps will grow pretty fast. Though there hasn’t been any study done on the growth rate of cherry shrimps with time, in this section, I’ll give you a rough idea of how large they can get with time.
Remember that it’s only a rough idea and in no way scientific research. I’ve seen this kind of growth in my cherry shrimps.
Before diving into the details, I want to share what my tank water parameters and the temperature were. I kept the temperature roughly in between 21 to 24 degrees Celsius. These were my water parameters:
|Temperature||70 to 75 Degrees Fahrenheit|
|pH||6.5 to 7.5|
One Week Old: Less than 2 millimeters.
Two Week Old: About 2-3 millimeters long.
Three Week Old: About 5-6 millimeters long.
Four Week Old: About 7-9 millimeters long.
Five Week Old: About 10 millimeters long.
Size Difference Between Male & Female Cherry Shrimps
Female cherry shrimps get larger than the males. This is because they have to carry the eggs. On average, female cherry shrimps can get about 1.5 inches long at optimum conditions. On the other hand, male cherry shrimps grow much shorter than that, typically about three-quarter of an inch or slightly larger.
Size is one of the easiest ways to determine male and female cherry shrimps. Though it is not the most reliable way, this is surely the one you check first.
If you see some cherry shrimps much larger than the others when they are sexually matured, chances are the larger ones will be female.
Ensuring The Optimum Environment For Proper Growth
As I’ve mentioned earlier, for the proper growth of the cherry shrimps, you’ll have to ensure the proper environment. By environment, I am meaning ensuring the proper water parameters that your cherry shrimps desire.
I’ll describe the most important 5 water parameters for cherry shrimps here:
|Temperature||70 to 75 Degrees Fahrenheit|
|pH||6.5 to 7.5|
- Temperature: The best temperature range for cherry shrimps is between 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit (or 21 to 24 degrees Celsius). However, I always try to aim for 72 degrees Fahrenheit (22 degrees Celsius) as it is the most ideal temperature.
- pH: pH stands for potential of hydrogen. In layman terms, it describes how acidic or alkaline the tank water is. I always try to aim for 6.5 to 7.5 pH range for cherry shrimps.
- GH: GH stands for General Hardness. GH measures the amount of dissolved calcium and magnesium in the tank water. I try to go for 6-8 ppm GH for my cherry shrimp tank.
- KH: KH means Carbonate Hardness. It indicates the stability of the pH in the tank water. The ideal KH range for cherry shrimps is 1 to 4 ppm.
- TDS: TDS stands for Total Dissolved Solids. TDS indicates a general measurement of all the dissolved solids in the tank water (except for the H20 molecules). TDS includes many chemicals including ammonia, nitrate, nitrite, minerals, etc. The ideal TDS range for cherry shrimps is 150-250 ppm.
Feeding Proper Diet
For seeing the optimum growth in your shrimps, you’ll need to give them the proper diet they deserve. Feed them the best quality food you can afford, and you’ll see the results soon!
Before diving into details of what I feed my cherry shrimps, let me explain the most important rule first. No matter what you do, don’t overfeed your shrimps. This is hands down the #1 mistake most shrimp keepers (even experts) make.
PRO TIP: Never overfeed your cherry shrimps. It deteriorates the water quality and can even kill your shrimps.
Cherry shrimps mainly require 3 types of foods: algae, blanched vegetables, and commercial foods or pellets. I’ll describe each of them here:
When looking for pellets, make sure that the pellets don’t break down too easily. If they do, it will lower down the water quality significantly.
Your shrimps should be able to break down the pellet, not the water. So, choose the one that can hold itself when thrown into the tank.
Now, let’s take a look at 3 of my most favorite pellet foods for cherry shrimps. All of these are great for them and offer the most nutrition value.
Sinking Pellets from Aquatic Arts:
Not only cherry shrimps, these pellets are great for any type of shrimps including Cardina and Sulawesi shrimps. Your other tank inhabitants will surely love these pellets too.
I simply love this food for the nutritional value they offer. The food contains 35% protein material. It is mainly made from spirulina algae and vegetables. Both are simply great for cherry shrimps.
The container contains about 8 oz food. It is enough to feed 10-15 shrimps for a year comfortably. The container is also suitable for long term storage.
Along with the most important nutrients, this pellet also contains a tiny amount of Copper Sulfate which is essential for producing blood cells in shrimps.
As you can guess, I simply love this food for my cherry shrimps and my cherry shrimps get crazy over it too. I have seen their growth skyrocket with this pellet.
If you are interested to check out the current price on Amazon, click here.
Algae and Biofilm
Algae and biofilm are the most natural food sources for cherry shrimps. Honestly, these are the best food that nature has provided for shrimps.
In many cases, if you have a moderate size cherry shrimp colony, the algae naturally grown in the aquarium will be enough for them. However, don’t think cherry shrimps as purely algae eater because they don’t eat hair or string algae.
Biofilm is the stuff that grows on your aquarium, over the glass and other stuff. Shrimps simply love this. I scrape only the front glass of the aquarium when cleaning it.
I leave the other 3 unscraped because biofilms grow over them and my cherry shrimps can eat those anytime.
Though it’s not a must, sometimes you can feed blanched vegetables to your shrimps. These work as a treat. Some common choices are: zucchini, carrot, lettuce, spinach, etc.
Here’s how you can blanch the vegetables. Get a pot of water and start boiling it. When the water is rapidly boiling, throw in the vegetable piece you want to feed. After about 2-3 minutes (when the vegetable piece is much softer), take it out.
Cool the vegetable piece under cold running water and throw it in the tank. Make sure to feed in a little amount. After about 1 hour, take out the uneaten food from the tank.
How To Grow Shrimp Faster?
These are some of the tips you can follow to make your shrimps grow faster:
- Make sure the water quality is pristine and clear. Perform regular water changes. This is the single most important thing you can do for your cherry shrimps. Clean water will not only ensure the optimum growth of your shrimps, it will also help your shrimps to enjoy a healthier life.
- Feed less but proper food to your cherry shrimps. Vitamin and mineral rich foods are mostly preferable for faster growth.
I hope by now you’ve got a pretty solid idea about cherry shrimp sizes and how big they can get. Simply, provide the best environment and food to your cherry shrimps, and they will grow up to their full potential.