If you are keeping cherry shrimps, at some point, the females will get pregnant. At that time, you’ll need to know how to take care of the pregnant cherry shrimps and ensure successful breeding. After hours of research, I have found all the information you need to know and compiled them in this article.
Pregnant cherry shrimps, first of all, need a stressfree environment for successful breeding. They also require proper water parameters, clean water, lots of algae and high-quality food.
Now that you know what pregnant cherry shrimps require, let’s explain each of these requirements in detail.
Water Parameters & Temperature
Water parameters and temperature both are extremely important for pregnant cherry shrimps. Shrimps are generally very delicate creature, pregnant shrimps are even more.
So, in this crucial stage, keeping the optimum water parameters and temperature is extremely important for the mother shrimps.
This chart will show the optimum water parameters for cherry shrimps:
|Temperature||70 to 75 Degrees Fahrenheit|
|pH||6.5 to 7.5|
At first, you can see the temperature range. Though cherry shrimps can live in a wide range of temperatures, the ideal range is between 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. If you want to target further optimum temperature, aim for 72 degrees Fahrenheit or 22 degrees Celcius. In my experience, cherry shrimps live their fullest at this temperature range.
pH stands for Potential of Hydrogen. This measures how acidic or alkaline the water is. pH is measured on a scale of 0 to 14. 0 means the water is extremely acidic. Conversely, 14 means the water is fully alkaline. 7 is the neutral range.
Cherry shrimps prefer a pH range between 6.5 to 7.5. For measuring the pH of the water along with many other chemicals including ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, etc. you’ll need a reliable test kit.
If you need a test kit for measuring the pH, I’ll recommend 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 means General Hardness. It refers to the amount of dissolved Calcium and Magnesium in the water. GH is measured in PPM (Parts Per Million). For pregnant cherry shrimps, the ideal GH level will be 6 to 8 ppm.
With this GH & KH Test Kit, you can measure both the GH & KH of your shrimp tank water. There is no need to buy two separate test kits. Certainly a handy test kit that will help you a long way!
KH stands for Carbonate Hardness. It indicates the stability of the pH in the water. KH means how quickly or slowly the pH of the water can change.
With age, the KH value of the aquarium gets lower. Like GH, KH is also measured in PPM. The ideal range of KH for pregnant cherry shrimps lies between 1 to 4 ppm.
TDS stands for Total Dissolved Solids. It actually measures how much molecules are dissolved in the water except for the H20 molecules. TDS can check for many chemicals like nitrite, nitrate, ammonia, minerals, etc.
TDS is measured in PPM too. It’s not as crucial as the other ones for pregnant cherry shrimps. Generally, TDS indicates if the tank needs a water change or not. If my TDS reading gets higher, I perform a partial water change. The ideal TDS range for cherry shrimps will be about 150 to 250 ppm.
Normally, cherry shrimps can live one Algae and biofilm that is naturally developed in the aquarium. Shrimps also need commercial shrimp food for acquiring all the required minerals and vitamins. Cherry shrimps also do enjoy blanched vegetables from time to time.
But when your cherry shrimps get pregnant, they’ll require much more high-quality food. I have seen pregnant shrimps do better with a protein-rich diet.
Algae and Biofilm
Algae and biofilm naturally grow in every tank. So, you won’t need to spend any money on these. In most cases, your cherry shrimps will live on these two food sources, meaning algae and biofilm are the staple food in cherry shrimp’s diet.
One thing to be noted, not all kinds of algae fall into the diet of cherry shrimps. They don’t like hard stringy or hair algae. Also, spot algae don’t interest cherry shrimps.
Like regular shrimps, the pregnant cherry shrimps should also graze on algae and biofilm most of the time throughout the day. But in addition, they’ll also require some extra love which you can provide through proper commercial shrimp food.
Commercial Shrimp Food
Many people don’t want to invest in a commercial shrimp food. Though shrimps are well off with algae and biofilm, they do need some extra minerals and vitamins which you can provide only through commercial shrimp food.
Many hobbyists offer fish pellets to the shrimps. I’ll not recommend this as fish pellets don’t contain the necessary nutrients required for a cherry shrimp.
I know a decent commercial shrimp food can cost a bit of money, but the trade-off you’ll get is amazing. A good shrimp food will ensure your shrimps are having all the nutrients they deserve to grow properly. It will also help the shrimps to show off their true color. Moreover, a single pot of food can feed a decent size of the shrimp colony for almost a year. So, you should definitely invest in a good shrimp food.
For my cherry shrimps, I love to give them Aquatic Art’s sinking pellets. They are extremely good for pregnant shrimps too. I have been using this food for over a year now, and my shrimps still get crazy over it.
This one is also suitable for pregnant cherry shrimps because it contains:
- Vegetable parts
- Spirulina Algae
- 35% protein which is crucial for pregnant shrimps
- A slight amount of copper sulfate
Aquatic Arts Sinking Pellets come in an 8 oz pot. If you have a colony of 10-15 shrimps, a single pot can last for about more than a year.
You can check the latest price of Aquatic Art Sinking Pellet here.
I can’t stress enough how important clean water is for pregnant shrimps. Many hobbyists don’t want to invest in a decent filter for cherry shrimps, as they think they won’t require any. This can not be any more further than the truth.
In order to ensure a higher success rate of shrimplets, you’ll need to have clean water. And for that, a proper filter is a must. For a shrimp tank, you can choose any of the following filters: a matten filter, sponge filter, or a HOB (Hang On Back) filter.
I love matten filters for my shrimp tank. I think they are simply the best for a shrimp only tank. The mechanism is extremely simple. The great thing about matter filters is, it has a very large surface area.
The large square sheet of sponge is great for accumulating food particles, growing beneficial bacterial colony and micro-organism. Shrimps love to feed on this micro-organism.
And lastly, matten filters are extremely cheap compared to a Hang on Back or sponge filter. If you are just starting out with shrimps, I’ll absolutely recommend you to try out matten filters.
However, matten filters are rare and you can’t find them on many fish stores. Fortunately, FlipAquatics sell top-notch quality matten filters according to various tank sizes. They are the ones to go if you want professional-grade Matten Filter for your shrimps!
Sponge filters are a decent choice for small to moderate size shrimp colony. The good thing about the sponge filter is, it doesn’t pose any threat to the shrimplets. Also, sponge filters don’t create any strong current that may prove to be problematic for the shrimps.
There are many sponge filters in the market. For my shrimps, I love the one from Powkoo. I think this one is decently powered to serve my shrimp colony. Here’s why I’ve chosen this:
- The sponge filter comes with a 10 layer ribbing pattern. This offers a larger surface area that can support a larger beneficial bacterial colony. This all translates to a much quicker and better-cycled tank.
- The kit comes with 2 sponges which means double mechanical filtration.
- The filter produces a decent water flow which is beneficial for pregnant cherry shrimps.
You can check the latest price of this sponge filter here.
Hang On Back Filter
If you want to take the filtration of the shrimp tank one notch further, go for a Hang On Back filter. Recently I’ve used one in one of my larger shrimp tanks, and the result is amazing. For larger shrimp colonies, a HOB filter will be more suitable than a sponge filter.
I have used the Penguin HOB filter manufactured by Marineland. I have fairly satisfied with its performance. If you are just starting out with a HOB, you can definitely give this a try.
Check out the latest price here on Amazon.
Whether your cherry shrimps are pregnant or not, you’ll have to perform regular water changes. By regular, I am not meaning every single day. You should follow weekly water changing schedule with a 25-30% water change.
This will ensure the environment of the shrimp tank is remaining healthy and the TDS level doesn’t get too high for the shrimps.
Also, don’t get too enthusiastic about the water changes. Too often and too much water change can bring adverse effects to the shrimp tank.
One of the main problems for pregnant shrimps is stress. Stress can lead to many serious results including the loss of shrimplets. Too much stress can also lead to the premature death of the shrimps.
The most common thing that leads to shrimp stress is bad tank mates. I’ll always recommend to keep your shrimps in a ‘shrimp-only’ tank. However, if you need to have other tank mates, then do well research beforehand. Most fishes are not compatible with cherry shrimps.
Bad tank mates can lead to many problems including stress for the shrimps, eating the shrimplets, etc.
Here is a list of good and bad tank mates for cherry shrimps:
|Good Tank Mates||Bad Tank Mates|
|Other shrimp species||Any fish that are aggressive such as Barbs, Mollies, Serpea Tetra, Betta, etc.|
|Snails||Fishes with a large mouth to gulp the shrimp in a single instance|
Separate If Necessary
Though it is not common, sometimes it is seen that the males can attack the female pregnant shrimp out of sexual desire. This happens if the colony has more males than the females.
In such a case, you may need to separate the males from the females. So, be prepared for such an incident from the start.
For separating the shrimps, you can either use a tank separator or a second tank. If you are tight on the budget, then just use a tank separator. Otherwise, I’ll suggest making a second tank for the shrimps.
Reasons For Unsuccessful Breeding
- The most common reason for unsuccessful breeding is temperature. If the temperature of the water isn’t in the ideal range, then the success rate of the breeding will dive low. So, if your shrimps have got pregnant, first make sure the temperature is in the right range.
- If you want to get the correct temperature reading of your shrimp tank, I’ll highly suggest this digital aquarium thermometer. It is cheap yet very reliable! It will show you the temperature in digital reading so that you know exactly what is going on in the tank!
- Another common reason for failed breeding is too much stress. Pregnant shrimps can get stressed out due to many reasons. But the most common of them is unsuitable tank mates. If your shrimp tank has other livestock than shrimps, make sure they are compatible with the shrimps.
- Have you checked the water parameters? Get a decent water test kit and check the water parameters. See the nitrite, nitrate, ammonia level. Also keep an eye on the GH, KH, TDS, and pH of the water. I have already discussed the ideal range of these parameters above.
- Lack of proper nutrition can also lead to failed pregnancy in the shrimps. Don’t just rely on the natural algae and biofilm. Buy a decent shrimp food and provide the necessary nutrient to your shrimp.
- Check the filtration. Poor filtration leads to poor water quality, which results in a poor success rate of the breeding. Get a decent filter if you don’t yet have so in the shrimp tank.
Taking Care Of The Baby Shrimps
After a successful breeding, your shrimp tank will be filled with small shrimplets. At this stage, you’ll need to know how to take care of these baby shrimps so that they can successfully grow into adulthood.
- For most of the part, you’ll not have to do anything. For the first few days, the shrimplets will mainly hide and show themselves. This is natural. For hiding places, keep enough moss in the tank. Also, plants are great for hiding places too. You can also use cholla woods, driftwood, etc for the shrimplets to hide.
- I like this Pacific Driftwood for hiding places. It is natural, looks extremely good and shrimps love these type of woods too! They grow biofilm over them which is a natural food source for shrimps.
- During the first few days, the shrimplets will mainly feed on the algae and biofilm. However, soon they’ll need proper nutrition which you can provide from a commercial shrimp food.
So, this is my detailed guide on how to take care of pregnant cherry shrimps. If your cherry shrimps have got pregnant, then congratulations! Soon you’ll be rewarded with cute shrimplets.
However, for this to happen, you need to ensure proper care for the pregnant shrimps. Otherwise, the breeding will result in an unsuccessful one and can even cause the death of the mother shrimps.