How To Control Cherry Shrimp Population?

how to control cherry shrimp population

This site does not constitute pet medical advice, please consult a licensed veterinarian in your area for pet medical advice.

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

Many problems occur of the shrimp colony gets too big. In such a case, you need to take some steps to control the population of cherry shrimps. In this article, I am going to share 5 ways through which you can 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 get 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 shrimps per gallon. So, if you have a 10 gallon tank, there shouldn’t be more than 30 cherry shrimps in the tank. If the number crosses 50-60 shrimps for a 10 gallon tank, then it can really get problematic.

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

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

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 to the growth of the plants.

However, if the number of shrimps get 50 or 60 then the plants will have a hard to grow. They can even destroy the delicate plants. When the number of cherry shrimps get out of hand, soon they can behave like an infestation to the tank.

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

Weaken The Colony

When there are too many shrimps in the colony, the competition for food will increase. Consequently, it will have an adverse impact on the overall colony and make the colony 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 Shrimps

The easiest and most effective way to control the cherry shrimp population is by selling them. This way, you’ll be able to earn some side money too!

I have previously sold cherry shrimps 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 get rich here. We need to control the population of 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 the high-quality shrimps. It will offer you much higher quality offspring in the later generations.

Where Can You Sell The Cherry Shrimps?

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

  • The most popular and common place is to sell them through craigslist. I have done with and so did thousands of other shrimp keepers
  • 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 at which price range they are selling the cherry shrimps. If they are selling each cherry shrimp for $2, you can’t ask the same amount! You’ll have to ask 1/4th or 1/2 the price of that. So, in this case, you can expect to get $0.50 per shrimp.
  • Ask a bit higher price than what you are expecting. Suppose, if 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 down the price. If he does so, you can lower down the price to $1.00 (the range you are expecting). This way, both you and the buyer gets happy.
  • In the listing, be specific about the shrimps and provide as much information as possible. Be clear about the species, gender, size, age, color, etc. about the shrimps. This will further increase the possibility of the sell.
  • Provide multiple pictures of the shrimps from different angles. If the platform supports videos, make a quick video showing the shrimps and upload it there. This creates credibility of the seller.

2. Giving Away The Cherry Shrimps

Another option is to give away the shrimps. If you can’t sell the shrimps, giving away is the next most convenient option. Also, some shrimp keepers don’t like to sell their shrimps. For those, giving away is the best thing to do for controlling 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 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 fishes beside shrimps, especially monster fishes like Arowana, Oscar, Cichlids, etc. These fishes love to eat shrimps. Even if you have betta, you can feed it live shrimp.

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

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

If you feed any DIY food to your fishes, you can easily add some chopped up shrimps there. It 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 the cherry shrimps is by adding one or two predator fishes. Predator fishes are excellent at keeping the shrimp population at check. If there are lots of plants and moss in the tank, then the predator fishes and cherry shrimps will maintain a nice balance in the tank.

Most predator fish will only go for the baby shrimps or nib at the adult ones. If you are planning to add predator fish in 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
  • Darios
  • 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.

5. Doing Nothing & Let Nature Take Its Course

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

I think theoretically this concept checks out 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!

How To Catch The Cherry Shrimps?

Whether it is to sell the shrimps or give them away, you need to catch the shrimps first. There are basically 2 ways you can catch the shrimps: Using a net or making a shrimp trap.

Using A Net

This is the most convenient way. Just get an aquarium fishing net and start catching the shrimps. 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.

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 shrimps 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 the shrimps with undesirable traits, catching them with a trap is not the way to go. Because, with a trap, you can’t select which shrimps will go inside the trap 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 on the bottle
  • small stones or gravels
  • food pellets

Here are the procedures:

  1. First, take the sharp scissor 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 inside the other part of the bottle. Make sure the fitting is snug.
  3. Take a pin and make multiple holes on 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 so the shrimps enter the trap to 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 shrimps 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 shrimps). After placing the trap, dismantle it so the shrimps can get free from it.

That’s how you catch shrimps by making a trap. This is just a simple trap. You can make other complex traps too if you’ve got the time and patience.


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!

My Top 5 Shrimp Products To Make Your Life Easier! (And Your Shrimps Happier!)

1. API Master Test Kit

When keeping shrimps, you’ll often need to monitor the water parameters to check if everything is alright. With API Master Test Kit, you can check Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate, and pH right away. I think this test kit is a must have for any aquarium owner. Check the latest price here at Amazon.

2. Matten Filter

Among hundreds of filters, I think Matten Filter will be the best choice for keeping shrimps. These filters are generally a broader version of sponge filter and comes with a large square sheet of foam. This foam is perfect for growing beneficial bacterial colony as well as other microorganism for the shrimps to eat.

3. Bacter AE

Bacter AE is one of the most sought after shrimp foods among shrimp breeders. It is a powder type food especially suitable for the baby shrimps. Bacter AE helps to develop biofilm in the tank which is essential for shrimps. It also astonishingly increases the survival rate of baby shrimps.

4. Substrate for Neo Caridina shrimps

Eco Complete Planted Tank Substrate doesn’t alter the water parameters and perfect for growing live plants inside the shrimp tank. The soil is mainly rich in magnesium, calcium and iron. This is always my #1 recommendation for neocaridina shrimps like cherry shrimp.

5. Substrate for Caridina shrimps

Brightwell Rio Escuro is specifically designed for keeping caridina shrimps like Crystal Red/Black Shrimp, Tiger Shrimp, etc. It lowers the pH and creates a soft water which caridina shrimps prefer. You can check out the latest price on Amazon.

About Muntaseer Rahman

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