How Big Can Cherry Shrimps Get? [Cherry Shrimp Size]

If you have been keeping cherry shrimp 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.

Cherry shrimps usually grow to about 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) long. However, under optimum conditions, they can also grow to 1.6 inches (4 cm).

Cherry shrimp’s size depends on many factors. To get an idea of how big they can get, we’ll need to examine each of these factors closely.

How Fast Do Cherry Shrimps Grow?

If you can ensure the optimum environment, cherry shrimp will grow pretty fast. Though no study has been done on the growth rate of cherry shrimps over time, this section will give you a rough idea of how large they can get.

red cherry shrimp overview and facts

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 my tank water parameters and temperature. I kept the temperature roughly in between 21 to 24 degrees Celsius. These were my water parameters:

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

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.

Factors Influencing The Size Of Cherry Shrimps

Genetics: Role of Genetics in Determining Size

Genetics plays a crucial role in determining the size potential of cherry shrimp. Different strains and varieties of cherry shrimp may have genetic predispositions to certain sizes.

Breeders often select for specific traits, including size, to produce shrimp with desirable characteristics.

However, even within a single population, there can be variations in size due to genetic diversity. Offspring tend to inherit size traits from their parents, so selective breeding can influence the overall size of a colony over generations.

a berried blue cherry shrimp with eggs
Owner: Natalie Skinner

Environmental Factors: Impact of Tank Conditions on Growth

The environment in which cherry shrimp are kept significantly influences their growth and size. Factors such as water quality, temperature, pH levels, and tank size can all impact their development.

Optimal water parameters are essential for promoting healthy growth. Stressors such as fluctuations in temperature or poor water quality can hinder growth and lead to stunted sizes.

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Additionally, overcrowding in the tank can limit access to resources and hinder growth rates. Providing a stable and suitable environment is crucial for ensuring that cherry shrimp can reach their full-size potential.

Nutrition: Importance of Diet for Healthy Growth

Diet plays a vital role in the growth and development of cherry shrimp. A balanced diet rich in essential nutrients is necessary for healthy growth. Cherry shrimp are omnivores and will consume a variety of foods, including algae, biofilm, commercial shrimp pellets, blanched vegetables, and supplements like calcium-rich foods.

A diet lacking in essential nutrients can result in slower growth and smaller sizes. Conversely, providing a diverse and nutritious diet can support optimal growth and help cherry shrimp reach their full-size potential.

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-quarters of an inch or slightly larger.

Size is one of the easiest ways to determine male and female cherry shrimp. Though it is not the most reliable method, it is surely the one you check first.

If you see some cherry shrimp much larger than the others when they are sexually matured, the larger ones are likely females.

gorgeous yellow cherry shrimp grazing on leaves
Owner: Kaz Brown

Size Differences between Captive and Wild Cherry Shrimp:

Captive Cherry Shrimp Size

Cherry shrimp bred and raised in captivity tend to be slightly larger on average compared to their wild counterparts. This is often due to selective breeding practices aimed at producing shrimp with desirable traits, including size. Additionally, captive shrimp may have access to a more consistent and nutrient-rich diet, contributing to enhanced growth rates.

Wild Cherry Shrimp Size

In their natural habitat, wild cherry shrimp may exhibit more variation in size compared to captive specimens. Factors such as competition for resources, predation pressure, and environmental conditions can influence growth rates and size in the wild. Wild shrimp may also prioritize energy allocation towards survival and reproduction rather than maximizing growth, leading to smaller overall sizes.

Ensuring The Optimum Environment For Proper Growth of Cherry Shrimps

As I’ve mentioned earlier, for the proper growth of the cherry shrimps, you’ll have to ensure the proper environment. By environment, I mean ensuring the proper water parameters that your cherry shrimps desire.

I’ll describe the most important 5 water parameters for cherry shrimps here:

Temperature70 to 75 Degrees Fahrenheit
pH6.5 to 7.5
GH6-8 ppm
KH1-4 ppm
TDS150-250 ppm
  • 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 the potential of hydrogen. In layman’s terms, it describes how acidic or alkaline the tank water is. I always try to aim for a pH range of 6.5 to 7.5 for cherry shrimp.
  • GH: GH stands for General Hardness. It measures the amount of dissolved calcium and magnesium in the tank water. I try to get 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.
cherry shrimp tank

Cherry Shrimp Growth Stages

Juvenile Stage: Size at Birth or Hatching

During the juvenile stage, cherry shrimp are typically very small, measuring around 0.25 to 0.5 inches (6 to 12 millimeters) in length. Newly hatched shrimp emerge from eggs as tiny larvae, often barely visible to the naked eye. As they grow, they molt their exoskeletons to accommodate their increasing size.

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Adolescent Stage: Growth Rate and Size Development

In the adolescent stage, cherry shrimp experience rapid growth. They molt frequently, shedding their exoskeletons to accommodate their growing bodies. During this phase, their size can increase noticeably with each molt. The growth rate varies depending on factors such as water quality, temperature, and diet. Typically, cherry shrimp reach a size of around 1 to 1.5 inches (25 to 38 millimeters) during adolescence.

Adult Stage: Typical Size and Maturity

In the adult stage, cherry shrimp reach their typical size and maturity. They have fully developed coloration and markings, and their size stabilizes. Adult cherry shrimp usually measure between 1 to 1.5 inches (25 to 38 millimeters) in length. At this stage, they are sexually mature and capable of breeding, contributing to the next generation of shrimp.

Feeding Proper Diet To Cherry Shrimps

To see optimum growth in your shrimp, 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 shrimp. Doing so deteriorates the water quality and can even kill them.

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 they don’t break down too easily. If they do, it will significantly lower the water quality.

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.

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Now, let’s take a look at 3 of my favorite pellet foods for cherry shrimp. All of these are great for them and offer the most nutritional value.

Sinking Pellets from Aquatic Arts:

Not only cherry shrimps, these pellets are great for any type of shrimp, including Cardina and Sulawesi shrimps. Your other tank inhabitants will surely love these pellets, too.

I love this food for its nutritional value. It contains 35% protein and is mainly made from spirulina algae and vegetables, both of which are great for cherry shrimp.

The container contains about 8 oz of food, which is enough to comfortably feed 10-15 shrimp for a year. It 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 love this food for my cherry shrimp, and they get crazy over it, too. I have seen their growth skyrocket with this pellet.

If you are interested in checking 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 in your aquarium, over the glass, and other things. Shrimps simply love it. When cleaning the aquarium, I scrape only the front glass.

I leave the other 3 unscraped because biofilms grow over them, and my cherry shrimps can eat those anytime.

Blanched Vegetables

Though it’s not a must, sometimes you can feed blanched vegetables to your shrimp. 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 small amount. After about 1 hour, take out the uneaten food from the tank.

How To Grow Cherry Shrimps 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 shrimp. Clean water will not only ensure the optimum growth of your shrimp, but it will also help them enjoy a healthier life.
  • Feed your cherry shrimp less, but proper food. Vitamin and mineral-rich foods are 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 your cherry shrimps with the best environment and food, and they will grow up to their full potential.

Muntaseer Rahman

About Author

Hello, I’m Muntaseer Rahman, the owner of 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.


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