Why Is My Cherry Shrimp Disappearing?

Why Is My Cherry Shrimp Disappearing

I have seen this many times. A shrimp keeper brings new batches of shrimp to the aquarium. After about a couple of hours of releasing the shrimps in the aquarium, the shrimp keeper fails to spot most of the shrimps. He wonders where did the shrimps disappear? Well, let’s answer this question in this article.

Cherry shrimps don’t just disappear. In most cases, they are hiding somewhere in the tank. Cherry shrimps like to hide behind plants, moss and inside the intake tube of filters.

If you are wondering where your cherry shrimps disappeared into, chances are they are just hiding in a tricky place. A few more things can happen if you can’t find your shrimp. Let’s talk about each of these in detail.

Hiding

If you can’t find your cherry shrimps, then the most probable cause is they are hiding. As cherry shrimps are pretty small in size, they can hide very well.

Cherry shrimps like to hide behind plants, moss, inside the driftwood or other hiding places. The hiding place will be something that you probably can’t find out easily.

When you release new batches of cherry shrimps into your tank, they can get very stressed because of the new environment. The shrimps get stressed due to the shipping, being in a newer environment, seeing new tank mates, etc.

As a result, new shrimps tend to hide very carefully for the first couple of days. It gives them the time to get adjusted to their new home. So, if you can’t find the shrimps you just bought, relax. Check in after a few days. This should give your shrimps the time they need to get acclimated to their new home.

Eaten By The Tank mates

Another probable reason for not finding your shrimps is they are already eaten. Tank mates are extremely important for keeping cherry shrimps. They are not compatible to live with almost all types of fishes.

Most fishes try to hunt and eat shrimps. A general rule of thumb is, if the fish’s mouth is large enough to fit a cherry shrimp, it will probably try to eat the shrimp.

There are also some small aquarium fishes that can harass the cherry shrimps. This leads to a very stressful environment for the cherry shrimps. Sometimes, they can get eaten by other tank mates.

So, if you can’t find your cherry shrimp, check if it was eaten by a potential tank mate or not.

For your convenience, here I am providing a table showing what tank mates are compatible with cherry shrimps and which ones to avoid:

Good Tank Mates Bad Tank Mates
Other shrimp speciesAny fish that are aggressive such as Barbs, Mollies, Serpea Tetra, Betta, etc.
Dwarf suckersCichlids
Small rasborasDiscus
Small TetrasAngelfish
SnailsFishes with a large mouth to gulp the shrimp in a single instance

Personally, I like to keep my cherry shrimps in a dedicated tank of their own. Well, sometimes I keep snails in the tank. Snails and shrimps live very peacefully.

Trapped Inside the Filter Intake Tube

This is the third common reason. I have seen this occurrence many times in the forums. Some members couldn’t find his shrimp in the tank, even after a thorough search.

Lastly, when checking the HOB, he found the shrimps inside the HOB box! Can you imagine that? The shrimps got inside the HOB box through the filter intake tube. So, if you can’t find your cherry shrimps, don’t forget to check out the filter.

This occurrence can be easily prevented. Just cover the filter intake tube with something. I like to cover it with a piece of filter media. This ensures the shrimplets don’t get sucked into the tube in case the water flow is too much for them.

Also, covering the intake tube is a good practice for keeping shrimps. It keeps the shrimps safe from any unwanted accidents.

If you have a heater in the tank, don’t forget to cover it’s intake tubes too.

Jumped Out Of The Tank

The last reason can be your cherry shrimps just jumped out of the tank. Shrimps jump out of the tank for many reasons, such as:

  • If the water parameter is not right for the cherry shrimps, it will try to jump out of the tank in search of a new home. Wrong water parameters are deadly for cherry shrimps, in fact for any shrimps you want to keep. As shrimps are very delicate creatures, they can only thrive when the environment favors them. An unfriendly environment with the wrong water parameters can even cause the death of your shrimps.
  • The shrimps always remain stressful. If the tank mates are not compatible with your shrimps, your shrimp will always hide or try to jump out of the tank. That’s why it is very essential to have compatible tank mates in your shrimp tank. For me, I personally only keep snails with my shrimps. This ensures my shrimps are not harassed or bullied by any other fish at all.
  • Another mistake that beginners do is filling the tank up to the brim with water. This encourages the shrimps to jump out of the tank. Always leave 1 or 2 inches of gap between the water level and the rim of the aquarium. Also, if your shrimps are very feisty, you can cover the tank to prevent unwanted escaping.

These are the most common reasons for shrimps jumping out of the tank. If your shrimps are disappearing or jumping out of the tank, the first thing I’ll check is the water parameters.

Trust me, keeping the right water parameters is one of the most important tasks for keeping shrimps.

I created this table showing the ideal water parameters for cherry shrimps:

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

Try to achieve these water parameters before even releasing the cherry shrimps into your tank. This will solve most of the problems that you may face afterward.

If you need a test kit for measuring the water parameters, 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!

A Little Trick To Bring Shrimps Out From Hiding

As I have already said, if you can’t find your shrimps, the most common reason is they are hiding. But you can’t absolutely guarantee it, right?

What if they are not hiding? What if they jumped out of the tank or got eaten by some other fish? Well, there is a little trick you can do to find that out.

The trick is to allure your cherry shrimps to come out of the hiding places by offering food. If they do, you already know they were hiding. If they don’t, then probably the shrimps jumped out of the tank or got eaten. But don’t jump to any conclusion right off the bet. Sometimes the shrimps can show no interest in food.

Here’s what you can do:

  1. Take your shrimp’s most favorite food. The food needs to be your shrimp’s favorite one. It can either be a commercial pellet type food or a blanched vegetable.
  2. Place the food on a food bowl and put the bowl into the tank.
  3. Now, wait for 10-20 minutes. By this time, all the shrimps inside the tank should get interested and come near the food bowl to check out the food.
  4. You can then easily check out if your cherry shrimps are doing well or not.

Conclusion

Don’t get panicked if you can’t find your shrimps inside the tank. It happened to all of us. Shrimps are very good at hiding. Just check after a few days.

If you can’t find the cherry shrimps even after a few days, then take the necessary steps mentioned in the article to prevent any unwanted accidents or escaping.

Muntaseer Rahman

I have been keeping shrimps as a pet for many years now. I’ve fallen in love with these cute pets from the moment I saw them. That’s why I am writing articles to share my shrimp keeping knowledge with you.

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