How To Take Care Of Pregnant Cherry Shrimp?

How To Take Care Of Pregnant Cherry Shrimp

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.

To care for pregnant cherry shrimp, provide a stable environment with clean, well-aerated water maintained at a temperature of 72-78°F (22-25°C). Ensure a pH level of 6.5-8.0 and avoid sudden changes in water parameters. Offer a varied diet of high-quality shrimp pellets, blanched vegetables, and occasional protein sources.

Install fine mesh or sponge filters to prevent shrimp fry from being sucked in. Plants and mosses are beneficial, offering hiding spots for the fry. Regularly monitor water quality, and avoid using medications or chemicals that are not shrimp-safe.

Now that you know what pregnant cherry shrimps require, let’s explain each of these requirements in detail.

red cherry shrimp overview and facts

Ideal Water Parameters & Temperature For Pregnant Cherry Shrimps

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:

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

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:

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:

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:

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:

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.

Different Shrimps & Their Ideal Water Parameters

different shrimps' ideal water parameters infographic

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a berried blue cherry shrimp with eggs
Owner: Natalie Skinner

Proper Feeding For Pregnant Cherry Shrimps

Feeding pregnant cherry shrimps appropriately is crucial for their health and the quality of their offspring.

While algae and biofilm are staple foods, Abhisek Mallick, a renowned shrimp expert, emphasizes the importance of color-enhancing shrimp feeds like Teraa Rang and Shrimp King Color.

These feeds, in conjunction with a robust gene pool and well-maintained water parameters, contribute significantly to the shrimps’ coloration and offspring quality.

Remember, results from these feeds aren’t immediate and depend on the shrimps’ genetic makeup. Also, keep an eye on temperature fluctuations, as shrimps are sensitive to such changes.

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.

See also  Why Is My Cherry Shrimp Jumping Out Of Tank?

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.

13 Different Cherry Shrimp Types Infographic

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Aquarium Filter icons set cartoon vector. Care water. Fish kit

Proper Filtration For Pregnant Cherry Shrimps

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.

Matten Filter

matten 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 Filter

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.

Baby Cherry Shrimp Care Infographic

baby cherry shrimp care dos and donts, proper habitat, feeding infographic

Want to get a printable version of this infographic? Click here! [If you want to use this infographic on your website, please link back to this post as the source!]

Are Water Changes Bad For Pregnant Cherry Shrimps?

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.

Make Sure Your Pregnant Cherry Shrimps Aren’t Stressed

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.

See also  Raising Cherry Shrimp Babies: A Step-by-Step Guide [DOs & DONTs]

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 speciesDiscuss
Dwarf suckersCichlids
Small rasborasDiscus
Small TetrasAngelfish
SnailsFishes 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

  1. 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.
  2. 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!
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

Cherry Shrimp Diseases & Prevention

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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 Natural 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.

should i separate pregnant cherry shrimp?

whether or not to separate pregnant cherry shrimp depends on your specific setup and goals. If you have a peaceful tank without potential predators and are confident in the water quality, you might choose to leave the berried shrimp in the main tank.

However, if you’re aiming for the highest survival rate of the offspring, setting up a separate breeding environment might be the best choice.

Separating pregnant cherry shrimp can be beneficial for several reasons:

  1. Safety for the Offspring: In a community tank, especially one with fish, the tiny shrimp fry can become easy prey. By separating the pregnant shrimp, you can ensure a safer environment for the fry once they are born.
  2. Optimal Conditions: In a separate tank or breeding box, you can control the water parameters more closely to ensure they are optimal for the pregnant shrimp and her offspring.
  3. Stress Reduction: Moving the pregnant shrimp to a quieter environment can reduce stress, which might be beneficial for the shrimp and her offspring.
  4. Easier Monitoring: In a separate environment, it’s easier to monitor the pregnant shrimp and her offspring, ensuring they are healthy and well-fed.

Things to keep in considerations while separating pregnant shrimps:

Stress from Moving: The act of catching and moving the pregnant shrimp can itself be stressful. It’s essential to be gentle and use a soft net or container to minimize this stress.

Water Parameters: If you’re moving the shrimp to a separate tank, ensure that the water parameters (pH, temperature, hardness, etc.) are similar to the main tank to prevent shock.

Tank Cycling: If you’re using a new tank to separate the pregnant shrimp, ensure that it’s fully cycled to prevent harmful ammonia and nitrite spikes.

Space: Ensure that the separate environment is spacious enough for the shrimp to move around comfortably.

What are the cherry shrimp pregnancy stages?

Cherry shrimp (Neocaridina davidi) go through several stages during their reproductive cycle. Here’s a breakdown of the pregnancy stages, often referred to as the “berried” stages due to the appearance of the eggs:

Mating:

Before a female cherry shrimp becomes berried, she must first mate with a male. After molting, the female releases pheromones that attract males. The males will chase the female, and once mating occurs, the female will store the male’s sperm.

See also  Why Is My Cherry Shrimp Disappearing?

Egg Production:

Shortly after mating, the female produces eggs inside her body. These eggs are then fertilized using the stored sperm.

Egg Attachment:

Once fertilized, the eggs move to the female’s swimmerets (the small, leg-like appendages underneath her body). The eggs are attached to the swimmerets using a sticky substance. At this stage, the eggs are often yellow or greenish in color. This is the beginning of the “berried” stage, and the female is said to be “carrying” or “berried.”

Egg Development:

Over the next few weeks (typically 2-4 weeks, depending on water temperature and conditions), the eggs will develop while attached to the female’s swimmerets. During this time, the female will regularly fan the eggs to provide them with oxygen and prevent fungal growth. As the eggs mature, they will gradually change color, often becoming darker or more opaque.

Hatching:

Once fully developed, the eggs will hatch into tiny shrimp fry. These fry look like miniature versions of adult shrimp but are transparent and extremely small. The hatching process can take several hours to a couple of days.

Post-Hatching:

After all the eggs have hatched, the female is no longer berried. The young shrimp will immediately start to forage for food, feeding on biofilm and other microscopic organisms. Over the next few weeks, they will grow and go through several molts until they reach maturity.

The exact duration of each stage can vary based on factors like water temperature, water quality, and the overall health of the shrimp. Warmer water temperatures can speed up the development process, while cooler temperatures can slow it down.

berried or pregnant shrimp
Owner: Ricky Sales

how long are neocaridina shrimp pregnant?


Neocaridina shrimp typically carry their eggs for about 2 to 4 weeks. The exact duration can vary based on several factors:

  1. Water Temperature: Warmer water can speed up the development of the eggs, leading to a shorter berried period. Conversely, cooler water can extend the duration. For optimal egg development, a temperature range of 72°F to 78°F (22°C to 25.5°C) is recommended.
  2. Water Quality: Consistent and optimal water parameters can influence the success rate of the eggs hatching. Fluctuations or poor water quality can lead to longer berried periods or even unsuccessful hatching.
  3. Diet and Nutrition: A well-balanced diet can ensure that the female shrimp has the necessary nutrients to support the development of her eggs.
  4. Stress: Environmental stressors, such as aggressive tankmates or frequent disturbances, can potentially impact the duration of the berried period.

On average, most hobbyists observe a berried period of around 3 weeks for Neocaridina shrimp under typical aquarium conditions.

do shrimps hide when they are pregnant?


Yes, pregnant shrimp tend to be more reclusive and may hide more frequently than when they are not carrying eggs. Here are a few reasons why:

Protection: Berried shrimp instinctively seek to protect their eggs from potential threats. By hiding, they reduce the risk of their eggs being disturbed or preyed upon by other tank inhabitants.

Reduced Mobility: The added weight and bulk of the eggs can make it more cumbersome for the shrimp to move around, especially in areas with strong water currents. As a result, they might prefer staying in sheltered spots.

Stress: The process of carrying and fanning the eggs can be stressful for the shrimp. Seeking shelter can provide them with a more stable environment and reduce stress.

Molting Concerns: Shrimp are more vulnerable after molting, and berried females will avoid molting while they are carrying eggs. However, the buildup to the molt might make them feel more vulnerable, prompting them to hide.

berried orange shrimp with eggs
Owner: Ricky Sales

How do you know when cherry shrimp will give birth?


Determining the exact moment when a cherry shrimp will release its fry can be challenging, but there are several signs and stages of egg development that can give you an idea of when the shrimp is close to giving birth:

Egg Coloration:

When a cherry shrimp first becomes berried (carrying eggs), the eggs are usually a bright yellow or greenish color. As the eggs near hatching, they will turn darker, often becoming a deep brown or even a grayish color. This color change is due to the developing embryos inside the eggs.

Eyes in the Eggs:

As the eggs approach the hatching stage, you might be able to see tiny black dots in them. These are the eyes of the developing shrimp fry. Seeing these eyes is a strong indicator that the eggs are close to hatching.

Duration:

As mentioned earlier, the berried stage for cherry shrimp typically lasts between 2 to 4 weeks. If you’ve been tracking the duration since you first noticed the shrimp was berried, you can estimate that she’s likely to give birth soon as she approaches the end of this timeframe.

Behavioral Changes:

Some hobbyists observe that berried females become more reclusive or hide more frequently shortly before releasing their fry. This behavior might be an instinctual effort to find a safe place for the fry.

Decreasing Number of Eggs:

As the hatching time approaches, you might notice that the number of eggs the female is carrying decreases. This is because some of the eggs might hatch earlier than others, so you’ll see fewer eggs and possibly some tiny shrimp fry in the tank.

While these signs can give you a general idea, predicting the exact moment of birth is difficult. The best approach is to provide a safe and stable environment for the berried shrimp, ensuring that when she does release her fry, they have the best chance of survival.

how many cherry shrimp babies survive?

In an optimal setup with no predators and plenty of food and hiding spots, a high percentage of the fry can survive to adulthood, potentially up to 80-90%. However, in a typical community tank or in less-than-ideal conditions, the survival rate can be much lower. It’s not uncommon for only a handful of fry to survive in such scenarios.

Conclusion

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.

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Muntaseer Rahman

About Author

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