How To Control Cherry Shrimp Population?

We all want our cherry shrimp to breed and produce lots of babies. However, if they continue to breed at their heart’s content, the population can become too big for a tank.

Many problems occur when the shrimp colony gets too big. In such a case, you need to take some steps to control the population of cherry shrimp. In this article, I am going to share 5 ways to control your cherry shrimp population.

Also, I am going to discuss why it is bad to have too many shrimps in your tank.

So, let’s get started!

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Why Do You Need To Control The Population?

When the number of cherry shrimps gets too large to handle, many problems can occur. For the following reasons, we need to control the cherry shrimp population:

Too Much Bioload

A good rule of thumb is to keep 2-3 cherry shrimp per gallon. So, if you have a 10-gallon tank, there shouldn’t be more than 30 cherry shrimp. If the number crosses 50-60 shrimp, then it can really get problematic.

The tank filter won’t be able to cope with the shrimp’s bioload—it will be just too much to handle. Also, you’ll need to perform water changes multiple times a week to keep the water parameters in the ideal range. Otherwise, the cherry shrimp will start to die.

Also, performing too many water changes can make the water parameters inconsistent. This is deadly for cherry shrimps.

Owner: Kaz Brown

Plants Won’t Grow

Shrimps love to graze on plants and moss. It is their natural instinct, and plants are a good source of natural food for the shrimps. When there are 20 shrimps in a 10-gallon planted tank, then the shrimps won’t be able to put a dent in the growth of the plants.

However, if the number of shrimp grows to 50 or 60, the plants will have a hard time growing. They can even destroy delicate plants. When the number of cherry shrimps gets out of hand, they can soon behave like an infestation in the tank.

That’s why we need to control the population of the cherry shrimp.

Weaken The Colony

When there are too many shrimp in the colony, competition for food will increase. Consequently, the colony will be weak.

Think about it like this. No matter how large the shrimp colony gets, the amount of natural food source stays the same, right? So the competition for food can get way up. This is when the colony starts to get weak.

5 Ways To Control Cherry Shrimp Population

Now that we know why it is bad to have too many cherry shrimps in the tank, let’s talk about some of the ways we can control that population:

1. Selling The Cherry Shrimp

Selling cherry shrimp is the easiest and most effective way to control the population. This way, you’ll also be able to earn some side money!

I have previously sold cherry shrimp, too! Don’t expect you are going to be a billionaire selling shrimps. All you’ll get is some side money with which you can buy fish food or other items.

The main purpose is not to get rich here. We need to control the population of the cherry shrimp colony. And selling them is the most efficient way to do so.

Another benefit of selling the shrimps is getting higher-quality offspring through selective breeding. During selective breeding, we take out the cull shrimps from the main tank. Cull shrimps are the ones that don’t show our desirable traits, colors, or appearance.

If your tank has too many shrimps, you can sell the cull shrimps. This way, the tank will be left with only high-quality shrimp. It will offer you much higher quality offspring in the later generations.

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Owner: Kaz Brown

Where Can You Sell The Cherry Shrimps?

There are many places where you can sell cherry shrimps, such as:

  • The most popular and common place is to sell them through Craigslist.
  • You can also sell the shrimps to your neighbor shrimp keeper (if there is any).
  • You can check out the local fish stores and see if they are willing to buy the shrimps from you (chances are low).

Tips For Selling Cherry Shrimps

Follow these tips when selling the cherry shrimps through craigslist or any other online site:

  • Go to your local fish store and check out which price range they are selling the cherry shrimp in. If they are selling each cherry shrimp for $2, you can’t ask for the same amount! You’ll have to ask 1/4th or 1/2 the price. So, in this case, you can expect to get $0.50 per shrimp.
  • Ask for a bit higher price than what you are expecting. Suppose you are expecting to get $1.00 per shrimp. Ask $1.5 at the listing. This is because the buyer will try to hag and lower the price. If he does so, you can lower the price to $1.00 (the range you are expecting). This way, both you and the buyer will be happy.
  • Be specific about the shrimps in the listing and provide as much information as possible. Be clear about the species, gender, size, age, color, etc., of the shrimps. This will further increase the possibility of the sale.
  • Provide multiple pictures of the shrimp from different angles. If the platform supports videos, make a quick video showing the shrimp and upload it there. This will create credibility for the seller.

2. Giving Away The Cherry Shrimp

Another option is to give away the shrimp. If you can’t sell them, giving them away is the next most convenient option. Also, some shrimp keepers don’t like to sell their shrimp. For those, giving away is the best way to control the cherry shrimp population.

By giving away, you can help out another fellow shrimp keeper who is just starting out. Also, you’ll be able to keep an eye on how your shrimps are doing in their new home. This also creates a bond between two shrimp keepers.

So, if you want to reduce the number of cherry shrimps in your tank, check if there is any fish keeper in your area who is willing to take them.

3. Using As Food For Other Fishes

You can follow this step if you keep other fish in addition to shrimp, especially monster fish like Arowana, Oscar, Cichlids, etc. These fish love shrimp. Even if you have a betta, you can feed it live shrimp.

Live shrimp is an excellent source of protein for fish. If there are too many shrimps in your shrimp tank, why not feed some to your other fish?

You can either feed the shrimp live or make food out of them. If you want to make fish food, first boil the shrimp and then freeze them for later feeding.

If you feed your fish DIY food, you can easily add some chopped shrimp. This will further enrich the food and increase the protein content.

4. Adding A Predator Fish

cherry shrimp predators

Another way to control the population of cherry shrimp is to add one or two predator fish. Predator fish are excellent at keeping the shrimp population in check. If the tank has lots of plants and moss, then the predator fish and cherry shrimp will maintain a nice balance.

Most predator fish will only go for the baby shrimps or nib at the adult ones. If you are planning to add predator fish to the tank, make sure there are enough plants and moss. Otherwise, your shrimp colony can get from ‘too many’ to ‘nothing’ within a couple of weeks.

Here are some popular choices for predator fish:

  • Barbs
  • School Of Tetras
  • Danios
  • Apistogramma
  • Bettas
  • Rams
  • Trichopsis, etc.

Don’t add too many all at once. Otherwise, you can risk the whole population of the shrimp colony. Just start with a few and observe how they are controlling the shrimp population. You can always add more later.

To know more about the ideal tank mates for a cherry shrimp tank, click here.

5. Doing Nothing & Let Nature Take Its Course

Though I am skeptical about this, many shrimp keepers have been vetted for this step. According to them, if you do nothing and let the shrimp breed naturally, they will stop breeding when the number of shrimp reaches a critical stage.

See also  20 Cherry Shrimp Tank Setup Ideas For Absolute Beginners

This concept seems sound theoretically, but I haven’t tested it practically. If you want to do nothing and let nature take its course to control the cherry shrimp population, you are more than welcome to do so.

Let me know how it works out for you!

Owner: Ricky Sales

How To Catch The Cherry Shrimps?

Whether you want to sell or give the shrimp away, you need to catch them first. There are basically two ways to catch shrimp: using a net or making a shrimp trap.

Using A Net

This is the most convenient method. You just need to get an aquarium fishing net and start catching shrimp. But you have to be careful here.

When a shrimp has gotten inside the net, press the net against the glass so that the shrimp can’t jump out of the net. This has happened too many times with me.

Shrimps can even jump out of the tank! Know more about this behavior here.

If you are catching the shrimps for selling or giving them away, chances are you are planning to put the caught shrimps in a bag. Make sure that you fill the bag with water from the shrimp tank. Never put the shrimp straight into a bag of tap water.

This will immediately put the shrimps into a shock and they can even die from it.

Making A Shrimp Trap

By making a shrimp trap, you can catch multiple shrimps at once. It is further more convenient than catching the shrimps one by one with a fishing net.

However, if you are culling shrimp with undesirable traits, catching them with a trap is not the way to go. With a trap, you can’t select which shrimp will go inside and which ones will stay out.

Here are the things you’ll need to make a shrimp trap:

  • transparent bottle
  • sharp scissors to cut the bottle
  • Pin to make holes in the bottle
  • small stones or gravel
  • food pellets

Here are the procedures:

  1. First, take the sharp scissors and cut the top portion of the bottle (about 2-3 inches from the top)
  2. Now, take the separated top portion, reverse it, and fit it inside the other part of the bottle. Make sure the fitting is snug.
  3. Take a pin and make multiple holes in the body of the bottle. Now, tie some string around the bottle so that you can facilitate lifting the trap when necessary.
  4. Put the stones inside the bottle so that it doesn’t try to float. Place one shrimp food pellet in the trap so that the shrimp can eat it.
  5. Make sure the top portion is snugly fitted (as shown in the video).
  6. Now, put the trap inside the tank. Wait for 10-20 minutes until the shrimp notice the food and start to enter the trap. Once you have enough shrimps inside the trap, carefully lift it with the string you attached in step 3.
  7. Put the trap inside the new tank or in a bag (for selling or giving away the shrimp). After placing the trap, dismantle it so the shrimp can escape.

You catch shrimp by making a trap. This is just a simple trap. If you have the time and patience, you can make other complex traps, too.

How Many Cherry Shrimp Should Be Kept Together?

You might know that cherry shrimp are social creatures like all other shrimp. So, you can not keep these shrimp alone in a tank. These shrimp tend to thrive in a colony.

If you want to keep cherry shrimp in a small colony, the minimum number of shrimp should range from 4 to 10. Depending on the tank size, you can keep multiple cherry shrimp together.

In a 5-gallon tank, you can keep 8-10 cherry shrimp together. If you want to add more cherry shrimp, you should shift all shrimp to a bigger tank. The experts set a thumb rule of keeping 2-5 cherry shrimp per gallon.

However, you must not keep a single cherry shrimp in a tank. Without company, your cherry shrimp will constantly hide in corners, plants, and other hiding places.

In fact, I’ve written a separate article on why it seems like your shrimps are disappearing. Learn more about it here.

Owner: Kaz Brown

How To Stop Shrimp From Breeding?

if you keep a few shrimp in a tank, your shrimp number will get doubled in a few days. After all, shrimp breed pretty fast. It’s a pretty impossible thing to stop shrimp from breeding.

However, shrimp experts found some tricky ways to control the shrimp population. Let’s see how you can stop shrimp from breeding.

1. Shrimp Will Stop On Their Own

Sometimes, nature takes complete control of limiting shrimp breeding. The experienced owners shared that they have seen their shrimp stop breeding on their own. So, you need not do anything to stop your shrimp from breeding.

See also  Do Cherry Shrimp Eat Hair Algae?

2. Separate Male And Female Shrimp

The most popular way to stop shrimp from breeding is to separate the male and female shrimp. For this, you should recognize the male and female shrimp beforehand.

Afterward, you need to manage two separate tanks. Then, you can keep all male shrimp in one tank and all female shrimp in a separate tank. In this way, you can prevent the shrimp population from increasing.

3. Lower The Temperature

Generally, shrimp do not breed until they reach maturity. To slow their growth, you can keep the water temperature low.

Besides, the experts suggest keeping the water temperature constant for the successful breeding of shrimp. To stop shrimp breeding, you can apply a trick: Fluctuate the water temperature a bit. Such fluctuations in temperature prevent shrimp from breeding.

4. Add Predatory Fish In the Tank

To stop your shrimp from breeding, you can add some predatory fish to the shrimp tank. Such as betta, barb, danios, tetras, ramd, etc.

These predatory fish will eat up the smaller shrimp. In this way, you can minimize the population of shrimp.

5. Remove The Extra Shrimp

Lastly, you can remove some extra shrimp. Some hobbyists prefer to gift their extra shrimp to other shrimp lovers. Also, you can sell extra shrimp in stores. Otherwise, you can use shrimp as food for your pet fish.

How Many Red Cherry Shrimp Should You Keep Per Gallon?

The ideal rule is to keep 2-5 shrimp in a gallon. In cases of dwarf shrimp, the number can be a bit more.

You must not overcrowd the shrimp tank with lots of shrimp. Otherwise, the water quality will decrease since there may be an ammonia spike. Due to the high toxicity level in the water, your shrimp will become stressed.

That’s why you must know the ideal number of red cherry shrimp to keep per gallon. I’ve made a small chart mentioning the ideal numbers of shrimp according to the tank capacity. Let’s check it out.

Number of red cherry shrimp  Aquarium Capacity In GallonsAquarium Capacity In Liters
2-5 shrimp  1 gallon3.78 Liters
5 adult red cherry shrimp and countless shrimplets2 gallon7.57 Liters
10-25 adult red cherry shrimp5 gallon18.93 Liters
20-25 adult red cherry shrimp10 gallon37.85 Liters
30-100 adult red cherry shrimp20 gallon75.71 Liters
60-160 adult red cherry shrimp30 gallon113.56 Liters
75-210 red cherry shrimp40 gallon151.42 Liters
100-280 red cherry shrimp50 gallon189.27 Liters
Over 300 red cherry shrimp60+ gallon227.125+ Liters
Owner: Natalie Skinner

How many cherry shrimp does it take to start a colony?

When starting a colony of cherry shrimp, a balanced male-to-female ratio is important. This allows for successful breeding and the production of offspring.

A minimum of 6 cherry shrimp of both sexes is needed to start breeding, but it’s recommended to have at least 10 for optimal breeding success. Additionally, it’s important to ensure that the water parameters and tank conditions are suitable for the shrimp to thrive and breed successfully.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do Cherry Shrimps Reproduce?

Cherry shrimp reproduce sexually, and the process involves the fertilization of eggs by sperm. The male cherry shrimp deposits its sperm into the female, and the female then passes her eggs through the sperm on their way to the underside of her tail.

The eggs are constantly fanned by the female’s pleopods (swimming legs) to keep them oxygenated and clean. Once the eggs hatch, the larvae go through several stages before becoming fully grown adults.

How Many Shrimps Should Be Kept Together In Aquarium?

The number of shrimp that should be kept together in an aquarium depends on several factors, such as the size of the aquarium, the species of shrimp, and the water parameters. However, a general rule of thumb is to keep 5 shrimp per gallon of water. So, for example, a 10-gallon aquarium can house up to 50 shrimp.

What To Do With Excess Cherry Shrimps?

If you have excess cherry shrimp, there are several things you can do with them. Some options include:

1. Trading or selling them to other hobbyists or local fish stores.

2. Donate them to schools, pet stores, or other organizations that may be interested in them.

3. Using them as a food source for larger fish or other aquatic animals.

4. Setting up another aquarium to house the extra shrimp.

5. Giving them away to friends or family members who are interested in keeping shrimp.

Important to note that releasing them into the wild is not a good option, as it can harm the local ecosystem.


So, by now, you should have a clear idea of why it is bad to have too many shrimps in the tank. If you ever face such a situation or already facing such a situation, you know what to do. Just follow the ways mentioned in this article and your tank should be good to go!

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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