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.

Where Do Shrimp Hide In The Tank?

If you don’t see your shrimp in the tank for a while, you shouldn’t get worried. Hiding in some corners of the tank is pretty normal behavior for shrimp. You might wonder where your shrimp hide in such a small tank.

Your shrimp can hide in any corner of structures of the tank wherever they can fit themselves. If the shrimp tank is plant-based, your shrimp may hide behind the dense vegetation. The loose substrate is another suitable option for hide-outs for your shrimp.

Besides, you might have added several décor items in your shrimp tank for decoration purposes. Such as natural or artificial rocks, cholla wood, Mopani wood, driftwood, fake plants, piece of hollow pipes, plastic cages, coconut aquarium shrimp caves, etc.

These décor items work as wonderful hideouts for shrimp. Your shrimp may chill out in these places during their leisure time. If you don’t find your shrimp, you can look into these small corners.

Why Is My Shrimp Hiding?

Although shrimp can hide themselves to take some rest, there may remain other reasons. If your shrimp spend a lot of time in hiding, you should look for the actual reason. Let’s check out some probable reasons for which your shrimp may hide.

1. Your Shrimp Are Newbies

If your shrimp are new to the tank, it may take some time to get accustomed to the environment. That’s why the experts suggest acclimatizing shrimp before adding it to the new tank. Poor acclimatization causes stress to your shrimp.

As a result, the newly brought shrimp do not remain active at the beginning. Your new shrimp may take a few weeks to adjust to the new tank. Meanwhile, these new shrimp may hide in small corners of the tank wherever they fit themselves.

2. Uncycled Tank

If you leave your new shrimp in an uncycled tank, the tank environment will make your shrimp stressed. You might know that shrimp can not tolerate ammonia at all.

In an uncycled tank, no beneficial bacteria remain there to convert the ammonia into less harmful nitrate. That’s why shrimp tend to hide in an uncycled tank.

3. Not Feeling Secured

Lack of security can make your shrimp forced into hiding. Sometimes, people keep a large colony of shrimp in a small tank. Overcrowding can cause stress to your shrimp which leads them to hide.

See also  Do Cherry Shrimps Eat Each Other?

Besides, incompatible tank mates make your shrimp insecure in the tank. The beginners often keep aggressive tank mates with their shrimp. If your shrimp feel threatened due to their tank mates, they’ll hide in the tank.

4. Inappropriate Water Parameters

Expert shrimp keeper Abhisek Mallick emphasizes the criticality of water parameters in shrimp health.

He advises, ‘Each shrimp species have a different requirement, so study about it, make your parameters rock solid and then put shrimps.’

This underscores the existing knowledge that shrimps, being delicate aquatic creatures, are highly sensitive to water conditions.

Consistent pH, GH, KH levels are crucial, as deviations can lead to stress-induced hiding or other health issues.

5. Your Shrimp Is Molting

As a part of growth, shrimp often shed their exoskeleton to fit into a new shell. After shedding their exoskeleton, these shrimp remain in a vulnerable state. Since these shrimp do not have any hard shells after molting, their predators can readily attack them.

To save their soft body, shrimp choose to hide in secure places. If you find any shredded exoskeleton in the water, molting must be the reason behind the hiding of your shrimp.

Are you an owner of ghost shrimp? Then, this article will help you know all details about ghost shrimp molting.

Owner: Sarah Louise Kennedy

6. Your Shrimp Is Breeding

It’s pretty common among shrimp hobbyists to hear about surprise shrimp babies. After all, the berried shrimp are too good at hiding themselves.

Generally, shrimp prepare to breed right after molting. During the breeding period, the female shrimp hide at a secured place to release pheromones. The male shrimp will search for the female shrimp being attracted by the pheromones.

So, your shrimp may create a safe spawning space if your shrimp is hiding in the breeding period.

7. Your Shrimp Is Sick

Shrimp remain weak at their sickness. If your shrimp is ill, it’ll not want to encounter in front of its competitors. That’s why your shrimp may be hiding.

8. Stress Factors

One of the most significant reasons for your shrimps’ hiding is their stress factors. When the temperature is too high or low, your shrimp lose the energy to keep their body active.

Also, shrimp can’t tolerate fluctuations in the water. Sudden water changes and ammonia spikes can make your shrimp stressed.

As a result, your shrimp tend to hide in small corners of the tank. Besides, overfeeding is another stress factor causing the hiding of your shrimp.

If you look for the signs of stress in shrimp, you can go through this article: 3 signs of stress in shrimps you should know!

9. Avoiding Daytime

If your shrimp prefer nighttime, these tiny creatures may hide during the daytime. Your shrimp may want to avoid the light and noise of the daytime. You may find your shrimp forging at night time if you do not see them during the day.

10. Chilling Out

Lastly, there might be nothing to worry about at all. Your shrimp may be hiding just for chilling out or taking a rest.

Owner: Natalie Skinner

Cherry Shrimp Might Be 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.

See also  Do Cherry Shrimp Eat Fish Eggs?

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 speciesDiscuss
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.

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Cherry Shrimp Might Get 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.

Owner: Natalie Skinner

Cherry Shrimp May Jump 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?

See also  How To Control Cherry Shrimp Population?

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.

Do Shrimp Hide In Gravel?

The answer is yes! If your shrimp feel secure in gravel, they may create secret corners to hide in gravel.

In such a case, your shrimp try to assure that the gravel grains accommodate them. That’s why, the experts suggest adding gravel as substrate instead of keeping the bare bottom.

Do Shrimp Bury Themselves?

Sometimes, shrimp want to keep their spot away from their predators. Besides, these shrimp tend to hide whenever they want to escape from the stress factors. So, it’s pretty common among shrimp to bury themselves when they try to hide.

cherry shrimp breeding

Is my cherry shrimp hiding or dead?

Cherry shrimp may hide when they are molting or feeling stressed due to factors like low water conditions, inappropriate cycling, and elevated toxins.

If the shrimp is lying on its side or upside down and not moving, it may be dead. To determine if your cherry shrimp is hiding or dead, you can check for movement and observe the color of the shrimp. If it is hiding, it may be behind objects to shed its exoskeleton or avoid predators.

I can’t find my shrimp in my tank?

When you can’t find your shrimp in your tank, they may be hiding due to stress or molting. You can try looking behind objects or inside the tank cabinet. You can also check if there are any predators in your tank that may have eaten the shrimp.

Why are my shrimp always hiding?

Shrimp may hide due to various reasons, including illness or injury, overcrowding, poor water quality, lack of hiding spots in the tank, stress from lighting or other environmental factors, and molting. Newly introduced shrimp may also hide out of stress and fear until they acclimatize. 

How do you know if cherry shrimp are stressed?

There are several signs that cherry shrimp may exhibit when they are stressed, including lethargy, loss of appetite, reduced movement, hiding behavior, decrease in color intensity, slow growth, small adults, hanging out at the water surface, failed molts, and not breeding. In some cases, stress can also cause cherry shrimp to change color or develop black or brown spots.

Is it normal for shrimp to hide?

It is normal for shrimps to hide. Shrimps are known to hide when they feel threatened or stressed. Hiding behavior is also common when shrimp are molting or when they are trying to avoid predators. Providing hiding spots in the tank can help to reduce stress and make your shrimp feel more secure. 


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.

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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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